12 Films of Christmas 2018 (Part 5)

Well hello there! Thanks for coming. Sit down and relax while I jabber on about today’s film.

Earlier today I was thinking, “What should I do today?”, as I wanted to be slightly more creative with today’s pick. Then I thought “I should do a Harry Potter movie!”, as most of those flicks have a part set around the holiday. Then it came down to which one I would do. And in the end I decided to pick my favorite out of the bunch, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”. It’s time for Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) to do his third year at Hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardry. But of course he can’t just have a “normal” school year for once, as he has to look out for Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), a killer who has escaped from Azkaban prison. And you know the usual shenanigans that happen, Harry questions things, Snape (Alan Rickman) looks angry, Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) is secretly a dick, and Harry and his friends end up in some dangerous situations. But they put some nice twists on these things here with the inclusion of certain revelations regarding the past of Harry’s parents, as well as the looming horror of the Dementors. It stands out thanks to one of the more engaging plots in the series, combined with the confident and stunning direction of Alfonso Cuarón. And while this movie doesn’t go “Happy Christmas” as blatantly as some of the other ones, it does have a bit set in a very snowy Hogsmeade, and it all just gives me a very christmas-y vibe. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” works both for christmas-y and casual viewing.

On the fifth day of christmas, Markus brings to you, an actual good film, woohoo!

The Food in Film Blogathon: Harry Potter and the Tasty Foods

Hello there, ladies and gents of the internet. I have once again joined in on a blogathon. Just like the last couple of blogathons that I’ve been part of, this one is hosted by Kristina from Speakeasy and Ruth from Silver Screenings. And in this blogathon the participants were asked to talk about food in film. It took me a while to choose something to write about, but I managed to figure it out and signed on. Skip ahead a couple of months and now we’re here! So let’s stop with these delays and get into the tasty num nums!

So as you could gather from the start of this post, I have chosen to talk about the food culture of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world by talking about the “Harry Potter” movies. Now, for the cave dwellers reading this post, I guess I should explain what the hell a “Harry Potter” is. In 1997, J.K. Rowling released a novel titled “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (there is no alternative title, you silly Americans), and it was a HUGE hit. It got sequels and movies started getting made. And in 2001 we saw the release of “The Philosopher’s Stone”, directed by Chris Columbus, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, and Maggie Smith (among many others). This was also a huge hit, getting a whole bunch of sequels, video games, and a spin-off franchise. Alright, no more backstory for you. Now, I chose this because not only do I adore this series, but also because it’s filled with food, which makes it perfect for this blogathon… so let’s enter the great hall and have a look at the buffet!

One of the most interesting things about the culinary culture of this world is that it’s very… British. Bacon, sausages, toast… it looks a lot like your typical British breakfast table, as demonstrated by Ron, his friends, and the table they’re sitting at.

Fat-shaming, Hermione? Let the man eat.

Really, for the most part it is pretty average. And by average, I mean for you typical Brit. The food they eat there isn’t exactly the healthiest, but I guess it’s still good food. Good, very ordinary food. Like these chicken legs that you find Ron chomping on.

Though, when eating, be sure to keep an eye out for rogue John Cleeses…

Again, the food for the most part seems to be what we have in our world. No “dragon spleen casserole” or “Chupacabra soup”… just normal food. Even the adorably weird Luna asks for normal stuff.

Anything for you, Luna.

Now, while most dinner/breakfast/lunch items are normal things, it’s when you start looking beside them, looking at beverages and candy and such that you start finding unique things. So let’s talk about some of them.

Beverages

The first beverage we’re introduced to in this show (aside from tea, damn Brits) is pumpkin juice. It’s also the primary beverage for our beloved Hogwarts students, not even water comes near it in terms of abundance. So what is pumpkin juice? It’s right there in the name, it’s juice… made from pumpkin. Not sure what that would taste, as I have never actually tried pumpkin anything. So if you consume pumpkin (Starbucks’ bullshit doesn’t count), feel free to tell me what it tastes like.

Another decently well known drink from the series is Butterbeer (pictured above), which looks just like someone poured a lot of toffee into a glass… which I want now. But what exactly is “Butterbeer”? It’s a slightly alcoholic beverage that our heroes drink while visiting Hogsmeade, a small town not too far from Hogwarts. As you could probably guess from the name, there is butter in this drink. Then, depending on what recipe you go by you get a whole bunch of different ingredients you could use. So just look it up if you want to try it out.

