Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Harry Potter

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.

2017-10-28 15:10:06

It all ends here. Reeltime Harry Potter concludes on 29 October 2017 at 8pm GMT.

2017-10-29 20:00:39

Starting right where we ended.

2017-10-29 20:01:12

Welcome back to the final instalment of the first cycle of Reeltime.

2017-10-29 20:02:22

We’ve covered a decade of films in just under three and a half months.

2017-10-29 20:04:10

Reminding us first of the casualties – there must be many more to come.

2017-10-29 20:05:58

Snape placed a fake sword in Bellatrix’s safe? I’m guessing it’ll take more than that to prove his allegiance…

2017-10-29 20:09:39

More wand swapping: “The wand chooses the wizard Mr Potter. That has always been clear to those of us who follow Wand Law.”
More wizarding law! Although I suspect this is more on the level of Charlie’s Bird Law than Magical Contract Law.

2017-10-29 20:11:05

“I’m afraid you really don’t stand a chance.”
“Never tell me the odds!”

2017-10-29 20:12:44

Time for another heist! Is this film going to follow the structure of the last one identically?

2017-10-29 20:14:26

Oooh… Gringotts looks just like I remember from Orlando.

2017-10-29 20:15:17

When does the Escape from Gringotts ride start?

2017-10-29 20:16:53

Oh, right now.

2017-10-29 20:18:09

Was this designed with a theme park ride in mind? A rickety minecart seems like a terrible way to travel into a vault at a bank that must be rolling in cash.

2017-10-29 20:19:32

Dragons seem a lot less intimidating by this stage…

2017-10-29 20:20:36

“Accio Horcrux”?
Oh right, now they think that’s stupid.

2017-10-29 20:21:29

“That’s unfortunate.” Ron’s understatement has levelled up.

2017-10-29 20:23:36

Okay no, dragons still kind of a big deal.

2017-10-29 20:25:49

If Voldemort knows the kids are hunting Horcruxes then presumably an ambush is in order whilst they still can’t kill him?

2017-10-29 20:26:55

Another obligatory topless Radcliffe sequence.
“Hermione! When have any of our plans ever actually worked?” He has a point.

2017-10-29 20:29:24

So we’re introducing Dumbledore’s brother as a new character in the final film?

2017-10-29 20:29:55

At least he’s questioning why everyone implicitly trusts Dumbledore when he keeps so many secrets from everyone else.
Not that Harry’s considering this for a moment.

2017-10-29 20:33:53

“My brother sacrificed many things, Mr Potter, on his journey to find power. Including Ariana.” That sounds more like the Dumbledore I’ve seen through these films.

2017-10-29 20:35:30

Neville! Looking rugged, but really rocking that cardigan.

2017-10-29 20:36:46

“We have a new weather report. Lightning has struck!” Their subtle codes are uncrackable.

2017-10-29 20:38:20

I’ll admit I still have absolutely no idea what Snape’s gameplan is here.

2017-10-29 20:39:37

So they’ve gone with the cunning plan of waltzing through the front door? So actually they could have done this at any time, given that the Order is apparently weaker now than it’s ever been.

2017-10-29 20:41:19

More proper dueling, although it highlights how rubbish those early wizard duels were. Oh, it’s sadly truncated with the old through-the-window escape.

2017-10-29 20:42:30

Were the pupils all cheering for being taken to the dungeons?! This lot cheer for the weirdest things.

2017-10-29 20:44:06

Animated statue warriors. A classic defensive gambit.

2017-10-29 20:45:59

Why is Harry still not paying attention to Luna?! Although admittedly pointing out that you need to find a dead person to speak with in Hogwarts hardly narrows things down.

2017-10-29 20:47:00

Time for a war, I guess.

2017-10-29 20:48:03

Pretty dark fireworks. Direworks.

2017-10-29 20:49:47

Conversing with ghosts in between makes for weird pacing.

2017-10-29 20:51:52

“It is the quality of ones convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.” Yes Lupin. But numbers don’t exactly hurt in a war either, do they?

2017-10-29 20:53:31

These two suddenly look about 35.

2017-10-29 20:54:52

I’m glad they burst out laughing immediately after this as if they know just how ridiculous this scene is.

2017-10-29 20:56:20

Go Neville! This is going to be his film, isn’t it?

2017-10-29 20:56:54

You can’t die yet, Neville!

2017-10-29 20:58:14

Neville and Luna… I really wish that had been set up properly. They’re great characters but I really can’t see this.

2017-10-29 20:59:09


2017-10-29 21:01:35

Still too early for Draco’s Redemption, isn’t it?

2017-10-29 21:03:30

Snake fire. When did they learn all these cool spells? I don’t remember any of this being covered in Hogwarts.

2017-10-29 21:04:43

Saving Draco. Is this just a chance for Harry to flex his mercy muscles?

2017-10-29 21:06:04

Oh the snake is the last Horcrux. Couldn’t Harry just talk it into killing itself?

2017-10-29 21:07:53

At last they really have built up towards the scale of Lord of the Rings. Not quite as coherently choreographed.

2017-10-29 21:10:20

Snape must have more in mind than just misleading Voldemort about the wand.

2017-10-29 21:12:16

Oh, this is a Wizard’s Boots thing. Snape has to die for Voldemort to control the wand.

2017-10-29 21:14:04

Given everything Harry has said about Snape, why is he trying to save him now? To show Harry is “good”? Because even pragmatically at this point he could kill Snape and have the Elder Wand bind to him, which seems in everyone’s best interest.

2017-10-29 21:15:40

There’s certainly been a lot of destruction. What’s the bodycount?

2017-10-29 21:17:38

This after-the-fact death count continues to be underwhelming. Characters like these deserve better send-offs. At least they die together.

2017-10-29 21:23:12

Severus and Lily is almost certainly the relationship I’d have wanted in that era too.

2017-10-29 21:26:37

“You’ve kept him so he can die at the proper moment. You’ve been raising him like a pig for slaughter.” Is that a surprise? That’s Dumbledore all over. It’s a shame they’re going to bottle Harry’s actual sacrifice and not kill him off…

2017-10-29 21:28:30

This is powerful but I wish there were more time to delve into Snape’s side of the story instead of this rapid flashback within a flashback.

2017-10-29 21:30:20

So Harry actually has part of Voldemort’s soul bonded with him. Does that make him a Horcrux? It certainly explains the pained look every time he destroyed the Horcruxes. I just assumed weakening Voldemort was also weakening himself.

2017-10-29 21:32:47

I suppose for a generation, this sequence with Harry coming to grips with his own mortality was their first exploration of death.

2017-10-29 21:33:35

Well that was sudden.

2017-10-29 21:34:11

Voldefetus. Well that’s hideously unexpected.
…and apparently unexplained.

2017-10-29 21:35:55

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” There’s the writer talking.

2017-10-29 21:37:00

Harry is still grappling with the nature of reality as well. Everything’s inside your head from your perspective, Harry. Particularly when you’re that unobservant.

2017-10-29 21:38:03

And… you’re back in the room.

2017-10-29 21:38:59

Dead? How dead?

2017-10-29 21:42:09

Continuing strong choices from Draco.

2017-10-29 21:42:59


2017-10-29 21:43:45

Oh it’s speech time!

2017-10-29 21:44:55

Hang on, why didn’t Neville kill the snake? It was right there!

2017-10-29 21:47:43

Right, the actual duel now that we’re done with this fake death stuff.

2017-10-29 21:48:52

Bellatrix gets a better death than most characters in this film.

2017-10-29 21:49:41

Oooh, a Reichenbach Fall…

2017-10-29 21:51:53

Definitely Neville’s film.

2017-10-29 21:53:27

These new particle effects are fantastic.

2017-10-29 21:55:03

The wand cares about disarming rather than killing? That actually makes reasonable sense. We are still going to destroy it though, right? Good.

2017-10-29 21:55:58

Is… is that it?

2017-10-29 21:56:51

Oh, of course. Epilogue time.

2017-10-29 21:58:31

Still not buying this. I should probably let it go once they have kids…

2017-10-29 21:59:49

Albus Severus Potter. Totally rolls off the tongue.

2017-10-29 22:00:42

Some seriously unconvincing ageing effects here.

2017-10-29 22:01:32

Aaand carefully cropping Ginny out of the final shot.

2017-10-29 22:03:00

Well that was a suitably epic final film, though I’ll admit I found the ending somewhat underwhelming. I know the epilogue is straight out of the books but it doesn’t really add anything.

2017-10-29 22:05:34

The action set pieces had really ramped up over the course of the series. I think these last two films had the epic sensibilities to rival Lord of the Rings (if not the scale). That said, the weight of the fights was devalued by the fact we rarely saw deaths until afterwards. It’s telling that the villains were treated less ignominiously than the heroes for the most part.

2017-10-29 22:09:29

I’m surprised to find my feelings about many of the characters did not change substantially over the series. That’s not to say that they didn’t have arcs but, rather, they were well enough set up that the their trajectory could be discerned within the first few stories.

2017-10-29 22:11:21

Snape is obviously exceptional and his pairing with Alan Rickman was a gift that makes his loss feel all the more weighty. I do wish we had been able to see his backstory with a little more clarity. With the sacrifice he made to protect Draco, it was rather underwhelming to see the Malfoy’s simply scuttling away over a bridge and no real development for Draco over the entire arc. The Malfoys in general were just gradually ruined as characters.

2017-10-29 22:14:17

With a series put together over a decade and a recurring cast growing up before us, this was an audacious undertaking and a serious achievement. I think only the three-phase Marvel Cinematic Universe over the past decade has been a bigger controlled production to navigate.

