Fun with Franchises: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Part V — “Why Not Just Do It In Dumbledore’s Mouth?”
Today we continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Part V.
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.
And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Harry Potter franchise, and today is fifth and final part of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
We begin Part V with the best sequence in the film, and one of the best of the franchise:
Oh yeah, it’s on.
I remember being so excited for this scene in the book.
You’d think they’d apparate to inside the cave, since that’s where we’re going. But I guess we need a dramatic shot, so we’ll be on this rock for now. Then we’ll apparate from there.
We shall go through the mines of Moria.
Not nominated for Production Design, by the way.
I forget, do we find out how Dumbledore came across this place?
It’s in a photograph from the memory of him meeting Riddle. He was studying the memories, so presumably he saw it and thought Riddle might use it to hide a horcrux. I imagine the rest of the work was him figuring out where the place is and then going there to case it and find out if it seemed like there was anything there.
There’s kind of a lot of coast going on. It’s like how in You Only Live Twice, Tiger has the photos of the Ning Po analyzed to see where along the Japanese coastline it was taken. And you’re like, uh…how the fuck did you figure that out from a picture? Coast is coast. I guess in this case he could have asked around about where to find a rock vagina. Maybe it was near where Tom’s family lived.
That’s the real question — who the fuck found this that they took a picture of it?
He might actually BE a Crip.
He must pay tribute. (How does he know this, again?)
Okay, so he cuts himself open on his shitty hand and plans to “pay” with that. He explains that it’s intended to weaken any intruder, but he’s barely giving up any blood. I could get it if you had to fill a pint glass or something. This is sorta like in Goblet of Fire when Pettigrew comes at Harry with the knife and just gets a little bit. Why wouldn’t you just slash him? Voldemort’s about to kill him anyway, pull a Commodus and stab him in the side.
Getting a horcrux requires one gill.
The best part is that says that Harry’s blood is much more precious than his own. The way he says it is like, “I know – I’ve been selling it. I do it at night when you’re asleep. You know those headaches you’ve been having all this time? Those have nothing to do with Voldemort, that’s just lack of blood flow to the brain.”
It would be funny if nothing happened when he did the blood thing and it’s like, “Shit, the cave just needed tree fiddy, man. What the fuck is wrong with you?”
But what happens if you don’t pay tribute? It just repels you back like when you have two same side magnets? Maybe explain what happens if you don’t do this.
It’s weird how he knows exactly what to do here, considering there’s nothing written on horcruxes. And it’s not like he’s had to spelunk before to get one of these. He seems to know exactly all the magical set ups.
What if a dragon just came out and cut his fucking head off?
Getting back to what we were talking about before – even if no horcrux is powerful than any other, some are much better protected. This one’s hidden away and incredibly well protected. The diary was just hanging out on Lucius Malfoy’s coffee table until he gave it away.
I said it’s a JOURNAL!
Look at him using the Force. I was watching this like, “Oh jam, they gonna fly over there in an X-Wing?”
They look like they’re gonna cross the river Styx.
Speak friend and enter.
(But SERIOUSLY though.)
I think it’s always worth saying “friend” in a few languages before wiping blood all over a stone door.
This set is brilliant.
“It has to be drunk.”
(Because naturally you’d just know that. What if you had to put it in your butthole?)
Dumbledore says the potion might paralyze him. It might make him forget why he’s here. It might cause him so much pain that he begs for relief.
(Just like Lana Turner.)
It’s Harry’s job to make sure he drinks the potion. “Even if you have to force it down my throat.”
You’d like that, wouldn’t you?
He says he must be the one who drinks it, “Because I’m
good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me much older, much cleverer and much less valuable.”
Let’s be real. You’re more valuable than Harry. And you probably think it looks tasty, cause we know you love that purple stuff.
Also, isn’t Harry the better person to do this, since, as a horcrux, he can’t really die, can he?
I wanna do shots from a seashell.
My favorite is that he says “To your good health, Harry,” before he drinks it. Which is just such a Dumbledore thing to do. Knowingly drinking something that’s going to almost kill him and making a remark like that. It’s almost a way of being like, “You know I’m ’bout to do this so you won’t have to, right?” Fucking martyr.
