Tag Archives: Margie Anne Clark

Universal Studios Hollywood Immerses You into the Magic of the Movies! Still time to get in on Summer-Time fun with Harry Potter Light show, DreamWorks Characters, and More!

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The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts™ Castle,” featuring a dazzling light projection experience against the backdrop of Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

Story and photos by Margie Anne Clark

“Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about.” – Steven Spielberg

Universal Studios – Hollywood –  There’s no business like show business and Universal Studios Hollywood puts you into the magic of movies in such an incredible way! You’ll feel like you’re really flying with Harry Potter and his friends, or taking a ride with the Fast and the Furious team  all in one day! You can shake hands with some of your favorite DreamWorks, Minions and other fun Characters walking around the park. There’s still time to get in on the Summer-time fun with so many things to see and do at a park where guests walk the red carpet and get in on the act on gravity defying rides that take you to worlds beyond the imagination!

DreamWorks Theatre at Universal Studios Hollywood
Shrek’s final show was Aug. 13. He’ll make way for the new DreamWorks Theatre starting with Kung Fu Panda. Photo/Universal Studios Hollywood

Words cannot begin to describe the fun of jumping on a ride with Harry Potter and his friends or seeing your favorite DreamWorks characters and other fun and often furry friends up close and personal! Anything’s possible at Universal Studios Hollywood, just bring your sense of adventure and you’ll be immersed into the lights, cameras and action of each and every show! So get ready for excitement and fun that you’ll never forget!!  We said good-bye this weekend to the Shrek ride, but he’ll make way for even more fun to come so stay tuned! What a fun, action packed and truly magical day on Saturday August 12, 2017 at Universal Studios Hollywood!! Universal-Studios-28-Universal-Studios-27-Universal-Studios-26-Universal-Studios-24-Universal-Studios-9-Universal-Studios-20-Universal-Studios-21-Universal-Studios-22-Universal-Studios-1- Universal-Studios-2- Universal-Studios-3- Universal-Studios-4- Universal-Studios-5- Universal-Studios-6- Universal-Studios-16- Universal-Studios-17- Universal-Studios-18- Universal-Studios-19- Universal-Studios   Universal Studios Hollywood News  It’s an exciting time at Universal Studios Hollywood as the #1 tourist destination in Los Angeles introduces compelling new theme park attractions and noteworthy new Universal CityWalk establishments. Click here to see what’s new. Below highlights what’s on the horizon in 2018 at Universal Studios Hollywood even as the Entertainment Capital of L.A. continues to unveil dynamic new opportunities for the remainder of 2017:

  • With DreamWorks Animation’s recent acquisition, Universal Studios Hollywood will soon roll out the red carpet for a unique, never before seen DreamWorks Theatre attraction. Opening in 2018, this newly designed venue will play host to a variety of action-packed DreamWorks Animation themed attractions beginning with the multi-sensory adventure inspired by the global blockbuster franchise Kung Fu Panda, and created in partnership with Universal Creative and DreamWorks’ Artists. This new technologically advanced attraction will take guests on a legendary journey that fuses captivating storytelling with state-of-the art projection mapping and LED lighting effects for a highly engaging and immersive, unstoppable-awesome experience.

