Thursday, 11 November 2010

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Monday, 8 November 2010

Coming soon - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

Wizard fans, your wait is almost over. The Seventh movie in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is due to hit UK cinema screens November 18th. As you may have heard, the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series “The Deathly Hallows” has been split into two parts, the first of which will be released this November whilst part II shall follow next year. Director David Yates claims that the split is necessary because J. K. Rowling’s source material is too rich and too dense to squeeze into a single 120-or-so minute film. Thus in order to do the book justice he has opted to tackle it over the course of two films.

The film follows Harry as he attempts to hunt down Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes. What’s a Horcrux I hear you ask? A Horcrux is a receptacle into which a wizard has hidden a part of his soul and in doing so has granted himself immortality. Voldemort is incapable of being defeated so long as his Horcruxes aren’t dealt with. The hunt takes Harry, Ron and Hermione away from the relative safety of Hogwarts and out into a wizarding-world at war. School is well and truly out.

But should we be excited about the release of The Deathly Hallows Part I? The first thing to note is that whilst the film was scheduled to be released in 3D, these plans have since been axed (although it has recently been announced that The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince are being converted into 3D for Blu-Ray). Children may be disappointed with this news, but bear in mind that 3D can in many cases detract from your enjoyment of a film. This was certainly the case with the awful 3D conversion job that was done for Clash of the Titans. I think we can treat this news as a quaffle dodged.

If you’ve read the 7th book, you’ll know just how exciting it is. Despite being remarkably well written it essentially boils down to a number of exhilarating chase/escape sequences (including: a broomstick chase near the beginning and perilous escapes from both the Ministry of Magic and Gringotts Bank) interspersed with some angsty characterisation. Ron in particular has some growing to do over the course of the book and it’ll be interesting to see how Rupert Grint handles these changes to his character. The good news is that when the film was test screened it received some rave reviews (sample: "amazing and dark" and "the most perfect Harry Potter film"). If you have any interest whatsoever in the Harry Potter franchise, this is a must see film.

The Deathly Hallows, as you can imagine from its rather ominous title, is the darkest Harry Potter book of the lot. The movie has a PG certificate but please be aware that this it deals with themes that younger children may find disturbing (but if your child was able to handle the cave full of zombies and a certain main character's death at the end of the last film, they ought to be alright here). If you’re worried and want to know if this film is suitable for your child, be sure to check the BBFC website for further details.

Haven't read it yet? Click here to check prices on Amazon for the adult edition or the children's edition (shown below).


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Family Friendly Bonfire Nights Across the UK

by Sam Sanchez

Guy Fawkes Night
In and Around London:

Visit IanVisits for an excellent and fairly comprehensive list of Bonfire Night celebrations across London. There are a good few family friendly events in his list.

Across the UK:

Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular , Maidstone, Kent
7 November, fireworks begin 5.30pm, event site opens at 2pm with live music and entertainment.
Hailed as one of the finest fireworks displays in the country. All ages are welcome.

Wizard’s Fireworks- The grand Tournament of Spells, Legoland, Windsor
6 November, fireworks begin 5.30pm
The popular family attraction is putting on a fun packed day with spellbinding activities including secret potion classes for ages 5 and up and a wizard treasure trail, plus selected rides will remain open for 1 hour after the fireworks.

Cambridge Bonfire Night on Midsummer Common
5 November, fireworks begin 7.30pm, £1 per person (donation)
The biggest free firework display in East Anglia. The fireworks will be preceded by a spectacular fire performance between 7-7.20pm. There will be a bonfire lit after the fireworks. There will also be a family fun fair from 6pm to 10pm.

Lincolnshire Fireworks 2010
5 November, children’s fireworks begin 6.30pm, main firework display begins 8.30pm
Under 2s free, Children £2.70, Adults £5.40
A night of family fun with a traditional bonfire food stalls, children's entertainment, side shows and stalls and free car park. Gates open at 4pm.

Bonfire Night at Ragley Hall Park & Gardens, Warwickshire
6 November, fireworks begin 8pm, £5 with children, under 2s free
A spectacular fireworks display set to music, a bonfire by the lake with entertainment and food stalls. Children’s entertainment.

Pypes Hayes Park, Erdington, North Birmingham
5 November, fireworks begin 8.30pm, free admission.
A night out under the stars at Pypes Park with a traditional bonfire night with fireworks and a funfair. One the best and safest bonfire nights in Birmingham.

Guy Fawkes Experience, Waltham Abbey, Essex
6-7 November, fireworks begin 6.30pm,
Enjoy a fireworks display at this historic site where gunpowder was made, a host of children activities including Guy Fawkes lantern making. Activities run from 3.30pm-5.45pm. Food and drink are available until 7pm.

Manchester Heaton Park Bonfire and Firework Display
5 November, fireworks begin 7.30pm.
Variety of entertainment and food and drink will be available. A funfair will run from 5pm-9.30pm.

Kempton Park Fireworks, Sunbury
6 November, Fireworks begin 7.45pm, Kids under 5 free, tickets £6 in advance and £8 on the night.
A fund raising event organised by a number of local Round Tables with the aim of distributing proceeds to local causes and charities. A more intimate and smaller fireworks display.

Waterloo Rugby Club, Crosby, Liverpool
7 November, Fireworks begin 7pm, family ticket £14.50 consisting of 2 adults and 2 children, £7 for adults and £3 for children.
A great fun night out for all the family at the annual fireworks display. Food and refreshments will be available.

Round Table Fireworks at Anstey Park, Alton
6 November, fireworks 7.30pm, Tickets in advance adults £5, children £3, £1 extra on the night.
A very popular family evening out, with a grand firework display held at the park. Special appearance by Mark Chivers and Eagle Radio Love Crew. Gates open from 6.30pm.

Woodhouse Moor, Leeds
5 November, fireworks begin 7.30pm, Admission free
Hundreds of people will visit this park to see the spectacular fireworks and bonfire brighten up the city’s skyline to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night this year.

Please add your favourites below too!
Thanks @sjwarnes @JAD73 @nige270 @creepycrawlies @Netmums @LawMum and Hayley for all your Bonfire Night suggestions!