Fun with Franchises: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), Part I — “Voldemort: What a Cunt He Was”
What better way to start Fun with Franchises than with the king of all franchises (that we haven’t done yet)? This is the highest grossing franchise of all time, and is without a doubt the main one I grew up with, so it made sense to start with it. Harry Potter is by far the one franchise that every single one of my friends and I could make jokes and references to and have everyone get those jokes and references. Plus it’s just great.
In case you don’t know how this works — a while back, I decided to rank my favorite Disney movies and rank my favorite James Bond movies. And the Disney ones were mostly straight synopses and not too much fun, but when I got to Bond, I enlisted the help of my friend Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!), who knows everything about the Bond franchise that I do not, for those articles, and along the way, learned how to have fun with it. And, by the end of the Bond articles, we were having so much fun that I said, “Man, we have to do this again with other stuff.” Because I spent about a straight month and a half putting together those articles. That’s how much time and effort actually goes into something like that. And not once did it feel like work. It was so much fun that I knew, as long as we were doing it for comedy purposes and able to riff off of each other — we could do pretty much any film and it would work.
And very quickly, the first ones you come up with are the major franchises, because those are not only the most fun, but also the most universally known. Everyone’s gonna understand all the jokes we make (well… most of them. Some of them might be limited to three people) about them. So that’s what we’re doing. And if you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them.
So this is Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Harry Potter franchise, and today is the first part of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (also known as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to you Brits, and Australians, and… Canadians, and… the woman who wrote the book).
Our title card has the British title, motherfucker.
We also use Roman numerals for our titles. Because if you can’t figure that shit out for yourself and need an actual number to help you, you don’t deserve to read what’s after it.
Fun fact — Mike’s and my initials are both roman numerals; MD (1,500) and CM (900). These are the things that interested me when I was 6. This and GoldenEye.
When I was six, I realized my initials could also allow me to pretend that I was a doctor, and then I went, “Well, why should I bother trying to be one of those when I grow up if I already have those initials?” So basically any kind of successful future I may have had was thrown out the window at that moment.
But it also led us here, so who’s to say what “failure” really means?
Let’s give a shout out to the wonderful studio who brought us these movies. Warner Bros. — you guys are amazing. You guys released The Jazz Singer and Harry Potter — you’ve been leading the pack for about a hundred years now.
(We’re gonna give shout outs to the studios who made the films each time, since it is important to recognize who made what, and thank them for giving us such wonderful works of art and entertainment that we can love forever and ever. And for other reasons too, that we don’t really need to get into right now.)
(It’s kidnapping-related. Long story.)
(Personally, I love my grandma and would like to see her again, so just go with it.)
We open on Privet Drive.
And what clearly looks like a very small soundstage.
I appear out of thin air, motherfucker.
(I also don’t remember forests being here in the later films. Did they knock these trees down to build that weird playground thing where Dudley has his rap battles?)
It’s just an old man, walking.
An old man who looks a lot like Richard Harris.
I bet he’s stumbled home from the bar looking like this at least twenty-nine times.
And a cat.
Why didn’t this seem weird and poorly done when I was a kid? Holy shit. It’s like they made the movie for $25 million.
This was my impression as well. I haven’t seen this since it came out, when I was in the sixth grade, but now that I’m watching it again — what the fuck? How did this look this bad on a budget of $125 million?
Wouldn’t it be funny if that was a switchblade?
♫ “When you’re a Gryff, you’re a Gryff all the way…” ♫
We might see a switchblade later on in the franchise. Hermione named that cat ‘Crookshanks’ for good reason.
Oh shit, man! Light it up! They don’t call them Hufflepuff for nothing.
Is this really what it looks like? Holy shit. This is almost amateurish. I could have made this in my garage.
Is that a 90s Toyota?
This is why you have people. That’s a late 80s Vauxhall Cavalier. And here’s where we have some weird continuity issues with the books (that I don’t ultimately care about) — I guess because Rowling started writing so many years before the first book was published, it’s established that Harry Potter was born in 1980 and that the final book (pre-epilogue) ends in 1997. This is a 1989 Vauxhall, which means that movie Harry was born in ’89 or later. A car we see later confirms that movie Harry’s age corresponds to when the books were published, not to when the book was first written.
