Thursday, July 28, 2016

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (135)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
How Did Quirrell Add to the Overall Storyline?

I saw the first film before I read the books, so all I knew about Quirrell's character was from his scenes in the movie. It didn't occur to me that he was more than what he appeared to be, and I was surprised when he turned out to be the villain and not Snape. For me, Quirrell provided quite the plot twist, and the fact that Voldemort had taken up residence on the back of his head demonstrated that even in his weakened state and without his own body, the Dark Lord was still very, very much a threat.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Harry Potter Month: EXPECTO PATRONUM! The Prisoner of Azkaban Film

Harry Potter Month is hosted by Faith at Geeky Zoo Girl and Micheline at Lunar Rainbows Reviews. This awesome event runs all through July, and you can find more information about it here.

Harry Potter Film Rewatch 2016 has been wonderful so far (and will require a part 2 to be continued next year, I think, due to lack of time to watch the remaining movies). We've arrived at my favorite out of all eight films: Prisoner of Azkaban. Even if PoA weren't already my favorite book, too, I'd still rank this movie #1. To me, it just absolutely nails the tone of the book and reflects the evolving maturity of our beloved trio. Oh, and let's not forget the brilliant introductions of two of my all-time favorite characters from the books: Remus Lupin and Sirius Black.

I love how gloriously unruly Harry's hair is in this one. What can I say? It's the little things with me, LOL. The Knight's Bus sequence is pretty cool, too; I wish I could navigate my car through such tight spaces like that!

It's a good thing that PoA has some humorous moments in it because AAAHHHH—the dementors! Man, those creatures are scary! Even though I knew Harry and Sirius were going to be OK, I still felt on edge watching the dementors close in on them. Harry yelling, "EXPECTO PATRONUM" with such fierce determination is one of my favorite scenes across all of the films.

Other highlights of the PoA movie for me are the appearance of the Marauder's Map—and Harry's snarky response to Snape when the latter catches Harry roaming the halls at night with it—and, of course, two of the Marauders themselves. Lupin is very much the inspiring teacher and kind soul I pictured in the books. As for Sirius, damn if my heart doesn't splinter every single time when he reminds everyone inside the Shrieking Shack how long he spent in Azkaban. Something else that I think the film captured perfectly is Sirius's rather quick transformation from extremely dangerous criminal to wrongly imprisoned man. All of the acting performances in the Shrieking Shack scene are so top-notch; I would've given anything to be a prop cobweb just to be in the presence of such fine acting.

I love rewatching all of the films, but this is the one that I could put on permanent replay. Does anyone else feel the same? :D

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Harry Potter Month: EWW, Spiders! The Chamber of Secrets Film

Harry Potter Month is hosted by Faith at Geeky Zoo Girl and Micheline at Lunar Rainbows Reviews. This awesome event runs all through July, and you can find more information about it here.

I am the worst TV/movie binge watcher, so I'm really proud of myself for now having rewatched two of the HP movies, LOL. And I even stayed awake for all of this one (again, this is in no way any fault of the film's; it is entirely due to my old age)!

After being totally, utterly, and completely captivated by the Sorcerer's Stone film, I immediately got caught up on all of the books that were available at the time (4) and so was all set for the Chamber of Secrets movie adaptation. I remember checking the Internet—a lot—for any tidbit of news about the film. I also stalked HBO's schedule because I knew they aired short features on upcoming theatrical releases. My stalking skills were rewarded when they spotlighted CoS!

As with Sorcerer's Stone, it'd been some time since I last watched CoS, and also as with SS, it was a delight to experience it all over again. Well, maybe not so much the hideous spiders, which I'll get to in a few.

I still giggle when the pudding goes splat on Mrs. Mason's head at the beginning of the movie, thanks to a little fellow named Dobby. I just love the expression on Harry's face when he meets Dobby for the first time.

Speaking of love, I adored the scenes at the Burrow and all of the details, like the pots magically cleaning themselves (if only that happened in real life) and the clock with all of the Weasley family members on it. The home looked so cozy, and like Harry said, it was brilliant!

Something that I thought all of the films did extremely well was introducing new characters, whether they were created through the magic of special effects, like Dobby, or played by actors. In CoS we've got Kenneth Branagh's preening Gilderoy Lockhart and Jason Isaacs's sneering Lucius Malfoy. We also meet Professor Sprout and Madam Pomfrey, as well as Moaning Myrtle. I have to say, Moaning Myrtle's bathroom looks really creepy; I would not want to touch anything in there, let alone brew Polyjuice Potion that I would actually have to drink later, LOL.

And now we come to some super terrifying stuff: THE. SPIDERS! I really, really hate bugs, so ginormous spiders? NO. THANK. YOU. Seriously—I'd rather hang out with the basilisk than with Aragog and his family. It's one thing to visualize that scene in the Forbidden Forest in your head when you're reading the book, where you can set the horror level yourself. It's a complete other thing, however, where you can see these monsters on a big screen, charging at poor Harry, Ron, and Fang. To this day, I sort of avert my gaze during this scene.

