Tag Archives: Emma Watson

My Weekend with Satan

Quite by accident, this past weekend we watched two movies that dealt with Satan’s domination of the Earth.

Prince of Darkness (1987) PosterIn Prince of Darkness (1987) we are told a tale of the subtle beginnings of the takeover. In the basement of a Catholic church resides a large glass jar chock full of Satan. Turns out he’s a green, slimy critter that the Church has kept hidden away for centuries. Quite coincidentally, he’s decided to hold his coming-out party the same weekend that a group of scientists and linguists stay over to study the jar.

The priest (Donald Pleasance) that asked them to make the study has hopes that proving the existence of Satan will somehow save the world from his evil but considering how easy it is to convert/brainwash human beings (turns out Evil is a water-borne disease) I don’t think any of them have much of a chance.

This movie is more of an atmospheric film than an effects-laden project and hinges on its strong writing, good direction and charismatic performances by its actors.

And, as a bonus, it stars a Brother Simon (Jameson Parker).

titendThe second Satan-is-coming film is an all-out Apocalyptic nightmare called This is the End (2013). During a party at James Franco’s house, the Rapture occurs. The good are sucked up by a blue beam of light while most of those left behind are sucked down into fire and lava-filled pits.

No one at Franco’s house sees any blue beams of light and it takes a while for any of them, excepting Jay Baruchel who did see the blue beams while outside with Seth Rogen, to accept the truth of what has happened. Hell is now on Earth, and I’m not talking about Danny McBride’s films.

I liked this movie quite a bit. It’s hilarious in places and Michael Cera’s distorted version of himself is worth the price of a rental (assuming you can tolerate crude humor). However,  it is very dude-bro heavy and the one main female cast member is on-screen for about five minutes.

If you can get past that and can tolerate the crudeness (which is mostly very funny) I do recommend the film. Even Jonah Hill was funny and Danny McBride was tolerable – which is high praise coming from me. (Seriously, have you ever seen Your Highness? That movie would have been pretty decent if McBride hadn’t been in it.)

The Mystery of Hermione Granger

Hermione Granger (Emma Watson)I’ve been following along as Mark Re-Reads the Harry Potter series and in his post today he discussed Hermione and what motivates her to be the insufferable know-it-all she was in the beginning.

This, along with the questions my husband has posed, has made me curious about Hermione.

J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books (as if I really need to say who she is, ha!), gives us a pretty good background for both Harry and Ron but there’s very, very little about Hermione’s pre-Hogwarts childhood. We know she’s from an all-muggle family and that she is most likely an only child. But that’s all we really know. There’s never any mention of extended family, how she fared in her pre-magical education (although we can assume she excelled in probably everything) and if she ever had any friends before Hogwarts.

I was quite surprised when I saw the last movie that we actually got to see Hermione in the muggle world (and in one of the most heart-wrenching scenes offered by any of the films.) Hermione is never ‘seen’ in the muggle world in the books, ever. She writes from her holiday trips with her parents, but that’s the only clue we have about her non-magical life.

I find this rather odd. Rowling is so good about making the world of Harry Potter seem so real. There is so much detail in all aspects of her story-telling that I have to wonder if Hermione’s lack of a past was on purpose. Certainly it’s not really important overall, but it would have been nice to have some clue as to why Hermione was such a nosy, stickler-for-rules busybody. It’s almost as if Hermione was fully formed, on the spot the second she stepped onto the Hogwarts train.

On Rowling’s website she states that Hermione is a bit like her when she was younger. Perhaps Rowling didn’t give us a past for Hermione because it was too close to home. A world-famous author needs a little privacy I suppose.

What’s a kid got to do to get a little respect?

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Rupert Grint and Julie Walters in Driving Lessons

It was just announced over at MuggleNet that Emma Watson (Hermione Granger, The Harry Potter series) has been nominated for yet another award – an award that Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Harry Potter Series) has won twice.

I love these three kids – I think they’re near perfect casting for the Trio in the HP films. However, I honestly believe that Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley, The Harry Potter Series) is quite unfairly overlooked.

Take a look at their award nomination listings over at IMDB.com. Go ahead, I’ll wait….
Daniel Radcliffe
Emma Watson
Rupert Grint

Do you see what I’m getting at?

I’ve watched all four films many times. Playing Ron Weasley has got to be one of the most thankless jobs out there. Ron is a great character, but he has flaws that Harry Potter and Hermione Granger do not – Ron is the most human character of the trio, period. He’s doesn’t have that need to be a brave hero and he certainly doesn’t have the need to be the biggest know-it-all at Hogwarts. What Ron needs and wants is to pass his classes, play a little Quidditch and hopefully survive being Harry Potter’s best friend. He can be quite selfish and pig-headed, often misunderstanding things that are perfectly clear to almost everyone else, and he sometimes has a too-great desire for a little glory despite his frequent boughts of insecurity and his unlucky fear of spiders, be they small or giant.

Rupert Grint brings all of this to Ron with a subtlety that Radcliffe and Watson could never hope to master. Radcliffe sometimes so underplays his part that I often wonder if Harry’s a bit stoned. On the other hand, Watson so over-acts that when Hermione rolls her eyes at something silly I’m afraid her eyeballs are going to pop out of their sockets. I still think they’re well cast, but their inexperience often shows.
Grint gets it just right despite the underwriting of his character. Poor Ron hasn’t come off so well in the last two movies and I’ve heard that his ‘Weasley is our King’ storyline isn’t going to be included in the 5th film at all. I suppose that means Grint’s main job is going to be standing between Harry and Hermione, gaping in horror at things that happen around him while Harry fights and Hermione calculates.

But I betcha he’ll be the most convincing of the three.

I’m glad to hear that he (and Radcliffe) are working outside of the Potter franchise. I have to be honest when I say that I’m probably not going to go out of my way to see the Radcliffe film, but I will definitely be on the look out for Driving Lessons when it hits the US. Hopefully Radcliffe and Watson will mature into better performers, but since Grint is already at that level, I’m really looking forward to how much better he’s going to get.

For more information about Ruper Grint, check out RuperGrint.net