Well I guess it’s the pain one, then.
What if it made him talk like an old black guy sitting in the barbershop? Was that an option?
(Also, in case you missed it at the bottom of the last article, we’re totally starting a movement to replace “Nigga please” with “Severus please.” It starts here, people.)
That looks like where Marlon Brando sent off Superman at the beginning of that movie.
That’s right, make him drink it.
So, I’m guessing you can’t just dump it out? Over the shoulder or something? What if Dumbledore had convulsed and slapped the shell out of Harry’s hand and it went everywhere? Does that forfeit the whole thing?
There’s actually an easy answer out of this one for Rowling. She can just be like, “It’s magic, so it’ll just appear back in the container again.” Which I can go with. It’s a much easier corner to get out of than some of the other ones she’s painted herself in. (Or maybe Mary Grand Pré painted her into those corners.)
Oh, I’m not calling this a plot hole, I’m just wondering why they never try these things. What if you COULD just dump it out? I know it sounds ridiculous, but maybe — just MAYBE — before risking your life, you could try? It’s like realizing you lost your key and calling your roommate at 4:45am from outside the front door only to find out it was unlocked. This is kinda like Ron riding the horse during wizard’s chess in the first film. He got knocked the fuck out, but nobody ever said he had to get on the horse to call the game. Maybe try a command from the side before just hopping up there.
The other thing is — at the end, there’s clearly some left that’s almost impossible to pick up. If you can’t pick up the last three drops with that seashell, what happens then? Do you have to put the person in the bowl and make them lick it up? Or is it just sort of a, “Well… you did it well enough” thing? Does magic get to decide this as well? Because if so, Voldemort’s magic is pretty lenient. I saw some drops fall into Dumbledore’s beard. He didn’t drink every last drop.
I like this moment. It shows he’s not immune to everything.
(More so than what’s to come in like ten minutes.)
“Don’t make me!”
“It’s my fault. All my fault.”
This scene is also perfectly written in the book. You need a moment like this to set up for what’s to come.
He doesn’t want to drink it. But he has to.
“Come on, Professor. Do your impression of a Chinaman for me.”
(I apologize for that. I can never resist these things.)
Dumbledore still refuses to drink.
That’s a great moment. He says please and Dumbledore agrees to drink it.
It’d have sucked if with the last sip, Dumbledore fought Harry. This is the shit I’m always worried about. Like, in a video game, do you make your weakest guy or your strongest guy do something like this? You’re almost always gonna have to either sacrifice them or fight them, so making the wrong call is bad.
I bet this level would also get super annoying when you’re trying to navigate the cave and Dumbledore keeps getting stuck running into walls and standing in your line of fire when you’re trying to shoot Inferi.
This is like that scene in Apocalypse Now. This is great photography.
(Why isn’t there a water company called that?)
Oh… that sucks.
(Why not just do it in the shell? Or in Dumbledore’s mouth?)
I guess it’s not worth trying to shoot some water right into his mouth, eh?
I love that we both had that thought, like, “Why wouldn’t you just eliminate the middle man?” And also — that image is just incredible.
Or here’s another idea. Remember when they learned how to transform shit into beautiful cups during their third year at Hogwarts? I don’t suppose ANYTHING would do, huh? Take off your shoe and turn that shit into a cup like we SAW McGonagall teach you and pour some water into THAT. Why must you suck so that the story can be more exciting? The nasties could pop out of the water anyway, you didn’t have to make Harry look like an idiot to get that going.
This is why he has Hermione.
But seriously — why not just do it in Dumbledore’s mouth?
Guess you’ll have to go get it from the creepy lake.
You’re hesitating. That’s the problem. Do it and get up. You’re just asking for something to grab you.
Not sure why you’d rather see the thing that grabs you. I’d rather not know what it is, and the minute something grabbed my arm, I’m blasting it in the fucking face.
Didn’t you just get the water? Why are you going back?
Doo doo cloud.
This reminds me of the original doo doo cloud moment.
Which we will explain when we get to the movie that elicited the “doo doo cloud” comment.
