Let me make myself clear: I really liked this movie. Not loved, but really really liked. But just to get these out of the way.
The Grievous Miscasting of Prof. R.J. Lupin:
Now I know you're all just rolling your eyes and going 'Sarah, dude, okay, so he's not Ewan McGregor. Can you get over your shallow self? we could build a tiny bridge.'
To this I say 'Fie!' Really, I have other reasons. I mean, I was just as physically unattracted to Gary Oldman, but the man sold me. It's the acting talent!
David Thewlis has not the acting talent. Or else his vision of Lupin is wildly different from mine. Because from his performance, I was getting 'literally retarded in social interaction.' Sure, Lupin is meant to be bookish and reticent, I got that, but this shambling man would have been picked on to within an inch of his life. He mumbled out his really decent lines, he shuffled and muttered and his head kind of bobbed weirdly to one side. I had no idea what was up with his body language. I *love* Lupin in the books and I was deeply saddened that my enjoyment of the film was checked by my constant thoughts that Lupin was acting much more like Peter Pettigrew than Lupin. Where was the quiet authority? Why did Harry like this man specially? What?
The Pink Jacket of Bad Characterisation:
Hermione's characterisation was really good in this film. Right up until she donned the pink sporty jacket which I blame for everything, when she became everything that I hate in fictional female representation.
Ben Elton: 'You can have no idea of how tired I am of film-makers cynically cloaking their... entertainments in some laughably two-dimensional anti-sexist agenda.'
Pink!Hermione had the upper body strength to grasp and hurl Harry in through the Whomping Willow entrance. She had the aim and agility to hurl pebbles at jars and Harry's head! She imitated wolf calls well enough to fool a werewolf! She stole Ron's lines of sacrificing herself for Harry! Harry and Ron both blatantly fancied her pink self! She self-righteously demands an apology from Ron having given no previous indication of being upset by his accusations!
And then we come to the Draco scene. See, I tried to establish my credibility before, because I'm aware my maternal instincts all got up and yelled right then. But. I mean, come on, this is *playground etiquette* we're talking here. Draco wasn't even talking to her while he said some nasty-brat-things, which one would think everyone at Hogwarts is used to. Then he called her a name. Correct response: Ron had it. Tell him he's not even worth it and walk. Natural kid response: yell insults. Really freaking over-reacting: threatening him with your wand pushed into his throat. And while Draco is a little jerk and a total whiny drama queen, he is not going to practically weep because of this! She's a girl his own age, wearing pink! Who would ever be his minion again? Lack of realism does not empower females thanks very much okay bye!
Then the punch. I liked the slapping scene in the book. In the book, however, she's shown to be overwrought and upset by a whole lot of things not in the film, and a slap is a good bit less serious than a punch that makes someone fall down. I do not consider women who attack violently without real provocation strong, I consider them unbalanced.
So, an unfortunately common fiction pitfall there. Too bad. Obviously, it did not excuse some insane woman yelling at the screen. She must be very, very disturbed, and she should be pitied and not censured.
Cuaron, Cuaron, I love you like a mad crazy love machine thing! I never before realised what a difference directors make to a movie. I mean, sure, I knew they told people what to do, but I pretty much thought they sat on a chair and pointed their little stick and said 'take four, minions!' and then insisted on calling it 'A Joe McEgo Film.' I had no idea that a director could change scripting, acting and cinematography so incredibly for the better. Kudos! I heart you, Cuaron!
Seriously. There was *depth* here! Depth! And attention to detail! And things flowed smoothly, instead of 'Scene. Scene. Scene. Done!' and I could see why things were changed, instead of going 'why did they decide to do that what oh god move on.' Like, I considered Peter's abnormally ratlike appearance not 'Jeez, why did no-one spot his grotesque evil at school?' but an interesting side effect of the change of one's demeanour which would occur after twelve years as a rat. The twittering bluebird being whomped by the tree as a running gag segue really worked for me. It was cute, it connected scenes, it set atmosphere. Same for the Purple Bus of Greatness, and Lupin's Jazz Love. Go, you shiny director thing.
Everyone was funnier. Harry acted! I mean, now and then he lapsed into his celebrated impression of a wax dummy at Madam Tussaud's ('and this is the famous Harry Potter. Isn't he lifelike?') but mostly he was very good. Ron was endearing without being the Running Gag of Idiocy (too much), and that Sixties look he had going on with his hair was strangely flattering. Not that I fancy Ron Weasley. Because I don't. No. I can be accused of much (oh so much) but not that. Hermione was also very good for the first half of the film, and she and Ron had marvellous chemistry. Even Neville didn't annoy me, which made me believe I must be running a fever. I can safely say that I never liked any of them half so much before.
