Tag Archives: New

New films show anxious, stressed moms and dads dealing with kids — for better

New films show anxious, stressed moms and dads dealing with kids — for better
If a boy without parents — Harry Potter — was 2011's biggest box office draw, films about parents themselves, in states of conflict, befuddlement, loss and awakening, are dominating art houses and critics' lists. Parents have long intrigued
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New Line Taps Scott Zabielski To Helm 'Police Academy' Remake
They were considered lowbrow, but how many Warner Bros series has spanned that many movies, other than Harry Potter? Zabielski is making his feature directing debut after directing several seasons of episodes of the hit Comedy Central show Tosh.
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Inside Google Books: Pottermore and Google team up to enable Harry

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
at
6:00 AM

(Cross-posted on the Google Commerce blog)

When JK Rowling’s new website Pottermore opens its doors this Fall, we’ll provide services to help fans make the most of their ebook purchasing experience.

Pottermore and Google are teaming up to integrate Pottermore with a number of Google products and APIs. So when the series of Harry Potter ebooks launches on Pottermore.com in early October, these bestsellers will be available in the U.S. via the open Google eBooks platform. When you buy a Harry Potter ebook from Pottermore, you will be able to choose to keep it in your Google Books library in-the-cloud, as well as on other e-reading platforms.

Google eBooks can be read on most devices with a modern browser, through the Google Books apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and on more than 80 ereaders.

Pottermore will be the exclusive place to buy Harry Potter ebooks and digital audiobooks. You’ll be able to buy ebooks from the Pottermore Shop, push them to your Google Books library and store them alongside your other Google eBooks. Your other Google eBooks may be purchased from any of more than 250 independent booksellers or from Google directly.

Also under this agreement, Google Checkout will be the preferred third party payment platform for all purchases made on Pottermore.com. When you visit the Pottermore Shop, you’ll be able to pay for your purchases using Google Checkout, in addition to using a debit or credit card.

The Pottermore team also plans to use YouTube for global video broadcasts in the future, as they did for JK Rowling’s announcement of Pottermore in June.

Stay tuned for more Pottermore and Google wizardry on the web this summer, leading up to when Pottermore opens.

Latest Harry Potter Chamber Of Secrets News

When Harry Met Frodo, a Final Farewell (part 2)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets had it much easier. It was a new school year, with new teachers and students tossed into the mix, new villains to overcome and like before, Harry and hisfriends survived it all. But it was becoming clear that
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New comprehensive DVD/Blu-ray Harry Potter film collection to be released in 2012
Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection includes all eight movies from the film franchise: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of
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Insider: Pottermore blogs goes behind the scenes of Pottermore

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J.K. Rowling‘s newest project Pottermore won’t open with beta until the end of the month and then won’t be open to the general public until October of this year but the team behind it knows we all want more info and they hear us!

“Pottermore’s official blog, the Pottermore Insider.

Written by members of the Pottermore team, the Insider is here to bring you the latest news and updates on all things Pottermore, and to answer any questions you may have.”

You can find the blog at http://insider.pottermore.com/

On Twitter @Pottermore.

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Latest Harry Potter Trailers News

New 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' Trailer: Less Zeppelin, More Exposition
[Sony] Think Progress suggested Utah senator Orrin Hatch was comparing Antonin Scalia's critics to the Death Eaters from the Harry Potter books today in a speech on the Senate floor. This would be a great test of the liberal blogosphere's capacity to
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Abduction filled with plot holes
Nathan's parents are portrayed by Jason Isaacs from the Harry Potter series and Maria Bello. The film does not try to hide the fact that these are not his real parents, understandable given that the trailers all openly portray this fact.
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Harry Potter and All's Well That Ends Well: Life-Changing or

HarryPotterandAllsWell Harry Potter and Alls Well That Ends Well: Life Changing or Gibberish?I saw “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” on the same day as Shakespeare in the Park’s “All’s Well That Ends Well” and was struck by their similarities: Both are dark, both well-acted, and to the uninitiated, both are gibberish – a claim that will provoke outrage or contempt among the devotees of either.

“Gibberish” is not my word. I overheard it while attending the Oregon Shakespeare Festival earlier this month, one of the oldest of the many theaters in the nation dedicated to the work of the Bard. Many operate just during the summer, but the festival in Ashland, Oregon has a season that lasts from February through October, during which it offers about a dozen productions, only five of which this year are by Shakespeare. (It might be worth noting that one of those plays this year is “Henry IV, Part 2″, which, like “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” is part of an eight-part series!)

