A&E NEWS: June 19 – June 25, 2011
POTTERMORE: Last week, Harry Potter fans were aflutter with anticipation for whatever the mysterious Pottermore might be. And that was just it—no one knew what it was. This past Thursday, however, British author J. K. Rowling announced that her seven Harry Potter novels will finally be available as e-books starting in October, and will be available exclusively through the Pottermore website. In addition to e-book sales, the site will also feature 18,000 words of new Potter material, all of it integrated throughout the site’s interactive layout. According to Rowling, readers will be able to explore the world of Hogwarts in a new online experience that allows them, for example, to shop in Diagon Alley, or have wand fights, or (even better) learn new information about their favourite characters. The site will be open to all users in October. For more info, click here.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: I’ve given (and will continue to give) American filmmaker Joe Johnston grief for ruining the Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic Park 3, which he directed. His two films since (2004’s Hidalgo and 2010’s The Wolfman) were improvements on JP3’s shortcomings, but didn’t make up for them—not in my mind, anyway. And yet here we are: it’s 2011 and I’m actually excited for the release of Johnston’s next film, Captain America: The First Avenger. Truth be told, I’ve never been a fan of the Captain America storyline. Throw Johnston into the mix, and you’d think that I wouldn’t be the least bit interested in this summer blockbuster. You’d think so, but you would be wrong. If the latest trailer is any indication, this Marvel comic book adaptation is going to rock my little naysayer socks off. And I can’t wait. The film opens on July 22, 2011.
DEATH AND DICKS: Jackass star Ryan Dunn died this past Monday in a fatal car crash. The news is sad, and my thoughts go out to his family and friends. However, a considerable amount of attention has been given to movie critic Roger Ebert who, in response to the news, tweeted, “Friends don’t let Jackasses drink and drive.” Sure, pictures of Dunn doing shots with his friends surfaced on Twitter hours before his death, but just how much of a factor alcohol played in the crash was not known until Wednesday, a full two days later (for more info, click here). Though Ebert turned out to be correct in his assumptions, he was still out of line in making such a statement. I don’t usually speak so coarsely, but it was a real dick thing for him to do. We all get the pun, Mr. Ebert—you’re so clever. Ha ha. I always knew there was a reason I didn’t like you.
A DANGEROUS METHOD: There are both directors and actors whose involvement in a film guarantees that I’ll be buying a movie ticket upon the film’s release. Canadian David Cronenberg is just such a director; American Viggo Mortensen is just such an actor. Of course, these two have worked together before (2005’s A History Of Violence and 2007’s Eastern Promises), but now they’ve added a third party to the mix: Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class), a man who is fast becoming Hollywood’s next big thing. In A Dangerous Method, Mortensen and Fassbender play Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, respectively, whose professional relationship is troubled when Jung takes a patient as a mistress (played by the vastly underrated Keira Knightley). The film’s first trailer was just released this week, and promises what looks to be a rather powerful bit of cinema.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Coffee: The Greatest Addiction Ever
Are you a coffee drinker? Thanks to my sister-in-law, I’m actually a tea addict, and usually avoid coffee products (the taste just doesn’t do it for me). Nevertheless, it’s impossible to ignore the world’s infatuation with what most of us consider to be a breakfast of champions. This short video sheds some light on…well, all things coffee. Enlightening.
The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items. If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here. If I’ve overlooked an important news item, or if you have a comment or question, please leave a response below. Thank you for reading.