MuggleCast 224 Transcript
[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Andrew: Because I bet a plane flight on it, this is MuggleCast Episode 224 for April 4th, 2011.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: This week’s episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 224! Eric and I are here this week. We’re sorry for the later-than-planned release of Episode 224, it’s been one of those weeks.
Andrew: And our news anchor is gone, he is on duty today in New York City working hard bringing MuggleNet.com visitors lots of coverage from the exhibition and – what’s the other thing? Oh, the DVD red carpet!
Andrew: I think he’s having a good time.
Eric: I think he is, too. I think…
Eric: By all reports on MuggleNet, Micah seems to be having the time of his life!
Andrew: Yeah, and he got a chance, actually, to speak to David Heyman…
Eric: He did.
Andrew: …the film producer, so we’ll get to hear what he had to say. I still haven’t heard what they talked about, have you?
Eric: Yes, yes, actually.
Eric: Yeah, he talked about – well, Micah introduced himself and it ended with David Heyman saying that he hoped that Micah enjoyed the final film.
Eric: Nice guy. Very nice…
Andrew: I bet if Micah hated it and Heyman said that to him, he would still pretend like it was good because I don’t think Micah would ever be honest, brutally honest [laughs] to Heyman’s face.
Eric: I don’t know. Yeah, not to Heyman, though, because Heyman is always…
Eric: …so polite and so nice, so yeah.
Andrew: Yeah, Micah has a little crush on Heyman, I think.
Eric: I do, too.
Andrew: [laughs] Anyway, so this episode is not going to have Chapter-by-Chapter, it’s going to be a different format because there’s a lot of news we’ve got to tell everybody about. Plus, Eric and I – we were very lucky, we got to go to the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 test screening in Chicago earlier, just a few days ago. It was, what, Saturday?
Eric: Saturday, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, for those of you who have been familiar with this in the past, they always do a test screening of the latest Harry Potter film a couple of months prior to release. And historically it’s been in Chicago, and this time, Andrew and I got in…
Andrew: Yeah, it’s…
Eric: …thanks to a very, very happy MuggleNet reader – MuggleCast listener, actually…
Eric: …tipped us off.
Andrew: And it – people forget this and we say it every time but they don’t believe us or something. We don’t know for sure that when this mysterious test screening is happening that it is Harry Potter, we just assumed from past test screenings that it is Harry Potter. So, I bet a plane flight on it [laughs] in this case.
Andrew: Eric lives in Chicago. But we assumed it had to be, it had to – the timing was right, everything made sense.
Eric: It’s true, it’s true.
Eric: There’s nothing – there was never any knowledge ahead of time that this was going to be Harry Potter, I think that is an important point.
News: No Plans for a Potter Hotel at Leavesden Studios
Andrew: Anyway, we’ll talk about that in a little bit. First, a couple of news items to catch everybody up on. No plans for a Harry Potter hotel near the Leavesden museum.
Andrew: And this was something that Micah – he was all excited about last episode. And I don’t know if you remember, Eric, but I was kind of, like, “I don’t know, guys, this seems kind of weird. I don’t know if I believe it,” because it seemed odd that an entire hotel would be built around Harry Potter…
Eric: Well, hang on…
Andrew: …in the middle of nowhere. [laughs]
Eric: But they’re building the whole – this museum for Harry Potter.
Andrew: Yeah, but that already exists!
Andrew: I don’t know.
Eric: Kind of, kind of.
Andrew: I mean, I guess that’s a valid point.
Eric: USA Today posted it. Wasn’t it USA Today?
Eric: So, it was a credible source, talking about this Potter hotel.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.
Eric: But as it turns out, it’s not happening. So, that’s interesting, but I don’t know, I’ve always found this Leavesden museum to be kind of odd because – especially what’s happening this week is – Harry Potter: The Exhibition is alive and well, touring the world.
Eric: For the next – I think it’s four years they have it planned. Obviously, this Leavesden museum is a chance to see the sets on the stages where they – or on a different stage but in the same location where they were built. So, it’s going to be magical and quite different, but I always thought it was weird because all these props and everything are kind of shared now between these two museums. But…
Andrew: Yeah, that is true. It’s slightly odd.
Eric: Yeah. So, what does it mean about people who want to stay in London and see this Leavesden? What’s going on?
News: First Poster for Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Released
Andrew: I’m guessing they’re going to have some bus plans, so you’ll be able to stay in London, you’ll take a forty-five minute bus ride up to Leavesden, and it will take you back home all in the same day. I mean, or you could stay in a hotel but there’s not much to do up there other than the museum, so I don’t know. Unless you want to get a good look at suburban England life, then you probably just want to do the bus ride. [laughs] I say that being a spoiled American who went to visit Jamie who lived in middle-of-nowhere England, and it’s not that exciting, you know? It’s suburban life, just like in America. Not even suburban, it’s lots of green. But hey, to each his own. In some other news, the first poster for Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was released and this is a pretty awesome poster. It’s not the burning castle which we’ve seen for over a year now, that was promoting Parts 1 and 2. This one is Harry and Voldemort face to face. Somebody on my Twitter feed said it looked like Voldemort was giving Harry the finger.
Andrew: But I don’t think…
Eric: It’s the Elder Wand! He’s giving Harry the Elder Wand.
Andrew: Oh! Because now every time I look at it, I picture Voldemort [laughs] giving Harry the finger.
Andrew: Anyway, you like this poster, Eric?
Eric: Yeah, he’s got a pretty nubbed finger with these ridges, then, because the Elder Wand has those little breaks in it…
Eric: …every couple of inches, it comes out a little bit. But no, first time I saw this poster, I got to be honest, I thought it was fake.
Eric: Yeah, yeah, because there’s a lot of blood, a lot more blood then there have been in previous Potter posters, it just seems. Like, look at the gash on Dan Radcliffe’s forehead.
Andrew: That is pretty brutal.
Eric: On Harry’s forehead, it’s not just a drop of blood here or even a streak of blood. We’re talking, like, instead of hair there is this – it looks like brain matter because it’s shimmering.
Andrew: They’re trying to appeal to the people who really want to see a film with a lot of action and gore…
Eric: That’s true.
Andrew: …besides – all Harry Potter fans are going to see this movie…
Andrew: …but they need to appeal to the broader audience as well.
Eric: It’s true, but there’s – and if you look even closer there’s another streak of blood on his lips, on Harry’s lips, around his mouth. He’s been…
Andrew: Are you sure that’s not ketchup? Maybe he was eating? I mean…
Eric: Eating a hot dog before they filmed this?
Eric: Maybe, maybe.
Andrew: Well, because battling takes a lot of calories so you got to replenish.
Eric: [laughs] Now there are – the fire and the ashes at the bottom of the poster is really cool, I like the way that that’s done.
Eric: And Voldemort, too, is pretty bloody. I mean, he has the slits for the nose which are always kind of gross to look at upfront. But I can totally see this poster on a bus shelter or spread across a brick building somewhere in downtown L.A., you know?
Eric: And it’s going to be – I think it’s got the excitement. It’s got the excitement. But there is a lot of blood.
Andrew: It’s badass. I’m a fan, I like the direction they’re going in and I think it’s a good sign for the million other posters to come with all the other characters.
Eric: What does that mean? What do you think – how could they top this one? How in what ways…
Eric: …could they top this one?
Andrew: I mean, you know how they do all the solo shots of the individual characters. I like the theme that they’re going for, I guess is what I’m saying.
Eric: That will be interesting. So, do you think there will be…
Andrew: And the tagline, “It all ends”. What did it say, “It ends here?”
Eric: “It all ends.” Well, the burning Hogwarts said, “It all ends here,” and now this one says, “It all ends 7/15,” for July 15th.
Eric: So, that’s kind of cool. That also is a message that kind of speaks to us, too, because this is…
Eric: …ten years of Harry Potter films. Seriously, the people who are going to be most excited for this poster are also going to be – their world is coming to an end, our world is coming to an end soon enough.
Andrew: Well, as I tweeted after seeing the test screening, I was the first person to individually confirm that there is life post-Potter.
Eric: [laughs] You said that, did you?
Andrew: Now, I was in a hospital the next night…
Andrew: …but it had nothing to do with seeing the Harry Potter films, [laughs] the eighth Harry Potter film.
Eric: It’s very true.
Eric: But are you feeling all right now? [laughs]
Andrew: Yes, better, but not completely.
Eric: So, there is life afterwards.
News: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Opens
Andrew: There is life, yeah. And you know what – never mind, I won’t get into it. How to Succeed in Business opened in New York City and Andrew – or… [laughs]
Eric: [laughs] Andrew and Micah.
