Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Cinematic Escapades...

Seeing as our time with our favourite wizard is nearly up, I thought it would appropriate and indeed essential to document some of the franchise's finest moments into a neatly organised list. After reading this list, please feel free to post a comment or tweet your favourites if they were not included.
So here we go; the top 25 'Harry Potter' moments (so far) - Stupefy!

25. The Floo Powder - 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' (2002)

Harry's first attempt at reaching Diagon Alley alone goes terribly wrong when he enters the Floo Network and shouts "DIAGONALLY!" by accident. He ends up on the wrong side of town where the streets are littered with dark wizards. Harry's awful pronunciation makes this scene consistently funny, no matter how many times one may view.

24. Occlumency Lessons - 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' (2007)

Snape OOP trailer.png

Snape's typically unorthodox teaching methods reach an new high in Harry's fifth outing. The Slytherin housemaster decided to teach Harry how to control his mind to stop The Dark Lord from accessing it and using his memories as a target for weakness. The lessons play out more like torture for the young wizard, but it's Alan Rickman's sensational performance that makes this scene so important and affecting.

23. Acceptance Letters - 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' (2001)

The iconic sequence from the first instalment that introduced the world to the wonder and magic. The numerous Hogwarts acceptance letters flooding the Dursley's home on Privet Drive is beautifully captured and fills hope for our poorly treated hero. This image will stay long in the memory of Potter fans.

22. Sirius' Entrance - 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' (2004)

For the majority of the third (and best) film, the audience live in fear of Sirius Black; the 'murderer' who managed to escape from Azkaban Prison. When he reaches Hogwarts and bellows about his wait for 12 years to 'kill', a chill trickles down the spine. However, we soon learn that Black wants revenge on Peter Pettigrew/'Wormtail' rather than Harry. Phew.

21. Sectumsempra - 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' (2009)

As the feud wages on between Harry and Draco Malfoy, the pair finally fall into a vicious battle in Hogwarts bathroom during the sixth feature. Spells are cast, pipes are broken and water fills the room as Harry casts 'Sectumsempra' upon Malfoy leaving his body motionless and soaked in blood. Snape dashes to Malfoy's rescue and Potter is escorted out. The scene really helps to paint the dark and brooding tone that the later features set out to achieve.

20. Grawp - 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' (2007)

Although Grawp is a giant, he's technically Hagrid's half-brother. Grawp is forced to live in the Forbidden Forest outside of Hogwarts for his own safety and protection. When our trio first meet him, they are startled but the giant seems to take a shine to Hermione. He picks her up and she wonderfully beckons "GRAWP! Put me down....Now!" He obeys and realises it was wrong to grab her in such a way. It's a greatly charming and rather unusual sequence.

19. The Rogue Bludger - 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' (2002)

Easily the most exciting Quidditch match played at Hogwarts. A rogue Bludger ball causes havoc and pursues Harry destroying everything in it's path. The iron ball then continues to chase Harry and he and Draco battle to catch the Golden Snitch through the wooden structures of the stadium below-ground. This fast-paced and wonderfully executed sequence thrills me every time I watch the movie.

18. Aunt Marge - 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' (2004)

'The Prisoner of Azkaban's opening sequence is utterly hilarious. After bullying Harry in person and in spirit by bad-mouthing his deceased parents, Aunt Marge Dursley begins to inflate and soon enough turns into a human balloon that floats away into the distance. It's an insanely funny departure for a horrid character, plus more comedy ensues as her shirt buttons smack Dudley twice in the face.

17. Dumbledore's Exit - 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' (2007)

--Albus Dumbledore-- using Fawkes to teleport away from --Cornelius Fudge-- and --Doleres Umbridge--.jpg

Nobody is cooler than Albus Dumbledore and his teleportation exit with the help of his phoenix, Fawkes is one of the most fantastical scenes in the fifth picture. Although it only short, the scene bursts with charisma and  it ends with a wonderful line from Kingsley Shacklebolt - "You may not like him Minister, but you can't deny...Dumbledore's got style!"

16. Attack on The Burrow - 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' (2009)

Voldemort's Death Eaters reek havoc upon the Weasley home in a horrific and utterly cruel act of violence. Bellatrix LeStrange and Fenrir Greyback soak The Burrow in flames and start a vicious battle in the reeds surrounding the home. It's a chilling and powerful sequence that lifts the emotional drama and tension of the already incredible narrative.

15. Polyjuice Potters - 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1' (2010)

The finale begins with the remaining members of The Order and Harry's buddies drinking Polyjuice Potion so they can disguise the 'real' Harry away from the attacking Death Eaters. This scene is not only very amusing, but it sets up what ends up being a ferocious battle across London where sadly, a life is lost.

14. Wizard Chess - 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' (2001)

The moment when the world realised that Ron Weasley is cool. The Wizard Chess scene is dangerous, exciting and tense as our young heroes risk their lives playing with chess pieces that generally kill their opponents. When Ron steps up to the mark and climbs aboard the Horse piece, the game really kicks off and the crushing action begins. It's a fantastic scene nearing the first film's climax.

13. Infiltrating the Ministry - 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1' (2010)

Another bout of Polyjuice Potion in the seventh picture which sees Harry, Ron and Hermione morph into Ministry of Magic employees to discover the truth behind the new act taking place against 'half-blood' and 'pure-blood' wizards. The scene is energetic but brutally dark in tone; the formatting in the Ministry is definitely rooted in Nazi Germany agendas, but despite the grim nature that sweeps across the wizarding world, the trio's break-in to the Ministry is massively entertaining.