There are a couple more beverages within the universe, but those are the main ones I wanted to talk about.

Candy

As with our normal world, the magical world that Harry gets to be part of is filled with all kinds of awesome candy. From normal ones that just taste sweet, to ones that do weird shit, there’s something for everybody. So let’s talk about a couple.

Let’s talk about the chocolate frog, one of the first candies to pop up in the movies. Basically it’s a magic frog made out of chocolate. Though you gotta be fast, because these sons of bitches can jump away from you if you’re not careful. Except if you buy it at Warner Bros studios, because then it’s only a thick lump of chocolate vaguely shaped like a frog. This I know because I went there back in 2013 (London version of it) and my friend bought one. And hey, if it jumps away from you then you’ll at least still get a cool trading card.

“How does this thing work? Darn kids, and their bloody technology”

So yeah, those things are pretty damn cool. Chocolate AND a trading card? Yes please!

The next thing on the candy list are the infamous Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. And they’re jelly beans with all kinds of kooky flavors. You might be lucky to get a watermelon or lemon or something yummy, or you could end up getting soap or a dirty sock. Or in Dumbledore’s case:

Buuuuuut instead:

I brought up watermelon and soap because in that aforementioned Warner Bros studios visit, my friend not only bought a chocolate frog, but also a box of Bertie Bott’s Beans, and he let me try a couple. First I took a green, and got watermelon (awesome). Then I tried a white and I got soap (bleh). So yeah, eclectic bunch of beans, they are. Do feel free to try them at some point, they’re a lot of fun. There are also beans that make you do animal noises… not on the WB tour, but in the movies (as demonstrated in “The Prisoner of Azkaban”).

As for other types of candy, there’s liquorice, bubble gum, lollipops, other chocolate things… most types of candy there are like our normal things, but with som kooky “magic” twist. Still, candy is candy, and candy is great. Except for liquorice, to hell with that stuff.

That’s really all the food stuff from “Harry Potter” worth talking about. Though there was a mention of pea soup being able to kill you in one of the movies… eh, who cares. Anyway, this has been a lot of fun. Again, huge thanks to Ruth and Kristina for letting me join in on this, always happy to take part in your shenanigans, ladies!
Have a good one, and to end on a high note:

Movie Review: Risen (2016)

Religion. A touchy subject that I’m not gonna get into in this post. This is meant as a lighthearted review of a movie that includes religious themes. So if you’re a religious individual, any possible criticisms I might have about this movie isn’t about your religion, it’s about this movie as a movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen, he has… “Risen”.

The story follows Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a Roman who is pretty much the right hand man of Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth). And he has been tasked of finding the body of Jesus (Cliff Curtis), because it has disappeared from the tomb that it has been placed in. So we follow Clavius as he, together with his new assistant Lucius (Tom Felton), investigates what happened to Jesus Corpse. And I actually liked the story here… for the most part. The stuff with Clavius investigating the disappearance of Jesus is quite interesting as it gives us a different angle to look at this really old story. I was honestly hooked by the plot of the movie up to a certain point a little after the halfway point. Because then something happens that changes the movie from one thing to something else. I’m not gonna say exactly what it is, but you can probably figure out what it is. And while the second half of the movie isn’t bad, I wasn’t as interested in it as I was with the first half. First half, really good stuff. Second half, meh.

The characters in this are for the most part pretty interesting. Clavius is a skeptic, at least when he hears about Jesus’ disappearance. The followers of Jesus of course thinks he’s risen (roll credits) to once again walk the earth, spreading love and the word of god. But Clavius is a bit more “That doesn’t make sense, I have to get to the bottom of this mystery”. And Joseph Fiennes did a great job in the role. Tom Felton was good as Lucius (“Harry Potter” prequel, anyone?), playing him as the young and slightly naïve guy who follows Clavius no matter what. Peter Firth was great as Pontius Pilate, playing him as a bit of a dick. Really, it’s overall a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Roque Baños, and while it’s nothing terribly original, it’s still quite good. It perfectly fits the setting and just overall works very well for the movie.

This movie was directed by Kevin Reynolds, the man who brought us “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” and “Waterworld”. And I think he did a good job with this movie. The shots look good and everything just flows nicely. There is a little bit of action too, and it’s okay. Surprisingly violent for PG-13. I’ll also give it this, the sets here look pretty great.

This movie has not been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 51% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,3/10.

“Risen” presents an interesting spin on the Jesus story, even if it isn’t perfect. It has a pretty good plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. As previously stated, my problem with the movie comes from the second half not being as interesting as the first one. Time for my final score. *Amen*. My final score for “Risen” is an 8,76/10. While flawed, I do think it’s worth buying.

My review of “Risen” is now completed.

Joseph Fiennes stars in… CSI: Jesus.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

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Guys, we are finally here… the final part in my series of reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. I have had so much fun with this series of reviews, especially since it gave me an excuse to rewatch all of the movie in this series I grew up with. And I thank anyone who has given each review a like and/or a comment, I really appreciate it. So… let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”!!! *sniffles*.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) are at the final stretch. Only a few horcruxes left to defeat Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) who now possesses the almighty elder wand. And from that we get the final chapter in this huge saga. But it’s not just a big and epic war, there is still a good amount of substance to it. The plot presented to us is very fast-paced but still manages to give us some very solid drama. We even get to learn more on the backstory on a few of the characters and it really helps to give this world we all love even more depth and emotion. So it’s a very solid plot we have here.

The character are as great as they will ever become in this movie. Harry has now fully matured and become the hero and leader needed for the battle. And Radcliffe is as amazing as ever… not much else to say there. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, they were great in their roles again. Ralph Fiennes, he was great. Alan Rickman (rest in peace you awesome man) got some more space as Snape in this movie and he was absolutely fantastic. Warwick Davis got to play double roles in this movie and he was great in both. For those wondering, he played both Griphook and Professor Flitwick. Matthew Lewis got some good screen time and further got to evolve Neville. We also saw the return of the great John Hurt as Ollivander. Firstly, good to see you again sir. What’s it been? 8 movies? Jokes aside, he was really good. I’d say that every returning actor ranged from really good to great in this movie. So let’s talk about the few new additions to the cast that this movie got. Firstly we get Ciarán Hinds as Aberforth, someone with deep ties to a certain someone in the “HP” universe. Not gonna mention who because there are people who haven’t seen this yet (grrr), so I just want them to experience it. And I just wanna mention also that I didn’t recognize Hinds as this character. I seriously had to look up who played him. But I can safely say that his performance is good. The second one I want to mention is a character played by Kelly Macdonald that shows up pretty briefly. She’s important in the end and her performance was really good. All actors were really good… MOVING ON!

The music (like in the previous part) was composed by Alexandre Desplat and it’s fucking fantastic. Some of the pieces in the score really are something special. And all hte tracks in the movie perfectly fit the scenes and really helped add something to it all. And of course it was amazing hearing some of the classic themes throughout… fucking nostalgic, I tell ya.

David Yates of course directed this movie, he had no reason not to. I mean, if he did Part 1 he had to do Part 2. But enough of the jokey stuff. Was his directing good in this movie? You can bet your ass it was! It’s just as great as in the previous movie. His directing is tense and dramatic. And the cinematography by Eduardo Serra is beautiful. And the visual effects are absolutely stunning. All of these of course make for some absolutely fantastic action scenes. Let me also say that this movie made me cry. Two and a half times. Half as in one time wasn’t a full cry, only like a single tear. But yeah, this shit made me sad. *sniffles*.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% (100% if you go by “top critics” only) positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 87/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #223 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best makeup, best visual effects, and Best art direction.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is the perfect way to end this magnificent franchise. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, great cinematography, and amazing visual effects. Time for my final score. Shut up, I’m not crying. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is now completed.

This is it, the very end. And since it’s such a special occasion, I want to do something I never really do. I am asking you all a favor. Share this around social media. Friends, family, followers, pets… doesn’t matter. Just share it, let’s make a big fuckin’ deal out of this! Thank you.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)

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Guys, we are now at the penultimate part in my series of reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. There’s not much else to say other than… let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”!

With Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his death eaters getting more and more control over the wizarding world, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) have to go out into the world (and by world I mean the UK) and find/destroy the Dark Lord’s horcruxes. And while doing this they come across the existence of three incredibly powerful items… the Deathly Hallows (Roll credits). What the studio and filmmakers did with the story, splitting it into two movies, that shit was risky. So how did it turn out with taking the first half(ish) of a book and making it into one movie? Pretty well actually. You can tell that there is some slight stretching being done to make it into a two hour and twenty minute movie, but it still has really good pacing. The plot is interesting and there are some really great moments throughout, both of the exciting and emotional varieties.

The characters in this movie have now really gone into maturity. Daniel Radcliffe, once again being absolutely fantastic as Harry who this time has to go through some of his toughest challenges yet. There are some scenes where he have to show a lot of emotion, and he just fucking nails it. Rupert Grint, knocking it out of the park as Ron. Emma Watson is also great in her role as Hermione. Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix, great performance. Alan Rickman (rest in peace, you awesome man) was really good as Snape. Imelda Staunton returned for a bit to once again play Dolores Umbridge and she was great as that horrible person. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort, fucking great. All returning actors were great… so let’s talk about any new additions. Domhnall Gleeson played Bill Weasley, Ron’s older brother that we’d never seen before and he was really good in the role. We also got Rhys Ifans as Xenophilius Lovegood, the father of the magnificently amazing Luna. And he gave a great performance. And we also got Andy Linden as the very shady and slimy Mundungus Fletcher, and he was really good in his role. Yeah, great characters, great acting.

The score for this movie was not composed by the one and only John Williams, nor Patrick Doyle, nor Nicholas Hooper. No, the score here was composed by Alexandre Desplat. And I think he did a terrific job with it. The score is well composed, fun, and exciting. It is really great.

David Yates once again took on the mantle of director and he did a terrific job. The movie is magnificently shot and the scenes are very well handled overall. And the action scenes in the movie, they are some of the best in the series. As an example: There is a very exciting and tense chase through a forest… yeah, it’s awesome. There are also some scenes that really touched me *sniffles* Shut up, I didn’t cry, you cried! Okay that was a lie… I cried. On a lighter note, the visual effects in this movie are fucking fantastic… just wanted to get that out there.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best visual effects and Best art direction.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” is not perfect, but it’s still a damn good movie. It has a really good plot, great characters, great acting, great music, great directing, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *ACCIO!* My final score for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” is a 9,83/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” is now completed.

One review left, guys… get fuckin’ hyped!

 

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

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So we are now at the sixth part in my series of reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. I’ve had so much fun doing it, partially because it gave me an excuse to revisit these movies that I grew up with. But also because I love talking about movies with you guys! Enough of that… let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”!

So Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, and things are a bit different. This time around Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) has asked Harry to try to get close to a teacher, specifically the new potions teacher Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), because he might have crucial information about a certain dark one. And this sets Harry off on a year of mystery, dark discoveries, and having to further head into maturity. And I was fully invested in the plot from start to finish. Out of all the movies it might be the least eventful, at least in terms of plot. There’s not too many things really happening, it’s more of a slow burn this time around… but I feel like that actually helped the movie. It’s really more of a slow and chilling mystery this time around… and I love that!

Since this movie has the least stuff going on plotwise in any “Harry Potter” movie, I was pleased that it at least decided to develop it’s characters even further. After everything that’s happened in the last movie, Harry is a broken man. You can tell that he still loves everything magic that he comes across, that awe has not left him yet… but he is more cold and serious, and Daniel Radcliffe once again owned the role. This was apparently the movie in the series he enjoyed doing the least, but you can still tell that he gave it his all. Ron got a little bit more development as well, and Rupert Grint was great in the role. Emma Watson as Hermione was also great again, with her character also getting some development. Dumbledore in this movie got quite a bit of screen time this time around and with that some great character development. And Michael Gambon knocked it out of the park. Draco Malfoy the last several movies has been more of a bully/comic relief, compared to the slimy asshole from the first two movies. But here he is a well developed and awful asshole. And Tom Felton gives a fantastic performance here! And also, we get some stuff with Alan Rickman (rest in peace, you awesome man!) that is really good, further developing his character showing his once again great performance. Also, I just wanna point out once again that Evanna Lynch as Luna… one of the best things to happen to this series! As for the rest of the returning cast… they’re great. So let’s talk about some of the newer additions. Like Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn. Yeah, he’s great. He might seem like a very whimsical character at first that has littel to nothing to add, but his importance in the story does eventually show itself and really, Broadbent was great. Freddie Stroma played a guy named Cormac, who was kind of a jock who seemed to have a bit of a crush on Hermione. And he was kind of a fun presence, especially any time he got a bit of a comeuppance. We also got Jessie Cave as a girl named Lavender Brown, a girl who for some unknown reason is infatuated with Ron. And she was fun. And that’s about it for actors worth mentioning… moving on!