Andrew: As you can tell, I’m reading straight from the Google Doc. Micah and I attended the musical and I got to say, it was really good, we had a great time. Micah is not too big a fan of musicals, but he went and he enjoyed it thoroughly, and actually he was laughing more than I was.
Andrew: There were times when Micah would start laughing and I felt like I had to look as entertained as he was…
Andrew: …so I started laughing along with him.
Eric: Well, that’s good to hear. That’s really good to hear, I’m glad you guys enjoyed it. And I can’t wait to see it, I’m going to see it in, like, three weeks.
Andrew: Mhm. And now will you be judging it thoroughly to see if it lives up to your performance as Pierce – J. Pier Finch? [laughs] What’s his name again?
Eric: [laughs] J. Pierrepont Finch.
Eric: You did really good. No, no, no, I’m not going to be judging. I know it will far surpass mine because obviously this is a professional production and I…
Andrew: Oh, don’t put yours down.
Eric: No, no, no, no, it was – okay, mine had a pretty big budget for a high school production and the costumes were great. But the dancing – from all accounts, Dan’s dancing – we’ve seen video, there have been these production video trailers of How to Succeed that they released on the web and it just seems like the dancing that Dan is doing is going to be simply ridiculous, it just seems that way. And not to mention singing, there have been clips already released. So, yeah, I have a good feeling that Dan’s performance is going to blow me away and I fully expect to be blown away by everything about this show. But the fact that you guys have seen it and that even Micah really, really, really enjoyed it gives me more hope that…
Eric: …it’s just going to continue to blow me away.
Andrew: Dan’s singing, dancing, overall performance, it was all really good. I mean, especially at the end, Dan is dancing his ass off and he does a great job. Really, just really impressive, and it’s great to see Dan branching out and succeeding. [fake laughs]
Eric: Ha. So, how is his American accent?
Andrew: It was good. I actually thought the British accent, the English accent leaked through a couple of times, but it wasn’t distracting or anything. So…
Eric: Yeah, it’s a work in progress. Now, you saw him in Equus too, right?
Eric: Now, how are those different? How were those performances – obviously…
Andrew: In this one, he wears more clothes.
Eric: Clothes, okay.
Andrew: I can’t remember if he – was he? No, he’s not shirtless in this one at all.
Andrew: Or pants-less or underwear-less.
Eric: [laughs] Oh God.
Eric: That’s right. He was nude, wasn’t he for a period there?
Andrew: Yeah. Mhm.
Eric: In Equus. That’s – so…
Andrew: This one I would say – I mean, in terms of audiences, obviously How to Succeed appeals to a much larger audience.
Andrew: So, I would say, in that regard, this one is better. It’s funny, whereas Equus was very dark, dramatic. This is the complete opposite.
Eric: Okay. And…
Eric: Oh, and I wanted to mention before we move on that the cast of Harry Potter has now seen Dan in the musical.
Andrew: Yeah, which is really nice.
Eric: Kind of an update, they’re all in town and we’ll find out why, next time Micah is with us because he’s got – they’ve been doing so many press events and Micah’s been covering them. But Evanna Lynch wrote on her Twitter last night that they had actually – they were all in town – I mean, David Heyman, Warwick Davis, everybody you can think of, Robbie Coltrane, Phelps twins…
Andrew: Phelps twins.
Eric: …everybody. Yeah. And they said that – or Evanna Lynch wrote that they saw Dan on Broadway in his show in How to Succeed, that he smashed it, I think were Evanna’s words, and that they all really enjoyed his performance. So, that’s got to be wonderful for Dan because his whole family, all these other actors that he’s worked with come to support him and see his show, and not to mention David Heyman, David Barron, David Yates. It must have been amazing, a wonderful night.
Andrew: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I’m happy for them all.
Andrew: I’m sure that was a good – a fun night. And don’t forget, Eric’s interview with Dan Radcliffe is now on MuggleNet.com, we’ll include a link in the show notes. Eric obviously did a really good job with that interview since he was in a different version of that play.
Eric: Yeah, I wanted to give us the edge with those sort of more intimate questions about the show, which I think Dan really responded to, so it was really kind of cool.
Andrew: Yeah, it was.
Eric: Really, really lucky. Really nice guy. But he talks, he does tend to answer questions at length, [laughs] so – it was tough because we were timed to actually get in all the questions we had but we did a good job. I think he really responded to us, it was a good interview.
Andrew: So, visit MuggleNet.com for that.
Before we continue with today’s episode, we’d like to remind you that this week’s episode is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times bestsellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their great service. It’s a hot series lately, you should definitely check it out. So, for a free audiobook of your choice, such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. That’s AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. We thank Audible for their support of MuggleCast.
Andrew and Eric Attend Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – Spoiler-Free Review
Andrew: Okay, now the big news of the week. Like I said at the beginning of the show, Eric and I had the very high honor, privilege, to see Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in Chicago. Like we said, again, [laughs] I bet a plane ticket on it.
Andrew: We – Eric lived in town, so it wasn’t as risky for him. All we knew was it was a test screening, and timing of it lined up and all of that. So, we did post our initial spoiler-free reactions on MuggleNet.com and I think – is that what we’re going to do, Eric? Maybe start with those, maybe just browse through a couple of those…
Andrew: …things that stood out.
Eric: …initial thoughts, especially – just the quick things we can report so that – but at the same time, keeping free – I know I have a lot of friends who I told them we were going to record MuggleCast about this film and they said, “Oh, I might not listen to it because it’s going to be all spoilery.” So, there are people who don’t want to be spoiled, people I know, and I understand that and I respect that. So, at first we’re just going to talk about it kind of over – all the things that we felt were safe to talk about. And then what we’ll do is we’ll give you a timestamp to return to the show after we sort of discuss a lot of the fan questions because even though there’s a group of fans who don’t want to be spoiled, there are – there’s another distinct, separate group of fans who do really want to hear…
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: …at least a little bit about it.
Eric: So, I think we’ll try and play to both audiences on this show, and we’ll see where that gets us.
Andrew: So, for now, if you don’t want to be spoiled that’s fine. We’re going to talk about the movie in a spoiler-free manner and we’ll warn you when we start talking about the spoilers.
Eric: So, let’s talk about Mercedes at first because we haven’t…
Eric: We kind of mentioned her earlier, but – she e-mailed in, I guess, to MuggleCast and…
Andrew: Yeah, and she said, “Hey, I got invited to this test screening and I think it’s Harry Potter.” And so we spoke to her at length and she seemed – she was really serious about it.
Andrew: She gave us her phone number, she was, like, “Call me, this is serious!”
Eric: [laughs] Not a joke.
Andrew: And we’re, like, “Okay!” And so we spoke with her, and yeah, we – she graciously added our names to the list and – thank you so much to her…
Andrew: …because otherwise – for me personally, if she hadn’t given us, like, six days advanced notice, I personally wouldn’t have flown down. So…
Eric: Yeah, you couldn’t have done it because…
Eric: …you were already on your way back to Los Angeles.
Andrew: L.A., yeah. And I never would have had the rare opportunity to sleep in Eric Scull’s bed.
Eric: Oh, yeah. Totally.
Eric: You lucky S.O.B. So, [laughs] the other thing I wanted to talk about – let’s talk about, first, how unfinished the film was, just so people…
Eric: Just to kind of clear the air, here. I want to say that this film in particular has a lot more special effects than the previous films. That could have been guessed because a lot of the film is the final battle, as also could be guessed. Now because we’re seeing this screening – or we saw this screening at the same time, say about three months prior to release as we had seen – or as I had seen the other – the last two films, the difference was that it was even less finished than previous test screenings, and I think – I do want to mention [laughs] the title cards – Andrew do you – take it from here. [laughs] What do you think about those?
Andrew: Oh, the title cards were very funny [laughs] because what happened was when a scene wasn’t complete, to help the audience understand what was going on, they added subtitles, like captions that you would see for deaf people, it would be at the bottom. And so we saw several of those throughout the film and some of them were so descriptive, even during very dramatic, important scenes, that the audience roared with laughter [laughs] because it just – the writing was so ridiculous on these very dramatic scenes and we won’t talk about it now because it would be spoiling…
Eric: It would be a spoiler.
Andrew: But – yeah.
Eric: But yeah, and I just think these test screenings are done to an innocent audience of varying ages, races, genders, everything. They try and pull aside an assortment of pretty much everybody so that they can judge where the laughs land, and to make sure that the film is hitting in the right moments that the producers and the directors want.
