Zoolander 2

Really, really, ridiculously disappointing.

The Assassin

There are martial arts movies and there are martial arts movies. The Assassin isn't either.

Batman v Superman

A bold, mature exploration of myths and epics - followed by a two-hour mess.

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Home Blog Features UPDATE: Potterthon 2011 - A Harry Potter Marathon
UPDATE: Potterthon 2011 - A Harry Potter Marathon Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 09 July 2011 10:11

2011 UPDATE: The Deathly Hallows Part 1 live blog is at the bottom.


Poor lonely boy with no friends lives in cupboard under the stairs. Decides to watch all Harry Potter films in a row. And live blog them as he goes.

902 minutes. 6 films. 1 cathode ray television. Accio life.

It's only a matter of hours before I see the first part of the last part of the Harry Potter series and - in case you haven't realised - I'm rather excited about Deathly Hallows. So here's what happened inside my head while I attempted the ultimate Harry Potter marathon before wetting myself on the way to the cinema (Twitter hashtag: #potterthon).

This is Potterthon. Expecto Patronum some hardcore magic, biatch.





Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


1 min

I love the DVD cover for this film. Daniel Radcliffe's face looks like a radioactive apple. And the younger Emma Watson is, the more she looks like Helena Bonham Carter. Meanwhile, Rupert Grint is a Cabbage Patch Kid and I swear Maggie Smith is giving me the eye. It's going to be a long couple of hours...

(Respect if you even manage to read through this first bit.)


3 mins

"I should have know that you would be here... (dramatic pause) PROFESSOR MCGONAGALL!"

Richard Harris was hardly Michael Gambon. Dumbledore? More like DumbleBORE. Ha ha ha.


11 mins

We've already had Hedwig's Theme at least five times. And the kid playing Dudley is so ridiculously annoying I can't work out if he's a turd in real life or just a really good actor.


13 mins

"You're a wizard, Harry!"



14 mins 

"I can't... be... a... wizard... I'm... just... Harry..." It's like listening to that wheelchair kid from Malcolm in the Middle. The one with really bad asthma.


25 mins

Bored already. Incidentally, have you ever seen Wizard People, Dear Reader? It's a rather entertaining re-reading of Harry Potter by a guy with a really... odd voice. Not that it's any easier to sit through that for 2 hours than this piece of overlong rubbish. Still, the opening gives you a good idea of how it goes. I'll update you in 10 minutes when you get back. Just in case you miss anything. (You won't.)


36 mins

"You've got dirt on your face, by the way. Did you know? Just there." OMG, they totally get how da kidz speak these days, innit.


44 mins

HUFFLEPUFF. Long live the bumbling badger of mediocrity.




45 mins

"Nearly headless? How can you be NEARLY headless?" John Cleese's cameo here might actually be worse than his moment with the inflatable jacket in The World Is Not Enough. (Don't get me started on Die Another Day...)


50 mins

"Ah, Mr Potter... Our... new... celebrity..." (I'M. ALAN. RICKMAN.)


52 mins

And here come the OWLS! Zack's Snydey senses are tingling. So are Neville Longbottom's.


56 mins

Harry catches the Remembrall. He flies back down to the courtyard. All the children run around him cheering like little Ewoks with Alopecia and pointy hats. The film ends.


Oh wait, NO IT DOESN'T. How much longer is left?


62 mins


Cabbage Patch Kids
Harry Potter stars

Just sayin'.


78 mins

Quidditch Match > Episode I Pod Race. Discuss. Oh wait, there's no-one else stupid enough to do this with me.


102 mins

Oh noes! Someone killed a unicorn! Ridley Scott will be very upset. For the record, the centaurs here looks worse than the effects work in Legend - but it's on a par with the shoddy CGI troll from earlier. Can't wait to fast forward to film number three.


107 mins

Robbie Coltrane's playing John Williams on his flute. Completely forgot about that. I'm really not sure it's a good idea... Like the bit where B.A. whistles The A-Team theme in the movie.