2017-10-29 22:16:16

Incidentally, is there a school of thought that Harry is Snape and Lily’s secret lovechild? I thought that’s the direction we were headed, which would equally explain Harry’s parseltongue and the Sorting Hat’s Slytherin inclination. It also turns Snape’s “your father was a swine!” outburst into an expression of guilt. Perhaps just wishful thinking on my part.

2017-10-29 22:18:18

Having discussed character arcs, Harry is the other exception. His growth was pretty minimal – he accepted responsibility and confronted his own death. But then bravery (or foolishness) was a character trait from the start. Mostly he just continued being ineffectual. Even at the end it was really Neville that ended the final battle.

2017-10-29 22:21:44

I’m supposed to have a favourite film, aren’t I? I think it’s still The Prisoner of Azkaban. At the time it was that Alfonso Cuaron pushed the series forward in terms of filmmaking, but I think it also tells the best self-contained story before the overarching Voldeplot takes over.

2017-10-29 22:24:58

So, this has been a fun experiment. It’s a slightly exhausting way to watch a movie but I hope you’ve all enjoyed this first cycle of Reeltime. Feel free to offer feedback on what you liked or disliked so that I can improve the commentary in future.

2017-10-29 22:27:02

And now I’m off to read some fan theories explaining how the prophecies are really all about Neville because, really, if he can pull off that cardigan then what can’t he do? Well, Luna, probably. He got as far as sitting near her by the end…

2017-10-29 22:27:33

Reeltime will return…

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1

Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.

2017-10-22 20:00:45

Welcome back to Year 7 of Harry Potter and the penultimate episode of this first season of Reeltime.

2017-10-22 20:01:09

And we’re in with another cold open.

2017-10-22 20:02:11

“Your Ministry remains strong and stable!”

2017-10-22 20:03:48

Continuing the theme of the early films, Mr Dursley just wants to protect his family.

2017-10-22 20:05:51

Yikes, Hermione erasing herself from her parents’ memory must be difficult but did they consent? Pretty invasive even if it is for their own protection.

2017-10-22 20:08:40

This group seems about as tedious as SPECTRE in the last Bond film.

2017-10-22 20:10:43

Voldemort has to be the one to kill Harry? Is this just for prophecy purposes? Or because the audience wouldn’t be happy with any other outcome? Or is it the only way Voldemort can become a Real Boy?

2017-10-22 20:12:10

I miss when Lucius had a spine…

2017-10-22 20:13:30

Still trying to work out what Snape’s angle here is.

2017-10-22 20:15:03

Woo, Clemence Poesy is back!

2017-10-22 20:16:05

Magical ginger highlights are on point.

2017-10-22 20:16:51

Oh god, what are they doing to her?! This is awful…

2017-10-22 20:18:09

Argh, there’s a dozen of him – now all the cool characters have turned into the most tedious one…

2017-10-22 20:19:48

Haven’t they seen The Matrix: Reloaded? Never on the Freeway!

2017-10-22 20:21:55

Did they not come up with a safeword? You’d think enough of this lot are into S&M…

2017-10-22 20:23:27

Early bodycount? No, still alive…
…oh, we’ll go with an offscreen death for Mad-Eye instead?!

2017-10-22 20:24:25

It would have been nice to see how a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher gets taken down.

2017-10-22 20:26:01

Since when is Ron the voice of reason? You may be the Chosen One but you’re still an idiot.
“To kill the other Horcruxes we have to find them.” Now that’s more like the stating-the-obvious Ron we know and tolerate.

2017-10-22 20:27:36

Fake news?

2017-10-22 20:29:38

Is anyone buying into this relationship?

2017-10-22 20:30:57

Wizarding Events Infrastructure is clearly a lot more straightforward.

2017-10-22 20:32:10

Did Dumbledore’s Will only address Harry, Ron and Hermione?! He had nothing else he wanted to leave to his colleagues and friends of decades?!

2017-10-22 20:33:29

Oh good, she’s recovered.

2017-10-22 20:34:13

Wedding Luna is fun.

2017-10-22 20:35:40

Luna is startlingly perceptive when placed next to her dad and Harry.

2017-10-22 20:37:19

Harry really knows nothing about Dumbledore. Which makes the will seem even weirder.

2017-10-22 20:38:11 

I was never good at the end of weddings either.

2017-10-22 20:41:29

At this point wands are just guns, aren’t they?

2017-10-22 20:43:12

So the wand twinning thing actually had nothing to do with his inability to hurt Harry?

2017-10-22 20:47:23

The train ride surroundings continue to grow.

2017-10-22 20:48:05

Neville’s levelled up again!

2017-10-22 20:49:08

Oh yes: nothing to hide, nothing to fear. That always inspires confidence.

2017-10-22 20:50:55

Were people really pining for Dobby’s return? He always struck me as the Jar-Jar of the Wizarding World.

2017-10-22 20:53:16

Ooh, we’ve morphed into a heist film.

2017-10-22 20:55:15

Flushing yourself into Ministry is pretty disgusting. Is this a satirical comment on the nature of bureaucracy?

2017-10-22 20:56:28

Well that was remarkably easy…

2017-10-22 20:58:25

The subtle approach to sneaking past… before anyone even knows there is an intrusion.

2017-10-22 20:59:39

“Accio locket.” Seriously?

2017-10-22 21:03:33

I’m not a fan of the artificial time restriction to heighten tension when all it really does is undermine Hermione’s potion-making ability, inexplicably given that we’ve seen her make the same potion competently before.

2017-10-22 21:04:58

Accidental infidelity. Awkward.

2017-10-22 21:06:45

How are these boys so unfamiliar with a Bag of Holding. They’re both shoo-ins for DnD.

2017-10-22 21:08:32

“Where am I supposed to find a tent?” Ron is probably a safe bet.

2017-10-22 21:10:08

Ron is right: it is troubling that Dumbledore didn’t bother to explain how to destroy the Horcruxes. But no more than anything else Dumbledore ever did.

2017-10-22 21:11:55

“You’re not doing enough!” You know I’m Harry Potter. I can’t actually do anything myself so it’s pretty bloody important that you do it for me.

2017-10-22 21:13:41

Oh, good spot on the Horcrux effects, Hermione. I would happily have written that behaviour off as Harry being a narcissistic dolt.

2017-10-22 21:17:15

After an action heavy start this has slowed down a lot.

2017-10-22 21:19:48

“Actually I’m highly logical which allows me to look past extraneous detail and perceive clearly that which others overlook.” The Gryffindor sword/basilisk venom solution is actually a really well-crafted puzzle. Much better than the early stories.

2017-10-22 21:21:06

Ron has definitely been wearing that Horcrux too long. Everyone else has noticed too, right?

2017-10-22 21:22:31

The band is breaking up…

2017-10-22 21:24:53

Still shipping these two. This is that quiet scene in a war film.

2017-10-22 21:25:59

Is Harry making out with a Snitch?

2017-10-22 21:28:20

Is this the first time he’s ever been here? Not that I can really judge.

2017-10-22 21:29:11

Merry Christmas, kids.

2017-10-22 21:30:21

Back where it all started. That house has certainly seen better days. Given the celebrity of Harry Potter, you’d think someone would have bought it / turned it into a museum or attraction…

2017-10-22 21:33:48

Harry, that’s lion taming, not snake charming.

2017-10-22 21:34:36

This film is mostly magical running away.

2017-10-22 21:35:29

And pretty vistas.

2017-10-22 21:37:01

“Maybe we should just stay here, Harry. Grow old.” I’m actually okay with that. I presume that for those who ship Harry and Hermione, this is where the books end?

2017-10-22 21:39:18

Well this suddenly got very Arthurian. But why would the sword be here, given that Hermione picked the location?

2017-10-22 21:42:38

With the ice broken, isn’t accio sword the right way to go? Or was this all just for the need to get Daniel Radcliffe to strip and jump into a freezing lake?

2017-10-22 21:44:23

Ouch, that’s definitely not what Ron wants to see… just the rest of us.

2017-10-22 21:46:19

“Three to go.” Am I losing count of Horcruxes? They need seven, right?

2017-10-22 21:47:36

It’s been weeks? Time dilation is definitely an issue in this film. I’m not getting much of a sense of passage of time.

2017-10-22 21:49:56

“Blackthorn. Ten inch.” Subtle.

2017-10-22 21:51:28

“I’m always angry with him.” We’ve gone a bit Fellowship of the Ring with all this trekking.

2017-10-22 21:53:50

“It’s the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, of course.” Are we going to get a better explanation of this title than the totally unexplained Half-Blood Prince? (Yes, I learned afterwards, but the film did not even try.)

2017-10-22 21:54:53

I’m loving the art style for this storytelling sequence.

2017-10-22 21:56:54

So are these gifts from Death the three final Horcruxes? One of which is Harry’s cloak.

2017-10-22 21:58:54

So he’s obviously keeping them there, luring them for capture, but why? Oh, they’ve taken Luna. Fair enough, really. I doubt she minds though.

2017-10-22 22:01:07

“Is there no one we can trust?” Well, given that you barely trust each other, I guess not.

2017-10-22 22:03:33

These conveniently timed visions providing the next step are really lazy storytelling.

2017-10-22 22:05:25

Not the best disguise…

2017-10-22 22:07:00

Unstable evil is always scarier in its unpredictability.

2017-10-22 22:09:16

Okay, okay, he’s more useful than Jar-Jar! Glad to see Luna’s staying in one piece.

2017-10-22 22:12:34

“Dobby never meant to kill. Dobby only meant to maim or seriously injure.”

2017-10-22 22:13:19

Oh he is definitely not surviving this. I’m about to feel really bad for what I said earlier, aren’t I?

2017-10-22 22:14:39

And the bodycount rises slowly again.

2017-10-22 22:16:22

I’m not sure Luna’s actually helping. Though as I suspected she seems entirely unfazed by being kidnapped and locked up.

