Andrew: "Caw! Caw! New book!" Also on the same day, moving on from the new book, Bloomsbury announced via an interview with the Associated Press that they are going to re-release the Harry Potter books in illustrated formats.
Eric: Illustrated by whom?
Laura: What the heck does that mean?
Andrew: It means - well, a picture book, I think.
Eric: A Harry Potter picture book?
Andrew: And it was kind of confusing at first. It wasn't exactly clear, the way the article was written, whether it was Scholastic or Bloomsbury. But it is Bloomsbury re-releasing in illustrated format. So I'm just picturing like - and I hate to make a comparison, but the Twilight books...
Laura: Exactly. Ugh.
Andrew: At least the first one, has the graphic novels.
Eric: Graphic novel adaptations, yeah.
Andrew: It's a two-part graphic novel. And you know what?
Micah: Is it graphic?
Andrew: They look really - no.
Andrew: They're visual. And you know what? They look really good.
Micah: That's what I mean, are they graphic pictures?
Andrew: It's a certain - no!
Eric: It's not Breaking Dawn!
Ben: You know. [laughs]
Andrew: It's a certain type of art style. I'm sorry to say I don't know what it is. But I read through one and it's really nice. I mean, it's a cool way to...
Ben: You mean looked through it?
Andrew: Yeah, I did. Yes - right, I looked through it. It's like reading an audiobook. You don't read an audiobook.
Ben: Yeah. It pisses me off when people say that.
Laura: That they read graphic novels? Yeah, that's annoying.
Andrew: Or audiobooks. [laughs]
Ben: Yeah. People are like, "Yeah, I read this book," and it's like, "No, you didn't. You told me you listened to it on your drive."
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Ben: "That's not reading the book."
Andrew: That's a discussion for another day, but I think you basically comprehend the information the same way.
Ben: A similar way.
Andrew: Yeah. It is different, though. You're right. So what do you guys think? I mean, I don't want to spend too much time on this, but illustrated format. What - this is very clearly for kids, but...
Eric: Yeah, it says a picture - you know the adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words"? The Harry Potter books actually have thousands of words in them, so I just wonder how they're going to be constantly playing to condense the Harry Potter books into something that's a little bit smaller. Will the illustrated books be smaller than the actual Harry Potter books?
Andrew: You would think so.
Eric: Or will they be larger?
Andrew: I would think...
Laura: Yeah, I would imagine so.
Eric: That's the - right? Otherwise it's just an insane task. But will plot threads be cut in the same way that they do in the movies?
Laura: I kind of wonder how Jo must feel about this, because she was so adamant about being really careful with the art on Pottermore so as not to destroy people's images of what things looked like when they were reading the books.
Laura: Like you couldn't see...
Ben: Oh, like the movie hadn't already done that.
Laura: Well, true, but...
Andrew: But Pottermore is to serve as a companion to the books as you read, so interesting point, Laura.
Laura: I just kind of wonder if she must really be on board with this. I mean, in the end, it's just more money in her pocket, so I'm sure...
Eric: Maybe it's actually...
Laura: ...she's not crying about that. But...
Eric: Maybe it's all the images that were going to go on Pottermore are now being put into a book and they're moving on...
Laura: Except it's going to be like Japanese anime style. [laughs] That's the other thing. If they make it into a graphic novel.
Andrew: It's kind of what it has to be.
Laura: [laughs] Yeah.
Andrew: Well, I am looking forward to looking at it. I mean, maybe J.K. Rowling will have some new information in these visuals, you would think. Because if you're looking at all these visual scenes, wouldn't new information be revealed?
Andrew: You know how - Potter fans always like to tear stuff apart, so they're going to be like, "Oh look, the crown molding is painted gold in the Gryffindor Common Room."
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: "I never knew this before! Somebody, quick! Add it to the Lexicon!"
Eric: Yeah. Well, I'm just thinking like in the scene where Professor Trelawney has her first prediction, maybe painted in the background listening in at the door will be Snape. It'll be a little spoiler for people who are like thirty pages behind. But...
