April 7, 2021

Midweek Mention... Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Midweek Mention... Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
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Two Harry Potter movie fans sit down to discuss the third instalment in the franchise with a self-confessed Potter hater and someone who didn’t even bother to watch the film.

J.K. Rowling's fantasy novel series for younger readers garnered huge success in its own right before it was adapted for the big screen in 2001 with the release of the first cinematic instalment, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The third highest-grossing film series of all time with an estimated worldwide box office totalling almost $8bn, both the novels and films have captured the imaginations of children and adults alike. Bad Dad Peter Andre, whose hulking physical form belies an individual with the mental acuity of a slightly damp lettuce leaf, is a huge fan as is Sidey, but what will the sceptical Reegs or the oblivious Dan make of this?

At Peter's insistence we drop in to the 3rd entry in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Widely regarded as the moment where the franchise grew up, and directed by the incredible Alfonso Cuarón, Prisoner of Azkaban adds Gary Oldman, Michael Gambon, Emma Thompson and David Thewlis to an already star filled cast. The story follows Harry Potter's third year at Hogwarts where he is informed that Oldman's Sirius Black, a mysterious figure who has escaped the inescapable Azkaban prison, has an apparent intention to kill the young wizard.

As we all eagerly await Peter’s first blog post - his crayon-stained, bloated sausage fingers hammering letters on a keyboard essentially at random - why not bide your time listening to us dissect this modern classic, our first foray into the Potterverse.


Harry Potter



Pete:Hello So this week's mid-week mentioned was the third installments of the much loved widely and universally loved Harry Potter franchise namely the prisoner of Azkaban And I think for a couple of us it was just a reinforcement of a franchise that we already love in so many ways And for two of you it should have been your first foray certainly into this

Reegs:No I have actually seen the first two movies So that's when I gave up

Sidey:a bad call

Pete:Yeah Terrible terrible call Although slight slightly understandable from my point of view which is kind of why I went for this film because I Personally fell This is where the the the franchise from a like a visual spectacle and enjoying them as much as the books kind of starts

Dan:I've I've still not been able to see it this week

Pete:but but that that isn't through like because you don't want to it's just because you didn't have the time is that right

Dan:No well we it's a short week this week Isn't it for us to come in and record So I've not quite got around to watching it but I was also a little bit concerned that I needed to see the first two

Pete:I I tried watching it which is really difficult because I have read the books and seen the films I tried watching it from that sort of viewpoint I don't think he you do I think you've probably heard enough about Harry Potter and what it's sort of generally about to be able to sort of pick up At this point and you could always go back and watch them If you if you felt like there were massive gaps but you kind of know who the good guys are and the bad guys are and who the main bat is right

Sidey:to the very very end The first film is quite important The Battlestar is the best is the first one to two stuff like that but Three is good place to jump in because the acting is just elevated a little bit because they're not fucking tiny little kids

Dan:we'll watch it So we'll

Sidey:I mean I would say

Dan:of goes against my my you know I like to watch films in order if I'm going to get

Pete:him to say

Dan:if it comes back into play

Sidey:they are very very young in the

Pete:one Yeah

Dan:I've got a you know I've got an

Sidey:the acting

Dan:Who's probably seen a couple of them but not all

Sidey:What I mean by that is that the the performances are really like young kids this is where they start to really own the parts a bit better

Pete:Yeah Yeah yeah my my concern rarely would have been if I'd recommended the first one is that that you're then put off watching the rest especially if you haven't read the books because if you if you've read the books then you'll like the you'll know about the characters and so on Whereas I think

Dan:you see a way you'd have to be hidden under a rock if you you don't know who Harry Potter is but yeah as far as getting around to watching all the films I haven't done but I've been assured by my 15 year old son This is DCE This is a Y

