Obviously, I’ve taken a little break from posting. And by “little,” I mean “over three months.” Don’t hate, I’ve been busy. But here’s a quick rundown on where I’m at these days:
Television: Man, this WGA strike sucks, huh? Just give the writers their internet residuals and let’s be done with it. Still in love with Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock, House, and The Office. And South Park! Honorable mentions to How I Met Your Mother and Pushing Daisies. Scrubs has been unusually weak, but I still won’t miss an episode. Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty are fine, I guess. Favorite new show that I actually don’t watch much: Dirty Sexy Money. Most of the new shows were pretty zzzzzzz, right? Chuck‘s okay but despite Zachary Levi and Captain Awesome, I don’t watch that very often either. Sad that sexy Michael Vartan’s show was cancelled, and also sad that Rob Thomas couldn’t turn it around.
Movies: Loved Atonement, No Country for Old Men and Michael Clayton. Really liked Enchanted, Gone Baby Gone, and American Gangster. Thought Casey Affleck was awesome in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but the rest was totally overrated and snooze-inducing.
And what else? Celebrity gossip has been totally boring lately. I’m sick of Britney (though I’m down with Gimme More) and I need a break from Lindsay. I kind of want to make out with Shia LaBoeuf, which is, frankly, a surprising turn of events.
So, that’s all for now, but I’ll get back into the swing of things in January. Hopefully with something interesting to say! But no promises.
Transformers kicked ass. Seriously, I loved it. Shia LaBoeuf is the next Tom Hanks (and I didn’t steal that from Vanity Fair. I’ve been saying it for a year now. I swear.) Also, really enjoyed Rescue Dawn, with Christian Bale and Steve Zahn. It’s a simple, well-told escape story set in Vietnam, and the two lead performances are definitely Oscar-worthy, particularly Zahn. Ratatoille was a cute story, and the animation was beautiful.
Finally, just got back from seeing Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix. IT ROCKED SO HARD. Of course, I’m a big fan of the books, so I can’t really speak to whether it stood on its own as a movie. But as a companion to the book, I think it completely succeeded. I didn’t mind any of the story changes, and Daniel Radcliffe’s acting is quite strong now. I was really worried about Emma Watson — last movie, she kept overacting and twitching her eyebrows. She kept it up in the initial scenes, but afterwards really toned it down and got a lot more natural. Such a relief.
Jim Hill Media has more details on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. I’d consider it all rumor for now, but it’s still incredibly fascinating. I thought that the Harry Potter area would be a new part of Islands of Adventure, but apparently the plan is to convert the Lost Continent area of the park.
A lot of people aren’t familiar with Islands of Adventure, so here’s some background. (Full disclosure: I think it’s the best theme park ever.) It has five main areas: Seuss Landing, Marvel Superhero Island, Cartoon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, and the Lost Continent. Seuss Landing is the kiddie area. Marvel Superhero Island has The Hulk, an amazing roller coaster, and Spider-Man, which is quite simply the coolest ride ever. No description can do it justice, but it’s an indoor 4-D ride that’s completely exhilarating. Cartoon Lagoon has the best log flume ever and river rapids. It’s fun to run around Jurassic Park because they blare that John Williams music, and it’s got a great dinosaur-themed Splash Mountain-type water ride.
The Lost Continent is a great world, but as you can tell by its wimpy name, it doesn’t have a good theme. Everything fantasy-ish is there: the eatery is at the base of a giant gnarled tree, there’s a Poseidon walkthrough attraction, and a stupid Sinbad-themed show. It’s also got another amazing roller coaster called Dueling Dragons. It’s two suspended intertwined coasters, and it’s tons of fun. The waiting area is in a castle, and the interior has to be seen to be believed. There’s moving stained-glass windows, skeletons, frozen knights suspended in air — fantastic. But what does that have to do with Sinbad next door? Not much. While the nostalgic part of me is sad that the area will get revamped, it is really desperate for a unifying theme, and this will enable Universal to get the Harry Potter area done quicker and more cheaply. The stupid Sinbad show will give way to a Weasley flying car ride, and if it’s anything like the Spider-Man ride, it’ll be a huge success. The dragons coaster is a perfect fit with the Triwizard Tournament, so that’s a good move.
But what of Hogwarts Castle? I assume they’re going to redo the Dueling Dragons castle, but it’s not big enough to be Hogwarts. In the concept drawing, it looks like they’ll build Hogwarts from scratch, but I wonder if that’s really the case. I’d also like to see one more attraction planned for the area, maybe Knight Bus-themed. Whatever happens, I’m sure Universal will do an amazing job.
Exciting news! The best theme park ever, Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, is adding a new island: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! The Leaky Cauldron site has all the info. They’re putting in a big Hogwarts castle — now Universal can finally conquer its castle envy. Supposedly J.K. Rowling has been extremely demanding about the layout (which is a good thing), but I hope they do manage to have some Harry Potter rides, not just shopping/dining. I’d like to see something similar to their Spider-Man ride, which is sick.
Hurray! Here’s another version (that gives me chills):
Still more than six months to go for the new Harry Potter movie, but there’s a few new photos out from filming. Here’s one where Harry’s looking kind of foxy, presumably on his way to his Ministry of Magic hearing.
Ron Weasley and his mum are in a new movie called Driving Lessons, and here’s the trailer. It’s kind of weird to see Julie Walters all old-looking, but not as weird as hearing Laura Linney’s British accent.
Warner Bros. confirmed today that Helena Bonham Carter will play Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Thank goodness someone in casting is still making rational decisions. (I’m still not over the whole Heath thing.)
In other Hogwarts news, Dumbledore is really dead. Seriously. J.K. Rowling said so. He’s dead.
Harry Potter fans the world over are cringing at the news that Daniel Radcliffe will play Alan Strang in the forthcoming London revival of Equus. For those who aren’t familiar with the play, I’m about to ruin it for you: Alan wants to bang horses. No, Harry, nooo!
I love voting in TV/movie polls; it’s how I compensate for not having a Nielsen box. Here’s one for the SyFy Awards, with nominees from Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Alias, Harry Potter, Stargate SG-1, etc. J.J. Abrams is up for a lifetime achievement award, which makes me wonder if the sci-fi nerds are aware of a little show called Felicity.
Awesome. Pride & Prejudice, starring Ron and Hermione:
(From AustenBlog.) I’m not sure what’s more hilarious; that Dumbledore’s Mr. Bennett or that Harry is Mr. Collins.
Warner Bros. is in talks to have scenes from the IMAX version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 3-D. Dude, I hope there will be Quidditch in this movie.
Now you can purchase and download Warner Bros. movies online at Guba, either for rental at around $3, or to own for $20. The site includes titles like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Syriana. I guess if this catches on, Veronica Mars and other Warner shows might be distributed this way. It seems a little expensive and restrictive to me, although it does allow you to burn purchased movies to DVD.
J.K. Rowling will be killing off at least two more characters in the final Harry Potter book, according to this interview. Seriously, if she kills off Harry, I will be infuriated. Infuriated.