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Harry Potter and the morphing super fun film score

Harry Potter and the morphing super fun film score (photo)

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It’s always interesting to hear how scores evolve over the course of a film franchise, how they adapt to changes in the continuing saga while retaining some flourishes of the original themes. The “Jaws,” Indiana Jones, and James Bond franchises come to mind as highlights, and though dramatically flawed at points (though I believe “Casino Royale” to be a triumph), they’ve left their mark with unforgettable scores. Waiting for the scene where that tell-tale tune plays and listening for how it’s changed with each release is part of the fun.

It helps to have a great beginning and the Potter series certainly had that with John Williams starting it all off with the score for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2001. He continued to score the two subsequent films (Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban) until “The Goblet of Fire” when Patrick Doyle (“Henry V,” “Gosford Park”) took over.

Then with director David Yates and the last film, “Order of the Phoenix,” came composer Nicholas Hooper. He doesn’t have a hell of a lot of titles or project names I can drop, outside of some work for the “Nature” series, but then I’m not much of a TV guy. It’s clear he worked with Yates, who also comes mainly from TV, on some of his first feature work in the early 90’s and they make a good team.

Williams’ original work was brilliant. His main theme is a twinkly warm feeling that blooms like Macrocarpaea apparata, sprouting from your really comfortable theater chair, tickling you in the dark. Hooper carries the feeling on admirably, even skillfully darkening the tones for the decidedly darker turns taken by the story as the characters age and the plot thickens.

Check out these snippets – the first is the original Williams theme. The second is a composition of Hooper’s from the latest release, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” that has some of that original melody woven in (after about 15 sec of this clip).


The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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