Meet the lovable DreamWorks characters that will join Universal Studios Hollywood beginning in summer 2017 to entertain guests and pose for memorable photos. Newly introduced characters will include:  Kung Fu Panda’s Po and Tigress; Madagascar’s Alex the Lion, The Penguins—Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private, and King Julian; Trolls’ Poppy and Branch; Shrek’s Puss ‘n Boots will join existing characters Shrek and Fiona. These many new entertaining characters will join the vast array of Universal Studios Hollywood’s many other diverse walk-about characters. Then night-time fun begins as guests are invited to see “The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM” in  “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts™ Castle,” featuring a dazzling light projection experience against the backdrop of Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As night falls on Hogsmeade village, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” will shine brightly with an awe-inspiring spectacle that showcases the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin that culminates with awesome beams of lights that fan into the night sky. The colorful state-of-the-art light display and special effects projection, designed to dance across the stunning Hogwarts castle, will be accompanied by a special musical arrangement created by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams based on his original scores composed for the film series. The musical arrangement that will emanate in a surround sound environment was conducted by prolific arranger William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London. Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood is a masterful recreation, faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including as its iconic focal point, Hogwarts castle. From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” transports guests of all ages to the very places they watched on the silver screen. The architecturally stunning land also includes the incredibly captivating and highly acclaimed “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” thrill ride, now enhanced with 4K-HD and ride film projecting at an astounding rate of 120 frames-per-second for an even more immersive glimpse into Harry Potter’s world, as well as Flight of the Hippogriff™,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor family coaster. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” resonates with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverages at multiple locations, including Three Broomsticks™ and Hog’s Head pub, as well as the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts. A foray through the shops adds to the authenticity of the land with eight retail venues and locations, including Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko’s™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges™, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium™ of Confiscated Goods. More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Join the conversation online using #WizardingWorldHollywood. Like Universal Studios Hollywood onFacebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter. Meet the lovable DreamWorks characters that will join Universal Studios Hollywood beginning in summer 2017 to entertain guests and pose for memorable photos. Newly introduced characters will include:  Kung Fu Panda’s Po and Tigress; Madagascar’s Alex the Lion, The Penguins—Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private, and King Julian; Trolls’ Poppy and Branch; Shrek’s Puss ‘n Boots will join existing characters Shrek and Fiona. These many new entertaining characters will join the vast array of Universal Studios Hollywood’s many other diverse walk-about characters. Then night-time fun begins as guests are invited to see “The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM” in  “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts™ Castle,” featuring a dazzling light projection experience against the backdrop of Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As night falls on Hogsmeade village, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” will shine brightly with an awe-inspiring spectacle that showcases the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin that culminates with awesome beams of lights that fan into the night sky. The colorful state-of-the-art light display and special effects projection, designed to dance across the stunning Hogwarts castle, will be accompanied by a special musical arrangement created by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams based on his original scores composed for the film series. The musical arrangement that will emanate in a surround sound environment was conducted by prolific arranger William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London. Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood is a masterful recreation, faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including as its iconic focal point, Hogwarts castle. From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” transports guests of all ages to the very places they watched on the silver screen. The architecturally stunning land also includes the incredibly captivating and highly acclaimed “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” thrill ride, now enhanced with 4K-HD and ride film projecting at an astounding rate of 120 frames-per-second for an even more immersive glimpse into Harry Potter’s world, as well as Flight of the Hippogriff™,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor family coaster. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” resonates with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverages at multiple locations, including Three Broomsticks™ and Hog’s Head pub, as well as the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts. A foray through the shops adds to the authenticity of the land with eight retail venues and locations, including Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko’s™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges™, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium™ of Confiscated Goods. More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Join the conversation online using #WizardingWorldHollywood. Like Universal Studios Hollywood onFacebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter. Universal-Studios-11 Universal-Studios-12- Universal-Studios-13- Universal-Studios-14- Universal-Studios-8-

Christmas In Our Time

By Margie Anne Clark

“God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I look forward to the advent of another Christmas season spent with my ever growing  family, I am reminded that life with its challenges is always renewing itself. Even in the face of triumphs and tragedies, I know this to be true.  Okay, so I’m an optimist.  Always have been. But even I know that time marches on. We grow up, our kids grow up, neighbors come and go, close friends move away …

But there are some things I hope will remain constant in life, like love of family, dear friends, cherished memories, and of course, Christmas. In these modern times, it seems that the season of Christmas has managed to transcend religious beliefs to include a universal celebration of the human spirit and good will.

I was raised with basic Christian tenets, but I have always believed in the importance and commonality of all religions which espouse the concept of good will towards all people. A great world leader, Pope John Paul II addressed this issue in his 1994 book, “Crossing the Threshold of Hope.” In it, Pope John Paul II cites in his excerpts a church document entitled, “Nostra Aetate,” (In Our Time).

“From the beginning, Christian Revelation has viewed the spiritual history of man as including, in some way all religions, thereby demonstrating the unity of all human kind with regard to the eternal and ultimate destiny of man … There is only one community and it consists of all peoples. They have only one origin, since God inhabited the earth with the whole human race …” (Nostra Aetate I-2).

Pope John Paul II wrote: “Thus instead of marveling at the fact that Providence allows such a great variety ofreligions, we should be amazed at the number common elements found within them.”

In this day and age of post-9/11, the War in Iraq and conflicts around the world , it’s easy for us to forget the common bonds of humanity that bind us.  Pope John Paul II cites another expert from the Nostra Aetate states:

“Even if over the course of centuries Christians and Muslims have had more than a few dissensions and quarrels, this sacred Council now urges all to forget the past and to work toward mutual understanding as well as toward the preservation and promotion of social justice, moral welfare, peace and freedom for the benefit of all mankind (Nostra Aetate 3).”

