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The Walkabouter checks out a WorkPrint of HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE!

Hey folks, Harry here... Now there will be many cries of "Fake!" out there, but the Walkabouter has been sending in reports since 1999, not many... a few here and there... but he's always been dead on. This time he nails the biggest scoop he's ever nailed. Not so much as a single script review has leaked out... The film has never been tested... and when it comes right down to it, only someone involved in the film itself could have seen what the Walkabouter has claimed to see.... Lucky for us, that he is someone, somewhere in the maze like post-production world of HARRY POTTER. And it looks like Chris Columbus has nailed the film to perfection from the sound of it. ALSO... that if Williams nails the score and Warners doesn't force the film to be 90 minutes as opposed to its current two hour running time... we might have something extraordinary.... We'll see....

Hey Harry, "Walkabouter" here after a long absense...

Well, I'm checking in regarding what is probably the most, if not the SECOND most anticipated film to be released this year, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE (or PHILOSOPHER'S STONE for audiences outside the US of A).

Let's just say I am involved with a company participating to some extent with a part of the film's post-production, and I'll leave it at that. I'll also say that the cut I've seen is based on several "turnover" reels (about 15 minutes each or so) and is NOT the final cut. It runs long -- over two hours

-- but as is, it's not overlong.

So, as the book is so adored by readers young and old (myself included), the questions are these:

Can a film adaptation properly live up to the source material?

Can it do it faithfully and yet condense it down into 2 hours' time?

Can the director of such movies as HOME ALONE, MRS. DOUBTFIRE, and NINE MONTHS tread into darker waters, keeping the edge, moodiness, as well as the playfulness of the book?

And, most importantly, can the young cast -- namely little Daniel Radcliffe in the title role -- adequately personify the characters, and make them come to life onscreen?

It is with some astonishment and much happy surprise that the answer to all of these questions is, indeed, yes. When I heard of other proposed directors for the film -- Spielberg, Terry Gilliam, Brad Silberling were the top choices -- Columbus' ultimate selection took me by surprize. Don't get me wrong, he's done some wonderful stuff, and has a great talent for slapstick, physical comedy, and lightheartedness. I like Chris Columbus. So sue me...

But surely someone of Spielberg's calibre would have been better, right?

Or Terry Gilliam, who combined fantasy, comedy, and with a touch of sinister wit so wonderfully in TIME BANDITS?

Well, that's what I thought at the time. And now, I'll say in all honesty that Chris Columbus has done it.

He has blended everything that made the book so great -- the imaginative visual imagery, the design, the charm, the wit, and -- yes, true believers, it's true -- the dark, moody edge. I loved it.

Now, why should I go into plot details when people should just read the book? They have done some things to translate the text into a movie -- many scenes are condensed, but this is perhaps essential, unless they were to turn the book into a television miniseries, alotting more time for things to unfold. And, as unavoidable, the wonderful language Rowling used -- simple words, but poetic nonetheless -- will be absent from the screen.

The film is over two hours in its present form, but the bigwigs at Warner Bros. will probably want to tighten it down to a more family-friendly 90-110 minutes. I hope they don't. Someday the studio execs might learn that if a movie's good enough to hold a child's interest, it doesn't have to be abbreviated to MTV-style attentionspan. Nor does it need a shorter running time in order to ensure commercial successYes, true believers, kids can maintain focus on something, so long as it deserves such focus. And HARRY POTTER does it.

NOW: The look. Many of the special effects have yet to be completed, and were in a very crude form. But the production design of the sets (the Hogwarths' school and its infinitely high ceilings are a wow) are right on the mark. This is not the overlit, amusement-park style of, say, Spielberg's HOOK, but a darker, dirtier, lived in world reminiscent of beautiful movies like DRAGONSLYER and LADYHAWK. And John Seale's cinematography -- he's done brilliant work for Weir's WITNESS and DEAD POET'S SOCIETY, as well as CITY OF ANGELS and THE PERFECT STORM -- is right on the mark, with Ridley Scottian "shafts" of light, smoke, and atmosphere...

THE MUSIC. Sorry to say I can't comment on this, as most of the music used was temp stuff (I think some of it was from WITCHES OF EASTWICK). But with John Williams at the baton, it should be cool.

And now the most important part: THE CAST. Did Chris Columbus score a perfect ten with his child actors -- as Spielberg had done with the likes of Christian Bale and Haley Joel Osment -- or did he strike out, like Lucas did by casting a spoiled, "read-em-from-the-cuecards" Jake Lloyd?

And the answer to this question will pretty much determine whether or not HARRY POTTER will be more than just a certain commercial hit, but an all-out classic that people will not only see, but remember fondly.

From what I've seen, I feel confident in saying that little Daniel Radcliffe will become synonymous with Harry Potter, just like Chris Reeve was with Superman, Harrison Ford with Indiana Jones, or, more recently, Hugh Jackman was with Wolverine. To see any of the stills, Radcliffe certain LOOKS like Harry Potter come to life. But he also FEELS like Potter.

Harry's an interesting character. He's been through so much crap, lived through so much abuse, and the whole time he remains innocent, sweet, humble, and never bitter. He's filled with awe, wonder, and nervousness upon coming to Hogwart's School of Witchcraft, astonished by his fame and worried that he'll never live up to expectations. And as popular as he becomes, he never loses his humility or affections for his friends.

As Radcliffe is surely going to be thrown into the spotlight of stardom upon the film's release, the only doubts anyone might have about his future career is whether or not Radcliffe will, like Harry, be able to maintain his sense of humility in light of such overwhelming fame, and not fall into childstar snobbery and pompousness so common to Hollywood.

As for the supporting players, the dream cast is also right-on: Rupert Grint is wonderful as Ron, Emma Watson is funny as the uber-prissy but good hearted Hermoine. Maggie Smith is the perfect stuck-up professor of witchcraft (but in a charming way, as she always does in every English role she's ever played). Richard Harris is the eccentric but wise and kindly Albus Dumbledore. Alan Rickman is perfectly mean and nasty, sneering and spooky. And Robbie Coltraine steals his scenes with a lot of loud and humorous energy.

If Warner Bros. gives a little more flexibility in the editing process by not forcing the movie to be condensed to the Reader's Digest/Cliff's Notes version, the film could be good enough to give LORD OF THE RINGS a run for its money...

Letter from an unknown muggle,

The Walkabouter

Readers Talkback
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  • July 10, 2001, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Damn, that would of been cool to hav Terry G. directing!!

    by IAmLegolas

    Am I first?

  • July 10, 2001, 1:24 p.m. CST


    by Linus

    Please, please, please, don't mess this up, Columbus. I'm not speaking as some crazed Harry Potter fanboy, bus as someone who just wants the story told right, and not told in a cutesy "let's put Mara Wilson or Hailey Kate in every scene" way. Hollywood may end up doing this right after all. Question for the talk backers: would a British film company do this movie better or worse.

  • July 10, 2001, 1:24 p.m. CST

    I must admit

    by Withnail

    I was suprised by the trailer, and how engrossing and creepy it looks. It is i think essential to keep it's "Britishness" in tact. Never having read the books, I'll probably still see it.

  • July 10, 2001, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Ho Hum

    by Mr. Biege

    Haven't read the books, but saw the trailer before AI (I think). I went from some interest in seeing it... to if Richard Harris and Alan Rickman didn't have bit parts there would be no way you'd get me to see it (even on it's network TV run years from now). Hope it's just an example of super lame marketing. Maybe. It looks like simple kids stuff to me. NA-12. No Adults over the age of 12 admitted.

  • July 10, 2001, 1:41 p.m. CST

    This is gonna be the best film this summer.......but later on in

    by DJDinky2

    Yes it is. It most certainly is. Harry Potter is great, shame that the latest book is being delayed.

  • July 10, 2001, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Yea, and I saw a workprint of Mission Impossible 3

    by BrianTT

    I don't usually post regarding the unreliabilty of articles on AICN but something needs to be said about this one. If you're going to claim to have seen a workprint, you NEED to prove it. Tell us something we don't know. Don't base an entire article on what you saw in a preview, or the cast and crew list you read on IMDB. Prove it and I'm with you. Say something unbelievably suspicious like "why should I go into plot details when people should just read the book?" and my b.s. meter goes off the scale. And the one thing, besides listing all the major films everyone involved in the film has done before, that you do mention extensively is the editing process. So what do we know from this article? HP will be 90-130 minutes. Oooooh. I usually give Harry the benefit of the doubt and he says this guy has been dead on. But let's be honest, if you don't say anything substantial, you're always dead on.

  • July 10, 2001, 1:44 p.m. CST

    IWe Need Good Quality Family Films! Lets hope this one

    by fughetaboutit

    I hope your wrong, Mr. Beige. Try reading the books - I think you'll be surprised. I, for one, find them charming. Not Tolkien, Alexander, or C.S. Lewis, but good nonetheless. We desperately need high quality kids movies to come out. You know, the ones that enchant the little ones as well as the adults. We used to get them all the time, but Hollywood has slacked off (other than some good animated films). Lets hope this is a return to the quality LIVE action kids film (I guess Spy Kids should be included too). Wit, imagination - overall quality, that's what we need.

  • Thank god that the trailers and the first report on the film are positive. This would mean that despite my worst fears, CHRIS COLUMBUS DIDN'T SCREW UP. There's no question Columbus is a talented fellow - but his recent films have been the emotional equivalent of getting tear gassed. Here's hoping we get "Young Sherlock Holmes / Gremlins / Goonies" Chris Columbus and not "Home Alone / Mrs Doubtfire / 9 Months / Stepmom / Bicentennial Man" Chris Columbus...

  • July 10, 2001, 1:47 p.m. CST


    by Dmaul885

    I saw the the books...had my doubts...but NOW i'm excited! Could it be?? Could CC actually have pulled this off? Can't wait for November!

  • July 10, 2001, 2:11 p.m. CST

    90 minute running time


    I predicted that 90 minute running times would become the norm for all young audience targeted movies. Spider-man had already announced a 90 minute cut before the movie was shot! The studios deserve a box office backlash if they keep this up.

  • July 10, 2001, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Better than Lord Of The Rings

    by Miss Aura

    Nothing will come close to it. This year was made for only for one film and that film will rule them all. Not saying Harry Potter will be bad though, just it wont be in the same class.

  • July 10, 2001, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Oh we need this

    by Dubster

    Let me first say that whoever zooeyglass is, he/she must have lost his childhood in a big bad way. Anyone who can say Harry Potter is "shit" needs the BIG treatment. For me, who's fave book of all time is Lord of the Rings, and who's 2nd fave book(s) of all time are the Harry Potter stories I have to say its fantastic to have these two appearing within weeks of each other. Potter gave me that same sense of magic that LOTR gave me the first time I read it, from what Ive seen, and now read, I think the movie could end up doing the same thing. But why do we see these two as competing ? Even my gran is going to see LOTR - it would be hard for even Episode 2 to stand up against a film that represents what Times readers have been voting as the finest book ever penned, for the last 10 years. Doesnt mean to say they wont be equally as good in their own way. As a Brit, I had a discussion today about great exports this country has that are wholey British. And you know how many we came up with ? None. Not one. Everything good we once had is no longer British. Be it Aston Martin or Rolls Royce, Cheddar Cheese or Sheffield Steel - we have nothing that hasnt been bettered or bought up by someone else in the world. But you know, after reading this, I remembered we do have a couple of things - Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. As Brits, we NEED this movie to be great, we need it to put some magic out there, and we need it done in the way Rowling wants it to be done - a British way. Just once I pray that the British hero doesnt say "What-ho".

