eralkfang: (Default)


Why, yes, there is a Lifetime biopic of J. K. Rowling timed as flawlessly as William and Kate (wherein Sarek plays Prince Charles). Of course I had to watch it. I've recently discovered a love for Lifetime movies and their terrible production values, mostly because it allows me to rubberneck without feeling too guilty about it and it's usually prime riffing material. 

However, Magic Beyond Words is not. It's actually better than some of Lifetime's usual fare—it's better lit, for one, and it's based on an actual story, which removes the tiny budget charm and riffability. I can't make fun of J. K. Rowling, especially when they do deal with her abusive first marriage. So it ultimately just ends up being… dull, without the entertaining stereotypes and vapid plot twists of a Lifetime movie. I was playing solitaire through most of it. However, it was not without its highs and lows. And by highs, I mean entertainment value.

Highs
  • This is the first Lifetime movie I've ever seen that passes the Bechdel Test repeatedly. It helps that Rowling's life story is not centered on a romance, but her own work; hilariously, the film doesn't even show how she and her second husband got together.
  • Watching Lifetime tap dance around possible copyright infringement. Oh, how their feet must burn.
  • The special effects. I imagine this is the first Lifetime movie to require a goblin mask. A horrifying, dead-eyed, zombie goblin mask. here's also floating candles in Rowling's apartment as she writes (am I doing something wrong? Is that supposed to happen), fighting chess men at the coffee shop, and an encounter with Harry that makes the famed first daydream of Harry on the train look like a hallucination.
  • Poppy Montgomery is pretty decent, despite the material that drags her down, being likable and relatable in a natural way (rather than the "MEN, AM I RIGHT LADIES" way Lifetime heroines usually have) and looking like Rowling crossed with Anna Torv.
  • The fact that Rowling says she's been writing away when nothing else has been added to her magical box of Potter since the last time she said that. Writing is hard to show onscreen beyond fits of inspiration, because watching a writer sit there forcing out words is visually boring, so movie writing is always funny anyway.
  • Teenage hellion Rowling is pretty entertaining.
Lows
  • While Montgomery is decent, she's not playing Rowling. I'm not sure who this woman is, but she doesn't seem to be the woman I've seen in interviews and such.
  • Telegraphing everything in the series from a mile away. For instance, when Rowling is hanging out with her high school friend, Sean, who inspired Ron, we, as the audience, are obviously too stupid to see that the redhead with the Ford Anglia is somehow related to Ron, so she calls him "a weaselly guy". And it goes on. And on. And on. I don't know how much of this is from life, but the fact that it opens with her playing witches and wizards with a neighbor called Potter where she goes "NOW REMEMBER! SWISH AND FLICK!" makes me feel ill. 
  • Related to the bullet above is telegraphing the future from a mile away. As a teenager, her father tells her she'll end up on the dole if she doesn't get a real job; she stares wistfully at book displays while writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; and she startles when her agent mentions film rights. The only funny bit is when a parent comes up to her and mentions that, despite buying it for her son, she can't put it down—the woman is literally holding it open and reading it, as if what she is saying is literally true.
  • It just ends after the film premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, as if nothing interesting happened after that, and then commits a biopic sin—it shows footage of the actual Rowling doing stuff. So you can compare everything that came before negatively to the real thing.
But it just doesn't make for an enjoyable evening of riffing on a Lifetime movie. Sigh.
eralkfang: (Default)
Over at TheOneRing.Net forums, where I’ve been making my fannish home for the past two months, they have a wonderful way of referring to the different eras of Tolkien fandom online; they’re separated by ages. From the post:

Ages of TORN - Terms used to distinguish the various eras of the TORN message boards. TORNadoes are often referred to by the era in which they arrived and began posting.
First Age: April 1999-Dec. 2001 From the founding of TORN to the theatrical release of FOTR.
Second Age: Dec. 2001 - Dec. 2002 From FOTR to the theatrical release of The Two Towers.
Third Age: Dec. 2002 - Dec. 2003 From TTT to the theatrical release of Return of the King.
Fourth Age: Dec. 2003 - April 2007 From the theatrical release of ROTK to the move to the new boards.

We asked board members to vote to name the current Age of TORN, and the top two vote getters were separated by only one vote, a virtual tie. The current Age may be known as:

Middle Ages or Shire Reckoning I: April 2007 - 201? From the debut of the new boards to the release of the first Hobbit film.
 