Watching CoS is always a bittersweet experience, as it marks Richard Harris's final appearance as Dumbledore. I love his Dumbledore with all my heart, and his chat with Harry in his office following the events in the Chamber is especially poignant.

I still find the ending of this movie a bit awkward, when a Hagrid lovefest spontaneously breaks out in the Great Hall. I mean, I love Hagrid, too, but it was Harry who defeated the basilisk and diary Riddle and Fawkes who healed Harry and flew everyone out of the Chamber, LOL.

What are your favorite moments from the Chamber of Secrets movie?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Harry Potter Month: Back to School at Lego Hogwarts!

Harry Potter Month is hosted by Faith at Geeky Zoo Girl and Micheline at Lunar Rainbows Reviews. This awesome event runs all through July, and you can find more information about it here.

When I found out that playing the Lego Harry Potter video games would count towards House Cup points, my reaction was, "YASSSS!!!" Not that I need any motivation to play them because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

I've been playing the Lego games since Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga and have played a number of other Lego titles, including three Batman games, Pirates of the Caribbean, and two Marvel games. They're all an incredible amount of fun, which is why I keep playing them despite being way, way past the target age group, LOL. Lego HP, however, reigns supreme as my favorite. It is a completely immersive experience as you reenact key moments from the books/films—all in Lego form, of course!

It's been quite some time since I last visited Lego Hogwarts, which has only made my current playthrough of the first game, which covers Sorcerer's Stone to Goblet of Fire, all the more awesome. I'd forgotten how wonderfully detailed the game is and how much there is to discover. I'm not a hardcore gamer by any means, but as an HP fan, I'm still completely blown away by everything about this game. I'd love to talk about every single thing I love about it, but you could do a complete reread of all the books before I was even close to finished with the gushing, LOL. So here are a few of the highlights:

You're a Lego Wizard/Witch!

You get to experience Harry, Ron, and Hermione's adventures from the beginning! Not only do you play through major events from each book/film, but you also get to explore Hogwarts and attend lessons! Some places are even inaccessible until you learn the necessary spell or skill. For example, in year one you learn Wingardium Leviosa with Professor Flitwick, and in year two, Professor Sprout teaches you how to handle mandrakes properly. There are wardrobes all over the castle so your character can grab a pair of earmuffs for auditory protection. The fate of the wizarding world is literally in your hands as you mash those controller buttons!

Details, Details, Details!

I'll never stop being in awe over the level of detail in the game, from the eagle door knocker on the entrance to Ravenclaw Tower to Colin Creevey following you around and snapping your photo in year two to Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students walking the halls of Hogwarts in year four. You'll also recognize quite a bit of the music from the movies. In between the gameplay, there are cut scenes that are just as fun to watch. The characters in both Lego HP games don't actually talk, which has changed in the more recent Lego titles, but I've always liked how the characters convey everything with their facial expressions and the occasional laugh, sigh, or grunt.

Pick a Character. Any of the Over 150 Characters!

Although you have to play through each level once in Story mode with set characters, you can replay every level in Free Play mode with any character of your choosing. Helloooo, Sirius Black! No, really, he's my favorite character to play as. ♥ I can't think of an HP character who doesn't appear in the games, and there are also some generic ones like "Ravenclaw Prefect" and "Gryffindor Girl." My favorite non-specific character, though, has to be "Shifty Wizard," LOL.

You Get to Break Stuff—with Magic!

Sometimes you come home from a tough day at work/school and need to de-stress for a while. What better way than to bash virtual Lego bricks—no clean up! Breaking everything is essential in these games and how you rack up coins, plus . . . smashy, smashy! I feel an extra sense of gratification when I go ballistic on the giant spiders in the Chamber of Secrets level. Those things are scary, even as Legos!

Extremely High Replay Value

There are some video games, like books, that you never pick up again once you're done. Not the Lego HP games, though. I'm always ready to return to Lego Hogwarts and relive the magic all over again! I'm not sure if I'll have time to start years 5-7 before Harry Potter Month 2016 concludes, but if not, I know what I'll be doing during next year's HP Month! XD

Have you ever played the Lego HP games?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fandom Mashups (64)

Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
You've been busy travelling into other realms in your adventurings - which characters are you hoping to run into?

Looking at the places I visited last week, these are the folks I'd hope to meet up with during my travels:

  1. Harry Potter: As if I could pass up the chance to meet this guy. XD
  2. Rhysand (A Court of Mist and Fury): If I'm going to the Night Court, I'd want the complete tour, with the High Lord himself as my guide.
  3. Zuko (Avatar: The Last Airbender): I love the whole gAang, but if I can only meet 1 character, it would have to Zuko.
  4. Jon Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones): I quickly became a Jon fan when I started reading the books, and he had a fantastic story arc on the show this past season! I'd like to congratulate him on that, plus I think he's one of the few characters in Westeros who wouldn't kill me at first sight.
  5. Alexia Tarabotti (The Parasol Protectorate): Alexia has a wry sense of humor, so I think we'd get along pretty well, and then there's the fact that we both love tea!
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