118 mins

Finally - the wizard chess battle. This is clearly the highlight of the film. Not only because it encourages loads of small children to play chess - if you're reading this kids, you should be playing chess - but also because it features the worst acting of Daniel Radcliffe's career:




127 mins

Blah blah blah, Voldemort. Blah blah blah, Your Mum. (The formula for all exposition at the end of every film.)


130 mins

"Alas... earwax." WORST. DELIVERY. EVER. Sorry Richard Harris, but Gambon was a far better Dumbledore.



Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This DVD cover makes it look like Daniel Radcliffe has just chopped off Emma Watson's head.


1 min

Hedwig's Theme again, but a more ambitious Warner Bros. logo this time, plus the now standard Harry Potter title zooming towards the camera. This is probably the moment that inspired James Cameron to go 3D all over again.


2 mins

The opening crane shot is a decent opening gambit. Shame about the rest of it. If only Chris Columbus pushed his camera all the way through Daniel Radcliffe's window into the bedroom. Ok, that sounded wrong.


3 mins

"I'll be upstairs in my room, hiding and pretending that I don't exist" - the beginning of Daniel Radcliffe's comic talents, best showcased when he's half-drunk in film six. Yes, dear reader, there are another four films to go after this. And we haven't had Dobby yet.


5 mins

Oh wait, there he is. He never did look like I expected. But on a scale of one to Jar Jar Binks, he's only a five. And he's voiced by Toby Jones. Fact. 


7 mins

"Give... me... those... now..." 

It's the return of the wheelchair kid from Malcolm in the Middle! Daniel Radcliffe's versatility knows no bounds. Presumably this is some kind of acting technique I'm not yet familiar with. I wonder if it has a name. Consider Asthma-Watch officially begun.


9 mins

And now the flying Ford Anglia - a far better car than that invisible Aston Martin from Die Another Day (I'm trying very hard not to rant about that right now). A smooth transition, too, from CGI flying vehicle to a tracking shot of the car driving along when it lands at the Weasley house.


12 mins

"Where HAVE you been?!"

Hello to Julie Walters. And her heaving bosom. She's having so much fun as Mrs Weasley. She might even be the best member of the cast, despite the fact that she plays herself. As does Alan Rickman, I suppose. (He plays Alan Rickman, of course. He doesn't play Julie Walters.) A special mention also goes to Mark Williams, erstwhile Fast Show star and a wonderful comic talent. Great to see him get his share of the big screen throughout the franchise.


19 mins

"Red hair... vacant expression... you must be a Weasley."

Hello to Jason Isaacs. From this point on, Lucius Malfoy outshines Alan Rickman in the bad guy stakes - Snape is almost overlooked to the point of becoming a (gulp) nice character. If only Jason Isaacs wore that moustache he had in Green Zone.


25 mins

Artist's impression:




33 mins

"... and 5 times winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award"

Kenneth Branagh really is excellent as Gilderoy Lockhart. Better than Hugh Grant would have been, for sure. He does have a smile that looks a lot like Ewan McGregor, though. Which I've never noticed before.


35 mins

Cornish Pixies! If this were directed by Guillermo Del Toro, people would've been killed by now.



55 mins

"Harry Potter has caught the snitch. Gryffindor wins!" I'm fairly sure that audio clip is an exact cut-and-paste job from the first film's commentary. Incidentally, that rogue bludger destroys hundreds of wooden support beams in this match without anything in the stadium falling over. I'm not sure who gets contracted out to do wizarding sports construction, but it's clearly not the same team as the 2010 Commonwealth Games.


78 mins

After taking the Polyjuice Potion: "Bloody hell!" squeaks Rupert Grint. "You need to sound more like Crabbe," says Daniel Radcliffe. Grint repeats himself at exactly the same pitch. "Excellent!" declares Danny. Iincredible child acting. Only to be surpassed minutes later by the ridiculously hammy Tom Felton. I can't wait till Prisoner of Azkaban - the performances get so much better.


98 mins

And now we're inside that curious piece of architecture: Hagrid's hut. There's an evil person (Malfoy) talking to Dumbledore and threatening him. Harry is hidden under the invisibility cloak. We could just skip 4 films and have Dumbles die now. That would free up a lot of my day.