2017-10-22 22:19:04

Well this is problematic, though I like how the opening scene with him needing a wand played out as the conclusion. Did Dumbledore use the Elder Wand throughout the series then? It seems an alarmingly dangerous artefact, though I guess that’s entirely in keeping with his character.

2017-10-22 22:21:41

So they’ve now both swapped out their wands which makes the whole wand picking its wielder thing pretty redundant, as well as the twinned wands issue. I guess we’ll see how the Elder Wand matches up against a 10″ Blackthorn. What it lacks in girth it definitely seems to make up for in power…

2017-10-22 22:24:41

Halfway through the final year, and obviously closing in on the final confrontation. I found this film very uneven in pacing – it seemed to be jumping between wildly different types of films, though I suspect this is also somewhat due to it covering only half of the final book.

2017-10-22 22:26:53

It was enjoyable, though we have basically ditched the entire school conceit at this point. The stronger focus on fewer characters helped but there wasn’t actually much in the way of meaningful character development this late in the series.

2017-10-22 22:30:34

The Malfoy family have gone from being fun antagonists to utterly ineffectual pawns which is a bit of a shame, frankly. I’m not sure it will be particularly rewarding to see their comeuppance or redemption in the next film. I assume Draco turns on his dad at some point to make Snape’s sacrifice of Dumbledore worthwhile.

2017-10-22 22:31:42

And yes, I feel guilty for what I said about Dobby. But that’s the fun of Reeltime – I can’t take it back now!

2017-10-22 22:33:12

That’s a wrap for Part 1. Join us again soon for the conclusion of the first Reeltime series with Part 2 of The Deathly Hallows. Just three to go. Apparently.

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.

2017-09-30 20:02:38

Welcome back for Year 6 everyone. Running about 1 minute behind for those watching along.

2017-09-30 20:03:27

A cold open. That’s new.

2017-09-30 20:04:07

Although with a title few seconds later it hardly seems worth it.

2017-09-30 20:05:41

Continuing with the darker tone, our colour palette seems to have dropped to Gears of War greys and browns.

2017-09-30 20:06:29

Is this an alternate universe where we never fixed the resonance issues with the Millennium Bridge?

2017-09-30 20:07:40

“Divine Magic”. Like Dumbledore doesn’t have enough of a god complex already…

2017-09-30 20:09:54

Ah yes, the taste test. Obviously that’s what one does when blood drips on you.

2017-09-30 20:12:48

What’s this?! A Hogwarts teacher who genuinely cares about his students? No wonder he’s in hiding.

2017-09-30 20:16:26

So we’re supposed to take Ginny more seriously this year. Is love in the air?

2017-09-30 20:18:32

“This is Hogwarts we’re talking about. It’s Dumbledore. What could be safer?” Literally anything. You guys do remember the last five years, right?

2017-09-30 20:20:08

Snape is keeping considerably worse company.

2017-09-30 20:21:29

What on earth has he just sworn to do? This can’t be good.

2017-09-30 20:22:41

Subtle transition to a shopping trip.

2017-09-30 20:24:10

“Draco and mummy” are taking traditional early Suspicious-Looking Lucius role.

2017-09-30 20:25:05

Ginger and stealth evidently don’t mix.

2017-09-30 20:26:08

Luna’s back! Does she get a proper role or is this just a holdover from last year?

2017-09-30 20:26:56

This seems to be a much longer, more involved journey than before.

2017-09-30 20:29:03

“Hogwarts. What a pathetic excuse for a school.” I don’t disagree though probably for very different reasons than Draco. It’s still not passing an Ofsted inspection any time soon.

2017-09-30 20:30:19

Is someone on LSD? Oh no, just on being Luna.

2017-09-30 20:31:18

So the great Boy Wizard barely even made it off the train this year.

2017-09-30 20:34:13

Incidentally, readers have been sending me a lot of Harry Potter-related stuff. This one from Nick certainly fits my view.


2017-09-30 20:37:41

Is this class required under the curriculum or not?! I still don’t get how lesson choices work, but one would expect students to know by the day of their first lesson…

2017-09-30 20:38:44

“Living Death” is on page 10 of their textbook? What on earth comes at the end?!

2017-09-30 20:39:38

Interesting. Harry does have a great record with books from former students.

2017-09-30 20:41:01

Harry’s won one free re-roll. Luck is his most important trait after all…

2017-09-30 20:41:49

This is the weirdest shrine I’ve seen.

2017-09-30 20:44:02

Oh wow, young Dumbledore is still way older than Tom. I’d kind of assumed he and Voldemort were contemporaries, given his power and everyone’s fear of him.

2017-09-30 20:46:45

An invisible shell around the Hogwarts. They’ve finally beefed up security around the school in a way that doesn’t involved mixing Dementors and students.

2017-09-30 20:48:27

You’re still not a leader, Harry. Just let Ginny take the reins.

2017-09-30 20:49:05

I assume this is representative of everyone’s interest in Quidditch by this point, right?

2017-09-30 20:50:26

Hermione’s soulful looks notwithstanding.

2017-09-30 20:51:29

“The binding is fragile.” Worst possible excuse.

2017-09-30 20:53:16

Well if they’re having Butterbeer, don’t mind if I do. Flat Tire IPA for those drinking along at home.

2017-09-30 20:54:11

“They’re just holding hands… and snogging.” Awkward.

2017-09-30 20:54:52

Got milk? What is it with Hermione smearing white stuff around her mouth in front of Ron…

2017-09-30 20:58:25

 “I just know.” Terribly convincing, Harry. Maybe follow it up with a “Don’t you know who I am?” That always wins people over.

2017-09-30 20:59:18

What could be more normal than two boys in bed talking about girls’ skin? Are they taking Serial Killer 101?

2017-09-30 21:00:15

“I’m just saying it could be a contributing factor.” Wow, this teenage dialogue is incredibly realistic.

2017-09-30 21:01:32

Wizards don’t know whether (muggle) dentistry is a dangerous profession?!

2017-09-30 21:03:16

“Did Voldemort make the shelf?” I like the directness if you want to make him uncomfortable but this isn’t exactly the way to gather information, Harry.

2017-09-30 21:04:47

Okay, Luna might actually be straight up my favourite character.

2017-09-30 21:05:19

I’m assuming Harry didn’t just drug Ron and he only claimed to have put Liquid Luck in there to boost his confidence on the pitch?

2017-09-30 21:07:19

Now Ron, let’s be smart about this. More Hermione, less groupies.

2017-09-30 21:07:51

Called it.

2017-09-30 21:10:45

I love this tender scene. But Hermione doesn’t win any points for passively not saying how she feels, even if Ron is being an idiot.

2017-09-30 21:11:35

“She’s only interested in you because she thinks you’re the Chosen One.” “But I am the Chosen One.” Zing.

2017-09-30 21:12:03


2017-09-30 21:12:51

Snow White… hair.

2017-09-30 21:15:15

Why does Malfoy want to gatecrash this party anyway?

2017-09-30 21:16:35

“It’s just, you can’t break an unbreakable vow.” Ron’s smarter than people give him credit for.

2017-09-30 21:17:30

Oh, you can break an unbreakable vow. You just die.

2017-09-30 21:18:38

Aww, daddy Weasley beating a diplomatic retreat to leave the lovebirds alone.

2017-09-30 21:19:08

No such respect from Ron.

2017-09-30 21:21:48

These two are sweet. I wish we got to see more of their relationship.

2017-09-30 21:24:55

Poor Weasleys.

2017-09-30 21:25:57

“I need to go and vomit.” So do we all, Hermione.

2017-09-30 21:27:42

Wait, Dumbledore is collecting other people’s memories? This suddenly took an extremely fascist turn.
Much as I may be curious about what Tom was exploring.

2017-09-30 21:29:34

Oh yes, just quote Tom verbatim. Master of subtlety as always, Potter.

2017-09-30 21:31:14

You’re about to learn a lesson about why you don’t take sweets from strangers, Ron…

2017-09-30 21:32:40

Ron accidentally saving the day. By being greedy. His superpower.

2017-09-30 21:33:54

It’s emergency tracheotomy time…

2017-09-30 21:36:36

McGonagall is seriously surprised that student intervention was required because a teacher couldn’t keep children safe? She must be used to it by now.

2017-09-30 21:37:43

“Oh to be young and feel love’s keen sting.” Sarky Dumbledore doesn’t have time for this.

2017-09-30 21:40:04

Hermione is clearly enjoying this. But, by still refusing to say anything, I’m losing sympathy again.

2017-09-30 21:42:16

I’ve been struggling to work out why Katie Bell looks familiar. She was one of the kids in The Basil Brush Show!

2017-09-30 21:45:49

Was that bird just more Room of Requirement romantic meddling like Cho last year?

2017-09-30 21:46:35

I guess that would be a yes. Now, how come it hasn’t intervened with Ron and Hermione? Is it because the Room secretly ships Harry and Hermione like everyone else?

2017-09-30 21:47:35

Harry forgot he had a luck potion? The most powerful thing he’s been given this year.

2017-09-30 21:48:57

Purely medicinal, of course.

2017-09-30 21:50:12

“A dead one.” Keen eye there Harry. All it takes is a luck potion for him to deliver this kind of acute observation.

2017-09-30 21:51:22

Oh good, deadly venomous poisons are obviously what have missing from Hogwarts.

2017-09-30 21:52:23

Why is lucky Harry an idiot? Is that actually a requirement for luck? I mean, that does make a lot of sense actually.

2017-09-30 21:55:51

Why is Harry suddenly super confident that he is the Chosen One. I get that he fits the prophecy but why is he not even questioning it?

2017-09-30 21:56:34

 Ooh, we’re going to find out about Horcruxes!