Well that’s just standard movie/book continuity right there. The crew don’t give a fuck what the book says (nobody does, ultimately. That’s the one rule they tell you when adapting shit. You owe nothing to the source material). My guess is they figured, “Well, Radcliffe was born in ’89, so let’s just do it that way.” It makes sense. Because when they do, eventually, make these books over again, they’re not gonna do it period piece style and set it in the 90s, they’re gonna do it modern again, and set it current and not really mention it. So I don’t really have a problem with book deviation (like so many people do, especially with shit like this). Complaining about book deviation seems less important when your film looks like it was shot by Ed Wood.
Isn’t it weird how amazing they must have thought this seemed, to see an old dude standing there waving a lighter like they’re playing “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”? Especially since, in less than a decade, Batman would be knocking out entire streets and shit with one of those things, and other wizards in this same franchise would be killing each other with a flick of their wrist. They’re really relying heavily on us knowing what the hell is going on here, and going along with the whole, “Wow, magic!” aspect of it.
This felt labored. When we see this gadget in later, doesn’t it suck up all the lights at once? Cause by then, they were busting their asses trying to squeeze a 700 page book into one movie and they didn’t have time for bullshit like this.
Or maybe they went, “Who needs to make it seem wondrous anymore? This isn’t a Chris Columbus movie. Shit’s dark now.” That’s why Azkaban was so important for them. It really took them away from the wrong tone and into the right one. Otherwise by Deathly Hallows, you’d have had Death Eaters getting pissed off during the Battle of Hogwarts because Peeves was making faces at them and shit.
It also makes sense that these first films were for nine year olds, and by the time the last one came out, the kids were in college and didn’t give a shit about the magic aspect and were contemplating the emptiness of life’s unfulfilling void. (Were we not?)
♫ “We are the world…” ♫
It’s also fun wondering what Richard Harris thinks is going on. Because if there’s one thing I can be certain of, it’s that 80% of the cast had no idea what the material was actually about. And I guarantee Richard Harris had no idea what was happening in this scene. He doesn’t know about light-stealing devices. This is a guy whose idea of sobriety was giving up whiskey for beer and wine.
(Now I kind of want to do a series of online shorts where I ask actors who appeared in movies like this what they think they were actually about, just to see what their take on it is. Because you know they couldn’t do it.)
It’s weird how important this scene is and how bad it looks, going back to it.
“I should have known that you would be here –”
Oh, wait… wrong franchise.
“– Professor McGonagall.”
Why should he have known? What possible reason would she have to show up? Because she knows he’ll be part of her house later?
Oh shit that cat just turned into a person! WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT?
Oh wait, that’s Maggie Smith. Oh, then nah, that ain’t no thing. She does that shit on the regular.
The Prime of Miss Minerva McGonagall.
“Good evening, Professor Dumbledore. Are the rumors true, Albus?”
Yes. They are. He loves the D.
Now’s a good time to stop and realize – we don’t know what the fuck is going on right now. An old guy just came onto a street and got rid of all the lights and a cat just turned into an old lady. We could be watching the making of Cat People, for all we know.
Also, seriously – the entire sequence is done in close up. Did they waste all the money on everything else before they got to this or something? Did they shoot this first as test footage and just leave it in the movie? This is seriously something I want an answer to. How – how can it look like this? Does the rest of the movie look this bad and I just don’t remember it?
If it wasn’t for my owl, I wouldn’t have spent that year at Hogwarts.
And the second you have that thought, your eyes close, and the next morning they find you dead in the bathroom.
What he actually says is: “I’m afraid so, professor. The good, and the bad.”
What rumors are good and bad? Yes, a lot of people are dead. But this baby is alive and Voldemort has no body anymore. This has to be like, an hour after it happened. Do people know that quickly? Also, how do you not know if the rumors are true yet knew to show up at this exact street?
Also note the tiptop writing here, laying on your exposition and character names about as subtly as a dick in the ass.
