Fun with Franchises: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Part I — “That Maid Just Got Hurricaned in the Face”

Today we begin another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

In case you don’t know how this works — after doing a couple of trial runs without realizing it (Disney movies, Bond movies), I realized that I really enjoyed going through movies frame by frame, commenting on them and cracking jokes like I would if I was sitting around watching them with friends. So I decided to make it a feature on the site and enlisted my friend Colin to help (since it’s better when you have another person to play off). None of this is meant to be any real in-depth analysis. We’re just doing it for comedy and parody purposes. We’re basically just doing what we would normally when talking about this stuff, which I’m sure are versions of the same conversations most people have.

And of course, if you’re gonna do something called Fun with Franchises… you kinda have to franchise it. So we scribbled down a handful of franchises we knew we’d have the most fun going over, and that’s what you’re about to see. This is all done out of love and purely for the benefit of entertainment.

Right now, we’re doing the Harry Potter franchise, and today is the first part of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Warner Bros. Logo

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We begin with a nice specialized Warner Bros. logo and track in to –

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A much darker palette.

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Harry phoning home, apparently.

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Or maybe he’s trying to jerk off and pretend like he’s not still at Privet Drive.

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My money’s on option B.

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“Motherfucker, I can HEAR you jerking off from inside. I don’t know who this McGonagall is, but either go get her to actually suck your dick or fucking finish already!”

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The weird thing is he slams the door as he leaves. Isn’t the point to have him be asleep? Why the fuck would you slam the door and risk him waking up and actually doing what you suspect him of doing?

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Ever jerk off with a sheet over your head?

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My money’s on option B.

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Isn’t he not allowed to be doing that out of school, too?

My other question here is — what exactly did Vernon hear? Harry seems to be whispering his spells, so unless the idea is he’s practicing them (but even so, how thin are these walls that they can hear him whispering like that), I don’t really get why Vernon would be coming in like that.

Clearly he’s got books and has magic shit. And apparently they’ve gotten over the whole ‘I broke out when you locked me in here and you fell fifteen feet into the grass’ thing. It’s weird how we never actually see the negotiations that take place that allow them to reach a point of civility. We went from under the stairs to ‘you have a room but we’re gonna lock you inside it’ to ‘okay you can read your magic shit but goddamnit not after 11:30!’

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Jeez, he really does look like he’s jerking off.

Colin:

Gotta wonder if Petrificus Totalus works on dicks.

It does at the beginning of Deathly Hallows.

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“Come on – almost there… Yeah, Ginny, keep doing that…”

The weird thing is, he’s reading a chapter called ‘Extreme Incantations’, which just sounds like something you’d get in the special section behind the curtain.

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“Oh god…”

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He cums so hard the title card pops up.

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And the dismount.

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That’s right, rub it all into the sheets. You’re the one who’s cleaning them anyway.

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This is kind of a lot of exercise for him.

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You know he didn’t even get a chance to wipe his fingers off yet. He’s got that shit rainbowing over his knuckles right now cause he didn’t even get to grab a tissue. I bet it sticks to his hand.

Anyway… then we cut to –

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Vernon’s sister, Marge arriving. She’s played by Pam Ferris, who also played Trunchbull in Matilda.

So he’s allowed to be around visitors now too. I really want to know how this detente happened.

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Harry needs Unc V to sign his permission slip. (You’d think Hogwarts would know about the extenuating circumstances here by now.)

Colin:

I also found this to be bullshit. You’d think that they would need the guardian’s permission to even allow him to go to Hogwarts, but they pretty much overrode that by assaulting the house with letters. This doesn’t make sense at all. Just let the kid go to Hogsmeade. It’s not like Vernon would even know WHAT he was signing anyway, so what’s the point of getting the signature?

Emperor Palpatine:

I want that permission slip signed!

It’s actually a pretty civil conversation. Unc V asks what it is, Harry says “Nothing… school stuff.” And Unc V says, “Maybe later, if you behave yourself.”

Which is better. I like the evolution of this relationship. It kind of made me a little upset they cut them out of the last few movies. I liked how they were handling this.

Harry also says he’ll behave “if she does,” which is pretty great. Since he has the stones to talk back to him now and Vernon doesn’t react the way he would have three years ago.

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Well, it seems pretty clear she won’t be behaving.

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It’s weird how she just hates Harry out of nowhere. Sure, it comes up later that they’re lying about him, but it’s weird that you can just show up and hate a kid like that. Even if they tell you he’s basically a criminal, if he acts decent around you, doesn’t that make him a decent person?

She’s just a cunt, is what it is.

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But sure, Aunt Marge is awful and they make him clear plates off and shit, but ultimately, they’re pretty civil. So he’s moving on up.

Though, as we’ll see, the pie is for the dog, not for Harry.

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“Hey, you, boy –”

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“Chop chop.”

It’s weird how you’re just cool with treating a child as an indentured servant.

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It’s crazy that he’s not wearing a fat suit.

Colin:

I didn’t know Mount Vernon was in England.

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Getting the dog wasted!

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“I like to get drunk too… bitch.”

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“What the fuck are you looking at?”

Shout out to Richard Griffiths falling asleep in the background.

Vernon has told everyone Harry is a hopeless case and has been sent to a reform school, so Marge thinks he’s this criminal. She asks if they use a cane there at the school.