108 mins

Watching Harry figure out it's a basilisk bumping people off is like watching Hercule Poirot's idiot cousin do a Sudoku. Why on earth my mother likes this Potter film the most is beyond me.


115 mins

"How do we make it better than the first film?" "Add in a giant snake!" "Fuck yeah."


118 mins

Ok, so this door is officially Quite Awesome.



In fact, the whole tunnel/cave/pipe climax is a very decent bit of set design. Annoying that it took two hours to get here, but this is a solid ending. Even if the basilisk does look a lot like Roland Emmerich's Godzilla.


122 mins



I did that once with a sparkler. Couldn't come up with a decent anagram of "I Am Ivan Radford". "Via Android Farm"?


130 mins

In goes the basilisk fang, and there goes a Horcrux! SPOILER ALERT.


I'm actually amazed that J K Rowling hasn't published Tom Riddle's diary yet. An evil Adrian Mole just waiting to happen. "Day 1: It's so lonely being a Dark Lord. Watched Die Hard last night to cheer me up. Everyone loves Bruce Willis. Nobody loves me. Mental note: must get rid of hair."


132 mins

Cue another chat with DumbleBORE. Blah blah blah, Voldemort. Blah blah blah, Your Mum.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


1 min

A much better opening, this, full of confidence and style. You can tell Columbus has handed over the helm. Even the title is doing a wibbly wobbly dance to celebrate. Say what you like about the first two films but typographically, they're spot on.


5 mins

It's remembrance day. I paused the DVD for 2 mins silence at 11am. It coincided exactly with the precise moment when Aunt Marge is inflated. Unfortunate.


9 mins

"Take it away, Ern!" I'm always undecided about Lenny Henry and the Knight Bus, but The camerawork is deceptively complex. Bullet time, in fact.


14 mins

LOOK, AN OWL! (Owl watch continues)


17 mins

That Sirius Black is so hot right now. The exposition, not so much. "Why would I go looking for someone who wants to kill me?" Because you're a WIZARD, Harry. And an idiot.


21 mins

Ah, the Dementor attack on the train - great music from John Williams here, and a genuinely eerie hand-round-door moment. Alfonso Cuaron was totally the right man for this job. A decent introduction to David Thewlis as Professor Lupin too. I still think that John Hannah would have been a better choice.


25 mins

Michael Gambon, Michael Gambon, Michael Gambon! A far better Dumbledore. He's like a lively uncle compared to Richard Harris' infirm old grandad.


27 mins

I'm not going to comment on Dawn French's cameo.


It's crap.


30 mins



"The Grim is one of the darkest omens in the world..." So says Hogwarts' only black kid. Incredibly subtle, using a black kid to say any line in the film that relates to words like "black" and "dark".


38 mins

"Black could be anywhere. It's like trying to catch smoke..." THE BLACK KID RETURNS. No, seriously. This happens consistently throughout the movie. It can't be intentional. Can it?


42 mins

I love the fact that Professor Lupin plays jazz in the background of the Boggart lesson. But then John Williams goes and puts his music all over the top of it. Soundtrack fail.


46 mins

And countdown in 10 seconds to the giraffe............... THERE IT IS!


A giraffe walks across the back wall covering about 5 paintings. That kind of background detail is what makes Alfonso Cuaron's vision of Hogwarts so brilliant. Along with that massive clock. More on that later.


52 mins

Another Quidditch match. This one begins with an umbrella blowing around between clouds - a striking, surrealist way to start off a stylish sequence in the rain.


60 mins

In other news, The Black Kid from earlier? He totally has his own Facebook page. Legend.


68 mins

I do love Lupin's office. Lots of spinning, whirly, metal contraption things. It's like he lives in The Gadget Shop. Does that place still exist? Used to enjoy going there when I was 12. Enough of my life story, let's pay close attention to Hagrid's horrific orange and yellow polka dot tie.


80 mins

"You foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach!" BAM, bitch went down. Hermione punches Malfoy in the face. Worth a rewind every time. If only there was some way to travel back in time and relive the whole moment. Oh, wait.


