Open Thread for November 19, 2010

When the frost begins to turn, there’s an Open Thread to learn. Biggest news this weekend is the premiere of the first part of the last installment of the Harry Potter film series. At a breezy two hours and twenty-six … Continued

When the frost begins to turn, there’s an Open Thread to learn.

Biggest news this weekend is the premiere of the first part of the last installment of the Harry Potter film series. At a breezy two hours and twenty-six minutes, this movie tells half the story that we’ve been watching six movies to get to.


You see? I do have a nude scene. Emma, hold my pants.

In music news, mash-up superstar Girl Talk (a/k/a Gregg Gillis) broke the Internet this week with the release of his latest toe-tapping mix, All Day. It’s a 71-minute album comprised of nothing but sampled pop tracks that took Gillis two years to make. Download it (if the site’s up) and listen for yourself.

Yeah, this is an okay way to spend your time. I GUESS.

What would a Gregg Gillis mash-up of all seven Harry Potter books look like? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

21 Comments on “Open Thread for November 19, 2010”

  1. Chris #

    There is also a website that is streaming Girl Talk’s new album, and not only that, but every time he uses a new sample it tells you what it is. Pretty handy.

    I also feel the album has his greatest combination ever, as he uses John Lennon’s “Imagine” combined with UGK’s “One Day.” While many people have lauded his combo of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and Biggie’s “Juicy,” I feel this one takes the cake.

  2. Sylvia #

    ::dons Harry Potter nerd hat::

    There was a caption contest for the picture when it was first released. The one that made me laugh was “And this is me in Equus.”

    • Gab #

      Where was this???

      • Sylvia #

        Either Mugglenet or The Leaky Cauldron. It’s been a while since I’ve checked either and they would both do caption contests.

  3. Gab #

    When GirlTalk came to my undergrad, there was a campus-wide email debate on whether nor not he’s an artist. the arguments coming from each side are probably fairly easy to predict, so I won’t go through them here. But I’ll just say that, IMO, whatever he does, he does it well. Nice guy, too.

    I drove over an hour each way to see Harry Potter at 12:04. Unfortunately, this was the one time I was unable to re-read the book just before seeing its movie, but I did recall some changes that seemed like odd choices to me. I’m not one of those it-must-be-exactly-like-the-book types, but I didn’t see the point in a few of the differences. Except maybe to get the point across in a more visually stunning way. They worked very, very hard at getting some themes across through props and passing visual cues, themes you can pick up on while reading if you read between the lines. I’m not sure how much of what I at least thought I picked up on had been intended by JKR or had been inserted/ Americanized by the Americans making the movie, but the ones relating less to the central characters and more to the ways the world had changed were done much better. And it totally cuts off where I predicted it would.

    • Chris #

      The phrase I use to describe Girl Talk is that he’s a “rogue producer.” He’s Quincy Jones combined with Harry Tuttle.

  4. Bob in San Diego #

    I saw the first 3 Harry Potter movies before I cracked any of the books and I thought they were sub-par movies at best. After reading the series, I’ve found all the movies, including re-watch of the first three, extremely enjoyable. Yet as an impartial movie buff I feel they are actually not that good. I have found that every one of my friends are similar – if they have read the books they like the movies and if they have not read the books they find the movies mindless junk. As Gab alluded to – the movies seem to try to get the theme of the books across in a visually stylish way more then they try to make a good movie. I feel that they are, at their best, a fantastic companion piece to wonderful fiction, but do not stand on their own as good cinema.

    Now I know what you are thinking “Bob, you’re an idiot, books are always better then the movies” and although I generally agree with that thought (With the exception of Chuck Palahniuk novels – always better movies. Also Jaws, Godfather, most 007 movies and The Lord of the Rings were all much better films then novels) that is not what I’m referring to. You can sit down and watch Moby Dick and enjoy it as its own entry. Even ‘popcorn cinema’ like The DaVinci Code isn’t as good as its ‘popcorn novel’ counterpart, someone who has never read a Dan Brown novel can enjoy Tom Hanks on screen. But I have found that without reading the books first, the movies seem to be the Harry Potter shot-gunned on screen; simply weaving tent-pole points and a simplistic plot to move the story along.

    Again, this is just my theory which people seem to agree with, but to me these are poorly done movies but fantastic COMPANION pieces that get the general theme of the series and elicit the proper response to someone who enjoys the novels rather than creating their own moments.

    • Bob in San Diego #

      Re-reading my post, it seems I hate the movies and I don’t. I love the fact they use the same actors for over a decade. I love how they tell the over-arching story. I just thought of a better way to describe it. The Harry Potter series seems like Cliff Notes version of the series, it is a companion to the novels rather than what most movies do which is create a smaller version (junior edition) of the series. Has anyone else noticed this?