But the world is a complicated place.

When you look at difficulties and suffering that sometimes arise within families, communities and between friends, one wonders how in the world the many diverse people of the world can ever get along in peace and harmony.

And one wonders if there are those who are not deserving of any respect.

But as it says in Galations, all of us are “children of promise.”

Christ himself addressed this issue when he said to the apostles: “Take courage, I have conquered the world (John 16:33). But he also cautioned:

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke, 18:8).

Life is a paradox. In Christian faith, we are taught that Christ was born to save mankind from sin. Yet, in sin comes the opportunity for grace. The birth of Christ in a lowly manger was honored in grace and profound respect by wise men and kings who brought gifts to herald in His sojourn on Earth.

Because of this, gift-giving seems to be a big part of the Christmas celebration. It’s a way to take time out and give tokens of thanks to those who have touched our lives. In this sense, gift giving takes on a universal spirit. But in the hustle and bustle of finding just the perfect gift, or being stressed out, it’s important to take time out to simply be a friend.

A kind word, an act of thoughtfulness and courtesy can mean just as much or even more than an expensive gift. Ralph Waldo Emerson eloquently pointed this out in his essays on spiritual laws:

“Let us lie low in the Lord’s power and learn that truth alone makes rich and great. For it is only the finite that has wrought and suffered: the infinite lies stretched in smiling repose.”

Emerson goes on to write: “If you visit your friend, why need you apologize for not having visited him, and waste his time and deface your own act? Visit him now. Let him feel the highest love has come to see him … be a giftof benediction. Shine with real light and not with the borrowed reflection of gifts …”

While gifts are an important part of the holiday season, friendship, love and respect for our fellow human beings are by far the greatest gifts of all.

Margie Anne Clark is a writer based in Los Angeles.  All rights reserved.

HARRY’S FRIENDSHIPS TESTAMENT TO HIS APPEAL – HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 OPENS NOV. 18 IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE

By Margie Anne Clark

The first installment of the two-part conclusion to the Harry Potter series finds the bespectacled wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) walking away from his last year at Hogwarts to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes to end Voldemort’s bid for immortality.
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be releasing in the USA on 19th November, 2010. The $250 Million Dollar film will soon be followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II to be released on 15th July, 2011. Photo/Warner Bros.
But with Harry’s beloved Dumbledore dead and Voldemort’s unscrupulous Death Eaters on the loose, the world is more dangerous than ever. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be releasing in the USA on 19th November, 2010. The $250 Million Dollar film will soon be followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II to be released on 15th July, 2011.
But what makes this spectacular franchise so unique and enduring? In the mind of this reporter, Harry Potter is the ultimate hero to an entire generation of young muggles who literally grew up with the precocious orphaned wizard.
His amazing powers and struggles against the dark powers of Lord Voldemort have become an adventure the whole world has become engaged in.
What makes Harry Potter so special and such a worldwide phenomena is the way in which J.K. Rowling has brilliantly mixed magic and fantasy with the everyday struggles and angst that youth of today must face.
The story of Harry Potter is modern, yet timeless by means of transforming ordinary circumstances into extraordinary adventures.
In his struggle against good and evil, Harry Potter must face the world – mortal or otherwise – in all of its gritty glory, juxtaposed against the wonders of magic.
All the while facing his destiny, and mortal dangers that come with it – with a little help from his friends. And therein lies the real magic and the heart of Harry’s enduring appeal. The friendships that he forges, no matter what the odds, will always win out. And of course, Daniel Radcliffe’s portrayal the title character is the key to the young wizard’s popularity in the movie version of the Harry Potter series.

The modest British actor is endearing, possessing a young Paul McCartney-esque appeal with the charm and British wit to match. And like the timeless appeal of the Beatles, the character Radcliffe has created in film will no doubt stand the test of time and go on to enthrall generations of young muggles to come.

The Harry Potter films represent movie-making at its finest. The stories are gripping and engaging, and the superb special effects are brilliantly orchestrated to render a story that captivates its audience, even as it leaves us wanting more. Harry Potter is truly a Renaissance man, whose story will live on forever.

Margie Anne Clark is a Los Angeles based writer. She can be reached at margie@losangeleslifeandstyle.com