88 mins

Finally, we get Gary Oldman. "I did my waiting! 12 years of it! In Azkaban!" Wonderfully deranged and scraggy. Compare that to Sirius Black in the later films (all two of them), or Batman's Commissioner Gordon. Great range, that Mr Oldman. And throughout this whole scene, the haunted house is moving in the background. Incredibly subtle and eerie visuals. Bravo.


92 mins

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Timothy Spall in full rat regalia. The likeness really is quite impressive.


100 mins

But then they go ahead and ruin it all with a seriously duff bit of effects work. Lupin's transformation scene pales in comparison to An American Werewolf in London. Epic CGI fail. Which would explain why the team behind it relished having another go at a werewolf for the Dr Who episode Tooth and Claw years later. It was a massive improvement. Not that that's saying much.


115 mins

Can't beat a bit of the old time travel lark. The highlight obviously being Emma Watson's delivery of the line "Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?" Take note, viewers. This is the point where she first began to show signs of talent. And hotness.


117 mins

You say plot, I say a chance for them to run around a lot while the camera flies through the gorgeous Hogwarts clock tower. A few pictures for you to sample its awesomeness:





Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


1 min

Mike Newell takes the reigns for this one and kicks things off with a shot of a gravestone. Brilliantly atmospheric.


3 mins

"Hello Harry, my name's Amos. This is my son Cedric Diggory. Who will die in approximately 2 hours time." Yeah, Cedric. Looking like Robert Pattinson can't save you now.


9 mins

An honestly spectacular sequence for the Quidditch World Cup. The best thing about it? It skips the Quidditch altogether


11 mins

Oh look, it's David Tennant. And he's waggling his tongue about. Must. Not. Get. Excited.


22 mins

Enter Brendan Gleeson as Mad Eye Moody. When I first saw his picture, I was unsure. Now I'm totally convinced. A brilliant actor, Mr Gleeson. Did you see that short film where he shot the rabbit?



No wonder he's now forcing kids to do unforgivable curses in class. Ofsted wouldn't allow that.


30 mins 

Another shot of the clock tower there. You can always tell who the good directors are - their touches are carried on by the next entry in the franchise. What did Chris Columbus pass on? 4 hour runtimes? Owls? Actually, don't knock the owls. Owls are awesome.


40 mins

Solid direction from Mike Newell. You can really see the similarities between this and Four Weddings and a Funeral. (No you can't.)


45 mins

"I'm not an OWL!" Shut up Hermione. You so are.


57 mins

Quidditch? Who needs Quidditch when you have DRAGONS? The effects in this film are consistently impressive. Even more impressive, I think one of the Weasley twins just used the word "sod", as if Ron's use of "bloody" wasn't frequent enough. Potter's friends have potty mouths.


71 mins

And now the romantic subplots begin. First up, Fleur Delacour. who is nowhere near as how as the book describes her. "There she was walking by... You know how I like it when they walk..." Rupert Grint is starting to get a decent sense of comic timing now. Shame about his out-of-control hair. If I told you he looked like a friend of mine, I'm sure he'd hate me for ruining his street cred.


77 mins

It's all very well Hermione dressing up in pink for the Winter Ball, but Karkarov's costume make him look like a Jedi. Beat that, Emma Watson. It's also weird to see Edward Cullen walking about without bursting into shiny diamonds every time the sun shines.


90 mins

Now for the second challenge, the water one. A far cry from The Little Mermaid, this bit. They're closer to Predators than fish. 


105 mins

Here's your token slice of Alan Rickman: "My hand might just slip over your morning pumpkin juice..." Somehow, the thought of Snape's hand slipping over my pumpkin just makes me quiver with excitement. I am well aware that I have problems.


108 mins

Great bit of maze design, here - kicks Hampton Court's arse. But they take out all the monsters, rendering the whole climax completely pointless. It's also incredible that Harry hasn't yet realised that Brendan Gleeson is evil. Never trust a man who shoots a rabbit in cold blood. It's that simple. (Note: see Gleeson's short film earlier to understand what I'm talking about.)