Pete:he's right It's Rheem Yeah I think so I think so Maybe they've moved on from Raymond It's paying now but it's definitely it's definitely worth it Or maybe it's not and maybe there's a an an alternate sort of Viewpoints that that we can hear but do it We're not going to go through the film in all of its entirety because it's it's it's I wouldn't necessarily say it's it's incredibly long but there's a lot of there's a lot it's a very involved storyline we've got We've got some yeah we've got some time travel We've got some a lot of peril and we've got all manner of things Yeah

Sidey:prisoner of Azkaban and essentially the plot Is making us believe that he's going to be the villain Yeah when in fact he is not

Pete:which I think is I think it was a really good I remember reading the book first and that being like a big shock to me And I think the way they do it in the film is is clever as well In the if you hadn't read the books the the scene in the shrieking shack where He's kind of like you know he's he's obviously been very effected by his time in as cabana And you think that he's going to start getting when he's talking about I want to kill him let's kill him now And you've assumed that

Reegs:rap guy

Pete:yeah Pizza pedigree Yeah Yeah it was it's a very clever story just within this film alone I think I think it introduces some really like I mean the the night bus scene at the beginning is fucking brilliant even though like the the exploded like the auntie who

Sidey:it Pam Ferris

Pete:it is Pam Ferris Yeah I cheat again That was that was someone else I think it was maybe like a busy it was a business deal or something but they they made it his auntie

Reegs:but I thought I don't both the first two movies also start with a similar T cause I didn't watch this scene and I was like This is quite amazing but I feel like I've already seen this and like how well

Pete:the floating not a floating woman but I think in the first one it's a they go to the zoo and there's

Reegs:uncle Monte don't you And he's

Sidey:he should be locked away for like child cruelty He's a real asshole

Pete:He is He's a Dick

Reegs:his name Vernon or

Pete:Uncle Vernon Yeah Vernon

Reegs:called Monte from with nail and I


Reegs:I think Richard Griffis Yeah Yeah So it just it felt it considering I've only seen the first two movies It felt really familiar straight away I guess because Potter is so well known And then it was almost like a carbon copy of what I'd already seen You get that then you get the fucking train station then you get broomsticks and


Pete:It's it's it's kinda it's reinforcing this like juxtaposition of of his of his like character and persona not his persona necessarily but his standing within the muggle world which is a you know a lad who's very sort of like meek and doesn't have any friends or or doesn't have anything like it doesn't have much going for him to being like the biggest celebrity possible in the Wizarding world And so they always yeah

Reegs:you the difference between them but you're born a wizard on you you you can't become one

Pete:yes you can So Hamani both her parents are muggles so she is she's but yeah so she's I think is that a is that a mud blood when both your parents are my goals I thought I thought if it was just one Cause then you've got you've mixed Wizarding


Pete:yeah it is Yeah But there are there are you've got so

Reegs:time we're supposed to

Pete:what's his name The the the like the janitor of the place Okay Yeah Him whatever his name is He's a he's a is it called a squib where he is like born to magical parents but has no magical

powers a blank

Yeah I think it's a squib I'm going to call him and her mine is the opposite She has to muggle parents but she has magical

Reegs:but you're born magic though Aren't you So it's not something you can really attain No no So That makes it immediately like a bit less interesting for me because

Pete:Cause there's not enough other interesting concepts in the in the whole of this world for you to like latch onto

Reegs:no no no no there weren't There were loads of them It's just a sort of like patronizing racism Towards the normal the normal people

Pete:There there is some of that but you know it's it's it is

Reegs:And I'd quite like to see them go ape shit in the real world Do they do

Pete:that yeah there's there's elements of that as it gets towards the end certainly

Reegs:felt a bit

Sidey:Harry does something in the real world and commas and he gets put before Dolores Umbridge one of the most hateable characters of all time but that's an a lighter

Pete:Yeah I think it's definitely Hallows part one There's like the the the death eaters come and they like there's that you know the the wobbly bridge in London they like completely like twist that and it and it all pings apart And so