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“Motherfucker, you better say yes.”

He got the crazy eyes. I like that he comes from the Rodney Dangerfield school of facial acting.

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“Oh – yeah – yeah – I’ve been beaten – f–loads of times.”

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He enjoys the lying, knowing he’s better then she thinks he is –

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Until she starts going on about bad blood and saying his father was probably a drunk.

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Uh oh.

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Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering…

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For you.

Oh, wait… wrong franchises.

Colin:

So Harry’s fuming, the lights start to flicker and air starts whooshing in out of nowhere all at the same time, and you don’t even stop to acknowledge the weirdness of that? Even if you aren’t expecting magic, you gotta be thinking that’s a strange coincidence. But no, she keeps right on going. Cause she’s a thug.

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“Motherfucker…she’s not supposed to know that shit!”

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“That one wasn’t me.”

I mean… it kinda was. You don’t really have deniability here. In front of Vernon or in front of us. Motherfucker, we saw you almost fuck up the Polyjuice mission because you couldn’t keep your shit together for ten minutes.

Also, how big was that fucking roast that there’s still that much left after four people finished a meal?

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“All right… all right. I think it’s time you went to bed.”

I like how Marge is like, “I used to kill people with these hands back in the day…”

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“Nah, nah – he’ll clean this shit up first.”

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Now she starts going on about how it’s all to do with his mother.

She pretty much calls his mother a bitch, too. Which is messed up, since that’s her sister-in-law’s sister.

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“Bitch, shut the fuck up!”

You coulda got out scot-free, buddy. Coulda went back to your jerkoff tent undisturbed. And yet, you had to go and lose your shit.

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Yeah – this won’t end well.

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Look at Vernon’s forehead.

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Seriously, though — look at it.

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This is some horror movie shit.

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You guys see Looper?

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It always goes wrong when we get to the dessert.

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He’s making a face like this exact thing has happened before.

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Colin:

Eddie Murphy?

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There’s really not much else you can do there, is there?

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“At least it’s not me this time.”

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Man down!

Jesus, he looks like Leo getting out of that elevator.

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Anthony Anderson too.

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Really though, look at Dudley. That motherfucker is OUT.

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♫ “I can show you the world…” ♫

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She STOLE fizzy lifting drinks!

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Also, not remotely expelled for any of this.

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“I don’t love you that much.”

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“Bye, bitch.”

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How did he not die when he hit that ground at his size?

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So, is the joke still that Dudley’s a fat fuck or is it now more ‘this shit happens all the time, I’m over it’?

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Margie!

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Colin:

Squalay.

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Oh, now you go back to your room.

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Aww… dead parents.

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“That’s it! I’m moving out!”

I mean… kinda have to now, after what just happened. Does she eventually just deflate? Does she get hit by a plane? Do they have to get her down and wipe her memory?

Kinda weird how there are no repercussions for this.

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This is a great moment. “You bring her back now!” The power balance has shifted. He can kill your entire family now.

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“I’ll kill you!”

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“Now hang on a minute…”

He actually just pulled out a gun.

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“You’re not allowed to do magic outside of school!”

How does he know that? And also, what do you call what just happened?

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“Yeah? Try me.”

“You have nowhere to go.”

“I don’t care. Anywhere’s better than here.”

Safety-wise… not so much, actually.

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I hope he catches a boxcar with some hobos.

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When did Privet Drive start to sound like the ambiance scary noises on a Halloween CD?

Colin:

I just assume that England is always wet. I was there once, and it rained the whole time. Go live in England if you like being damp all the time. And you get to say to girls, “Hey, is it rainy out, or are you just happy to see me?” But it’s never the latter. :(

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It’s actually kinda weird he never left before. No Part-time job or anything. He’s basically done all that stuff anyway at home. I know he’s 13, but isn’t England famous for putting kids to work early?

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Nice shot. Already I’m loving Alfonso Cuaron’s direction.

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Good idea… realize you don’t have anywhere to go and sit there on the corner.

P.S. Is this the same place from the opening of Order of the Phoenix? Because that shit was out in the middle of nowhere in that movie. This just seems like, a five minute walk from the house.

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Lights be flickering and shit.

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There’s nothing creepier than the sound of a swing set moving on its own. Except maybe hearing a phantom child’s voice singing nursery rhyme on top of it.

Colin:

The playground merry-go-round is always bad news. It’s creepy when it spins in the wind and makes creaking noises. Or when a bunch of kids are spinning on it and Linda Hamilton watches them get vaporized. If you’re at a playground and they have one of those things, you run.

Fun fact: Judgment Day (August 29, 1997) takes place only two months after Dumbledore’s death (June 30, 1997).

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Imagine if Guillermo Del Toro directed one of these movies.

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Dog appearing out of nowhere. What is this, our third major character first been seen appearing out of the darkness? (Dumbledore, Riddle, and now Sirius.)

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So this moment is a nod back to basically the first modern version of the jump scare. The Lewton Bus, from the movie Cat People (which, in its way, also features an animagus). It has a woman being stalked by a cat-person on a dark street, and just before the ‘encounter’, a bus shows up out of nowhere.

Here’s the scene:

The Cat People scene builds tension more than this scene does, but it’s pretty clear that’s where they got the influence for this moment from.