117 mins

"Kill the spare!" Not the best line of dialogue to go out on, but at least R-Patz dies. Let's consider it payback for Remember Me.


120 mins

And now it's time to get completely freaked out by Ralph Fiennes' hammy performance. No-one else can do that quiet whisper quite so well. Although most disturbing of all is Voldemort's sex face:



He does that face a lot.


134 mins

Dumbledore meets with Harry again. Blah blah blah, Voldemort. Blah blah blah, Your Mum.



Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


1 min

Hedwig's Theme once again, but now with flutes jumping about in the background. Then it segues into some muted horns and piano twiddling. I'm a big fan of Nicholas Hooper's score.


2 mins

Also quite a bold start to the film. David Yates was a great choice to take over the series. If you don't think so, go watch State of Play (the BBC series) and come back.

Quite controversially, I think that this might be my favourite of the Potter films so far.



3 mins

I should add that this is the worst Potter book, so it's hardly a surprise that the adaptation is so good. But Michael Goldenberg did replace Steve Kloves on scripting duties, which I think is a big reason for it being so streamlined without being shallow.


5 mins

Tonks to Mad Eye: "Don't call me Nymphadora!" I'll be honest with you: I will call Natalia Tena whatever she wants me to. As long as her hair keeps changing colour. Total phwoar.


6 mins

Nice little flight sequence down the Thames. Completely unnecessary of course, but with music like that in the background (Flight of the Order of the Phoenix), who's complaining?




11 mins

"Albus Percy Wilfred Brian Dumbledore..." Richard Harris could never deliver that line with as much charisma as Gambon. Still, it's only a matter of time until Imedla Staunton pops up in her little pink costume and upstages everyone.


12 mins

Oh look! There she is! Like a giant marshmallow with legs. The only British thesp who needs a supporting role now is Bill Nighy. And even he's made it in there for Deathly Hallows.


28 mins

"You're not going mad - I can see them too..." The bat-shit insane Luna Lovegood everybody! They held open auditions for this part. A friend of mine's sister got down to the final five or something. Needless to say, she didn't get it. She did get a photo in full Hogwarts uniform, though. And one of Rupert Grint too, I believe. Which obviously made that crushing feeling of rejection all the more bearable.


37 mins

Umbridge's pink office is horrible. An impressively quick turnaround in decor from Mad Eye Moody's old room, though. Magic? No. Child labour. And now Umbridge gets out that quill she uses to torture small children. "You know deep down you deserve to be punished..." she sings with a twisted, sexual glee. Imelda Staunton has issues.



45 mins

Insert fluffy pink montage of Umbridge action here.


49 mins

"Foul evil gargoyle!" Hermione unleashes a fresh barrage of choice insults on her latest victim of verbal abuse. She's good, but she's no Weasley.


72 mins

"I just feel so... angry... all... the... time..." Asthma boy from Malcolm in the Middle is back! And in other news, Daniel Radcliffe seems to have just hit puberty.


78 mins

And now it's Patronus Time in the The Harry Potter Training Montage. "This is advanced magic, guys," says Harry, as everyone in the room manages to produce a full bodied patronus almost straight away. Tres convenient, non?


82 mins

Dumbledore disappears from his office using his phoenix bursting into flame as cover. Kingsley Shacklebolt turns to Cornelius Fudge and says in his deep booming voice: "You may not like him, Minister, but you got to admit, Dumbledore's got style." Best. Line. Of. The. Film.


93 mins

I wish all my school exams took place in that room with that giant clock. Especially if they all ended with an impromptu fireworks display. Again, a great bit of scoring by Nicholas Hooper. Electric guitar and everything.


99 mins

Imelda Staunton totally just called the centaur a half-breed. Then that giant picked her up and stuff. Ha ha. Take that, right wing political values! It's like watching Nick Griffin get beaten up. While wearing a dress.


105 mins

"He knows how to play! Itty... Bitty.. Baby... Potter..." Helena Bonham Carter has entered the room. And she's loving it. Just in case her impression of King Kong earlier on in the film wasn't enough for you.



