By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I've seen it and I was very disappointed. Everything looked very transparent. They chose the wrong director. The director who made City of Lost Childrenwould have done a great job with Harry Potter, but unfortunately, they wanted to make it as unscary as possible. I came out of the theater and said, "This is for people who haven't read the Hobbit."
What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? I still think the best story for kids is Alice in Wonderland. It's trippy, and it's the closest thing to a dream you can show a child. I like Lewis Carrol because he had a complex life. For my generation, the movie was Return of the Jediand, because I grew up with older siblings, anything by John Hughes. If you had magic powers, what would you change? I'd like to go back to September 10 and to know in advance what was planned for the next day. I'd like to be able to pick up the phone and call someone and tell them to guard the airspace around the World Trade Center. And to get everyone out of the buildings. September 11 was the weirdest day of my life. It was like an exodus over the bridge to Brooklyn. I became immediately depressed. I couldn't get out of my mind how simple and brilliant the attack was. I'd always seen brilliance as a good thing, but it was as though they were making fun of us as they were atttacking us. Equally disturbing were the anti-humanitarian sentiments, the "let's just nuke them." I heard this a lot from people I knew. The event mimics Hollywood, and we're all waiting for the happy ending where we find this guy sitting in a cave with his 20 wives. The reality is that it isn't going to end.
Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I read some of the Harry Potter books in school because they were used to test us on reading and spelling and vocabulary. I actually only read enough of them to answer the questions. I liked them, I thought they were nice magical books. It's like the Merlin story for kids. I want to see the movie when it's all children in the audience. Adults would be all serious, but with kids you can bug out and yell and scream, "I wish I could do that!"
What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? When I was young I loved the book Animal Farmwhere animals like the pig and the dog take over and try to be like humans. It made an impression on me. I also liked Bruce Lee movies, King Arthurand the Knights of Jesterand the X-Men and Double Dragon cartoons.
If you had magic powers, what would you change?I'd make my sister disappear. She acts like she's the boss of me. She's always saying things like, "Don't eat too loud, turn the TV down. . . ." I'd make her vanish for a couple of hours a day so I could have some peace. Then I'd make my teacher pass me. I'd do a lot of things.
Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I'm going to take my kids to see it as soon as the theaters are less crowded. My kids have read the books and they're pestering me to go see the movie; they also want all the games. I don't know what they are. There's one where a ball flies through hoops and circles that also has an owl. The book is usually better than the movie they make from the book. One of my favorite books, Flowers in the Attic, was a novel about a woman who locked her children in the attic because she wouldn't inherit money if she had kids. The movie they made from it was terrible, nothing like the book.
What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? I loved The Aristocats. I recently bought the video and sing "Everybody wants to be a cat" to my kids. I loved the cartoon of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, although I haven't read the book. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factoryscared the hell out of me with the purple midgets singing oompa, loompa. I couldn't watch them. They were too scary.
If you had magic powers, what would you change? I'd do something to help my family and I'd make myself a house in Brooklyn. I'd also want to be a superhero. I actually think about that. My costume would look like Storm from the X-Men. I'd put it on and I'd go around helping people.
Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I am excited about it because it's something positive for the kids. I haven't read the books, but I'm on my way to buy one of them. I'm going to read it aloud to my three-year-old niece. I saw Monsters Inc. yesterday and it was great. It was about monsters who live off of kids' screams. They go from closet to closet. I loved it.