Eric: I don't know.
Andrew: So details are [pronounces "scar-ce"] scarce. It's supposed to be released from...
Eric: Did you just say "scar-ce"? [laughs]
Andrew: Scarce, sorry. Hey, guess what, guys? 250 episodes, nothing's changed, I'm still pronouncing words wrong.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Eric: That's comforting, actually. You're my anchor, Andrew.
Andrew: Yeah. I am your constant.
Andrew: I am your constant in your science experiment of life.
Eric: Dude, that's amazing.
Laura: That's also sad.
Andrew: So the official statement from Bloomsbury is: "We are pleased to announce that as part of our long-term strategy for Harry Potter, we intend to publish illustrated editions of all seven Harry Potter books in a rolling program from 2013 onwards."
Ben: Their long-term strategy.
[Someone makes raspberry sound]
Ben: Milk it for all its worth!
Eric: Can any - yeah, long-term.
Andrew: And so 2013 is still a long way off for the first one. I would suspect new books will be coming out every six to twelve months.
Micah: Well, now we're in the zone where they're going to start doing anniversary editions and special ultimate - kind of like what they did with the films - and they're just going to try and keep doing this for as long as they possibly can, tweaking - even if it's one little thing...
Micah: ...so that people are going to keep buying.
Andrew: You'll remember that Scholastic tried to start releasing anniversary editions, tenth anniversary editions of each of the books.
Eric: Yeah, they did one.
Andrew: They did one, and then they didn't do any others. And it kind of flopped. They admitted, "Yeah, we're not going to do it anymore." [laughs] So they only did one.
Eric: Well, isn't that what they did with the Ultimate Edition DVDs? [laughs]
Andrew: Well, yeah. I mean, they have all but two left. I think they're still going to come out.
Andrew: They have to. That'd be cruel if they didn't.
Micah: The one other thing I was going to ask - I don't think we've talked about this, but with this new book that's coming out from J.K. Rowling, one of the things that she talked about in the past was that most of her work moving forward was going to be for charity. Was there any notes about that in what was released?
Andrew: I can't see this being for charity.
Eric: A crime book for charity?
Andrew: I could see more Harry Potter work being for charity...
Andrew: ...but not this.
Eric: If it turns out that her new crime drama isn't for charity, I wouldn't hold her to that word where she said that, because I took it to mean the same thing, that future Harry Potter work would be for charity.
Andrew: And she's proven that already. She's done that multiple times with various Harry Potter things. I think Beedle the Bard was one of them most recently.
Micah: Oh geez, here we go.
Andrew: So moving on to some movie news now, this was - it was a very shocking weekend. I'm still shaking from the news.
Andrew:: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 did not win at the Oscars, which means that over the entire franchise, it did not win one Academy Award, Hollywood's most prestigious award.
Andrew: It was nominated in Art Direction which went to Hugo, Makeup which went to The Iron Lady, and Visual Effects which went to Hugo.
Micah: You live there, Andrew. Go put a flaming bag of dog you-know-what on their...
Ben: On the Academy's doorsteps.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: I'll show you!
Ben: We'll do it together!
Eric: And why don't we record that we're going to do that, and we release it publicly? Yeah.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Micah: That's even better!
Micah: Videotape it and put it on YouTube.
Ben: We'll burn down their houses!
Andrew: I'd rather not get arrested. I don't know, that doesn't seem worth it just for some YouTube viral video.
Micah: You won't get arrested.
Andrew: [laughs] Okay. Then I'll go do it right now!
Micah: Go! While we're here. We've got time.
Andrew: So we don't need to rehash all this Oscar talk, but we did do a lot of talking last week, or last episode, about could it win an Oscar, and our opinions were mixed. A lot of people said no. A lot of fans said no, it didn't have a chance. And they were right.
Micah: Well, Mikey said it on the last episode, too.
Micah: That he really didn't think that they had a chance, and - I still would like to see them do something. I guess it would have to be next year at this point, where they just honor the series, because I think to not honor a series that's been the highest grossing ever, that doesn't make any sense.
