Richard Griffiths: The link between Tarzan and Harry Potter.

British character actor Richard Griffiths has passed away at the age of 65.

To many people — including many of the headline writers out there — he is best-known as the actor who played Harry Potter’s awful Uncle Vernon. To others, he is famous for playing Uncle Monty in the cult hit Withnail & I (1989).

But he will always linger in my memory for a tiny part he had in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984).

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Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (dir. Chris Columbus, 2001)

harrypotter1If there is one thing the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone may prove, it’s that fidelity to the original text isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. For over a year, director Chris Columbus has assured followers of the young orphan wizard that he intends to stay as true to J.K. Rowling’s phenomenally popular novels as possible — he has repeated this mantra so often he probably says it in his sleep — and to be sure, his film gets many things right. But, with the help of screenwriter Steve Kloves, Columbus tries to cram so many of the book’s subplots into the film that you are constantly aware of how much of Rowling’s original story is missing. This may be heresy to Potter fans, but films and books are very different media, and a more thorough rewrite could have made this a better movie.

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