Two Cent Halloween

Harry Potter Vol. 1

The Boy Who Lived under some stairs til some persistent owls came calling with his letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Young Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) begins his journey as a wizard in training along with Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). He’ll need all the help he can get to keep the Sorcerer’s Stone out of the hands of Voldemort, the evil wizard who killed Harry’s parents and marked him with a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.
This is the best book-to-movie adaptation I’ve ever seen! (And it all goes downhill from here!) The first in an 8 movie series adapted from #JKRowlings little book series that took the world by storm can only be described as fun and whimsical with a boatload of heartwarming moments. There’s darkness as well with several moments that will scare young children like a mysterious figure in the Forbidden Forest drinking Unicorn blood, or when Voldemort tries killing Harry for the first time.
It’s a movie that floods my system with warm fuzzies, and has a story centered on a parent’s love and sacrifice. Spoiler Alert: Lily’s love is what saves her son by the end! This is a fun movie night for parents with older kids. Though parents will be skeptical (and rightfully so) about a story based on witchcraft, it’s still worth checking out for those who can handle it.

  1. Richard Harris is the best Dumbledore
  2. Alan Rickman is AMAZING as Professor Snape
  3. Baby Draco (Tom Felton) is a little brat, but he’s a cute little brat.
  4. Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall is AMAZING!
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“Books! And cleverness! There are more important things — friendship and bravery…” ~ Hermione Granger

After nearly having his school year hijacked by mischievous house elf, Dobby, Harry Potter manages to arrive for his Second Year at Hogwarts. Life is about to get more complicated for our wizards-in-training. The mysterious Chamber of Secrets has been opened, and a basilisk is roaming the castle petrifying every living being in its path. This can only happen when Salazar Slytherin’s Heir comes back to Hogwarts. Harry and Ron suspect Malfoy’s to blame, but all evidence points to Harry being the Heir especially when he starts speaking parseltongue, the ability to talk to snakes, a gift Slytherin possesses. This leads Harry to question his place in Gryffindor. I mean the Sorting Hat did try to place him in Slytherin after all! No one suspects that it’s the memory of a young Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson) trapped in an old school diary that could be causing all the trouble!

This second entry in the series based on the popular books by JK Rowling is darker and the stakes are higher than they were the last time around! And it’s a little on the gross side! Ron throws up slugs after a spell misfire, and Harry’s arm is reduced to jello when Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh) tries mending his broken arm after a Quidditch match. There’s also spiders. Lots and lots of spiders. I played on my iPad during the duration of the too-long Aragog scene! This movie also deals with the possession and near murder of Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) so parents should proceed with caution. This movie’s best for when some kids are much older.
This sequel is also a near perfect book-to-movie adaptation, which is why it shocks me that Chris Columbus screwed up the Percy Jackson movies so badly! (But more on that next month!)

The movie also deals with themes of loyalty, bravery, and acceptance of others and yourself, and treating “inferiors” as equals.
One of my favorite scenes is when Dubledore tells Harry that some of his power, along with many other Slytherin traits comes from Voldemort, but one of the biggest differences between the dark wizard and Harry is that Harry CHOSE Gryffindor instead of taking the path of every dark wizard before him. That he belongs in Gryffindor because only a Gryffindor could pull the Sword of Gryffindor from the hat. ♥️

  1. Jason Issacs gives a great villainous performance as Lucius Malfoy.
  2. It’s hard to believe that the same guy who directed Thor, Kenneth Branagh, played Gilderoy Lockhart.
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“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” ~ Albus Dumbledore

“Why spiders? Why couldn’t it be “follow the butterflies?”~ Ron Weasley

A new year. A new teacher. A new set of problems. Harry Potter and his friends are all set for their third year at Hogwarts. Once again, Harry’s life is in danger though not from who’d you expect! Murder-at-Large Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has managed to escape Azkaban Prison (The first wizard to ever achieve that!). He’s the one who turned Harry’s parents over to Voldemort, and now he wants to kill Harry too!
Hogwarts has new security in place, the Dementors, Ghouls who will suck the happiness and souls of anyone who gets in their way! To help Harry ward them off, Professor Lupin (David Thewlis) teaches him a Patronus Charm that will help shield him from harm.
Harry has one goal in mind this year: Kill Sirius and take revenge for his parent’s deaths. But as the story reveals not everything is what it seems. An assumed murderer can actually be the only family Harry has left, the Wizarding World’s biggest snitch can be a pet rat, and the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Hogwarts ever had can be a werewolf.
Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the Harry Potter movies (and my favorite book of the series) It’s not the best book to movie adaptation. A lot of good stuff pertaining to the Marauders was left out. A change in director brings a different artistic style to the franchise. A movie darker aesthetic-wise to the first movie and a shift in tone from the first two. It transitions from stories made for children to something a bit more adult. It’s also the calm before the storm in that this is the last movie before major characters get killed off, Voldemort is nowhere to be seen, and Harry gets the best teacher he’s ever had, a godfather he never knew existed. This is the last time everything ends well. It’s all downhill from here!
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“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ― Albus Dumbledore

It’s the biggest and most challenging year yet for Harry, Ron and Hermione. And the busiest! Between the Quidditch World Cup, Triwizard Tournament, Yule Ball, and the return of Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Not to mention the nighmares and excruciating pain coming from his scar! With all that, who has time to study? And as usual the students get another Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody (Brendan Gleason).

Harry’s name pops out of the Goblet of Fire forcing him to take part in the Triwizard Tournament alongside fellow Hogwarts student, Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson). The Triwizard Tournament brings some of the toughest challenges Harry’s had to face yet! But nothing this year could prepare him for his hardest challenges of all: Facing off in a dual with the newly resurrected Voldemort! Once again, it’s the love and sacrifice of his parents that saves him. This time through the spell: priori incantation.
This is the first Harry Potter movie to receive a PG-13 rating. Voldemort’s ressurection scene is especially dark, and there are several scenes where dark magic is used. It’s also the first where a character dies which makes the movie too intense for younger viewers.
The movie is good, but it’s an adaptation of one of the largest books in the series. Everything not directly dealing with Harry Potter was cut. The book was better. Read the book!

I also prefer Robert Pattinson as Cedric because I can’t stand vampires and am not a Twilight fan. It’s also fun seeing David Tennant playing villainous manic, Barty Crouch Jr. His role is small but memorable. This sucks as a book-to-movie adaptation, but as a movie, on its own, it’s good.
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“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”
-Albus Dumbledore

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