  • July 10, 2001, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Don't screw up Warner Brothers!!! If kids can read a 734 page bo

    by Brian 2000

    This would be a travesty if WB fucked it up. Sorry for the language but I would be able to do nothing but swear if this movie had a chance for greatness and was lost due to WB executives who think they know exactly what people want to see, but don't know no what it is like to be a real living breathing feeling loving person. Listen Warner Brothers, you have the next Star Wars on your hands!!! I dont think Lord of the Rings is the next big one, its too smart and too deep, and too intricate. Harry Potter like Star Wars is sophisticated simplicity. A fun, moving story that never gets too dark or deep, but is always enthralling and memorable. Don't screw it up!!! It is a great and memorable story for the masses. Lord of the Rings is not a family friendly story I daresay. Potter is for everyone. Everyone who thinks Harry Potter is just kids crap and hasnt read the books should go try and read them, because theyd love em.

  • July 10, 2001, 2:35 p.m. CST

    I think its refreshing...

    by JonQuixote

    Frankly I'm a little sick of "reviews" which basically just list plot points. If all you can think to say about a movie is a summary of the stuff that happens, I say "shut the fuck up, and write a one word submission that says either 'good' or 'bad'!" If there's anything different about these movies - eg. something that isn't in the books - I don't want to know what it is, I just want to know if it works, or if it detracts. If it was a smart or dumb change. A "review" is not 'this happened, then this happened, then this happened', it does not take away the need to see the movie, it helps to make the decision of 'should I, or shouldn't I'. We need to know if it's good, or bad, and then general evidence to support why. So, although I've studied the books academically and am probably WAY too familiar with them, I'm greatful that this review goes out if its way to not ruin the plot for someone who is going to go in cold, and I wish more people, on this site and others, and regular reviewers and rare or first-time contributors, would take this approach. And if it's a what? All it says is "it's good", who the fuck cares if that's faked?? All it does is give some of us skeptics a little gimmer of hope.

  • July 10, 2001, 2:59 p.m. CST

    all i can say is "wow"

    by Ragged Robin

    ok, so i can say more than 'wow.' i saw the trailer. holy shit!!!! i was so excited in the theater that my bf asked me if i needed a cigarette. ;) i just hope this movie is half a cool, no as quarter as cool, or even just [this] much as cool as i hope it's going to be. i love those books, and to see them on the screen [done well] might be better than a shag. well, maybe not. but call me 'fangirl' if you want to. it's not going to bother me. and never underestimate the power of kids' imagination. if you don't tell them something is hard or long or whatever, most of the time they won't even know.

  • July 10, 2001, 3:42 p.m. CST

    I betcha this report is NOT an accident.

    by Will Collier

    Folks, this is not a "leak," at least not one leaked out of the kind heart of a fellow film geek. The contracts people working on these movies are extremely harsh on leaking this kind of stuff, and there are bezillions of dollars in lawyers around to inforce those clauses... Here's what I think. I think Chris Columbus is being leaned on by WB to make a half-hour of cuts. And I think that he (or somebody else quite high up in the production--on the "artistic" side, mind you), DELIBERATELY allowed and/or caused this review to be sent to Harry so that fan pressure could be brought to bear on Warners. And good for the leaker(s), if I'm right. Damn good for them! We'll wind up with a better movie.

  • July 10, 2001, 4:34 p.m. CST

    If the movie's as good as the books...

    by The_Devil

    A couple years ago, I started working at Waldenbooks. People were in and out of that place so frequently asking about Harry Potter this and Harry Potter first I had no idea what they were talking about, and where this huge cultural phenomenon had come from. And lord, when the 4th book came out, you should've seen the crowds. It was nuts. So, now, two years after I first heard about Harry Potter, I finally broke down and started reading the damn things. To my surprise, they're actually excellent books. Imaginative, funny, entertaining...I just picked up the 4th one today, and I'm already somewhat bugged that I'm gonna have to wait for a year before number 5 comes out. I really hope the movie pulls it off. And let's all pray that they don't fuck around with the running time on it. How many movies are out there that have been ruined because too much shit was cut out?

  • July 10, 2001, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Kabouter's Sweaty dreams...

    by MrCere

    Here I am at work watching the All-Star game (baseball in case you don't know) while my wife entertains a bunch of women at home. Not that I care that my big screen is currently useless, at least I can read my computer between innings. ANYWAY I have the same nightmare as Kabouter. I can see every damn kid in the country NOT going to LoTR while they see HP for the fifteenth time. Who can blame the youngsters? Kids like candy and soda more than they like mashed potatoes and gravy right? HP really ought to be great fun, but LoTR really ought to move me and capture me and throttle me and thrill be before its 2+ hours ends. I really bet New Line is laying some cable everytime they consider this showdown. The hoped-for quality of LoTR may not matter if the country is fevered with Potter. It REALLY is interesting. Now, while I know everybody says "yea, but both can prosper." Well, maybe, but Joe Moviegoer is such a dumbass that if LoTR doesn't cause some thunder and lightning and grab some press, jackass Joe just might not go.

  • July 10, 2001, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Oh and P.S....

    by MrCere

    By the way...I will be watching the New Line presentation of LoTR and Warner's HP stuff in San Diego next week along with Rami's Spider-Man. WILL ANYBODY ELSE BE THERE FROM HERE? Also, does anybody think Warners is a bunch of idiots for not rushing to do HP II before these "brilliant" child actors get too old to play roles in each of the books?

  • July 10, 2001, 4:55 p.m. CST


    by walkabouter

    I know with a project like this, there's a lot of excitement in the air, and of course my comments are to be met with some doubts and skepticism. I don't blame you. I try to avoid talking back in these forums, as to maintain a low profile and not give too much away, but here -- especially since this is a movie I REALLY LIKED -- I'll take the initiative to talk here. Being that I work in post production, I usually don't send Harry any comments of the films I'm involved with unless I like them... Has nothing to do with any incentive, mind you -- I'm not a studio marketing department stooge, for the record -- but I just try to avoid creating a bad buzz on a movie before it comes out. But at the same, I'm NEVER going to lie about my feelings and say that something is great when it is not! (I was one of the first to say here that HANNIBAL, while I liked it, was far from perfect.) Look, if HARRY POTTER comes out and sucks, then whatever credibility I have will be for naught and you'll never have to listen to me again... THE WALKABOUTER

  • July 10, 2001, 5:01 p.m. CST

    This guy's probably right about this flick... I saw the trailer

    by Blue Devil

    ...I doubt the film will be done in time for Thanksgiving. If anything, the trailer hurt the film because it looked so plain and dark- I figured they screwed it up. Judging from the trailer, my only problem is that the film doesn't look magical enough (again, having seen none of the special effects and not having read the book for that matter). In the trailer, some big dude with a lion's mane hair do walks around looking mean. I thought to myself, "You've got to be kidding, the bad guy in this flick is Jaws with big hair?" WB should really have held the trailer back or showed some of the FX. From what I saw, this film looks weak.

  • July 10, 2001, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Harry Potter will make tons of money butt,

    by Mjshep

    since you all brought LOTR into this I will comment.... First off, LOTR IS THE DEFINITIVE WORK OF THE CENTURY, AND IN MY OPINION WILL BE THE GREATEST CINEMATIC EVENT OF OUR LIFETIMES. Harry Potter will be a classic series that uses the main priciples set down by JRR TOLKIEN. Every fantasy author "borrows" from him. Yes, even our beloved George Lucas did just that. J.K. Rowling is a good writter with a sense of what her audience wants. The main difference between the two is that Tolkien was a philologist. A philologist is person who studies the root and meaning of a word. Tolkien created languages like he was baking cakes. He created histories so deep that people spend theyre lives studing and adoring them. Tolkien is a literary God. J.K. Rowling and George Lucas in my own opinion are persons who found a style that works. They did not create the entire genre. That is only one of the many reasons that the Harry Potter series (books or movies)will never be half of what LOTR is. PJ and co have worked for years bringing the films to life. On December 20th 2001 people all over the world will wake up and see the future of something magical and amazing. I will go see episode 2 and Harry Potter,I will not deny that, but this year and the next two will be HOBBIT FORMING. Thank you

  • July 10, 2001, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Lord of the Rings

    by SFA

    Must agree with you 100% there Mjshep. Lord of the Rings will be our generation's Star Wars. No doubt about it. Although there are people doubting it will gross more than Titanic, those people either have not read the books and realise how BIG and EPIC the books actualy are, or they seem to think that Peter Jackson is going for a Warcraft style Green goblins and Wizards with lightening coming from their fingertips aproach, when in actual fact he is going for a historic style feel (similar to Braveheart or Gladiator in depicting visceral violence and creatures). And its appeal is FAR larger than some of you think. It reaches far beyond geeks. I am not a geek to start (although I am aware that I am posting a message on a AICN talkback forum!). Come to my website if you have any doubts (it could use the hits!) No Steven Hawking haircut specticled fan boys there! LOTR is in the top 10 most read books of the 20th Century list(can't remember the exact position). It was released in the 50's. Over 50 million books have been sold! THIS IS NOT A GEEK ONLY FILM. NOT AT ALL. IT HAS EVERYTHING YOU COULD EVER WANT IN A FILM (except porn). Llyr.

  • July 10, 2001, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Potter v. LOTR

    by fatterthanharry

    I hope they are both great.

  • July 10, 2001, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings

    by Huneybee

    I will most likely only see one at the movie theater and I will wait on LOTR. I saw the HP trailer before AI and I just am not very enthusiastic about what I viewed as it seemed "cutesy" and the special effects were rather cheesy in my opinion. The scene with the rotating staircase was particularly bad. It was startling it was so fake. Maybe I'll change my mind after it is released if everyone raves instead of rants, time will tell.

  • July 10, 2001, 6:06 p.m. CST

    LOTR will not outgross Titanic...

    by Blue Devil

    In fact, I doubt it will make half of Titanic's domestic gross. Harry Potter will probably only make a third.

  • July 10, 2001, 6:12 p.m. CST

    HP and LOTR

    by fladnaG

    Both will be great but each in it's own way. Harry Potter will be great because it's fun and fantastical without being simply for kids or being simply stupid. Lotr will be great because of it's scope and vision. I love both series of books but Harry Potter will be an appetizer to the great feast that is Lotr.

  • July 10, 2001, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Novel, Lord of the Movies

    by Dark Predator

    Mjhep I couldn't have said it better myself. Tolkien created a universe. His stuff is so realistic, I sometimes whim if Tolkien actually experienced middle earth and brought back all the stories. I mean, just try thinking up a universe sometime... its not so easy is it? With a history, theology, and physics all its own.