This has been your film history lesson for today.

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It’s the Knight Bus!

(Not as good as the Catbus, but we’ll take it.)

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It’s funny how many things Harry just lucks into without knowing what the hell he’s doing. Like, he just happened to have the one thing at the end of the last movie that could kill the horcrux diary and now he just happened to make the one gesture that automatically calls the Knight Bus to his position.

It’s also worth noting that had he not accidentally done this, the entire plot of this movie would’ve been negated because Sirius would’ve introduced himself to Harry and explained everything. In a way, I kind of enjoy that turn of storytelling, but also it is the truth.

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What up, Stan Shunpike?

Colin:

Stan Shunpike’s gonna need about tree fiddy.

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I wonder what Stan is thinking about this. Dude called for the bus and rather than getting on just weirdly looks around the side of it. Then again, Stan’s probably high as balls and really doesn’t care so long as Harry makes up his mind and stops fucking up the vibe.

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So basically it’s like the subway – transporting homeless people and drunks when they have no place else to go at night.

Colin:

Okay, continued from Chamber of Secrets, but why would the Knight Bus exist? Apparating, floo powder, portkeys, brooms, walking — there are plenty of ways of getting around, and some of them are starting to sound superfluous. We haven’t even set off yet and I’m already questioning the logic behind this bus.

Also, the explanation is that as Harry fell, he stuck out his wand arm, like he was hailing a cab. I guarantee you if we went through all the movies meticulously, there would be an instance of someone falling down with their wand hand out. They don’t even have to be falling, so it’s really just when you’re standing on the side of a road and lift out your wand hand. I find it impossible to believe that such a trivial action doesn’t happen thousands of times a day. This whole thing is bullshit.

I just pictured you knocking your plate of meatloaf onto the floor and stamping away, kicking nothing in particular. “THIS WHOLE THING IS BULLSHIT!!”

Also, he totally did have his wand hand out.

You think having a wand is like jerking off? Are you just not as good with your other hand? Is the feel just not there? It must be, right? Using a wand is kind of like throwing or writing or jerking off. I mean, throwing you can kind of do with both arms, but you’re just gonna have better arm strength and accuracy with one over the other. Does that extend to casting spells? If you’re a lefty (do they make lefty wands?), and you cast a spell with your right hand, does it become more erratic? Has to be, right? It’s like a gunfighter. You have your side. (“I’m better when I move.”) Next time I watch these movies, I’m gonna pay closer attention to which hand they use for their wands.

Side note: there is a jizz spell, right? There has to be some sort of spell where Harry can just run up behind someone — “Fizzicus Jizzicus!” — and cum just shoots out of his wand all over their back, right? And he can run away like, “Ha ha, you have to go to Arithmancy with jizz on your back!”

Harry Potter TV series idea: Prank spells

There has to be a spell that makes people orgasm. There’s no way there isn’t.

Also, here’s a question you don’t really get to ask in polite conversation — women have a go-to hand like guys do, right? Or is it just a free-for-all down there? Like a rap DJ from the 80s.

Also, if you can masturbate with both hands, does that make you ambidickstrous?

I love these articles. One day they’ll put me away because of these articles.

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Guy’s got leprosy, the bus looks like it’s gonna catch fire at any minute… this is the Fung Wah bus of the wizarding world, isn’t it?

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A Jamaican shrunken head? This is definitely the Fung Wah bus of the wizarding world.

What? You don’t have a Jamaican shrunken head that talks? My head’s name is Franklin.

He’s the wizard version of the Jamaican crab that makes fuck music in Little Mermaid.

Colin:

It’s Mr. Frizzle.

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Fung Wah all the way, baby.

I do like that there are beds though. Because presumably this is for people in the middle of nowhere at night who just need to get around. Or people who are hammered. Honestly this is kind of a great service for people who are fucked up. Though reasonably you can’t expect people to not be passed out for several hours while on it if there are beds. So maybe the complications outweigh the comfort factor here.

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So… how does nobody see this? Is it ever explained/

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Why is Wolf Blizter on the Knight Bus?

Colin:

This bus is a horrible idea. Also, it’s moving fast, but not more than a hundred miles an hour. So how is it that it just happened to be where Harry was? It’s not like it was summoned to where he was, or else they’d never get anywhere they were trying to go. I’m just glad this plot device isn’t a submarine, cause it’s full of holes.

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Oh no, little old lady!

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Isn’t it funny how it’s always the main character who is violently thrown around in situations like this but everyone else always ends up totally fine?

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It’s either that or a fruit stand.

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I like how the shrunken head starts counting down to the point where he’s gonna go. Like, “This bitch has ten second to get out of my way before I run that bombaclot over.”

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Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban.

How do these papers work? Does magic make you able to read in multiple directions?

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Yeah, Gary Oldman!

Shunpike explains that Sirius is a murderer who was a supporter of Voldemort. So, you know – classic misdirection. So many of these movies rely on bad information until the third act.

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Colin:

Am I the only one who caught onto that fucked up crossword puzzle? Some of the boxes are triangles and stuff. I know it’s the wizarding world, but do we have to go out of our way to make even the most mundane things look bizarre? They speak English, and they use the same alphabet. Making the boxes weird is just…pointless. You’re trying too hard to make things different.

