Archives for July 2010

Harry Potter Films Losing Millions of Dollars?

The report today is that the film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) has lost $165 million despite being one of the top 10 grossing films in history on earnings close to a billion dollars.

Is this an illustration of life-imitating-art? Does this story come from the pen of Rita Skeeter, a journalist writing what the public wants to hear or, more often, what the power-holders want us to believe? Or is it Quibbler tabloid fare, the nonsense and sensational man-bites-dog hooey we expect from Fleet Street? I asked Janet Batchler, resident Film Industry expert, author of What Will Harry Do?, and Screen Writing professor at USC, what she thought. [Read more…]

Harry Potter’s Best Birthday Ever?

Harry Potter turns 30 tomorrow (and Ms. Rowling 45) and I wanted to ask you what you thought Harry’s best birthday was? I assume the great majority of readers and movie-goers will vote for his eleventh birthday because of the revelations in the House on the Rock and his day with Hagrid. That certainly makes sense because that b-day in many ways marks his re-birth and discovery of self.

But there are other birthdays in the book that are eventful and meaningful, even revealing of the story-ending because Ms. Rowling liked to point to the finale at the story-start and as often as not started with Harry’s birthday. Dobby, for example, appears on Harry’s LaborDay version of a birthday in Chamber and that book ends with Dobby’s re-birth and liberation.

What is your favorite Harry birthday, then, and please do share what plans you have to commemorate the natal anniversary of The Boy Who Lived!

Free Hunger Games AudioBook!

I kid you not.

As a special promotion, you can download Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games as an audio-book this week — and it won’t cost you anything. You do have to sign up for an account and download some software from before you get the free Hunger Games mp3 files you can listen to anywhere. My source for this great deal assures me the process was painless and the reading performance quite good. Let me know what you think! (H/T to RevGeorge)

Running of the Harrys in the Future?

Last week in Key West, folks celebrated what would have been Ernest Hemingway’s 110th birthday with their annual Hemingway Days, a week-long celebration of all things Hemingway, including a look-alike contest, writing competition, and, my personal favorite, the running of the Hemingways, sort of like the  running of the bulls in Pamplona, only with all the Hemingway wannbes instead of bovines. Considering the heat in Florida in July and the fact that most folks go in for the later-in-life Hemingway look, it might actually be more dangerous than the bull running. I hope EMTs were on hand.

What does this spectacle have to do with our discussions here? Well, after enjoying watching all the great character impersonators at Infinitus (I don’t go in for that myself, but I really enjoy observing. I should just wear a sign that says, “Nope, these are just my regular clothes”), I noticed a few interesting trends. While some characters have many folks who want to adopt their look, others seemed absent; completely missing, unless I missed her, was anyone dressed up as Rowling herself. Which leads me to wonder how we will honor her in future years. Will people want to have Rowling make-overs? Is there a big future in Rowling impersonators, or will we be content to mug as the characters she has created? [Read more…]

‘All About Romance’ Looks at Stephenie Meyer

The core genre of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books are YA Romance. This fact, much neglected in the pervasive dismissal of Mrs. Meyer as a writer, explains much of the superficial and politically correct criticisms of the series.

Not knowing that much about YA Romance or any of the Romance genres beyond what long-time All-Pro Linda McCabe has taught me, I searched for a site online that looked at Mrs. Meyer’s work in exactly this light. Check out All About Romance: The Back Fence for Lovers of Romance Novels and their reviews of Twilight, of Eclipse, and of The Host.

Please share your thoughts on these romance-focused reviews — and please share as well any other Romance genre websites and their thoughts on Mrs. Meyer’s work.