The score was once again composed by Nicholas Hooper and I have to say that what he did with the music for this movie is an improvement over the stuff he provided for “Order of the Phoenix”. It’s often dark, gloomy, and outright chilling. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as great as the stuff the one and only John Williams provided for “Prisoner of Azkaban”, but it’s still pretty damn good. However, it seems like at least a piece or two never made it into the final movie. One such is “Wizard Wheezes”, an incredibly jazzy and awesome track that is both fun to listen to and also play on the trombone. However, I can’t remember hearing it anywhere in the movie. You’d think it would be in the scene where the characters visited the store “Wizards Wheezes”… but nope. So that’s sad. Oh well, at least the score we did hear in the movie was really good.

This movie like the previous one was directed by David Yates and he did a great job. It’s a very tightly direccted movie with plenty of good tension to it. Like I said, this movie feels more like a slowly moving mystery, and Yates’ direction is part of why it feels that way, which I love. And there really are some truly tense and amazing scenes. Like the scene in the bathroom with Harry and Draco. Or the scene with Harry, Dumbledore, and the spooky water. I’m trying to keep it vague in case anyone who hasn’t seen it (Presumably Morlocks) decides to stop by. Anyhow… the visual effects are pretty spectacular in this movie too. There’s also a scene in this movie that made me cry. Fans of the series will know what part I’m talking about. On a lighter note, have a fun fact: This is the only “Harry Potter” movie that I ever saw in theaters. I know, shame on me!

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best cinematography. 

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is a fantastic movie, definitely one of the best movies in the series… at least in my opinion. It’s actually better than I remembered it being. It has a great plot, great characters, great acting, great music, great directing, and some great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Accio!*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is a 9,87/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is now completed.

OH THE HORMONES!!!

 

 

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

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The Month of Spooks may be over, but we still have some “Harry Potter” reviews to get through! And it’s finally November, so it’s not long now until “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” comes out. For fuck’s sake, it’s in like… 12 days. Alright… let’s do this!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”.

After Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) wards off a Dementor attack and saves his terrible cousin Dudley (Harry Melling), he gets in some trouble with the Ministry of magic. So to keep an eye on both Harry and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), the ministry sends Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) to become the new defense against the dark arts teacher. This all happens as the ministry is trying to quiet down the “rumor” that Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is back. And now Harry has to go through another year at Hogwarts, with the ministry breathing down his neck, while also having strange visions of awful things. And there’s a lot of shit going on here. Almost to the point of being too much… almost. Really, working with as many sub-plots as this movie does is a very delicate thing to do, which can get severely fucked in the end. But this movie handles it well, even if some things might feel a little skimmed over at times. But I get it, they got a long fucking book to adapt and don’t want to make the movie too long. I’m sut saying, I think the plot is really good and features some genuinely great moments, but it feels like it does skim over some parts.

The characters in this movie are pretty damn interesting. Harry once again gets a lot of character development, mostly because of some terrrible things happening to him throughout. And Daniel Radcliffe… I don’t think I have to say anything, the guy is amazing in the movie. Rupter Grint and Emma Watson are also great, not much to say there. Michael Gambon once again owns the role of Albus Dumbledore. Alan Rickman (Rest in peace, you awesome man) is great once again as Snape. Basically any recurring actor is great. So let’s go through the newere actors in the movie. Ralph Fiennes (yes, he was introduced in the previous one, but you should shut up) was great as Voldemort, the manipulative and intimidating villain. Imelda Staunton as Umbridge… god. Her performance was great, but the character was despicable. I really did not like her, but I guess that was the point. I’m just saying, I’d rather hang out with Negan from “The Walking Dead” than be anywhere near Umbridge. The last one I’m gonna mention is Luna Lovegood, played by Evanna Lynch… yeah, she’s fucking awesome. She’s weird, funny, odd… I just love her, she’s awesome. She’s also Irish, which is a plus in my book (the only one I prefer more is Scottish).