You also know that their crosswords would only be about wizarding world stuff. “Ten down….a horrible island inhabited by terrifying creatures and criminals. Staten Island? Oh, no, it’s Azkaban.” Which, on the Wikipedia blurb for Azkaban, they actually say, “Not to be confused with Azerbaijan.” That’s hilarious.

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“Why the long faces?!”

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“Man, Hedwig would be trippin’ balls right now if she were here.”

He totally left Hedwig back at the Dursleys’, too.

Colin:

I noticed that as well. Way to leave your bird, douchebag. I’m sure it’ll find its way to Hogwarts so you can use it later on to deliver your mail, you ungrateful prick.

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Who else is on this bus? It actually looks like only drunks and homeless people ride this thing.

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Colin:

I only accept this scene for the crazy rasta head that just made a shitty pun. We like those.

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Igor comes and meets him, somehow knowing he was coming.

Yet they didn’t know about the Sirius thing?

Oh, right. They mention something about this in one of the later movies. He’s got a tracer on him until he hits a certain age. So they actually are monitoring his movements. Weird how they’re doing it specifically here, but I guess the fact that his godfather is an at-large fugitive, I guess it makes sense that they’d be watching him.

Still doesn’t explain how they didn’t know that Sirius showed up to his exact location, since they clearly know when he performs underage magic.

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Love how they made this so dark without any overhaul.

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“Oh, you know, just reading some Stephen Hawking.”

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Apparently Hedwig escaped on her own. Weird that she was clawing to get out last year and now she knows how to open cages.

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Oh shit – Cornelius Fudge up in the heezy.

I love the Citizen Kane deep focus going on. Alfonso Cuaron is the best thing that happened to this franchise.

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Ayyyy!

It’s like in Goodfellas after Henry beats his first rap.

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Colin:

It looks like Humpty Dumpty’s trying to get Harry to eat stuff so he’ll get fat and they can eat him.

He looks like if Woody Harrelson had a lesser-known brother.

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He explains that Aunt Marge has been put back to normal and had her memory altered, so – no harm done.

Man… shit changes within two movies, huh?

“Oh, come Harry, the Ministry doesn’t send people to Azkaban for blowing up their aunts!”

You hear that, Gertrude?

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Colin:

Donkey laugh, silenced, apologetic bow. As someone who lives in Japan, I love it when underlings know their place. He did the wrong bow for a donkey laugh, though. That was the bow for over-brewing the tea.

But also why does the minister of magic have an Igor?

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“However, running away like that – not the smartest move. We have a killer on the loose.”

Does he know about the protection spell?

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“But what’s Sirius Black got to do with me?”

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The only thing missing here was a, “Shouldn’t have told you that.”

Why is no one telling him he’s his godfather? Seriously, so much of these plots are people not being given the proper information.

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Love these camera placements.

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Oh, and he brought Harry’s schoolbooks here for him, too. (Seriously – motherfucker doesn’t pay for shit this entire franchise. He’s rich and people just buy him shit. All he’s bought so far is candy.)

Colin:

People with humps are always so subservient. Fudge tells him he got Harry new school books, and Igor does the whole Price is Right girl hand wave over the goods.

Potential subtitle: “People with Humps Are Always So Subservient.”

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I like how subtle it is that he’s got a long sleeve. That’s because if you did that shit in real life without padding on your arm, that owl would claw the fuck out of it.

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“Also – don’t wander places. Shit’s dangerous.”

Did they just give him the upstairs office of this bar? What’s going on here?

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This reminds me of Jude Law in Road to Perdition.

It’s also got that Children of Men coloring going on.

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Are there any other book titles that could be their own homonyms? Not too many, right?

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Why would you do that? When have you ever had any luck opening a book? Especially ones that move.

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“I’m too high for this shit.”

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Also, is that thing eating its own pages, or… how does that work?

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Seriously, look at these camera placements. Immediately a more engaging movie.

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Colin:

Fuck this book and fuck the paper it was printed on. And when it goes under the bed, you don’t poke your head down there for a look. This is how you get face-hugged.

Shit… that’s making a run for subtitle too – “This Is How You Get Face-Hugged.”

Colin:

Do wizards not do movies? They have photos, but never made that transition into moving pictures? Rowling’s very selective about what technology she lets them play with. And what if Hermione was really into movies as a kid? No more movies for you, you’re magic now! Fuck that.

Can we make a book called “That’s How You Get Face-Hugged” and list all the different ways in which you are putting yourself at risk for face-hugging?

But simple. Like a children’s book. Like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Opening the refrigerator… and you turn the little quarter page panel and open it out — boom, face-hugged.

I think people would go for it.

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This motherfucker really doesn’t respect his sneakers, though.

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Gotcha, bitch.

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I love that this place is like one of those inns you stopped at while traveling in the 1800s.

Also, side note — more picaresque stories involving inns.

That’s it. Just that.

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“Housekeeping…”

How narrow are these rooms?

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Colin:

What the fuck was THAT? The maid just got hurricaned in the face.

I almost just did a spittake. “The Maid Just Got Hurricaned in the Face.” We have subtitles galore this time.

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Crookshanks chasing Scabbers?

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“I know what that means…”

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Aww… they go’n fuck one day.