(You think I’m gonna waste all my good stories now, people? This is just franchise #1.)
This part was weird. They cut a bunch of takes together. I remember the first time I saw something like this was in 25th Hour. It’s very jarring. Curious choice for this film.
Maybe you didn’t want to do that.
Well that’s not good.
Now, my question is — these are Inferi. They are reanimated corpses, correct? If you were Voldemort, wouldn’t you go the extra step of adding that little extra bit of magic that makes the Inferi take the form of the dead loved ones of the person entering the cave? I feel like this would be even more fucked up for Harry if he had dead bodies that looked like his parents, and Cedric, and Sirius, coming after him.
It’s like in the zombie movie when a loved one gets turned, and people are so
stupid overcome by feelings that they stand there and let themselves get eaten instead of shooting the thing in the fucking face. Maybe if you’re Voldemort, you try to up the odds in your favor in case that happens.
Do you seriously have nothing better than those weak-ass spells? What about the one that Hermione used to blow the door on Sirius’ cell? Bombardio or something. That would probably do some area damage. Also, you need to be shooting faster. I’d whip out my gat. This is why wizards should play video games.
That would be hilarious if Harry was looking at his wand, and all of a sudden it turned into a crowbar, and then into a grenade, and then into a rocket launcher.
Is that the chick Nicholson met in the bathtub?
Oh, don’t even joke about that shit. That freaked me out so bad the first time I watched that movie. And, you know, every other time I watched that movie.
She ain’t Dame Judi.
I love that. ZAP!
Just blows the fucking thing away from up above the water.
They shall not pass.
Also, goddamn, that man is powerful.
Shiho and I are both thinking of this.
I can part shit too, motherfucker.
Your move, Moses.
So is he not thirsty anymore, or…?
Draco, I got you some ice cream.
Draco Malfoy, ice cream!
Weird how they knew exactly what day to do it.
“The hills are alive…”
“Oh shit, they shootin’.”
(Her body is ready.)
Might be the shot of the film.
Oh, it’s time.
They haven’t elected a new pope yet.
This is pretty annoying in these stories. Malfoy’s been “testing” the cabinet like once every three months. I guess it works, so let’s fire it up! You’d think they could confirm it works in like two days and execute their plan right then. Instead, they decide to let it play out so it matches up exactly with the other stuff that’s going on.
“We need to get you to the hospital.”
“No – Severus. Severus is who we need.”
(I thought love was all you needed.)
So, I guess we’re good on water? Cause now you’re acting normal. Maybe they stopped off at a Duane Reade for some Evian. Never know.
Maybe he did it in Dumbledore’s mouth.
“Hide yourself below, Harry. Don’t speak or be seen by anybody without my permission. Whatever happens, it’s imperative you stay below.”
It’s funny that he’s not telling him to, you know, get the fuck out of there. Just, “Hide below. Hopefully no one sees you and kills you.”
How does he think this one’s gonna play out?
“Harry, do as I say.”
(Because that’s always worked out so well in the past.)
(Because that’s always…)
Good evening, Draco.”
“What brings you here on this fine spring evening?”
“Just, you know… staring out into the darkness… bein’ evil.”
Stars soothe me.
“Who else is here? I heard you talking.”
“I often talk aloud to myself. I find it extraordinarily useful. That which sounds sane at a whisper can seem utterly mad when said for all the world to hear. Haven’t been whispering to yourself, have you, Draco?”
“Draco – you are no assassin.”
(I love the idea that he knows. I mean, anyone paying attention to stuff would figure it out, but I always like how he starts from the point of him knowing it to be assumed, and works from there. Those people are always the best.)
“How do you know what I am? I’ve done things that would shock you.”
(You know… not quite sure Draco knows what he’s getting himself into with this guy.)
“Like cursing Katie Bell and hoping that in return she’d bear a cursed necklace to me? Like replacing a bottle of mead with one laced with poison? Forgive me, Draco. I cannot help feeling these actions are so weak that your heart can’t really have been in them.”
(Sick burn. That’s great. You know a motherfucker isn’t gonna do it when you’re taunting him for not putting up a good enough effort to do it.)