Eric: It's rude.
Ben: Well, I guess that's part of the reason - I mean, for some people who are film snobs, they probably don't see too much of a difference between Harry Potter and Twilight in a lot of ways.
Ben: I mean, they probably see Harry Potter and Twilight as being a lot closer together than Harry Potter fans would probably be comfortable with admitting.
Eric: I wonder...
Ben: In terms of just being a commercial type of dealio, films made to make money as opposed to being actual...
Andrew: Truly artistic masterpieces.
Ben: Well - and these are books, you know? These were written as books, so they are adaptations. And going from a book to the screen, you're not going to - if these were made for the silver screen initially, it could be a different story, I think.
Laura: Were you guys genuinely surprised that it didn't win anything?
Eric: I was.
Andrew: I had my finger - I pre-wrote tweets saying, "It did not win this award," "It did not win this award."
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: I had my button - my finger on the trigger [laughs] as soon it was announced, because it was kind of predictable. Go ahead, Eric.
Eric: Yeah, I mean, I was just - I guess overall, I'm surprised that it didn't win. I thought it had a chance in those specific categories. I guess I'm just most surprised that it wasn't nominated for Best Picture, even if it didn't have a chance of winning it. I'm surprised that they went with sort of the nine results instead of the ten.
Micah: But the thing is, as I go back to if it would have won an award or two awards this time around, does that really kind of make you feel any better?
Micah: Knowing that it hadn't won anything prior to it. It doesn't really justify anything. If anything, people would say, "Well, they won the award because they haven't been recognized for the past seven films."
Andrew: That's true.
Laura: Yeah, can you imagine the one award they get being Makeup? [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, that would have been so lame. And here's another little factoid: the average Academy voter - these are the people who nominate and vote - the average one is a 62-year-old white male. And people cry foul over this, because it's basically a bunch of older white men voting for the best pictures of the year.
Laura: Oh my God!
Andrew: And then we get the same predictable results every single year.
Laura: It's like the government!
Ben: Well, you do realize...
Ben: Exactly, right.
Micah: Except for the president.
Ben: You do realize the Academy is pretty much the people who are the big names in the industry, people who have been around in the industry for a long time.
Andrew: Yeah, they know their stuff, but...
Andrew: Who are these people to decide? Because it was very predictable that The Artist was going to win because it won all these other awards leading up to the Academy Awards. And it's artsy.
Eric: That's a good movie. Have you seen The Artist? It's really good.
Ben: Well I mean, the thing about it is these are art awards and it's kind of like - I think I gave this comparison to you once on - we were talking about this on Instant Messenger or something. Somebody who is a wine expert, a sommelier or whatever, when they drink wine they analyze it. Their brain analyzes it a different way than the average commercial wine-drinker. They're looking for something that tastes good.
Micah: The boxed wine-drinker.
Ben: Yeah. So Harry Potter is like boxed wine, it's like Arbor Mist. It tastes good to everybody, it's a good story, it's a good, solid film, but to the person who is looking for - is judging the films off a completely different set of criteria than you or I, that what makes good film per se - there's a lot more that these guys know than...
Ben: ...any of us could ever really use to judge the film.
Laura: I have to be honest - and this is not going to be a popular opinion. I think part of the problem is that they were not gearing the making of these films towards winning any kind of award like this until the very end. You know what I mean? They didn't start doing the Oscar push until the last movie. And I feel like there are a lot of points - there are a lot of weak points in these movies - particularly "1", "2", and parts of "4" - that were not that good. And I think a lot of times when people think of Harry Potter, they're not just thinking of the one movie that most recently came out, they're thinking about it as a collective whole. And so they're thinking, "Well, Deathly Hallows - Part 2 was really good, but man, the second movie sucked." So I think that's part of that problem, too.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah. But these Oscar voters, you would think they're only thinking about one film though.
Andrew: If they are this experienced, they should be only taking one into consideration. But let me give you another...
Ben: Hugo should have won. I mean, did you see the special effects in Hugo?
