Tag Archive: harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban

Colin Goes Gangster!!!!

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Last week when I was doing my research for one of the movies I planned to write about, I kept seeing people refer to this Colin Farrell movie call London Boulevard, a decidedly adult movie.

I had never heard of it let alone even seen a trailer for it. After a little digging, I found out that this movie may have never made it to the big screens in America despite it’s American director, William Monahan. If Monahan sounds familiar it is because he wrote The Departed and Kingdom of Heaven.

The story is gritty and rough as we follow an ex-con trying to make sure he does not go back to prison. His first night back sees Mitchell getting his druggy sister out of one rough situation while he also makes it possible for another girl to get to an ATM without trouble. That encounter leads to a possible job as a handyman/protection for a fragile and reclusive actress played by Kiera Knightly.

London BoulevardMeanwhile, one of his hoodlum friends has him come along for a few ‘collection’ calls which brings him to the attention of a gangster boss. Gant, played by Ray Winstone, is evil and mean. He is willing to kill the innocent for showing up at the wrong place and time. And let’s not talk about what he will do to people who say ‘no’ to him.

As Gant and Mitchell spar, it becomes clear a battle is brewing and in the end it is not going to be pretty.

Monahan wanted to make his first film as a Boston gangster drama. But at some point he decided he had done that and choose to make the setting in London instead. The film has plenty of violence and swearing so that anyone who doesn’t like that in a movie would probably not like this. But it is a movie filled with wonderful small performances from Farrell, Knightly, Winstone, Anna Friel, and David Thewlis complete with spare but revealing dialogue.

They add depth to these roles, making us like or hate these people. I was most impressed with David Thewlis’ character, trying hard to remember where I know him from. It took a minute before I got to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Thewlis was Professor Lupin, the werewolf Dark Arts professor who was friends with Harry’s parents. It is during this adventure that Harry learns about his godfather and his parents’ group of friends along with their betrayal.

Harry Potter and Prof LupinI loved his performance in this third movie of the series because Thewlis appeared to take on some of the traits of Claude Rains in his characterization of Lupin. Claude Rains played the father of Lon Chaney Jr., the original wolf man in the 1941 movie, giving himself quiet dignity as he dealt with the changes in his son he could not prevent. Thewlis continues this tradition and is quite believable as a man haunted by a condition he cannot change. His performance, along with Gary Oldman’s, makes Prisoner of Azkaban worthwhile family viewing.

These days of changeable weather might demand we stay in but stay in with a good movie on hand.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Looking at Words on a Page

Wordy Wednesday

Book Cover Image from Barnes and Noble.com.

As the summer finishes off, we are still reading. Bedtime has been filled with 3D books on weird weather and weird creatures along with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

One might wonder why I cannot put Harry in the past. Part of it is like losing a child that you really love. Besides, my daughter enjoys reading the story out loud to her little brother. It helps her annunciation.

However, a few other choices have slipped in as well. we do read other books, other series.

One book that I flew through recently is My Sister’s a Pop Star by Kimberly Green.

Sam is an ordinary 12-year-old with a very famous sister. Sam thinks that when her sister, Danni, comes home from a year-long tour, their family will go back to normal. However, normal is nowhere in sight as the family moves into a new home that is a part of a deal with a reality TV show.

Book Cover image from Barnes and Noble.com.

With a camera crew constantly on her tail, going to a florist and the horse stable become much different experiences for Sam. Luckily, Sam has made a few good friends who clue her in to the fishbowl life.

I was given this book by the publisher to review and never expected that I would not be able to put it down. Sam is an engaging character who is a bit naive. Compared to Lizzie in My Teenage Werewolf, Sam is more like a 10- or 11-year-oldShe doesn’t have drastic mood changes despite some of the frustrations of her new life (including a totally pink room).  

I gave the book to my daughter who dove into the book and had a hard time putting it down. Once she was finished, Sara declared that we needed to get the rest of the series. Yep, it was a winner.

Book cover image from barnesandnoble.com.

Last but not least, we have been having fun reading about Fluffy, the Guinea Pig. In this book of three short stories, Fluffy goes home with Ellen for spring vacation.

He has some great adventures during spring break that involve cats, a hair salon and a taxi ride.

What we have always appreciated about Fluffy, ever since we bought a pack of books from book order forms at school, is his can-do attitude. When things look rough, well, Fluffy has a way of making the best out of any situation.

That and we have guinea pigs. We imagine that Butternut or Hannah could be like Fluffy – if they talked as much as he does.

Image by J. Durham

On my stack waiting to be read is Parsifal, a German poem about a knight in search of the Holy Grail. It has been many years since I read this book and I am looking forward to filling many winter nights with images of a young man who is trying to find truth and love.

Have you read anything good lately?