Gary Oldman ROCKED as Sirius. Sure, I'd be all for him being madly attractive in a starved-convict way, but he wasn't and I didn't care. He was great. He made me believe he was crazy and he made me believe he was sweet. He did *everything* with intensity and he yanked Lupin up almost to his level a couple times. Dumbledore was good too, though the new Crabbe/Goyle? (I can't tell them apart, I am a bad fan) just made me go 'eh? did the old one die? whatever.' And the little bit of Pansy that we saw! I have no idea how she ranks as an actress, but she's so little and stylish and pretty. I am so pleased my baby has such a neat-looking girlfriend.
And, er. Well, now we reach my baby, and unabashed squealing. Because, and thank you, Cuaron, thank you thank you, quite frankly I was under the dazed impression that he had taken his great big Monster Book and whacked me over the head with it and left me stunned with adorableness. 'Cause like, he wears a big-ass signet ring, and he threatens people with origami, and he gets stupidly enraged, and dear God, I am so embarrassing. And Cuaron *made him worse and made me like it*, because now the Hippogriff scene is much more 'Draco is an enormous fool and totally disregards all logic' and less 'Hagrid is an imbecile and should instantly be fired.' And I understood that decision, because a kid being bloodily hurt in a visual medium might have really thrown one over to Draco's side (where I am already building a shiny fort, but I realise that is not the goal of the movie). Logic within a film to make it the best possible interpretation through a different medium! I cry the happy tears now.
I also did a bit of screaming because he was so *tall* now, and didn't mind that he looked like Aaron Carter with the hair, and adored his swaggering oh-my-god-I'm-such-a-teenage-boy mockery of Harry and loved his 'you and your bloody chicken' line about Buckbeak with the fire of a thousand suns. So, yes, I have the semi-maternal love to a frightening degree, I thought this movie was VERY good to my darling but kept him a realistically nasty whiny brat, and really, again, Cuaron? Thank you. I freely admit my cinematic experience was depending on Draco because, er. When I get attached to a fictional character, it appears I don't unattach. Cold, dead hands, et cetera.
I admit, blowing kisses at the screen probably looked a bit crazy. Specially the part where the screen kept changing perspective and one might have thought I was consumed by passion for Buckbeak. Though I'm sure he's a fine figure of a Hippogriff, mark you.
And now, onto parodic mockery. And why? Because I can, and also because the doctors say if I am even half-serious for more than half an hour my brain will go 'fizzle! whpt! ferklumpt.'
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Zenda. I mean, Azkaban. (but read Zenda, because, totally hot villain? I trust I need say no more.) : A Parody
HARRY: Now I will, by turns, do suspicious stuff under the bedclothes, drawl sarcastically, look like a Rebel Without A Cause and sulk in my overlarge shirt, then use dark magic and run away to live on the streets. While being a young, sulky boy. In eyeliner. Maybe I’ll be a rent boy!
AUDIENCE: … Harry Potter, let us honestly say we did not see this coming.
IGOR (otherwise known as Respectable Hostelry Owner): I enjoy manhandling you excessively.
HARRY: Note to self: new career going excellently so far!
FUDGE: I am the Minister for Magic.
HARRY: Note to self: have almost instantly become the best rent boy ever to have lived. I rule!
FUDGE: You are not expelled and I am going to lie unconvincingly to you because as a politician, where could I ever have developed lying skills?
RON: Your cat is evil!
HERMIONE: Cats should be worshipped! As should I, but you’ll realize that one day, you foxy redhaired thing, you.
HARRY: Hey, guys!
MR WEASLEY: There's this guy who wants to kill you. Don't go looking for him!
HARRY: Why would I?
MR WEASLEY: Um... I thought you were into extreme sports yes, Harry, that's it, take up bungee jumping instead. That's all the screen time I'm allowed, okay, bye!
HARRY: But I'm desperately in need of a father figure!
MR WEASLEY: Three words for you about this movie, Mr Potter - Spoiled For Choice.
LUPIN: *lurks behind his coat collar, cruelly tempting us with the wistful notion that he might be in any way attractive or charismatic*
RON: Ice on the window screen! Oh my God, the world is ending, Europe will be destroyed, Jake Gyllenhaal will take his clothes off!
DEMENTOR: Wrong movie, you idiot. I mean, woooo.
LUPIN: Eat my sweeties.
AUDIENCE: Can defeat the Dark Lord but apparently does not know not to take candy from strangers.