The original score for this movie wa not composed by the one and only John Williams, nor by Patrick Doyle. No, this time the composer chosen was Nicholas Hooper who I think did a really good job. The music is fun, exciting, and well composed. Not the most memorable of scores from any “HP” movie, but it’s still good.

This is the first of the “Harry Potter” movies to be directed by David Yates, and he did a terrific job with it. The movie is very well shot. And it shows a lot too in the fact that this movie gives us the first real look at wizarding warfare. There’s a huge battle near the end of the movie where there’s all kinds of magic flying around, and it is intense and awesome! Speaking of magic, the visual effects look great… ain’t got much to say there. Also, as a fun fact: this movie actually made me tear up… yeah. Those who have seen the movie might have an idea what caused it… because it makes sense to tear up at that point in the movie!

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is not my favorite movie in the series. It’s not a bad movie at all, it has a lot of great stuff going for it. It has a good plot, good characters, great acting, good music, great directing, and some great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is a 9,55/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is now completed.

Just so you know, the game is also pretty good.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

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We’re now halfway through my series of reviews leading up to the release of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. So I just wanted to take a moment to thank you guys for sticking around and for giving me a bunch of likes and nice comments… I really appreciate it. Okay, done with the mushy stuff… let’s get into the review!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”!

So Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) return for their fourth year at Hogwarts. But this time it is a bit different since the school has been selected to host the Triwizard tournament. This of course is the huge magical tournament where wizards and witches from three different schools compete to show who’s the best. The wizards get selected through the Goblet of Fire (roll credits). And for some unknown reason, Harry get selected by it to compete, despite being three years too young. So now he has to compete in there, while something more sinister goes on in the background. And this gives us an intereesting plot that further develops this world we all know and love, while also playing with the theme of maturity. I mean, since this is the first PG-13 “Harry Potter” movie, so we get some more mature themes in this movie. And it’s really interesting to see these characters go through all the things they go through in this movie.

The characters in this movie are just as interesting and great as in the first three… if not even better. Since Harry gets dragged into the tournament and has to face some truly dangerous stuff, he of course has to mature a bit, which he actually does throughout the movie, and I do like seeing that type of development in him. You can really tell that he’s very different from when we first saw him in “Philosopher’s Stone”, he has really grown as a character. And Daniel Radcliffe is absolutely terrific in the role, especially since he has to show a lot of emotion throughout this movie, which can be difficult for someone so young. But he fucking nailed it! Ron and Hermione also gets some development in the movie, which is nice to see. Of course Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are great in their roles. All other returning cast members are great in their roles too. So let’s talk about some of the new additions. First off, Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory, a handsome young man from Hufflepuff. And he’s really good in this movie, compared to his performance as Edward in “Twilight”… which was shit. Then we have Brendan Gleeson as Alastor “MadEye” Moody, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He may be a bit crazy, but at least he’s great at what he does. And Brendan Gleeson is fantastic in the role. We also get Katie Leung as Cho Chang, a student at Hogwarts that Harry may or may not have a bit of a crush on. And she’s good in her role too. Basically all actors did really well.

This is the first of the “Harry Potter” movies not to be scored by the one and only John Williams. Instead the score was composed by Patrick Doyle. And while I don’t think the score is as great as maybe “Prisoner of Azkaban”, it still is damn good. It’s fun, exciting, magical, and perfectly works for the movie. It’s good.

This movie was directed by Mike Newell and I think he did a really good job with it. The shots look really good and the scenes flow very well. But where this movie really shines is with the Triwizard scenes, particularly the first and the last. The first is an exciting scene where Harry has to dodge a CGI dragon that looks absolutely terrific. The final one, which is in a maze… tense as all hell. And it’s a great scene for Harry as a character, because it’s basically just him trying to survive in there, all by himself. Speaking of things, the visual effects in this movie looks absolutely fantastic. Sure, you can tell most of the time when stuff is CGI, but at least it looks really good. There’s also a lot of comedy in the movie, I really had forgotten how funny this movie actually was. Most of the comedy has to do with the guys entering puberty and also having to deal with a Yule ball. Seriously, I laughed quite a bit thanks to this movie. And of course, Fred and George, being as awesomely funny as always… love ’em.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Art Direction.