Seriously, what’s with movies that open up with people that have known each other for DECADES addressing each other by name several times and then never doing it again? I almost never call people by name. They might as well have just stuck big [HELLO MY NAME IS _______] name tags on their robes.
That’s one of my biggest pet peeves. “You know, Allison, my wife…” Motherfucker, you’re talking to YOUR FATHER! And it’s the kind of shit where, when you’re tuned into it, you hear it and it sounds SO out of place. You’ll notice them doing it at the worst spots. It’s one of my great missions in life — to point that shit out at every opportunity, just in the hopes that people catch on and don’t fucking do it anymore.
Apparently there’s a boy involved. (Not that we don’t already know who it is and what’s going on, it’s just – for someone who doesn’t know anything about the franchise, going into this movie cold — what are they thinking right now?)
Somebody named Hagrid is bringing him along.
McGonagall does not think this wise. Should they trust Hagrid with such a task? (“Dost thou trust the giant Hagrid?”)
Oh, but I do not concur, ma souer. Dumbledore says he would trust Hagrid with his life. (“Hath not a giant feelings?”)
Also, his hat – Ali Baba, Russian General or Hershey Kiss? What say you, Internet?
Ah, there we go – a flash of light. (Seriously, they spent NO time in planning this scene. This looks like a fucking Wishbone episode.)
Richard Harris’s hair looks like something you buy at Party City for Halloween.
I never questioned Gambon’s Dumbledore hair, because it had waviness to it and felt like it was legitimately part of him. This looks like what a fourth grader wears when playing Rip Van Winkle.
Fat guy on a little bike!
He appeared out of fat air.
In case you’re wondering – no, that’s not John Candy from Spaceballs.
♫ “Like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone when the morning comes…” ♫
“I’m so fucking turned on right now.”
“What’s crackin’ bitches?”
(Sup, Robbie Coltrane? What’s it like being in a franchise that doesn’t make you swim in caviar?)
“Bring me Dumbledore and the Wookiee.”
Oh shit – they’re smuggling white babies on the black market.
McGonagall doesn’t think they should leave the kid here. These people are muggles. And they stink. They’re the worst kind of people imaginable. (Armenians?)
I can’t wait til I have a baby so I can go to random houses and leave it on the doorstep, with a note that says, “YOUR PROBLEM!” and hide in the bushes when they come to the door. And then I get to say, “You’ve been Punk’d, give me back my child.”
It’s nice to have goals.
“Bitch, you just got scammed.”
But they’re the only family he has. Plus – this motherfucker’s gonna be famous. Everyone’s gonna know who he is. So it’s better that he grows up away from all of that. Otherwise he might turn into Justin Bieber.
Another issue. We know that magical people mix with non-magical people regularly. They walk out on the streets and stuff.
They also fuck. And have relatives who are magical/non-magical. Which brings up another question, which I’ll get to in a second.
Everyone knows Harry’s alive, and it would only be a matter of time before they found out where he was. How would there not be paparazzi all over the place watching his life like some magical Truman Show shit? I can’t conceive of a media or group of fans that would leave someone like this alone.
Harry Potter and the Culture of Fame.
Now’s a good time to bring it up — they make it a point to separate magical culture from non-magical culture. In Chamber of Secrets, Molly Weasley (and others at Hogwarts) flips out that people might have seen them in the flying car, and then Harry gets expelled in Order of the Phoenix for using magic in the presence of a muggle. And aren’t they also making up all these news stories to cover for all the shit Voldemort and his people do? (They take down a fucking bridge in one of the movies!) So the presumption is that muggles don’t know about them and would freak out if they did. Yet — some witches and wizards fuck muggles and have babies, and others have siblings who are witches and wizards — Petunia Dursley, as we’ll find out later. So are we all to assume that these people just keep it quiet, either out of shame or acquiescence to the “down low”? That’s a real big continuity issue in this series that’s never really brought up.
It might also make sense to bring this up later, but what do they do about people on the non-magical radar? Hermione’s parents aren’t magical — she has a social security number, she’s in the system. What happens when she turns 10 and goes to Hogwarts? The government wants to know that stuff. How about when she comes of age? Unless she plays dead, they’ll be looking for taxes, and I don’t think Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs accepts galleons.
