Draco and the Malfoys, The Remus Lupins, 142 Staircases… These aren’t just references to Harry Potter, they’re wizard wrock bands. That’s right, wrock. JK Rowling’s famous Hogwarts tales may have come to an end two years ago, but the fan universe just continues to expand. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” hits the silver screen this Wednesday, and legions of fans will congregate in San Francisco for Azkatraz, the first Bay Area Harry Potter convention, in just a few days. Meanwhile, more than 590 wizard wrock bands, ages 5 to 30-something, continue to rock out on a daily basis, composing lyrics about Severus Snape, ballads to Hermione Granger and odes to dementors.
Those lucky, lucky Brits. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” had its London premiere at a Leicester Square theater last night, and the fans were out in force, despite rain, hail and general sogginess. We suspect Voldemort meddled with the weather. In any case, Daniel Radcliffe (above), Emma Watson (below) and a newly recovered Rupert Grint walked the red carpet under big, translucent umbrellas. We’re told fans hooted, hollered and hefted big signs reading. “Harry, I’ll be Your Chosen One.”
Quick, page Madame Pomfrey! Ron Weasley has swine flu! Fortunately, Rupert Grint (who plays Harry Potter’s best friend in the blockbuster movie series) seems to be recovering nicely from what was only a mild case. His agent said Grint spent a few days at home, recovering, but plans to attend tomorrow night’s London premiere of “Half-Blood Prince” and will be back on the set of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” We’re glad to hear his Muggle doctors were able to take good care of him. St. Mungo’s can be a little dicey.
Disney’s newest girl-centric comedy, “Princess Protection Program,” debuts tonight and we’re wondering, are you going to watch? It’s a royalty-meets-reality, fish-out-of-water, Princess Diaries-type romp about a coup-threatened princess who takes refuge in the covert Princess Protection Program. Now she’s masquerading as an average 16-year-old visiting her American tomboy cousin. Princess Rosalinda is played by young singer-actress Demi Lovato of “Camp Rock” fame, and her country cousin is teen pop star and Mouseketeer Selena Gomez of Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” and a million fan mags. We’ve posted the trailer after the jump. But first!
Business is booming at Oakland’s classic ice cream parlor, Fentons, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are those Black & Tans and Black & White sundaes divine, the folks at Pixar think so too. Fentons is featured in their newest flick, “Up.” Now, says Times reporter Chuck Barney, people line up for ice cream, then go outside to count red and blue cars, just like little Boy Scout Russell in the popular movie. Adorable.
Tim Burton‘s next cinematic blast is a little less than a year away, but USA Today just got a sneak peek at his new “Alice in Wonderland.” The Burtonized sequel to the classic Lewis Carroll tale takes place 10 years later, when 17-year-old Alice escapes an impetuous Victorian suitor by scrambling down the rabbit hole. The movie, which combines live action, motion-capture, CGI and 3-D, opens March 5, 2010, and stars the usual Burton crowd: Johnny Depp plays the Mad Hatter, Alan Rickman is the Caterpillar, and Helena Bonham Carter (pictured) channels the Red Queen. What do you think? Sound good? Weird? Tim Burtonish?
After seeing Burton’s take on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach,” and now with Alice on the horizon, we can’t help but wonder what children’s classic he’ll tackle next. We’re thinking … hmmm … “Little Red Riding Hood,” with Johnny Depp as the woodcutter. Or, the wolf.
Based on the old 1970s TV show, about a family zapped into a parallel universe, the new PG-13 rated “Land of the Lost” – which opens Friday – stars Will Ferrell as a paleontologist pulled into a space-time warp. Along for the ride: his adorable research assistant – Anna Friel of “Pushing Daisies” fame – and what IMDB calls “a redneck survivalist,” so we were expecting to see Jeff Foxworthy in camo. But no. This guy’s played by Danny McBride from “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express” and “Tropic Thunder.” So we’re guessing this movie is going to be substantially edgier than the old TV show. The trailer (which is posted after the jump) looks to have some dinosaur action, slapstick comedy and the potty-mouth stuff that nets you a PG-13 rating. And the early reviews are not looking too promising. What do you think? Are you going to go?