For no reason whatsoever other than that nobody can stop me, here is the list of un-tweeted snarks from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:
- Why exactly is there a spell that turns a woman into a fat balloon, and why is it a wordless spell at the ready in Harry's mind?
- Why do Harry Potter movies (stories) insist on beginning so goddamn hatefully and cartoonishly when we're in the muggle world?
- Okay, so Harry and Hagrid are both not allowed to do magic outside of school, but is this a legal sanction, and if so by whom? And what allows the bus to do whatever it is the bus does?
- "School is on: but we'll have demon ghouls posted at every doorway. Don't get in their way because they will eat your soul." If this isn't cause to shut down the school for a little while, what is?
- How is Draco respected, even by bully standards? He's petulant and… I mean, he's a bit sissy, isn't he? Even without his bro-posse, I keep assuming he's gay.
- They play Quidditch (god I hate Quidditch) in the storm and rain, and they wear goggles, but still no helmet.
- …and wait, they play Quidditch like 10,000 ft in the air? What the fuck? Is there no upper limit? This seems like a poor choice FOR A GAME WITHOUT HELMETS.
- Is it just me or is Ron Weasley's voice breaking in every scene? No wonder there's all this totally-not-awkward forced chemistry between him and Hermione: he just started getting pubes.
- I like Michael Gambon a lot, but his Dumbledore seems a lot sleazier than Richard Harris's gooey G-rated grandpa. Waiting to see where that goes.
- "Awful things happen to wizards who meddle with time," and so McGonnagal gives the fussy nerdy chick her own personal time machine? That seems reasonable.
- First time through, Harry spares the rat guy, but as soon as he goes back into the past he tries to fuck space-time all up by killing him? The Chosen One's not too bright.
- Oh, good. "Only a great wizard can do that," she tells Harry. Who then does it anyway BECAUSE HE KNEW HE ALREADY HAD. Resolution by grandfather paradox.
- Hey J.K. Rowling: I call shenanigans.
- I knew when they mentioned staying with Sirius it was just a tease. We were this close to never seeing the Dursleys again. The only thing I hate more than Quidditch is the Dursleys.
My goal isn't (believe it or not) to take all the fun out of other people's love for this series, but to see what I can find in it, both good and bad, and to hold it to the "adult, intelligent" standards that fans often glibly (never seriously, always glibly; often implicitly) suggest it can be held to. I'm not proving anything here, I'm just doing what I always do with movies: dismantling the story haphazardly and looking through the scattered pieces for strengths, weaknesses, themes and parallels, or things that just resonate with me (or rub me wrong). I'm going to continue through them so I am familiar with the series and I'll even go see part 7B in theaters if part 7A is available to me in time. I enjoy a good ongoing series; I enjoy fantasy; I enjoy modern magic and coming-of-age and hero's quest stories about prophecies and ancient legends and things coming full circle. But I hold all my entertainment to a high standard -- that is how I enjoy a thing; that is how I understand a thing; that is how I relate to the world. If you make it worth my while, I can overlook some sloppiness, but we've all got limits.
Anyway, if you're curious, follow along here, or message me on twitter to tell me what an asshole I am. Or don't do either.
They're all fine options.