  • July 10, 2001, 6:14 p.m. CST

    My views on this whole Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings situat

    by The Auror

    Hey guys,first time poster here. I have been lurking in the shadows of AICN since its inception and have finally decided to voice my opinion on something. (Sorry for the length of this!!) I am a great fan of both Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. These are two very different series, with a different feel to them, with a different heart, and a different audience. It is my belief that the Harry Potter series is for children of all ages. I don't think that The Lord of the Rings is. LOTR is a tale of dark tragedy, loss and suffering. It's also about hope and perserverance and togetherness. It is not a ride, if Peter Jackson does his job LOTR will not be a movie it will be a film. A film that takes risks, that doesn't cater to the masses. This should be a project that is just as deep, intricate, uplifting and heartwrenching as the source was. I do not believe that this series can ever be a blockbuster or just a simple popcorn film, and if it is than that will be a terrible shame, and I don't think it would work. For those reasons, I believe that LOTR will be a hit, but not an earth shattering one. Look at The Empire Strikes Back, the most dramatic, compelling and intricate of that series. Definately the best (from many certain points of view). Yet ESB made the least money of the Star Wars trilogy. And ESB is no where near as in depth and dark as LOTR. 'Fellowship' doesn't exactly have a happy ending either, and is much less audience friendly than even ESB. So I really dont think we can expect Titanic size numbers. Harry Potter, on the other hand, is a horse of an entirely different color. This is a film for the masses. This is a movie where no matter how old you are you can LOVE it. The characters are simply wonderful, and are the heart of this story. I feel that Lord of the Rings is more about the quest, and Harry Potter is more about the characters. I hadn't really felt attached to literary characters in so long, and while I was reading Potter I was reading something where each and every character was wonderful and memorable. EVERY SINGLE ONE. The story is great, powerful, simple, and moral all at once. This is Star Wars, this is what the audience will love again and again and again. I'm not saying Harry is a better story or a better book, I'm saying that it is better suited for the movies. And I know that Colombus nailed the film, I don't care about reviews or any other story coming out from now until November. As I saw those two trailers for Potter it was as though the trailer was being projected from my eyes and mind. The trailers glow with everything the books feel like, sound like, and are described as. I know this has the chance for greatness. PJ's LOTR however isn't how I pictured in my mind, and I dont think it could ever be as perfect as Harry's adaption, it is just not as easily adapted for the screen. So whereas I think many Potter fans share a common image of the series because of the way it was written, I also think many Tolkien fans have differing views of the look and feel of the stories. Still, this is an exciting time for the movies, fantasy will either be reborn this fall or become extinct. We have two oppurtunites for two great novels to be turned into some of the most memorable and wonderful movies of our time. Hopefully the public will love them, but I don't give a damn what they think and what the numbers say, just as long as the movies are great.

  • July 10, 2001, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Dunbar: You are pathetic.

    by Dark Predator

    Harry Potter won't become the Star Wars of this generation or any other generation. Star Wars was cool and hip in its day. Older people enjoyed it and got into it. Harry Potter, while I do admit CAN be enjoyed by adults, is not cool or hip. Ask anyone out of middle school if they like Harry Potter and if they say yes it will be an unethusiastic yes. The ones who think it is cool also wear Pokemon underoos. Harry Potter does have a wide base for readership, but I think the only ones who are enthusiastic about it are the pre-high-school crowd. After their first beer, Harry Potter is for little kids.

  • July 10, 2001, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Blah Blah Blah

    by Mjshep

    When something as specail as LOTR comes along it brings the masses. LOTR is three generations old, all the hippies and, all the babyboomers and all the generation x-ers will come to see a masterpeice. It will be sinister and dark but that is what sells. That is why LOTR will be a cinematic event.

  • Auror - you hit the nail on the head. I really don't get this constant comparing HP to LOTR. They are very different stories told in very different ways that are both immensely enjoyable for very different reasons. I have to admit, I am more excited about HP. Why? Because I'll probably work from home that day, then go into the city with both of my kids (my 8-yo has read the books about a dozen times each - finally we turned her on to Roald Dahl so that she'd read *something* else) and my wife, and make a night of it. We'll have dinner at Mars 2112 or somplace like that. It'll be a blast. LOTR? Well, PJ says it will be PG13, so that lets the kids out. My wife probably won't want to see it. So, unless I go with someone from work, I'll probably go alone. Which movie will I prefer. Well, of course i don't know, but if i had to gueass, I'd guess I'll like LOTR more. But I have a feeling that the whole experience of HP will be more special for me.

  • July 10, 2001, 6:50 p.m. CST

    There IS no "Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings" situation

    by johnl1972

    It really cracks me up whenever I read a post that drags on and on about how LOTR is going to kick Harry Potter's ass or vice versa. Do you people realize how retarded you sound? They're MOVIES, for crying out loud. You sound like these jarheads who argue about if the Army could kick the Air Force's ass in a fight or worse, a couple of jocks having the same arguement about their favorite football teams. Just admit to yourselves that if you have a remote interest in one of these flicks that you're going to see the other one anyway, and deep down you know that you'll probably see them both more than once if they're any good. What personal or financial stake do you all have in this if Harry Potter makes more money than LOTR or vice versa? Really, I would like to know.

  • July 10, 2001, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Why WB sucks!!!!!


    I just *BET* that WB is cutting the fucking movie down so they can tout "Deleted Scenes!!!" all over the fucking DVD to milk even more cash out of the goddamn movie. When is it going to stop!? Why can't a product just be so good that people will want to buy it without bullshit marketing? Can someone please start a damn petition to WB so they will give Chris Columbus carte blanche on this project?! Advertise it here on AICN and I will sign it in blood.

  • July 10, 2001, 7:42 p.m. CST

    LOTR not going to go far

    by Lance Turk

    I didn't read any Harry Potter books until well after the third one came out. Until then I thought they were just kids books and therefore uninteresting. But my mom read them and said they were good, so I read them. And I liked them. Nice little fluff stories, very straight forward and not too difficult to get through. When I read all these posts on AICN about how epic LOTR was, I decided to read that series too. I just got through them and I have to say that this trilogy is not going to live up to any expectations. Tolkien goes way too deeply into nonsense history lessons of middle earth and maddeningly throws poems into every other page. Neither of which are going to see the light of filmstock. The first LOTR movie should go pretty seemlessly in terms of plot. But the other 2 movies are going to be a complete bitch to edit since the books divide the action completely in half. By the time this movie hits the screens it's going to be too different from the books to generate the interest needed to make a hit. The fanboys will never allow it, especially after this ejaculatory hype that similarly followed SW:Ep1. This movie series is not going to be the second coming. It will be lucky if each movie is able to break 100 Mil at the box office.

  • July 10, 2001, 8:04 p.m. CST

    The Auror is right...

    by apologize2darice

    I am also a fan of both LOTR and Harry P, and The Auror is right, Harry will be more easily adapted, and have MUCH wider appeal in the movie MEGAplexes. Though both movies deal with battles against evil, the hero and villian are more tangible in Harry. In LOTR you go through the agony of the painful decay of your hero Frodo, and in the end discover that Sam is the hero. And the villians are the enigmatic power of Sauron and the ring, neither of which do anything obvious during the course of the book to make them easy to hate, they are just EVIL. You have to know the old history to understand why Sauron is to be hated. Audiences will feel satisfied by Harry, not so by a long shot with FOTR. I am anticipating PJ getting hate mail for forcing the masses to wait another year for the next installment, and as a result I fear he will lose any mass audience. It really is sad that if PJ does his job then LOTR won't make squat at the box office. I am also VERY VERY afraid that PJ will be forced to re-edit the last two movies after LOTR takes a dive. At least they filmed all three at once, so his vision can't be totally destroyed. PJ, I wish you all the best, I for one will pay to see your work many many times!

  • July 10, 2001, 8:15 p.m. CST

    LOTR 2 + 3

    by Diabolo42

    Holy hell, Lance Turk, I never even thought about how PJ is going to do the second two books. I'm surprised no one has mentioned it before, since each book is two entirely self-contained stories. Granted, the end of the third merges, but still... I wonder if he'll stay true to the form and make each movie as 2 consecutive plots. I highly doubt it, and i'm sure that would create all kinds of editing problems, jerking you back and forth and such. As for HP, haven't read the books, don't really have any desire to see the movie. LOTR rocks my world.

  • July 10, 2001, 9:19 p.m. CST

    To: Uncle Ganumples--YOU'RE WRONG

    by harp

    You need to do your homework. Books of Magic came out WAY before Harry Potter. The character of Timothy Hunter was created by Neil Gaiman (of Sandman fame) and artist John Bolton for a mini-series designed to tie together all of the paranormal/horror/supernatural elements in the DC Comics universe. If I remember correctly, this was just at the beginning of the DC Vertigo Comics imprint. This was at least 4 years before the pages of Harry Potter books even had ink drying in their pages. Peter Gross came in as one of the artists on the ongoing series, which did not come out until at least a year after the mini-series, and recently ended it's run earlier this year (it will be revived as another title heralding the main character's growth). So, before you slam something, Uncle Ganumples... look it up. Your opinion is uneducated and unjustified.

  • July 10, 2001, 9:27 p.m. CST

    What was that?

    by The Auror

    To the above poster who felt the need to post that article about Rowling's 'plagiarism', why was that necessary? Did you think a positive review for the Harry Potter movie needed to yield discussion on some person suing Rowling for plagiarism? I mean really, what does that have to do with anything. I have read this Nancy Stouffer's book "The Legend of Rah and the Muggles", not only does it have NOTHING to do with the Harry Potter stories, it is some of the worst writing I have ever read. I think plagiarism is more or less taking content NOT names. Gandalf, were you threatened by people talking about how Potter might do better than LOTR in theaters so you had to try and slander it? Did you even read that article and realize how unsimiliar the alleged similiarites they describe are? Keeper of the Keys in one and Keeper of the Garden in another equals plagiarism? God, what crap. An above poster said why does there need to be a LOTR vs. HP situation, it seems the answer to that question is that there needs to be this situation because the two sides can't deal with two great fantasy stories being popular at the same time. Tolkien was no plagiarist, he was a great author, and a wonderful linguist, but I can tell from reading both Rowling and Stouffer's work that Rowling is just as much a plagiarist as Tolkien, not that it has anything to do with this topic. (Longest run-on sentence award goes to me). If the two groups of fanboys could stop making this whole insane situation into a contest we could have an amazing winter, but some people are threatened for same unreal reason by the prospects of something taking away thunder from the other.

  • July 10, 2001, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Dark Predator

    by avalonx

    Dark Predator, Just wanted to say that I am a High School Senior, in an AP English class with a 4.0 Cum. GPA, a good literary background for a kid my age, a descent ACT score, I also play VArsity Tennis and am a member of Student council and Class President. I also LOVE Harry Potter, I think it is BY FAR the best fantasy since JRR Tolkien, and I also know many kids my age who are alos HUGE fans of the franchise after giving the books a chance. I don't wear Pokemon underwear, YOU my friend, are WAAAAAAAYYYY out of touch with reality. Harry Potter is here to stay, and is loved by not just kids, but any well read fan of the fantasy genre. Harry Potter WILL be one of the top grossing films in American Film History, look at the 4th Installment last summer, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it's sales went through the roof, no one could keep it in stock. If all four books can be on the NY Times Bestseller list at the same time, HOW can you say the movies will only make 1/3 as much as Titanic?????

  • July 10, 2001, 10:56 p.m. CST

    No offense

    by Jerkwad Bastard

    but Avalonx, you fit in the geek department. And what the fuck is up with the ACT? Why don't you inbred hicks taking the fucking SAT's????

