Now See Here

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”Warner BrothersDirected by David YatesWritten by Michael GoldenbergStarring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Glint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham CarterRated PG-13/138 minutesOpened July 11, 2007

One has to wonder, if Daniel Radcliffe were to hold a press conference tomorrow and claim that he and the staple cast of the “Harry Potter” franchise were, to steal the John Lennon phrase, “more popular than Jesus,” would even social stalwarts have to nod in agreement?

The only question now that Harry is set to face the wicked Voldemort amid mass speculation of his non-existence is whether Harry will have to sue the Hogwarts administration in order to reveal the cover up.

I’d suggest he enlist U.S. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for his support.

“Captivity”LionsgateDirected by Roland JaffeWritten by Larry Cohen and Joseph TuraStarring Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gillies and Pruitt Taylor VinceRated R/85 minutesOpens July 13, 2007

With the advent of Eli Roth’s “Hostel,” the term “torture-porn” has become an industry standard.

What once was an outside sideshow attraction for sex offenders and drunken fraternity inductions has now become its own sub-genre.

So, how does one, in the words of Ezra Pound, “make torture-porn new?”

You film so much “raw,” “inventive,” “social commentary” torture-porn that prior to the film’s release you have to edit more than one-third of the film’s content just to get an “R” rating.

You then release the film amid waves of protests, and call it “Captivity.”

Roll around in a barrel full of money.


“Extras: Season Two”Now available on DVD

Ricky Gervais is a comedic genius.

The writer-director-star of BBC’s hit comedy “The Office”-parent of its U.S. equivalent, for which Gervais is executive producer-is back in his latest offering from HBO, “Extras.”

“Extras: Season Two” follows Gervais’ character, Andy Millman, as he rises from being a struggling film extra-Millman is quick to point out he’s really an “actor”-to the star of his own substandard sitcom.

Peppered among Millman’s own struggles for artistic integrity and romantic fulfillment are his encounters with celebrities running the gamut of Hollywood A-to-C listers.

Last season had Kate Winslet coaching Gervais’ co-extra Maggie (Ashley Jensen) on phone sex.

This season has Daniel Radcliffe (“Harry Potter”) playing with prophylactics, Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) writing a screenplay and David Bowie giving an impromptu send-up song of Gervais’ Millman: “He’s a pathetic little fat-man, no one bloody loves him?”