Category Archives: Harry Potter

My Favorite Scene: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) “The Cave”

With the triumphant return of The Wizarding World in the wake of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the sequel for which is set for a November 2018 release), we’re running back through the Harry Potter series, examining the best of each in one “My Favorite Scene” column a month.  This month is my favorite book in the series and the most frustrating film with the sixth entry: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) “The Cave”

My Favorite Scene: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) “Sirius Fades to Black and Dumbledore vs. Voldemort”

With the triumphant return of The Wizarding World in the wake of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (out TODAY on Blu Ray), we’re running back through the Harry Potter series, examining the best of each in one “My Favorite Scene” column a month.  This month the wizarding war begins in earnest with the fifth entry: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: the only film in the series I felt was actually better than Rowling’s book. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) “Sirius Fades to Black and Dumbledore vs. Voldemort”

Emma Thompson’s 10 Best Movies

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson, over a career of 35 years of excellence in movies and television has proven herself one of the most reliably outstanding actresses of the last half-century.  She’s had two boom periods in her film career: when she burst onto the scene after several years in BBC series, she was a mainstay at awards shows in the early-mid 1990’s with Howard’s End, Sense and Sensibility (which she both wrote and starred in), In the Name of the Father, and a number of other projects.  She’s in the midst of a career renaissance now as part of the juggernaut that is the live action Beauty & the Beast remake, was the worst Divination professor in Wizarding World history in the Harry Potter films, and starred as the creator of Mary Poppins in Saving Mr. Banks.

My two favorite performances of Thompson’s; however, showcase her darker, cynical sense of humor.  Stranger Than Fiction has to be one of the most criminally overlooked films of the 21st Century, and if you have a day to recover from it, watching her wickedly funny and devastating adaptation of the stage play Wit for HBO will leave you in awe of Thompson’s talent.   Continue reading Emma Thompson’s 10 Best Movies

2017 Renaissance Film Awards (Killing Time’s Oscars)

Welcome to the 16th annual KT Renaissance Film Awards! Created by myself years ago to ward off the amply demonstrated madness that claws at my soul each year when the Oscars get things so very wrong in their awarding. The categories (with the exception of an added ensemble award that I cribbed from the SAG awards and a new category to reward voice over/motion capture work) are the same, and unlike the Oscars, these awards are fluid. I may well change my mind. I might see something that I haven’t, and the awards will be updated to reflect my mercurial mood swings.   Continue reading 2017 Renaissance Film Awards (Killing Time’s Oscars)

John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies

John Hurt

John Hurt may not be an instantly recognizable name to casual film fans, but everyone who has seen a fair number of movies has seen his work.  He was Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter series.  He was The Storyteller in Jim Henson’s wonderful and too-short-lived eponymous series.  He was nominated twice for Academy Awards in 1977 for Midnight Express, and for what is probably his most indelible performance, that of the title character in 1980’s The Elephant Man.  He was also the unfortunate victim in one of the most famous scenes in film history: the “chest burster” dinner scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien.  He brought gravitas and dignity to every project he participated in, and I always was instantly more interested in a film when his name appeared in the credits.  Hurt has an astounding 204 credits as an actor over the course of his career, rarely as the leading man.  As a result, some of the best films he was in; he was barely onscreen for more than a handful of a moments.  I would be lying if I said I’ve seen even a quarter of his filmography, but any movie he appeared in was better for his presence, and these are my ten best of those.

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Continue reading John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies