MuggleCast | The #1 Most-Listened to Harry Potter Podcast 3

MuggleCast 215 Transcript

Show Intro

[Intro music begins]

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["Hedwig's Theme" plays]

David Heyman: Hello, this is David Heyman and I'm the producer of the Harry Potter films, and this is MuggleCast.

[Show music begins]

Micah: Because one Deathly Hallows review show just wasn't enough, this is MuggleCast Episode 215 for November 24th, 2010.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome everyone to MuggleCast Episode 215! I know what a lot of you are thinking: "You guys don't put out two episodes within four or five days of each other. What is the meaning of this?" Well quite frankly, on Episode 214 we made a few mistakes and we wanted to get out a new episode sooner rather than later because there was a good ñ I don't know if it was a large group of people, but I will say there was a vocal group of people who were disappointed in some mistakes that we made on the last episode. So, we wanted to get this new episode out to let you guys know we don't take the mistakes lightly. We appreciate that you guys are so passionate about it and you guys rely on us for accurate information in a timely manner. And we got the timely part right but [laughs] we didn't get the accurate part right! So...

Eric: Plus, we promised a Part Two to our Part 1 discussion anyway...

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: ...and while it's all fresh on our minds...

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So - and I do also have to say, Episode 214, we got a lot of downloads very quickly, so that also motivated us to get another episode out to you guys as soon as possible. So, we have quite a few things to address and Matt's joining us this time, and he has a more positive take on the film, right?

Matt: Yes, most definitely.

Eric: Do you promise?

Matt: I promise.

Micah: Well Andrew, why don't you tell them the truth? At the beginning of 214 when we sat down to record you said, "Micah, you need to be more critical of this film."

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: And that's the reason why on Episode 214 I was so critical of the film.

Andrew: We have a lot to address this week, so let's get started. I'm Andrew Sims.

Eric: I'm Eric Scull.

Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.

Matt: I'm Matt Britton.

Richard: And I'm Richard Reid.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: No news this week! This is a purely rebuttal sort of episode. And really, there hasn't been much news other than, I guess we should mention quickly, ticket sales. The movie made $300 million worldwide over opening weekend, which shattered the previous opening weekend record set by Goblet of Fire. And it should be taking over the box office this upcoming weekend as well, so...

Matt: I don't know, Tangled is coming out this week.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, I think Harry Potter will - it's funny, there's already articles out saying, like, "Harry Potter set to rule the weekend box office - Thanksgiving weekend box office."

Micah: Yeah, I think it will do pretty well just for that reason in and of itself, is that kids are off whereas last weekend - at least this is an extended period of time where they can go see the film.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: That was interesting because they were comparing the gross of Deathly Hallows to the opening weekend gross of - what was it, Movie 3? Or...

Micah: Movie 4.

Eric: of the other successful ones that had happened in the - well, Movie 4 was also in November but I guess the difference was the kids were off school and so they thought that maybe Deathly Hallows - I mean, it did amazingly. What, $125 million opening weekend domestic? So, it did great but they thought it might do even better if kids had been off school.

Movie Discussion: Clarification on Bellatrix's hair

Andrew: Anyway, let's get into Part Two of our Part One Deathly Hallows discussion. Three big things we want to start out with. These are three things we talked about last week that we were incorrect about. [laughs] The first one - and I got to say, I don't know if we've ever gotten so much feedback about a particular episode.

Micah: Hundreds of e-mails, literally.

Andrew: But that's great, by the way. We're not complaining. We really appreciate that you guys do write in and we do read all the e-mails. But the most e-mailed thing, the most e-mailed topic we received was concerning the hair that fell on Hermione.

Eric: Mhm.

Andrew: And we did not - well, some people did not know what it was. Honestly, I hadn't even seen it in the film, so I just saw the close-up of Hermione. I didn't actually see the hair. And I think, Eric, you're sticking by that same excuse too, right?

Eric: Well no, no. I saw it and I questioned what it was, but I legitimately didn't remember where it would come into play.

Micah: I just wasn't sure what the scene was setting up because the switch-over happened so quickly. And to see this hair falling through the air, I just didn't make the connection.

Eric: So, it turns out - if I can take this away from you, Andrew - that the hair is obviously very significant because in Part 2 - in the film Part 2 and later in the book after Malfoy Manor, Hermione needs the hair which is Bellatrix's hair to Polyjuice herself into Bellatrix so that they can invade Gringotts. Obviously huge, huge, huge plot point right there is this hair which in the film is just kind of - the camera shows Hermione laying and the hair gently falls on her. And I re-watched the film last night after all of this feedback that we got for the show, and it's in the scene where specifically Bellatrix is torturing the goblin - she's cutting him up and interrogating him. And we don't see how close Bellatrix is to Hermione but we're meant to believe, I guess, from the positioning that Bellatrix is right outside the camera frame so that her hair just fell off of Bellatrix and is flowing down to Hermione. It's really odd because never is it really set up that that is actually Bellatrix's hair. Or never is it actually shown that. We're just meant to believe that she is right next to where Hermione is laying. So, it is really confusing, to be fair. But there is no excuse for my mistake, which is that I didn't know where the hair came into play. Andrew legitimately didn't see it.

Matt: Eric, also what I thought was really cool that Helena Bonham Carter did during the entire film basically is just keep blowing the hair out of her face. It showed...

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Oh, that's where it hints at.

Eric: Yeah.

Matt: it's all over the place, basically, because she keeps spitting, basically, the hair out of her mouth.

Eric: [laughs] So, you're saying kind of like Barty Crouch Jr. in Movie 4 where they had that tongue thing so that you could recognize him.

Matt: Yeah. Well, so you keep your attention to her hair, basically, because [laughs] it's going to start falling off pretty soon!

Eric: I think it's brilliant. I think it's brilliant.

Andrew: So, we'll see that in Part 2. Presumably, Harry and Ron will be, like, "We need Bellatrix's hair," and Hermione will be, like, "Oh yeah, remember at the end of Part 1? I totally got one of her hairs when..."

Matt: [laughs] I totally got one!

Andrew: "...I had one fall on me!"

Eric: Well, her eyes are like - she's crying but her eyes are slightly open. She kind of pays attention to...

Andrew: See, that's what distracted me, was her crying. I was focused on her eyes. I wasn't even watching what was going on with the hair. But anyway...

Eric: Yeah.

Movie Discussion: Clarification on the Reading of The Tale of the Three Brothers

Andrew: That's big thing number one. Number two - [laughs] and this one was my mistake - the reading of The Three Brothers. I said on Episode 214 that the reading of The Three Brothers was done by Ollivander in the book. That's not true, it's still done by Hermione. What had confused me about that was the preview trailer for Parts 1 and 2, where we see Ollivander talking to the trio, saying something about, "There's only three!" or something like that. That comes into play in Part 2 somehow, but that's what confused me in terms of who's telling the story. But yes, everyone who e-mailed in was absolutely right about that.

Micah: Yeah, he says, "It's rumored there are three."

Movie Discussion: Clarification on Gregorovitch/Grindelwald

Andrew: "It's rumored there are three." Okay. So, that's what confused me there. And finally, the Gregorovitch/Grindelwald slip-up was number three of the three big things we screwed up. And Micah, can you address this one?

Micah: Yeah. So, I was going through the Deathly Hallows subplot and I started by talking about Gregorovitch. And I think it was just so fast-paced when I was talking that I slipped up, and I said that Gregorovitch was the one that was in the prison when Voldemort comes and tries to get the memory from him. In fact, it's Grindelwald, but that led to Eric making a comment, I think, that he wanted to address as well.

Eric: Yeah, I made the comment that the actor portraying Gregorovitch must have read the Harry Potter books because he portrayed Gregorovitch as if he were a gay character. And not only was this comment, I think, inappropriate - I was of course speaking of Grindelwald whose relationship with Dumbledore was outed canonically by J.K. Rowling later. But I think everything from the comment - sometimes I can imagine the listeners of the show have these moments where they're listening to us talk and they're, like, "Well, what did he even say there? What was he thinking?"

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: And this is one of those moments where I caught it long before any e-mails sent in. Honestly, I think people held back on the e-mails because I was nice to the film in that discussion.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: But I have to say, when I was listening to myself talking, not only did I realize we had confused Gregorovitch with Grindelwald, but I just don't know what I was thinking. I really do apologize. Like, it was an...

Andrew: It's okay, Eric.

Eric: ...inappropriate comment to make anyway. So, I just want to say that that whole thing, I just - if I could erase it, I would. But I can't, so I do apologize.

Andrew: It's all right. It's all right.

[Matt laughs]

Movie Discussion: Matt's Review

Andrew: So, those are three big things we wanted to clear up. We still have lots of e-mails we're going to get to today and we'll be talking about all of them. Little things in the movie, things you guys didn't like or you did like. So Matt, since you were not on the show last week, we want to get your review, your short review of the film. And we can discuss a couple of the things that you bring up. And you are pretty positive about it, right?

Matt: Yes, basically. Like Andrew just said, I thought the movie was amazing. I thought it was - I was basically floored after the first time I saw it. And I think mainly the reason why I like the movie so much is because I think I felt the same emotions that I did when I read the book when I saw the movie. Because usually when I watch the movies, I don't really have the same feelings that I felt when I read the books, which in Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is not the case. I was very extremely impressed with the acting. Like you guys said in the last episode, I thought - my favorite actor actually was Rupert. Emma did a lot of great scenes, but I feel like Rupert stole the show for me. I thought the music was a lot better than what I listened to from the soundtrack. I think it fit a lot better than it does by itself. The first time I saw it though, I basically forgot ten minutes of the movie after Hedwig died because I was just floored by what they did. Hedwig's death was ten times better in the movie than it was in the books...

Eric: Oh, thank God.

Matt: ...because...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: So, you're saying you forgot because it was awesome, right? [laughs]

Matt: Yeah, I was basically, like, "Oh my God, the movie's still going." Because...

[Eric laughs]

Matt: ...what they did with Hedwig was they gave her a noble death. In this case, she saved her boy, basically. She was protecting Harry, the one that she loved. And I thought that was just the icing on the cake. Unfortunately, we couldn't go find the damn bird and bury her, but that was...

[Eric laughs]

Matt: You can't do that when Voldemort is chasing you. And - let's see, some of the other things that I really like. I honestly - you guys may disagree with me, but I really love the pacing of the film because...

Eric: Yeah.

Matt: is - we've got to understand, it's half of a full movie. This is only Part 1, so even if the road movie was half of Part 1, that's still a quarter of this entire story. And, I think - because when I read the books I thought it was slow-paced anyways because that's what it exactly is. It's months and months of traveling, and they have to condense that in a two-and-a-half hour film because half of the entire story is them just looking for Horcruxes, which they have no idea how the hell they're going to do it. So, I think they portrayed what the feeling was, and if they even shortened it - because a lot of people do say this about how it drags. Even a lot of the critics say this, about how the "on the road" part of the film where they look to destroy the Horcruxes is slow. Well, also Ron is getting very upset about it taking forever, and I think if they shortened it any way in the movie it wouldn't have come across - the emotion that Ron had to give for him to leave.

Micah: Yeah, the point I was going to agree with was that in the last show, obviously, I said some things about the pacing of the film and even some of the subplots that were going on, whether it was the Horcruxes or the Hallows, or backstory on Dumbledore. And I think you brought up a good point, something that I didn't really think about in the sense of it being a two-part film, and that a lot of those things have payoff in Part 2 that you're just obviously not going to get for that very reason in Part 1 because there are still three hours left to go.

Eric: Right.

Matt: Well, yes...

Micah: And I think that that's really where I made some missteps.

Matt: Well, no. I mean, honestly, Micah, I wasn't even thinking about what you guys mostly said in the last episode because I've been reading so many reviews on it and a lot of it had to do with how there was no cliffhanger at the end, basically which - I mean, they would have to create a cliffhanger, basically, because they're going off of a book - and how slow it was. But really, if they tried to make it all action-packed, it's - if you see Part 1 and Part 2 in its entirety, you're going to get so bored by the time the big battle hits at Hogwarts. It's going to be so boring up to that point because you're going to be seeing two-and-a-half hours of action and then you're going to be seeing another two-and-a-half hours of action too. And no offense to American audiences, but we're very fickle with that. We can only stand a few minutes of action and then we're going to be tuning off.

Movie Discussion: End of the Film

Micah: Now what did you think, though, of the point where the movie did leave off? Were you satisfied with it?

Matt: Did you guys touch on this? I don't think you did.

Andrew: No, we did. Yeah.

Matt: Oh, okay. Well - no, I loved it. I absolutely loved it because I...

Andrew: Well, was it a cliffhanger? Didn't you just say it wasn't a cliffhanger?

Matt: I say - well, I think it was a cliffhanger. The last time I saw it - which was, like, the fourth time. The last movie I saw, the girl next to me started swearing.

[Micah laughs]

Matt: Like, "What the hell?"

Eric: My dad swore.

Matt: "The worst ending ever! How am I going to wait until the next film?"

Eric: My dad swore. I saw it with my dad last night and at the end of the movie, he swore loudly and he said, "What a place to end it." And he was laughing, of course, and I think it was kind of bold because clearly - I mean, Dobby has just died. We have this emotional low but then Voldemort gets the Elder Wand and it's such a position of power for the villain to be in when the film ends. So, I think maybe it came across as bold to some people, but I definitely agree it was a worthwhile ending. I don't think that there was any point they should have done better.

Matt: Yeah. I mean, it's really hard to create a cliffhanger from a pre-existing book.

Andrew: I thought it was a good cliffhanger, though. And Micah last week addressed - he said he didn't really feel it. And I think we only didn't feel it because we knew what the cliffhanger was going to be, so...

Micah: That's fair.

Andrew: was - it came across as predictable to us. And right, like Matt said, you do have to go with the book so you do have to create a cinematic cliffhanger off of the story. I mean - and if they had created a new scene, that would have caused even more trouble. So, I think it was a good idea to leave it when Voldemort takes control of the Elder Wand. If you haven't read the books, if you haven't been spoiled with where the split would be made, then I think it was a good cliffhanger and I do remember a specific e-mail from someone who said their whole theater audience went, "Ahhh..."

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: ...after Voldemort got the wand.

Eric: It's the light.

Matt: Well, not only is it a good cliffhanger, but - I mean, you really - it's really subjective on what defines a cliffhanger, but I think it's the perfect place...

Andrew: Well, he was kind of on a cliff, right?

Micah: Ha ha.

Andrew: So, that sort of helped too.

Micah: Ha ha.

Matt: He was on an island.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Matt: He was on the cliff of the grave, so we can just say that.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Right.

Matt: But it's also the perfect point in the story where it kind of transitions over to the other half of the film, too.

Eric: Well, that's the other thing. I noticed this last night while watching the film that the first film really is a lot about the Elder Wand and it's - because in the beginning of the film, Voldemort has this scene and I hadn't forgotten this scene in last week's episode, but I did notice this more last night. Voldemort actually sets his wand down on the table at Malfoy Manor when he goes to grab Lucius'. And he has this dialogue in the beginning of the film about how his wand and Harry's can't face each other.

Matt: Right, they're twins.

Eric: And so if you're a stranger to this film, which is the kind of - I tried to put myself in the shoes of a stranger last night to judge things...

Micah: Don't do it.

Eric: pace. No, to judge things like pace...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: the film. Don't warn me, Micah. I know you got all the hate mail, I'm sorry. But to judge things like pace, I tried to put myself in those shoes. So, taking in Voldemort's dialogue in the beginning of the film about him not being able to face Harry with his wand, it makes sense that he takes Lucius'. And then, of course, at the Seven Potters scene, Voldemort loses a wand. A few scenes later, Harry has this memory/vision of Voldemort being very upset with Ollivander, da da da da da. It goes on and on in the story, and Harry later develops that we're going to get the wand. The story of the Three Brothers, we find out about the unbeatable wand. The end of the film has Voldemort, he has attained the Elder Wand. So, it's really this film - I think it makes continual sense, and I think that it actually makes sense, or would make sense, to non-viewers because I was shocked at how many little scenes there were that really emphasized that Voldemort is looking for this unbeatable wand. So, I thought it was fine.

Andrew: Richard, as someone who gave the film a three out of ten, were you satisfied with the cliffhanger?

Richard: Yeah. I mean, again like I said last week, I was still a little disappointed with the way the ending - well, it's not where I would have ended the film, put it like that. But I guess that when I was originally writing my review just after the film, you have to remember that it is only Part 1 of a two-part film, as Matt said earlier. So, although I'm critical, I kind of - I'm almost trying to say, "Well, look, I'll hold off until I see the next film before I decide." It was relatively - it was okay, I guess. I mean, it wasn't brilliant, but it did the job.

Eric: So now, Richard, you said you would end the film while they got snatched, right? Prior to the Malfoy Manor scene?

Richard: Yeah, yeah, right.

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: And so what would you have - what would you do - what would that effect achieve? Like, I'm trying to think - I had originally considered that to be a good spot because then both the first film and the second film could start off at Malfoy Manor. But that was really, in the end, the only rewarding thing, I thought, about it, to have that continuity between the two films.

Richard: I just - well, I think that the tension from building up from being chased by the Snatchers, from being caught, I think that would have been much more profound than - because I - since I found Dobby's death such a letdown. But I think the tension from the Snatchers would have been more interesting to watch as a cliffhanger.

Andrew: But I think the problem with the Snatchers is they weren't that powerful. I think they needed that...

Micah: They were comical.

Andrew: Right.

Matt: They were.

Andrew: They needed that ending shot to be Voldemort because it's Harry versus Voldemort. Snatchers are, like, "Ahhh, who cares? It's the Snatchers." And yes, he's being brought back to Malfoy Manor. I mean, maybe a good cliffhanger is, like, Malfoy being right about to call Voldemort or something like that.

Richard: They could still use Voldemort for the end of it. The bit I didn't really like was the Malfoy Manor scene because remember that in the books - unless I'm wrong, but Voldemort, when he takes the wand from Dumbledore's grave, it comes well after the Malfoy Manor scene.

Andrew: Well...

Richard: So, they moved that forward anyway, so I mean, they could still do that after being caught by the Snatchers.

Muggle Mail: Casting Bill Weasley and Mad-Eye Moody

Andrew: Let's get to some e-mails now. We got lots of them from several listeners. This first one is from Ian, 19, of Massachusetts, and he writes:

"In your review of 'Deathly Hallows: Part 1' in Episode 214, you mentioned that Bill Weasley was the one to announce the death of Mad-Eye and how odd it was that he should be the one to do so. I realized that Bill is played by Domhnall Gleeson, the son of Brendan Gleeson, who plays Mad-Eye. Do you think that this casting choice affected the script in any way, specifically as an inside reference to the actors?"

Eric: [laughs] So, is Bill Weasley the one who mentions Mad-Eye's death because it's played by his...

Andrew: "Mentions."

Eric: Yeah.

Matt: His son?

Eric: Does he get the line?

Andrew: I think - well, at the least, it's a coincidence. I don't think that would have been intentional.

Eric: I think the interesting thing is David Thewlis wanted his wife to play the role of Tonks, his real-life wife to play the role of Tonks. Do you think that - it's kind of like asking the question, do you think that that would play up - they would have played up Remus and Tonks in the films if Thewlis' wife had been cast in the role of Tonks?

Andrew: Mmm, I don't think so.

Eric: I just don't know. I think the...

Micah: No...

Eric: In every interview we have had with Heyman and Yates, they say the respect is to the form and the content, and then less to any of those other worldly things.

Micah: Well, I think it goes back to the point you made last week. And even though I disagreed with it, I think how you mentioned that what's going on is larger than just sort of this smaller group of people that we've come to know throughout the course of the films. Here is Bill Weasley who obviously is introduced in the books very early on but isn't introduced in the movies until right now, and yet he has all this knowledge about what's going on with all these different people that we've come to know. And so it was kind of a nod to the greater danger that's being presented to this group of characters, that here is somebody who we've never met before saying that Mad-Eye Moody is now dead.

Matt: Well, Bill does say Mad-Eye's dead in the book.

Eric: [laughs] So, it also happens to be canon.

Matt: It also happens to be exactly what happens in the book.

Andrew: Is it? Are you absolutely sure about that?

Matt: Yeah, I'm actually on the page right now. That's why I was quiet for a bit.