These are the things that keep me awake at night.
Well, they kind of cover that in book… six, I believe, with that first chapter of both ministers meeting one another. So the muggle government is aware of all this stuff. How the taxes and shit work, I have no idea. Also — pretty sure Hermione’s a tax dodger, removing her parents’ memories of her. Can’t imagine what kind of ramifications that one has in terms of record-keeping.
You think you can get around the IRS by claiming Confundus?
“I just want you to know — I fingered a koala once. It wasn’t a sex thing, it was a power thing. All right, good talk, baby, I’ll see you out there.”
“Quick, now ring the bell and run away!”
“Shit! I didn’t set it on fire first!”
Hagrid’s crying. He’s already grown an attachment to little Cuato.
“Hagrid, will you stop crying like a bitch?”
“Yeah, seriously, Hagrid. It’s embarrassing.”
Also, let’s pause to reflect what just happened in this scene – Harry’s parents are brutally murdered in front of him, and he survives because his mother’s love protects him. The dude who murders them is disembodied (this is never explained) and goes away, then Harry is taken by the most powerful wizard in the world to his aunt and uncle’s house to basically be treated like a piece of shit for the next eleven years, even though, on the other side of the magical world, he has a vault with millions of dollars in it just waiting for him and fame and glory for the rest of his life.
What a Dumble-douchebag.
Wizards always have great handwriting.
And great faith in the fact that these people are home and not on vacation.
“Remember what I said about the koala.”
Wow, Zorro really fucked that kid up.
I know it’s CGI (though wouldn’t it be fucked up if they actually scarred a baby just for that shot?), but damn, that shit looks fresh.
Oh shit, it’s the Da Vinci Code!
Or Being John Malkovich.
That scar is a transitional device.
Doesn’t he look like a cross between MacCaulay Culkin and Hitler?
Is there any other kind?
Home Alone Nein.
This is what it looks like when Mom knows you’re masturbating in the bathroom.
This motherfucker lives under the stairs.
At least he has an apple.
And cousin Dudley is a little fat fuck who likes to torture him.
Man, if I had a rock…
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
The Boy Who Shivved.
GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!
“What the fuck did I just walk in on?”
I love how they spare no exposition in this scene. “Bitch, wake up! Now go and cook breakfast.”
I love the implication is that Aunt Petunia started cooking breakfast and then went, “Wait… why am I doing this?” and then woke up her nephew to have him make breakfast. The only thing missing was her snapping twice and pointing in that, “Chop chop,” kind of way.
Aww… what up, Unc V?
Richard Griffiths is the British Uncle Phil.
(Also, it’s a damn shame that he died like four days ago. He was a really terrific actor. Go see The History Boys if you want to know how great of an actor he was.)
So now Harry’s like ten or something, and basically he’s a house negro. Which is lucky for him, since the slaves with facial scars didn’t usually get to work in the big house. Just making an objective observation.
Anyway, it’s Dudley’s birthday. There are 36 presents.
Motherfucker, last year, he had 37 presents. (“Try not to get any presents on the way to the parking lot!”) Unc V, you done fucked up now.
“Oh you are so lucky I don’t know that hassa hassa shit yet.”
Damn… people got better cars over the years. Also, look at that amateur staging. Having one set of extras walk by to add realism. Motherfucker, we know you ain’t got no people.
This is the shot I was talking about that establishes the year. These are Vauxhall Vectra Estates, all from around 2000. Assuming the movie doesn’t take place in the future with relation to its 2001 release date, that puts Harry born in ’89, like me.
“Look, motherfucker – if you so much as look at me the wrong way, I’m gonna give you papercuts all over your testicles.”
“And not just the bottom, I’m talking where the skin hangs.”
(Weird thing to say to your nephew before you go to the zoo.)
“Hey – hey snake!”
At least they took Harry, right?
That snake isn’t do shit (because he’s a fucking snake!), so Dudley goes away.
Is that an Alabama Black Snake? I guess not. Either way, it’s too beaucoup.