Also, why are they just here? Did they just uproot their lives because Harry ended up here? Also, why is it that he stormed out like right before the school year? You mean to tell me that the entire summer happened without an entire incident that led to him deciding to storm out of the house?

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“Aww… they go’n fuck.”

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And they know it, too.

Jesus, though… look at Ron. He looks like Rick Moranis and a clown had a baby.

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The Weasleys went to Egypt.

Best face goes to the guy playing… presumably Bill or Charlie, in the background there. I’m talking about the guy who looks like the douchebag villain in 80s teen comedies, and not the guy who looks like the love child of Steve Guttenburg and Richard Simmons.

Also, what the fuck is Ginny looking at?

Colin:

Again with the paper. Why does the text wrap around the photo? You’re just going out of your way to be weird. It’s like Back to the Future II where the kids in 2015 all wear their jeans inside out. Except that was going overboard in a cool way. This is just…let’s take the most trivial details of this universe and tweak them lest there be something that resembles reality! Except for some more obvious things, like how half of the wizarding community wears New Balances.

What’s weird is that them going on vacation is IN THE FUCKING NEWSPAPER! “Exclusive: Poor People Go on Vacation.”

Also some of those sentences just say Egypt Egypt in Egypt.

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It’s great that she’s like a surrogate mother. That’s why we love her.

Colin:

I thought we loved her cause she raised some badass sons and a daughter that puts out.

Filing that one away to say to my mother-in-law one day. “I love you because you raised a daughter that puts out.”

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Arthur needs a word.

Colin:

And I said, ‘HEY!’ What a wonderful kind of day! Where you can learn to work and play! And get along with each other.

It’s either that or, “A real woman could stop you from drinking.” “It’d have to be a real big woman.”

What if those were the same show?

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I love that Alfonso Cuaron loves a long take. The single, unbroken shots in a film like this are very impressive.

Colin:

This shot is great. Harry and Mr. Weasley talking in the back and Gary Oldman’s picture in the foreground, turning around to be like, “FUCK YOU, I SEE YOU!”

Isn’t it great what happens when you get a great director to make your franchise movie?

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Arthur thinks Harry needs to know the facts.

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Arthur explains the Blacks of life. They’re all about you, Harry.

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But actually. Sirius Black has escaped to kill Harry.

Colin:

I don’t quite understand the progression of this conversation, not content-wise, but physically. Mr. Weasley has them sneaking along the room. Nobody’s eavesdropping, nobody’s trying to get in on the conversation. You can hang back, it’ll be fine. No need to sneak around like the Blues Brothers.

It’s a single take. They maintain movement so you don’t become uncomfortably aware that the camera has been sitting there, with an unbroken take, for the past ninety seconds. They shift the framing around just by moving the actors and highlighting this new part of the scene so you don’t fall into the lull of a single camera setup.

Though, actually — I am curious — from what we learn about Sirius — there’s really no way you could ever mistake him as someone who has love for Voldemort. He’s always very loyal to James, who is basically his brother — the family takes him in, Tom Hagen style, when his family — loaded with Slytherins and Death Eaters — throws him out for being too liberal (or something like that). He’s a Gryffindor (and remember — there wasn’t a bad witch or wizard who wasn’t in Slytherin… except, you know, the guy who actually is to blame for all this) and was in the ORDER OF THE PHOENIX! I mean, sure, James and Lily end up dead, and most people thought he was the secret keeper and all that, but it’s weird that everyone jumps to, “Oh man, he’s coming to kill Harry.” He could have done this at any point over the last twelve years. I don’t know, it’s just weird to me that everyone is jumping to this one conclusion and beating the drum so hard.

Not one person thought this motherfucker was innocent over all these years?

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Arthur wants Harry to swear that he won’t go looking for Black.

Colin:

Yeah, and how about his son, who ends up with Angelina Johnson? JUNGLE FEVER!

Good for him, too. Angelina Johnson is a certified badass.

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“Why would I go looking for someone who wants to kill me?”

See: Every other movie. Really, Harry?

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Cuts.

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“Don’t lose him!”

If you’ve watched enough movies – it’s not subtle.

Chekhov’s Rat.

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From Hogwarts with Love.

There’s a nice moment where Hermione’s like, “You were lucky not to get yourself expelled,” and Harry’s like, “I think I was lucky not to get arrested, actually.” Which is a great line, because it both maintains consistency with Hermione’s “or worst… expelled” greatest fear and also moves the franchise more toward the real world and less toward the whole “magical” thing. Notice they’re already not wearing the robes anymore. So it’s nice that they’re introducing real world stuff into it as well. Already this seems like a carefully constructed movie, and there’s not really all that much to make fun of. (Plus there’s less exposition here, since we know the broad set up of the story, so that also lends itself to there being less to make fun of.)

Colin:

I love them wearing normal clothes and being normal people. I still wanna see that one random kid with an iPod or something. What do magical people do when they want to listen to music on the go and not disturb anyone else?

The wizarding world really is lacking in the music department. (But we’ll save that discussion for the next film.)

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They get into a cabin with a drunk. (Nice.)

Colin:

Oh, what’s in the bottle?

Brad Pitt:

WHAT’S IN THE BOTTLE??!!?!

It’s professor R. J. Lupin.