      • Gab #

        I don’t think you’re off at all- spot on, really. I know myriad people that have, wonder of wonders, actually not read the Harry Potter books and thus get totally lost during the movies. The only way they manage to understand is by asking questions of those that have read the series. I think this is the fatal flaw for the movies, something that makes it impossible for them to stand on their own. The problem seems to have gotten worse as each movie came out, too- the first two weren’t as bad, but subsequently, more and more questions each time a movie comes out seem to crop up. Case in point: one of the people I saw it with last night had a laundry list of questions the rest of us were answering for him on the (hour+) car ride home because he has only seen the movies; whereas after the fourth movie, I only remember being asked a handful of questions by people that needed clarification. But you’re right, the movies function as a companion or Cliff Notes version.

        • Count Spatula #

          I agree with this. I think this was most noticeable in the third film where they didn’t explain who the Maurauders were or that they’d created the Maurauder’s Map. I think if you hadn’t read the books, you’d be totally lost at that point.

          In terms of DH Part 1, I don’t usually much like the HP films, but I thought it had a huge leap in quality from the previous films. I think chopping it in two was a great idea, both from a money-making stand point and a good film stand point. I think the trio acted a bit better than they previously have done and the extremely dark tone and the tension of the film were very reminiscent of the books. Still nowhere near as good as the books, of course :)

          • Gab #

            Oh yes, the map thing in the third film was actually a cause for some serious indignation on my part. I mean, come ON. Really, folks, you’re gonna take that out? REALLY? Again, I don’t try to be a must-be-like-the-books person, but it made the map so less important- the sentimental and historical value it has to Harry was completely lost by making it seem like some random object he picked up. But I’ll stop myself now, before I really go off on a high horse… Ahem. :)

    • Sara #

      Would you put Remains of the Day in that category?

      • Bob in San Diego #

        Sorry Sara, haven’t read/watched Remains. If it is worth the watch, I will and let you know!

        • Sara #

          Both the book and the film were highly acclaimed. Evidently the screen writing holed himself away in a cabin somewhere to write the screenplay. Didn’t take the book, but just wrote out the story from memory. While the story is the same in each, what is emphasized differs a lot.

    • RichardR #

      “Chuck Palahniuk novels – always better movies”

      I don’t think there’s enough data to make that claim, really. Palahniuk’s written 11 novels to date, only two of them have been adapted into movies, and only one of those was any good (Fight Club, which was, in my opinion, only equally as good as the book but not quite better).

      • petrlesy #

        this, plus the LotR comment discredits the whole post

        • atskooc #

          not for me, it doesn’t. i read “fellowship” last year and was fairly bored. i’m currently reading “towers” and am thoroughly bored. i’m reading the books on principle (i’m too nerdy to have not read them). i was much more entertained and involved with the movies.

      • Bob in San Diego #

        @RichardR: Man – I really though there were more Cuck Palahniuk movies than ‘Fight Club’ and ‘Choke’. I read both of them and at least ‘Survivor’ . . . I think he is talented but his talents are much more apt for the big screen (IMO), it is a lot easier to watch about a schizophrenic then reading something written by one ;)

        @petrlesy: I thought Fellowship of the Rings was an excellent movie but a horribly boring book. 400 of the 500 pages described what Hobbits eat, them complaining that they are not eating, describing them *while* they were eating and Tom Bombadil. IMO – the movie was light years ahead of the novel.

        @atskooc – you are much braver than I. It was four years ago when I was about 40 pages from finishing the Fellowship, realized just how little I was enjoying the book, put it down and haven’t looked back since. ;)

        • Gab #

          I’m going to side with you and Richard. I have tried reading The Fellowship on three separate occasions, and have stopped within the first 250 pages each time. I thoroughly enjoyed The Hobbit, but I just can’t get through the rest. The mythos is fascinating and definitely of epic proportions and thought, but I think the series has become ingrained into the common culture enough that one doesn’t have to read the books or even see the movies to know what happens. The LotR series has sort of transcended traditional nerdery in terms of notoriety. I mean, c’mon, “‘Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair,” etc. Eff yeah. And nobody is going to call you a nerd for liking the mighty Led Zeppelin, right? Anyhoo, gonna stop before I keep… rambling on.

          • Timothy J Swann #

            I’m the reverse. I’ve never finished the Hobbit, have read LOTR once and the Silmarillion twice because it is far and away my favourite.

  5. Tom Bombadil #

    Hey dol! Merry dol! Ring a dong dillo! Don’t be cross about old Tom, little Overthinkers! Old Tom has been on the internet since first bit and byte crawled across copper wire! Old Tom is master of message board and chat room, and cares not for the frumpitty doings of Amazon and Facebook. Ring a dong! hop along! Let’s all drink and eat and sing songs of Geocities fallen and BBS passed away! Fal lal the willow! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!