“Man, don’t mind him. He ain’t know what it’s like for us. That’s why us people, we gotta stick together.”
“Motherfucker, what did you say to me?”
“Ah… I’m just fuckin’ with ya.”
What an awesomely douchebag thing to do. Totally unnecessary, yet incredible.
My driver’s license photo looks a lot like this.
A person is most dangerous when one of their eyes gets all partially-closed like that. They can say all they want, but once that eye closes like that, you’re about to have to call up your list of kidney donors.
What’s great about this is that it’s the classic villain comeuppance moment. Always in standard action movies, the villain will always have like a pet tiger or something and be really cruel toward it, and it always ends with them locked up with the tiger, getting torn apart, as a cruel twist of fate. This is basically that. Which ties into what I’m gonna say next…
It’s funny they take this wondrous tone with the whole thing, since it’s like, “Oh, it’s funny this happened,” meanwhile in five movies, we’re gonna find out the dark side of this same thing when we meet Tom Riddle at this same age. Tone is an interesting thing.
Especially Tone Loc.
“Stay cool, Ponyboy.”
How far you think that thing’s gonna get? I feel like it’s gonna end up right back in the tank like an hour from now.
Miming 101. It’s like having training wheels.
Something about Vernon’s face in this shot [and most other shots] says, “I wanna eat that.”
I could literally cut and paste that comment anywhere else in the article he appears and it would make sense.
“Bitch, I will never forgive you for this.”
So Unc V takes him home and locks him back under the stairs and says, “There’s no such thing as magic,” since that was Harry’s explanation as to how the glass disappeared. (Making glass disappear is a lot different than making rocks disappear.)
Also, what size do you think that raincoat is?
And then we randomly cut to an owl bringing a letter.
Wow — the writing, sets, staging, editing – it’s just bad across the board. There’s no rhyme or reason for any of this to be happening right now. And the movie’s STILL two and a half hours long. They’re really relying on you knowing what’s gonna happen. They did a very poor job with this first act.
How about the fifteen houses that look exactly alike, or the fifteen 2000 Vauxhall Vectra Estates parked in the driveways? Is it really just me that this bothers? Am I the only one who notices that the cars are identical? Are people THAT oblivious to the 4,000 lb hunks of metal you see everywhere?
Isn’t that the point, though? Everyone is the same, this is what we’re getting away from, sort of thing? Remember, this is the first two movies — it’s not subtle. It’s for children.
♫ We just got a letter, we just got a letter… ♫
Why is “under” italicized? Is there a cupboard OVER the stairs?
I always thought this was just a quirky British thing. Like how the r’s are all capitalized even when they shouldn’t be, except in the word “under,” which is randomly italicized. Consistency, folks. Oh. Counsistency, foulks. I’m sorry, you’re British.
(I was tempted to leave out that last comma.)
“How much did I drink yesterday?”
Oh so today she cooks breakfast? How does this arrangement work, exactly?
Nice hat, Fatty Arbuckle.
I was thinking it made him look like John Jacob Astor IV, only young, fat and not drowned. Yet.
It’s a red hat with the letter S on it. The people at Hogwarts would flip out over that.
Anyway, Dudley goes and steals the letter, because he’s a little shit, and Unc V’s like, “Who the fuck would want to send you a letter?”
(Dramatic chipmunk music.)
Fuck you, cars.
There’s a lot of owl shit on that roof.
Jesus, these things are better than UPS.
Do you think someone had to hand-write every one of those? Wizarding or film crew?
Wizarding jury duty.
At least he has toys.
(I’d have loved it if they showed him bouncing a baseball off the wall to himself.)
Hard to tell if that’s his gut or the shirt.
Also — best series of shots ever:
Just — that.
Scratch that… THIS looks like my driver’s license photo.
Unc V loves his Sundays.
(I’m also worried he might have had a stroke.)
You know why Unc V likes Sundays?
They get older, he stays the same age.
“No post on Sundays.”
Ah… everybody likes a Kurosawa reference.
They’re just gonna chill on the roof doing “Hoo’s on First.”
The neighbors have nothing to say about this?