  • July 10, 2001, 11:02 p.m. CST

    by Whadijasay

    Personally, I will more than likely be seeing BOTH movies this holiday season. First, on the HP movie-matter: I'm a crazed "Potterholic", and as such, am completely and totally IN LOVE with these wonderful books. I am of the opinion that, no matter what the movie turns out like (although I think it will be "okay" at the very least from what I've heard), fans of the books will want to see it at least *once*, if nothing more than just to see if it lives up to the version inside their heads. (I know that's one of the main reasons I'm going to see it.) All in all, I think the general appeal, the fans, and the curiosity of people who haven't read the books yet (god forbid.. ^_^) will almost guarantee that this movie will not be a complete bomb. NOW...on the LOTR movie-matter: I haven't read the books, but I have a friend who is a huge fan, and she *insists* that is one of the best book series of all time. I don't doubt it one bit. On the contrary, I bet they are exceptionally great books, and I'm looking forward to reading them once I can get my hands on them. So as a critic, a consumer, a reader, and simply just as a person living in society, I can say confidently that (based on the hype surrounding the books and the *kick ass* trailer) I will most certainly be seeing the LOTR movie as well, and am almost equally excited. So, having got that off my chest... WHAT'S THE BIG FREAKIN' DEAL??? Why, whenever something is mentioned about either one of the movies, war must break out amongst us??? Do half the articles that start all this controversy even state in them anywhere ANYTHING about the other movie being a "box office rival"??? I mean hell, people !-- just because they're coming out within two or three weeks of each other means that there isn't even a possibilty that maybe people could see BOTH of them?? SHEESH! (Pardon my French...)

  • July 10, 2001, 11:03 p.m. CST

    I am of the opinion that...

    by Whadijasay

    Personally, I will more than likely be seeing BOTH movies this holiday season. First, on the HP movie-matter: I'm a crazed "Potterholic", and as such, am completely and totally IN LOVE with these wonderful books. I am of the opinion that, no matter what the movie turns out like (although I think it will be "okay" at the very least from what I've heard), fans of the books will want to see it at least *once*, if nothing more than just to see if it lives up to the version inside their heads. (I know that's one of the main reasons I'm going to see it.) All in all, I think the general appeal, the fans, and the curiosity of people who haven't read the books yet (god forbid.. ^_^) will almost guarantee that this movie will not be a complete bomb. NOW...on the LOTR movie-matter: I haven't read the books, but I have a friend who is a huge fan, and she *insists* that is one of the best book series of all time. I don't doubt it one bit. On the contrary, I bet they are exceptionally great books, and I'm looking forward to reading them once I can get my hands on them. So as a critic, a consumer, a reader, and simply just as a person living in society, I can say confidently that (based on the hype surrounding the books and the *kick ass* trailer) I will most certainly be seeing the LOTR movie as well, and am almost equally excited. So, having got that off my chest... WHAT'S THE BIG FREAKIN' DEAL??? Why, whenever something is mentioned about either one of the movies, war must break out amongst us??? Do half the articles that start all this controversy even state in them anywhere ANYTHING about the other movie being a "box office rival"??? I mean hell, people !-- just because they're coming out within two or three weeks of each other means that there isn't even a possibilty that maybe people could see BOTH of them?? SHEESH! (Pardon my French...)

  • July 10, 2001, 11:52 p.m. CST

    LOTR fans are way too defensive...

    by Sneako

    Seriously, every bloody time there is a Harry Potter related article that shows any hints of praise, LOTR fans jump right on over and start bashing it like it's crap. I mean, personnaly, I just think LOTR fans are cowards, because they can't admit the possilbility of another book being compared to their "sacred text". It's pathetic. If all you LOTR fans thought HP was for kids, and it was simply childish, then you'd ignore any HP article. Sorry, buddys, THIS IS NOT POKEMON. HP is a literary phenomenon of our time, and we won't see this sort of popularity for a book(s) in a LONG time. I can bet you that. And regarding the poster above who stated that Harry Potter was strictly for the under 12 bunch, is severely WRONG. And to the poster, avalonx, I believe, is right in saying high schoolers are just as fanatic about Harry Potter as any other age group. In my Lit II class this previous year, more than half of the class was reading one of the Harry Potter books. Jocks, skaters, nerds, preps, WHOEVER, are reading these books. Most importantly, being apart of Generation Y, It is more safe to say Harry Potter is our generation's Star Wars. Much more so than "Lord of the Rings".

  • Warners should leave Chris Columbus alone and not ruin his first (and probably last) chance to do something DAMN FINE in his mediocre career. Who would expect that Columbus could pull this off so greatly? I am a huge fan of the books and I

  • July 11, 2001, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Empire Strikes Back

    by SFA

    Oh dear. Harry Potter the new Star Wars? LOL. I suggest you read (or re-read) Lord of the Rings. And whoever said that comment about Empire Strikes Back being dark and therefore getting the least amount of money - was Titanic a walk in the park? No. Hundreds of people dying (worse because it is a true story), even one of the 2 main characters die for crying out loud. And I don't personaly care about how much money LOTR makes - I KNOW the film is going to be excellent, it has ALL the ingredients. How can a story like LOTR be 'beaten' by the story about a kid in a school for wizards? COME ON!

  • July 11, 2001, 4:39 a.m. CST

    Can't we all just get along? And clarification on the Sorcerer's

    by The Auror

    First off, let me just say for the millionth time that people should just let each movie series be. I think the above poster must be right, I guess LOTR fans are really defensive. So I mean, guys if you can't play nice over here in the HP talkback, just go back to your LOTR talkback. Ya know where you constantly praise PJ and dont accept the possibility that LOTR might suck, something that is very dangerous (TPM). Anyway in answer to STANLEY SPECTER, when J.K. Rowling originally wrote her first Harry Potter book it was entitled HP and the Philosopher's Stone. The stone is a relic that gives you eternal youth, something that the villain (Lord Voldemort) of the Harry Potter series needs in order to return to his full form and body. You see Voldemort was pretty much gaining complete power over the wizarding world, he was killing people left and right, trying to weed out all of his detractors and everything. Then for some mysterious reason he made it his business to kill the infant named Harry Potter and his father. He showed up at the home and killed Potter's parents but when he went to kill Harry, for some strange reason he could not kill this infant, and the curse hit him instead, almost killing him. Only a shadow of him was left, and the Philosopher's Stone would return him to power after 11 years of hiding. Harry was left with his famous scar. Anyway, they changed it from Philosopher's Stone to Sorcerer's Stone in America becuase her publisher thought it might be misleading for the American public. They wanted something that had a more magical sounding title, which philosopher didn't conotate in America. So they changed it to Sorcerer here, and Philosopher pretty much everywhere else. It's basically because the American publisher thought we were too dumb. Oh them!

  • July 11, 2001, 4:50 a.m. CST

    Blue Devil Re: "Bad guy in Harry Potter is Jaws with long hair"

    by Kaitain

    I wish people who haven't read any of the Harry Potter books wouldn't keep going off half-cocked about stuff of which they clearly have little awareness. The backlash against HP reminds me of that against The Simpsons when that first appeared - there was loads of merchandising aimed at kids, and people who hadn't seen the show assumed it was just a kids show, and apparently quite an annoying one at that. They couldn't have been more wrong, but you can understand why they arrived at the conclusions they did. If I hadn't read the Harry Potter books, I would assume it was all kiddies' stuff. Yes, the books appeal to kids, but they are very well crafted. Merchandising will tend to make more money from kids than from adults, and that's a fact of life. It doesn't have any bearing on the quality of the books, however. The books have been a hit with adults as well because Rowling actually puts effort into crafting the intricacies of the plots rather than being lazy and assuming the presumed audience of kids won't really notice. The time travel section in Prisoner of Azkaban is a classic case in point - so easy to abuse, so easy to rely upon as a dull deus ex machina to save the day. Rowling does nothing of the sort, and instead constructs a smart, logically-consistent loop a la The Terminator and Twelve Monkeys. The "bad guy" from the HP trailer to which Blue Devil refers is in fact Hagrid, one of Harry's best friends at Hogwarts, as played by Robbie Coltraine. Don't slate things without doing your research. Oh, and btw, the first book was changed to "Sorceror's Stone" in the USA (from the original "Philosopher's Stone") because the publishers felt that most Americans wouldn't really know what a philosopher's stone was, and wouldn't make any connection to wizardry. (Shrugs.)

  • July 11, 2001, 4:52 a.m. CST


    by The Auror

    You are telling me that Titanic was not an audience friendly movie? Please, it was a love story that had something for everybody, so it made that much money. Don't tell me that the ending wasn't audience friendly, jeez. Are you actually comparing the darkness and complexity of LOTR to Titanic?? LOTR is so much more dark and non conventional. It is not an audience movie in the slightest. The first movie will end with a cliff hanger, after Gandalf "dies" and Boromir betrays Frodo. I mean not only will many movie goers be turned off by the ending (and some of the story), I think many will not understand the full scope as geeks because they'll not have read them. I think you have to have read these books to see the movies, because it adds so much more to the world you are seeing. Harry Potter on the other hand, IS audience friendly. It is not a dumb brainless children's story. It has great action, great characters, and no potty humor or fart jokes or anything like that crap put in for no reason. It is for EVERYBODY. Mark my words, Harry Potter, if done perfectly is the next Star Wars. NOT LOTR. Star Wars was sophisticated and simple, it was NOT as complex and dark as LOTR. Llyr, you suggest I read LOTR? I have, and I have read Harry Potter. Maybe if you are gonna make assumptions about both series you should have read both books, instead of telling others to get more accurate with their knowledge. By the way, I can think of nothing more dangerous than Llyr saying "And I don't personaly care about how much money LOTR makes - I KNOW the film is going to be excellent, it has ALL the ingredients. " No matter what anybody says, no matter how good the trailers are you can never make that assumption. God, has anyone learned from Episode One? GO find on old Pre-May 99 TPM story, it is the same thing as this LOTR crap. "TPM will be great, no matter what, the trailers are great and everything..."then look what happened. How can anybody think a movie will definately be GREAT by have seeing 2 good trailers one so-so trailer and having a ton of people TELLING you it will be good. Sheesh.

  • July 11, 2001, 5:06 a.m. CST

    all you guys...

    by looking-for-love

    ...are a bunch of fucks with their heads too far up your asses.______You white trash kids need to get a life and get laid.

  • July 11, 2001, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Down to 90 minutes

    by bsafe

    Am I the only one who realizes that if WB pares the movie down from 2 hours to 90 minutes has nothing to do with the attention span of the viewer? The studios, distributors, and theaters make money based upon how many tickets are sold. The more theaters that are showing the film, the more tickets that can be sold. Lets assume that a film is showing on 1000 screens and lets say first showing is at noon and last showing is at midnight. This allows for 6 showings of a 2 hour long movie OR *8* showings of a 90 minute movie. Multiply the difference by the number of screens and you get an additional 2000 showings PER DAY. Multiply this by above average ticket sales due to the hype and by the increasing cost of a ticket and this 30 minute difference ends up as a much more profitable venture for all involved (except the theater goer).

  • July 11, 2001, 5:30 a.m. CST


    by DemonChild89

    I'm not so sure about this film. I mean, the idea of a HP film is awesome and it looks cool, but as many ppl out there acutally against HP, is it smart to put a major movie out?