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: What page is it?

Matt: It's page 78 of the U.S. edition, the very top.

Andrew: All right, I'm double-checking because this is an error-free episode of MuggleCast.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: But I do think with that point that Eric brought up last show is fair.

Andrew: Yeah. I would like to confirm as well that Bill Weasley [laughs] does say that in the book.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: He is the one that reveals it.

Eric: Thank you, Matt.

Matt: You're welcome.

Andrew: So, it was a good theory, though, from Ian anyway. I mean, maybe that's why they cast him anyway because they were, like, "Well, Bill's going to announce it, so let's get..."

Matt: Who better than his son?

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Seeing it last night again, the Seven Potters scene when they have that car chase, they're on the road. I love seeing the Death Eaters casting the spells at the traffic...

Matt: Oh, yeah!

Eric: ...and parts of cars falling off. Again, another one of those scenes that I think the first time I saw it, it just kind of went by. I wasn't thinking about it. But it's actually kind of cool seeing how all those spells are affecting the cars...

Matt: Yeah.

Eric: ...and Hagrid, I don't know where he learned to drive but he did a pretty good job.

Matt: Well, throughout the entire series, the wizards and the Muggles, they keep to themselves. They don't really cross over worlds, but this time they just don't care, you know?

Eric: Yeah.

Matt: It's like - what a clash between titans.

Micah: The other thing that I noticed too is that, in the film, Harry uses Hedwig as the reason why Voldemort knows...

Matt: Yes!

Micah: ...who he really is, as opposed to Expelliarmus.

Matt: I thought that was a brilliant...

Micah: I thought it was good.

Matt: ...way to kind of transition it.

Micah: Yeah.

Matt: And it just made me even cry more because Hedwig's dead.

Eric: Well, maybe the Ministry has her because they found Moody - or his eye at least, and put it up on a door. Maybe they have the bird, maybe they're...

Matt: Well, I'm expecting in the epilogue that Hedwig comes flying back and then perches on his shoulder, and then everything is okay.

Eric: I don't think that's going to happen.

[Andrew laughs]

Matt: You don't know that, Eric! You haven't seen Part 2 yet!

Richard: In the movie, there was no reference to them about going to get Moody's body though, was there?

Andrew: No.

Richard: So, they completely omitted that.

Eric: Well, they can't really. The world - we're meant to believe the world is too dangerous. I mean, soon enough the Ministry has his eye nailed to the door, so...

Matt: It's fine though, because if they can find Moody's body, then they can sure as hell find a bird on the floor.

Eric: I'm sure they have it on display in some museum. "This is Harry Potter's bird." I'm sorry, Matt. You're going to have to pay to go see it.

Matt: I want to going to have to e-mail J.K.

Muggle Mail: Mad-Eye Moody's Eye

Andrew: Speaking of Moody, Timber, 28, of the U.S.A. writes:

"I believe the commentators mistakenly say that Harry did not take Mad-Eye's eye from Umbridge's office door. I was specifically looking for that and I think he did. I think in that brief second when Harry, disguised with Polyjuice, walks away from Umbridge's office, that the eye is missing. Later on in the forest, there's a scene where we can see Hermione in the background kneeling at the foot of a huge tree with a bunch of wildflowers in her hand. I believe this was the moviemakers' allusion to the burial of Mad-Eye's eye in the forest. Anyhow, when you see the movie again, as I know we all will, let's watch and make sure it's missing when Harry walks away from the office. I think the moviemakers did include this point."

Can anyone verify this?

Matt: I didn't even - I totally forgot about that part. I mean, it wasn't even that [laughs] important to me, about Mad-Eye's eye.

Eric: Yeah, the only thing I can verify is that if that's included in the film, the attention is not drawn to it.

Andrew: It is not.

Eric: It is not.

Andrew: Because it's a wide shot, it's a wide shot.

Eric: It's a wide shot. Both are wide shots, the one of Hermione with her - flowers in her hand and the one where Runcorn walks away. I don't - wow, that's going to have to be a Blu-Ray zoom-in thing for me.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Matt: Yeah.

Eric: I can't do that in the film.

Micah: Yeah. I mean, I know I brought this up in the last episode, so if it is in fact missing from the door, then obviously I'll not have anything to say about it. But...