2017-09-30 21:58:34

“Killing rips the soul apart.” Fine. “It’s a violation against nature.” Wait, what? Because nature abhors killing? It’s not like most of the food chain does it…

2017-09-30 21:59:48

Did Tom pick seven at random? If he has no issue with killing, surely the more the merrier?

2017-09-30 22:00:58

This time round Severus is the only one willing to call out Dumbledore for using people.

2017-09-30 22:02:35

“Being me has its privileges.” Being a dick, you mean?

2017-09-30 22:05:06

Trying to work out whether he looks more like Saruman or Gandalf standing at the top of his tower.

2017-09-30 22:06:29

So now it’s Harry Potter and the Horcrux Collection Orienteering? Are we just forgetting about the Half-Blood Prince?

2017-09-30 22:07:17

Drink me?

2017-09-30 22:10:06

Yeah, just grab the Horcrux. It’s not like anything bad happened last time someone did that.

2017-09-30 22:11:04

Once again wizards seem incapable of understanding that there are multiple kinds of vessels that will hold liquids. Not just Goblets and conveniently placed shells.

2017-09-30 22:12:32

Are they getting swarmed by Gollums?

2017-09-30 22:14:14

And now Dumbledore is going all bad-ass Gandalf. I know LOTR was done by this point, but still…

2017-09-30 22:19:44

I’d feel sorry for Draco if it weren’t for… no, I just don’t. I’ve not seen any redeeming features beyond this half-arsed whimpering.

2017-09-30 22:20:49

Well this is problematic. To save Draco(‘s soul), Snape is going to have to kill Dumbledore himself, isn’t he? Is this part of the plan?

2017-09-30 22:22:18

“I’m the half-blood prince.” Sorry, what? That’s not an explanation of anything.

2017-09-30 22:23:13

Snape is clearly not fighting back against Harry. Was killing Dumbledore necessary to get in with the Death Eaters and take down Voldemort?

2017-09-30 22:26:56

Kind of a weird ending after a murdered headmaster.

2017-09-30 22:28:53

So a lot to break down there that all seemed to be rather unnecessarily stuffed into the end. I was really into the interpersonal relationships for once, but they mostly felt overtaken by the need to move the plot forward, despite there being very little of actual importance until the final act.

2017-09-30 22:31:19

 Dumbledore’s death actually came earlier than I’d thought – though I suppose this was the penultimate book even if was the third film from the end. My sympathy for Snape is slightly reserved pending finding out whether everyone was in on his plan to get in with the Malfoys and effectively write a blank cheque with that unbreakable vow.

2017-09-30 22:33:17

Given that Dumbledore continued to manipulate people and willingly put them in harm’s way right up to the end (albeit at least acknowledging it eventually), I still don’t get why fans love him so much. Other than conditioning since he’s an Old White Man.

2017-09-30 22:34:41

And I really don’t get the titular part of the plot. Harry using Snape’s old textbook was the entirety of that plotline?! No explanation of what on earth “half-blood prince” even means? Is this just more trouble with condensing the longer books?

2017-09-30 22:34:59

And I really don’t get the titular part of the plot. Harry using Snape’s old textbook was the entirety of that plotline?! No explanation of what on earth “half-blood prince” even means? Is this just more trouble with condensing the longer books?

2017-09-30 22:38:23

If so, I guess it’s a good thing the last book has been cut in two. Presumably one film of Horcrux Collection and one of The Final Battle. We’re only at two so far, right? Given that the Death Eaters seem so freely able enter Hogwarts at the end (I’m taking back what I said about beefed up security, incidentally) did they take back the other two?

2017-09-30 22:41:51

Oh, and before I wrap up, a quick shout out to Xena Zeit-Geist, whom I met in New Orleans last month. She’s just put on a Potter-themed burlesque play called Harry Potter and the Bedchamber of Secrets. Check out that rhinestoned tie! I suspect that show will be back, but if you find yourself in New Orleans and consider yourself a something of a geek (i.e. if you’re reading this) then do check out her weekly burlesque show Talk Nerdy To Me at The Dragon’s Den.

2017-09-30 22:42:29

And with that, I’ll see you next time as we move on to the final year.

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.

2017-09-17 20:00:08

Welcome back for Year 5 and the book Rowling apparently decided to name after me.

2017-09-17 20:00:17

During our mid-series hiatus I actually visited Hogwarts (via Orlando), an experience that I am certain will result in more nuanced exploration of the final four films. Definitely.

2017-09-17 20:01:03

Oh. I appear to have put in Catcher in the Rye by mistake.

2017-09-17 20:03:00

Oh good, we all know how good Harry’s self-control is when people mention his mother. Odds on it having improved?

2017-09-17 20:04:07

Xenomorphs? Is this Alien vs Potterer?
Not a huge fan of their new look.

2017-09-17 20:06:46

Who told her Harry was intelligent? Brave, sure. But when has he showed intelligence?

2017-09-17 20:08:03

Oh right, they’re FINALLY enforcing that no magic rule. Only presumably now this is supposed to be bad bureaucracy?
Obviously it’s the most forgivable use of magic outside Hogwarts so far.

2017-09-17 20:11:20

Nymphadora is Jean Grey when she’s angry? I mean, valid Phoenix connection there.

2017-09-17 20:13:07

No one saw this, presumably? But it looked cool so it’s okay.

2017-09-17 20:14:32

Totally unfair, enforcing rules. You’d think Hermione would approve.

2017-09-17 20:15:48

They’re two teenage boys. Of course they “whip their wands out for everything”…

2017-09-17 20:16:44

Fudge smear?

2017-09-17 20:19:46

Somewhat ironic that he’s so confused by underground barriers when that guy took the RFID from an oyster card and put it on the end of a wand

2017-09-17 20:21:57

Ah yes, the traditional “Harry conveniently sees Lucius looking suspicious in the opening Act”.

2017-09-17 20:24:08

I do like her. She shows suitable lack of respect for procedure.

2017-09-17 20:24:26

As a lawyer, obviously I cannot approve at all.

2017-09-17 20:25:45

“Laws can be changed if necessary.” Who put Theresa May in charge of the Ministry of Magic? Did Fudge even get a majority?

2017-09-17 20:26:11

Oh, clearly not if he can’t force that vote through. This is all very familiar.

2017-09-17 20:26:42

When is Mexit? Hexit?

2017-09-17 20:29:20

In fairness if wizards are still reliant on fossil fuels, I can see why the London Underground would be so impressive. Do wizards not care about their carbon footprint at all?!

2017-09-17 20:30:58

“You’re just as sane as I am.” Is this Luna? I think we’re going to get on.

2017-09-17 20:33:14

A bureaucrat named Umbridge. “Good luck,” is pretty appropriate for any new teacher based on past experience…

2017-09-17 20:34:42

Oh right, so Harry thinks it’s fine to attack other people’s mothers?! It doesn’t count because they’re still alive?

2017-09-17 20:38:30

ORDINARY Wizarding Levels. So they’ve not introduced the General Certificate of Secondary Enchantment? How far behind are they, given that they’re mimicking Muggle education.

2017-09-17 20:40:30

So magic is unsafe in the classrooms but fine for disciplinary torture.

2017-09-17 20:42:47

How is hiding what’s happening going to help Dumbledore run his school, Harry? Is this just revenge because he told Ron and Hermione not to tell you everything?

2017-09-17 20:44:57

What is the evolutionary basis for only wanting to be seen by those that have seen death? I mean, virtually any predator would have seen death.

2017-09-17 20:46:12

That’s one hell of a toast rack.

2017-09-17 20:47:16

“Questioning me is questioning the Ministry and by extension the Minister himself.” Ah, facism.

2017-09-17 20:48:02

“Obviously.” Alan Rickman continues to be exquisite in a single word.

2017-09-17 20:49:20

“Grave danger.” Like anyone at Hogwarts, so technically she’s right. Just unimpressive.

2017-09-17 20:51:32

We’re already reliant on technicalities. Rarely good.

2017-09-17 20:52:34

This looks a lot more comfortable than last time in the coals.

2017-09-17 20:56:18

Asking to know about Cedric’s death is hardly unreasonable. Refusing to talk about it is definitely not helpful if you’re trying to win people over.

2017-09-17 20:57:53

Hermione is on team Saying “Voldemort”. More of this.

2017-09-17 20:59:50

So the Ministry is worried about Dumbledore building an army to challenge them, which he wasn’t. So in response Harry, Ron and Hermione are building an army and literally calling it Dumbledore’s Army just in case it wasn’t clear enough.

2017-09-17 21:01:26

Any stronger and that kid would have ended up in the fire. Does the Room of Requirement also have fire extinguishers when required?

2017-09-17 21:02:50

So Harry and Cho are still a Thing.

2017-09-17 21:04:40

The Room of Requirement has some decent spell CG upgrades.

2017-09-17 21:07:11

“Required” mistletoe.

2017-09-17 21:07:58

This is one manipulative room.

2017-09-17 21:15:07

I can see why Mr Weasley is obviously grateful but Harry’s accomplishments continue to be rather passive – seeing things and telling other people.

2017-09-17 21:16:29

Being angry isn’t a symptom of the Dark Lord, it’s a symptom of being a teenage boy.

2017-09-17 21:20:27

Ooh Bellatrix. I met her at Gringotts. She looks wonderfully sane.

2017-09-17 21:23:11

Neville has parental secrets too. So that’s where he gets his grit; just needs the skill to back it up now.

2017-09-17 21:25:26

I did say “Dumbledore’s Army” was a stupid name. Idiots. Although, is Dumbledore trying to break into Azkaban by claiming responsibility?

2017-09-17 21:27:28

So no, he’s “not going quietly”. And yes, he does have style.

2017-09-17 21:29:18

He’s learning to care less. Can’t say I entirely disapprove. Although “going it alone” doesn’t seem like the best option for the Boy Who Relies On Other People.