107 mins

Now some people don't like the way they did the Death Eaters when they duel, all black swishy streams and flying and stuff. But I love it. This whole ending in the Ministry of Magic is brilliantly judged, particularly the oppressive black marble walls that surround the entire skirmish.


110 mins

Gary Oldman's dead. Sad face.


115 mins

Now we have an even better fight on our hands: Tom Riddle vs Albus Dumbledore. This was in 3D when the film first came out. I wasn't convinced, but did enjoy it embiggened on an IMAX screen. As you'd expect, they've certainly got the basics of elemental duelling nailed: fire vs water, glass vs sand, beards vs people without noses. Symbolic shizzle.


122 mins

Things wrap up with a philosophical insight from the barmy Lovegood girl. "Things we lose always have a way of coming back to us. I think I'll go have some pudding." Amen to that, Luna. Especially the bit about the pudding.



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


1 min

Here it is. The final chapter in The Harry Potterthon. At last. But first, three annoying adverts. One for a video game, one for an iPhone app, and one for The Ultimate Edition Blu-Rays of Harry Potter. Because I obviously want to buy those if I've just bought the DVD.


2 min

Oh wait, there's also a trailer for Sherlock Holmes. And Lego Harry Potter. And FREE WILLY 4. Seriously? Free Willy 3 was bad enough. Dammit. That's going to annoy me for the rest of the film. 


3 mins

Nice pick up from the previous film: lots of flashbulbs and sad faces. Then, a great set piece with a bunch of London landmarks getting trashed by Death Eaters. Some of those CGI alleys do look a bit shoddy on a small screen, though. Think Sweeney Todd. You know what I mean.


4 mins

"11. That's when I get off." Oh look, a waitress is hitting on Harry Potter. THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. (Still angry about Free Willy 4.)


5 mins

I should also just add that it's a pleasure to not start a film with Hedwig's Theme for the 50th time.


6 mins

Didn't the whale from Free Willy 1 and 2 die anyway? Honestly, the very idea of Free Willy 4 is sacrilege.


8 mins

Jim Broadbent as a chair reminds me an awful lot of that secret service chief in the Leslie Nielsen spoof Spy Hard. He disguised himself as furniture too.


15 mins

It's also nice to see Dumbledore's naughty side. Not only does he use a toilet and steal a knitting magazine, he even makes sleazy comments about the waitress from earlier. Let's face it: Dumbledore. We all would.


28 mins

Harry enters the Great Hall after getting his nose broken by Malfoy. Ginny: "He's covered in blood. Why is he always covered in blood?" Methinks ickle Weasley has a taste for the red stuff.


47 mins

"Day 30: Met a strange man today. Told me I was special and then set fire to my wardrobe. I think I'll make him my nemesis." (Tom Riddle's Diary, page 7)


60 mins

Curious how whenever there's a dorm party, you never see any cigarettes or drink. Unless you count Butterbeer, which at times seems to be alcoholic and at others comes across like cream soda. Either way, the most rebellious these kids seem to get is loud music and the odd indoor firework.


62 mins

Emo moment! Fans of Twilight will love this: Hermione pouting and getting soppy on the stairs. But this is Harry Potter, so it's never quite that simple. Emma Watson's magicked up some birds to fly around her head and keep her company. In stumbles Rupert Grint, all red hair and sexy polo shirt, just waiting to be attacked by her flying friends. "What's with the birds?" he asks. Then he realises: they aren't just birds. They're ANGRY BIRDS. J. K. Rowling totally pipped the iPhone to the post.


88 mins

Always nice to catch a glimpse of the double staircase in the divination tower - again, something kept from the 3rd film. Thank you, Alfonso Cuaron. Thalfonso Cuaron.


94 mins

Ah, the old wands out in the toilet ploy, eh boys? Steamy little bit of conflict between Harry and Malfoy right here. With a nice bit of blood to finish, complete with watery flooding. Classy.