Dan:different planet to you guys You're rattling on about this And I have you talking about models

Reegs:I know it's totally impenetrable to anybody who doesn't know anything about is like more so than yes A

Dan:huge you know this this world that It's been created obviously if you backed up with reading the books as well reinforces all that for the film and the knowledge and all the unsaid stuff that you kind of know is going on I mean would you know that her mine his parents or

Pete:no And you don't really need to know either but I think I think that's the point that you've just made I think it's an interesting one because what it highlights is that there are people there's like the it I guess like quite a lot of well a few other franchises It's like the people who know and the people who don't know And if you're not into this you've not seen it None of this is going to make any sense They'll be people listening to her like Harry Potter not for me No thanks And others who listen and who love it who will be like screaming at us for not knowing it definitely was a square or whatever It's the sort of Thing that you know it's captivated so many fucking people across the world in all kinds of and across all age groups as well I mean I watched it again with my nine year old daughter Who's a massive fan of the franchise I'd seen them all before she ever watched them but I've rewatched them with her a couple of times My other kids aren't interested in this but she is an happen

Reegs:animated You're obviously a big fan of this the most out of me And I think I've seen you at the

Pete:Yeah Yeah I'm I'm I'm incredibly Into this

Dan:hat isn't


Dan:it's the

Pete:Yeah Yeah

Dan:and everything you've gone You've even done a little zigzag on your forehead

Reegs:Did they do they have any normal lessons or Hogwarts to over the at maths


Reegs:they're not being taught any basic life skills at Hogwarts and formative time

Pete:Cause you don't Why would you need any of those in a Wizarding

Reegs:gain doesn't work out Harry Potter's going to end up down the docks Jackie off

Pete:Yeah but he'll be doing it magically so it's fine Yeah

Reegs:I dunno It just seems like they need to be prepared for I know there's this whole other world happening but they do need to be a bit prepared for

Pete:real world Maybe you're overthinking this Were you thinking that about like I don't wanna like start laying into Marvel but when I dunno Captain Marvel was doing his training like did it as he got a career to fall back on her

Reegs:Yeah she's a fighter

Pete:I'll catch an America

Reegs:she's a fighter pilot He's in the

Pete:Anyway let's let's not go there Let's not go down that route I only picked Harry Potter just to get back at you for making me watch Marvel and fast and furious shit I

Reegs:I did quite enjoy this it was you know this is really well-made and the special effects are really good and the score is excellent And it's yeah

Sidey:It's just by Alfonso quorum

Reegs:gravity is Yeah He's doing a film I'm going to

Sidey:yeah So yeah I've got one as well he came into it having not seen the first two films or not read anything So he Could kind of put a bit of a Oh he's got the source from Joe to work from but he they changed Hogwarts around a little bit He wants to make it more real like a real building not just a set so I would say like heavyweight guy to bring in to something that could be seen as just being a flimsy sort of kid's thing

Pete:I think that comes across in it That's probably why without knowing any of what you just said Cause my my you know fandom doesn't then go into like the directors and their techniques and everything necessarily But yeah it's definitely like it it it's It's definitely darker than the other films they were thought concepts in in in the first

Sidey:Griffin thing I

Reegs:Yeah Bang boss saw fuck beaker whatever it's called It's called


Reegs:Fuck Fuck Bake

Pete:yeah yeah

Sidey:yeah they're good Well they do execute it

Pete:Oh no they don't It's a pumpkin

Reegs:Yeah they do

Pete:but they don't realize that it isn't a pumpkin getting executed

Reegs:So like I said good movie Well I can see it's really good I still don't really like it And I can't Really put my finger on it because why should I enjoy a man who can put on a suit and blow lasers out of his hands and not enjoy this There's a few things I think I find the kids being the center of it fundamentally really uninteresting and like And I can't criticize it for being something that's not it's his story but I personally don't engage with that in a way that I do with older protagonists So I guess this is just stuff that I'm trying to put out there because we you know this should be up my alley It's really well-made there's good law but it felt like endless MacGuffin hunting like Oh we need this to reveal a little bit more backstory and then we need to go to talk to this wizard or talking animal and he's going to give you some more backstory and that just I feel