Bill Rauch, the artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, says that as a youth in Connecticut, “Midsummer’s Night Dream at Yale Rep really changed my life,” and he clearly believes in Shakespeare’s continuing relevance and vitality: “I think he’s a perfect playwright for our multi-ethnic, polarized 21st century America,” he told the members of the American Theatre Critics Association, gathering for our annual conference.

Since Ashland is not near a large city, most of the 400,000 visitors each year go to the festival for a vacation, and see an average of at least three plays. “I just spent ten hours listening to gibberish,” I overheard one theatergoer say. He said it pleasantly, not complaining, but in wonder.

I suspect this view is more common than Bill Rauch’s or that of professional theatergoers such as the one who wrote a recent New York Times article about how varied the staging of Shakespeare’s plays. Excerpt: “Elizabeth Marvel’s brutally efficient Lady Macbeth assumed complete ownership of an off-Broadway theater; Michael Stuhlbarg’s shamelessly delightful Andrew Aguecheek took similar command of the much larger Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Tom McCamus’s bruising Coriolanus threatened to blow the roof off a 496-seat theater at the Stratford Festival in Canada, while Ian McKellen’s virtuosic Richard III ran amok at the cavernous Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.”
A non-Shakespearean could find this impressive, intimidating or unintentionally hilarious.
But is it so very different from the erudite Harry Potterite?

Joe Morgenstern reviewing the eighth and final Harry Potter in the Wall Street Journal: “As a failed Harry Potter scholar, I must have missed, in my Muggling way, countless intricacies of the surpassingly convoluted plots.”
David Denby’s review in The New Yorker: “Elders reading a section of the series to a child or stumbling into one of the films couldn’t be blamed for not knowing who Mundungus Fletcher or Regulus Arcturus Black might be, or how, exactly, a Finite Incantatem overthrows a Furnunculus spell, or how so insignificant-looking an item as a cup could possibly be a formidable horcrux (an object into which a wizard deposits a portion of his soul to assure continued life). Even after earnest effort, adults could still get lost among the wands and swords, the lockets, diadems, rings, and whatnot, but the endless, flowing talk—of curses, potions, prophecies, and destinies—was gibberish so confident and good-humored that it was impossible to ridicule. “ (emphasis added)

Like Shakespeare, Harry Potter is more accessible to those who begin enchanted and end up immersed. Both are easier to follow as texts (which argues for subtitles/open captions.) Both are very British. Indeed, the grand English actors who have populated the Harry Potter series – Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Fiona Shaw, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, et al – are all distinguished Shakespearean actors as well.

A crucial difference is that Harry Potter books date back only to 1997, Harry Potter films to 2001, and although Potter has broken every kind of record — some 450 million books and seven billion dollars worth of movie tickets sold; the second most recognized entertainment franchise in the world (behind only Star Wars) — it hasn’t had centuries to create a sacred aura around its every chapter and verse. The difference between a cult and a religion is time. Just so, there are plenty of people who freely express their amusement at the cult of Harry Potter. It is understandably impossible to find anybody who would dismiss “Hamlet” or “King Lear” or “Romeo and Juliet,” but it is also nearly as difficult to question any of the 38 plays generally attributed to William Shakespeare. Mention as I did on Twitter recently that “Titus Andronicus” is widely considered to be one of Shakespeare’s worst plays, and prepare to be shredded.

“People want to see all the Shakespeare plays,” Bill Rauch told us. “I get letters from people who say “Please do Titus Andronicus before I die.”

It is this Potter-like dedication to the entire Shakespeare canon that best explains the regular production of such of his works as “All’s Well That Ends Well,” which is grouped with several other of his comedies as a “problem” play.

The story, stripped of the convoluted details, is downright creepy. Helena is in love with Bertram. Bertram doesn’t want to marry her because he is a count, and she is merely a dead physician’s daughter, way beneath his station. But Bertram’s mother the Countess wants him to marry her, and so does the King. And so Bertram is forced into betrothal, but he cruelly undermines his wife and their marriage, refusing to sleep with her, running off to war, having (what he thinks is) an extramarital affair. For her part, Helena manipulates the situation cleverly and elaborately. For example, she tricks him into sleeping with her (he thinks he is sleeping with somebody else). Ultimately, her manipulations trap him into a real marriage – one that he somehow abruptly welcomes. This is a comedy? This is ending well?