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is not as good as “Prisoner of Azkaban”, but it’s still a damn fine movie. With a really good plot, great characters, great acting, really good music, really good directing, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. Accio, envelope! My final score for “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is a 9,74/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is now completed.

Halfway there… holy shit.

 

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

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The other day was the blogathon thing, and we still got some Month of Spooks stuff left to do… but we can also not forget my series of “Harry Potter” reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts” in November. And now we are finally continuing it after,,, two and a half weeks, good grief. Anyhow, let’s stop with this intro and get into the review itself!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”!

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) begins his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a rather rocky way. First off, he got warnings from a house-elf named Dobby (Toby Jones) about bad things that will happen at Hogwarts. Secondly, his journey from Little Whinging to Hogwarts was kind of troublesome and filled with mishaps. But the trouble is not over yet, as people start getting petrified for some reason. And this of course creates a mystery where Harry, Ron (Rupter Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) to try to figure out who/what might have done this. With that said, I really liked how the plot unfolded… a lot. What I think the plot of this movie benefited from was how it doesn’t have to set the world up, since that was done (pretty fucking well) in the last movie. So now we can just get right into the main plot of this movie, which of course gives the plot of this movie a much better pace. Which is of course a bit ironic seeing as this movie is longer than the last. But yeah, it was an interesting plot which created a compelling mystery which of course led to the plot going to some darker places when it comes to this world and it’s main character. It was pretty great.

The characters in the movie are about as great as in the first one, but as the plot unfolds we do get a little bit more development from them as they learn more things. Daniel Radcliffe once again knocked it out of the park, getting some more moments to shine here in comparison to the first one. And the development of the character itself is actually really good, as we learn more about who he really is, at the same rate he does. Rupter Grint and Emma Watson also did great in this movie in their roles. And the chemistry between these three central actors is so great and so believable. The other actors in the movie do pretty great as well. Tom Felton as Malfoy once again was great, with his character being even more despicable than in the first movie. Richard Harris (R.I.P) was also really great as Dumbledore, Maggie Smith once again was great as professor McGonagall, Alan Rickman (R.I.P) was still amazing as Snape, and it goes on like that for pretty much every returning actor/character. But we also got a few new interesting faces in this one, so let’s go through them. First off we have the previously mentioned Dobby the house-elf, a magical little dude voiced by the great Toby Jones. At first he is actually a bit annoying, but after a while you grow to actually kind of like him, especially near the end when you find out some more stuff about him and his “family”. Next is Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart, a very famous wizard who you immediately can tell is more bark than bite. Basically he is the magical equivalent of the classic saying “Girls want to be with him and guys want to be him”. Think to have that dude as the “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher… yeah. But you can tell that Branagh had fun with the role, and I think he did a good jobas the character. And finally we have Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, AKA Draco’s dad. And this dude just oozes of self-important asshole, as soon as he enters the scene you immediately tell that this guy is bad news. And Jason Isaacs is pretty damn great in the role. In other words, this cast is great!

Once again the music was composed by the one and only John Williams and its still great. Some of the themes in there are of course the same as in the first movie, but that’s nothing to complain about because those tracks are pretty great. But there are also a bunch of new tracks composed for this movie as well, and they are pretty great too, perfectly capturing the magical and whimsical but still dark world that Harry and his friends live in. Yeah, the music’s fucking great.

Like the first movie, this was directed by Chris Columbus (still not re-discovering America). And he did a great job again. Sure, a lot of bits remind me of the first movie a lot, but it’s not too much of a complaint. But he is a very talented director who did a great job, giving us some great directing and some great angles. He also managed to make this movie even more suspenseful and even scarier than the first. I mean, the final act is really tense and actually a bit scary. And the visual effects in this movie are even better than in the first, especially the Quidditch match which looks so much better than the first movie, which of course makes it more engaging and more fun.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 82% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is a a definite improvement over the first movie. With a really interesting plot, better pacing, great characters/acting, great music, fantastic visual effects, and better suspense/tension. Time for my final score. *Magically summons score*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is a 9,67/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is now completed.

