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items tagged with Harry Potter

Time Flies: "Boyhood"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-11 19:29:50

Ellar Coltrane in BoyhoodBOYHOOD

Late in writer/director Richard Linklater’s Boyhood – the finest movie yet by the creator of Dazed & Confused and the Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy – there’s a simple scene between a mother and her son. The son, who is either nearing or has just turned 18, is heading to college and is packing a bag in his room; he and his mom talk while she pays bills in the kitchen. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the mother starts weeping. Her son enters the room and nonchalantly asks what’s wrong (this is hardly the first time he’s seen her cry), and she replies with a litany of romantic, professional, locational, and maternal decisions that we’ve watched her make over the course of the film. She asks where all that time went. Her son, offering a slight smile of empathy, goes back to his room and continues packing. The mother buries her face in her hands, and says, “I just thought there would be more.”


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Plastics: "The Lego Movie," "The Monuments Men," and "Vampire Academy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-11 14:28:21

The Lego MovieTHE LEGO MOVIE

Two of the characters in The Lego Movie are Lego Minifigures of Superman and Green Lantern, the latter of whom, here, is an obsequious suck-up whom the Man of Steel can’t stand. That’s a good joke. These decided non-friends are voiced by Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, who famously played best friends in 21 Jump Street. That’s a good in-joke. The Lego Movie is directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who also directed 21 Jump Street. That’s a good in-in-joke. But the news that this new animated release is not only the cleverest, most hysterical comedy since 21 Jump Street, but an altogether stronger, more audacious piece of work than at least 90 percent of everything Hollywood gave us last year? No joke at all.


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Arcade-ia: "Ender’s Game," "Last Vegas," and "Free Birds"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-11-03 18:40:35

Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield in Ender's GameENDER’S GAME

In writer/director Gavin Hood’s sci-fi adventure Ender’s Game, our titular hero (Asa Butterfield) is a 12-year-old who’s bullied both at school and at home, whose gestating anger leads to frequent violent outbursts, and whose frighteningly focused skills at computer-simulated war games not only earn him the respect of his peers but, eventually, the grateful thanks of every man, woman, and child on the planet. It is, in short, a Revenge of the Nerd fable to out-Carrie Carrie, and about the strongest argument for 24/7 video-game compulsion that any young game-hound could wish for. Just keep playing, you can hear the movie whispering to its console-obsessed demographic. One of these days, you’ll show ’em. You’ll show ’em all.


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Labored Day Weekend: "Closed Circuit," "Instructions Not Included," "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," "One Direction: This Is Us," and "Getaway"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-09-02 05:01:17

Eric Bana and Ciaran Hinds in Closed CircuitIt’s a commonly held belief, mostly because it’s generally true, that no worthwhile movies open on either the last weekend of August or Labor Day weekend. So I hope I wasn’t alone, among reviewers, in feeling trepidation about my most recent cineplex duties, given that this year, in a calendar rarity, those weekends were one and the same. (Would the films be twice as bad as usual? Would there be twice as many bad films to contend with?) But I’m pleased, and somewhat shocked, to report that my latest movie-going experiences weren’t relentlessly grim. They were just relentlessly weird, especially considering I had the best time at the weekend’s worst picture, and the lineup’s most professionally rendered offering made me fall dead asleep.


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Harry Potter & the Pretty Tall Compost Pile: John Granger Lectures on J.K. Rowling’s Modern Classic
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Literature

2009-04-21 14:08:25

(Editor's note: John Granger, the author of The Hidden Key to Harry Potter and Looking for God in Harry Potter, will present two lectures in the Quad Cities on Thursday, April 23: "From Muggle Lead to Spiritual Gold: The Literary Alchemy of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Novels" at 10:30 a.m. in Augustana College's Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue in Rock Island), and "Why Reading Matters: Good Books & the Life of Christ" at 7 p.m. at Broadway Presbyterian Church (710 23rd Street in Rock Island). What follows is the transcript of an interview of Granger by Augustana students Stephanie Grider and Ellie Ryan. For more information on Granger, visit HogwartsProfessor.com.)

Ellie Ryan: You have said that readers of the Harry Potter novels experience what you call "apotheosis," or a kind of spiritual transformation via their identification with Harry as they are reading. Please say more about that.
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