Were this play by anybody but William Shakespeare, would it continue to be staged? But, as director Daniel Sullivan makes clear in the Public Theater’s winning production of “All’s Well That Ends Well” in Central Park, even problematic Shakespeare does have its pleasures, for the initiated but also for those for whom this is unknown territory. Sullivan, for example, casts the roles of Bertram and Helena with the charming actors Andre Holland and Annie Parisse, and makes more sense out of Bertam’s dubiously abrupt turnaround at the end by suggesting a chemistry neither can control: Earlier in the play, when Helena virtually forces Bertram to give her a goodbye kiss, we see Holland’s surprise at how turned on he is by her.

There is pleasure too in the language — again, best for the uninitiated to attend one of the captioned performances. Some of the lines from “All’s Well That Ends Well” are familiar:
“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.”

Others should be:
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
This is followed by a phrase ( “Be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
Under thy own life’s key”) that requires translation to modern English: Be prepared to fight your enemy if necessary, but don’t make a habit of it. Defend your friend’s life as you would your own.

A few hours before I saw “All’s Well That Ends Well,” I discovered in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ that Professor Severus Snape turns out to be not such a bad guy, and even the slithering villain Lord Voldemort has some of Harry’s blood, which is why Harry can read his mind. Isn’t the worldview expressed by Shakespeare in “All’s Well That Ends Well” — nobody is a complete villain or a complete hero; friends are what matter — precisely the same as that expressed by J.K. Rowling in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”?


For up-to-the-minute theater news, views and reviews, follow Jonathan Mandell on his Twitter feed at New York Theater
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Latest Harry Potter Photos News

New Tom Felton photo shoot, interview on life & Harry Potter in The Times magazine
Tom also showed a lot of respect to Harry Potter costar Daniel Radcliffe for keeping a level head while remaining one of the most recognisable faces on the planet. That and more can be read below; two new photos from the accompanying photo shoot can be
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The Fear of the Lord

Throughout the Old Testament we find a frequent command given to the people of God; “fear God” or “fear the Lord.” As followers of Jesus it is important for us to know what “the fear of the Lord” means to us. As we truly fear the Lord we will find that we will be delivered from every other kind of fear.

These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. (Deuteronomy 6:1-2)
What does it mean to “fear the Lord”?

The biblical command to “fear the Lord” will enter into many different areas of our lives. Foundational to our “fear of the Lord” is our sincere realization that God is absolutely holy, absolutely just and absolutely righteous in the same way that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and that His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 103:17).

When we know Him and understand who He is we understand that because He is holy it is His very nature that causes Him to judge sin. We fear the Lord when we feel holy awe and reverence because of His glory, greatness, power and majesty. As believers in Christ it is both the love of God and the fear of the Lord that causes us to place our faith in Him alone for salvation. It is this fear of the Lord that produces in our hearts a confident hope and trust in Jesus. It is our realization of the greatness of God that causes us to humble ourselves, repent of our sins and receive the forgiveness, love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. As we fear the Lord we understand that the holiness of God demands judgment for sin. Throughout the Old and New Testaments we read of the penalties for sin for those who do not repent. The blood of Jesus Christ was payment for all of our sins. Our condemnation will be found if we refuse to believe.
There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. (John 3:18-19)

It was the holiness of God that demanded a sacrifice for sins. It was the love of God that caused Jesus Christ to offer Himself as that sacrifice so that He may take away the sins of the world. It is a fearful thing to consider ourselves before the throne of God without the blood of Jesus Christ. The New Testament drives this point home very clearly.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)
 
I am a believer in Christ. Why should I fear the Lord?

The fear of the Lord goes beyond doctrine; it directly applies to our daily lives in many different ways. If we truly fear the Lord, we will live a life of obedience to His commands and say “No” to sin. One of the reasons that God inspired fear among the Israelites at Mount Sinai was so that they would turn away from sin and obey His law.

“Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!” (Exodus 20:20)

The overwhelming awesomeness of the presence of God was revealed to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai. God had not come to make them afraid but to reveal His greatness and His holiness. Our understanding of how awesome and powerful the God we serve is should inspire a holy fear. His willingness to adopt us into His family, forgive us of our sins and fill us with His Spirit should provide a fear in our lives that keeps us in our relationship with God. This fear of the Lord is not a fear of judgment, nor is it a fear of His anger. The believers’ fear of the Lord is founded upon the awesomeness of grace. God, who formed the universe, hung on a cross for our sins; when my brain tries to comprehend the greatness of this act I am filled with holy fear. The enormity of God’s love for us is so far beyond our ability to comprehend it that it produces in us the fear of the Lord. For those of you who have not read it, please pick up a copy of John Bevere’s “The Fear of the Lord: Discover the Key to Intimately Knowing God“. John spends over 200 pages on this subject and the revelation of the fear of the Lord will cause your love for God and relationship with Him to grow. I recommend it highly. Here are some famous Old Testament scriptures on the fear of the Lord:

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. (Proverbs 9:10) And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’ (Job 28:28) Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7) Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. (Psalm 111:10)

Here are some famous New Testament scriptures on the fear of the Lord:

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (Philippians 2:12-13) That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-12) But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground. Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 17:5-7)

The King James Version of Philippians 2:12 states, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. The Apostle Paul, whose message of grace and faith still has room for fear and trembling. This holy fear and awe is not a destructive fear, but a redeeming fear that leads us to God and not away from Him. This fear of the Lord is not based on terror but on the awesomeness of God. It is the fear of the Lord that leads us to a morally pure life. It is the fear of the Lord that causes us to draw close to Him and as we draw close to Him we are overwhelmed by His nearness, His blessing and His salvation.

Conclusion

God is so much greater than our imaginations and so much greater than our physical faculties can comprehend. The perfection of God, the holiness of God, the nature of God, the love of God and the grace of God when considered should produce in us a reverential fear that causes us to truly bow in humility at what we are offered when scripture says, “And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” (John 3:36) Jesus is our connection to the Father and we have no other way of getting to Him. It is this gift of salvation; it is this gift of grace that causes us to fear the Lord.

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

My passion is to educate and provoke Christians to fulfill the calling of God on their lives (which is always tied to the fulfillment of the Great Commission). I have been known to offend with bluntness and sarcasm, but normally it happens by telling the truth people do not want to hear or be reminded of.  The motivation behind it is to provoke people to become more like Jesus and live the faith they profess to have. More messages can be found here.

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Summer 2011 Recap

Summer 2011 Recap
The final installment of Harry Potter, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," has seen an astronomical success with sold out midnight premieres and overall positive reviews. Additionally, "Captain America: The First Avenger" has created quite
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Removing "Dismal" From Dismal Median Household Income Statistics
I am a film critic and current-affairs columnist for The New York Post, for which I have covered such silly topics as the Harry Potter movies and President Obama's attack on ATMs. I have also contributed reviews and essays to The Wall Street Journal.
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Did the Harry Potter Series Create a New Genre of Books?

(PRWEB) January 27, 2005

The Harry Potter series did something few books may boast of – crossing both gender and age lines. Traditionally, books have a specific audience. They are written with children in mind. Or sci-fi readers. Or romance addicts. But author J.K. Rowling created a series of books that are read by young and old, male and female. Parents read the same books as their children and became just as enamored of the characters as their children did. Has a new category of family fiction been created?

Author Tina McAllister certainly hopes so. Her book, Gina Agnes, is one of those books that crosses the age lines. “I have readers from teens to seniors enjoying my book,” Tina asserts. “I wrote the book without concentrating on my target market. I just had a heartwarming story to share. Not the best idea in regard to the business of selling books, but I wasn’t going to change the story just to make sure it stuck in a particular genre.”

“Family fiction” was once an uncommon term used for novels that revolved around domestic life. In fact, family novels historically pertain to certain English novels from the 1800s. However, with the introduction of books such as Gina Agnes, family fiction no longer means that the book relates specifically to life at home. The term is now used to describe books enjoyed by the whole family.

Doug, a father of two teenage girls states, “It’s not normally what I would read,” referring to the book Gina Agnes. “But I like to know that my daughters aren’t reading junk. I read it and liked it. I found myself laughing at certain parts. And it was nice to have something to talk about with the girls.”

Author Tina McAllister is tickled by the response she is getting from her readers. “On my website, I mention that the book is suitable for all readers, from 13 to 93. And I’m getting email showing that those ages are right on target. I love it that an older reader can connect with the book just as well as a teenager. It’s every author’s dream.”

More information on Tina McAllister and her book may be found online at http://www.GinaAgnes.com.

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