Andrew: Yeah, but how...
Eric: I found Hugo to be ordinary, not exceptional. I thought visually, very pleasing, good acting, and great effects. But as a movie, the plot didn't really excite me.
Andrew: I rented it, I have it coming in on Netflix. I'm really excited to watch it, because it did get so many good reviews. But here's another factoid: out of the top five franchises ever, which are Star Wars, James Bond, Harry Potter, Shrek, and Batman, only Harry Potter has not won an Oscar. George Lucas's Star Wars movies won eight Oscars. The James Bond adventures have picked up two. The Batman iterations to date own three wins, including a Best Supporting Actor trophy for Heath Ledger. And the Shrek franchise received an Animated Feature award.
Eric: Hmm. But there have been twenty-two Bond films, and for them to have only won two Oscars...
Andrew: [laughs] Well, yeah, and those films aren't Oscar-worthy. Come on.
Eric: You're saying they're pulp.
Andrew: Yeah, and I'm saying - but again, Harry Potter, I wasn't necessarily looking for a Best Picture win for Harry Potter. I was looking for Best Makeup. I mean, the amount of work that does go into these films is incredible.
Laura: Oh yeah.
Eric: Yeah. And talking about the Oscars again, that intro video where they announce the nominees - or not announce the nominees, but where they went back over the nominees at the actual Oscars - the short video segment that they have prior to every video being announced.
Eric: I thought Harry Potter actually - through those previews, Potter had the best one. I think it was Jason Isaacs talking about...
Andrew: He was really pumping it up.
Eric: Yeah, [laughs] really pumping it up! But I thought - that was the moment when I thought that Harry Potter had a chance at the Oscars, was when I saw that specific lead-in video right before they made the final announcement. And of course, Harry didn't win. But with the Makeup, I thought Makeup was probably their best chance, simply because they had that line about goblins. And you're up against making Glenn Close look like a boy, or...
Micah: Yeah, but that's been done before. Haven't they done that?
Eric: ...Meryl Streep look like - well - or Meryl Streep...
Micah: She does look like a man. It's not that hard.
Eric: Making her look like...
Laura: Margaret Thatcher?
Eric: ...the Queen.
Eric: Yes. So...
Andrew and Micah: No.
Eric: No. I really still don't understand necessarily why Harry Potter didn't win.
Micah: But what about - I mean, I saw a really cool graphic that somebody posted on Facebook. Think about how much it takes to transform Ralph Fiennes into Voldemort.
Andrew: Yeah, this is all very...
Eric: They've got to take his nose! Every time you see him and he doesn't have a nose, that's makeup or CGI.
Andrew: Well, to wrap this up, there's a YouTube channel called HowItShouldHaveEnded.com - well, it's probably a website but they also have these videos on YouTube.
Andrew: And they did "Harry Potter and the Best Picture Summary," and it's Snape, Dumbledore, Harry, and Voldemort all discussing why they weren't nominated for Best Picture. And it's very funny, so we'll just play it.
[Audio clip plays]
Harry: Professor! Did you hear the news?
Dumbledore: News, you say?
Harry: We aren't nominated for Best Picture!
Dumbledore: What?! That's outrageous! Who would do such a thing?
Voldemort: I'll tell you who! Someone that looks just like me except covered in gold, that's who.
Voldemort: What, I'm not allowed to be upset about this?
Dumbledore: Best Director?
Dumbledore: Best Actor?
Harry: Are you serious?
Dumbledore: Not even Music?
Voldemort: [censored] you guys! We made eight movies.
Dumbledore: Was it because of the scene at the end when you kids were grown up? Because I told you, that scene should have only been on the extended Blu-ray version.
Snape: Hello, everyone.
Harry: Professor Snape! Did you hear about the nominations?
Snape: Yes, and I'm appalled. I kept this serious look on my face for over ten years, and George Clooney walked down the beach for two hours and suddenly everyone wets their pants.
Harry: We had a beach in our movie!