Ron wonders how Hermione knew that.

“It’s on his suitcase, Ronald.”

She’s like House. (House… Holmes… Hermione… maybe there’s something there.)

Colin:

Oh yeah, the drug addict connection!

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“You think he’s really asleep?”

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Mi scusi.

And it’s raining now – already it’s like we’re in a different universe that’s also the same one. Brilliant, this movie. That’s why this is probably my favorite of them all.

Colin:

Hey Hermione, is it rainy out, or are you just happy to see me?

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quantum-of-solace-1

Quantum of Solace - 5

Quantum of Solace - 9

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Oh, wait… wrong franchise.

Though since I already just killed the next twenty minutes of Colin’s day, let’s go the full nine.

Colin:

You asshole. I did a double take and then went to watch it by myself. Didn’t even make it to the link. Me with that clip is like Cartman with “Come Sail Away.” I can’t not watch the whole thing.

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Still with the unnecessary camera movements, but I’ll allow this one because the rest of the movie is so much better-constructed.

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They talk about Sirius Black. It’s funny that not once do they think Sirius Black could have killed Lupin and be sitting right there with him.

Because who’s running security on this train full of basically the entire enrollment of this school? The candy trolley lady? She got a sawed off in that cart underneath the jelly bean pile?

Also — seriously — is this the only train that runs to Hogwarts? (We’ve gotten to this before, right? How people who live near the school have to travel — seemingly — to London just to go back to Scotland?) Kind of a safety risk to put all the kids on one train like that. And to make them all have to take it. What if their parents drive them to and from campus?

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The train stops.

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And the lights go out.

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Lotta flickering going on.

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I love the coloring of this image.

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This is better than most horror movies.

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THIS is the opening scene of your Godzilla movie, by the way. Just do this exactly and it’ll work.

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CGI frost breath. Between that and the steam on coffee cups…

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Not liquor. Liquor doesn’t freeze. Already I question this guy.

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Right?

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“What is that?”

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That’s a frozen window, Ronald.

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It’s –

the-year-without-a-santa-claus

How awesome would that be?

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Weird how they came right to this car. I mean, presumably they’re searching every car (though you think they’d have done that before the train left London and then maybe right as they got in at Hogwarts), but still.

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“Hey, has anyone seen my cousin Charlie?”

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Crookshanks going off. I like how the universal symbol of evil is ‘pets don’t like them’.

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“Shire… Baggins!”

Oh, wait… wrong franchise.

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Well that’s fucked up. It just shows up and starts sucking out his soul. Didn’t even play with his balls a little bit first or anything.

Is this because of the scar? Do they ever mention that? Do they sense some Voldie in him and attack him randomly?

Crazy that they just let these things loose on the world and they’ll just go around potentially murdering innocents while looking for one escaped convict.

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Dun dun dun dun dun.

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That’s a real badass. Wakes up from a drunken stupor and can take out a dementor like it’s nothing.

Also, what up, David Thewlis? That dude’s an incredible actor.

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Dementor shut the fuck up, you know this my Patronus, I ain’t even gotta say it! Gonna send your ass back to Azkaban with Crookshank Pete, and his crazy ass jizz spells, would you LIKE THAT?

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But seriously though – doesn’t even say Expecto Patronum. Just does it. No animal, just light. Why? Because we haven’t learned it yet.

Colin:

What good are dementors if anyone can send them away with a patronus, no questions asked? If someone is that powerful a wizard, they can produce a patronus no problem. It seems like a pointless endeavor for the dementors to be chasing Oldman, cause they have that weakness. It’s like, “We’re gonna get you! Unless…you know…you don’t want us to.”

Their strength really does lie in numbers. Or, you know, the assumption that eventually you’ll stop having a patronus. Like, a dementor rolls up on you (“L Street, motherfucker!”), you bust out your patronus, and it jumps back up in the air away from you. And then your patronus comes out, like, it’s a lemur or something, and it’s just chilling next to you, and the dementor has to stay back, since patronuses are basically like dementor restraining orders.

Really all it’s gotta do is stay like ten feet away like, “Come on, man! I wasn’t really gonna kill you! Put the patronus away! Are you gonna put it away? You can’t keep it out all day. You’re gonna get tired. I bet it makes you hungry, using all that magic. Have you had a lot to drink today? Have to use the bathroom? S-s-s-s-s-s-s-s…” “Shut up dementor.”

(Harry Potter TV series idea: This scene)

Also, I want to see the person who sends a dementor away with questions asked. Like, “Expecto Patronum! … by the way, what do you feel about man’s place in the universe?”

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And that’s the end of the movie!

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That would have been fucked up, too.

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Lupin gives him chocolate.

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Don’t know if I’d trust a dude with that moustache if he gave me sweets.

Colin:

Not even if it was a Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar? Also, “scrumdiddlyumptious” sounds like the sort of word you might use to describe female masturbation.

Gonna make some of that Lady Marmalade.

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He explains that the dementors were searching the train for Sirius Black.

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“Eat. You’ll feel better.”

I love the way he delivers this. He immediately becomes a friendly presence.

That is one of those things with movies where — not only is it good for characterization, it also really spoils later in the movie. Because when you’ve watched enough stuff like I have and you hear this line, you immediately go “good guy” and no amount of shiftiness they try to make you aware of makes me for once think he’s gonna turn out to be evil. But for the totality of this character, it’s a nice delivery.

