Guns Akimbo: Harry Meets Katniss?

My first thoughts on seeing this trailer were:

‘Guns Akimbo’ looks like a fun meta-take on video games. I wonder if it is direct to video or whether there will be a video game released akin to the story-line…

Does anyone else feel an irony boundary has been crossed akin to the Gamesmakers being tasked with making film adaptations of The Hunger Games books?

Chris Calderon has actually seen the movie and given it a thorough review:

The fundamental problem of Guns Akimbo is that it is sabotaged by the very message it wants to convey. If Howden is determined to critique the kind of story premise found in the works of authors like Rowling, then in order to prove his point, he must look for the most satisfying outcome for his character. The best possible refute would have been to let the critique play out in such a way that Miles is able to emerge a better and wiser character precisely because he has had a realization of the futility of the path he’s on. That could have made for an interesting premise. The trouble is there’s no such payoff to be found anywhere in the film’s running-time. The story requires a certain type of course correction from the character that never quite arrives. Instead, everything peters to a halt at the very end by Howden being unable to find that other course and letting the character trod the same path that audiences have either seen or read a thousand times before.

Read the whole review at Chris’ weblog, Scriblerus Club, for the several Potter, Everdeen, and Baggins allusions embedded more and less successfully in the movie.

And, if you’ve seen the movie, let me know what you think. Is it worth the hours of viewing time?

Rowling Reads ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ — Chapter 5, On the White House Lawn!

Hat-tip, the Rowling Library!

Harry Potter at Home: Noma Dumezweni Reads Aloud Chapter Two of ‘Stone’

‘The Vanishing Glass’! Check out Chapter Two’s reading by Noma Dumazweni here:

Harry Potter at Home: Daniel Radcliffe Reads Aloud the First Chapter of ‘Stone’

J. K. Rowling gave her permission last month for teachers to read the Hogwarts Saga aloud to children in Zoom and Skype virtual classrooms during Covid-19 lockdowns of schools. has now joined the online reading aloud show with programming of its own.

Their first offering is actor Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the Warner Brothers adaptations of the Potter novels, reading Chapter 1, ‘The Boy Who Lived,’ of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Check it out here:

It’s quite good, production values aside. I don’t think there will be a great swelling of demand for Radcliffe to read the entire series aloud a la Jim Dale and Stephen Fry but I rather enjoyed the dramatic reading, especially the Dursley pieces. Your thoughts?

Hat-tip to Suzanne!

New Book Covers for Hogwarts Saga: The Japanese and Thai 2020 Editions

I am not a Harry Potter collector. I did buy a Harry Potter plastic plate at Nimbus 2003 in Orlando for my then two year old son, but, besides that, all I have bought from Rowling, Inc., has been her books and books by Potter Pundits and profiteers about her books. I have the Latin and Greek (ancient, not modern) translations, I confess, and can say in my defense I have twice used the Lapis Philosophi in teaching upper level Latin.

Anyway, lots of books and none of the myriad translations and anniversary or special editions in English or other languages.

2020 is the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter in both Japan and Thailand. The publishers in those countries have put out an entire new run of the seven book series (eleven in Japan because they made each of the last four books into two volume editions) with exciting, vibrant covers. has posted all the cover illustrations for the Japanese series here and for the Thai set here with information about the illustrators, etc. I do not know what the old set looked like but these are quite good. I posted here in this post the two book covers that left me scratching my head and having to look twice to figure out the scene illustrated (many of the wonderfully stylized Thai covers fall into this category).

Let me know what you think! Better than Grand Pre or the Bloomsbury covers?