2017-09-17 21:31:00

“Just needs a firm hand is all.”

2017-09-17 21:34:06

Snape actually knew your dad, Harry. He’s got far more right to comment on him than you.

2017-09-17 21:34:36

Yikes, and a bully too.

2017-09-17 21:35:37

Did anyone ever think the Weasley twins’ skills lay inside the world of academic achievement?

2017-09-17 21:36:23

Uh oh, this is going to be a serious prank, isn’t it?

2017-09-17 21:38:13

Pretty, but generally doesn’t everyone hate the disruptive twats who prevent people from actually concentrating during important exams?

2017-09-17 21:39:05

They nicked one of Gandalf’s dragon fireworks from Fellowship!

2017-09-17 21:39:40

Albeit, via Mushu from Mulan.

2017-09-17 21:42:00

“No idea.” Still at his best with virtually no lines.

2017-09-17 21:43:37

And we’re into “the ends justify the means” torture.

2017-09-17 21:45:21

“I will have order!” Yes, Ms May. I’m quite sure you will. Spoilers: this is the part where you lose your majority.

2017-09-17 21:47:17

“I must not tell lies.” Zing. Harry’s learned how to quip.

2017-09-17 21:49:08

Oh right, flying into London. Because no one in London has “seen death”?

2017-09-17 21:50:49

This prophecy is likely to be my issue with the ending of this series.

2017-09-17 21:53:56

Classic Tim Burton Helena Bonham Carter. Did she actually go into make-up at all?

2017-09-17 21:55:41

Good. If five kids were able to muddle their way into beating Death Eaters, their reputation seems ridiculous.

2017-09-17 21:56:30

One Black on the other hand…

2017-09-17 21:57:45

Now this is much more like it.

2017-09-17 21:58:57

And again, avada kedavre is such an ignoble death.

2017-09-17 22:00:03

Even with Harry’s pain and mirroring Cedric’s father.

2017-09-17 22:01:23

Now THIS is what we’ve been waiting for. I think I’m done with the kids now, if nobody else minds…

2017-09-17 22:03:02

I do like Albus calling him Tom. Not buying into that mystique.

2017-09-17 22:03:51

I’m guessing this mental duel works better in text than here.

2017-09-17 22:04:48

“Yer a fool, ‘arry.”

2017-09-17 22:07:22

Pretty light on the prophecy unpacking here.

2017-09-17 22:08:42

There’s much more natural chemistry between Luna and Harry than with Cho.

2017-09-17 22:10:30

I get the point Harry is trying to make, but I’m pretty sure Voldemort thinks he has something worth fighting for… you know, existence amongst other things.

2017-09-17 22:12:09

So David Yates takes over for the rest of the series now. I can’t say I was blown away by the direction specifically, but it’s a strong hand and continuity is probably a good thing.

2017-09-17 22:14:15

I felt this was narratively weaker than the previous two films. I assume they had to cut out a lot of material here. The first half dragged rather a lot, but the second half is what we’ve been building towards.

2017-09-17 22:14:45

Ron and Hermione were almost extraneous in this film. I assume they were busy running Dumbledore’s Army off-screen? New characters like Luna end up in the thick of the action somewhat inexplicably.

2017-09-17 22:15:25

Ultimately I’m increasingly more interested in the adults because this is really the continuation of their fight that Harry’s just been dragged into. Like, what happened to Mad-Eye’s biker gang for most of the film? I’d watch that spin-off.

2017-09-17 22:18:39

Gambon’s Dumbledore seems better on this outing than last time, but then he’s now more of a strategist than a headmaster. I’m guessing he continues in a more militaristic fashion now that he has his totally legitimate army of children…

2017-09-17 22:19:29

And that’ll do it for this one. We’ll be back soon with Year 6!

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.

2017-07-25 11:07:18

Difficult times lie ahead. Reeltime Harry Potter continues with Year 4 on 25 July 2017 at 8pm BST.

2017-07-25 20:01:17

Out of the gate we seem to be keeping with the darker aesthetic.

2017-07-25 20:02:57

New score. Let’s see.

2017-07-25 20:04:04

Interesting – the first film not to open at the Dursley’s house. Instead we’re… wherever this is.

2017-07-25 20:06:08

Oh okay, so technically we were in Harry’s head in… oh, the Weasleys’.

2017-07-25 20:07:37

Wizard fairground rides are weird.

2017-07-25 20:08:47

Odds that tent is bigger on the inside?

2017-07-25 20:09:49

T.A.R.D.I.S. – Tents And Relative Dimension In Space

2017-07-25 20:11:05

Lucius is still enjoying scenery chewing.

2017-07-25 20:12:11

Oh, sports. Quidditch World Cup suggests the wizarding world is getting suddenly more international.

2017-07-25 20:13:35

Oh, a terrorist attack at a major sporting event…

2017-07-25 20:14:47

It is David Tennant! Is he here to get his TARDIS back?

2017-07-25 20:15:54 

 I really want to see the Northern Lights too.

2017-07-25 20:16:52

 “At the scene of the crime! Were you rushing or dragging?”

2017-07-25 20:18:06

This would be the notorious Cho Chang, I presume?

2017-07-25 20:19:29

Johnny Depp has arrived. The effects have maintained their improved level.

2017-07-25 20:21:03

Well this lot seem insufferable. The fluttering Disney butterflies in particular.

2017-07-25 20:22:31

Oh I see, it’s the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

2017-07-25 20:24:07

The Goblet of Fire. Second earliest reveal of the title.

2017-07-25 20:24:37

Loving the kids complaining that they should be allowed to die trying to win a cup.

2017-07-25 20:26:03

More great character design at work. Loving the design of the swivelling eye.

2017-07-25 20:27:14

Hmm, only three forbidden curses? I assume there must be a lot more forbidden magic than that?

2017-07-25 20:28:51

Okay, so free will, torture and death. Seems reasonable.

2017-07-25 20:32:09

Are we going to get more Neville this year? It’s the first time he’s not been the butt of a joke for “failing” in class.

2017-07-25 20:34:28

Dumbledore does have a flair for the dramatic. Gambon’s accent seems to be drifting all over the place though.

2017-07-25 20:35:28

Okay, the rest of them are insufferable. I do have a lot of time for Clemence Poesy…

2017-07-25 20:37:18

For me, though, she’s Chloe from In Bruges. And she’s brought Brendan Gleeson with her. Is Colin Farrell going to turn up too?

2017-07-25 20:39:19

“The Goblet of Fire constitutes a binding magical contract.” How on earth does wizard contract law work? Harry wasn’t party to the contract and the Goblet’s offered no consideration (I mean, I guess “eternal glory”?).

2017-07-25 20:39:55

Why is McGonagall the only one who even considers that they could just… not.

2017-07-25 20:42:11

Well this is a creepy broom cupboard interview.

2017-07-25 20:43:24

“Hey, my eyes aren’t glistening with the ghosts of my past.” FAKE NEWS.

2017-07-25 20:44:42

Well that looks comfortable…

2017-07-25 20:45:43

“Hogwarts isn’t safe any more.” Sirius. Do you not remember the last time you were here?! Siriusly.

2017-07-25 20:47:10

 Ron. Also insufferable. It may be contagious.

2017-07-25 20:48:25

 “I’m not an owl!” Zing.

2017-07-25 20:50:49

Why has he asked Harry to come with him and hide under a cloak? Does Hagrid like… to be watched?

2017-07-25 20:51:45

Good Guy Cedric.

2017-07-25 20:54:01

“We never use transfiguration as a punishment.” We let children die in sporting events but they will not be changed into anything else!

2017-07-25 20:56:01

Right, so we’ve isolated Harry so he’s competing alone with Mad-Eye instructing him. But why has Hermione abandoned him? Surely she should be coaching.

2017-07-25 20:57:10

Evidently I spoke too soon. Or she heard me.

2017-07-25 20:57:38

Odds on Harry getting the Horntail?

2017-07-25 20:59:35

Dragons guarding golden eggs with clues. What is it with wizards and grabbing little gold balls?

2017-07-25 21:03:08

“Accio Firebolt.” I get that this was Moody’s coaching, but how about “Accio Dragon-killing rifle” or “Accio golden egg”?

2017-07-25 21:05:22

This is an even dumber sport than Quidditch. What is the point in that stadium? Everyone’s sitting there watching nothing at all. Like F1. Without the screens to watch everything else.

2017-07-25 21:06:13

 “Who could figure that out? That’s completely mental.”

2017-07-25 21:07:32

 I hate when pretty girls make me forget how to drink.

2017-07-25 21:08:43

The Yule Ball is actually about dancing? They’re at school. It should be all about the boys and girls awkwardly lining up on opposite sides of the dance floor.

2017-07-25 21:14:35

Alan Rickman is still wordlessly the best.

2017-07-25 21:16:22

This whole thing has been so awkward that I’m struggling with sympathy.

2017-07-25 21:18:26

Own it Ron, you’ll be fine.

2017-07-25 21:19:35

Okay, a little sympathy. Our boy is trying.

2017-07-25 21:20:41

“Be our guest!” In hindsight, no wonder she went with the Hungarian Beast.

2017-07-25 21:22:41

Err… okay.

2017-07-25 21:23:36

“International magical cooperation.” Is that what the kids call it now?

2017-07-25 21:25:53

Hermione is the only one who actually deserves sympathy, once she explains why she went with the meathead. I mean, not as much as if she’d said this before the Ball. But still.

2017-07-25 21:28:31

“Viktor’s more of a physical beast.” Wow, Hermione. Also, this is the kind of charm that Emma Watson seems to struggle to bring to the screen in recent films.

2017-07-25 21:30:20

Umm, they do remember he’s 14, right? Awks.