[Ben and Laura laugh]
Harry: I held an elf in my arms on the beach as he died!
Voldemort: I cried during that scene.
Harry: Thank you!
Snape: Exactly. We have everything those movies have.
Harry: Totally have everything!
Snape: Hugo: A boy in a train station. I wonder where we've seen that before. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: A boy who loses his father.
Harry: I lost both of my parents!
Snape: Moneyball: Sports. We have Quidditch.
Voldemort: Yes, but Quidditch is kind of stupid.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Snape: Midnight in Paris: Time travel.
Dumbledore: Duh. We did that years ago.
Snape: The Help: Racism.
Voldemort: We force elves to be our servants.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Snape: The Tree of Life. Did anyone even see that movie?
Voldemort: I hated The Tree of Life.
Dumbledore: I've never even heard of that movie.
Snape: War Horse.
Harry: We have war.
Dumbledore: And flying horses.
Snape: The Artist.
Voldemort: Oh, I actually really liked that.
Harry: Oh, yes. He is right, actually.
Dumbledore: Wonderful, wonderful.
Snape: I enjoyed it tremendously.
Voldemort: To be honest, it probably should win.
Harry: I totally agree.
[Ben and Laura laugh]
Harry: I'm sorry, so what is the deal?
Snape: Our movie actually made money, that's what the deal is.
Harry: Well, so sorry we're a massive success like the Lord of the Rings.
Dumbledore: Or Titanic.
Voldemort: Sorry everyone loves us.
Harry: Sorry we influenced an entire generation.
Snape: Sorry we made eight movies that people will watch more than once.
Voldemort: So sorry that our last film alone made more money at the box office than all of the nominees combined!
[Thunder in the background]
Dumbledore: I believe this is what Muggles call "horse poop."
[Sound of a door opening]
Hermione: Everyone! We've been nominated for three awards! Isn't that exciting? Art Direction, Makeup, and Visual Effects!
Dumbledore: Nobody cares!
Voldemort: Oh, come on!
Dumbledore: Big surprise there.
Harry: We could win that one with our eyes closed.
[Outro music plays]
[Audio clip ends]
Andrew: So there we go. That said it very nicely and it resonated very much with fans.
Laura: Yeah, that was funny.
Micah: It's pretty good, pretty well done.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] Comparing house-elves...
Andrew: ...to racism in The Help.
Eric: Well, that was the goal, wasn't it, really? I mean, talking about...
Micah: Yeah, there are definitely themes of racism in the books. We've talked about that on the show before.
Laura: I think they were kidding.
Micah: Yeah, I thought they were kidding, too.
Ben: Well, as a consolation, Harry Potter picked up ten Saturn Awards!
Andrew: I don't know what the second part of that note is.
Andrew: In the doc.
Eric: I don't know the second part of that note, either.
Andrew: Yeah, so it did win - it was nominated for ten Saturn Awards, but honestly, who cares about that?
Micah: [laughs] And...
Eric: Well, the Saturn Awards, interestingly...
Micah: Is that a special Saturn Award?
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: That - we're talking about the Google Doc, somebody graffiti'd it.
Eric: Now, the Saturn Awards - I didn't even really know about these.
Andrew: [laughs] What is all this?!
Eric: I recall hearing about the name. But it's in June, and they've been nominated for ten, same amount as Hugo, and so Potter does have a chance of winning those. But it's specifically for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. So...
Andrew: I'm over it! I can't - I don't care about Harry Potter and awards anymore.
Eric: That's okay.
Andrew: They lost the Oscars. Who cares?
Eric: We'll find out in June. [laughs] So...
Andrew: Okay. Well, in some impressive news, just a quick update on the Harry Potter theme park expansions. There's been a lot going on. We know that they're building a Wizarding World in Los Angeles. They're building an expansion in Orlando.
Andrew: The expansion in Orlando is going to be taking place in the other park.
Andrew: Not in Islands of Adventure. So you're going to need two tickets for the full experience, baby, and how are you going to...
Ben: Two tickets?!
Micah: Oh, come on, they've got to work something out there.
