NO! I won’t shut up.

WARNING!

This post I shared contains very strong language. I thought I’d bring some attention in regards to the content, because my WordPress site is a G-Rated site. However, this post does contain a really good political point and I do empathise with what the writer blogged, so I do recommend a reading.

To read the full post, please click the hyperlink below.

 

I am angry. I am so very angry. I woke up today to an absolute s**t storm, and now people are saying, let’s just be quiet. Let’s accept it and move on. Let’s concentrate on what c…

Source: NO! I won’t shut up.

 

Frankly, I agree with this blog writer

Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix

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Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix was the last book in the series that I read. I didn’t read the next ones, because they came out after my initial disappointment with the film version of Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban and as a result, my interest in the franchise was lowering. This also meant that I avoided The Order Of The Phoenix when the film version was released. However, I soon caught a viewing of it on ITV and it didn’t give me a good impression first time round. But then I saw it a couple more times and… let’s look at the story.

It begins with Harry and his cousin Dudley getting ambushed by dementors, after Dudley’s been taunting Harry, which leads to Harry having no choice, but to use magic as an act of defence. As a result, Harry gets expelled from Hogwarts,… okay, but luckily, his friends and ex-teachers do their best to seek justice throughout. Although Harry does get his position back, the trust lacks and worse to come, an authoritarian bureaucrat takes over as Defence Against The Dark Arts Teacher and seizes control of the school.

When I first saw the movie, I just caught sight of it on ITV and I had no interest in watching the movie in the first place due to my disappointment with the previous movie. The first scene I caught sight of was during the aftermath of Harry’s near…-expelling experience when he was involved in an argument with his fellow Gryffindor housemates, especially Seamus, which I didn’t find much interesting. Maybe if it was the scenes that involved Snape, I probably would’ve stayed glued to the screen, or clearly, I should’ve thought about watching the film from the beginning. However, I saw the film again and it was a little better than I remembered it. It has in fact improved compared to The Goblet Of Fire. There are still flaws though.

Let’s look at the good stuff. Firstly, you’ll notice that the Dursleys have returned to the series. They’re always a pleasure to watch. This was one of the things the previous film missed. I bet that if my mom was seeing the part where Harry and Dudley are running for their lives, she’d be thinking “Dudley’s way too fat to keep up with Harry”. Then when Harry receives news on his suspension from Hogwarts school (which I’ll discuss later), look at Vernon’s grinning expression when he says “justice!” That really cracks me up. Another great thing about the film is how we find out Snape’s motives for badmouthing Harry’s dad (again to be discussed later). Yeah I know, but Snape is truly my favourite character in the series.

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While I wrote my review on The Goblet Of Fire, I forgot to mention Bellatrix Lestrange, Sirius Black’s cousin and Draco Malfoy’s aunt. She was another thing the book included, but the film neglected. She makes her very first appearance in the film version of The Order Of The Phoenix and boy, does she kick butt. Bellatrix is a truly loyal hench-woman to Voldemort. She’s aggressive, she’s fiesty, she stops at nothing, she’s a lot you want in a death eater.

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I suppose I should also mention Professor Dolores Umbridge. All the previous four Defence Against The Dark Arts teachers was blokes; Quirrell, Lockhart, Lupin, Moody, so it was quite good to have a woman take over as teacher of the subject. Umbridge is who you’d describe as the Margaret Thatcher of Defence Against The Dark Arts. Being that Maggie was the first woman to rule as UK Prime Minister, but was also a member of the dodgy conservative party, it’s easy to compare her to Umbridge. If you think about it, Umbridge is the first and only woman to teach DATDA, as far as we all know (there may have been some women before/after her, but that would’ve been way before the main setting of The Philosopher’s Stone and/or after the main setting of the Deathly Hallows). She also is an untrustworthy teacher. My main nitpick with Umbridge is her ridiculously high-pitched voice. It’s enough to hurt the viewers’ ears and the way she giggles, it reminds me of each time I listen to Elaine Page on one of the BBC Radio stations (eek). Why couldn’t Imelda Staunton have used her normal voice or at least used a similar voice to the one she used when she voiced Bunty in Chicken Run. Her squeaks are as unrealistic as Christian Bale’s growls when he played Batman. No offence Christian. Other than that, fine character. I was also in favour of the bit where Umbridge attempted to fire Professor Trelawney, because man, I can’t stand that woman!