DUMBLEDORE: I'd like to take advantage of this time for speechmaking to display my cunning ploy of dispensing platitudes rather than information throughout this fine moving picture venture.
DRACO: You fainted because of Dementors? You pansy!
HARRY: Malfoy! What's with the boy-band hair? Also, as later events will unfold, coming from you that is, like, an entire packet of Rich Tea biscuits.
DRACO: And you never answered any of my letters all summer.
HARRY: Stalking is a criminal offence, you know.
CUARON, THE DIRECTOR: I eentirely refuse to continue work without a session of male bonding with under-age boys in their night attire! Eet is an important arteestic addition!
HARRY: *makes steam engine noises*
AUDIENCE: *makes inappropriate and dreadful 'going like a steam engine' puns*
RON FANCIERS: *swoon*
CUARON: Behold my arteestic genius. On with the show!
TRELAWNEY: I am KOOKY. KOOKY, do you hear me?
RON: Where did Hermione come from? What do you want from me?!
HERMIONE: *puts hand on his leg* Tell you later. P.S. This class sucks.
HAGRID: I am a professor!
DRACO: I'm going to rupture something from sneering so much, you know.
HERMIONE: *tries to hold Ron's hand*
RON: Would you quit it with the inappropriate touching, Hermione? You're making me seriously uncomfortable in my place of work.
HARRY: I DON'T WANT A RIDE ON THE EAGLE! ... Oooh, flying. Okay, time to turn around. I like my brooms non-sentient. *returns after long period in which people thought he might be dead*
DRACO: Soul crushed by disappointment! Cannot go on! Must kick the killer eagle in the shins!
HIPPOGRIFF: *slashes, to all appearances, Draco's sleeve*
DRACO: Nooooo! Not my *haute couture*! *swoons*
HERMIONE: Medic, medic!!!!!
CUARON: Have successfully inserted sexual tension between Emma Watson and every boy to hand. Oh, the cleverness of me, the cleverness of me!
DRACO: I'll get you, my pretty... you and your little chicken too...
DRACO: No, the sleeve was ripped right through! It'll never be the same again! I'm sorry, I... can't go on...
PANSY: You're such a hero, Draco.
HARRY: I don't see why Malfoy gets to keep his love interest and I get left with a time-share in Hermione. Favoritism so unfair.
LUPIN: I am the king of the swingers yeah, the jungle VIP, la la, by the way you should say 'riddikulus' to the Boggart.
DRACO: This class is riddikulus. Oh my God, I am so WITTEH, I love myself!
LUPIN: What are you even doing here?
CUARON: There's this scene where a teacher comes out of the closet dressed in women's clothing? Man, I love kids' movies and their total lack of subtlety in symbolism!
ALAN RICKMAN IN A DRESS: Do you? I do not.
HARRY: Professor Lupin, you're the right age, how about being my surrogate father figure?
LUPIN: You have your mother's pretty, shiny eyes.
HARRY: Eeep... Note to self: Over-application of blusher bad mistake.
FAT LADY: Sirius Black cut up my picture!
PERCY: And I'm Head Boy and I only get two lines. We all have our problems, sister.
LUPIN: Let us wander out into the woods on another completely inappropriate example of teacher and individual student relations.
HARRY: Wow, this surrogate father figure thing is going really really well. Do you have any friends looking for an adopted son, well-mannered but with rage issues, good-looking in a kind of effeminate way, conqueror of evil and not a fussy eater?
LUPIN: ... I'll get back to you on that.
SNAPE: Since Lupin is unavailable at the time of the full moon, how's about you all start reading about werewolves? Does that ring any bells with anyone? Anyone?
DRACO: *howls like a wolf. Or a total dorky exhibitionist*
SNAPE: *mild exasperation* Why are you even here?
DRACO: I AM EVERYWHERE! *floats origami swan to Harry which reads 'Feels like lightning runnin' through my veins, every time I look at you'*
HARRY: I look dashing in this picture. I'm keeping this. But don't think you're winning me over, Malfoy.
HARRY: It absolutely figures that the one Quidditch match I get to play this year is in such foul weather.
HARRY: Dementors! *swoons*
CUARON: He loses the game so he feels his MANHOOD is CRUSHED! And then we ACTUALLY CRUSH his big flying stick! *chokes on glee*
AUDIENCE: … oookay.
LUPIN: Please to chase away Dementors using this spell.
HARRY: If I do, will you give me the paternal love and acceptance I crave?
LUPIN: I'll give you more candy.
HARRY: Good enough.
TWINS: Let's go someplace more private. We have something to show you.
HARRY: I'll bet you do.
TWINS: It's a map.
HARRY: ... Oh! Thank God!