2017-07-25 21:33:56

Continuing last year’s use of casual clothes. As well as grounding the films, I think they actually add to the sense of uneasiness when placed next to the supernatural.

2017-07-25 21:36:51

Trust yourself, Neville. I mean, even if historically there’s not much precedent for that.

2017-07-25 21:37:47

This is some creepy Black Swan body horror.

2017-07-25 21:39:21

Did these children agree to be live props for these games?

2017-07-25 21:40:14

Or is this some kind of Wizard Contract?

2017-07-25 21:40:41

Oh and it turns out these strict rules are actually so flexible that you can change people’s places based on “moral fibre”.

2017-07-25 21:41:40

Beats a megaphone.

2017-07-25 21:42:47

Oh dear, I’m starting to have serious misgivings about this eye. I was going to ask earlier if he was actually just an alcoholic or swigging something more… questionable.
I mean, not that any of these child-endangering cretins – making things up as they go along – inspire confidence.

2017-07-25 21:49:37

The Pensieve could have just been called an Expository.

2017-07-25 21:55:19

So yet another event where no one can actually see anything that happens…

2017-07-25 21:57:07

Worst. Pep talk. Ever.

2017-07-25 21:58:37

I am enjoying trigger-happy (err, fuse-happy?) Filch.

2017-07-25 22:00:49

 Is this gas a hallucinogen?

2017-07-25 22:02:17

 I thought Harry said he didn’t care about eternal glory. Then why does he keep struggling with winning vs not letting people die?

2017-07-25 22:04:06

Ooh, portkey throwback.

2017-07-25 22:05:57

Diggory deserved a better death. Is that why the wizards forbid this curse? Because it’s just underwhelming and unsporting.

2017-07-25 22:07:38

Oh we’re really pushing the story forward at last! The full Fiennes. Which incidentally, means Colin Farrell really is the only one missing from In Bruges!

2017-07-25 22:09:08

Oh right, so it’s just all the Slytherin parents. How…obvious?

2017-07-25 22:10:33

 Grovelling Lucius is instantly less interesting.

2017-07-25 22:12:21

If Voldemort is so powerful, and these unforgivable curses so terrible, how is a 4th year wizard holding his own?

2017-07-25 22:13:08

“Use the Force, Harry.”

2017-07-25 22:16:04

Cedric’s father’s anguished wails are the hardest thing to watch in this series so far. Powerful. And probably the first time I’ve heard any heartfelt care for one of these children by the adults instead of just lip service. All it takes is their death, apparently.

2017-07-25 22:17:25

What a remarkably expected turn of events…

2017-07-25 22:22:16

Tennant makes a deliciously evil villain. That lizard-tongue. A shame he had so little to do here. At least he’s alive and in Azkaban so hopefully he’ll return to the fray in the future.

2017-07-25 22:25:16

Dumbledore actually sounds bored starting Cedric’s eulogy.

2017-07-25 22:28:49

Dumbledore apologising for putting Harry in danger this year seems pretty disingenuous even for him. Either it was a calculated decision to expose the Voldemort threat or he’s just utterly incompetent given that he was told repeatedly how dangerous his actions were.
Honestly, I’m going right off Dumbledore.

2017-07-25 22:30:22

“Everything’s going to change, isn’t it?” “Yes.” I mean, really? How much. We’re still coming back to Hogwarts for Year 5, right?
Or is Year 5 Wizarding Accounts exams?

2017-07-25 22:31:52

Although frankly I’d take a course in Wizard Contract Law at this point because I’m none the wiser.

2017-07-25 22:33:03

But seriously, maybe stop letting your school be run by semi-sentient hats and cups?

2017-07-25 22:38:20

So overall, we’ve finally moved the plot forward considerably. Although, by the halfway point of the series one would hope so. Voldemort is no longer some theoretical threat that people whisper about. The stakes have been raised by actually killing Cedric Diggory. I rather wish we’d spent more time with him so that his death carried a little more weight though. His having been nice to Harry a couple of times isn’t quite the same as a weighty death. But I know we’ve got those ahead of us.

2017-07-25 22:41:42

I’m not sure how much is actually going to change next year though. Is Hogwarts going to instigate some kind of security system that is somewhere in between a caretaker with his cat and rabid Dementors attacking students? Presumably all those Voldemort groupies are still undercover and will continue their clever facade of just being terrible Slytherin parents.

2017-07-25 22:44:32

And what is this awful song in the credits?!

2017-07-25 22:46:10

“Mmm, don’t be scared
She wants you to
It’s hard”

2017-07-25 22:46:23

I think maybe you should “let this magic die”.

2017-07-25 22:48:21

And on that note, I will see you when we return to Hogwarts for Year 5. There may be a short hiatus before we return for the second half the series.

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.

2017-07-21 15:01:07

Something wicked this way comes. Reeltime Harry Potter continues on 22 July 2017 at 8pm BST.

2017-07-22 20:00:45

Welcome back to Year 3. I know things get darker from this point, but right from the start with that Warner logo.

2017-07-22 20:02:41

I was already a fan of director Alfonso Cuarón when this was released. Now he’s know for Children of Men and Gravity. Back then he seemed like a rather odd choice given his decidedly adult coming-of-age road trip movie Y Tu Mama Tambien (“And your mother too”).

2017-07-22 20:07:35

This is the only Harry Potter film for which I can remember the advertising campaign. Those animated wanted posters with Sirius Black and the trailer with the fantastically eerie choral “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. Does that actually appear in the film? John Williams is great at those little choral numbers, like “Somewhere in My Memory” from Home Alone.

2017-07-22 20:09:26

A rather Roald Dahl opening with the ballooning aunt floating away.

2017-07-22 20:10:32

Already doing a much better job at creating a sense of place.

2017-07-22 20:13:27

This seems like a ludicrously dangerous way to travel. Although the Jamaican commentary would liven up any bus ride…

2017-07-22 20:15:20

 Like the choice of reading material.

2017-07-22 20:17:46

Now this living book is the sort of whimsical aside that these films have been missing.

2017-07-22 20:20:32

The cinematography and framing is already such a major upgrade. Mr Weasley taking Harry aside from the others to discuss Sirius, punctuated by the posters of him screaming.

2017-07-22 20:23:53

Ooh, Definitely-Not-Ringwraiths (TM).

2017-07-22 20:26:05

So his name’s Lupin. I don’t suppose he’d happen to be a werewolf by any chance? That self-indulgent naming from Ms Rowling rather ruined this apparent “twist”…

2017-07-22 20:27:22

Oh good, the song is in. Kind of an odd place for it though.

2017-07-22 20:29:11

Michael Gambon’s Richard Harris impression makes this sad transition feel pretty seamless.

2017-07-22 20:30:51

All of this moving camera work makes Hogwarts feel so much more three-dimensional a world.

2017-07-22 20:35:07

Who doesn’t recognise a Hippogriff, Ron?

2017-07-22 20:36:59

First squabbling and now handholding. Can’t imagine where this is going…

2017-07-22 20:39:48

 “I’m king of the world!”

2017-07-22 20:43:21

“Black could be anywhere.” Err… “Like catching smoke with your hands.” How would kids know anything about how hard catching a wanted criminal is?

2017-07-22 20:46:24

Alan Rickman continues to be one of the finest things in these films, without saying a word.

2017-07-22 20:48:37

And this is “Riddikulus“.

2017-07-22 20:51:41

The shift from robes and uniforms to a lot of scenes in casual clothes grounds the film nicely.

2017-07-22 20:55:29

 -5 House Points for being a know-it-all? Okay.

2017-07-22 20:56:58

Oooh, weather effects. The low visibility definitely gives Quidditch an added sense of urgency. Even if the game is still ridiculous with its complete focus on the Snitch.

2017-07-22 20:59:45

Gryffindooooooor! Gryffindoooooor! But seriously, letting Dementors wander into a game that’s ludicrously dangerous and worsened by foul weather. Health and safety rating: non-existent.

2017-07-22 21:03:38

The Marauders’ Map, as well as being every schoolkids’ dream, looks beautifully presented.

2017-07-22 21:06:16

More excellent framing.

2017-07-22 21:08:54

If he’s completely undetectable by senior Hogwarts wizards, that cloak is some seriously powerful magic. I’m guessing it must have some more important significance than we’ve been told so far.
My Godfather duties just became a lot harder if I’m expected to match Harry’s.

2017-07-22 21:10:39

U mad bro?

2017-07-22 21:11:49

In general, though, the year and a half since the last film has definitely improved all three leads’ acting.

2017-07-22 21:14:00

The magic effects have improved dramatically too, even if they mostly lack much subtlety.

2017-07-22 21:17:21

 Still loving this costuming.

2017-07-22 21:19:02

“My father didn’t strut.” How on earth could you possibly know that?!

2017-07-22 21:23:14

The attention to detail in the mise-en-scène is magnificent.

2017-07-22 21:26:23

Boom! A serious punch from Hermione. Err, remember: violence is never the answer kids…

2017-07-22 21:27:16

Also, notice the regular (though not exclusive) use of hoodies to mirror the hooded robes in a more casual way.

2017-07-22 21:29:59

That axe-drop didn’t have anywhere near enough force to do any serious damage to anything.

2017-07-22 21:31:58

Why is this tree on the school grounds at all?! Or at least properly cordoned off…

2017-07-22 21:34:07

Remus. So his first name is a wolf as well…

2017-07-22 21:37:57

I think Harry got 50 points for killing Quirrell. How many for attacking another teacher?

2017-07-22 21:40:33

Interestingly Sirius and Lupin are both comfortable saying Voldemort’s name.

2017-07-22 21:42:04

Oh. How unexpected.

2017-07-22 21:46:34

Meaningful magic. Those face-tearing shots are pretty scary.

2017-07-22 21:49:00

Gambon is loving this. Mysterious and enigmatic.

