Posts tagged magic
In this post I will honor the ending of something truly magical that has kept me interested for more than a decade
I still remember how stunning the books were the first time I read them. Magical, fun and exciting. I don’t think many was expecting the movies to be quite as good, but when they finally came out they were breath-taking for me as well. I am of course talking about the magical world of Harry Potter.
The Harry Potter film series, which is based on J. K. Rowling’s books, is the most successful movie franchise of all time. In just a less than a week the final and eighth movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, will be released. In this last installment Harry will continue his quest with Ron and Hermione as they try to destroy the last pieces of Lord Voldemort’s soul hidden all over the world as horcruxes.
How it all began
According to Wikipedia and various interviews it all started in 1997 when producer David Heyman read the first book because his secretary recommended it. At first he didn’t like it because of the title but after reading it he became an instant fan. After that J. K. Rowling sold them the rights to make the first four films if they promised to use British actors.
In 2000 director Chris Columbus was chosen to direct the first movie, probably because of all his other movies for children. Like Home Alone which I personally think is very similar to the first Harry Potter film.
A year later in 2001 it was finally released and Chris became the director of the second movie too which was released only one year later.
Since then 5 more movies have been released. While preserving many of the same actors the movies have had several new directors and composers.
I think this little video will make you agree with me that time has indeed gone fast!
Really amazing how time flies fast, isn’t it? Seems like yesterday I watched the first movie, Philosopher’s Stone, and now it’s quite surreal after all these years, that there won’t be a next movie to look forward to.
The attention to detail
Many people don’t like all the movies. Some think the first two movies are the best and other like the darker and more serious ones.
Personally I think all of them are nothing less than perfect. And it’s all because of the attention to detail. Many series delivers a great movie at first but all the sequels just turn into something not quite as good. For me this has never happened with Harry Potter and I think it’s fantastic they could make 8 movies and still keep us all excited.
Another thing I’ve really enjoyed through the years is the soundtrack. Think about it, what would a Harry Potter movie be without the music? Different composers, like John Williams and Nicolas Hopper, have worked on different movies and I really think they’ve all done a very, very good job.
For me music is very important and no Harry Potter movie has disappointed me. I already own some of the soundtracks and I will order the rest when the final soundtrack comes out.
The crew won an award earlier this year for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema where one of the producers, David Heyman, walked up to do a very beautiful and sad speech. Watch the emotional video below.
I must admit I really like that (Hey)man! I really think he deserved it together with the crew and actors after some great movies. They couldn’t have done a better job. And we must’nt forget J. K. Rowling, of course.
Eventually I really think the movies will stand out as some of the greatest for years to come. It’s not just eight movies, it’s so much more than that. It’s a world of magic, love and friendship. Together with only the best movies series, like The Lord of the Rings and probably The Hobbit (coming 2012 and 2013), we will all continue to watch them for the rest of our lives. Like the books, of course. So in some ways this isn’t really the end, maybe a new beginning? Harry Potter and the rest of the universe will never die as long as the fans continue to have him on their mind.
And we will let our children read the books and watch the movies too, of course! : )
My favorite moments
I’ve watched all the first 7 films several times and I do of course have som favorite moments. Here are 10 of them, watch out for spoilers:
- HP1: When Harry finally receives his wand from Ollivanders in Diagon Alley. I like this scene very much, wands are always interesting! And we get to know about the connection between Harry and Voldemort for the first time.
- HP2: After Harry comes back from the Chamber of Secret he visits Dumbledore who tells him: “It’s not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” One of my favorite quotes which I think really makes sense.
- HP2: The last scene where Hagrid finally returns from Azkaban. I think it’s one of the most emotional scenes in all the movies.
- HP3: Professor Lupin tells Harry on the bridge about his family who was killed by the Dark Lord. I really like this scene, especially the music which is perfect.
- HP3: The scene where Harry saves himself and Sirius Black from the dementors. I will never forget when he yells: “Expecto Patronum!“
- HP4: Harry fights against Lord Voldemort after winning the Triwizard Tournament. Really dark and scary scene where we get to see that “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” really has returned!
- HP5: After Voldemort duels against Dumbledore he tries to possess Harry’s mind for a few seconds until Harry fights back by remembering his friends and family.
- HP6: The scene where Dumbledore is killed by Snape. Afterwards everyone at Hogwarts raises their wand. Really emotional scene which I think was just right.
- HP6: The last scene where Harry and his friends decide to go look for the horcruxes after Dumbledore’s death. Phenomenal scene with fantastic music by Nicolas Hopper, best possible ending for the movie.
- HP7 P1: The death of Dubby. A sad scene where Harry decides to burry the house elf himself.
Those are some of the moments I’ll always remember when I look back. But since I’ve grown up with these movies I could easily come up with 10 more.
Thanks for everything
To sum it all up, the Harry Potter films have really been something very special for me. It’s been amazing to grow up with them and it’ll be so sad to finally say goodbye. In the end it’s really because of some amazing people who’ve worked on the film series for years. I wish I’ll meet a few of them someday just to shake their hand and say thanks.
I’ll probably be doing a review of the last movie but it won’t really be neccessary. It’s without doubt the movie of the year and it’s going to be fantastic. Hopefully I will shed a tear during the last scene.
Thank you, J. K. Rowling, David Heyman, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and the rest of the cast and crew of all the eight movies for making my life a little more magical than it was 10 years ago.
If you don’t know The Wand Company, the maker of awesome infrared remote control wands, you might be as surprised as when I heard about them more than a year ago. That was when I did my Kymera Wand Review, which you might remember.
A few weeks ago they send me their newest product, the Kandela wand (thanks!). It’s almost like the Kymera wand, but instead this is cheaper version and only works on a included LED candle.