HERMIONE: Moooove closer. Move your body real close, move closer. Till we feel like we're really making...
RON: Yes, Hermione, but what are you really trying to say?
DRACO: Hi, Weaselby. I thought I'd ruin the moment.
AUDIENCE: *incredulous stares* *Weaselby*?
DRACO: I know. I'm such a dork.
HARRY: *throws snowballs because Cuaron got overexcited about the idea of mudwrestling and had to be taken home for the day*
DRACO: Oh my God, I'm being manhandled by invisible forces! ... I knew my Russian fur hat would make me irresistible. Father was so wrong to advocate tasteful chiffon.
HERMIONE: Ron fancies that barmaid. So tonight she must die.
RON: I feel like I'm missing something here... Aha! I know!
HERMIONE: My love, you do?
RON: Harry! He just sneaked into the pub!
HERMIONE: Men. Can't live with them. Am too smart for anyone to believe I killed them by accident.
HARRY: My parents were betrayed by their friend!
HERMIONE: I'm just going to take off your invisibility cloak so we can all see you're crying.
HARRY: I'm not crying! I'm *sniff* murderously angry!
RON: Way to leave a man with some dignity, Hermione.
HAGRID: They're killing Buckbeak! He was my only friend. Apart from you guys and the headmaster who gave me a sweet job I wasn't even qualified for.
HERMIONE: The Malfoys' rabid concern for their clothing hurts us all, in so many different ways.
DRACO: Dad says I can have the hippogriff's head. Um. He shows his love in unusual ways.
HERMIONE: I KEEL YOU MALFOY.
DRACO: oh my god. oh my god, a thirteen year old girl in pink. fetch my smelling salts, quick! *cries*
HERMIONE: *knocks him down*
HAGRID: Dude, I found a rat in my house. Again. I really need to put me down some pesticides.
RON: Scabbers darling!
HAGRID: Look, you can have it if you want it, but don't blame me if you get the Black Death.
HERMIONE: Buckbeak's being executed! *clings passionately to Ron*
HARRY: I need love too! *clings passionately to Hermione*
RON: *clings passionately to rat*
AUDIENCE: *gets kind of worried about Ron*
RON: I am being kidnapped by a dog! Harry don't let me go through the rabbithole!
HARRY: He's gone! We're doomed! ... Wanna make out?
HERMIONE: Nah, I can get us past the Whomping Willow. I kept forgetting to mention that I'm a weight-lifting athlete.
HARRY: So all that time in the library?
HERMIONE: Secret gym underneath aisle 12. Also, my pink jacket? Is magic.
SIRIUS: I AM HOMICIDALLY INSANE!
HARRY: NO, I AM HOMICIDALLY INSANE!
RON: You know, I think they're homicidally insane! Cool, the crazy guy on our side is winning. Harry, Harry, he's our man, if he can't kill cons no-one can!
LUPIN: Hold everything! Except your wand. That I will magically force you to let go.
RON: Well, I guess no-one can.
CUARON: See, the shifting of the BIG STICKS from hand to hand indicates an almost primal power play! It's genius I tell you, genius!
AUDIENCE: Because the sticks are, in fact, their magic wands? In fact?
CUARON: I don't have to work under these conditions. I am an arteeste.
LUPIN: Embrace me, brother!
SIRIUS: Gladly, brother!
RON: I don't embrace my brothers like that, dude.
LUPIN: Shall we indulge in lots of sinister yet ambiguous discourse?
SIRIUS: Sure. I have missed our little chats.
CUARON: Okay, for some reason they told me to 'lay off the kids, Al,' but I have three adult males in a room together in an emotionally charged situation, and I want you to give me all the kinky vibes you can!
SNAPE, SIRIUS AND LUPIN: Done and done.
HARRY: I'm going to take advantage of your distraction by groping Hermione. Hey, is that a wand in her back pocket or is she just pleased to... Oooh, plan! *blasts Snape*
HARRY: Who's the pansy now, huh? Who's the pansy now?
PETER: Oh my God, I'm not a rat anymore! Don't look at me, I'm too ugly! Also please do not kill me 'cause I totally want to live.
HARRY, RON & HERMIONE: Man, he's got to be the villain. Nobody quite that unattractive could possibly be innocent.
SIRIUS: I'm morally suspect, insane and I have disgusting rotted teeth, but I didn't kill your parents, so how about moving in and being my adopted son?
HARRY: Oh my god I love you so much nobody's ever understood me like you we have such a deep spiritual bond I've totally felt it ever since I saw your 'wanted' posters I think deep down I always knew. Hugs?