Oh, and — kinda weird that the street sign is in the middle of the block like that.
“What the fuck?”
“That’s not supposed to come from there!”
There are at least a dozen shots in this franchise of Daniel Radcliffe having a stupid smile on his face.
Oh jam, those letters are raping that house. Cause to a bunch of owls, “No” means “Yes.”
Owls: the nocturnal rapists of the avian community.
Motherfucker, what are you grabbing for? What kind of seeker are you, if you can’t grab one letter out of a thousand in the air? That’s like knowing how to hit the G-Spot but otherwise sticking it in the wrong hole.
He looks like Willem Dafoe getting hit in Platoon.
This scene is funny, having just watched The Impossible.
He says they’re going far away, where they’ll never find them.
I don’t think he understands what the word magic means. (Just like most of the Bond girls.)
Wouldn’t it be funny if the horcrux cave was just like, on the other side of the camera?
This story wasn’t quite as well put together as the others, was it? How did they get there? How long did they plan to stay? Did Vernon take time off from work, or was it literally just, “We’ll be here tonight so the owls will go away”?
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve done that…
What kind of security deposit do you have to put down on a shack in the middle of a rock formation in the middle of the ocean?
The realtor who sold them this must have came in his pants when he got that call.
“Andy Dufresne crawled through a river of shit…”
Aww… a birthday cake drawn in the dirt. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but… don’t you sweep up a bit before sleeping in the dirt?
Why do you have a shotgun? Why would you bring a shotgun to the middle of fucking nowhere? Do you REALLY think whatever made it there and is about to break down your door is gonna go down that easily?
“Uhh… I’m here for the gangbang?”
Hagrid introduces himself to Harry. He has something for him, which he baked himself, “words and all.” (Uhh… all right.)
To be fair, he did only get through two years of wizard schooling.
Note that the kids never take English or anything like that. There’s no foreign languages or anything like that. If you’re going to learn something practical, you’d better learn it before the age of 10. And fuck tertiary education, you start work at 17. You think Professor Binns has the time to be correcting your shitty fourth grade grammar? For that matter, what do magical kids do until they go to Hogwarts? Maybe that’s why Hermione’s so far beyond anyone else’s talents — she has like 5 years of ACTUAL school under her belt while everyone else has been sitting around eating chocolate frogs.
I love how wizarding school is basically like being recruited to play college athletics. You don’t need to be able to read, you just need a specific set of skills.
Honestly, if I had magical powers, that’s what I’d use them for. Mostly toward undesirables.
“I was Joan of Arc in my former life.”
Hagrid talks about Hogwarts. Harry don’t know ’bout no Hogwarts. (He’s never been with a woman from Knockturn Alley before.)
“You’re a wizard, Harry.”
Question — Hagrid asks Harry if he’d ever made anything strange happen when he was angry or scared, and Harry says yes. Does that mean that all witches and wizards have this ability from a young age and can’t control it? So what if a kid gets pissed off at daycare and uses magic accidentally to mess up the other kids? They can’t just stop that stuff from happening.
Harry finally gets his letter.
The weird thing is there’s no kind of application process whatsoever. Or does he automatically get in as a legacy/celebrity? What if Hogwarts was his safety school?
We find out that Aunt Petunia’s sister was Harry’s mother (Note: Their names are Lily and Petunia. Somebody had a sense of humor), and she resented her for being a witch, and when they took Harry in, they decided they weren’t gonna let him do that shit (and then treated him like an indentured servant because he reminded them that he could do that shit, I guess).
While we’re on this image, I would like to remind everyone that Vernon and Petunia made Dudley with sex. Have fun trying to un-imagine that.
Un-imagine it? I’m already three chapters into my book.
These facial reactions are amazing.
They want no part of letting Harry go to this school.
“You gotta be fucking kidding me.”
I love how they’re fighting over Harry like it’s Kramer vs. Kramer.
Aww, Harry… this is what it’s like to have real parents!
We’ve all been there.
There are very few people who appreciate a hypothetical crossover reference like that. Cleary, I’m one of them.
It’s a chap!
