It seems that everywhere you turn there's talk about the opening of the latest Harry Potter movie.
The wait has not been without its drama, with Ruper Glint (who plays Ron Weasley) catching the swine flu during filming and Jamie Waylett (who plays Draco Malfoy's crony Vincent Crabbe) getting arrested for possession and production of marijuana.
Undeterred, the movie marathons have kicked off among fans in preparation for what is being hailed as one of the darkest of the Harry Potter series to date. In this sixth installment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Lord Voldemort is back and the Death Eaters have descended with a vengeance on both the magic and Muggle worlds. The war against dark forces is accompanied by the bittersweet and far more comedic havoc engendered by the young wizards' raging hormones and a mysterious box of love potion-tainted chocolates that turns their interactions upside down.
With anticipation at a fever pitch, ticket pre-sales are estimated to have gone well over the million mark. On the popular microblogging platform Twitter, Harry Potter has been a trending topic for the past two days, due to the amount of users expressing their excitement and speculating about the soon-to-be released film. A meme appears to have been born as well, featuring amusing names of fictitious additions to the series, my favorite of which is “Harry Potter and the 403(b) Tax-Deferred Annuity” by @paulandstorm (search “harrypottersequels” on Twitter to see more).
To celebrate the release of the film, BBC Radio 1 has declared this Wednesday Harry Potter Day. The station, to which anyone can listen live via their site, will feature interviews with the cast and a live broadcast from the Deathly Hallows set. Later this month, across the Atlantic at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, Harry Potter fans will be convening again at the panel “Muggles, Wizards, Tentpoles, and Fans in the World of Harry Potter” to discuss all things Harry Potter.
[The film] is rated PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality. Apparently, it is the most violent and dark HP movie out of the PG-rated ones.
From what I’ve read, the tone of the movie is dark and the fight scenes are intense. But, some parents are thrilled that their young die-hard fans have been reading the books. Would you deny them the last film?
How young is too young for a scary Harry?
There is also renewed pressure from the Vatican with the sixth movie coming out. As expressed back in 2003, Pope Benedict does not approve of the Harry Potter series, saying, “These [books] are subtle seductions that are barely noticeable and precisely because of that deeply affect [children] and corrupt the Christian faith in souls even before it [the Faith] could properly grow and mature.”
Some Christians agree that the magic in the books dangerously raises children's interest in the occult, which is strictly forbidden in the Bible. ChristianAnswers elaborates:
[Harry] Potter fans say that this world is just make believe and has no bearing on the real world. While a few Christians don't even like to read or see classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Lord of the Rings, or Chronicles of Narnia due to the mere presence of evil, most Christians recognize the good vs. evil element as being clearly delineated. Evil is evil, and good is good, and good is promoted while evil is not.
But in the Potter series, the line is not so clear. The “good” guys practice “white magic”, while the bad guys practice the “Dark Arts”. Readers become fascinated with the magic used (explained in remarkable detail). Yet God is clear in Scripture that any practice of magic is an “abomination” to him. God doesn't distinguish between “white” and “dark” magic since they both originate from the same source.
Even so, other parents and believers hold that the books and films are providing children with real lessons about loyalty, friendship, ethics and taking a stance against racism and classism.
The choice of whether or not to watch it and let our children watch it is for each of us to make. What do you think?
AROUND THE WEB
Paula at Ravenwerks discusses the lessons in ethics that Harry Potter is imparting to kids and adults alike in What Can Harry Potter Teach us About Ethics?
Concerned Women For America discusses objections to unpleasant themes of death and the apparent disrespect for human life in the Harry Potter series in Disenchanted by Harry Potter.
Lynn Barker interviews the young stars of the Harry Potter series in Harry Potter in the Home Stretch.
Amanda Pendolino at Twirlit wonders whether the three stars of the Harry Potter series will survive typecasting enforced by a decade of films in the same wizard roles in Harry Potter: Career Maker or Breaker?
The movie release is wreaking havoc for a man named Harry Potter in Maryland, Mary Carole McCauley reports in 'Harry Potter' Names Cast A Spell, a piece for the Baltimore Sun.
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