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Harry wonders why he was the only one to pass out.

And I’m wondering why not one person drew dicks all over his face while he did.

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Exposition set up!

Colin:

We find out later that these carriages are pulled by thestrals, which can only be seen by people who have witnessed death. Harry sees them for the first time after witnessing a murder in Goblet of Fire, so I guess his parents don’t count?

Or the professor he murdered with his bare hands two years ago?

Colin:

The explanation given is that you have to “accept” the death before you see them, but other people Harry’s age and younger can see them, so maybe they’re just more mature or something. Or maybe Rowling just decided that the autonomous carriages should be drawn by some special creature and made up some shit. To hell with continuity!

I also love that it’s just — “This way, Hogwarts, that way, Hogsmeade.” If the other way looks anything like this one — it’s pretty fucking obvious what’s that way.

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Oh, the candles… this, to me, is one of the greatest touches they took from the early films and completely turned into a major element of the franchise. Because think about it — these candles were there in the first two movies, but did you ever really pay attention to them and how awesome they were before this? No. You didn’t. And that’s why I love this movie. Stuff like this.

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Oh yeah.

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Or maybe…

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But actually, though.

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Oh, but shit, though.

Colin:

Isn’t it August? Why are they singing some song out of Nightmare Before Christmas? Does every day become Halloween because they’re witches and wizards?

But let’s talk about Filius Flitwick conducting the fuck out of this choir.

Baddest motherfucker at Hogwarts.

I can keep going with these choir tracks, though.

(And I didn’t even have to bust this one out.)

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“That’s right, bitches.”

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Now’s a good time to point out – Richard Harris died after the filming of Chamber of Secrets. In fact, he died about a month before the film was released into theaters. And I’ll repeat the story I told in a previous article: when he was in London, he lived at the Savoy Hotel. And as they were taking him out of the hotel on a stretcher, shortly before he died, they passed the Savoy Grill, the famous restaurant at the base of the hotel. And as he passed all the diners, he shouted, “It was the food!”

Colin:

I can only hope that as I’m dying I have the opportunity to pull some shit like that. Or say something like, “AHH my chest! My…bloody chest.” Something that people will remember me for and say, “He went out with a joke. Cool guy.”

I’ve already told people that my last words just before stabs me for making too many puns are gonna be, “I can see your point.” But back to Richard Harris…

His family wanted his good friend Peter O’Toole to take over as Dumbledore, but due to the potential problems of getting O’Toole insured for the duration of the franchise (he was 72 at the time and was as hard a drinker as Richard Harris in his day), they went with Michael Gambon instead. I can’t imagine he, what was the phrase, came quietly.

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Dumbledore announces Lupin as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

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Snape is thrilled.

Isn’t it funny to think one of the guys who bullied him as a teenager now has the job he wants most? How realistic.

Also, holy shit — that looks like Harry Davenport on the right. Look it up if you don’t know who I’m talking about. And watch more 30s and 40s movies.

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How many new teachers do these kids have to clap for?

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“Potter! Is it true you actually fainted like a bitch?”

They say that like those things coming aboard the train isn’t the scariest shit ever.

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Also, their Care of Magical Creatures professor retired “in order to spend more time with his remaining limbs.”

Genius.

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Their new Care of Magical Creatures professor –

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— is Hagrid.

Also, look at Flitwick (baddest motherfucker at Hogwarts) and that Hitler thing he has going on now. Amazing how a haircut and some hair dye can de-age a person.

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“YEAH! WE JUST CHEERED HIM LIKE FOUR MONTHS AGO AFTER HE GOT TORTURED FOR NO REASON!!”

Colin:

Someone should talk to Seamus Finnigan. Bulimia is a very serious disease.

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Here’s a question — does the wax just drip (drip drip) onto them as they eat?

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Dumbledore also says that dementors will be stationed around Hogwarts until Sirius Black is captured.

Because that’s not arbitrary.

Most secure (allegedly) place in the world and they’re like ‘we’re gonna station a bunch of cops around here because this dude might break in’.

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.

Also — what if Sirius is never captured? This is how we still have troops stationed in countries we stopped fighting years ago. Never trust cops, never trust Imperialist nations. This should be basic, people.

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Look at this magic-mansplaining pose.

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“Get the fuck out my way, candle.”

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Motherfucker didn’t even miss a beat. Fire got to close… bam. Put that shit right out.

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“I create fire too, motherfucker.”

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What up stairs, you changing fucks?

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She looks like she’s doing a Supremes impression.

Colin:

Eddie Murphy?

Is it me, or is that Ralph Fiennes Voldemort down on the right there? Either that or it’s Nosferatu.

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They’re all disgusted by her, but look at Dean Thomas. He want that purple stuff.

Also, is that Buddy the Elf in the back?

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“Wait – watch this first.”

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You’re gonna scare the shit out of that baby.

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“Ohh… amazing!”

Colin:

The Fat Lady just made my short list of badasses. Nobody saw that.

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“Bitch, let us in!”

“Jesus, all right!”

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“Thank you.”

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Also, she sung, so… is it over?