Pete:that kinda that does build momentum

Reegs:of being really cynical about it but that's just how I felt It just there's something about the world of this stuff That just doesn't

Sidey:I bet Cause he didn't watch this with your daughter Did you know So maybe when she's when you feel like she's able to watch this

Reegs:dementia is

Sidey:cause I've only ever watched it with my daughter

Reegs:and they're always sucking people off Did you notice that the first thing they do so carry off And they suck him off like you know suck his soul out or whatever it is

Sidey:yeah I watched it with my daughter We've seen it twice through

Dan:this movie

Sidey:All of them I I don't know if my reaction to watching it If I just watched it on my own with different like at the trio I find Ron a little bit irritating and Hermione I can't fucking stand her

Reegs:Yeah They're really irritating And even Potter is

Sidey:but it doesn't put me off the rest of the movie Al the director Alfonso Cuaron He asked them to write some Pages or just gave him a sort of homework to tell him about their characters before they started making the movie And they all did it you know subconsciously in the way that their characters are So how he just gave him a page of you know notes Ron did fuck all didn't do it at all And then Watson wrote a 16 page fucking

Pete:Right Okay

Sidey:is exactly exactly what they're like

Pete:cool Yeah

Reegs:Some point in the movie I have to admit I did tune out for a little minute And then when I tuned back in Gary Oldman died for a brief period and then was resurrected as a Christmas ornament Like a white stack thing What

Pete:No no no no no He was he was saved by the steak The say the stag was was Harry's Patronus No this is him This is Harry himself

Reegs:Can we

Sidey:Wasn't miss mum there as well though

Pete:No he his mum was a DOE or something like that but he is a stag Yeah exactly Can we back on Santa's music Um

Dan:Oldman played the prisoner that

Pete:Gary Oldman plays a prison so like that's something that does need touching component as well You mentioned like you know like the score and like a holder that the actors The the the child the the actors the child actors get better as things go you know as as things go on and this is the start of them actually becoming like you know much more polished and and delivering better performances Gary Oldman is it really is like a an ensemble of like cast of British actors and gets even more so as as time goes on

Sidey:And this one that you've got like David Threadless Timothy Spall Gary Oldman like we said then you got gap Is this first This is

Pete:yeah this is Gambon's first Sonia it was Richard Harris before that

Sidey:There was talk of ear McKellen but he said no because he'd already played Gandalf and this is effectively again off sort of proxy but also Richard Harris had said that McKenna's are fucking terrible actors so didn't want to do it

Pete:Oh right Okay Okay

Reegs:so there's eight entries in the pot of verse Is there if the main

Pete:books like films Yeah Yeah

Reegs:You're a big fan Number six is shit as well I hear

Pete:no no no I I I have heard this that's the half-blood Prince


Pete:that is really good That that's that that it's

basically it's

Sidey:so fucking

Pete:yeah Yeah he is seriously He almost like by the end of it is like stealing the show He's he's so fucking good What I think six probably the criticism I think six probably does that final kind of piece of establishment of it's it sets you up for the for the final films it was one book two films the last like the last part but the half-blood Prince probably spends a lot of time actually like establishing for the finale if you know what I mean So maybe the criticism would have been it didn't move things on far enough but some really big shit goes down in it It was a strong for me order of the Phoenix was the one that kind of it just plateaued It went up and up from three and four it plateaued a bit And then six seven eight took off again But

Sidey:The very very end of the final film like the post Story better I find fucking

Pete:it is Yeah But it was always going to be a bit crap

Sidey:I w I I don't know if you've ever watch it but it it goes from being like a really well-made brilliant thing to like almost like a school fucking