2017-07-22 21:51:03

This time-turner reveal is so well-earned. Even if Ron’s comments lacked subtlety, they didn’t give any indication of how.

2017-07-22 21:53:26

This is actually a pretty tightly-constructed time travel story so far.

2017-07-22 21:54:44 

“Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?” Priorities, Hermione. But yes. Is there a Year 4 hairstyle change?

2017-07-22 21:57:52

Yeah, that pumpkin chop makes perfect sense. Whenever my work gets cancelled my immediate response is always to attack the nearest veg.

2017-07-22 21:59:29

Oh Harry, did no one tell you not to make major life plans with a newly introduced character whose life and/or freedom are in peril?

2017-07-22 22:02:04

Who’s a good Buckbeak?

2017-07-22 22:04:23

I’m guessing we’re going to be seeing this wand shot more and more. But it definitely works here.

2017-07-22 22:06:00

“You can always find them… in here.” Okay, dialogue is degrading into cheese again.

2017-07-22 22:08:52

A teacher being forced to quit because of a hidden medical condition. Yikes, that’s a nasty metaphor.

2017-07-22 22:11:12

The wizarding world has certainly gotten bigger this year.

2017-07-22 22:15:20

Cuarón did a phenomenal job of raising this franchise up. It’s unsurprising that he didn’t want to get tied in given the number of films yet to come. I’m intrigued to see whether the later films can outdo this. I’m sure the leads’ acting will continue to improve but here everything just flowed together so well under such a strong guiding hand.

2017-07-22 22:16:39

Introducing a time travel mechanic this early in a series seems dangerous though. Are they going to handwave away the Time Turner somehow, because otherwise it seems like every subsequent film should just follow the same arc as this?

2017-07-22 22:19:18

Shout out to John Williams for a fabulous score that was a lot more richly varied than many of his. It’s a strong way to bow out (apparently Revenge of the Sith caused a timing conflict with Goblet of Fire and, well, it’s Star Wars).

2017-07-22 22:22:43

Also, a shout-out to Alexis’ dog, Sirius.

2017-07-22 22:26:07

So yes, Year 3 breathed a lot more life into a world that had felt rather two-dimensional before. That, I hope, will be retained going forward. Little things like that constantly moving camera make such a difference. I guess we’ll find out soon when we reconvene for Year 4.

2017-07-22 22:27:53

Mischief Managed.

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.

2017-07-18 20:01:51

“I’m not allowed to use magic outside of school” in the opening lines sounds like the biggest foreshadowing ever.

2017-07-18 20:04:11

Dobby is a low-rent Yoda with self-esteem issues and marginally better grammar.

2017-07-18 20:06:33

“Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts.” So when Mr Dursley says it everyone hates him; when Dobby says it everyone loves him.

2017-07-18 20:09:02

Dobby may have been doing everyone a favour by destroying that cake.

2017-07-18 20:10:53

Three magically-trained students couldn’t come up with a subtler plan for a break-out than a flying car in the suburbs?

2017-07-18 20:14:33

How sheltered is the wizarding community not to be able to find out basic things about the rest of humanity like what a “rubber duck” is? Wizards presumably take baths, right? Did their culture emerge wholly independently?

2017-07-18 20:17:22

Not so different that they don’t flood Diagon Alley for the Back to School sales.

2017-07-18 20:19:23

Ah, a serious Malfoy. Lucius is going to steal every scene he’s in, isn’t he?
Are we supposed to be shocked by his overt racist attitudes about consorting with Muggles when pretty much every other wizard has been making snide comments about them?

2017-07-18 20:23:02

A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to. Except when he’s late.

2017-07-18 20:24:48

Okay, admittedly a flying car in King’s Cross is significantly worse than in the suburbs.
Although Londoners are so jaded I doubt there would actually have been that much of a reaction.

2017-07-18 20:28:11

We’ve got to get this car up to 88 miles per hour!

2017-07-18 20:29:34

Herbie is pissed off. I don’t blame him.

2017-07-18 20:31:12

Earmuffs and baby mandrakes. That’s almost health and safety consideration! Professor Sprout might be joining the competent staff list.
…until Neville faints and the response is “oh, just leave him there.”

2017-07-18 20:32:51

“Grab your mandrake and pull”. Errr… I have entirely new concerns about this school.

2017-07-18 20:33:57

Look at Mr Ornithology here! How did he recognise Ron’s owl from the other side of that giant hall?!

2017-07-18 20:35:32

Brannagh is basically doing Lord Flashheart via Shakespeare.

2017-07-18 20:38:02

Neville is 2 for 2. “Why’s it always me?” Because puberty will be so much more impressive when it hits this way.

2017-07-18 20:40:06

Wait, so “Mudblood” is completely unacceptable but Muggle is fine? In fact, the only reason they view Mudblood as insulting is because they think Muggle blood is inherently inferior to that of a wizard. You’re insulted because you’re a bigot. I struggle to sympathise.

2017-07-18 20:42:01

Harry’s taking potential schizophrenia very much in stride here.

2017-07-18 20:43:18

Why is Hermione so familiar with what blood writing looks like?

2017-07-18 20:45:59

“I strongly recommend caution to all.” Really, Dumbledore? Just this year? How is that not the school motto already?

2017-07-18 20:49:06

I prefer Ron’s cup. The other one could be made by regular means without unnecessarily destroying a rat. This one requires magic. And a rat.

2017-07-18 20:50:10

“Do you think there really is a Chamber of Secrets?” Because in a wizarding school with shifting staircases, the idea of a hidden room is blowing Ron’s mind?

2017-07-18 20:53:59

Quidditch feels decidedly less compelling the second time round. Does the choreography improve in later films?

2017-07-18 20:56:06

Malfoy’s trash talk needs work. “You’ll never catch me, Potter!” He’s doesn’t have to. He just has to catch the Snitch.

2017-07-18 20:58:13

I suppose the ease with which they can fix major injuries does somewhat justify the callousness toward safety. Except when it can kill you.

2017-07-18 21:00:27

“Terrible things are about to happen at Hogwarts.” Well yeah, that’s what we’re all here for, right?

2017-07-18 21:02:13

“Hogwarts is no longer safe.” Errr….

 2017-07-18 21:03:59

Two boys and a girl “making potions” in the girls’ bathroom? That would definitely have gotten us in some pretty serious trouble at school…

2017-07-18 21:05:37

“For full details, see my published works.” He’s growing on me – I can’t wait ’til I can use that line.

2017-07-18 21:10:25

Kids are always really suspicious of other kids who speak foreign languages at first. Harry, just teach them some swear words in parseltongue and you’ll be golden.

2017-07-18 21:11:59

Sherbert Lemon is the password to get into Dumbledore’s office?

2017-07-18 21:21:26

Apologies. We’re taking a five minute break to resolve some technical issues with the liveblog. Stay tuned!

2017-07-18 21:29:47

And, like my namesake bird (the Phoenix), we’re back!

2017-07-18 21:30:43

I think my PC may have objected to watching Crabb and Goyle flavoured polyjuice potions being consumed.

2017-07-18 21:31:38

Does the polyjuice potion not affect internal organs like vocal chords?

2017-07-18 21:34:50

Monologuing Malfoy clearly hasn’t heard “show, don’t tell.”

2017-07-18 21:36:55

Oh dear, Hermione furry fic is definitely a thing online, isn’t it?

2017-07-18 21:41:15

Anagram-based villains are the new climactic chess battles.

2017-07-18 21:43:14

The camerawork has actually improved a bit even if the direction has not.

2017-07-18 21:44:59

“Mad and hairy”? These days I’m more trained to think he must be an excellent chef.

2017-07-18 21:46:34

“It must have been a Gryffindor. No one else knows our password!” A quarter of the school are Gryffindors and you think it will stay a secret? Have you at least considered multifactor authentication?

2017-07-18 21:48:27

A warning that school might get closed without a bunch of kids erupting into cheering? This film is really stretching my suspension of disbelief.

2017-07-18 21:50:49

Yep, still stealing every scene.

2017-07-18 21:54:54

Oh that’s clever. Having a whole load of eyes, spiders would be particularly susceptible to petrification.

2017-07-18 21:58:44

Herbie Rides Again!

2017-07-18 22:01:22

I’m impressed that they managed to create a charge of giant spiders that was creepy without being utterly terrifying to kids.

2017-07-18 22:03:00

No one checked a student patient’s hand? I take back what I said about Hogwarts’ healthcare.

2017-07-18 22:04:49

Fantastic Beast: Basilisk
Where to Find It: The Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

2017-07-18 22:06:38

“Books can be misleading!” Wait, this isn’t a documentary?

2017-07-18 22:08:01

Moaning Myrtle’s voice… it’s Queenie!

2017-07-18 22:11:29

See, if wizards weren’t so detached from Muggle culture they’d know about Perseus and would have taken a mirrored shield down with them.

2017-07-18 22:13:59

Ah, it’s Indiana Jones and the Chamber of Secrets.

2017-07-18 22:15:24

Why would you hide this?! Why would you not make it your (evil, evil) office.

2017-07-18 22:16:32

“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Harry.” T.O.M. 9000.

2017-07-18 22:19:52

What a twat! Who does a reveal by writing floating text one letter at a time?!

2017-07-18 22:22:28

And this is why you always keep a Phoenix around. You’re welcome.

2017-07-18 22:24:06

“You may have blinded the basilisk. But he can still hear you!” Riddle hasn’t heard “show, don’t tell” either, it seems. As a climax, this fight really isn’t one. Bring back the spiders…

2017-07-18 22:26:44

Okay, stabbing the book with the basilisk fang is actually pretty swift creative thinking from the Boy Wizard.

2017-07-18 22:28:06

I can’t promise healing powers in my tears. Just salt.