Eric: And the directors are always at these screenings, which is really cool because David Yates, and David Heyman, David Barron were all there, and the editor. But I think this time [laughs] with all of these funny, funny, funny cue cards, title cards going, it was kind of bittersweet for them, I think, because obviously it was – the film was more amusing than it will be when it’s completed.
Eric: And I think – but I do think…
Andrew: But I felt really bad for Heyman and Yates because during this one scene where everybody started laughing at the subtitle that appeared on the screen – it was a very dramatic scene that they would want to look around in the audience and see if people were crying or something but…
Andrew: …instead everybody was laughing and I felt bad. [laughs]
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, but for the most part I think – oh, and the acting though – and I just have to say, again, without spoiling, everybody has picked it up a notch in this film. And when those special effects are completed [laughs] and the captions hopefully or maybe not hopefully are removed from the finished product, I think we’re going to have the most epic film, definitely in scope, and I think it’s going to be – we see so much of Hogwarts. We see – it’s just the battle and everything to do with it is just really massive and I have to say, I think it’s just going to blow everybody away.
Andrew: The interviews we saw, I guess, maybe six months ago, maybe even more, were correct. The Battle of Hogwarts is forty-five minutes to an hour, I would say, and…
Eric: Only? Where do you – where are you counting from?
Andrew: I would count from when Harry gets there.
Eric: From when Harry gets to Hogwarts?
Andrew: Yeah, when he arrives at Hogwarts and rallies the troops.
Eric: Oh, I would argue that it’s maybe an hour, fifteen at the most.
Andrew: That could be. Yeah, you may be right. So, it is a good chunk of the film and that’s important, I think, and that was the advantage of Part 2. I mean, that never would have happened if this were just one film.
Eric: It’s really weird, too, because looking back, you try and look back and imagine, “What would this film have looked like if it were only one film?” And I think you’re totally right, there was – and it was the right call to make, to split the film. Not like that – not like Breaking Dawn. But…
Eric: …I think this was a very wise decision.
Andrew: And speaking of length, the film is two hours, which David Heyman and David Barron, the two producers, said at CinemaCon last week. And a lot of people were kind of up in arms in this, they were saying, “Two hours?! Come on! What the hell?!” But me personally – Eric, tell me if you agree – two hours was plenty, I did not need any more. And honestly, there was a point or two when I was watching the movie and I was, like, “Come on, let’s go!”
Andrew: “Let’s wrap this up!”
Eric: Well, yeah, I thought the pace was good. I never felt like there needed to be less. But I do think that the two hours is a healthy length, I think, and it may be a little bit longer – it was two hours for us but I think it may be a little bit longer once, obviously, the special effects are completed and the music is added. I think that’s a really important point, too, there was no music when we saw it. But the two hours – which, again, was revealed by Heyman and Barron at CinemaCon last week – it makes this film the shortest film. But even when that news was revealed, what does that mean for it to be the shortest film? Well, it can still be two hours and, like, nineteen minutes in length, and still be the shortest film. It’s about two hours, and I think that that’s a good length.
Andrew: Let’s see, what else should we talk about here.
Eric: Let’s see if we can do any more spoiler-free stuff besides what has kind of been revealed in the news. Should we talk about the scenes that were leaked just as it pertains to the film, or…
Andrew: The opening on the DVD? On the Part 1 DVD? Is that what you’re talking about?
Eric: Yeah, maybe there’s a spoiler about that.
Andrew: Well, here’s something: the humor in the film. This is obviously – this part of the book is a very serious part, there isn’t much humor. There are some moments that might motivate you when you’re reading it because it’s really inspiring to see all these people uniting together to take on Voldemort. But I noticed in Part 2 that there were a couple of instances of humor that were not needed and they seemed kind of forced to me. And there was one point in particular that annoyed me so much, and again, I won’t go into it now because it would be spoiling it. But I’m just a bit worried that the producers and the director – or maybe we have to blame Steve Kloves for this. It felt like in order for a Harry Potter movie to be a Harry Potter movie, they had to inject a couple of pieces of dialogue that are funny but it seems a bit out of place.
Andrew: And when I wrote in our spoiler-free review on MuggleNet was that it’s not necessary when there’s so much action going on and it doesn’t need to be there to make up a good film.
Andrew: The action takes up that place so there’s no need for the humor, but they put it in anyway and it’s kind of disappointing.
Eric: Well, I – oh, I don’t think it’s disappointing at all, but I do think that the attempt was certainly to give every character their moment. I think that that was something that they really strived to do because obviously there are a ton of characters, there are a lot of recurring characters. We won’t mention who in this part, but all of these characters that we’ve come to know and love, they really wanted to make sure that every one of them was seen. And I think that a lot of these funny moments were added or created or shifted in there just to make sure that fans who – especially fans who, after viewing Part 1, when it’s just Harry, Ron, and Hermione for so long, and the book was like that – seeing everybody again is kind of going to be really rewarding, I think.
Eric: So, perhaps – because we were going into it not looking at it from previous films or anything – that it might actually stand the test, it might actually look a lot better once the film is complete and once we can kind of focus on sort of everything else. I think the action, though, is absolutely – in comparison with previous films, where there’s a lot of melodrama, where it gets darker every film – there are sad scenes in here, let’s not – let’s be honest, but I think a lot of what it is offset by is the action and the fast pace of everything because Harry’s got four Horcruxes or more to destroy, and he’s got to kill Voldemort and the Battle of Hogwarts has to happen. So, it’s a lot of fast-paced stuff.
Andrew: Speaking of sad scenes, that reminds me. Eric, you were a bit of a cry baby when we were watching the movie.
Eric: Oh, come on…
Eric: …you were sitting next to me, but I think…
Andrew: I heard a lot of sniffling. [laughs]
Eric: I – you know what it was? I was trying to force myself to cry to say that I’d be able to cry, that’s what it was.
Andrew: Oh, brother.
Eric: That’s what I’m sticking – that’s the story I’m sticking to.
Andrew: If I weren’t having my health problems I probably would have been a little more wrapped up in it, too, but at the time they were kind of pulling me out of the zone.
Andrew: But yes, there are some very important emotional scenes that like – as I think back on them now, they kind of [laughs] blow my mind in terms of epicness. I’ve got to say, they were really good. And you weren’t the only one crying, of course, there were others. I mean, you weren’t crying, you were… [makes sniffling sounds]
Eric: Yeah, I – no, there was wetness in my eye and that was legitimate. I wasn’t forcing anything there because I…
Andrew: It’s justifiable.
Eric: These – and all the time when I was watching the film, I was thinking, “It all ends here, it all ends here.” [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, you just can’t think about that, you’ve got to think about that after.
Eric: That definitely helps. So, yeah, anything else – I mean, I think – I just thought of one more thing, which is that I really feel like people, fans like to watch these Harry Potter films back to back, and I think one of the most successful films to watch back to back are going to be Part 1 and Part 2. I really felt, given the beginning of Part 2 and where Part 1 ends, that they’re going to flow really well together. Did you – would you agree with that?
Andrew: I agree, yeah.
Andrew: Because Part 2 does pick up pretty quick. There’s not much of an intro to Part 2, there’s not a slow start, I guess is what I’m trying to say.
Eric: That’s a good point because before it was always he’s back at the Dursleys or something, and…
Andrew: Right, and he has to leave.
Eric: …it’s quite a while before something happens. But…
Eric: …right away you’re jumped – you’re sort of into the action and obviously these films were filmed at the same time, so they’re the same age. There’s nothing to take you out of it, you’re kind of…
Andrew: [laughs] They don’t have dramatically-different haircuts…
Andrew: …like between “3” and “4”, and “4” and “5”…
Andrew: …when everybody had to get – Movie 4 was, like, “Let’s all go in and get really long hair!” [laughs] and then “5” was, “Let’s cut it!”
Eric: [laughs] “Let’s cut it! That thing we did with our hair, we need to undo that.”
Andrew: But Emma waited until after Movie 8.
Eric: I’m so happy. She would have just looked so strange in this film…
Eric: …without her normal Hermione hair. Although Bellatrix could have attacked her and cut it off if they needed a scene. [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] That’s true.
Eric: So, shall we segway?
Andrew: Oh, the one other thing I wanted to mention is the interview with Ciar·n Hinds we talked about…
Eric: Oh yeah!
Andrew: …on MuggleCast a few episodes ago. He had said that he had a “blink and you’ll miss it” appearance and this worried us because we were, like, “Wow, they’re cutting his time down?” But that’s not the case, you see a lot of him.
