Winners Announced in the Harry Potter Blogsplosion Giveaway!

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Eight lucky winners have been chosen in the Harry Potter Blogsplosion giveaways!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Congratulations to Gisele who left a comment on July 27th

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Congratulations to Wehaf who left a comment on July 4th

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Congratulations to Vanessa who left a comment on July 24th

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Congratulations to Felicia who left a comment on July 7th

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (book) – Congratulations to Thao who left a comment on July 25th

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (DVD) – Congratulations to Vicky who left a comment on July 11th

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – Congratulations to Crystal who left a comment on July 25th

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Congratulations to Cole who left a comment on July 17th

 
Congratulations to all the winners!! 
 
 
Winners: Please contact me with your name and mailing address by August 7, 2011 to claim your prize.  Shipment is to the US and Canada only.
 
Thank you to all of the participants! 
 

Harry Potter Blogsplosion Wrap-Up!

I do hope that you’ve enjoyed the 15 days of posts dedicated to Harry Potter!!!  However, all good things come to an end.  Whomp whomp.  In case you didn’t get a chance to enter all of the giveaways, here is a quick listing and link to them.

All giveaways are open until midnight on Saturday July 30th.  Winners will be announced Sunday, July 31st.   Good luck to all the participants!

I’d like to send out a huge thank you to all my friends who guest blogged over the past two weeks: Adam, Savanna, Sam, Todd, Adam S, Amy, and Zach!  You were wonderful guests and without you the blogsplosion wouldn’t have been as big a success as it was!  I also want to thank  all of you fabulous participants for paying homage to Harry Potter with us here at the blog.  You’re fabulous.

Until next time…..

…Happy Reading!

Harry Potter Blogsplosion Day 8: Adam’s Film Review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Welcome back to the Harry Potter Blogsplosion! Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth (and Kim’s favorite) adventure in the series.  It once again stars Daniel Radcliffe, as the title character, and Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint as his trusty sidekicks.  Harry is in his fourth year at Hogwarts and finally comes face to face with a human form of Lord Voldemort, played by Ralph Fiennes.

The movie starts off with Harry Potter having a nightmare consisting of Peter Pettigrew, Lord Voldemort (who is unseen), and an unknown man.  Harry watches as Voldemort kills an elderly man who was standing near them watching them.  It is as Voldemort yells “Avada Kedavra” that Harry suddenly wakes up.  Harry awakens to find Ron and Hermione watching him to make sure he’s ok.  Assuring them that he’s fine he goes back to sleep, only to wake up a few hours later for the Quidditch World Cup finals.  While everyone is sleeping post-match, the Death Eaters, who are the faithful servants to Lord Voldemort, terrorize the campsites to announce to everyone that Voldemort’s return is imminent.  After narrowly escaping the Death Eaters, Harry and his friends return to school to learn that Hogwarts will be hosting the Triwizard Tournament.  Three different schools of wizardry send representatives from their respective schools to compete in a series of events that push their magical skills and endurance to the limit.  The winner of the tournament wins the Triwizard Cup, a small fortune, and bragging rights for their school. Controversy arises when Harry Potter, 3 years younger than the 17-year-old cut off age, is the fourth candidate to be chosen to compete.  With Harry as an extra champion, four candidates will now vie for the title instead of the usual three, including Viktor Krum from the Durmstang institute, Fleur Delacour from the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, and finally Cedric Diggory (played by a pre-Twilight Robert Pattinson).  The three tasks they face are: steal a golden egg from a dragon, save a loved one trapped in the lake, and find the Triwizard Cup in the heart of a giant hedge maze filled with obstacles. While in this last challenge, Potter is transported to a place where for the first time, he comes face to face with a human form of Lord Voldemort.

After the dark take of the third Harry Potter film, this one has a bit of a lighter look.  There seemed to be more of the magic that makes Hogwarts so appealing and makes it a place you’d really want to visit.  Mike Newell the director, had a way of making every shot count. The shots were beautiful and really made Hogwarts this magical yet accessible place.  I don’t feel that this was done in the first three films.  One of my favorite shots of the film was when Harry was crossing the long bridge on Hogwarts’ grounds.  Before they zoomed in on him, they held off just long enough to make you notice what an amazing shot it was. The most beautiful shots in my opinion were of the Yule Ball.  The use of cinematography in the film just makes each shot magical.  The music went perfectly with these scenes and really played off of the characters emotions, just like a good score should.

