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

harry-potter-and-the-half-blood-prince

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)

harry_potter_and_the_order_of_phoenix-wallpaper-1366x768

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)

maxresdefault-28

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.