“He trusts me. I was chosen.”
(So was that guy on the plane with Bane, motherfucker.)
“I shall make it easy for you.”
(I love how condescending he is.)
If I were Draco, I’d be shitting myself so much more than he is. When you show up with your weapon drawn and the guy you’re pointing it at – who is seemingly unarmed, but unequivocally badass – starts rambling about how he likes to talk to himself, without batting an eye… movie law says you should get the hell out of there.
“You’re not alone. There are others.”
“The Vanishing Cabinet in the Room of Requirement.”
He’s been mending it? But it’s worked the whole time. What, it can’t take big people, but it can take an apple? Size matters? So much for magic.
Yeah, I don’t get the mending thing. I just figured it was just him learning how to be powerful enough to control the spell to bring people through. Like, he started with inanimate objects, then worked up to birds and shit and then finally people. And he was stressed out because he knew that if he didn’t figure out how to do it, he was fucked. The mending it thing takes all the emotion out of it. Because mending it just takes a manual and shit. The other way puts pressure on you.
“Draco, years ago, I knew a boy who made all the wrong choices. Please let me help you.”
“I don’t want your help! Don’t you understand? I have to do this.”
“I have to kill you.”
“Or he’s gonna kill me.”
“Well, look what we have here…”
Fenrir Greyback looks like the only guy that would show up to a Lynyrd Skynyrd show in England.
Fenrir Greyback looks like he was on the plane.
“Well done, Draco.”
(The way she whispers it is super creepy.)
“Good evening, Bellatrix. I think introductions are in order, don’t you?”
I love Helena Bonham Carter. She can really only play crazy people (or members of royal families, but that’s sort of redundant, right?), but wow.
I feel like she only ever does play crazy people, but she’s great enough to play anything. That’s why she’s so great.
“He doesn’t have the stomach. Just like his father.”
Moment of the franchise.
“Do it, Draco! NOW!”
(I love that they don’t just do it themselves. It’s not like he’s armed or anything.)
Alan Rickman feels your pain.
THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS TO COCKBLOCKERS!
I will say that killing off Dumbledore was a big deal and I respect Rowling for doing it. Too many franchises are afraid to kill people off, and she did it. I mean, screw her for killing off Gary Oldman, but this was a big thing.
There’s kind of a fine line between being too precious of the characters and being not precious enough. Like, Joss Whedon is apparently known for killing off whoever the fuck he wants at any given moment. To me, that’s not surprise value, that’s just being a dick. And then the opposite is not killing off enough people. Rowling almost sort of mediates the two, though. I feel like she does a nice job of killing off people. Deathly Hallows just kills off almost everyone. And I feel like people are put in almost dangerous enough situations where, if they do survive, it’s cool and it’s not her being precious about them. In a franchise where the main three make it, I think she does a good job of stacking bodies around them. Plus she was even like, “Oh yeah, I was gonna kill Arthur Weasley in the fifth book but I decided to have a heart.” That’s how you know this chick has balls with her characters. That wasn’t even that bad a moment, and she was just gonna off Arthur like that.
That’s so much cooler than this, but also yes. I need to work on building up my entourage so I can make one of them hold a boom box playing that song behind me as I step up in the club in Tokyo. That would be RIDICULOUS, cause I look like a fool.
It’s been overused, though. At this point it only really works as a reference. I feel like it would be tacky if you tried to use it in life. Or come off like when people try to use intro songs at wedding receptions. I’d rather find something new to use and have that become the new theme.
(It’s also funny to think that she went to school here.)
GET THE FUCK OUT MY WAY!
Ah, the hilarious looking forest.
Well, now it actually qualifies as a “dark” forest.
Is Hagrid just sleeping through all this?
It’s great. She’s like a child. A crazy, arsonist, homicidal child.
Let’s hope Hagrid had insurance on that…pile of rocks he lived in.
“Bitch, I’m the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. I actually taught you all you know.”
“Fight back! You coward! Fight back!”
(I love that they cut to a wide shot like this.)
“No! He belongs to the Dark Lord!”