100 mins

Liquid Luck time! The closest we'll ever get to seeing a drunk Harry Potter. "Personally these plants always sort of freaked me out..." This is perhaps the best acting Daniel Radcliffe has done in his whole career. Including the stuff with the horses. Just went to find the clip where he says "Not to mention the pincers" on YouTube while the DVD was playing and it synced perfectly up with the telly as soon as it loaded. Amazing.



110 mins

"Day 42: Want to know how to split soul into pieces. Will ask Jim Broadbent. He's bound to know. Still not Dark Lord." (Tom Riddle's Diary, page 174)


115 mins

OMG! Dumbledore's stolen Gandalf's beard!



121 mins

And here come the zombies... This is the best chapter of the book (possibly Rowling's best piece of writing full stop) and they did a damned good job getting it right on screen. Although the whole bowl/cup thing Gandalf drinks from is a little bit on the gay side.


125 mins

"Hide yourself below, Harry." Now this is the controversial bit. In the book, Harry's immobilised so he can't do anything to save Dumbledore. Here, he just stands there hiding like a coward. Conflicted character drama? Sure. A pointless change from the book? Definitely.


130 mins

And now Snape starts to talk. "Yes... I AM the Half-Blood Prince..." Then he stops talking and walks away. What an expositional cock-up. It's only the flipping title of the book that you failed to explain. Muggle idiots.


131 mins

Oh, Dumbledore's totally dead by the way. SPOILER ALERT



And so ends Potterthon 2010. My brain has actually stopped working. The only thing I know for sure? I really do hate The Columbus Years. And I can't seem to get this Mysterious Ticking Noise out of my head...




Roll on Deathly Hallows Part 1.



UPDATE: Full disclosure - I'm watching HP7.1 six months after the rest, immediately before running to the cinema to see Deathly Hallows Part 2. I'm live blogging it anyway, mainly for the sake of completion.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1


1 min

"These are dark times..." Damn, Bill Nighy looks old.


2 mins

Hermione wipes the memory of her parents before walking out into the streets alone. Then the title appears. Cheerful stuff, this. David Yates has gotten better at these films as he's gone along. 


4 mins

IT'S ALAN RICKMAN. Finally, we get some more quality Snape time. Although he is the only one sitting at Voldemort's dinner table wearing a teacher's robe. It looks like he's out of school for the day on strike. 


6 mins

Screams in the background. "Wormtail! Have I not told you about keeping our guest quiet?" This dinner scene could easily turn into a mild-mannered comedy of errors. Hugh Laurie could play Voldemort.


9 mins

"Do I detect... ELM?" sings Ralph Fiennes, examining Lucius Malfoy's wand. He has never been so gay in his life.


14 mins

This is easily the sexiest thing I have ever seen:



15 mins

And now straight into an on-broomsticks action sequence, including a flying motorbike. Death Eaters, Robbie Coltrane, Harry Potter's man boobs - there really is something in this film for everyone.


18 mins

And Hedwig gets it. As if anyone cares about the owl. When J.K. Rowling said she'd kill off a main character at the end of the series? Yeah, she was lying. 


24 mins

Harry tries to sneak off in the middle of the night and go do his hero thang. Ron stops him. "You may be The Chosen One mate, but this is a whole lot bigger than that," says Weasley. I don't think he understands the plot of the film. Has he even seen the title?


26 mins

Harry and Ginny get busy in the kitchen. Fred Weasley appears, perving his face off. Amazing.



(Yes, I found a Harry Potter font. And yes, I think it's awesome.)


29 mins

On hearing that Hermione gets The Tales of Beedle the Bard from Dumbledore, Ron gets excited. "Babbity Rabbity and the cackling stump!" That title's way better than "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" or "Harry Potter and the Stick of Wood" or whatever it is.


31 mins

It's only right that I now refer you to Stewart Lee's incredible routine about Harry Potter. Don't worry, you won't miss anything important: it's just the bit with the wedding.



36 mins

Welcome back. We're now in Shaftesbury Avenue. Bill Weasley got married. And Bill Nighy's dead. Told you that you wouldn't miss much.


43 mins

Hello to Kreacher, known to his friends as Simon McBurney, or that bloke off Rev on the BBC.