Ben: Oh my God.
Laura: Oh no, they're not going to. [laughs]
Andrew: And how are you going to get to those two parks? How else, the Hogwarts Express. And there's been a little new information about that. It is going to be cutting through the back of Universal. You're going to be going through a tunnel, basically, on a train, and there's going to be video screens all surrounding you and it's going to be like you're making that journey from Diagon Alley to the Wizarding World and vice-versa. So...
Micah: Well, nothing says English countryside like Orlando, Florida.
Laura: [laughs] Yeah.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, it should be interesting how they create that experience. But no other information has been revealed. Hopefully soon. I mean, they're already working on it. They've already been knocking out Jaws which is where this new Harry Potter park is going to be built. It should be fantastic.
Ben: Awww, they're getting rid of Jaws?
Andrew: Yeah. It closed about a month or two ago. Yeah, sorry. It was a good ride, it was a classic. When Pottermore does open they are going to be distributing e-books through public and school libraries. This was an announcement made in association with Overdrive. So this is great. And now - this seems so odd to me and I wouldn't like doing this at all, but in libraries these days you can bring your e-book in and rent a book, and then exit the library and then you'll have it on your e-book reader.
Eric: That's so New Age to me.
Andrew: It doesn't seem right. Like, if I go to a library I want to pick up a physical book, that's why I'm there.
Eric: Yeah, otherwise I'd just be on the iTunes Store at home.
Ben: Whatever, dude. You have a Kindle, an iPad...
Andrew: I lost my Kindle.
Ben: Did you really?
Andrew: Yeah. If anybody has found it, by the way...
Laura: How did you lose your Kindle?
Andrew: Because it's so small and lightweight and amazing that it just floated away.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Laura: So amazing that you forgot it somewhere.
Micah: I hope somebody who needs a Kindle found it and won't return it to you.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Laura: How can you need a Kindle?
Micah: I don't know, ask Andrew.
Laura: How can you need something like that?
Andrew: You want to save paper. You want to save the trees, baby. I'm green. You should be, too. You're surrounded by them in Costa Rica.
Laura: We don't have paper.
Andrew: This episode is offending somebody.
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Micah: As always!
Andrew: But these e-books, we don't know when they're going to be announced - or when they're going to be available. Apparently when the e-book store opens up on Pottermore, but when's that going to be?
Micah: So Laura, what do you use if you don't use paper? Do you guys just write messages in the sand to each other?
Laura: No, I mean, we've got a lot of banana leaves, so we use those.
Andrew: [laughs] In related Pottermore news, they reinforced that they do not have an opening date in the immediate future, and this came after a Guardian writer contacted Pottermore and found this out. So, not good.
Micah: It's just gotten to that point now - I mean, I feel like I'm the spokesperson for this, but people were looking forward to it. That's my only thing. And people who have been looking forward to it for a long time, you know?
Laura: Oh whatever.
Andrew: And being let down.
Laura: I'll give my account to somebody. If you want my account, send me an e-mail.
Andrew: [laughs] Hey, that's against the rules, Laura!
Laura: Yeah, okay.
Eric: I'd give my account to somebody if I could remember what the username was.
Andrew: You know, I was actually thinking...
Laura: God, the usernames for that thing are so bad. I'm sure you guys talked about this a lot...
Laura: ...but they're so bad.
Andrew: I'm CatSeeker.
Eric: Yeah, we missed you on that discussion.
Laura: Yeah, I think I'm something like Rook - something or another, I don't know.
Laura: [laughs] ToucanRook.
Micah: Toucan Sam.
Laura: I got the special Latin American name.
Andrew: [laughs] "Oh, we see you're in Latin America. Here, we're going to add 'Toucan' to your name."
Micah: We're all going to hell.
Andrew: I got some - so yeah, no updates on Pottermore, unfortunately, yet. But feel free to contact Laura if you want her Pottermore name. Just kidding, that's against the rules. Nobody e-mail her.
Eric: That's against the rules.
Laura: Please e-mail me.
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