Now where does it go wrong? Although I like this film better than The Goblet Of Fire, I do feel certain plot elements fall flat. Firstly, though I was in favour of seeing the Dusleys again, I didn’t like the bit where Harry gets expelled. It had very little to do with the whole film and it’s like; “is the film over already? It’s only been like five to ten minutes.” Also in regards to the scene, Petunia originally stated that she knows of the Dementors and surprises her husband, son and even her nephew by admitting so when she listened in a conversation between her sister and “that awful boy”. The next moment, she notices an angry letter to Harry and recognises it as a howler, therefore rethinking her plan to banish Harry from the house. This is not included in the film which would’ve been a pity, because I kinda wanted to see at least one of Harry’s muggle-relatives demonstrating a bit of an understanding to the magical world and it would’ve created a bit more conflict to the story. With that said though, the film adaptation to The Order Of The Phoenix doesn’t neglect as much of the highlights from the book as the film adaptation to The Goblet Of Fire does. I was quite glad they got rid of the bit where Hermione has a conversation about centaurs; “I’ve never liked horses” to which I think it’s Ron that says “it’s a centaur” and Hermione defensively replies “it still has four legs”; big talk from a democratic intellectual!

Another nit-pick I have with the movie is that when Moody, Lupin and Tonks of the Order Of The Phoenix meet Harry, they’re clearly in the Muggle-world and they’re riding on broomsticks. Wouldn’t they have been caught out by the muggles in a busy city? And ain’t one of the policies ‘don’t do magic in front of muggles’? I know they’re trying to help Harry with justice, but I think they should’ve used flu powder or some other teleportation device/magic trick. I’m just thinking of continuity.

Then we have Dumbledore, who is kind of as bad as he was in the previous film. He’s supposed to be a mentor to Harry, much like Gandalf from Lord Of The Rings and/or Merlin from The Sword In The Stone, not because of his large beard. He, like Harry, is aware of Voldemort’s return and struggles to receive belief from the public, but the rather disturbing thing about him is that he’s constantly distancing himself from Harry. He does eventually explain to him why after Sirius’ tragic killing by Bellatrix, the reason being that Dumbledore hoped Harry would be less vulnerable to Voldemort using their connection. This movie could’ve been more careful.

Rip-offs; well that’s easy. First we see in The Prisoner Of Azkaban that Harry has developed a “you won’t like me when I’m angry” persona, just like The Incredible Hulk. Now in this one, he has some sixth sense which specializes in mind reading for the Death Eaters. Does that ring a bell to fans of Captain Scarlet?

Best scene; Snape attempts to teach Harry to block Voldemort from his mind. This is where we discover why Snape loathed James Potter so much. He knows that Harry has now developed a Captain Scarlet-style persona, but Harry is struggling to block Voldemort from his mind, which leads to Snape to insult Harry’s dad; “You’re just like your farther, lazy, arrogant,…!”. Harry warns him “Don’t say a word against my father”. We understand why Harry would want to defend his father, because despite the fact that James Potter died too soon for Harry to know him well enough, he is his family and Harry doesn’t reckon he’s that bad. Though we do emphathise with Snape too considering that his past with James haunts him so much that he’s quite afraid to give too much detail. We do see why as soon as Harry casts a spell which reads Snape’s flashbacks; he was bullied by James and Sirius when they was students at Hogwarts. It’s no wonder Snape hated James so much, though I have a feeling that James was just having a bit of fun and didn’t intend to cause any nastiness, but Snape didn’t take it too positively. On the other hand, we can empathise with the former bullied victim and the trauma one goes through, because of his/her experiences being bullied.

Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix does make a larger and more improved difference to The Goblet Of Fire, though to be fair, it’s still one of the weaker films. It’s not as strong as the first three films. There’s one more worse film than The Order Of The Phoenix, but we’ll get to that one later.

Overall Rating: 4/10

Next review: Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince

IN EU!

Hey guys, not long now till the polling station opens in regards to the votes on whether the United Kingdom should stay or leave the European Union (EU). The voting begins on Thursday and there’s been some debate on the subject of staying in/leaving the EU. For the purpose of this post, I want to share what I personally think.

I’m voting to remain in the EU. When I first heard that voting was to take place this year, I was unsure what to vote for. But through one of my monthly meetings with the Labour Party, we had a discussion on the EU and one of my fellow members, who is a war veteran, stated that he was in favour of remaining in the EU and pointed out that the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and the other European countries are like a ‘brotherhood’. Plus he recalled his experiences during the war and remembered when the UK and the other countries worked together to attempt to end the war. I say he had a darn good point! The EU was set up with the aim to end the wars between the neighbouring countries. There’s no reason why we can’t get along.

Another reason why I’m for being part of the EU is because x% of the UK’s jobs are part of the trade unions. Some of the large businesses are networked across the continent. If we leave the EU, we could face a much deeper financial crisis than we are in now. If we stay, we could receive an opportunity to defend/extend the rights of people and work. Jeremy Corbyn recently said this and those were words from a pure intelligent man.

We were even faced with a few confrontations in recent times. At one point, members of the British First (a party which is a cross between UKIP and the National Front), crept into my hometown Leicester, a county which is meant to be fascist-intolerant, and campaigned for Britain to leave the EU. The crowd rightly said “racists are not welcome” and Paul Golding of the British First was rightly arrested. And this is another reason why I’m favour of staying in the EU; anti-racism. The British First, National Front and UKIP are clearly too ignorant to understand the meaning of ‘civilisation’. They complain about the amount of immigration there is in Britain. I don’t give a damn how many immigrants there are in the UK. I’m proud to have interacted with people from foreign countries. They’ve made a massive and positive contribution to the UK. We’ve had film-makers and artists and caterers, hell I’m proud to have had a French teacher at my school. Without her, I wouldn’t’ve obtained a GCSE in the subject. The foreign interaction also relates to the European workers network. I even dismiss the various comments “oh they’re taking our jobs”. Whoever says such a thing needs to get one’s own facts straight; they’re just doing jobs that certain ‘Brits’ don’t want to do. If people want to make the UK ‘British’ again, then I don’t recall racism being British. I don’t even recall it being American. The problem isn’t to do with immigrants, it’s businesses purposefully exploiting cheaper labour. If you don’t like immigrants, explain the fact that certain Brits are emigrating to other countries. EXPLAIN THE HYPOCRISY!!!

As I was saying about civilisation, it doesn’t mean banishing people, it means welcoming people. Simple as that. Treat people like you would treat your family and friends, no matter what their nationality is. Even Leicester is known to have welcomed various cultures. A few years ago, a friend of mine commented in the Leicester Mercury on how great the restaurants are and expressed the positiveness of the different cultures Leicester has. Many countries have worked with each other since the beginning of time.

So in short, this is why I’m voting for the EU; more jobs, more opportunities, less racial hatred and a stronger future. Anybody who sends me a flyer representing a Leave campaign is wasting their own time, because I ain’t going to be brainwashed by the phoney £350 million saving clap-trap. I know whatever they said about that ain’t true.

Before I end this post, I also want to pay my respects to Jo Cox who was killed last week. As a member of the same party she was MP for i.e. Labour, I also want to express my disgust with the murderer Thomas Mair, who said “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”. I say that’s disgusting, because clearly, he’s likely to be a member and/or support of the British First and using that as an excuse to harm innocent people who have a brain and know what’s really right for Britain and the rest of the world. It makes me sick to think that members/supporters of the British First or equivalent commit such acts, just because the victims happen to be from an ‘intolerable background’ according to their policies.

