Harry Potter 4

posted in: science fiction 0

One of the things my family did on Thanksgiving was to go see the new Harry Potter movie, Goblet of Fire. I quite enjoyed it—although I found myself thinking of an old episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, in which, during a particularly long sequence of gloomily lit black-and-white scenes (involving some sort of swamp creature) one of the robots turned to the others and said, “We should all get together and buy this movie a light.” That’s kind of how I felt about Goblet of Fire.

The kids enjoyed the movie, but less so than the gr’ups. I’m not sure if it’s because of the increasingly dark character of the films (both literally and figuratively) or because of all the parts that were cut. I may have benefited from not remembering the books very well. When the third movie came out, both girls foamed at the mouth about what an abomination it was—though they later softened to conceding that it was possible to enjoy it if they thought of it just as a movie and not as an adaptation of a book they loved. Still, everyone in my family agrees that—never mind what the critics say—the first two movies were the best.

I’ve been working hard on Sunborn, which is why I haven’t been posting much here lately. If you don’t see me much for a while, that’s probably a good sign.

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  1. tsmacro
    | Reply

    So far i’ve just managed to read book #1 and see movie #1 of the Harry Potter series. Both of which I enjoyed and thought were good, not great, but worth the time I invested at the very least. One of these days i’ll probably have to make this series another one of reading “projects”. Read ’em all together back to back. And then maybe rent the videos of the movies and watch them as well, but at the moment that’s one of those things that’s regualted to “someday”. At the moment I decided to read the first two books (in chronoligical order w/in the universe anyway, not the order written) of the Narnia series before The Lion, Witch & Wardrobe hits theaters. They are short books so i’m already about done. Book number #1 of that series could’ve been called “The creation of the Garden of Eden” and/or “Genesis” *L*. I was a child when I was originally introduced to this series so it’s definitely a new experience looking on them with “adult eyes”.

  2. Harry
    | Reply

    I would rather have a new perspective in a movie adaptation than a pure reproduction to the silver screen but I seem to be in the minority.

    I don’t find Harry Potter to be a very innovative series of books. It seems like the fantasy genre was hidden for a while but is now popular again with Harry and the Hobbit films.

    Good luck with Sunborn! I hope not to see many entries 😉


  3. tsmacro
    | Reply

    Off topic question for you Jeff. I’m reading Eternity’s End at the moment and I notice you named one of the city’s/spaceports “Elmira”. Since I grew up about an hour from Elmira, NY I was wondering if this is the city you named it after. I do know it was the birthplace of Samuel Clemmons. Any connection? Or did you have some other place or reason in mind for using that name? Anyway when you get a break from writing/re-writing/editing Sunborn maybe you could let me know. Thanks! – Marco

  4. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Hi Marco — I guess in a sense I did name that city after Elmira, NY, though not because I know anything about the city. In many drives back and forth between Ohio, where I grew up, and New England, where I’ve lived ever since college, I passed Elmira NY many, many times. As I recall, when I was casting about for a name for the city in Eternity’s End, the name Elmira simply popped into my head. And I used it. For no reason whatsover, except that I liked the sound of it.


  5. Mike
    | Reply

    BTW, Sam Clemmens was born in Missouri, not Elmira. He is buried there though. I had lunch with him a couple months ago at the grave site. It’s quite nice there in the fall.

  6. tsmacro
    | Reply

    Ahhh, ok so he was buried there, not born there then, I knew there was some connection between Samuel Clemmons and Elmira. What I thought I remembered was that he was born there and then moved to Missouri later on and then of course became famous based on his “Mark Twain” books about growing up along the Mississippi. Since you obviously know more about him than me (I was relying on what I thought I remembered from my childhood) do you happen to know why he ended up being buried there? I know he was quite the world traveler. Who knows maybe he was there in the fall like you and was just impressed by his surroundings. I’d have to say upstate NY is particularly impressive during the fall.

  7. tsmacro
    | Reply

    With a little research I found out what Samuel Clemens ties were to Elmira, NY (gotta love the internet!). The below comes from Elmira’s official website:

    Mark Twain: Legendary Storyteller

    In his youth, Samuel Langhorne Clemens adopted the pen name of Mark Twain, picked up from his days on the Mississippi River. The term made reference to measuring the depth of the water to ensure it was deep enough for steamboat passage.

    Mark Twain’s ties to Elmira date back to the 1860s. Twain first met Elmira native Charles J. Langdon on a ship to Egypt and the Holy Land. This meeting spawned a lifelong friendship.

    In 1868, the Langdons invited Twain to their Elmira home, which once stood on the corner of Church and Main Streets. It was here where Mark Twain courted his future wife, Olivia Langdon. Twain fell in love with his young friend’s sister, and on February 2, 1870, Rev. Thomas K. Beecher wed the pair at the Langdon home.

    For many years, the couple divided their time between Hartford, Connecticut and Elmira, New York. No place on earth, however, made Mark Twain happier than the quiet small city of Elmira in the serene Chemung Valley.

    Twain’s sister-in-law Susan Crane, and her husband, Theodore owned a farmhouse on one of Elmira’s many surrounding hills. They called it Quarry Farm. It was here that Mark Twain and Olivia spent their summers for more than 20 years.

    In the summer of 1874, the Cranes presented Twain with a unique octagonal study that sat on a knoll overlooking the valley. In this cozy setting he wrote many of his most famous works including:

    A Tramp Abroad

    Life on the Mississippi

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    The Prince and the Pauper

    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

    At Quarry Farm, Twain worked in his study from early morning until late afternoon, almost never breaking for lunch.

    The author did more than write books in Elmira; he was often seen roaming the streets of the city looking for a billiards game, or someone to chat with.

    One of Twain’s closest friends was the Rev. Thomas K. Beecher, who performed his and Olivia’s wedding ceremony. Twain and Beecher often played billiards in one of the rooms in the Park Church where Beecher was pastor.

    In 1904, Mark Twain’s beloved wife Olivia died in Florence, Italy. He died on April 22, 1910 in Reading, Conn. Twain was laid to rest in the Langdon family plot in Woodlawn Cemetery alongside his wife and children.

    Mark Twain’s presence is still alive today in Elmira. There are several monuments in Woodlawn Cemetery. Mark Twain’s gravesite is accessible to visitors. Quarry Farm which can still be seen from Crane Road, is now owned by Elmira College. It was donated in 1982 as a Center for Mark Twain Studies. Quarry Farm is now an academic facility, reserved as the temporary home for Mark Twain scholars. The Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies hosts a variety of special programs.

    The Mark Twain Study is now located in the heart of Elmira College’s campus. It was given to the college as a gift in 1952. The Study and Mark Twain Exhibit are open daily throughout the summer and contain original photographs of Mark Twain, period furniture, some original to the study, and other memorabilia.

    A statue of Mark Twain stands on the campus, not far from the study. His name is prominent throughout Elmira, including the Clemens Performing Arts Center and Clemens Center Parkway.
    >more on the Center for Mark Twain Studies
    >display a map to the Elmira College Campus
    >more from the Center for Mark Twain Studies

    Mark Twain and the Mark Twain Study are also featured on the Welcome sign at the entrance to the City at Interstate 86 and Church Street.

  8. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Don’t be such a freaking Muggle!

    The books are amazing…the movies are pretty cool. I’m almost 30 and still like them anyway. My wife loves the movies…if only I could get her to read the damn books.

  9. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    I guess my choice of Elmira for a city name was better than I realized!

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