Reegs:Oh dear

Sidey:It's it's fucking tragic

Reegs:Absolutely love it If my daughter watched this and I would really enjoy watching this with her because at the weekend for a start I had to watch Barbie secret of the magic door which was Oh my God I actually headbutted a pencil 10 minutes in just to give myself a reason both

Pete:Okay Actually if if it's probably fair to say it's probably worth mentioning that the last time I've watched all of these in order has been with my nine year old daughter and my soon to be 70 year old mum So it was like three generations where every fortnight we would sit down and watch one of the films and you know and stuck to it because we and we all absolutely massively enjoyed enjoyed it

Sidey:The shrunken head goes

Pete:three and a half to one and three quarter

Sidey:It was Lenny Henry

Pete:Lenny Henry Oh there we go

Reegs:Yeah Okay Why do they have

Pete:A Welsh that's

Reegs:dickheads come from Isn't it it's like here's the evil house is bad guy around probably two

Sidey:thought they should have just disbanded that one

Pete:yeah but I think it was like they do have because they do touch upon it sometimes in the story about like why does it because Harry was

Reegs:it yin and yang a balance

Pete:Yeah but you still get some like brilliant So like a lot of the defense against the dark arts or potions masters and you know people who Excel in the kind of like the the darker arts come from slither end So they kind of in an order to combat those you kind of have to know a bit about it So there it it does reference it and make it but all the worst like wizards in history were all in Slytherin well the ones you know of anyway and and went to was dumb Strang I'll pay Now I'm going to say Bulgaria where else Evil car car Ralph comes from Yeah

yeah yeah

Sidey:I do want you to carry on watching it just to experience Dolores Umbridge So hateable

Pete:Oh yeah yeah And in the next the next one in a doublet fire this is like the Quidditch world cup fuck it If they do get better and better even

Reegs:if they want to watch it I'll watch it with them But honestly yeah I don't know what it is I haven't been able to put my finger on it and I'm not just being obtuse about it There's just something about the world that fails to engage me And

Sidey:be You also don't like the rings

Reegs:The rings is okay I don't think it's the massive like jerk-off Fest I was bored for fucking massive portions of that movie

Pete:I take your point I understand And take your point about like the you know the the child protagonist and stuff like that That's that I I kind of get that I guess I don't take your point about the MacGuffin is you made me sit through a fucking Marvel film where there was infinity stones or whatever they were fucking called and they had to collect all those I'm pretty sure that they've had to collect all those before in that other load of bollocks with the justice league Magic boxes there's loads So I don't think that argument stands up

Reegs:but I can't I can't really describe what it is It's just doesn't you know I agree that they you know structurally these movies are essentially the same thing and a lot of the characters are Almost interchangeable between them

Pete:Yeah maybe it is you know I can understand the chart I'm not a big I'm not massively I don't sort of watch a lot of films where there is you know the main character is a you know a child protagonist or or but I have done in the past and there were other things that you know we've talked about Standby me and stuff like that You've ruined

Reegs:this thing sorry

Sidey:Money-wise money-wise it's all about money The budget This is 130 mil I think we can all

Reegs:it's probably a small win Was

Sidey:safely assume this is a winner Whoever gets this closest

Pete:gets to keep the money

Dan:I'll say something shoe like 700 million Yeah

Pete:690 million


Sidey:Oh shit What'd you say Oh it's rigs


Pete:there we go There we go

Sidey:mil You can have some cheese so let's let's round up I would say that to ever said no what we're talking about rigs only partially knows what he's talking about Dan I think is soul Dan I think

Dan:but I will give it a go I mean it was just a run out of hours in the day this week but I will get around to watching it and I'll let you know what I thought

Sidey:Just don't forget tuning on Friday We're talking about lots of highbrow stuff this week Very very cultured And you can find out what else rigs is going to be wrong about you then