However, that’s really not that bad at all. Read further if you want to find out why.
Design and functionality
The first thing I noticed was the packaging. I’m sure most people don’t care about that but I think a great packaging makes you more excited when you’re just about to use it for the first time.
The Kandela wand comes in a long nice box. It was a little hard to open and I was also disappointed not to see a big beautiful manual as with their other product, the Kymera wand, but it was still pretty good.
The wand itself is very beautiful and made of plastic. That isn’t as good as wood but it still feels very good in my hand. It’s very satisfying to swing it in the air because the weight is just right.
And let’s not forget about the candle, which I think is really awesome. After turning it on it lights and looks just like a real candle, sometimes I’m even wondering why it isn’t as warm.
A cool bonus feature is that instead of turning it off, you can just blow it out with your mouth. I really like this because it makes it seem more real.
I haven’t told you what the wand does yet but I think you might’ve guessed it. Well, it’s very special because it can detect when special movements, called gestures, are done. Like a Wii remote. The Kandela wand can do three:
- Flick to turn the light on
- Shake the wand to turn off
- Double-tap the wand on the middle to set a 60-min timer
So basically the wand is used to turn on the candle! Very cool, especially if you like Harry Potter. You can watch a demonstration video here.
Unfortunately you won’t be able to teach it any signals or gestures yourself. Oh, and both the wand and candle uses two AAA-batteries which weren’t included.
After some use
Now, when I’ve been using it for some time now, I still think it’s pretty awesome. Especially the candle. It’s very nice to turn it on in the evening when I’m just working on my computer. Makes everything more cozy.
It does, however, gets boring sometimes, but then after some time it gets fun again. Guests are always surprised to see it because even though it’s simple it still feels like magic.
Compared to the Kymera Wand
They look almost the same but the Kymera is actually a universal wand remote. That means if you pay more, you’ll get a something with 13 gestures that can control more than just a LED candle. It will control everything that uses an infrared remote control.
The Kymera wand also comes in a nicer box with batteries included and it vibrates when you do a gesture with it.
I have both myself and I would defintely choose the Kymera over the Kandela. That doesn’t, however, mean you should do the same. The Kymera doesn’t come with a candle so I would probably buy both, but that’s a lot of money to lay down on infrared wands.
Just like all products from The Wand Company, I really like this product. Because you both get a wand and a LED candle I’m sure a lot of people are going to like it and buy it. It’s really fun for Harry Potter fans and just for basically showing guests.
I do, however, like the higher priced Kymera wand better, and I advise you, if you’re not interested in the candle, to read my review of it before buying the Kandela wand. But remember, both products are really awesome!
- good: beautiful, works very nice, comes with a candle, not super expensive
- bad: not as advanced as the Kymera wand
Do you remember my Kymera wand review? It’s a infrared remote control wand I bought last year made by The Wand Company. Today I was lucky enough to receive the Kandela wand from them too, actually as a gift.
It’s their newest wand, very much like the Kymera wand but this one only works on a LED candle which is included.
More information and review soon!
My review is done, read it here.
I got the Magic Mouse as a Christmas present for my MacBook Pro. It’s the newest mouse from Apple, which is currently shipping with the iMac and can be bought for 69$ (US price).
After using it as my primary mouse for some days, here’s my review.
There’s not much to say about the design of this mouse – it’s gorgeous! Definitely the most beautiful mouse I have ever seen. As simple as a mouse could possible be.
And because this mouse only works on Macs, you won’t need a stupid USB receiver, it just connects using Bluetooth.
So what’s special about this thing? It’s a multi-touch mouse! The whole top surface, except for the part under the Apple logo, is like a touch screen. The top surface also works as one giant button to click, just like on the MacBook trackpads.
The mouse itself is a little heavy but it makes it feel more solid, which I like.
As you can see, the bottom of the mouse is made aluminum. It looks very nice as well.
The mouse has several touch gestures, including scrolling with one finger and going forward and back with two fingers. This video shows the basics.
The most important thing is of course how it is to use. Personally I think it’s really good! All of the touch gestures works very well without problems. It also works decent on all kinds of surfaces, but the rubber feet can be a bit noisy sometimes, for example when using it on a wooden surface. I’ve been using on a mouse mat myself.
The mouse is very slick and low-profile and you can’t just lay your hand on it like other mice. Instead you should try to grip it at the sides with your pinky and thumb. Like my hand on this picture.
Because of that it takes quite some time to get used to, and is not as comfortable as other mice where you can just rest your hand.
I can imagine this is especially a problem for people with big hands, but I think it’s fine myself.
The only problem I’ve had, is the tracking in Mac OS X. The cursor moves pretty slowly in the highest tracking speed compared to Windows and the mouse acceleration can be a bit annoying. However, after some days of use, I’ve gotten used to it.
As many other mice out there, the Magic Mouse uses batteries. Two AA batteries were already included when I got it!
I haven’t been testing this mouse long enough to change them, but after 3 days of heavy use there still 93% of power left. I think that’s pretty decent and definitely better than other wireless mice I’ve used.
Changing the batteries is very easy. The only thing to do is to remove the little piece of aluminum as shown on the picture.
So overall, the mouse does live up to its name for the most part. I think, after getting used to it, it’s a great mouse for everyday use. The touch gestures works flawlessly and the mouse is really beautiful.
At a price of 69$ it is pretty expensive, but I think it’s worth it. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer or something else, then this mouse it not for you.
If you want more functionality instead of the standard gestures and fix the slow tracking speed, you can download a little application called MagicPrefs.
The first long trailer for the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movies came out some months ago. A new one has just been published for the first part, and it looks great!
I can’t wait to feel the magic again. Are you excited?