Rev's Archdeacon looks angry Kreacher relaxes with a cocktail


McBurney's been evil and suspicious in everything from The Last King of Scotland to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. In short, he's awesome.


47 mins

It's Dobby! I love love LOVE Toby Jones. Dobby and Kreacher should have their own spin-off TV series. Like Sharky and George. But with house elves. (If J.K. Rowling decides to write that book, I THOUGHT OF IT FIRST.)


51 mins

This Ministry of Magic sequence is excellent - all the adult actors nail the slapstick facial expressions without using their own voices at all. Superb physical comedy.




58 mins 

Another person who doesn't need words? Peter Mullan as Yaxley. You know just by looking at him that he's bad-ass.



63 mins

"Where are we now?" "The Forest of Dean." I bet it's Epping Forest. It's ALWAYS Epping Forest. Cheap bastards.


65 mins

Every time they try to destroy Slytherin's pretty little locket, it makes weird creaking noises. If Guillermo Del Toro was directing this, it'd be a full-on clockwork orgy.


72 mins

There are some absolutely gorgeous landscape shots here. David Yates is a genius at times. Christopher Columbus wouldn't know where to point his camera.


76 mins

The cast are all looking so grown up these days. Bless. Those who say Rupert Grint can't act are fools. He's doing an excellent Gollum impression right about now.



80 mins

Awww. It's that lovely dancing scene between Harry and Hermione. They can't dance for beans, but it does more in those 60 seconds than J.K. Rowling could have done with a whole chapter. This is Steve Kloves' best screenplay of the series by far. Yes, even better than Harry Potter and the Philosopher's flipping Stone.


88 mins



90 mins

A ridiculously visceral scene - just by switching to handheld cameras for a couple of minutes, Yates makes Nagini's attack approximately 12.1 times more effective. Again, Christopher Columbus would never have done that.


94 mins

Time for that magical doe patronus to appear. Harry instantly follows it into the woods. Like an idiot. He totally deserves to die just for being stupid, like Drew Barrymore at the start of Scream.


96 mins

He's fallen in the water! Harry jumps into the lake and emerges all cold and wet. Total Mr. Darcy moment.


97 mins

Of course, Ron Weasley turns up to save the day. This is clearly ginger propaganda. Maybe Rowling's secretly a redhead. She probably dies her hair blonde out of shame.


100 mins

... and then the locket opens and this happens. No-one saw it coming. Now, we've all seen way too much.


I pity the poor kids who sat through this with their parents in the cinema. What's that tree in the background made out of? Oh, Awk Wood.


(Awk Wood. AWKWARD. Get it?)


105 mins

And now we're sipping tea with Rhys Ifans. Could things get any sexier?


110 mins

Answer: yes. With Ben Hibon's sexy shadow puppet-style animation of The Tale of Three Brothers from Beedle the Bard. The only way it could have been better? If Rhys Ifans narrated the sequence instead of Emma Watson.


Memorable, dark, stunning. Imagine what they could have done with Babbity Rabbity: The Movie.


122 mins

There's something about watching Helena Bonham Carter torture small innocent girls with a knife that's absolutely terrifying.


125 mins

DOBBY'S BACK! And he's saving the day. Hip hip hooray.


(That's the theme tune to Dobby's new TV Show, in which he tries to save people's lives using magic in an East London hospital without being detected. It's called Dobby and Kreacher: In Sickness and in Elf.)


127 mins

"Dobby never meant to kill! Dobby meant to seriously maim or injure!"


128 mins

Oh crap. Dobby's... well, you know. Excuse me. I'm off to, erm, make some tea. And bawl my eyes out.


132 mins

Nothing like showing a bald man breaking into a man's tomb in the middle of a kids film, is there?


133 mins

Still, nice to see that Dumbledore gave Gandalf his beard back. That was seriously bugging me.


135 mins

And one last sex face from Voldemort and we're away! And as the credits run, I'm sprinting off to Leicester Square to watch Part 2... The review will be online soon. After I've finished jumping up and down like a crazy person.