Andrew: And something, actually, I haven’t mentioned yet in the report or anything and I haven’t talked to you about is that I actually – Aberforth looks great! And he has somewhat of a resemblance to Dumbledore in terms of his hair, I thought, at least. Did you notice that?
Eric: You mean to Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore?
Eric: Like overall, too? And yeah, I really felt that way. And I think we’ve examined what could Ciar·n Hinds possibly mean, fans sent in their e-mails about “blink and you’ll miss it” in several different interpretations. I think I’m going to go out on a limb and say every single one of those interpretations of how Ciar·n Hinds could have a “blink and you’ll miss it” role, I think I still disagree and I think everybody will kind of agree once they see the film, that his role in no way is “blink and you’ll miss it.” Well, unless…
Andrew: I agree.
Eric: …he was – unless he meant that he was very fortunate and proud to have gotten the chance to play that role because he does shine and there is a lot of Aberforth in this film. So – but everything to do with whether or not his role was cut or omitted or downsized, that is not the case, just for people who were worried.
Andrew: Well said. All right, two more questions I have in the Google Doc. First, I wanted to say that this movie is very re-watchable, I think. Within 24 hours I was already really excited to see it again because there are so many giant scenes in this movie. It’s a lot to take in, more so than the other films, despite it being only two hours. And yeah, I think it’s just a great ending overall. This is a wonderful film, I think all of the fans are going to enjoy it. All of the fans are going to be pulled into it and feel very emotional, and it’s going to be a great ending. Do you feel the same way?
Eric: Yeah, that’s a good idea. This film won’t be perhaps as exhausting a two and a half hours endeavor as other films are simply because it is a lot of action, it is a lot of – and the film leaves us in a good place as does the book where nineteen years later, everything is happy. And it being a conclusion is also a lot more rewarding because the mystery is resolved as opposed to other films where it’s kind of like it always has to end on a cliffhanger because it’s not the last film in the series. This one will do that and so maybe just for that reason alone, this film is going to be more re-watchable, that’s a really good point.
Andrew: All right. And best film – [laughs] I don’t know. You know what? I think we should save the best-film-of-the-series question for once we see the movie with the special effects and the music, and all that.
Eric: Yeah, I completely agree.
Andrew: Because it’s not fair, yeah.
Andrew: I didn’t think about that. Okay, so now we will get into the spoiler stuff, so again, if you don’t want to be spoiled just turn off the show now.
Eric: And there will be another MuggleCast soon…
Eric: …because tons of news have happened.
Eric: So, you’ll hear from us – don’t worry about turning us off, you’ll hear from us very soon.
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – Opening Scene
Andrew: [laughs] Okay, now into the spoiler stuff. This film sucked! No, I’m just kidding. [laughs]
Eric: [laughs] Worst film ever.
Andrew: Where do you want to start? Where do you want to start?
Eric: Let’s start at the very beginning, Andrew. That’s a very good place to start.
Andrew: Of the movie?
Andrew: Okay, so I guess we’ll try to go in chronological order.
Eric: Well – and we don’t need to list all the scenes.
Andrew: Yeah. Oh God, no. [laughs]
Eric: [laughs] But what we should talk about – because we know I’ve listed them. But I think what we should talk about is how we felt about sort of just the opening, what surprised us. What surprised you about the first 15-20 minutes?
Andrew: The opening itself? Well, I thought – a nice touch – the W.B. logo is almost about to break apart. It’s crusting…
Andrew: …and one little touch from shattering into a million pieces.
Eric: Like burnt paper in a way, I think.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s sort of like with the final book cover the curtains are kind of in a mess, in a wreck. So, yeah, the opening is – the tomb, we see Voldemort breaking in and gaining control of the Elder wand. So, we know – so that’s a slight refresher, but really that’s the only kind of reminder of what happened in Part 1 and then it jumps right into the action.
Eric: Mhm. Yeah, with Harry interviewing Griphook and Ollivander separately about the future…
Eric: …about what he has to do. And I think the quest for the Horcruxes just overall in this film was done really well. I think in the book what confused me, and again I haven’t really re-read the book too many times since it first came out. I just remember rushing through it the first time and at the same time, I felt that the Horcruxes mixed in with the battle. It’s a little hard to follow towards the end of the book because so many exciting things are happening, but also Harry has to do so many things. In the film they had to kind of realize and set a do-order almost for Harry where he’s got to do this, and then he’s got to do this, and then he’s got to do this. And you have to watch it because they have to put it to a pace, it actually made sort of a lot more sense as opposed to when you are reading it. You read at your own pace so you can read four chapters at once and so much stuff will have happened, where in a movie you have to wait until they show it to you. So, it’s almost like – I thought that that was – the whole film was like that, where it makes a lot more – it’s a lot more gratifying to just watch Harry on his journey and it’s not slow or it’s not confusing.
Andrew: One thing that kind of bothered me – this is very minor, but one thing that kind of bothered me was Harry does not refer to Griphook by his name in the movie. He says, “Bring me the goblin,” or “Bring me to the goblin.” And the point behind that is that movie viewers don’t really know his name, I guess, so they just figure, [laughs] let’s just call him the goblin.
Eric: [laughs] The goblin.
Andrew: Which was kind of like – all right, producers, see this is what happens when you don’t really plan ahead too much. But minor thing, minor thing.
Eric: I don’t know about that. One of the first lines in the room is, “I don’t know if you remember but -” and then Griphook says, “I was the first one who brought you to your vault when you first came to Gringotts.”
Andrew: And that’s in the book.
Eric: That’s in the book, too.
Eric: But that’s also in the movies is what I’m saying, so they do make that connection without having to know who Griphook is, who or what a Griphook is.
MuggleCast 224 Transcript (continued)
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – Gringotts Break-In
Andrew: So, getting into the Gringotts scene, Hermione – we were both impressed, I think, by Bellatrix playing Hermione playing Bellatrix…
Andrew: …if that makes sense.
Eric: It was weird. It was a short scene, I would have liked that scene to be a little longer, the build up, I think, because of all of a sudden Hermione is walking up the hill and it’s actually Helena Bonham Carter. But I thought at first that Hermione just hadn’t changed yet because Helena Bonham Carter has matched Emma Watson to the point where you’re looking at Helena Bonham Carter’s face and it looks – she looks like Emma Watson.
Eric: I couldn’t distinguish the two, I really felt that it was Emma Watson when it was [laughs] clearly Helena Bonham Carter. I don’t know how better to say that.
Andrew: No, you’re right. I felt the same way, and they even – another kind of fun book moment that they included was when Hermione, as Bellatrix, says good morning to somebody…
Andrew: …in Diagon Alley and – is it Ron or Harry or Griphook? One of them says…
Eric: Yeah, Griphook.
Andrew: …”Why are you being so polite? You’re Bellatrix, don’t forget”.
Andrew: And then she turns bitchy.
Andrew: So, that was – see, that’s a fun moment that makes sense because it’s in the book and…
Andrew: If that makes sense.
Eric: Yeah. So, Gringotts – the – everything from the mine cart ride, which was partially completed, to the dragon and the vault. What did you think about that? But also when they got in the vault, what did you think of the vault scene? Because that is a scene that is a little bit different than in the book, as well.
Andrew: I liked it. And actually I was pretty impressed by the multiplying gold, the way it was animated, the way the gold actually multiplies in the vault is how I think you would expect it to work when you’re reading the book. And I thought that was – so I was impressed by that. The one thing that doesn’t happen is, like in the book, the gold is very hot.
Andrew: And I don’t remember hearing any lines – anyone being, like, “Owww! It’s hot”. [laughs] So…
Eric: Right. Right, right, right. I think…
Andrew: Not necessary…
Andrew: …but just a little change.
Eric: Yeah, kind of claustrophobic in the book, too, with the vault being closed, and everything is hot and heated. It’s kind of scary. But the multiplier does serve the purpose of being an enchantment that prevents people from stealing, obviously, and it is an adequate obstacle for Harry. He’s got enough going on because Griphook wants the sword in exchange for even breaking them in in the first place. So, they’ve got a lot to deal with and I do like the scene, and the escape on the dragon is great.
Andrew: And film viewers actually don’t know that Griphook wants the sword until it actually happens in the film, whereas in the book you know it ahead of time.
Eric: Well, that’s not true, they totally argue for it when they are back at Shell Cottage.
Andrew: Oh, but you don’t know why. It’s not explained why in the film, why Griphook wants it. In the book they get into the…
Eric: Goblin-made – oh.
Andrew: …goblin lore, they’re very possessive of their items.
