Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Will Harry Potter die?

Death is never something J.K. Rowling has shyed away from in her "Harry Potter" books. Now, as the saga winds to a close with book seven, things are getting even more ominous for our heroes.

During a live interview on Channel 4's Richard & Judy show in the UK, Rowling revealed that two characters will die in the seventh and last book in the franchise. Though she, of course, didn't tell us which two characters, she did say this:

"The final chapter is hidden away, although it's now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve. But I have to say two die that I didn't intend to die," she said. "A price has to be paid. We are dealing with pure evil here. They don't target extras do they? They go for the main characters. Well, I do."

Amen, sister. What has made the "Potter" books so appealing to adults as well as kids is that Harry and friends are battling true evil, which will have consequences. The books have gotten darker and better with each volume, so this is only a natural progression.

Will Harry, Ron or Hermione die? Who knows, but a hero's death for Harry would make perfect sense, even if it would turn off a few true believers.

So, when will we see this final chapter? Rowling didn't let that cat out of her black bag, but she did say this:

"The last book is not finished. But I'm well into it now. I wrote the final chapter in something like 1990, so I've known exactly how the series is going to end."

I can't wait to find that out for myself.

Yimou's "Curse" coming to America

For fans of epic martial arts movies, there's no one better than Zhang Yimou.

Following the success of his beautiful "House of Flying Daggers" (which even managed to play here in Macon for a few weeks!), Sony Pictures Classics has now picked up the Latin and North American rights to his new project, "Curse of the Golden Flower."

Described as a "martial arts romantic drama," the medeival saga features Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li as the heads of a dysfunctional royal family engaging in a power struggle with their three sons and each other. It is currently being shot in China, and "Daggers" action choreographer Tony Ching Siu-Tung is back on board.

Shakespearian palace intrigue and great martial arts action? In my mind, I'm already there.

"We Jam Econo" - The saga of the Minutemen

For me, no band lived up to the title of three-minute hero better than L.A. hardcore band the Minutemen (even though many of their best songs lasted no longer than a minute). Mixing jazz, folk and funk into their pulsing punk sound, D. Boon, Mike Watt and George Hurley were angry young men who channeled their rage into pure poetry.

I was nothing more than a poser when it came to punk, but I loved it all the same. Though X was always my favorite, the more serious sounds of Husker Du and the Minutemen found plenty of love from my ears. I have a worn-out cassette of their epic "Double Nickles on a Dime" that I break out once a month or so, and it never gets old.

Unfortunately, the Minutemen would only release one more full-length album, "3-Way Tie (For Last)", before their tale ended in tragedy. D. Boon and his girlfriend died in a car accident in December 1985, leaving Watt and Hurley ready to give up music for good. They would eventually reemerge with Ed Crawford as fIREHOSE, but it was never the same.

Now a documentary detailing this great American band's saga, "We Jam Econo - The Story of the Minutemen", comes to DVD today. From the extras alone, you can tell that for director Tim Irwin this was a true labor of love.

According to the IMDB, along with the movie, you get:

Original music videos for: "This Ain't No Picnic" "Ack Ack Ack Ack" and "King of the Hill"; 19 deleted scenes and interviews; an uncut 56-minute interview at Bard College; 62 songs from three live performances: The Starwood Los Angeles - November 18th, 1980, 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C., 1984, and Acoustic Blowout (Cable Access Show), 1985; and a 16-page booklet with full color photos, flyers, filmmaker notes and liner notes by David Rees, creator of "Get Your War On".

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go rearrange my Netflix queue so this gem will show up in my mailbox in a few days.


carrie_lofty said...

Zhang Yimou and Gong Li - together again? They must have had a very long talk and forgiven a lot of old shit in order to work on another project. Shanghai Triad was their last film together, and they broke up mid-way through shooting in 1995. Their affair and their subsequent bitter separation was huge news in Hong Kong, and they have not worked together since. For a while, it seemed like Zhang found a new muse in Zhang Ziyi, but this will be a fantastic reunion.

Sigh... Gong Li is divine. Thanks for the update!

Reel Fanatic said...

I wasn't up on the Hong Kong gossip, Salome, but i agree with you that Gong Line is indeed devine ... Seeing her with Chow Yun Fat in this should be fantastic!

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