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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD – James Newton Howard

November 24, 2018 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World is expanding further beyond the confines of Harry Potter with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second movie in a planned series of five which looks at the life of a wizard who lived more than 60 years before Harry was even born. It builds on the events seen in the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and follows Newt Scamander, a magical zoologist who cares for a vast array of curious creatures. Having been integral in the capturing of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald at the end of the first film, Newt is unexpectedly called back into action again after Grindelwald escapes and flees to Paris. Responding to a personal plea from Albus Dumbledore, his former teacher at Hogwarts Wizarding School, Newt is tasked with stopping Grindelwald from amassing an army of followers – something which brings him back into contact with numerous figures from his past, including the Obscurial Credence Barebone, who was believed to have died during the events in New York, but who is rumored to have survived . The film stars Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, and Ezra Miller, and is directed by David Yates; this is now the sixth ‘Wizarding Film’ Yates has helmed. Read more…

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FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM – James Newton Howard

November 19, 2016 3 comments

fantasticbeastsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS PLOT SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE FILM, YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER WAITING UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE DONE SO TO READ IT.

Back in 1997, in her book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, author J. K. Rowling made an offhand reference to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and its author Newt Scamander, when young Harry buys his textbooks prior to attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the first time. Now, some 19 years later, we have the first spin-off story in the Harry Potter universe, which tells the life story of Newt Scamander, and how Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came to be written. The year is 1926, and Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a magical zoologist, has travelled to New York as part of his work with the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures; however, upon his arrival in the Big Apple, the shy and nervous Scamander runs into an American ‘nomaj’ (a non-magical person, what Americans call ‘muggles’), and contrives to accidentally release several creatures from out of his magical suitcase and into the city. As Scamander desperately tries to retrieve the creatures, he simultaneously becomes embroiled in several inter-twined plots at MACUSA, the American Ministry of Magic: one involving a mysterious force terrorizing the city, one concerning a rabble-rousing anti-Witch group, and – perhaps most seriously – the disappearance of the dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald. The film is directed by David Yates, who also directed the last four Harry Potter films, and co-stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, and Colin Farrell. Read more…

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART II – Alexandre Desplat

August 15, 2011 9 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Fifteen years after J.K. Rowling first introduced the world to Harry Potter, the saga has finally ended. The interim has seen the publication of seven books and the release of eight films about the life and adventures of the eponymous boy wizard, culminating in this film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the second installment of the series’ epic finale. It’s been a long journey for both Rowling and her teenage protagonist – the books have become some of the most successful literary works of the last 100 years, the films have grossed a combined $2.3 billion at the US box office alone – but at the end of it all, Harry Potter will likely remain one of the most beloved series of novels and films for many generations to come. Read more…

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART I – Alexandre Desplat

October 28, 2010 10 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The conclusion of the Harry Potter saga is as much of a cinematic event as it was a literary one when J.K. Rowling’s eagerly-awaited seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in July 2007 and broke a myriad of records for book sales. The success of the Harry Potter franchise is quite astonishing: it is reportedly responsible for almost single-handedly revitalizing the children’s literature market, brought fantasy fiction out of geekdom and into the mainstream, and of course made Rowling herself a gazillionaire, thanks not only to the book sales but also to the spin off merchandise, theme park rides, and of course the movies and soundtracks based on her work. Read more…

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE – Nicholas Hooper

July 17, 2009 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Nicholas Hooper really has been given one of the best, and worst, jobs in the world in taking over the musical voice of the Harry Potter franchise. On the one hand, this is the gig of a lifetime: working on a globally successful, massively popular series of films which are guaranteed to be enormous box office hits and bring his name and voice to millions. On the other hand, he’s taken over from arguably the most popular living film composer – John Williams – and as such faces the ire of countless film music fans who don’t like his music because his first name isn’t John and his second name isn’t Williams. As much as Hooper’s first score for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2007 was disappointing, I think I was still a little guilty of having that frame of mind going in: he doesn’t sound like John Williams, so it can’t be good. It can’t possibly add anything to the Potterverse. I was one of the few who managed to take Patrick Doyle’s Goblet of Fire score at face value, and so coming in to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince I was determined not to pre-judge it this time round. And you know what? Having adopted that frame of mind, I really enjoyed it. Read more…

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX – Nicholas Hooper

July 13, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s always enormously gratifying when a new, untested composer gets a chance to score a major, high-profile studio film for the first time in their career. While others may have wrung their hands in anguish about Nick Hooper’s appointment to score the fifth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I always tend to see these things as a mouth-watering prospect, full of potential. Remember, Howard Shore was the creepy thriller composer before Lord of the Rings came along. Even John Williams was typecast as a silly comedy/disaster movie composer before two unknown directors called Steven Spielberg and George Lucas came along and got him to score their little movies. On Order of the Phoenix, it’s the daunting shoes of Williams that Hooper has to fill, which is no mean feat in itself, and his career may fly or flounder purely on the response to his score for, and the box-office performance of, this film. Read more…

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE – Patrick Doyle

November 18, 2005 1 comment

harrypottergobletoffireOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the film adaptation of the best-selling novel by J.K. Rowling, sees young the wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) entering his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with his best friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). After getting caught up in a worrying incident at the Quidditch World Cup, Harry finds himself unexpectedly involved in the legendary Tri-Wizard tournament, in which the champions of three international witchcraft schools take part in a number of challenging and highly dangerous tasks to find an overall winner. However, against the backdrop of this prestigious event, something much more sinister is afoot: rumours begin to circulate about the return of the Death Eaters, evil wizards who wrought havoc upon the magical world years before – and worse yet, the return of Voldemort, their leader, and the one who murdered Potter’s parents… Read more…