With this as context, you can probably see why I find today to be the end of the first era of Harry Potter fandom. I'd start the reckoning in late 1999 and early 2000, between Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (July of 1999) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (July of 2000), when the two big fansites, The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, were launched. If my memory serves me correctly (because Google isn't being much use here), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the first book to receive a midnight release party. I myself, a wee lass of nine at the time, remember being driven with my friends by my mother to the Barnes & Noble in the town over to get our copies.

That Barnes & Noble closed last summer.

My tentative involvement with the fandom—which mostly consisted of listening to the two big podcasts—ended pretty much as soon as I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows four years ago this summer. (759 pages in eight hours. Aw yeah.) But the fact that the film adaptations began in 2001, just when the fandom was really pulling itself together, has meant that "fresh" Potter material has been available long after the fact. (Depending on how fast George R. R. Martin cranks out the rest of A Song of Ice and Fire, this might be true when it comes to the HBO series.) The films are definitely part of the first wave of the fandom.

I mean, since 1997, there has only been year where there has been no new Potter film or book—2008. That's fourteen years of Potter that roughly coincides with the development of my generation and definitely me as a person. I will be honest, I felt alienated from the series this spring. I really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Death Hallows Part I, but I wasn't as invested as everyone else. The deep, marrow-level connection I feel with The Legend of Zelda and The Lord of the Rings just wasn't there. I considered not going to the midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.

But when I saw the final trailer, I started crying—not for Harry, not for Hermione, not for Ron, but for Lily and how much she loved her son. I'm listening to the books on audiobook at the moment; I'm starting to understand some criticisms of Rowling's writing that I couldn't bear to hear as a child. But you can't fault her for the real and achingly human characters she created, and they'll always be with me. And, hopefully, with the next generation of readers and the next. These kids might and probably will love this series, these characters, and this world more than I do. After tonight, there will be no waiting—they'll tear through these books and films in months, even weeks.

But in a way, they'll never be as close to this series as I am. I grew up with these characters, went through puberty and middle school and high school with them. That is something special, and I will always be grateful for it.

Thanks, guys. I love you.


 
(I think I've got something in my heart, guys.) 
eralkfang: (Default)
Just sent in my audition! I used a British accent, because I am apparently not so bad at it, as I learned during my accent classes at ThesCon. :D And in the e-mail, I was like, "AND I DO THESE ACCENTS TOO PLEASE LIKE MY AUDITION D: D: D:" (The other accents are French and Irish, which isn't so hard once you get the breathing right.)

I hope I get to callbacks! And if I do, since it's set up American Idol style, please vote for me!
eralkfang: (Default)
Release party was quite fun- I didn't win anything for my Bellatrix costume, but I finally got decent pictures of it. We were nearly first in line, behind the costume contest winners.

The minute I got home, I cleaned up and settled down in the basement. I started reading. I ended around six in the morning, maybe seven, and then slept until noon.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS )
eralkfang: (Default)
I can't believe it'll be over tonight.

Sure, there will be the movies, but they're not really the books, though, are they?

Harry Potter's done so much for me, I can't even begin to say. It's amazing that this series makes people who hate reading feel the same way I do whenever I know I've begun a good book. Essentially, for a moment, turn a generally apathetic lot into those who devour books as one devours air.

I began a very good book several years ago, and tonight I read the final chapter.

Good luck, Mr. Potter. We're with you no matter what happens.
eralkfang: (Default)
The midnight showing was a blast. There was only a handful of other people in costume, but people seemed to dig the whole thing- there was a pair of girls dressed as Ron and Hermione, but nobody else.

cut for SPOILERS liek whoa )

EDIT: Jesus Bellatrix you don't have to make out with him you've already messed him up for life
eralkfang: (Default)




Oh, you know you want to.

On a related note, I need to find that Bellatrix wig.
eralkfang: (Default)
I am sick, therefore, I icon. Most of these have been sitting on my hard drive for a while.

legend of zelda // ganondorf : 1
legend of zelda // princess zelda : 1
legend of zelda // nayru : 1
fire emblem 9 // tiamat : 3
yu-gi-oh! // mai : 1
yu-gi-oh! // malik & rishid : 1
yu-gi-oh! // ryou : 1
yu-gi-oh! // yami no yuugi : 1
harry potter // rita skeeter : 1
real people // natalie portman : 1
real people // gerard way : 1

icons, 13 of them. )

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Eralk Fang

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