If you have arachnophobia then this movie might not be the best for you…

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

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Hello there, my friends! And welcome to this very special review! Why is it special? Because in honor of “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” coming out in November, I have decided to talk about the “Harry Potter” movies here on the blog. I wasn’t sure in what style I would it in however, so I held a little poll on twitter (Follow me @TheMarckoguy) where I asked if people would prefer separate reviews for each movie or if they wanted a ranked list. And after a few days with I think 12 votes, the separate reviews option won. So here we are… talking about the first one in the series. Oh dear, 8 movies before mid-November, while also doing Month of Spooks… Jeez Louise.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”!

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) leads a pretty shit life. He lives with his outright mean aunt (Fiona Shaw) and uncle (Richard Griffiths, R.I.P) and their dickhead son, Dudley (Harry Melling). But one night, Harry gets a visit from Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), a huge man who tells Harry that he’s a wizard, and will get to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he will learn all sorts of awesome magic-releated stuff. And it’s through his experiences at Hogwarts that he learns about who he really is, and what that means for the wizarding world around him. There he also meets his new best friends, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). And from all of this we get an incredibly imaginative and very well realized world and story that I find very interesting and entertaining. Yeah, the plot of this movie is good and sets up this universe very well. The only problem might be that it meanders a bit at times which slows the pacing down. It’s not too bad, like with some movies, but I definitely noticed it. So yeah, great plot, but not the best pacing.

The characters here are so interesting, well-developed, and entertaining. And a lot of this I think comes down to the aboslutely terrific casting. Seriously, they nailed the casting for these characters so damn well. Daniel Radcliffe was perfect as Harry Potter, perfectly nailing the whole oblivious to this huge wizarding world that he was born into. For someone who was so young at the time, his performance was really good. Ruper Grint was really good as Ron, perfectly capturing this not too bright, but still lovable and charming personality. Emma Watson was really good as Hermione, even if she could come off a bit bitchy in her performance. Like she was a know-it-all with a little bit of snark in her voice… anybody who’s seen the movie knows what I’m talking about. Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid was just perfect, any time he was on screen I wanted to give him a hug, that lovable oaf. The rest of the cast was pretty great too, with actors like Richard Harris (R.I.P), Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman (R.I.P), Tom Felton, John Hurt, Ian Hart, John Cleese, and so many more. Yeah, I love ’em all.

The original score for the movie was composed by the one and only John Williams (AKA god with a conductor’s baton). And the music he created for the movie has lived on for so many years, and once someone heears it they know what it’s from. And it just sounds so great. Seriously, when I sat down to watch the movie in preparation for this review, the music gave me goosebumps. It was so awesome. Really, all the music in the movie is nothing short of fantastic.

Based on the book by J.K. Rowling, this movie was brought to life by director Chris Columbus (Not the Italian explorer who rediscovered America), the man who also directed the first two “Home Alone” movies. And he did a fantastic job with the directing this movie. Everything is well shot and overall well done. The sets are also fantastic, combined with some of the practical costumes and makeup that are used throughout. There is also CGI in this movie which for the most part looks pretty good. Some bits don’t hold up as well now, such as the Quidditch game, which has some pretty outdated CGI. Seriously, go back and watch the Quidditch match and tell me with a straight face that it looks fucking flawless. You can’t, it’s impossible. So yeah, that distracted a bit. But otehr than that, the CG holds up pretty well. And seeing some of the speels and stuff being used in the movie is pretty fun. I also love the wizarding world itself, there are so many cool details to it that make it all so unique and interesting.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score. 

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is not a perfect movie. I would also say that it was a struggle to review it when I have such nostalgic feelings about it. But I powered through. The plot is interesting, the characters are great, the acting is great, the music is fantastic, the directing is good, and it’s just really fun. However the pacing at times isn’t that great and there are some effects that don’t really hold up. So now it’s time for my final score. ALOHOMORA! *Unlocks chest, opens it and finds envelope with result*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is a 9,11/10. So it’s not perfect, but it’s definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is now completed.

One down, seven to go…