Saturday, 30 August 2014

Film Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Part 5

Here’s the very last bit of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, there’s not a huge amount of actual film left but I love the end credits so much that I thought they deserved a mention as well.

In this bit Harry and Hermione successfully rescue Sirius, Lupin lets Harry have the Marauders Map back and Harry gets a brand new super fast broom. Oh and the end credits go on for practically forever but they’re so brilliant that it’s worth sitting through them.

101. The way that Dumbledore distracts everyone from where Buckbeak is being rescued makes me think he must have known what was going to happen. It makes me wonder if he’d planned to recruit Hermione to rescue Buckbeak all along, and learning the truth about Sirius and having the opportunity to save him too was just a convenient accident. Or Dumbledore’s a really powerful wizard and perhaps he’s just that good and he knows what’s going on before it’s technically happened.

102. Harry and Hermione just have to sit it out and wait for everyone to come back out of the Whomping Willow. Harry is convinced that the Patronus which saved him and Sirius was conjured by his father. Harry’s also being all optimistic about going to live with Sirius, he doesn’t seem to realise that helping him to escape is kind of going to prevent that from actually happening because his godfather is still going to be an escaped convict.

103. While the bit about Hermione’s hair doesn’t bother me, the bit with her pretending to be a werewolf does. Because they’re only supposed to answer to their own calls, or something along that wording. And Hermione is clearly not a werewolf. Then again, perhaps she’s really good at impressions but we’ve not had an opportunity to find out before now.

104. Once they escape from werewolf!Lupin (again) Harry and Hermione find themselves basically watching Harry and Sirius die. Until realisation dawns and Harry rushes forward to make a perfect Patronus. I remember the white light of this bit in the cinema being almost blinding after all the dark scenes leading up to it. I know the book takes place at night and the Patronus is white, but I suspect that this whole thing is kind of deliberate on the part of the filmmakers to make it all really magical and mystical.

105. With Sirius and Harry saved, they’re able to rescue Sirius from the tower and go for a short flight on Buckbeak (which Hermione does not enjoy and I’m not sure I blame her).

106. Before Sirius says goodbye, Harry is reminded, yet again, that he has Lily’s eyes. Sirius gets all Dumbledore-ish and says ‘the ones who love us never truly leave us’ and then tells Harry they live on in his heart. Aww. He also gives Hermione a compliment before riding off into the full moon.

107. They meet Dumbledore on the way back to the hospital wing, reappearing just as they disappear which freaks Ron out totally.

108. There’s another transitional scene with the Whomping Willow, now full of green leaves. Yet another blue bird lands on it and disappears in an explosion of feathers.

109. Now Lupin is off as well. Clearly being a werewolf is not a good trait for a teacher, even in a school like Hogwarts. He’s awfully resigned to the fact that he’s not wanted in the school by many, many parents. I really feel for him, especially as it’s all because of something completely out of his control. But by the same token, he is potentially dangerous and there could have been a very nasty accident while he was out roaming the grounds. So much to consider.

110. Anyway, as he’s no longer a teacher at the school, he’s perfectly willing to let Harry have the Marauder’s Map back.

111. And down in the Great Hall, Harry’s received a new toy, a shiny new broomstick which is, uh, pretty fast. And the film ends with a brief shot of Harry’s face, complete with motion blur as he speeds away on his new broom.

112. But the awesomeness of this film doesn’t end there. The previous films had boring, regular end credits but the ones for this film a truly magical and I almost always end up watching them all the way through just to try and spot all the little bits. First we hear Harry’s voice lighting up the map and then saying the magic words to get it going. And then it takes shape, unfolding.

113. Next to the names are the footprints, strolling around at various speeds.
  • John Williams’s footprints appear to be stepping back and forth as though he is conducting.
  • Emma Watson’s are pacing.
  • Robbie Coltrane’s are giant Hagrid sized footprints.
114. After the big names we start to get a sort of tour of the castle and some of my favourites to spot are:
  • As the ‘Baby in Portrait’ goes by (who was played by the director’s daughter) we see some teeny tiny baby-sized feet toddling around.
  • The footprints sort of interact with the names, jumping over them or walking one foot in front of the other to squeeze between lines.
  • At one point you see ‘Stink Bomb Store’ and a pair of feet walk in, then three pairs run out.
  • When it gets to ‘Animals by’ you see a bunch of dog footprints stroll by as well as some bird footprints which head into ‘The Owlery’.
  • Just after the bit with tutors and chaperones you see a pair of feet go into a little alcovey bit and sort of turn around in there.
  • At the information about the piece of music ‘La Cumparsita’ there’s a pair of feet just standing there tapping.
  • At the special effects bit a pair of feet, wearing shoes like all the others so far, suddenly turns into barefoot footprints and from there into dog footprints. I’m guessing that’s Sirius.
  • In between ‘Rigging’ and ‘Lighting Supervisors’ a pair of feet run through, closely followed by another pair chasing them.
  • A few seconds later two pairs of feet come from different directions and meet just above ‘Compositors’ before walking off together.
  • A pair of feet walk into ‘The Grindylow Lagoon’, they just stop and then disappear without walking out. Presumably they sank or the Grindylows got them!
  • In the very bottom of the left hand corner of the screen, as we pass ‘Motion Control Cameras By’ there’s a little alcove where you can see two pairs of feet not only facing each other but one pair on the outside and another pair inside. Apparently this a couple making out in a private little corner.
  • At the point where ‘The Producers wish to thank’ appears there are a pair of small feet again which run into ‘The Book of Monsters Repair Shop’ and then kind of walk heel-to-toe out the other side (not wanting to step on the books I guess).
  • At the bit with the Dolby Digital logos there are two pairs of feet facing each other which I think might be dancing.

115. And then it ends with Harry saying ‘Mischief managed’ to clear the map, and ‘Nox’ to turn out the light. Easily the best end credits ever!

Next week we’ll kick off with the first part of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I’ve not decided how many parts that’ll be in yet, but I’m trying to keep it to around three or four.

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