Andrew: So, they didn’t get into that. But…
Eric: They just didn’t mention Godric Gryffindor. Yeah, there’s a line in the book – I think he says, “Just because Gryffindor owned it doesn’t make it his,” where it’s, like, because it’s made by goblins they believe it’s theirs. But I think something to those – to that effect is stated. I just think things are happening a little fast in the vault.
Andrew: Yeah, so I think the vault was good. I don’t think we could fairly review it yet because actually a lot of the special effects in that scene weren’t complete yet.
Andrew: And I think it’s going to look better than when we saw it.
Eric: But just from the reactions of the goblins when the dragon escapes, I think that’s going to be – I mean, that’s a heck of a bang to start the film off on and, of course, they go straight from there to Hogwarts pretty much with very little downtime. It’s an action packed film.
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – Hog’s Head Scene
Andrew: The Aberforth stuff – again it’s a pretty – it’s a good scene. There is some stuff cut down from the book and sorry I keep comparing it to the book so much but personally I can’t help it. [laughs] I feel like we’ve been doing it for so long…
Andrew: …comparing it to the book that we’ve just got to keep on doing that. But Aberforth, great role, great performance, I thought. They meet just like how they do in the book, Aberforth lets them into his place, and we do get to hear about Ariana but as you noted here there’s no talk about how she actually died.
Eric: Yeah, there isn’t but at the same time, Aberforth and Harry do talk at length about why Harry trusts Dumbledore and how Albus Dumbledore is not trustworthy. And Aberforth talks about him being lustful for power, and I think that it’s really effective to the point where Harry in the film says, “Look, I don’t care what happened between you and your brother. I trust Dumbledore,” and it’s really, really an interesting scene. Emotional, where you can tell – Ciar·n Hinds’s acting where it’s like he’s kind of hurt by Harry saying that he’s given up and strives to prove him wrong by competing in the final battle. So, it’s pretty emotional, pretty emotional all around. Emotions, tempers are flying, I think. No goats, though. There is an absence of goats, aren’t there?
Andrew: [laughs] I think you’re right but maybe that’s because the special effects aren’t complete…
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – Entering Hogwarts Castle
Andrew: …but let’s not get our hopes up. [laughs] So, Neville – you see Neville come through the portrait, Ariana brings him. You see the Room of Requirement and there’s a scene coming up now – we’re in the Room of Requirement, Ginny enters and says that Snape knows that Harry is in the castle. Now here’s where things start diverting from the book. What happens is Snape summons all the students into the Great Hall and Harry decides to go with everybody, and he puts on his robes to blend in and goes to this meeting that’s being held in the Great Hall. Snape does a speech in front of everyone saying we think Harry is here, if anyone is caught working with him, helping him – what was the threat? You will be…
Eric: A punishment befitting your treason, so basically the severity to which you help – the degree to which you help Harry is going to be the degree to which you’re punished. And also he says knowledge about his whereabouts as well are – you’re going to be punished equally. So, he basically – I mean, he threatens – he calls the whole student body – as headmaster, he calls the whole student body out of bed to the Great Hall and makes these threats, and Harry is not standing for it.
Andrew: And so Harry jumps out of the crowd and this reminded me of The Dark Knight, when the Joker is walking with all the other police officers and sort of…
Andrew: …jumps out and starts shooting everyone.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: That’s what this reminded me of because they’re all in orderly lines like that. So, Harry and Snape begin to duel, McGonagall jumps in, helps Harry, and Harry and McGonagall force Snape out, and Snape flees and he does turn into the bat-like figure.
Andrew: And now, so what obviously has been cut here is Harry does not go into the Ravenclaw common room to go looking for the mysterious Ravenclaw-related Horcrux.
Eric: Right, and David Heyman just spoke about that today. One of Micah’s reports – and he mentioned this specifically where Snape and McGonagall fighting does not take place while Harry is on his way to the Ravenclaw common room. Instead, it takes place in this Great Hall scene, and I think, again, it makes perfect sense in the film. I’m not going to complain about the difference between the book in this particular instance because I think it’s really moving where Harry is – at first confronts Snape, says, “How dare you stand where he stood,” meaning Dumbledore, and Snape is about to attack Harry, and McGonagall has to intervene. I think even what they did with the Slytherin students, like Pansy Parkinson says, “Somebody, grab him,” meaning Harry, and then the Order, who has just arrived, encloses around him, protecting him. I think it’s great character moments, and I think that that’s what – if you’re alone in a Hogwarts corridor and suddenly there’s a Snape-shaped hole in the wall as it was in the book, it doesn’t mean as much.
Andrew: And honestly, I actually – I didn’t like it at first, but afterward I came to realize that – I was thinking about it a lot. [laughs] I couldn’t stop thinking about that scene, and it is pretty cool to watch Snape and McGonagall duel, and Harry and all the students around. Yeah, so that’s one of the first big changes and it did end up working, I think we…
Andrew: …both agree.
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – Harry and Voldemort’s Final Showdown
Eric: So, I think instead of going exactly scene by scene, because there’s a lot that happens at Hogwarts, we should talk about more – and also for time saving, we should spoil sort of specifics, just specifics of what comes to mind about Voldemort and – what did you think about Voldemort in this film?
Andrew: You know what? I brought this up – he – I brought this up to you the other day. I realized that he does have a huge presence in this movie and you’re kind of not used to it. But of course, it fits so well, and by that I mean – in other films you only see him a couple of times, where in this one he’s in a good probably hour or more of it. And it’s great to see him in action and Ralph Fiennes does an amazing job. There are a couple of scenes that bothered me, and there’s this one that – and this is another big change and this is kind of jumping ahead. It is when Harry – at one point, Harry and Voldemort run into each other. And Harry pulls him off a ledge, a cliff, and they start basically flying around in the air, and at one point their faces merge. And the special effects weren’t complete on that yet, but that’s definitely what was going on. And it was just weird and it was kind of hard to follow, at least the first time watching it, maybe just because the special effects weren’t complete. But I was really taken aback by it because they spend a lot of time being really close to each other, and I was just thinking, like – first of all, it’s gross that Voldemort is so close to Harry, it was just grossing me out.
Andrew: And also, if they were ever really that close to each other, one of them would have killed the other!
Eric: Well, no, they’re in a headlock! A headlock – a battle of wills, at that point.
Andrew: It just doesn’t make sense for these two huge enemies to be this close to each other and not…
Eric: I think that’s what’s special about it. I think because they have such a – they’re such opposites that for – and they’ve hunted each other for eight years or whatever, and I think Voldemort has spent the last couple of hours in the film being more and more weak, more and more vulnerable, that really when it comes time to duel Harry, it’s a fist fight is what it is, it’s more so than even magic. It’s – Harry grabs Voldemort and says, “Let’s finish this like we started it – together,” pulls him off the cliff, and obviously Voldemort wants to not die so he starts flying, and Harry’s grabbing onto him, and they’re both just wrestling in the air. It’s awesome! And it’s a great way to show Hogwarts from above, but that’s just my opinion. And I think – but when their faces merge, as you said – and it was completely not a finished effect, but you could tell that that’s the idea that’s going to be in the film. I thought that was fascinating because it reminded me of Movie 5, when Dumbledore and Voldemort are fighting at the very end in the Ministry. Voldemort disappears and is all of a sudden actually no longer a physical presence but begins to possess Harry. And it’s the idea that Voldemort is such a powerful dark wizard that he can just leave his body or no longer be rooted to the physical plane where he can begin to possess Harry. Or that they’re fighting so closely that they’re like one, almost, that it’s like this intrinsic battle of good and evil. I just thought that the imagery, everything – I liked everything about that.
Andrew: I’m going to reserve more judgement…
Eric: But I can see where it’s…
Andrew: Yeah, because it is such a departure from the books, and I just don’t like how they are so close to each other for that long period of time. It’s just – it doesn’t feel right. But I’ll reserve final judgment until the special effects are complete because a lot of that wasn’t.
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – Voldemort
Eric: But did you think that Voldemort – as a separate topic, did you think that Voldemort in this film was a compelling villain?
Andrew: Yes. Yeah, I would say so. Why not?
Eric: Okay – no, I’m just wondering…
Andrew: I mean…
Eric: …because the problem is we’ve…
Andrew: Well, what do you mean? [laughs]
Eric: Okay, so we’ve seen so little of him in previous films, we said this. Maybe – I mean, he’s like the villain of the series, the main villain. He’s on all the promotional posters, “You will lose everything,” but he’s only in five minutes of the film towards the end and always thwarted. This is the first movie where we see him, how he thinks, how he commands his armies. The victory speech when he believes that Harry is dead is such insight into Ralph Fiennes playing Voldemort that it’s amazing. But I think the problem is with this film you have to believe that there’s a chance – just like in the book, you have to believe there’s a chance that Harry could lose. And so, does the film make you think that?