Ralph Fiennes is the PERFECT villain. He just embodies what Lord Voldemort should be.  Not having read the books, I didn’t have any idea of what Voldemort should be like.  He is the perfect combination of creepiness and pure evil, just what a villain should be.  I imagined him not having a heart and kicking puppies in order to get into the mindset of the role.  He was definitely the highlight of the movie.  I was eagerly waiting for him to finally appear and when he did, I was so excited.  My eyes were drawn to him and I listened to every word he spoke.  I can’t wait to see him play this role more in later films; I’m excited to see how he develops Voldemort’s character. It was also interesting to see Harry and Ron as just regular teenage boys.  They are so powerful with their wizard powers that I think the viewers often forget that they’re teenagers, and it was interesting to see them being nervous around girls and awkward with their first love.  

All and all, I think this was the best of the Harry Potter films I’ve seen thus far.  The story was the most unique, and I liked the addition of new characters and finally getting to see Lord Voldemort.

5 out 5 stars

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Warner Brothers
PG-13, 157 Minutes

Harry Potter Blogsplosion Day 7: #40 A Review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling + GIVEAWAY

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Rowling again graces us with another installment of the life of Harry Potter, our favorite wizard, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Set during Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts, a magical school for witches and wizards, we follow Harry as he begins to expand on his previous knowledge of magical defense and an increasing threat from You-Know-Who.

This year, Hogwarts is bestowed the distinction of being the host school for an inter-magical school championship called the Triwizard Tournament.  Held for the first time in centuries, the tournament is comprised of three tasks that are meant to challenge the contestant’s magical skills and ability to perform under pressure.  Typically, it is held with one representative from the three great magical schools: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, The Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, and The Durmstrang Institute, however, this year four champions get selected.  After a student is picked from each of these schools, another name is surprisingly pulled from the cup, announcing the name of the fourth contender.  This fourth champion is Harry Potter, who technically is not allowed to enter the contest because he is well under the 17 year age limit.  However, he is eventually forced to enter as another representative of Hogwarts.  Confused and nervous of what lies ahead, Harry bravely enters the tournament, facing the tasks under the guidance of Alastor Moody, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.  Moody, an ex-auror and famous soldier against Voldemort and his followers, seems to be a huge help to Harry’s cause as he helps him along the way.  However, nothing can prepare Harry for what happens during the third and final task of the tournament.  Will Harry make it out of the tournament alive?  Will he be able to fight Voldemort’s seemingly inevitable rise to power?

What can I say about this book?  It is far and away my favorite Potter book in the series.  Of course, Rowling is a master at weaving multiple plot lines throughout all her novels, but she seems to do it especially well in this particular book.  In addition to the tournament, we also explore Hermione’s quest to gain fair wages and representation for house elves, bringing in complex themes and ideas that we have to see and deal with in our own world.  Also, we find out that Hagrid is half-giant, and we explore the implications this has on his career as Rita Skeeter does her expose on him.  There is also the over-arching theme of “international magical cooperation”, as the separate schools strive to strike up a sense of unity in the magical community.  This is important in the overall scheme of Voldemort’s rise to power, as the wizarding world must not only come to terms with his rise, but band together in order to defeat him.

Additionally, this book is important in that it is the first time which we see Voldemort’s true power as he takes control of his human body.  Up until now his threat had been more distant, as he was too weak to pose any true and present danger to the wizarding world.  Yes, he was becoming stronger, but we don’t totally take that into account until the final showdown of this novel.  The interaction and subsequent battle between Voldemort and Harry at the end of the novel is epic in terms of what it means to Harry and his struggle to avenge his parents’ murder, as well as Voldemort’s rebirth.  Harry now has a face and body to direct his anger towards, and Voldemort can finally try to destroy what almost destroyed him 14 years prior.  It’s interesting that in the face of the evidence of Voldemort’s return that the wizarding world would rather fold and deny such a thing was happening instead of galvanizing to fight him, but Harry of course doesn’t take this path.  His course is now set, and the final chapter of his fight against Voldemort can unfold.  This book is the gateway to the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort, and it’s a crucial pivot point for the series.  Rowling does an excellent job at accomplishing both of these tasks, and every time I read this book it makes me a Harry Potter fan all over again!

5 out of 5 Stars

This is my twelfth completed review for the Page to Screen Challenge
 
This is my fourth completed review for the Chunkster Challenge
 
Scholastic (2000)
Hardcover 734 pages
 
 
Giveaway
 
One lucky winner will have the opportunity to win a copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Paperback) by J.K. Rowling.  For your chance to win simply leave a comment in the thread below.  Comments will be accepted through midnight of Saturday July 30, 2011.  Winner will be picked at random and announced on Sunday July 31, 2011.  Giveaway open to US & Canadian residents only. Good luck!!