I’m sure Jo would’ve wanted to see Britain win the Remain in EU vote.

Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire

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It’s very rare that I remember novels as much as film adaptations, particularly because most of the novels I have ever read are full of text, with the exception of Roald Dahl’s material which includes pictures as well. I remember them so well. Who doesn’t? On this rare occasion, Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire is one of them stories, which I preferred the novel version of; the movie version disappointed me. Why? Let’s find out!

Spoilers are highlighted in red.

A so-called Tri-wizard tournament takes place, meaning that three enchanted schools, including Hogwarts, enter a world sports competition between each other. One senior year student from each school is selected to compete. But on the night of the selection, the Goblet of Fire (a device which randomly selects the students) spews out one extra competitor; Harry Potter, who is in his fourth year and too young to compete. This of course causes some controversy among Hogwarts, but because the magic can’t be reversed, Harry bravely goes for the difficult activities. Soon, we learn that the tournament has turned into a trap.

I had watched the first three Harry Potter films at the cinema. However, I did not see Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire until Easter day the following year, when one of my cousins-once-removed introduced us to the film via DVD, while we were visiting relatives. The reason was because I didn’t enjoy The Prisoner Of Azkaban, when it first came out. Moments before we saw The Goblet Of Fire, I thought maybe it would be an improvement to the previous film. I remembered the awesome bits the book had, despite the picture absence. But after one viewing, my heart sank. The film version missed out all the great bits from the book. I was so disappointed.

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Before I start moaning about the film, let’s explore the good stuff. Firstly, I most certainly give credit to the character of Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody, the ex-auror and newly appointed Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher. His introduction to the class is incredible. He addresses himself, even by his first name. That’s very different for a teacher, not only in fiction, but in general. I remember when I was at school, most teachers addressed themselves by their titles during their introductions to the classes, well except one time during a maths lesson when we had a substitute teacher who stated “my name is Matthew”. That’s so rare for a school teacher. Another thing great about Moody’s introduction is his reason for coming to the school; “I’m here, because Dumbledore asked me to, end of story, goodbye, the end!” Who in the world could possibly not crack a smile to that? And he even addressed Dumbledore only by surname in front of the kids. Another great thing about Moody is his rebellious attitude; “The Ministry says you are too young to see what these curses do. I say different! You need to know what you’re up against”, I’d say he’d make a great John Keating, and I love the way he punishes Malfoy for taunting Harry, then gets told off by McGonagall and after she leaves, notice how he sticks his tongue out in her direction. Despite his plain moody personality, Moody does have a sympathetic side towards the kids. However, he does have a dark side. It is soon revealed that Moody is an impostor, and is actually Barty Crouch Jr. wearing a disguise, who has locked the real Moody up. Did I mention how incredible Moody’s appearance is, especially his robotic eye?

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To tell you the truth, I would’ve liked to see more of Igor Karkaroff, the principal of one of the competing schools and apparent death eater. The confrontations he has with Snape are really interesting and it demonstrates one of the things Snape does best; conflict with the other staff, even pouring the Veritaserum potion in Moody’s mouth seems to be his pleasure. The only trouble is, there are very few of those confrontations and none of them connect to any other parts of a rather long film, apart from his moving tattoo which relates to the polyjuice potion and Barty Crouch Jr.. With that said, there’s an amusing scene where Harry catches Snape and Karkaroff arguing in the parking lot, while the school disco is taking place; Snape and Karkaroff catch two students supposedly having sex in a caravan and Snape announces “ten points from Hufflepuff, Fawcett, and the same from Ravenclaw, Stebbins”, which demonstrates how sense-smart Snape is. Such a shame that scene had to be deleted. Plus I thought Karkaroff was more developed and had a larger part in the novel.