12. The Tri-Wizard First Task - 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' (2005)

Harry's first event in the Tri-Wizard Tournament is a brutal task in which the competitors must attain a Golden Egg from a Dragon. Potter's fire-breathing guardian is particularly violent and rowdy causing his experience to be life-threatening and unbelievably tense. The scene is captured with beautiful cinematography and sports some incredible CGI making this scene completely unforgettable

11. The Memory of Tom Riddle - 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' (2009)

As Dumbledore places a memory into the Pensieve for Harry to see, the audience is flung back in time to when Albus first met a young Tom Riddle. Their exchange of conversation is chilling as Riddle announces that he can hurt people if he wants and can talk to snakes. The legendary wizard knew early on that Riddle would soon become a great threat and this scene utterly cements that fact.

10. "Your Parents are DEAD!" - 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1' (2010)

Now although the world thinks the most emotional sequence in the 'Harry Potter' franchise is the terrible departure of Dumbledore, this scene shook me just as much. As Ron gets the wrong idea about Harry's relationship with Hermione and as the sinking fear of losing loved ones kicks in, our two best friends fall into a gripping argument in which Ron unfortunately shouts "Your parents are dead!" in Harry's face. It's an unbearably tense moment and easily the finest piece of acting from the pair in the entire film series.

9. Exam Fireworks - 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' (2007)

A scene that makes you want to fist-pump the air at an insane speed. Trust good old Fred and George Weasley too break Dolores Umbridge's reign of terror as they set off colourful and noisy fireworks in the middle of the students OWLs exams. The best firework is the one in the above image in which a flaming and fizzing mouth pursues her and bites down into a frenzy of explosions. It's a bright, cheerful and unforgettable scene.

8. Dementor on the Train - 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' (2004)

Harry Potter becomes Hammer Horror in this terrifying sequence that introduces the world to the Dementors. As the Hogwarts Express turns into a frost-smothered cell stranded on the tracks, a Dementor searching for Sirius Black creeps through and gives Harry a dreaded 'Dementor's Kiss'; one of the most painful and devastating events to happen to a wizard. This scene steps up the series and proves Potter is NOT for kids.

7. 'I Must Not Tell Lies' - 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' (2007)

After Harry lands himself in detention with Umbridge, she makes 'The Boy Who Lived' write lines as punishment. She passes him a 'special' quill and asks him to write 'I must not tell lies' - however unbeknown to Harry, the sentence becomes embedded in his skin as he writes on the parchment. This scene is rather sickening and makes a wonderful contrast with Umbridge; her methods are sinister yet she wears bright pinks and has a ridiculous amount of cat plates on display in her office.

6. The Graveyard - 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' (2005)

The Dark Lord returns for an epic climatic battle with Harry in Little Hangleton Graveyard after he has completed the third task in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. It is here where Voldemort murders Cedric Diggory in cold blood. This gruesome and moving scene not only reflects the seriousness of the picture and it's intensely bleak tone, but it proves just how far Daniel Radcliffe has come as an actor - he is sensational here.

5. Dumbledore's Army Invade The Ministry - 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' (2007) 


There is only one word to describe this scene - Epic. After months of training, Dumbledore's Army head for The Ministry of Magic to obtain the prophecy hidden in amongst the prophecy chamber. The group have to fight off numerous Death Eaters before members of The Order come to support them. Ginny Weasley proves she is the strongest newly-trained fighter here in this incredible action-packed and beautifully captured scene.

4. Death Eaters Attack London - 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' (2009)


The Death Eaters begin their attack on the Muggle world by crashing through London to reach Borgin and Burkes in the back streets of Knockturn Alley. During their surprise visit, the Death Eaters destroy the Millennium Bridge in Central London. The scene is incredibly designed and looks utterly astonishing and this scene throws the audience straight into the action of the sixth picture.

3. Dudley Vs. Dementor - 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' (2007)

The best opening sequence to any 'Harry Potter' feature. As the Dementors head for the Muggle world, Harry is forced into saving Dudley from it's brutal kiss. This act lands the wizard in great trouble for performing a Patronus charm in front of a Muggle. The Dementors have such a frightening screen presence and the audience feel every drop of terror in this opening 10 minutes of film. This scene is a sheer triumph.

2. The Tale of the Three Brothers - 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1' (2010)

Arguably the most ambitious segment in a 'Harry Potter' picture to date - the telling of 'The Tale of the Three Brothers' is a beautifully morbid animation narrated by Hermione during the trio's visit to the Lovegood household. The story explains the origins of 'The Deathly Hallows'. The animation lasts around 10 minutes and shines with intelligence, rich emotion and staggering imagery. To place something as odd as this in a mainstream Blockbuster is a risky move but it's handled with such skill and care that it is an absolute success. Neil Gaimen would be proud.

1. Hermione Punches Malfoy - 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' (2004)

For those of you who follow my site, you would already know this is my all-time favourite Potter moment. After consistently insulting Hermione and labelling her a 'mudblood', Ms. Granger draws the line when Draco's action cause the execution of the innocent Hippogriff, Buckbeak. She intends to cast a spell on Malfoy but Ron tells her not to. After shaking like a leaf at wand-point, Draco then decides to mock her once more. Hermione turns and punches him in the face before saying "That felt good!" in the most perfect manner. This scene is hilarious, excellently performed and really helps to define Hermione as a character.

*For some reason this video cuts out before Hermione speaks the line.

So there you have it! My top 25 'Harry Potter' moments until Thursday night when I'm sure 'The Deathly Hallows: Part 2' will have plenty to offer!

1 comment:

  1. I am deeply in love with every single piece of information you post here. Will be back often to read more updates!
    marcus butler girlfriend