2017-07-18 22:29:11

Least convincing fake punishment speech ever.

2017-07-18 22:32:27

Ahh, Voldemort transferred power to Harry when he attacked him. I guess that’s going to be pretty crucial later in the series…

2017-07-18 22:33:14

“It is not our abilities that make us who we are. It is our choices.”

2017-07-18 22:35:46

“My sole concern has always been, and will always be, the welfare of this school and, of course, its students.” Aside from the fact he’s obviously lying through his teeth, its nice to think someone has the students’ welfare at heart. Also, dude nails his dramatic lighting.

2017-07-18 22:38:41

Oh alright, you get points for that, Dobby.

2017-07-18 22:40:28

Awkward grins and hugging time! It’s a shame Hermione was taken out for the whole of the climax, even if she solved the puzzle that we never really saw.

2017-07-18 22:41:27

Cancelling exams as a treat? Ofsted are going to love this. The purpose of exams isn’t to punish the kids.

2017-07-18 22:42:53

Oh dear. Is this how we’re closing the film?

2017-07-18 22:43:28

I suppose it’s about as awkward as the medal ceremony at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope.

2017-07-18 22:48:53

Overall, I’d say actually a fraction better than the first film, but incremental improvements as everyone involved settles into their roles. I am now legitimately quite excited to hit the “real” films as I have heard from a number of you that watching Years 3 to 7 tends to be the consensus approach on rewatching them.

2017-07-18 22:49:35

Thanks for the messages from those who joined live tonight. And that’s a wrap on Year 2!

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

Reeltime: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.

2017-07-15 20:01:27

John William’s mysterious theme over the WB logo is a great start.

2017-07-15 20:03:20

Introducing key characters through their personal styles of magic is a nice touch. Flying motorbike in particular, obviously.

2017-07-15 20:05:56

So I actually saw this in the cinema in 2001 for my sister’s birthday. So she might well have been jealous of all these birthday presents.
Sixteen years ago I didn’t have beer. Now I do. So by that metric I’d say the film’s aged pretty well.

2017-07-15 20:08:33

Wait, so the snake can read English?

2017-07-15 20:11:37

Ah some classic Daniel Radcliffe acting with the nervous swallow and sullen look. I think it’s fine to make fun of child actors once you know they turn out fine, right? I mean, I assume Rupert Grint is still around somewhere, right?

2017-07-15 20:13:15

This seems like a rather brute force approach if you’re using, you know, magic. Isn’t there a more precision method than carpet bombing a family with a dead forest of letters?

2017-07-15 20:16:14

Watching now I have some sympathy for Mr Dursley. He’s willing to move his entire family to protect Harry from a world he thinks killed Harry’s parents and actually stands off against Hagrid. Brave guy.

2017-07-15 20:16:47

“Yer a wizard, ‘arry!” That is the best line in this film, isn’t it?

2017-07-15 20:17:49

“Muggle” is really going to annoy me as well. The “good guys” are some of the worst snobs in this franchise.

2017-07-15 20:17:49

If the Dursleys are Harry’s guardians then this is a kidnapping. So, if they’re happy kidnapping him now, wouldn’t it have saved everyone a lot of angst if they’d just kept him in the first place?

2017-07-15 20:21:59

Ah, I might have forgotten the ending if Quirrell’s purple turban didn’t stand out so much…

2017-07-15 20:23:59

Diagon Alley is still one of coolest ideas, if very Neverwhere.

2017-07-15 20:25:10

Hagrid just described Hogwarts as even safer than Gringots, which seems like further justification for keeping Harry there.

2017-07-15 20:29:34

This seems like a really expensive method of wand selection. Wouldn’t a separate room result in less breakage? Not quite as impressive a scene for wand foreshadowing I suppose.

2017-07-15 20:32:51

The magic effects are pretty awful so far. It really made me appreciate the subtlety of the Lord of the Rings’ magic effects.

2017-07-15 20:33:42

Even the Weasleys are badmouthing Muggles which seems particularly weird.

2017-07-15 20:35:50

I remember the Hogwarts Express being my favourite shot of the film.

2017-07-15 20:36:37

“I’m Ron. Ron Weasley.”
“I’m Harry. Harry Potter.”
“I’m James. James Bond.” No, that doesn’t work at all.

2017-07-15 20:40:21

I know these child actors will improve as the franchise goes on but I’d forgotten how painful it was at the start.

2017-07-15 20:41:49

Ugh, the Hogwarts arrival is horribly shot.

2017-07-15 20:42:23

“Malfoy. Draco Malfoy.” Ah, so he’s the MI6 agent.

2017-07-15 20:43:16

That’s a much better visual.

2017-07-15 20:46:55

I get that Americans love this for all the robes and old buildings but, having gone to an English private school, it just looks like a school.

2017-07-15 20:49:05

Well that cameo felt incredibly forced. Straight through the table.

2017-07-15 20:49:24

Oh I actually recognise some of these corridors from Gloucester Cathedral!

2017-07-15 20:51:48

So far I think Chris Columbus’ stilted direction actually has a lot more to answer for than the kids’ acting.

2017-07-15 20:54:07

Alan Rickman makes up for a lot. Which then makes me sad.

2017-07-15 20:57:58

I’d forgotten Zoe Wanamaker was in this! There is a ridiculous amount of talent in this film. I presume a lot of it is actors wanting to do something that their kids/nephews/nieces would enjoy. Same as all the cameos in Spice World

2017-07-15 21:01:45

It’s already clear that health and safety is atrocious here, one day into term. How do they get insurance? Or pass Ofsted? I mean, at least The Worst Witch recognised that Ofwitch inspections were a hurdle.

2017-07-15 21:03:54

“What do they think they’re doing?! Keeping a thing like that. Locked up in a school.” Ron’s the only one who’s noticed this is utterly negligent.

2017-07-15 21:06:46

“The Chasers handle the Quaffle.” He’s just a pick-up artist, isn’t he? His name is even Wood.

2017-07-15 21:08:21

“It’s levi-oh-sa, not levi-oh-sa.” Classic Hermione.

2017-07-15 21:11:28

And now they have a troll loose. Thank God someone can take control.

2017-07-15 21:14:39

Although they still didn’t actually find the troll until three kids got into a fight with it and accidentally took it out. Oh, and apparently they award house points for “dumb luck”.

2017-07-15 21:17:20

Remember when having “thousand” in a name made it really cool. At least it was in the nineties. Hadn’t it stopped being cool by the time this film came out?

2017-07-15 21:19:07

Love the quidditch commentator!

2017-07-15 21:24:42

Quidditch does look very cool even if the point scoring around the Snitch makes most of the game pretty redundant.

2017-07-15 21:27:53

I remember my sister coming into my room when I was playing the Star Wars Episode I soundtrack and asking why I was playing the Harry Potter soundtrack. It wasn’t just that they were both John Williams, but that I was listening to the podracing flag parade which mirrors the Quidditch opening. There are a lot of structural parallels with those two key scenes. This jostling shot is basically podracing.

2017-07-15 21:32:41

I’d make fun of Harry’s use of the invisibility cloak but I’m actually pretty jealous of the idea of getting to hang out in that library all Christmas.

2017-07-15 21:37:59

This may be the most relatable moment in the film. These days Dumbledore’s intervention would have been about mindfulness and the importance of being present in the moment. I’ll take the mirror thanks.

2017-07-15 21:38:38

I still cannot understand the American name change given that the Philosopher’s Stone isn’t something Rowling came up with.

2017-07-15 21:46:08

Oh right, Draco thinks they can’t go into a forest because that would be too dangerous. The school being so dedicated to student safety thus far.

2017-07-15 21:55:36

“I’ll fight you.” Go Neville.

2017-07-15 21:59:07

Did they keep Fluffy’s only weakness in the same room that he’s guarding? Or did someone decide surreptitiously to bring a gigantic harp on his break-in instead of, say, a music box?!

2017-07-15 22:04:00

You can keep calling it Wizard’s Chess, but we all know it’s Battle Chess.
I do respect a story that goes for a climactic chess battle though.

2017-07-15 22:12:06

So Quirrell admits everything he’s done as soon as Harry arrives, even though Harry still suspects Snape. If only Voldemort had started whispering to him earlier…

2017-07-15 22:14:04

Yeah, this is a weird way too have a conversation.

2017-07-15 22:14:18

How many house points do you get for murdering a teacher?

2017-07-15 22:15:04

Oh no, wait, the best line in the film is still coming up: “Alas, earwax.”

2017-07-15 22:17:45

I do like how freely Harry uses Voldemort’s name throughout the whole film despite others’ apprehension. Brave or foolhardy, but a nice touch.

2017-07-15 22:20:14

That grin. Did they still think Hermione and Harry would end up together at this point? There was overlap between the books and films, I think.

2017-07-15 22:21:41

Wow, Hogwarts’ chess team must be pretty awful if that was the best game they’ve seen in years…

2017-07-15 22:27:16

I feel like the whole of Year 1 basically vindicated Mr Dursley. Even though Harry wasn’t even a blood relative, he wanted to protect him from a horrifically dangerous school run by grossly negligent teaching staff that ultimately almost resulted in Harry’s death.

2017-07-15 22:30:13

So it’s 60 house points for killing a teacher. Pretty harsh on Slytherin. But I guess Snape isn’t eligible for house points despite being only halfway competent person on staff other than Filch.

2017-07-15 22:36:48

As a closing shot, I guess it shows they know who the best character was. No, not Hagrid, the Express.

2017-07-15 22:42:06

Well that’s a wrap on Year 1. Given all the amazing adult acting talent I’m really looking forward to the director change once we get to Year 3. As well as the kids obviously improving as the franchise goes on. When fans rewatch the films, do they actually start at the beginning or halfway through? I can’t imagine feeling the need to watch this one again.

"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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