Now is the time of year when I can start getting a little excited about a new Harry Potter. Okay, maybe “excited” is the wrong word given how the hardcore fans show their enthusiasm. Whilst not being hugely enthralled by the books, I am now a stalwart fan of the film franchise. The first two were competent distractions, albeit lacking any real magic and with variable performances from its inexperienced child actors. Last year’s Azkaban changed all that. Admittedly I was somewhat biased in my approach since I was a huge fan of the new director Alfonso Cuaron. Nevertheless, the maturing young actors and darker tone (not to mention Gary Oldman) made for a truly spectactular film with top notch realism in its special effects. I was somewhat underwhelmed to discover that Goblet of Fire was being helmed by Mike Newell, best known to most for Four Weddings and a Funeral which I found okay, but I am told several people really loved. Of course, the man also has Donnie Brasco in his past so he’s nothing if not versatile. Nevertheless the footage that has gradually emerged, climaxing in the biggest premiere event Leicester Square has ever seen, has definitely suggested that this film is going to be something rather special. I may not be queuing up for opening night tickets, but I am looking forward to it.
I finally picked up Totally Bill Hicks, which was recorded in London, from eBay the other day. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Hicks for a couple of years now, having been bizarrely introduced through Tool‘s Ænema album. There are a number of reasons he’s one of my favourite stand-up commedians. despite still being virtually unknown. Sure, as NME point out he’s consistently hysterical. Which helps. But there’s something more to this man, behind the fire and anger. He’s truly passionate about what he does; not just the comedy but the message behind it. He sees the world and he sees the wide disparity between what humanity could be and what we are. And it pisses him off. I found it incredibly enlightening last year to listen to his rants about the first Gulf War and realised that it was applicable in its entirity to this Iraq war, right down to his attack on President Bush! He’s the sort of angry voice that one assumes must have killed himself when hearing he died young (32), but perhaps stranger still it was cancer that took him.
Those of you who click on the links here will have noticed that Penny Arcade has been extensively swankified in line with the design for Child’s Play. The downside to their upgrade is that their file structure totally changed so every link from here had to be altered. They should all be working again now.
17 November 2005 at 1:25 pm
I have nothing against Gary Oldman, obviously, because he’s an incredible actor, BUT…the choice for him to play Sirius and for David Thewlis to the play Lupin were two of the most disappointing castings on Jane’s List of Disappointing Castings. They were both completely wrong. COMPLETELY wrong.
That is all.
17 November 2005 at 4:14 pm
So why does your by the books link take me back to your homepage? One of the most disappointing links on Shamini’s (newly created) List of Disappointing Links.
17 November 2005 at 4:23 pm
Shamini: Oops, fixed.
Jane: Well, yes, you see that’s danger with reading those subversive “book” things. I came with no preconceptions so Mr. Oldman was fine. As for Lupin, it wasn’t so much the actor as the fact Miss Rowling was so bloody self-indulgent in naming him so that I knew he was a werewolf within — ohhh — two and a half seconds which pissed me off.
17 November 2005 at 7:47 pm
Yeah, I was wondering about the ‘by the books’ link as well, but wasn’t going to say anything. Figured it was you being weird. But, in honour of Shamini, it’s going on my (newly created) List of Disappointing Links as well. 😛
And, well, *cough*cough* some of us aren’t as, uh, intuitive as you are, sooo…we didn’t get the reference. We had to, ya know, figure it out. *shame*