Andrew: No. [laughs]
Eric: Okay, okay.
Andrew: I mean, I guess I don’t know how – I really don’t know how anyone could watch this and think that Harry would lose.
Andrew: You know what I mean?
Eric: But I guess – okay, so what I should ask then is, is Voldemort at least interesting to watch?
Andrew: Yeah. Yes.
Eric: Because you see so much more of him…
Eric: …and I think, you know, you love to hate him, almost.
Andrew: Yeah, and Ralph Fiennes does a good job in portraying the role, but like I mentioned before, you would assume that if Ralph – or that if Voldemort was getting this close to Harry, he was going to kill him. He wasn’t going to roll down a hill and put each other in a headlock. Again, that didn’t make sense.
Eric: [laughs] Well, a lot of it is chasing. They are throwing spells at each other the whole time when they chase through Hogwarts. But yeah, I think Voldemort in the books, maybe in a different way in Book 7, was beginning to lose his way, was beginning to kind of – not panic, but he made a lot of silly decisions, I think, at the end with how to handle everything. And I think in the film it’s a lot more cat-and-mouse chasing, just chasing across – I guess it makes for more of a spectacle and maybe that’s why I shouldn’t like it. But…
Andrew: It probably is spectacle, yeah.
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – The Prince’s Tale
Eric: Yeah, but I think, definitely, I understand what you’re saying. Changing the topic a little bit, what about Snape?
Andrew: Snape was great.
Eric: Yeah, okay.
Andrew: Particularly “The Prince’s Tale.” Now admittedly, I had to run to the bathroom a couple of minutes into “The Prince’s Tale,” and I did it at that point because – I know I’m analyzing my bathroom run, it’s kind of weird.
Andrew: But I did it then because I didn’t want to miss the end, of course, I didn’t want to miss Harry, and so I thought, “Well, if I’m going to miss something, I’ll miss ‘The Prince’s Tale.'” But actually, I went to the bathroom and I came back, and “The Prince’s Tale” scene [laughs] was still going on.
Andrew: And so what you can take away from that is it’s a good few minutes…
Andrew: and it’s a lot of scenes.
Eric: Unlike “Snape’s Worst Memory” in Order of the Phoenix, which we were so happy they cast – Warner Bros. revealed the casting of young James Potter, young Sirius Black, young Peter Pettigrew, young Remus Lupin, young Lily Potter, for all of the thirty seconds of, like, half – a light shining on the tree, on the Marauders laughing, that we saw in the finished product of the film. This is much different, this is – and not only for the large part because a lot has to happen, but it’s also a lot of adult acting as well. Michael Gambon as Dumbledore and Snape discussing Harry being a Horcrux or discussing Snape’s love for Lily and trying to get…
Eric: …Voldemort to protect Lily. All of that is in this tale and it is, as you say, a good length. I think that’s probably the best example of how long it is, [laughs] to be honest.
Andrew: And my favorite scenes in the tale were Snape – seeing Snape vulnerable. And by that, I mean particularly the scenes with Dumbledore when Snape – you see him looking so desperate and upset over the situation with Harry and Lily, and it really brings out this side of this character which you have never seen before.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. And I think it’s this – [laughs] I told this to Micah, but what you missed was actually – there’s a line in there where Snape – just like in the book, he says to Dumbledore straight out, “You’re raising him like a pig for slaughter.”
Eric: [laughs] And I just thought to myself, “Yes!”
Andrew: No way!
Eric: He says that to him!
Andrew: He’s a pig for slaughter?
Eric: He says “pig for slaughter”. If they cut it from the final film, I’m going to be so upset because I’m fairly certain…
Andrew: We did a whole episode on…
Andrew: …”pig for slaughter”!
Eric: On “pig for slaughter”, as a term about Dumbledore treating Harry and nobody is going to believe me if it’s not in the final film, but I swear – and I think I remember it being in the book, but particularly in the film, Alan Rickman asks Michael Gambon, “You’re raising him like a pig for slaughter,” and I just thought to myself, “Yes!” It was amazing because we did that on MuggleCast, but that was a personal triumph.
Andrew: Yeah, that was one of our best episodes. By the way, that was Episode 116, I just looked it up real quick.
Eric: 116. Yeah, and it was kind of a couple of months after Book 7 and we were trying to figure out how to analyze it, and I think it was right after the revelation that Dumbledore was gay. Or maybe – no, that was 117.
Andrew: It was around that time.
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – King’s Cross
Eric: Right before.
Eric: So, it was right before that revelation and we really analyzed Dumbledore’s motivations, so it was a really good episode. But Snape – Dumbledore – what about Dumbledore in this film?
Andrew: Yeah, again, I thought – well, I mean, it was really good to see him. I don’t think you see him at all in Part 1, maybe a flashback. You see him in Part 2. You see a lot of him in Part 2. Particularly, I enjoyed “King’s Cross”.
Andrew: A very bright scene, just Harry and Dumbledore and the shriveled-up Voldemort baby thing under the bench. It looked great. Harry was not naked like he is in the book.
Andrew: And that was to Eric’s disappointment, but I said, “Eric, it’s okay, you can go watch some Equus videos on YouTube if you want to see Dan -” I’m just kidding. It was a good scene! And the other time you see Dumbledore is “The Prince’s Tale”, like we mentioned before.
Andrew: So, were you pleased with Michael Gambon in this film?
Eric: I was, I really, really was, and I think a lot of it has to do with the balance that Dan and Michael have found in sort of portraying these characters, particularly in “King’s Cross” where Harry keeps asking Dumbledore questions. It gives Dumbledore – it’s kind of humorous, but it also gives Gambon something to be – he is able to be wise and answer the questions, and I think the way the scene is written is meant to be very – it suits Michael Gambon’s strong points as Dumbledore, where he can be both kind of guiding but also very – I want to say supportive, maybe. I don’t quite know what I’m getting at except I will answer your question by saying…
Eric: …that “King’s Cross” is probably one of the, if not the stand out scene for me in the film, and not the least because of that baby thing which is breathing in and out the whole time the scene is going on.
Eric: You can hear this raspy breathing, and it’s ominous and really kind of deranged. And the other thing about “King’s Cross” is that it’s this afterlife sequence, and for viewers of the film who have seen seven films and now most of the eighth film of Harry Potter being set in the real world – the films made the wizarding world a real deal, a real thing. And now, for us to see this brightly lit “King’s Cross” afterlife like it was in the book, where you have to realize that it’s really happening to whatever extent it’s in Harry’s head, to see it on film was even more special, I think…
Andrew: It was.
Eric: …because it’s kind of like any – not science-fiction film, but any film where we’re meant to believe the fantastical. We were meant to believe that all over again because now we’re talking about heaven or purgatory or something else like that, it was just really interesting to see. It’s one thing to see the ghosts in the forest in the “Resurrection Stone” scene, because we’re used to seeing ghosts in Harry’s world. But to see Harry in the ghost world as a flip side of that was really unique and I really liked that about “King’s Cross”.
Andrew: And comparing it to the book again, those very great lines in the book are there in the film. The one in particular that stood out to me was Harry saying, “Is this all in my head?” or “Is this real?” and Dumbledore says…
Eric: “Of course it’s happening,” yeah…
Andrew: “Of course it’s in your head…”
Eric: “Why on earth should that mean that it’s not real?”
Andrew: “Not real,” yeah.
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Test Screening – Battle of Hogwarts
Andrew: So, that was in there and I think that’s the last piece of dialogue that happens. And yeah, so that was good. Now, one important scene, I think, that we haven’t touched on is Harry and Voldemort’s actual final duel, and like we have seen in the Part 1 and 2 trailer that was released a long time ago at this point, they’re not dueling in the Great Hall.
Andrew: And that was kind of a worry of some people, I know we voiced some concern because that’s the scene of the entire series, Harry finally defeating Voldemort, and I have to say, I don’t think it was bad. I think it was really good. The students are not around, they do come in after – or actually, do they come in? No, I don’t think people come in at all.
Eric: No, we thought they’d come up late, yeah, but they don’t and I think the reason for that, too – I mean, a lot of students have died, too, at this point, where we’ve basically seen Hogwarts students having to carry dead bodies of other Hogwarts students around. And also, the Great Hall becomes a refuge for that. We’ve already – they basically used the Great Hall to stack the bodies of people, so to have that and then the final battle, final, final confrontation in there, would have been a little crowded. I mean, the Great Hall…
Andrew: That’s true.
