Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the End of the Franchise

Well, the biggest meal ticket Scholastic ever had is now officially over. Oh, there'll be paperback editions for years to come, and tie-in editions for the final two movies. But no longer can Scholastic count on J.K. Rowling to deliver another behemoth.

Rowling, of course, has enough fuck-you money to never write another word for the rest of her life. She's been saying she'd like to write something else; she hasn't really said "Never again" to more Harry or Hogwarts adventures. But if she writes something else, I think she'll find it won't be as warmly received — or as hysterically awaited — as her Harry Potter books. That kind of lightning only strikes once.

The question is, what'll be the next literary sensation among kids? A Series of Unfortunate Events might rank a distant second — after all, hardly anyone's clamoring for more movie adaptations of Lemony Snicket's franchise — but that's over, too. Whatever it is, it'll come completely out of left field and it won't be anything like Harry Potter.

I also wonder how the end of the print version of Harry Potter will affect the movies' box-office take. When the books were still going, there was suspense; even if the audience had read the particular book that the movie was based on, the ultimate fate of Harry and his friends was still undecided. Now everyone knows how it all ends. So maybe the movie versions of Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows will echo a little hollowly, anti-climactically. The kids will still want to see them, of course, if only to see the remainder of Rowling's story visualized. But it seems like all the hubbub over this last book was a farewell party. Harry Potter has hit its peak now, I think. The story has come to an end, and there's really no going back.

And what do I think? Having seen only one of the movies and having read exactly none of the books, I don't care all that much.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's only a ripoff...

On September 26, the indie horror film Chaos arrives on DVD.

Here's Vern's hilarious review of the DVD. ("This is the best review anyone has ever written," says Moriarty, and he may just be right.)

And here's Roger Ebert's appalled review of the movie itself. (See also his article about the filmmaker's response to his review, and his response to their response.)

Now. The guys who made Chaos insist that it isn't a ripoff of Wes Craven's Last House on the Left.

Of course it isn't. For instance, the poster concept for Chaos is completely different from the poster concept for Last House on the Left. The Chaos poster also clearly does not plagiarize Last House's iconic victim's-POV shot of the killers.

Chaos is obviously an utterly original endeavor and those who say otherwise are just, y'know, jealous.

Friday, August 25, 2006

It's pronounced jo-WAN-ow.

Once upon a time, back there in the late '80s and early '90s, Phil Joanou was considered one of the hot up-and-coming directors. Three O'Clock High. U2: Rattle and Hum. State of Grace.

Today? A football movie starring The Rock.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Current hotshots like Wayne Kramer and Brett Ratner might want to take note.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Separated at birth?

The problem with casting Ben Affleck as George Reeves in the upcoming Hollywoodland isn't that he lacks the acting chops — it's that he doesn't look a damn thing like Reeves. As you can see, Reeves had that lumpen, Dad-like '50s look. Affleck is simply too chiseled and slender and, well, modern, no matter how much weight he puts on.

Now, this is more like it: Michael Shannon, who played the Marine with a mission from God in Oliver Stone's World Trade Center. Did Reeves have a son — or a grandson — we don't know about? The resemblance is uncanny.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

I'm baaaaaack.

Or, I will be. When the new year comes in, Organized Chaos will be back to provide you with daily doses of entertainment-related sarcasm.