BlogOn Movies & Media

A new column

In Phase Three of my plans for world domination, this month I’ll begin publishing a monthly column–Response onScreen–in SPU’s online version of Response Magazine.

I’ll post the link when the first edition goes live near the end of November. It will focus on new big screen biopics–Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, and Walk the Line (which I’m seeing on Tuesday.)

Early next week, I’ll be catching that elusive train to Hogwarts to check out the latest film in the Harry Potter franchise. This one’s directed by Mike Newell, who made one of my favorite family films… Into the West. So I’m optimistic. And the trailer is thrilling. The review will be up first thing on opening day, so watch for it.

Who’s read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? Is it your favorite of the series? What are you eager to see? What do you hope they don’t screw up? (Try to avoid major spoilers in your comments please. I haven’t read the book, though, so I’m interested in what Potter readers are concerned about.)

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  1. Anonymous
    November 9, 2005 at 6:47 am — Reply

    The Goblet of Fire is the only Potter book I’ve read; I enjoyed the story, but not the writing. Don’t remember much else, it was a few years ago.

    You ever get around to writing that review of Downfall?

  2. lbrodine
    November 9, 2005 at 2:54 pm — Reply

    “Goblet of Fire” is #2 on my list in the Potter Series. “Prisoner of Azkaban”, the previous film, was my favorite book (Rowling actually builds tension without being terribly verbose as her following works have been)

    I’m looking forward to the introduction to the other Wizarding schools. The competitions should also be exciting; hopefully will capture the excitement and anticipation when we’re introduced to Quidditch in the first film.

    It will also be interesting to see how Mike Newell treats the Potter franchise (I only know him from directing romantic comedies). I loved the new approach in the 3rd film, but missed the little details that the first 2 films caught.

  3. Trent
    November 9, 2005 at 7:30 pm — Reply


    I think it’s the best.

    Followed by HBP, followed by POA, followed by COS, followed by PS followed by OOTP.

    As far as movies go, none of them have really captured what the books are about, to me.

    I’m thinking that there is a cunning plot afoot to tie the release of the last book in with the release of the last movie. Wouldn’t that be a grand exercise in marketing.

    Actually, I don’t think that, but I’d love to see it. It would be an interesting experiment. Would the fact that the two came out at the same time hurt sales of the book at all?

  4. Trent
    November 9, 2005 at 7:32 pm — Reply

    Oh. Just a point of clarification: PS is Philosopher’s Stone. I realize it was released in the States as Sorcerer’s Stone.

  5. Gary Scott
    November 9, 2005 at 7:37 pm — Reply

    I have similar thoughts to Luke. Much like the Star Trek films, the Harry Potter odd numbered books are the best. “Prisoner of Azkaban” is my favorite, closely followed by “The Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Goblet of Fire”. Rowlings verbosity do get in the way at times. I have appreciated her character development over time which has been steady and consistant with the age group.

    “Goblet of Fire” has many exciting elements and a great deal of character development, so it will be interesting to see how the film handles this.

    “Half Blood Prince” was a letdown regarding the antihero’s identity, but I won’t spoil it for you. It was, by far, the weakest story in the series. Seemed a bit of a rabbit trail to me. The series so hinges on the Dark Lord’s direct confrontation with Harry, that this one left me hungry even after eating a full meal. Rowling still has a knack for the clever twist, though.

    All in all, Harry is dealing with becoming a man without real guidance or mentoring and that is something men in our culture can relate to. How easy it is to look strong and feel weak. Or have responsibility thrust upon us and only want to be nurtured and invisible. Harry is a bit of a superhero without a cape, lacking the maturity to make responsible decisions that the more mainstream superheroes do when the tough get going.

  6. Travis
    February 2, 2006 at 8:20 pm — Reply

    Scary indeed.

    Of course, this means about two-dozen other “Brokeback” parody trailers in the next three weeks.

  7. Charlie
    February 2, 2006 at 11:48 pm — Reply

    Oh, that is so funny! Can’t wait to see the movie.

  8. Nicholas
    February 3, 2006 at 4:11 am — Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for that link.
    That made my night.

  9. Matt Page
    February 3, 2006 at 8:16 am — Reply

    Brilliant – funniest thing i’ve seen for a while.


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Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is an author, editor, and professor with an MFA in Creative Writing. He teaches writing (Seattle Pacific University, Covenant College) and film studies (Houston Baptist University). He's written a memoir of moviegoing and faith (Through a Screen Darkly, Baker, 2007) and a fantasy series (The Auralia Thread, Random House, 2007-11). He's been a columnist and critic for Christianity Today, Image, and Books & Culture, and his writing has been recognized by The New Yorker and The Seattle Times. He regularly visits universities, conferences, and churches to lecture in the U.S. and abroad. Would you like him to edit your work? Want to have him speak to your community? Email