  • July 11, 2001, 5:38 a.m. CST

    LOTR vs. Potter

    by L.B. Jefferies

    Look, SO many of you are jumping up and down on Harry Potter over Lord of the Rings. I certainly am not disputing the brilliance of either, nor will I say which is better but if you're going to pit the box office potential of one against the other, I'd have to go with Harry Potter. Sure, LOTR has been around for decades, whereas HP only hit the scene in 1997. But you have to remember

  • July 11, 2001, 6:11 a.m. CST


    by SFA

    I am not dissing Harry Potter - I wish the film all the best. I have read the book, and it has NO chance of being as big as Star Wars. It is not EPIC enough. Adults usualy like Star Wars because it has massive spaceships (X-Wings, Y-Wings, Deathstar, Millenium Falcon...), cool bad guys (Vader, The Emperor, Darth Maul, Fett, Jabba...), know. Give me a list of things that's going to make Potter as big as Star Wars... And I wasn't saying that LOTR was going to be THE movie event of our lifetimes based on what people are saying (although NOT A SINGLE PERSON that saw the Cannes footage had ANYTHING bad to say about it, they were all to busy whooping like fools). One of the main reasons the Phantom Menace failed as a film was due to the VERY BAD script. Peter Jackson's advantage is that his films are based on a book that he is aparently following VERY closely. Sure, Harry Potter will bring in the kids. A lot of kids. And more than probably a few adults also! But look at the absolute coolness of the bad guys in "The Fellowship of the Ring" - Sauron (in flashback to a battle in the second age) Saruman, Black Riders, Orcs, Uruk-Hai, Lurtz (possibly Bobba Fett cool), The Cave Troll, The Watcher, Gollum, the Nazgul, The Balrog...and that's just the first film.

  • July 11, 2001, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see both

    by kiki370

    I for one am excited to see both LOTR and HP...thanks for the sneak peek Walkabout! For anyone who hasn't read the books you should take the time to check them out. As an adult, I really enjoyed them and am psyched to see the film!

  • July 11, 2001, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Mr. Biege

    by Jaka

    HAHAAHAAHAAHAHAA!! You speak of what you do not know. Which is GREAT! Don't go to the movie. Don't read the books. Keep on having a negative opinion on something that has grabbed the imagination of poeple all over the world. People of both sexes, all ages, and all races. These books will be talked about forever. But the best part to me, is that hundreds of millions of people have read these books (don't think sales alone tell you whose read them-I borrowed all four)and yet there are still people like you that make me feel I'm in a special club because I know what magic lies in those pages. I WILL be seeing this movie.

  • July 11, 2001, 7:43 a.m. CST


    by Jaka

    more HAHAHHAHAHAAA! What the hell are you talking about? If there where books like this when I was a child I would be a better person today. And that is the truth. I personally do not believe that you have read one page of a Harry Potter book.

  • July 11, 2001, 7:59 a.m. CST

    HP not 'epic'?

    by sixot

    You have no idea, if you've not read the books! There are so many similarities between HP and SW, it take be too long to list them all here. They are both a hero's journey ('Star Wars: the Magic of Myth' best explains this, and many similarities can be found). To start, both Harry and Luke live with their Aunt and Uncle (yes, I know Owen and Beru were not Luke's real Aunt and Uncle). Whereas Luke's guardians had to die for Luke to accept his journey, Harry has guardians so horrible you wouldn't wish them on your worst enemy. They both suffer terrible loss and pain (i.e. Luke loses his hand, Harry loses the bones in his arm). They both don't think they can live up to what is expected of them, though they are both very powerful. They both have a power-hungry evil menace to overcome (Harry has yet to defeat his, but he's survived many dangerous encounters with his). I could easily go on, but I'll stop there. I just know that it'll will take 7 HP stories to accomplish what SW did in three. And where GoF has ended shows that the story is going to become darker and scarier, very much so the ESB part of the series. Do not dicredit HP as a kiddy story. Just because it's popular, doesn't mean it's crap. Could it be that it's popular because it's actually good? Hell yeah! Look what it was like when SW came out, and it's still a beloved story by millions. Will theatres have to run HP 24hrs. like they did ANH and TPM? It could be a possiblity.

  • July 11, 2001, 8:11 a.m. CST

    harry potter trailer

    by tongxinglian

    Hey, as for this argument about LOTR vs HP, my two cents is that if LOTR is promoted well, then it would do great. HP has the advantage of being the "current worldwide phenomenom." I'm not sure about HP, but from what I've seen, a lot of work has been put into LOTR, and it would be a shame if it didn't do well. Some actors are sounding like potential superstars in there (one of them, I forget the name, who would carry his swords around for months to get used to it). Anyway, I think that's the point of a lot of talkbackers: lots o work is apparent in LOTR. As for the Harry Potter trailer, the first time it came out, I was pretty impressed. It showed some nice teasers, like Hermione levitating a feather and kids screaming, and the letter. But the most recent one, sort of left me going, ehh. They showed Hagrid a little more, the professors, broomstick stuff, and a staircase moving (and oh yeah, a chessboard, that was kinda neat tho). The scope just didn't seem like what I thought it would be. (The broomstick looked sorta plain - it's supposed to be top of the line from the book, and the stairway also seemed plain - i thought there were more spirals and illusions, with a more surreal look > at least this is what I got from reading the books). But maybe this is on purpose so as to not give a lot away. For HP to be successful, the movie has to try to capture that "surrealness" the books evoked. That's one reason Haley Joel Osment passed on the Harry Potter role (aside from not being British or whatever else dynamics, Steven Spielberg, etc etc). Ahh, whatever, wait and see.

  • July 11, 2001, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Re: Jaka

    by Mr. Biege

    HAHAAHAAHAAHAHAAHAA!! Actually, I speak of what I do know! Because I was speaking only of the trailer for this MOVIE. Not book. MOVIE. As I have neither read the books nor seen the movie, I can only comment on how they are selling their story in the current trailer. It was THIS TRAILER that formed my negative opinion, because it was mediocre and lame... It makes it look like some "get your toy with your happy meal" kind of movie and based on the discussions about the depth of this fable type book and the supreme cast of talent involved, I was expecting MUCH more than that. Hopefully this is a case of a poorly cut trailer that fails to capture or sell the film. It's not like we haven't seen plenty of those. So... Jaka, try some decaf. I'm glad you enjoy the books and I hope the movie works out. Rickman and Harris might be enough to get me there no matter how it turns out.

  • July 11, 2001, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Box office

    by mjbok1

    If I had to hazard a guess I would say that HP will probably make about 220, and LOTR will make 175. Those would be domestic grosses, and I would bet that neither tops 400. Every now and then some film comes along and people state 'I know this will shatter Titanic's record.' Not gonna happen. I seriously doubt if the combined gross of the three LOTR movies will top Titanic's take. If you look at it logically, there are only two films that have grossed over 400 million in their initial release. Those being TPM and Titanic. Yet people still say that TPM bombed. I'll never understand that. Maybe the film sucked, but it didn't bomb. Someone mentioned Pearl Harbor bombing. That film will approach, if not break, the 200 million mark. Once again not judging the quality of the film, just the money it generates. HP is much more of a cultural phenomenon than LOTR is today's world. Yes, LOTR is a popular book series historically, but it is not today's big thing which is what matters at the box office. I think HP will attract many more passive movie-goers than LOTR which accounts for the difference in my predicted takes. And thanks to the jerkwad who said what happens at the end of first LOTR book, which means I don't have to go see it now.

  • July 11, 2001, 8:46 a.m. CST


    by tongxinglian

    Everyone has their own opinions about HP. I will admit that using the word "surreal" for HP isn't so appropriate, I really meant "evoking" or "imaginative." I sort of disagree with an above poster, but this is just my opinion. HP reminds me most of Roald Dahl, which is sort of a pseudo world, ie in Matilda and HP, the kid gets treated like a son of a bitch, and there's are lots of "distinct" personalities like that which make it so interesting. That's just how I see it, though.

  • July 11, 2001, 8:52 a.m. CST

    btw, 855..

    by tongxinglian

    I look at your posts, and I agree with a lot of what you said. If it seems like what I wrote is "off," it's probably because of miswording. HP world is "real," but in my mind, in an evocatively created world (or "pseudo world"). I don't think we're on different wavelengths, I hope. End of discussion here, on my part.

  • July 11, 2001, 9:12 a.m. CST

    HP the new star wars. no.

    by Kizeesh

    Potter simply does not have the breadth of action and events which will give rise to a star wars style endurement and following. I personally believe it will do amazingly, and I honestly cannot decide upon which will do better, HP or Lotr. Star wars appeal relies upon these factors. Fun story varied characters great villans large scale action sequences i.e. lightsabre duels, space battles and troop battles/gunfights. HP has the fun story and to some extent varied characters. however in Philosopher's stone, there are not exactly many of what you would call action sequences. the ending yes, but even that fizzles out (I won't spoil it) the quidditch match could be seen as such but other than that its a lot of them hanging around the school.

  • July 11, 2001, 9:35 a.m. CST

    viva Harry Potter!

    by nverman

    The influence this book series has had on my children has been enormous. When the first book came out my first son was too young to know how to read, so I would read a chapter of it to him every night. By the time we moved on to the third in the series, he was reading it to ME every night. We are now on the fourth book (it will take a while to read through that beast of a book) and my eldest son reads as many pages as he can to his little brother and myself every night. He is just as excited to see the film treatment of the book as I am, and I can only hope (as an American) that they keep all of the British attitude and colloquialisms that were in the book intact. This story is nothing, if not British (having a few very humorous friends living in the British Isles). I have to admit, hearing Terry Gilliam could have directed this has made me worry that Chris Columbus may not have been the best choice, but (as another Talk Back'er put it) if he does film this book through his Goonies/Gremlins/Young Sherlock Holmes lens he should pull it off, and if the second trailer is any indication it looks as if he has.

  • July 11, 2001, 9:38 a.m. CST

    I agree with llyr

    by Hawq

    Llyr's comments sound right on with my opinions about LOTR vs. Titanic revenue, cool LOTR bad guys, and faith in Peter Jackson's vision based partly upon the Cannes fervor. I haven't read any Harry Potter, but plan to as soon as I finish LOTR (again). While reading LOTR this time, I find myself envisioning everything with the actors from the movie. Some people think it will be a bad thing to have their own vision replaced by a film, but I think PJ's casting is so on the money, that it only enhances the experience. Think about it, do readers have a picture in their minds of EXACTLY what all the characters look like when they read a book? I think it's better to put a real face on the character. (I watched The Matrix last night and saw Elrond every time Hugo Weaving took of his sunglasses.) Sorry for using HP talkback for LOTR, but I'm too excited about it to not talk about it every chance I get. I hope they both get it right. I'll be seeing both movies, but I'm pretty sure I'll be going back to the theatre at least three or four times to see Fellowship of the Ring. Not only for my own pleasure, but I want to support and thank the producers, and do everything I can to help ensure they will put the proper resources into the final two films.

  • July 11, 2001, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Did I miss something?

    by mondoz2

    What does LOTR have to do with HP at all? Who cares which one makes more money? Do you get any of it? You're not allowed to like both?

  • July 11, 2001, 9:57 a.m. CST

    As Hostilities Escalate Between HARRY POTTER & LOTR Fans, True L

    by Buzz Maverik

    This is a war that most people in my country don't even want! When you've got little LOTR fan school children having dog dootie thrown at them on the way to school, I'd say it's time for the Bush administration to step in! Random incidents: HARRY POTTER talkbacker "Muggle D." was cruelly locked in a men's room stall for 16 days with nothing to read but Professor T.'s trilogy. For retaliation, a gang of H.P. talkbackers captured LOTR talkbackers Li'l Gollum, Entwhistle and Johnny Orc, nailed their feet to the floor of The Mad Tea Party Children's Book Shoppe in San Berdoo and put up a sign that said "Book Signing by J.K. Rowling, Author of HARRY POTTER & THE ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS". These were the first casualities in the war. It's gotten down to drive by shootings with LOTR fans in vehicles they call things like Shadowfax and Sting and Potter fans travelling on scooters and calling themselves Quiddich teams. A SIDE NOTE: APOLOGIES TO THE FIGHTING PAIR (Shelob Stan & Hermione's Period)who stumbled into the mystery section where I was looking at FLASHFIRE by Richard Stark; I was a little rough when I kicked their asses. Then, as I was coming out of the science fiction section with a copy of Alfred Bester's THE STAR MY DESTINATION, I was motioned into the magazines by a pair of late adolescents. I recognized the boy as LOTR fan called Strider/Aragorn and the girl as Anything Bean. They had fallen in love. Naturally, the groups they belonged to disapproved of the match. I tried to show them that this was not unprecedented but since neither J.R.R. Tolkien or J.R.R. Rowling had written ROMEO & JULIET, they wouldn't look at the play. I was going to show them WEST SIDE STORY but it wasn't directed by Peter Jackson or Chris Columbus. They didn't even want to was the Leo DiCapprio/Clare Danes ROMEO & JULIET. So I knocked their heads together, stole their wallets and bought myself a copy of DARKER THAN YOU THINK.

  • July 11, 2001, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Too old to like Harry Potter

    by nverman

    I think not!!! For the Talk Back'er who stated that Harry Potter is only for those still wearing Pokemon underoos (admittedly my seven year-old has a pair) I submit to you the following evidence to the contrary: my 32 year-old sister, a college history professor, has avidly read all four books, my 21 year old girl friend has the series lovingly displayed on her living room bookshelf, and one of my college Professors (an instructor of the Spanish language) has a sign that reads: No Muggles Allowed! on his office door. This, like Tolkien's great works, is a series for the masses, and as such will prosper at the box office in very much the same manner as the LOTR film. No competition for my attention here, I will be seeing both films, their first week at the theaters, and it will be a good winter indeed!

  • July 11, 2001, 10:13 a.m. CST


    by Grindylows

    I have been reading through some of these, and I really don't understand. LOTR and HP are 2 completely different films/book series. It's not really fair to compare one with the other. I have read both, and they are both excellent. And, yes, they are different. Some of you say that HP will not be as big as Star Wars because of this and this...because of what adults "go for." Why can't adults and kids alike go for HP because of something entirely different? Personally, I love HP and I can't wait for the movie. I don't care how great the movie is or how bad it flops, I will still always cherish these books. No movie could ever ruin such a brilliantly written series.

  • July 11, 2001, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings!?!?

    by Halloween68

    So, hey, here's my 3 dollars and some change on the subject. I see little bits of truth in what every one of you has to say. I've read both, and I love both. Which do I prefer, I'll wait and tell you later if you can't guess. First off, I really don't think there is a need for a competition here. I wish both the film series all the best. I think HP is a current literary phenomenon, and therefore has its success pretty much guaranteed. I don't know how much money it will make, but I'm betting it will hit somewhere close to Shrek's mark. Will that be higher than Titanic. Could be. Shrek is still going, although it has slowed considerably. It's still rising internationally though. Mark my words here though, for those concerned with Titanic's numbers, considering how much money is being dolled out by the average movie goer coupled with the rising cost of going to see a film and including the amount of success the average blockbuster takes in these days, it's only a matter of time before the ship really sinks (pun intended). I don't know if Harry will do it, but I bet it falls within the next couple of yrs. As for Lord of the Rings, I think the movie will actually feed off of HP. Who's to say how the public will react if Harry Potter ends up stinking. It could lessen the interest in the Rings or it could bolster the interest. The conclusion of HP helping the Rings success opinion comes simply from literary sales over the past 5 yrs or so. There was a boost in LOTR sales when the Potter books found fame. What's to say it won't be the same with the films. Someone said that LOTR fans are all dead because the book is so old. That I don't agree with. That person does not take into account the level of devosion those books have instilled in the reading public. This devosion has been passed from generation to generation. Rings might not be as fresh and original to the public as it was in say the 60's, but the love and inspiration given to and taken from these books has evolved for going on 5 decades now. Many have dubbed it the book of the century. You can't say that it's a passing fancy. We don't know how long Potter fever will last, but it more than likely won't attain the same literary success. As for how successful, the Rings will be at the box office as a film, one talkbacker likened the film to the Empire Strikes Back in that the better darker films usually don't attain the same success as the more light-hearted happy go lucky blockbuster films do. You know there is a spark of truth in that. Certain movie audiences are either turned off by the whole dark aspect of the film or they are restricted by their youth. I don't think rings will be affected by the second though, seeing as the film will be PG13. How many parents do you know who refuse their kids the rights to see PG13 movies? I went and saw Kiss of the Dragon this weekend. There were babies crying. I really don't think age restriction will be an issue here. Hell, it might even convince some of the younger audiences to come and see it because of the possibility of violence and bloodshed in it. Do I think that FOTR will do as well as HP when all is said and done? Yes, when we're talking promotional sales, worldwide distribution, and tape rentals. No, when we're talking domestic gross. Here's a big point, Fellowship is part of a trilogy. If the first movie is as good as the hype, the second and third movie will be hugely successful. We're talking word of mouth, video tape rentals, and another year and two of promotional schemes. In three years, if you want to compare the total success of the two film series, LOTR will be much more successful. But who knows, maybe they'll make, what is it, all 6 or 7 books of the Potter franchise into movies. Then you've got Potter on top, unless they become way over budget. New Line did a great thing by filming all three Rings films at the same time, budget success wise. Anyways, sorry about the length of all of this, just wanted to insert some logic out there. I think both will be far more successful than anything else represented this year (save again Shrek). That's the ticket too. It's about time fantasy stepped up to the podium. Someone said that LOTR fans are too defensive. Well so are HP fans. If they weren't we wouldn't be having these conversations. Someone brought it up and this is a talkback, so people are talking back. Big deal. Again, I hope both films do wonderful, and I hope they are both brilliant works of art. Which do I prefer? I've always held a special place in my heart for Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings will never falter as a brilliant work by a brilliant mind. I can't wait to November though, because I will see both. (Rings I'll see numerous times I bet you). SORRY ABOUT THE LENGTH!

  • July 11, 2001, 10:23 a.m. CST

    It comes down to the love

    by Mr Sparkle

    Quite simply, the LOTR cast and crew has invested more of their energies and efforts than any other production in recent memory, including HP. Many have spent years of their lives bringing this project to maturation, and their devotion to realizing that vision is unparalleled. HP relies on a solid foundation of story and characters, but does anyone really think that the team assembled on that project is as personally invested as Jackson's? To me, HP has great potential to be a successful, well-made picture, but it simply cannot compare to the talent and heart that lies at the center of LOTR's creative team. I believe that while HP will translate to screen as an entertaining, faithful rendition of the book, LOTR will stand on its own as cinematic art. (Damn I sound pretentious. Sorry)

  • July 11, 2001, 10:39 a.m. CST

    This is a FAKE

    by Veg-o-matic

    This "review" give absolutely no details that anyone who has done the most miminal research doesn't know. If you saw the print, tell us about it, otherwise, why bother to post at all. The O.T.T. gushing makes it seem even less credible.

  • July 11, 2001, 11:02 a.m. CST


    by neef

    Harry Potter is ripped off Terry Pratchett, the worst witch, pythonesque humour and is basically nothing new. LOTR is ripped off countless ancient myths and legends from various cultures. Every new cultural craze comes from the amalgamation of influences from the past, sifting out the best bits, refining the material. Look at Tarantino, Star Wars, Matrix,etc. Even in music: the Beatles merely used an acute knowledge of what had already been done in order to create something new, and kurt cobain always said he was just ripping off the pixies. these books are not original,but share a lot of themes. however, LOTR is an epic, whereas potter seems like episodes in a tv show. Chapters in a story. We have all the chapters of LOTR, maybe we should wait till the end of the harry potter saga before we judge it?

  • July 11, 2001, 11:04 a.m. CST


    by Buzz Maverik

    The village was deathly silent. It stank of fandom, of shallow and self-limited experience. When I saw the dog trot by with a copy of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY in its' jaws, I decided I was just passing through. That's when the 9 Figures In Black Cloaks ran past shouting, "Nazgul! Nazgul!" One of them punctured my flask and the last of my tequila dripped down my leg. Suddenly, I changed my mind. Suddenly, I decided to stick around awhile. The guy at the liquor store said it would take 9 days to get me a replacement flask and suggested that I "bes' jes' move on down the road..." I told him I wasn't going anywhere, except to find 9 assholes in black cloaks. Out on the street, I sliced through them quicker than you could say "James Clavell". I knew I had to throw in with the HARRY POTTER bunch at the other end of town for awhile. That didn't last. As I moved up through their ranks, I was seated next to J.K. Rowling at a dinner party one night and caused a scandal when I pawed her thigh. By then, the LOTR gang was glad to have me on their side...that is until I needed a light for my cigar and struck a match on Professor T.'s chin, reminding everyone he was dead. I played them back and forth for a while. You've seen A FIST FULL OF DOLLARS (wait, maybe you haven't since it wasn't HARRY POTTER & A FIST FULL OF DOLLARS or A FIST FULL OF HOBBITS). Fewer of you have seen Kurosawa's film, and fewer still have read Dashiell Hammet's RED HARVEST. In the end, before I put the lights out on head Potter fan Howlin' Hogwarth and head LOTR fan Shire Sire, they asked me, "Why?" Why hadn't I just left? "I came to avenge two deaths," I said. They asked me who had died. And I whispered back, "Critical thinking and open mindedness."

  • July 11, 2001, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Harry Got'er with His Sorcerer's Bone

    by KazamaSmokers

    ...Just so when the x-rated parody comes out, I can say I thought of the title first.

  • July 11, 2001, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Hey KevinPhilipsBong. . .

    by Lance Turk

    In response to your first grade level post, you obviously didn't read more than that first half of the sentence. I finished the thought by saying that all of those beloved elements that you pointed out, will probably not be included in the movie. Can you seriously envision a time out being called every five minutes to explain the history of a certain segment of the dwarf population? Or to have Frodo and gang break into poetic song every other scene just because that's what the fans of the books love so much about it? Hell no. So what is left over that you will enjoy so much that you will go back and see it 5 times?

  • July 11, 2001, 12:54 p.m. CST


    by JonQuixote

    Fuckin' hilarious. Leave it to Maverik to be the last man standing.

  • July 11, 2001, 1:22 p.m. CST

    To the nonbeleivers...

    by Halloween68

    You know, some people seem to think that LOTR will no way make a good transition to screen. One guy said without the history and songs what will you have left? Well in answer to that: While all of that is definately part of Tolkien's story, it is in no way what makes LOTR so enjoyable by so many. Not alone anyway. You ask what do you have once you get rid of the songs and histories. How about the story?!?! The story and the characters and full magnificent descriptions is what got me so enthralled in LOTR for the first time. As a matter of fact, it's the History's and songs that make it so hard for most people to get through the books for the first time. While that is a shame, it is understandable. I enjoyed it all the first time around, but after the second and third time I read the book, I became most fond and interested in all the songs and histories, especially after reading the Silmarillion. But my point here is that the songs and histories is not what makes the books. It's only a small part of it. There is so much involved in the trilogy. It encompasses sooo much. They can easily make these movies on visual and plot appeal alone. Especially since that is what will most likely appeal to most the viewing public anyway. Most of the histories were a favorite past-time of Tolkiens. They were mostly meant to tie in to the Sil and the Elder stories anyway. I think they are important part of what middle earth is but they are not all that relevant to the plot as far as the movie goes. And as for the songs, I'll bet a lot of them make them to the movie. Even if they don't, in the book they were meant to capture atmosphere, mood, and character appeal. In the movies you have different devices for doing that. AND TO THE ONE PERSON WHO SAID THEY SAW A ROUGH CUT OF THE MOVIE ALREADY... I DONT MEAN TO BE RUDE, BUT BULLSHIT. UNLESS YOU ARE PJ, THE PRODUCER - OSBOURNE, OR THE NEW LINE PRESIDENT, THERE'S NO WAY YOU COULD'VE SEEN ANYTHING YET. NONE OF THE ACTORS IN THE FILM HAVE EVEN SEEN ANYTHING YET, EXCEPT BITS AND SNIPPETS OF UNFINISHED WORK. AND THE POST-PRODUCTION TEAM IS DOING THINGS FRAME BY FRAME, SO NO ONE'S SEEING ANYTHING FINAL, OR IN DRAFT YET EXCEPT THE ORIGINAL THREE I'VE MENTIONED. SO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE TRYING TO INTERJECT SOME HORSE CRAP NEXT TIME. AND THIS IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE TOO. SO YOUR ARGUMENTS WILL AMOUNT TO ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE WORTH. JUST WANTED TO GIVE YOU A HEADS UP.

  • July 11, 2001, 2:14 p.m. CST

    I actually think LOTR might make a better movie than book

    by JonQuixote

    I wasn't a big fan of LOTR, but this summer I decided that I needed to give the books another chance. So I picked up Fellowship, and, while I liked it better than I did the first time, it still didn't capture me the way it seems to capture a lot of its die-hard fans. I thought about it a lot, and came to two conclusions, which don't reflect on the quality of the books, so much as they do my personal tastes. One is that the books are very wordy - almost to a Victorian degree. The language is beautiful, but a little much...often I found myself skipping passages that go on for pages about the journey. The second is that Tolkein takes himself very seriously - too seriously for my liking. He really inhabited the world he lived in; unfortunately, I just couldn't get there with him. Those problems aside, I really enjoyed the book: characters, story, plot, land, all were phenomenal and fascinating. So what I had in front of me was a phenomenal and fascinating book that was also wordy and, for me, overcomplex. Of course, in a translation to screen, those problems will probably disappear, leaving a visually breathtaking, and engrossing movie. At least, so I hope. *** Harry Potter, on the other hand, reads a lot like a screenplay. Visuals, dialogue, action, visuals, dialogue, action. Columbus would have to be a complete waste of flesh to screw it up. Unfortunately, Columbus has not yet proven that he isn't a complete waste of flesh, but hopefully he'll pull it off. Or, at least, the quality supporting cast assembled around him will force him to.

  • July 11, 2001, 3:10 p.m. CST

    His Dark Materials

    by ZombieChrist

    Anyone interested in fantasy should read Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Kick ass stuff.

  • July 11, 2001, 4:41 p.m. CST

    CeriStagg: If the only people who see Harry Potter are the ones

    by Blue Devil

    Harry Potter has to appeal to a much wider audience than the book- that's the only way WB can even hope to break even. Thus, my comments. From the POV of someone who hasn't read the book, the trailer was terrible and did nothing to enthuse me about the film. It even mislead me as to who the villain might be (I still have no idea) or what the story is about (again, I have no idea). The only thing the trailer did was appeal to those who know the story and have read the book. Well, if WB only wants to make about $70-80 million on this flick, that's fine by me (they're the ones getting the pink slips). Personally, like I said before, if this is the best they can do- this film will be pushed back.

  • July 11, 2001, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Blue Devil

    by JonQuixote

    If the trailer mislead you as to who the villain would be, then it did a damn good job. Harry Potter books are mysteries, first and foremost, and very tricky ones at that.*** As for your economic projections, since the Harry Potter series has sold over 100 million copies, worldwide, it's pretty safe to say that at least a fifth of that was the first book. Now, assuming each copy is read by more than one person, which is a fair assumption, that makes saying the first novel has been read by 25 million people almost an assurance. At an average ticket price of, say $6 a ticket, would mean that the theatrical release of Harry Potter 1 would earn about 150 million dollars. Not a huge hit, but one that covers the budget and distribution. Of course, there's also television, rentals, and merchandising to factor if the only people who see the movie are people who read the book, the film will still probably make a tidy, if disappointing, profit. Of course, we both know that a large portion of the moviegoing audience will not have read the book, which makes this conversation moot, and gives Warner Brothers the closest thing to a surefire hit that doesn't come with lightsabres.

  • July 11, 2001, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Not that it matters...

    by JonQuixote

    I just wanted to say that I respect Richard Harris as an actor. He sounds kind of like a shit in person, but I respect him as an actor. And I'm sure he makes a fabulous Dumbledore. But I think the casting directors were smoking some heavy shit if they didn't realize that Peter O'Toole was far and away the best choice for the role. Pity.

  • July 11, 2001, 7:22 p.m. CST

    A quote from IMDB

    by The Auror

    Now, I am not saying this is a definitive quote that must be 100% accurate. I would just like to show all of these people who say that Potter is an empty threat, how it is seen by other publications. The IMDB while reporting on how a Harry Potter painting was just sold for $122,000, says this in conclusion: "A movie version of the book is arguably the most anticipated film of the year. " I think many LOTR fans and AICN geeks have the assumption that LOTR is without a doubt the most anticipated film of the year, with their backup being those reports on the trailer downloads and website hits etc. Well I think this quote shows that LOTR hype may not be as big as it seems to the AICN geeks and such. I really dont think it is. Again, I only believe that this quote proves that other sources don't outright accept LOTR as the biggest contender of the year, they didn't even mention it. I am not saying that this is a definitive and holy source in anyway, just interesting to note.

  • July 11, 2001, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Face it.

    by Sneako

    Harry Potter might actually live up to this hype, to this greatness, that it has been decribed before. If it was a fad, then no one here would sincerely care about whatever praise it recieved. Unlike fads such as POKEMON, POWER RANGERS, AND TICKLE-ME ELMO, Harry Potter is a phenomenon. And it deserves to be. If no one cared about such a "fad", why would they keep comparing it to the likes of a "classic" such as LOTR. Why would they keep bashing it, and during the bashing, put a little LOTR plug right in with it? Hypocrites. Okay, if POTTER bombs and LOTR proves to be what most of you make it out to be, then well, I will be proved wrong. And I will accept that. But the question is,if Potter is wonderful, will you do the same? Or will you just continue being ignorant, and state blantantly it's a fluke? Probably. I just hope that they'll both be good on their own right. And we'll all stop bickering.

  • July 11, 2001, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Chill out Halloween68

    by Diabolo42

    Seriously, if you couldn't tell that the guy who said he saw a workprint of LOTR was being sarcastic, you seriously need to turn your brain on when reading. Anyone who says that ANY movie makes Battlefield Earth look good has GOT to be kidding around. And if that didn't tip you off, his mentioning of having seen a workprint of Episode 2 should have clocked you in the head. Calm down, buddy. No need to go off on the guy like a freaking psychotic. Oh, and Buzz Maverick: You are the man. Funny, funny, stuff.

  • July 11, 2001, 10:41 p.m. CST

    I Remember My Days At Magic School.

    by Buzz Maverik

    I kept getting called into Crowley's office and always had to explain to him that I "don't swing that way" and recommend that he find a dude at the Turkish bath like he always did. Then, we'd smoke some opium and he'd send me back to class. If it was La Vey's chaos magick class, I had to be careful because he really had it in for me because I'd always make wisecracks about his friends Sammy Davis Jr. and Jayne Mansfield. My favorite class was art with Spare. He would have loved his appearance in the latest issue of Alan Moore's PROMETHA -- say what you want about Crowley, but Spare could MAKE IT RAIN! You had to be on your toes in Parsons Chemistry class because he'd switch from magick to rocket science without warning and he often blew his stack (ha! ha!). Of course there was always a long waiting list for Ms. Cameron's Sex Magick Ed class -- Crowley also taught it, but like I said, I don't swing that way. I also have fond memories of being a t.a. in Doc Dee's Dead Languages class.

  • July 12, 2001, 12:57 a.m. CST

    I'll bet that you sat right next to...

    by Huneybee

    Jimmy Page in good old Al's class, huh? I heard about you two little ruffians and that spell you placed on the inflatable doll.

  • July 12, 2001, 5:09 a.m. CST

    avanlox- Did you forget to mention that you are captain of the c

    by Dark Predator

    No offense, and I'm not encouraging teenagers to drink... KIDS DON'T DRINK TILL YOU'RE 21!...But no teenagers are going to say "Hey _________ (dude, man, wizard, or whatever other slang you use), it's Friday night, let's go and watch that _________ (awesome, radical, narly, wizard, or whatever adjective slang you use) Harry Potter flick again. It is so _________ (dope, badass, wizard)." Somebody that said that would get laughed at and labled a ________ (dweeb, geek, nerd, wizard) right away and might as well forget getting laid till they are 35. Ooops. KIDS, SAVE SEX FOR MARRIAGE! (I'm serious.) I mean, admit it, teenagers (and I admit I am no longer in that age group, not by a long shot) are the movie makers gods... they are too young to get into clubs, bars, etc. but old enough to drive. Where else are they going to go on a Friday night? Bowling? Roller rink?

  • July 12, 2001, 6:10 a.m. CST

    Potter books are just...

    by StooKieBill

    ... a ripoff of Enid Blyton's classic books. Same concept, with a sorcery background. Isn't anyone here old enough to have read one of Blyton's books and see the similarity? Sheesh!

  • July 12, 2001, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Similarity between children's novels? Oh no.

    by JonQuixote

    I'm reading this book by L. Frank Baum, about a little girl who gets transported to this magical otherworld called Oz, meets this assortment of odd characters, and confronts an evil matriarch while trying to get back home. And I'm like "Jesufuck, this is a BLATANT rip off of Alice in Wonderland." So it must be shit, right? *** One of the things about children's literature is that it is characterized by sameness, that is, revisitations and variations upon similar themes. One of the cool things about Harry Potter is that it doesn't just honor this sameness, but plays with it, revises it. Bastions of children's literature, like didacticism, traditional depictions of good and evil, exaggerated characterisation, are often ignored, or flipped around. This is unusual, as is the notion that she doesn't just do this to the genre of Children's fantasy, but also works in the English-school novel, the sports novel, a lot of Dickens, and, most importantly, the mystery novel (adult, not children's).*** Nevertheless, there's always some moron who reads the basic premise and screams "Waitaminute...this is just a rip-off of Gaiman, or whoever." Well, it also "rips-off" Baum, Dahl, Carroll, Hodgson Burnett, Dickens, and a host of others. Did it ever occur to you that, when you write a novel that is steeped in (and opposed to) Literary tradition, there are going to be similarities to other novels also steeped in that same tradition?

  • July 12, 2001, 7:41 a.m. CST

    I don't get it

    by Vic1138

    Why is it that people on TalkBack can completely tear down movies they haven't even seen, yet also praise them? For instance I found the Harry Potter books to be good, will the film be good? I don't know. The LOTR books, also good, even classics, BUT just as they could screw Harry Potter up they could do the same to LOTR. So I don't see why almost everyone around here is praising a trilogy that doesn't even begin until December and acting like it's the next Citizen Kane.

  • July 12, 2001, 8:12 a.m. CST

    LoTR & Potter

    by Chocky

    This inter-geek warfare is getting us nowhere, folks. We all know that we're all going to both these movies plus the next Star Wars (yes you are, you know you are!) If you aren't, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? The Geek Board is going to revoke your Royal Geek Status. Now roll an 8-sided die. Roll of 1, read First Harry Potter. 2 - Second Harry Potter. 3 - Third Harry Potter. 4 - Fourth Harry Potter. 5 - Fellowhsip of the Ring. 6 - Two Towers. 7 - Return of the King. 8- sorry, you have to read the Silmarillion! --Chocky, a very royal geek p.s. how come no one ever made a movie out of the "Dark is Rising" series by Susan Cooper? p.p.s. I read the first two "Dark Materials" books by Pullman. Ehh. Not in the same league as the above named series.

  • July 12, 2001, 9:17 a.m. CST

    The Professer and the Plagiarist.....Question, Why was my articl

    by Gandalf The Grey

    Anyway, I posted this the other day, and it was removed, so I am a little annoyed, so I am going to post it so you may read it, I have a sneeking suspicion that Time Warner may be influencing Good 'Arry ere though I suppose a lot worse has been said, though not quite as harmful. anywayz ere goes..........................................................................................................................................................................'COPY' POTTER AUTHOR JK SUED By MARK BOWNESS HARRY POTTER author JK Rowling is being sued by a writer who claims the kids' hero is based on her character LARRY Potter. American Nancy Stouffer says Rowling stole ideas and names for her books from her 1984 magical tale, The Legend Of Rah And The Muggles. And there ARE other amazing similarities between it and JK's series of books, which started in 1997 with Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone. In the Harry stories Muggles are what wizards call humans. In Nancy's, Muggles are people who care for two orphans. In JK's series there is a character called Lilly Potter, the dead mother of Harry. Nancy also has a character called Lilly Potter. The Harry Potter series features a Keeper Of The Keys. The Legend Of Rah And Muggles has characters called Keepers Of The Gardens. Harry Potter rides a broomstick called Nimbus. In The Legend Of Rah And Muggles there is a character called Nimbus who rides through the air on a horse. JK's novels have a character called Neville. Nancy names lost Muggles Nevils. Nancy, 50, says: "I think coincidences happen, but I still say if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck ... it's a duck." Her book centres around little people in the Land Of Aura who care for two orphan boys, Rah and Zyn. The youngsters' arrival magically transforms the war-ravaged land into a place of sunshine and happiness. The similarities between the books were pointed out to Nancy by a friend. She was appalled when she tried to get The Legend Of Rah And The Muggles republished in 1998. She was turned down by publishers who told her it was likely to be confused with the Harry Potter books. Nancy claims JK, 35, may have come across her book while she was on a work study exchange in Baltimore in 1987-1988. The Legend Of Rah And Muggles was a big enough hit in America for a range of of Muggles spin-offs such as dolls and fridge magnets. Her publisher even promoted them on Oprah Winfrey's talk show. But JK, who wrote her first book in coffee shops while she was an unemployed single mum, insists SHE invented the word "muggles". The writer, now worth

  • July 12, 2001, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Another Series that I would like to see made to film

    by Gandalf The Grey

    is the Death Gate Series (has any1 else read it??) It is a 7 book series that focuses on a character called Haplo, a Patryn. Written by Margaret Weiss and Hugh Hickman, I reckon this could be made in a fashion similiar to Final Fantasy (although, considering that has taken 4 years to make 1 film, that is unlikely) although I am sure that it would be a great film. Anything else that should be made to film?

  • July 12, 2001, 9:35 a.m. CST


    by JonQuixote

    As Sleazy_G pointed out, the reason for the similarity can probably be found in a Carrollesque in-joke. Was Rowling ripping off another author? Actually, considering that Muggles ties in nicely with the name Potter, it's probably a little wacky-tabacky joke that she figured few would ever get. The same probably holds true for this certainly makes more sense than a blatant ripoff. Considering there are few similarities, if any, other than the names, it is also possible that Rowling just liked the aesthetic sound of the names, which is no more plagaristic than me naming a character D'Amour because I like Clive Barker, or Christopher McQuarrie giving his 'heroes' the same names as Butch and Sundance in Way of the Gun. A name is not an idea.

  • July 12, 2001, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Yeah, 1 or 2 similiarities with names, several similiarites incl

    by Gandalf The Grey

    after all, The Death Gate Series, which I enjoyed equally as much as TLOTR, has characters named "The Keeper of the Door, The Keeper of the Souls, and The Keeper of the Book", although, if you read more indept, many other accusations are labelled at JK Rowlings than just Muggles and the name of Harry/ Larry Potter.

  • July 12, 2001, 11:38 a.m. CST


    by JonQuixote

    I'm still unconvinced. The Potter-Muggles thing is pretty close, but the rest of the 'similarities' sound like a stretch. Keeper of the Keys? Not only would that be a character so minor that I can't even place him or her (Gringotts? Triwizard tournament?), but characters like that are found THROUGHOUT fantasy. I can also name the Earthsea series and Ghostbusters as having Key masters. Should they also sue? A character named Neville? In a British novel? It MUST have been cribbed. Rowling does extensive etymological research on her naming (Ron Weasely is based upon and named after a Chinese folktale about a boy with a yellow rat. He dies, btw.) and the characters and their names often have roots in traditional myth and/or fantasy stories, which would explain some similarities (I'm sure we could find characters named Sirius and Remus in other fantasy novels too). The lawsuit may have merit, but only in that the similarities infringe upon the this Larry Potter woman's ability to get her work published. This is quite obviously not a question of plagarism or idea stealing so much as it is copyright infringement. More than likely, Harry Potter is the best thing that ever happened to her woman, as her novels would no doubt have continued their fade into obscurity without Rowling's help.

  • July 12, 2001, 11:43 a.m. CST

    and, once again, a fucked up talkback order will put an end to t

    by JonQuixote

    Keep up the good work, Harry.

  • July 12, 2001, 2:16 p.m. CST

    HP Trailer

    by Richnick1

    For those of you disappointed in the HP Trailer: It's a trailer, do you really want them giving away the entire movie? I think those that have read the books enjoyed the trailer more because they could easily pinpoint each scene (There's McGonagall's chess set! There's the troll the enters the castle during the Halloween feast!) from the book. And for the guy who thought the broom Harry was riding in the trailer was too plain --- duh, it was obviously the scene where Harry and his classmates are first learning to fly on broomsticks and he recovers Neville's Rememberall from Malfoy -- And that, as I'm sure you now recall, was a school broom, not his trusty top-of-the-line Nimbus 2000 which our hero acquires a short time later in the story. (Now I have the longest run-on sentence) As far as Box Office goes I think HP will achieve a domestic gross of $250 - $300. It's too good of a story and too strong of a cast not to be brilliant. Those carping about "the next Star Wars" are way off base. The only thing HP shares with Star Wars (and LOTR for that matter) is their fantasy genre. HP is a character driven story and the three leads are interesting and charming enough to make people care about them. It is not the amount of action or special effects that make a movie successful, it is how much we care about the characters. In SW you had to love Luke, Han and Leia (maybe not Leia so much) and you rooted for them. I don't care how great the special effects were, if those characters had been unappealing then Star Wars bombs and George Lucas goes back and makes American Graphetti II. In the HP books you become very involved with Harry, Ron and Hermione and root for them. That is the heart of the books and if translated well, will be the heart of the movie as well. BTW, for the person who worried that the sequels will not be made before the kids grow-up: Chamber of Secrets is greenlighted and goes into production this fall. If they are smart they will make Prisoner of Azkaban back-to-back with it and then wait a year to make Goblet of Fire and HP book 5. Peace

  • July 12, 2001, 3:10 p.m. CST

    What is with all this competition?

    by Thundergurl33

    I was just wondering what all this competition is between HP and LOTR?!?! I am a huge fan of both and have been faithfully downloading the trailers to both and am so excited about BOTH! I have noticed that the negative feedback is mostly coming from LOTR fans. Like I said, I am a fan of both, and I think that no matter what you do never will EVERYONE like LOTR. As much as I love those books, they are a tough read and a lot of kids that read HP prolly couldn't read LOTR. They are both gonna make a ton of money and hopefully they are both gonna be really good, so why can't we let this competition rest?!?!

  • July 12, 2001, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Somebody brought up The Neverending Story. Great!

    by Sneako

    Neverending Story compared to LOTR. Now THAT'S more of a comparison than Potter and LOTR. I'm just wondering, were people back in 1984 raving mad, about how Neverending Story was supposedly ripping off LOTR? Probably. Geez, we really need to get over this ridiculous argument. By the way, Atreyu would kick Frodo's ass!

  • July 12, 2001, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Ok So some people don't like harry potter

    by Hermione2000

    If u don't like harry potter FINE. But u don't have 2 go critisizing other harry potter fans. For those of u who frankly don't have an imagination, or think that its not cool 2 read or something. Well since these books came out kids READ MORE. So if u have a bad opinion about whatpeople should read, don't critisize the ones who like it.

  • Aug. 10, 2001, 7:46 p.m. CST

    everybody loves Harry!

    by regatti

    EXCUSE ME??? I've heard that the studio is afraid that the kids are not going to sit in a movie theater for more 90, 110 minutes to watch harry potter???? you know what I think??? THEY CAN MAKE MOVIES FOR ALL THE BOOKS. THE 4 OF THEM, AND SHOW AT THE SAME DAY... 2 HOURS LONG EACH ONE... and guess what????? everybody'll want to wear diapers so, they don't need to go to the restroom and miss some part of the movies. :o) and Hermione2000... don't mind about those who don't like harry potter, the movie or the books... if they didn't read them... bad for them. I know what I'm talking about... when I first heard about HP I didn't want to read it, thinking it was "kids' books", you know? Not allowed for someone over 12 like myself. I'm glad I changed my mind! that's the kind of books that are for everybody: moms, dads, kids, cousins, ants, uncles, granparents... Now, my problem... I know... after seeing the movie... I'll want to see the other ones so badly that I'm right now sad just thinking about how long it will take to get at the 4th movie...

  • Aug. 19, 2001, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Please Don't cut the running time

    by trickman

    Look, I read the 4th book out loud to my 3 children for 4 hours straight - they are 10,7, and 5. Not a single one moved, other than occasional bathroom breaks. The children who LOVE this book will be FINE with a long movie. And those are the kids who are going to go see it 3 or 4 times before it leaves the theatre. If it follows the plot and you haven't cut so much that you kill the story. I am also planning on taking my kids to see LOTR - but once. I agree with the other Mom who commented (and I have read LOTR) - it is a bit complicated for younger kids. I am going to try to get my 10 year old to read LOTR before the story comes out... - but this is way too deep from my 7 and 5 year old.

  • Sept. 8, 2001, 9:33 p.m. CST


    by jessigrl

    i wanna c the harry potter movie so bad and the more info i find out about the movie, the more i wanna c it! i so can't wait til november 16 to c it!!!!!!!!!

  • Sept. 8, 2001, 9:48 p.m. CST

    if we can read up to 734 pages that will be more than two days

    by jessigrl

    i thinc warner brother's shouldn't cut the running time of the harry potter movie!!!! it would be so unfair! if we can sit and read a booc that is up to 734 pages long, most of us would be more than a weec to read it!!! so it would be pretty dumb to shorten a movie just because it was about 2 and 1/2 hours long!!! even if we did have to go to the bathroom or something we could always pause the movie!!!! so i hope they don't cut the movie short! i would be soo mad!!! and so would a WHOLE bunch of people, according to all of the talcbacs i have been reading!!! of what i have heard, almost everyone is complaining about maybe cutting off the time! it sucs!!! big time!!! love, jessi