Speaking of the novel, Moody’s scenes and Snape and Karkaroff’s fights ain’t enough to save a bad film. Here’s what I don’t like about the film; it misses out a lot of the great bits included in the novel. During the first few chapters, Harry is writing a conversational letter to his godfather Sirius Black. He even writes about how badly his cousin, Dudley’s, diet is going and that following a confrontation with Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia in regards to pocket money, Dudley angrily threw his Play Station out of the window. This bit cracks me up. The film should’ve included a scene with Harry writing the letter out loud and clips to go with the words, including Dudley throwing his games console out of the window. As for the Dursleys, they’re in the book, but they ain’t even in the film! After we see Frank getting killed by one of Voldemort’s henchmen, it cuts straight to Harry spending time with the Weasleys and Hermione and being harassed and mothered by Hermione. The novel showed how Harry got their in the first place, via the fireplace. Plus there was a struggle at first, due to the fact that the Dursleys’ fireplace was electric. That was great! Later on, we see Peeves playing his obnoxious pranks on the students and getting a telling off from Professor McGonagall. Again, not included. In fact, I’ve never seen Peeves in any of the movies. He originally was supposed to be in the first movie and portrayed by Rik Mayall, of The Young Ones/Bottom/The New Statesman fame, some of the most awesome things I ever saw on the screen. But they had to delete them scenes. Tut, tut. Oh and did I mention Hermione forming a democratic society for the house elves? Again, what the film tragically missed out. And where in the name of bladdy ‘ell was Colin Creevey, the one who gets killed off in the book?

Apart from the overlooked pros of the novel, the film faces plenty more problems. Certain plot-lines and character portrayals for one thing. Dumbledore, for instance, is pretty much at his worst. He is supposed to be the Merlin The Magician of the series, but in this film, he’s way too gruff and aggressive. At one point, when he interrogates Harry after Harry’s name was selected through the Goblet, did you see the way he points his wand at Harry and hear how full of rage he sounds when he speaks? So not like Dumbledore, especially not when he was portrayed by Richard Harris in the first two films. Geez, Mike Newell, if you wanted to toughen him up, at least research Merlin from The Sword In The Stone! An another thing, Dumbledore sets up them tasks for Harry to take on, even half-drowning some of the students and relying on Harry to rescue them. I know the series is meant to be dark considering how much of the recurring theme, i.e. death, is involved, but this is really disturbing!

And Ron Weasley ain’t exactly at his best either. Well, he acts fine during the Quidditch world cup, but following the news that Harry has become a fourth competitor for the Triwizard tournament, he acts like a complete jerk. For instance, in one scene, Harry tells Ron “You’re being stupid”, which is well put, and Ron’s like “Yeah, that’s me. Ron Weasley, Harry Potter’s stupid friend!”. You can just about replace the dialogue with how the Nostalgia Critic described Robin’s dialogue in Batman & Robin; “Nyeh eh nyeh!” In fact, that is like the same with many of the other arguments the three main protagonists have, throughout.

There’s one more thing I ought to mention; The Goblet Of Fire signalled the first-ish appearance of Lord Voldemort, Harry’s arch-nemesis. I say ‘ish’, because technically, he was in The Philosopher’s Stone, but through flashback and faceless, then inside Professor Quirrell’s body, then we saw him as a ‘memory’ in The Chamber Of Secrets. The Goblet Of Fire deserves some credit for introducing Voldemort in full character, but I have a few flaws with the character. Firstly, when we saw him in The Philosopher’s Stone, this is how he looked;

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Blimey, look at that! And I reckon that scar symbolises his attempted murder of Harry. He most certainly looks plain sinister and evil, sort of like Mr Burns from The Simpsons. That look is plenty to give kids nightmares. Plus his voice was so snake-like. How do we compare this to Voldemort’s appearance in The Goblet Of Fire?

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Erm…, okay…? He has the aggressive fighting ability which is a great sign. But this is a guy who can communicate with snakes and the appearance he had in the first film was more snaky. Here, he looks more like a skeleton with skin or some character out of a live-action film version of a Dr. Seuss story. I do give credit that Ralph Fiennes went with the Dustin Hoffman style of acting, that one would hardly recognise the actor much as the character, of course you can almost tell that this is the same guy who played Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List by looking at his mouth. But Voldemort looks and sounds more like a character who was portrayed by Mike Myers. Don’t believe me? Ever seen Cat In The Hat? I only saw a bit of it. But then, his nose looks way too peculiar, like he’s had some sort of operation on it. And do I need to repeat the comparison between his and the Dr.Seuss characters’ characteristics; hence the residents of Who-Ville and their noses?

Rip-offs; well there’s not many really. The finale in the maze does remind me a bit of Labyrinth and The Shining both put together. The band scene is quite creative, though it reminds me of the band played by the B-52s in that Flintstones movie. Of course there ain’t no stone age setting in this film. As for the World Cup scene, there’s a shot of stars in the sky forming an Irish mascot. I’m sure I saw something like that elsewhere, but I can’t think where. Apart from that, nothing much to point out.

So for all my b**ching and moaning, this film feels like the worst film, sort of like the Superman IV of the Harry Potter movies. Let me make clear that I only saw the first three Superman mainstream films, so I can’t say what the fourth one’s like, but some of my friends have seen it and they hated it. Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire doesn’t do much for me. It’s too disturbing, it’s boring, and the biggest crime is that it overlooks the great things the novel had. It makes me feel that I need to pick up the novel again.

Favourite scene; Moody’s introduction. I’ve mentioned a lot about that scene earlier on; how he introduces himself, his reasons for teaching and his rebellious persona on the other teachers. His quotes are quite inspirational; “You need to know what you’re up against. You need to be prepared…”. I also love how he manages to catch Seamus out even with his back turned; “You need to find another place to put your chewing gum besides the underside of your desk, Mr. Finnegan!”. He can also be quite violent; when Seamus whispers; “No way, the old codger can see out of the back of his head!”, Moody throws a piece of chalk at him and shouts; “And hear across classrooms”. Tell me this scene ain’t badass.

Overall rating: 2/10

Next review: Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix

Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban

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Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone was a great start to the HP series. The Chamber Of Secrets was awesome! So what could possibly go wrong? Oh yeah, I get it, The Prisoner Of Azkaban. This was the film that signalled a few changes to the series. And yet, even though I like this film better now than I remember it, I remember on my first viewing that my spark was running flat.

Spoilers will be highlighted in red.

Harry returns to Hogwarts school for his third year. Before he goes back, Arthur Weasley warns him that a so-called murderer, named Sirius Black has escaped from a dungeon. But Harry soon learns the truth about Sirius.

I suppose you’re wondering what I had against the film in the first place. Well there was a huge change to the series. Chris Columbus quit directing and switched to the producing side, the director’s chair was given to Alfonso Cuaron, who apparently never read any of the books (eek!). The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber Of Secrets were more colourful and were referred to as family films. The Prisoner Of Azkaban, on the other hand, I felt, was just grittier (in colour that is) for the sake of being gritty, which has now become rather cliched; it’s like they just wanted to make an excuse for a Fight Club flavour. Plus, this film got a little more ‘teeny’ and I have to admit, I ain’t really into teen movies. One obvious fact is that Harry, Ron and Hermione are thirteen in this movie, which means they’re now teenagers. I remember not being a huge fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and through my first viewing, I had a feeling it would remind me of that show.