(You know… if the moon hit Lupin just right…)

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Nice common room. Also, love how they don’t give a shit about ghosts anymore. Like, “Hey, man, how you doing?”

Also — weird that the ghost was sleeping up in somebody’s bed up there.

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Of course it’s the Black kid. Just.. of course it was.

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Look at his face. You know what he’s saying.

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They all hang out like college kids, taking candies that make them sound like animals.

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It’s funny imagining this as they shot it, with no sound.

Colin:

The scene would be ten times better if Harry just bust out in Parseltongue without eating any candy and everyone else stopped laughing.

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What animal is that?

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So the question here is — we only ever see the Gryffindor common room and then this room. Based on what this movie has shown us, there are only like six male Gryffindors. But I’m gonna assume that, while we know the boys and girls dorms are up separate staircases (and apparently someone’s monitoring that there’s no coed fucking going on), presumably this is a roommate situation and the boys get to decide who they’re gonna room with. Because numbers-wise, these aren’t the only male third year Gryffindors in the school. So they must have either been grouped together or decided to room together. Which is something we never see but is honestly more interesting to me than some of the stuff these movies show. Kinda want to know how that all went down.

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Dementor porn.

Colin:

It always feels like Hogwarts is the center of the wizarding world and that nowhere else matters even a little bit. Every time something goes down, everyone’s focused on Hogwarts, like it’s a foregone conclusion that any bad shit is going down here. So here we are with several hundred dementors.

If there’s one thing I appreciate about this franchise, it’s the commitment to ACAB.

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These shots…

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This is where we creepily watched Harry with Hedwig from the first movie. I like how we can take the same sets and make them look completely different based on how we shoot them.

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Aww… a blue bird.

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Just flying around, totally free.

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Showing us the grounds, which are exactly the same as they used to be, only now slightly more menacing because we’re doing something different this time.

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WHOMP!

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That’s funny. I was making a similar Whomping Willow joke during the last movie. I totally forgot this happened. That’s great.

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Look at all these beautiful shots.

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Time for Divination.

Colin:

Is there Multiplination? When do they learn how to do long divination? 

Some people are just blessed with long divination.

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Taught by Professor Trelawney.

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Played by Emma Thompson. Who is clearly having a fucking ball with this, as she should and as she seems to with everything. Which is why she’s the greatest.

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I want a classroom set up like that. I can do without grandma’s doilies, though.

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“This is fucking ridiculous.”

I mean… it kind of is. It’s basically the equivalent of having to take astrology.

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I love Emma Thompson. So much.

Colin:

She got some Erykah Badu hair.

And some Milton Waddams glasses.

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What was it Freud said about the Irish?

Colin:

“Cui gives a shit?”

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“Where the fuck did you come from?”

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“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve just been here, rubbing my chest weirdly all along.”

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“You – boy — is your grandmother all right?”

“I – I think so.”

“Don’t be so sure of that.”

She’s awesome. Also good thing she said grandmother and not a parent.

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“Give me the cup.”

I like how she has no patience for them. Like, “Stop trying to figure it out and let me just tell you.”

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“OH DEAR GOD!”

Colin:

What is it? Is he…? Oh god, he is. Black.

If anyone attended Wizardstock, it was Trelawney.

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Damn shame what they did to that dog.

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Hermione is like the liberal atheist in a religion class, making her the most sensible person here.

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Emma Thompson is the color of the first act of The Aviator.

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.

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Ron tries to figure out what this bullshit means. Which is like reading a dreams analysis book. “Well, the cactus means you’re gay, but the tilt-a-whirl means pudding. So I guess that means you’re gonna have some freaky gay pudding sex.”

(Also, great album title: Freaky Gay Pudding Sex.)

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“You’re gonna suffer… but you’re gonna be… happy, about it.”

Fifty Shades of Gryffindor.

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Look at Hermione… she knows.

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“Give me the cup.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 336

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 337

“WHAT THE FUCK! You’re not supposed to be thinking that shit in class!”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 338

“Damn it, now she’s gonna give me sex lectures…”

(Seriously though – best reactions go to Hermione.)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 339

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 340

“My dear – you’re… into that sort of thing?”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 341

Harry also apparently got “The Grim.”

(Is that a Spanish/Latin/Native girl back there? That’s a first for this franchise.)

But what is The Grim?

Diarrhea? Shingles? Chlamydia?

Lupin?! Is it Lupin?!

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Somebody please explain The Grim.

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ANOTHER BLACK KID!!!

I like that we’re seeing more representation in these movies, even if it does feel tokenist, to an extent.

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“Taking the form of a giant spectral dog, it’s among the darkest omens in our world.”

Colin:

YOU’RE among the darkest omens in our world. Holy shit!

I actually like how he delivers this. Like, “Damn, man. That’s a shame. Kinda liked you, but you’re fucked.”

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“It’s the omen – of death.”

Oh, please. That shit looks like Alakazam.

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It’s like a wizarding Rorshach test.

And this is where we END PART I.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Part II, and Buckbeak, boggarts, broken brooms and a weird moment of foreshadowing that most people might not have caught the first time.

(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)

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One response

  1. S

    Guys. I’m still waiting for your book on all the ways I’m putting myself at risk of being face-hugged. I’d read the hell out of that.

    November 14, 2018 at 10:28 am

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