SIRIUS: Man, I'm just out of prison and I'm not this desperate for affection.
LUPIN: Full moon! Oh, man, I've been a werewolf for thirty years, why does it always sneak up on me?
SIRIUS: Not to worry! I know the cure for lycanthropy!
HARRY: What's that, then?
HARRY: I don’t *think* so…
CUARON: Now Sirius and Lupin fight! Oh, the animal intensity!
GARY OLDMAN: Because one of us is a dog and one of us is a wolf, right?
CUARON: Oh certainly, certainly. *cackles*
HARRY: I'm going after the man I love like a father!
HERMIONE: You met him like two seconds... Bye, Harry.
RON: Hey baby, I might have to get this leg amputated.
HERMIONE: You're stealing Draco Malfoy's chat-up lines?
RON: I confess, I am not a smooth operator.
HERMIONE: I'll take what I can get.
HARRY: Dementors! Oh no... the horror... my attractively prepubescent face is being blurred... BLURRED, I tell you! *swoons*
SIRIUS: I'm horribly wounded. I get to faint. My godson is such a pansy.
DUMBLEDORE: Okay, go change the past with your Time-Turner. I'll cryptically hint how.
HERMIONE: Look, since it's your plan, you do it. We're only thirteen and we've been traumatized enough.
HERMIONE: You can have the Time Turner. Really. Off you go.
DUMBLEDORE: Oooh, my trick knee's acting up again. Oooh, heavens to Betsy, where's the liniment?
HERMIONE: ... Fine.
HERMIONE: First we lure away Buckbeak with dead ferrets.
AUDIENCE: Random ferret cruelty. Foreshadowing? Circle yes or no.
HERMIONE: Now I'll imitate a wolf call. It'll be convincing, don't worry, I have a magic pink jacket.
HARRY: So if the wolf thinks he's heard another wolf, he's coming to do what to us exactly?
HERMIONE: Eeep. Run!
CUARON: *Animal* ferocity! *cackles*
HARRY: Sirius and I are going to live in a house in the country with a white picket fence and we're going to raise corn and have a swing set and a mommy and lots of babiez.
HERMIONE: Where will you get the mommy and the babiez?
HARRY: We'll raise them in the vegetable patch or something! Jeez, Hermione, way to spoil my dreams!
HERMIONE: Now we sit in a forest and wait.
HARRY: OK. Wanna make out?
HARRY: How about if I tell you I totally saw my dead father earlier?
HERMIONE: No. Now I just think you're crazy.
HARRY: You don't find moral ambiguity attractive in a man?
HARRY: So what do you like, baby?
HERMIONE: I like men to have red hair and lots of brothers and a self-esteem complex and be called Ron Weasley.
HARRY: I could...
HARRY: Look, I know we have all the chemistry of a wet sock in the books, but Cuaron wanted to jazz it up a bit, so I was thinking...
HARRY: So you're saying...
HERMIONE: Basically? No.
HARRY: *dashes to edge of small rock*
HERMIONE: Don't do it! Not for my sake, Harry! You'll get... damp!
HARRY: Expecto patronum!
HERMIONE: ... Never mind *that*.
SIRIUS: Oh Harry. *stares soulfully at him* You look so like your dad. Really, really like your dad...
HARRY: You're lucky I'm affection starved, or I'd be calling child services this minute.
SIRIUS: Dude, thanks for rescuing me. I'm now going to go off and live the rich, varied life of a wanted felon.
HARRY: I'll go with you and maybe be a rent boy!
SIRIUS: Oh Harry, have your relatives taught you nothing? Proper education first. Be a rent boy later.
HARRY: Aw shucks.
SIRIUS: Now! To the Buckbeak mobile! Away!
RON: ... I'm so lost.
AUDIENCE: Don't worry, so are all the target age group.
HERMIONE: Don't worry, Ron, you're just crazy.
RON: I thought Harry was the crazy one.
HARRY (gravely): Yes.
RON: Is Hermione crazy too?
HERMIONE: No, my magical pink jacket protects me.
LUPIN: I am sacked, woe is me, for being different! Being an inappropriate role model for children! Leading an alternative lifestyle!
HARRY: Are you talking about the werewolf thing?
LUPIN: Maybe I am, Harry. And then again... maybe I'm not.
CUARON: You see? Now we give Harry new broom, a BIGGER BETTER broom, to show his new sense of empowerment, nay, his RISING estimation of his own burgeoning MANHOOD...
AUDIENCE: Yes, yes. Have a cool, soothing drink. Good job, man. Good job.
CUARON: *takes a bow* Thank you, thank you! I am an arteeste.