There was certain scenes I didn’t like in the film. Firstly, I wasn’t too fond of the choir scene. When I saw the scene, I was thinking “since when did Hogwarts have student choirs chanting for the introduction to the new semesters?” and “wouldn’t they have needed a bit of rehearsal?”. I have nothing against the lyrics to the song they sing whatsoever, I’m always in favour for Shakespeare. I also didn’t like the ending much. I was in favour of seeing Harry find his broom repaired and feel so thankful for that that he decides to joyride, but is that it for the ending? I expected to see a lot more from it, like to see a bit of Sirius for example, and Dumbledore doesn’t exactly make much of an impact. Speaking of Dumbledore, I was aware of Richard Harris’ passing which meant that they needed a new actor, and they chose Michael Gambon, who I don’t think was a great replacement. He does have a Merlin-style appearance, but he sounds a lot younger and looks a bit too much shorter than Richard. I personally think Warner Brothers should’ve picked Nigel Planer. (sighs) Yes he was Neil in The Young Ones, which is a comedy. But he did play Dumbledore once. (sighs again) Yes, it was in Harry Potter & The Secret Chamberpot Of Azerbaijan, the French & Saunders version, but I’m pretty sure he could’ve pulled off a more sensible role of Dumbledore as well. He did have an appropriate voice and he did look exactly like Richard’s portrayal. Oh well. And for the love of god, please don’t get me started on Professor Sybil Trelawney, that psychotic… person!

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And yes, let’s point out the rip-offs; Firstly, during the scene where Harry literally blows up his rude and obnoxious Aunt Marge. After she insults him, Harry turns to her and rages, just screwing his face up and clenching his fists, then Marge inflates. It’s like Harry has developed a similar persona to The Incredible Hulk (get it? “Don’t make me angry, you won’t like me when I’m angry”?) And speaking of inflation, this ain’t the first time any fictional character has been inflated. Remember Violet Bureauguarde from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory? And of course J.K. Rowling didn’t exactly invent the species of the werewolf. There’s a scene where Remus Lupin turns into a wolf as soon as the moon comes out, just like on An American Werewolf In London.

With that said, Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban is much better than I remember it. Snape remains as awesome as ever, with his resentment towards Harry and his suspicious attitude towards Lupin. I especially love how he dismisses Hermione’s full knowledge on animaguses and werewolves as her proceeding to be a know-it-all. Lupin’s a pretty nice character. In fact, I admire his back-story which involves his friendship with James Potter (Harry’s long dead dad) and his Defence Against The Dark Arts lessons are amazing; when he teaches them the ridikulus spell is a lot of fun. Malfoy’s at his nastiest; during Hagrid’s lecturer and following Harry’s interaction with Buckbeak the hippogriff (a species of griffin), Malfoy scowls and provokes Buckbeak causing himself to get seriously scratched in the arm and then snitching on him to his dad, leading to Buckbeak to get sentenced to death, and yet, I can really feel for Hagrid when he emotionally tells his friends the news. The provoking scene has reminded me of the recent news today where a suicidal American provoked two zoo lions causing them to get shot. The fact that Buckbeak is given a sentence can leave a nasty taste in your mouth and make you feel that you really want to strangle Malfoy, because he’s to blame for the whole thing. Buckbeak is a pretty unique creation too. And I have to say, I admire Sirius Black’s backstory and the fact that it turns out Ron’s pet rat was Peter Pettigrew all along and that he was the actual murderer who helped Voldemort commit the murder of Harry’s parents. At first, I didn’t understand it, but I clearly wasn’t ready to see the film yet. The first scene with the Dursleys makes me laugh. Pam Ferris was exactly the right choice for Marge. I also remember sniggering when Harry lied to her “Oh yeah, I’ve been beaten loads of times.”

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If I had to pick a favourite scene; I’d go for the scene where Lupin and Sirius fight each other as an animagus and werewolf. It’s a truly dark scene, considering that Lupin has turned into a werewolf and because of that, he can’t control himself in that form. The growls are so great. It makes you wonder whether the same guy who worked on the dinosaur growling sounds for Jurassic Park also worked on the canine ones in this movie. I also love the way Snape attempts to protect the three young protagonists from the two monsters before he can punish Harry for knocking Snape out, which I have to say is an extremely important scene which relates to Harry & Snape’s love/hate relationship.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Next review: Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire