DID YOU READ

Harry Potter and the Future of “Part 1” Movies

Harry Potter and the Future of “Part 1” Movies  (photo)

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In his review of the new and (sorta) last Harry Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” New York‘s David Edelstein writes, “In all seriousness, there’s nothing wrong with the 146-minute ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1’ that couldn’t be solved if this were, as the Brits would say, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Full Stop.'” It’s a sentiment that’s being echoed by several critics reviewing the new “Potter.” Richard Corliss from Time writes, “For an hour of its 2 ½-hour expanse it sticks three young people in the woods with little to do but wait for awful things to happen. It’s like a minimalist indie horror film — ‘The Blair Witch and Wizard Project’ — on a $200 million-plus budget.”

Overall, reviews for “DH1” are positive. And even if they weren’t, it wouldn’t matter. At this late stage in the series, a “Harry Potter” film is not only critic-proof, it’s opinion-proof. If you’ve seen all six previous entries — even if you hated the last couple — you will see this one, just for the sake of completing the story. But comments like the ones from Edelstein, Corliss, and others bring up an important point: Warner Brothers has turned the final book in the series into two “final” movies. “Part 1” opens today; “Part 2” on July 15 of next year.

At 750-plus pages, J.K. Rowling’s novel of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” would be a tough story to tell in a single film. But most of the books in the series, particularly the later ones, are long. The fifth book, “The Order of the Phoenix,” is a hundred pages longer than “Deathly Hallows,” yet the film version of it was shorter than just the first part of “Deathly Hallows.” At the time Warner Brothers announced the decision to split “Deathly Hallows,” they stated that if they were going to be faithful to the book, they had no other choice. Producer David Heyman told The Los Angeles Times, “Unlike every other book, you cannot remove elements of this book. You can remove scenes of Ron playing Quidditch from the fifth book, and you can remove Hermione and S.P.E.W…. but with the seventh, that can’t be done.” Alan Horn, president and COO of Warner Brothers Entertainment told The Times, “This way, we have an extra hour and a half, at least, to celebrate what this franchise has been and do justice to all the words and ideas that Jo has put in the amazing story.”

Edelstein and Corliss might find fault with the film’s telling of that amazing story, but from a business perspective, “Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is a brilliant move for Warner Brothers, who get two guaranteed blockbusters for the price of (a bit more than) one. It’s a move that others in Hollywood are starting to copy. There have always been sequels, but instances of one piece of source material being divided into multiple films have been comparatively rare. Until now. In addition to “Harry Potter,” the release calendar also includes Bill Condon’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1” and Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: Part 1.” When Jackson first joined the “Lord of the Rings” franchise, the plan was to turn the three original novels into just two films. If they were made today, that plan might have looked a great deal different.

No doubt Harry Potter fanatics, who obsess over the “accuracy” of the films, are glad for their decision. For them, a two-part “Deathly Hallows” represents an opportunity for the most literally faithful movie in the franchise. Same goes for Condon and Jackson, who are working for fan bases as rabid and loyal as the Potterites. For some of the fans of these immersive, fantastical worlds, quantity seems preferable to quality, so that two decent movies are better than one perfect one. Any chance to spend more time with the characters they love. Warner Brothers will be happy to give it to them.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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