Eric: …perhaps in the film is not as big as it is in the books, but I think because the Great Hall is kind of like the medi-ward of this film, of this battle, that is the reason for the change. But that said, Bellatrix and Molly do confront each other in the Great Hall.
Andrew: Yes. And that scene – I liked it, it’s not like the sound clips [laughs] that we play from the audiobooks on the show.
Eric: [laughs] It’s not all caps. It is more…
Andrew: It is different. Mrs. Weasley, I would say, is more firm.
Eric: Yeah, more firm about it than crazy. But it does happen, and Bellatrix is given an end. But – so that does happen. Now Voldemort and Harry’s final moments – now, he does call him Tom, but it’s earlier on when he’s sort of face-to-face with him, as Andrew said, kind of up close, physically close to him without killing him. They’re very – I wish I could find better words for that, but they’re very interesting adversaries to see them just dealing with one another. But he does call him Tom at one point, not sort of at the end, but it is revealed – the ownership, the Elder Wand, and things like that are all revealed. And I think it plays more or less like it does in the book but obviously in the new location because by this point they have gone all throughout Hogwarts. I mean, Hogwarts is wrecked.
Andrew: And like you mentioned earlier, you do see a ton of Hogwarts, which is really cool, several sweeping wide shots of the castle. Unfortunately, many of the special effects were not complete…
Eric: But things like stairwells. Like, a lot of battles – like, even the scenes with the snake that occur on the stairwells is very interesting. And Harry even at one point goes up to the Divination Tower when Luna is chasing him and they both see this shield being brought around Hogwarts. Let’s talk about that, the shield, actually, because that’s not in the book…
Andrew: Well, I mean, they put a shield over the castle, don’t they?
Andrew: I think they…
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: It’s a magical shield, but it’s never meant to be literal, to be seen, I don’t think.
Andrew: Yeah, of course. So, they did it in the movie, of course, you do see it. And it’s cool how it’s set up. A few of the teachers go outside and start casting the shield charm and basically it’s this mini montage of the three or four teachers out there all reciting the same spell, and I think that added a little epic-ness to it because you see them kind of uniting and building this…
Andrew: …giant, important forcefield.
Eric: Yeah, what I really liked was the buildup of that shield and also the fortifying of Hogwarts, McGonagall and the two giant statues, but also Voldemort trying to take down the shield, where he’s lost yet another Horcrux, I forget which one, it might be the cup or the tiara, and he’s really angry now and he says, “I have to get -” he basically knows he has to break the shield. He puts all his effort into using his Elder Wand, the Elder Wand practically cracks and breaks, not to spoil anything, but – because he is single-handedly destroying the shield and it’s just – he’s such a powerful, dark wizard that he’s able to begin the deconstruction of the shield, more so than any of his followers were. But he’s so compelling, I think, in his – his mortality is a huge theme of the film, obviously, but I think it’s done really well.
Andrew: Yeah. What else? I mean, I think we’ve covered many of the big things.
Eric: Yeah, all the big things. I think there’ll be specifics out there that people will write in and want to know, and I think we’ll handle those on a case-by-case – maybe not on the show even.
Andrew: Of course our actual film review show, we’re going to have a lot to say.
Eric: Oh yeah!
Andrew: I do have to say right now, one of the more emotional scenes, we talked about Eric kind of sniffling a little bit…
Andrew: …was when – after “The Prince’s Tale”, when Harry realizes what must be done.
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: And they give time for that, you see Harry sort of walk in a trance and he sits down on the steps in Dumbledore’s office, and he comes to the realization of what he has to do. And it was really well done because there is that time, he has that time to sit there and think about it. You don’t hear anything, you just see him thinking.
Eric: About having to sacrifice himself, about having to die. And…
Eric: …when he says goodbye to Ron and Hermione, and it’s finally goodbye, it felt real and it felt like the book. It felt like it did in the book where these characters – actually, that is where it was easiest to cry, I think, because what I thought of immediately when they’re – it takes place on the steps, when Harry actually says goodbye to Ron and Hermione. And because the steps were in such disarray, there were all these shattered bricks and broken brick fragments of the steps, and the halls of Hogwarts there, I was reminded immediately of the chessboard and that scene in Movie 1. Not just Book 1, but Movie 1 in particular where they’re so young and Ron has just been injured, and Hermione urges Harry to go forward and…
Andrew: Oh yeah, that’s a great point.
Eric: …where she says, “Books and cleverness,” and there’s that tender moment between Harry and Hermione. I was immediately brought back to that in this scene for Movie 7 and I think that that was what made me really start to tear up, was seeing how much older they are now.
Announcement: LeakyCon 2011
Andrew: Okay. Well, I think that’s about it for now. Like I said, we’re going to have more to talk about in the future and this is a good time to plug LeakyCon because…
Andrew: …of course, we’re going to be doing our big movie review episode there. And so if you’d like to be a part of that, you can go to LeakyCon.com, and there you’ll find information about the fan conference that’s going to be held from July 13th to the 17th in Orlando, Florida. We’re going to be doing a couple of podcasts there, and if you register for the conference you’ll be able to attend them. And we’ll be doing our movie review episode like I said and of course, we’ll be taking questions and comments from the audience. I’m sure everybody is going to have a lot to say about it. And I’m looking at the countdown now, and there’s 99 days left [laughs] until the start of LeakyCon.
Eric: To LeakyCon, look at that!
Andrew: So, that means, like, 101 days until the film is released, which is crazy to think.
Andrew: We’re going to have to make a news post on MuggleNet tomorrow, “100 days until it ends!”
Eric: Until it ends. It all ends in 100 days. That’s what we’ll have to do.
Andrew: Yep. Yeah, definitely. And if you do register, just use referral code “Muggle” and that way we’ll know that you’re coming. And we can’t wait to see everybody, it’s going to be a great time, and more details coming up in the future.
Eric: Cool! Let’s take…
Andrew: You want to just wrap it?
Eric: No, let’s take some Muggle Mail. That way we can do it…
Andrew: Okay, sure.
Eric: We can do it in, like, ten minutes…
Andrew: All right.
Eric: …and then we’ll be done.
Muggle Mail: Daniel Radcliffe’s Acting
Andrew: Let’s do some Muggle Mail. Go ahead, Eric, take this first one.
Eric: Our first one is from Amber T. from Alameda, California. Subject is “Dan’s Acting.”
“Hi MuggleCasters, this e-mail is a bit out of the blue, however I had an epiphany moment and I thought I’d share. There’s always been the discussion about Dan Radcliffe’s acting in the film series, maybe that it is a little woody or the emotion is at times forced. Personally, I think Dan the person is an inspiring young man, very wise and good-humored for his age. However, I have always agreed that, of all the young actors in the film, it was Harry’s character that felt the worst acted. But I had a realization recently: Dan was so funny on Extras, he is amazing in How to Succeed in Business, and he’s so charismatic and witty in interviews. Why do I love him so much as everything but Harry Potter? I’m going to be controversial and blame the writers. Harry’s character is so linguistically predictable in every film, he hasn’t had a defined character arch in the series, and they passed by lots of chances to give him things to do and instead gave him nothing to do but stare in a fireplace or look out a window. Sure, book Harry may have done stuff like that, but this is a film and the audience should feel more connected to the main character than they do at this point in the series. Think about it, guys. Do you really feel for Harry in the film like you did for Harry in the book? I don’t, but I don’t blame Dan. The writers of the film series made us a wooden hero. Just venting, lots of love and pickles.”
Andrew: I think she actually brings up a very fair argument there. And I also think you may have a changed – well, you may not have that opinion when you watch Part 2 and I think back again to that scene after “The Prince’s Tale” where you really get a few moments with Harry, and see his realization and reaction. And also when he’s talking to his parents and Sirius in the forest…
Andrew: …right before approaching Voldemort.
Andrew: There’s some time there that you really get to see his character.
Eric: Yeah. I think, too, that – in contrast with previous films comes as a direct result of them saying, “We need to make this film in two parts,” where they’re going to have all this extra time to do things like show Harry maturing, which is kind of – in previous films, I kind of agree with her that it’s his age and his maturity, is all kind of implied to be happening sort of behind the scenes because all we see is him react to all these extraneous forces that are happening to him. But this time, he’s really got to come to the realization that he has to die and for that to mean anything, you’ve actually got to spend some time watching him behave and be the character of Harry. So, I think it’s probably very plausible what she wrote in about, but in Movie 2 I think it will be Dan’s best performance as Harry.