I know they’re like, biding their time for something else, but every time they come into contact with Harry, they just leave him wherever that is. Snape stops Bellatrix by saying that Harry belongs to the Dark Lord, but…should we maybe bring him, then? This is the kid they spend entire movies just plotting to get to, and now that they have him, they’re just walking away as he lies there. Even if they don’t want him now, do SOMETHING.
I was gonna argue that the reason they didn’t need him yet was because Voldemort was off figuring out about the Elder Wand and such, but then I realized — why not just kidnap him and keep him in Malfoy Manor? You’re gonna do that in the next movie. What’s the difference? It’s actually kind of a strange choice. I get where Snape is coming from, trying to protect him, but it’s weird that Bellatrix isn’t like, “Well fucking bring him to the Dark Lord then so I can watch him die!”
“You dare use my own spells against me, Potter?”
“Yes. I’m the Half-Blood Prince.”
(And here’s where we all have that moment of, “…oh… well that makes sense.”
“I can’t feel my legs!”
So is Hagrid still in there, or…?
(Also, is this a visual callback to the first film? Or am I giving them too much credit?)
Naturally all the importants are at the front of the line.
And here’s Hagrid walking through the crowd behind Harry. Think Harry told him that his house (and probably Fang) is toasted?
We do never see Fang after this, do we?
He looks pretty okay for having just come off the astronomy tower. I guess that after my recommendation, they cast that charm so that you don’t hit the ground, like in Order of the Phoenix. Cause that shit wasn’t around for Neville’s broom accident or any of that shit.
But tell me you didn’t think of Filch walking around downstairs and seeing this?
(Spoiler alert: Don’t click that link if you haven’t seen The Departed. And if you haven’t — what the fuck is wrong with you?)
This shot basically tells you Ron is a little bitch.
(Harry Potter TV series idea: wizard rock concerts.)
(♫ “Heal the world / Make it a better place / For you and for me / And the entire human race” ♫)
Even if they did this right, it still should have been Hermione here.
And that’s the end of the movie!
No it’s not. But that would have been pretty awesome, though.
That Empire ending might have salvaged all that was wrong with it.
I like that they showed the lemon drops on his desk. He was always big into those. Lemon drops, lemonade, lemon parties…Dumbledore loved them all.
If only you knew what that was.
“In light of what has happened, if you should feel the need to talk to someone…”
(Is she trying to be his rebound?)
Don’t you walk by Maggie Smith. Not only is she a BAMF, but she’s the head of your house. Where’s the Gryffindor solidarity?
Some random is gonna get hatefucked tonight.
He should go back to the coffee shop and fuck that hot chick.
And then Dumbledore shall restore amends.
“You should know… Professor Dumbledore…”
(…was a flaming homosexual.)
“You meant a great deal to him.”
(What did I say?)
Reaction shots are the key to comedy.
“Do you think he would have done it? Draco?”
“No. He was lowering his wand. In the end, it was Snape. It was always Snape.”
(Great choice of words.)
“To the Dark Lord – I know I will be dead long before you read this, but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more.”
“Whoever they are, they have the real horcrux. Which means it was all a waste. All of it.”
That’s not fair. The cinematography was great. That’s something.
“Ron’s okay with it, you know. You and Ginny.”
“I’m not coming back, Hermione.”
“I’ve got to finish whatever Dumbledore started. And I don’t know where that’ll lead me, but I’ll let you and Ron know where I am when I can.”
“I’ve always admired your courage, Harry. But sometimes you can be really thick.”
“You don’t really think you’ll be able to find all those horcruxes by yourself, do you?”
“You need us, Harry.”
How often has Hermione said what I’ve been thinking? “It’s really nice how you try to be a noble dickwad, but you owe me money. We goin’ along.” Actually, I think that fits Ash and Misty better than Harry and Hermione.
Ron, knowing his place, sits to the side while the grown ups talk.
“I never realized how beautiful this place was.”
There goes Ho-Oh.
But how had he never realized how beautiful the place was? He moved here directly from a broom closet.
So who won the House Cup this year?
– – – – – – – – –
Tomorrow is the beginning of the end, as we start Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.