“Use the Force (Tuppence a Bag)”
Ah, shit, that’s nothing. I’ve had tails taken off before. Shit, I got a guy. Only cost ya bout tree fiddy.
This is like when white people found out The Wire was ending.
Anyway, Hagrid and Harry leave.
Harry has to get school supplies. He has no idea how to do that. Hagrid says it’s easy. “If you know where to go.”
The shifty ass A-rab down the corner, of course.
The Leaky Cauldron. I had some wild times up in there.
That’s also what I have after I eat Indian food.
Everybody knows Harry.
That’s how you know you’re an alcoholic, showing up at a bar you’ve never been to before and they all know you.
Hey Quirrell, you stuttering prick you.
Quirrell…Quirrell. Was she trying to say that he was a queer squirrel? Cause gay squirrels are something else, man. Totally a one-track mind.
Looks like the Kool Aid Man’s been there already.
We don’t need no education.
Is this what visual effects were a decade ago?
Ever notice how Rowling and the rest of the literary community subscribe to this idea of witchcraft being a medieval thing? Their towns are all twisted and old, they use candles, they wear robes and shit. It really feels like they have no contact with the outside world at all. But then you see them wearing sneakers and shit, and you know there ain’t no Nike Store in Diagon Alley. This all bothers me.
Where’s the vendor selling bootleg Nikes in Hogsmeade?
Also, everyone here is dressed like it’s Halloween in Doctor Zhivago.
Gringotts. The only bank in the wizarding world. Too big to fail, apparently.
And sideways. It’s like if the Flatiron Building had palsy.
I actually really like this set. It’s almost German Expressionist without going all the way. Kind of like a “only gay in college” sort of deal. Some of you know what I’m talking about.
Also, what’s with the building next to it? It looks like that house on the block that caught fire and just stayed like that for years because no one ever fixed it up again.
Looks like the seven dwarfs made a deposit today.
As if to illustrate my point, what’s with the cobwebs and shit? With magic, they can keep everything clean and perfect, but there are RIDICULOUS cobwebs in this bank’s front lobby which leads me to believe that the filmmakers went out of their way to make everything look seriously medieval. I’d be more into this universe if it tried to reconcile with modern reality instead of coming off like a purpose-built Halloween haunted house.
How’s a goblin gonna get all the way up there to clean? They don’t have any house elves to do it for them. You gonna trust a house elf around all that cash and jewelry?
No but seriously… maybe some Windex on that shit.
I love that the Goblins are basically Jews.
It’s fucked up, but even Jews are like, “…fair enough.”
What do you need to lean down for? I’m pretty sure you can hear him.
I’ve also always remembered that line, when Hagrid says Harry wants to go into his vault. He’s just like, “And does Mr. Harry Potter have his key?”
Which is funny, since, in seven movies, they go to break into Bellatrix’s vault, they want her wand and not her key. Which makes more sense.
Why would you walk around with something labeled “Top Secret” on it?
“It’s about you-know-what in vault you-know-which?” What is it, a sex toy? Harry doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about, so unless you’re on an errand to pick up Dumbledore’s anal beads, just tell us what it is.
Also, think about that when you go to sleep tonight. Dumbledore may well have had anal beads.
“The Head Goblin – in charge of all Goblins.”
I got nothing.
Harry Potter and the Temple of Doom.
Tell me it’s not funny watching a midget carry a lamp like that.
Also, this is Griphook, bringing Harry to his vault. Played by Verne Troyer in this film. Because this was before they were like, “Fuck it, just let Warwick play all the dwarf parts.”
But yeah, how many people knew Verne Troyer was Griphook in the first film?
See, I am informative.
Do we ever find out where Harry got all that money? What the hell did his parents do?
You thought cocaine was strictly a muggle thing?
Lily was dealing some poppies, if you know what I’m talking about.
Vault 713: The Good Shit.
This image of the door opening always stuck with me. Not sure why.
This is also what apartment doors look like in the Hood.
Goblin drug deals!
“I want that purple stuff.”
Let’s pause to reflect that the one thing that is the crux of this film — that Voldemort is trying to steal — was locked up safe in a vault at a bank where it is presumably totally safe and now is being taken to a school to be guarded be safety measures that three eleven year olds can outsmart. Good plan.
Anyway, they get the package and Harry gets his school supplies. All except a wand. Obviously you go to Ollivander’s for that.
(The sign isn’t punctuated.)
If I lived in this world, I’d totally want to be a wand maker. That job sounds awesome.
John Hurt should enter all his movies like that.
I love how Harry doesn’t have to say shit – Ollivander’s just like, “I know what to get this motherfucker.”
They try two wands, and they don’t work, so Ollivander goes to get the secret stash.
I’m kind of like a wandmaker but with booze. “Oak barrel, six and three quarter years aged. Tennessee, but not too far east in Tennessee…”
I’d say it was a 30-year-old fine, indifferently blended, sir… with an overdose of bon-bois.
♫ When you got that glow… ♫
Ollivander says that’s “Curious. Very curious.”
(AKA, “What the fuck was that shit?”)
“I remember every wand I’ve ever sold, Mr. Potter. It so happens that the phoenix whose tailfeather resides in your wand gave another feather – just one other. It is curious that you should be destined for this wand, when it’s brother gave you that scar.”
And who gave him that scar?
“The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter.”
(I really am like a wandmaker but with booze. This sounds exactly like what I would tell people. “The drink chooses the drinker, Frank, son of Richard.”)
Ollivander says they can expect great things out of Harry, given that’s the wand that chose him. Since He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (Frank Stallone) had a similar wand and did great things. Terrible things, but… great things.
(That boy was good. Yeah, good and terrible.)
Can we get this out of the way now? What’s with them not being able to say Voldemort? I think it’s the silliest shit ever. He’s like their Hitler, right? That one guy that everybody knows and generally thinks is evil. But wouldn’t it be simpler to just be like, “Remember Voldemort? What a cunt he was!”
Them not being able to say the name makes me unable to take them seriously. Like people who whisper swear words even when it’s just you two. You think I fucking care? You’re still saying it and nobody else is here to overhear you. You’re afraid of your own voice? For shit’s sake.
Voldemort: What a Cunt He Was. A Biography by Rita Skeeter.
Also, potential subtitle for this article.
Aww… Hagrid bought Harry an owl for his birthday. (An owl that does NOT want to be in that cage right now. Either that or it’s so stoned it thinks Harry’s forehead is shooting lightning.)
Two things – what kind of fucking savages do you have in this place, having a fireplace in the middle of the floor like that? Second… is that an ass-shaped stool?
Anyway, Hagrid then explains the facts of life to Harry. You know, there are good wizards and bad wizards. And sometimes, when a good wizard and a bad wizard love each other…
He also explains Voldemort and shit, and we have this flashback:
Voldemort in this movie always made me think of Garlic Jr.
Jesus… this movie looks bad. Thank god they went with Alfonso Cuaron for Azkaban. Who knows how fucked up this franchise could have turned out.
Pretty sure that line turned up at least a few time in the Bond articles. Pretty sure it’ll keep turning up.
Pretty sure like 30% of our humor has come from those videos and Chappelle’s Show.
How bad does this look? Seriously. I remember thinking as I watched Deathly Hallows – “You’re gonna be stuck having to go back to that shitty flashback from the first movie, aren’t you?”
ZAP YO DUMB ASS!
(Was that insensitive?)
(Probably not when you find out where I was gonna go with the word “insensitive.”)
Is James dead already? Where is he in all of this?
No joke, this looks like it could have been a Goosebumps episode.
Something I try never to do.
I like how baby Harry has a hint of a mullet. Cause it was the 80s, so… of course.
“Go ahead… I dare you. I’ve seen everything but Jesus no way.”
And Hagrid explains that’s why he’s famous. He’s the Boy Who Lived.
Anyway, no time to dwell upon that shit now, we got a train to catch.
Which is where we’ll END PART I.
– – – – – – – – – –
Tune in tomorrow for part II, where we’ll cover Hogwarts, the Sorting Hat, the sexual tension amongst gingers and Quidditch.
(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)