Muggle Mail: Prophecies and Horcruxes
Andrew: Next e-mail’s from Mariam, 19, of Toronto. She writes:
“Hey guys, I love, love, love the show! I just wanted to suggest/correct a few things. Not to sound like a know-it-all, but it was mentioned that if Dumbledore had given Lord Voldemort the Defense against the Dark Arts, he – Dumbledore – would meet his downfall much sooner due to the prophecy. When Lord Voldemort seeks the position the prophecy had not yet been made. I don’t think Harry was even born. Also mentioned was why Lord Voldemort hadn’t gone seeking the Horcruxes to resurrect himself. In the series it was mentioned that to reattach one self’s soul via Horcruxes you have to feel remorse for the death committed to first create the Horcrux, and the remorse felt would probably be the death of you. That being said, going after the Horcruxes wouldn’t be an ideal way for Lord Voldemort to resurrect himself. Thanks for being so awesome! Mariam.”
So, thank you, Mariam, for those corrections.
Eric: I mean, I think what Mariam said about – well, who – which one of said that Lord Voldemort would…
Andrew: I guess Micah, because I didn’t say it.
Muggle Mail: Resurrection Scene
Eric: Interesting. Okay. But yeah, and I think the Horcruxes – the interesting thing about the Horcruxes is that the diary, for example, was kind of a reincarnation of Voldemort or it wasn’t the Voldemort we know being revived, but it was very – it came very close to being a full-fledged, even worse teenage Voldemort, I guess, when he was sapping Ginny’s power. So, it was interesting that the Horcruxes can kind of act independently and be – each be sort of as threatening of Voldemort as the real deal who once inhabited the body. So, that’s what I thought when reading this e-mail. But the next one comes from Leah, 22, from Malibu, California. She says:
“Hi MuggleCast, I’m a long-time listener and wanted to reply to Micah’s question from Episode 223’s Chapter-by-Chapter segment. Micah asked if there was any religious symbolism/parallels in the graveyard scene. Yes, there absolutely were. The graveyard scene evokes twisted eucharistic imagery. In the Christian paradigm, Jesus willingly gave flesh and blood – symbolized by bread and wine in the Christian communion ritual – in a self-sacrificial act. Voldemort, as an idolatrous – in that he’s self-obsessed – anti-Christ figure, is resurrected by a backwards ritual, blood and flesh taken, not given.”
That’s very interesting. She says:
“I also had a thought about your question as to Wormtail’s ability, as a weak character, to cast the ‘Avada Kedavra’ spell. I was reminded of the look of revulsion on Snape’s face when he AK’d Dumbledore, and perhaps, most likely, that revulsion was self-directed. Snape ‘meant it’ when he killed Dumbledore because his hatred was genuine, Snape hates himself. I don’t think I’m far off the mark by guessing that Wormtail also experiences this self-revulsion when he kills Cedric. Here, Wormtail is virtually Voldemort’s slave, constantly demeaned, and only sticking around because he is too afraid to do otherwise. It’s likely that Snape and Wormtail were able to project their self-hatred onto Dumbledore and Cedric, and therefore summon enough meaning to administer the Killing Curse. Thanks, love the show! Best wishes, Leah.”
What do you think about that? Obviously, you guys did talk about that on the last show.
Andrew: God, I don’t know. She’s right. [unintelligible]
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Yeah, there were some interesting parallels there, I’m trying to remember if I brought this up. But yeah, I particularly like the point about the look of the revulsion on Snape’s face…
Eric: Yeah, I think…
Andrew: …when he AK’d Dumbledore.
Eric: I think, though, when it comes to Snape, my thoughts are that he is genuinely angry at Dumbledore. He almost doesn’t need to be angry or disgusted with himself. He is angry that Dumbledore is making him kill him.
Muggle Mail: Spells with Intent
Andrew: And the final e-mail today comes from John Spencer, 19, of Atlanta, Georgia:
“Hey guys, I was just listening to Episode 223 when you were talking about the ‘Obliviate’ spell, and how it seemed some memory modifications could be reversed and some couldn’t. Micah mentioned that these differences could be because of the caster’s intent, but I think it’s deeper than that. There are plenty of discrepancies when it comes to spell casting in the HP series: Patronuses can be conjured to send messages as well as fight Dementors, though I doubt their incantation is any different. We have seen characters use the Disarming Charm to both make a weapon fly from their hands and to hurl them across a room. I think spells are very flexible, wizards can manipulate them within certain parameters. My guess for memory modification is that (1) it may be easier for the witch or wizard who did the spell to undo it, and (2) the spell could have been applied to varying strengths and after a certain point, it becomes dangerous to remove it without damaging the person whose memory has been modified.”
I like that second point, in particular, so maybe the longer you are doing it, the worst it gets.
Eric: Mhm. I think it’s more to do – personally, I feel like it’s more about what you’re covering up. If you’re covering up something like a murder, it’s going to be – it’s going to take a stronger spell to make that person…
Andrew: Now, why is that? Isn’t that you just judging that a murder is worst than any other memory?
Eric: Well, to be perfectly honest, a murder is what splits the soul and creates Horcruxes. I mean…
Eric: …there is canonical…
Andrew: But Voldemort doesn’t have a problem with it.
Eric: …references. No, but he’s splitting his soul every time he does it. I think the difference is – well, Gilderoy Lockhart, for instance, said – a quote from him is that he’s particularly good at Memory Charms. I think there is a certain skill, a learned skill that will allow you to cast them and make them kind of last for longer. I think it has to do with – weaker witches or wizards aren’t able to do Memory Charms that are covering up something really bad, or last forever. And I think that that’s really important. Also, Bathilda – no, I’m sorry. Baggins? No, not Baggins. Bagshot? No, who is the witch who goes missing in Book 4 from the Ministry?
Andrew: Not Bathilda.
Eric: Jorkins. Jorkins.
Andrew: Yes, Bertha Jorkins.
Eric: Bertha Jorkins. [laughs] Baggins. Bertha Jorkins – Voldemort is the one who broke her Memory Charm – or was it Wormtail? And he did that through torture, the idea that you can Crucio somebody or cause somebody enough pain that they un-forget what they have forgotten is horrifying, but I think that’s what that kind of thing takes in order to un-Obliviate somebody, you need to cause that person pain, and again, stronger wizards alone can cause the most sort of pain that’s going to be the most effective. So, I don’t know, that’s how I feel about that.
Andrew: All right. Well, I think John brings up some good points and so do you. That would be another one of those questions that needs to be asked to Jo to hear what she thinks.
Eric: But she won’t be answering us as pen and paper are her priority at the moment.
Andrew: Maybe on an encyclopedia to explain such a thing.
Eric: Oh, look at that! Maybe.
Andrew: Well, before we say goodbye to everybody, don’t forget about our website MuggleCast.com, it has all the information you need about each and every episode that we do here for you. And there on the site, you’ll find several important links. There’s a “Twitter” button so you can follow us, Twitter.com/MuggleCast. There’s a “Like Us on Facebook” button, Facebook.com/MuggleCast. And we recently added to our site – it’s actually been around for a good amount of time – a fan Tumblr, MuggleCast.Tumblr.com. If you use Tumblr, you can follow this fan Tumblr and – I say fan Tumblr because it’s run by two great fans, Allie and Angel. And get some fun MuggleCast updates that way as well.
Andrew: They put quotes, pictures…
Eric: Quotes, latest episodes, pictures of us, retro pictures of us that are pretty cool. It’s kind of a good – it’s always like a flashback and a flash-current, so it’s kind of cool.
Andrew: [laughs] Flashback, flash-current.
Eric: Flash-current, flash-sideways, what are you going to say? I don’t know what the right…
Andrew: All right. Well…
Andrew: Good enough. And also on MuggleCast.com, click on “Contact” at the top, you can e-mail us and maybe your e-mail will be read on the show. If it’s not read on the show, it will definitely be read by one of us as we sort through the mailbag…
[Show music begins]
Andrew: …as we pick out e-mails to read on the air. So…
Eric: Micah will be back with us on the next MuggleCast.
Andrew: Yes, which will be sooner than your normally-scheduled MuggleCast because we have lots still more to talk about.
Eric: News, news, news.
Andrew: Yeah. Thanks everyone for listening! I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: And I’m Eric Scull.
Andrew: And we’ll see you next time for Episode two-two-fi-fi-fi-fi-five!
Eric: Beep, beep.
[Show music continues]