Andrew: We'll keep an eye out.

Eric: Still, shame on them for not...

Micah: ...definitely next time when I go and see it, I'll take a look. I know we all will.

Matt: If - that would be a really nice little homage to the fans, though, because I mean, it's not in any way intricate to the plot in any shape or form. But if they just put that very subtly in, just for a fan to go, "So, she must be burying the eye right there!"

Eric: Fans shouldn't have to do that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: You should either be completely - you know what I'm saying? Like...

Andrew: They need to spell it out for us.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Muggle Mail: Dobby's Speech

Andrew: [laughs] Next e-mail comes from Brianna, 18, of Omaha, Nebraska. She writes about Dobby's speech:

"Hey guys, I have been a long time listener and I love the show. I just wanted to make a comment about Dobby's speech scene in Deathly Hallows. I really hated that particular scene. I thought Dobby's speech was too comedic, especially because his death was only 30 seconds away. I know at my midnight showing the whole audience was laughing. I thought that they, the writers, ruined what should have been a very dark moment. I too agree that movie Dobby was not developed enough to give such a strong and empowering speech. Anyway, loved the rest of the movie and thanks for the awesome podcast!"

It's funny that she e-mailed this in because I did a review with AOL Moviefone and the link is on MuggleNet, by the way, if you want to watch it. And one of the people on the panel said the same exact thing that in his theater, everyone was laughing!

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: That...

Eric: I can see how that would ruin...

Matt: Right.

Andrew: Yeah, I agree, it must ruin it. But for me I thought that was a very empowering moment, when you see Dobby standing up there. He's standing above the trio and everyone...

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: ...else standing around him. And I thought that was the moment to build up the love for Dobby...

Matt: Right.

Andrew: that when he's killed, just 30 seconds later, everybody feels bad for him. They needed that scene because, yes, he was nowhere to be found in the past few movies. So, they needed that kind of thing to make you feel with him and - by the way, just in my audience, everyone was cheering, applauding, not laughing.

Matt: Yeah. Geez, you guys got some cynical audiences.

[Andrew laughs]

Matt: Yeah, can I just talk about Dobby's death? Because I haven't been able to yet. I loved it! Okay, so to go into it more - I do hear that a lot about Dobby's speech, and Micah and I, you and I were talking about how cheesy it was because every Harry Potter movie needs a cheesy line and unfortunately Dobby got it in this movie.

Andrew: That was not cheesy, are you kidding me? That was not cheesy!

Matt: But I do think that it was completely appropriate for Dobby to say that because Dobby's character, he is - there is no cynicism, there is no sarcasm, there is no...

Eric: Innocence.

Matt: ...sense of anything in Dobby's character. Dobby is completely - yeah, he's completely innocent, he's an innocent soul, he's honest, there is no way for Dobby to lie. He even says how he wanted to hurt Bellatrix. He didn't want to kill her, he only wanted to maim or - so I can see how an audience member can see this as a comedic, not really touching moment. But it would be completely out of Dobby's character to say anything profound. I mean, not that what he said wasn't profound, but very dramatic, almost like an Oscar moment sort of thing. But it's because that Dobby is just a pure soul that there is not an ounce of anything negative or - you know what I'm talking about? Dobby just cannot say things in a manner that's insulting.

Eric: I want to say that one of the things that got me thinking about this when I saw the film last night was what Micah said last week about Movie 2 being a deathfest. And I thought about this when I was watching the film, particularly when it comes to Dobby. I noticed two things. One, I think Dobby has the best lines in this film. "Can you get us out of here, Dobby?" "Of course, sir! I'm an elf!"

Matt: That was hilarious!

Eric: It's - but it's wonderful and the fact that he dies, and I'm not going to dwell on this too much, but Hedwig - obviously they changed Hedwig's death so that she sacrifices herself for Harry in the beginning of the film, happens offscreen, the same with Moody. But when it comes to Dobby's death at the end of the film, we're at such a point where the film audience sees how a completely innocent character has completely, onscreen, sacrificed himself for Harry, and I think that's a great moment for the film to be at. It's a great point for the film to be at because come Part 2, we're going to actually see a lot of people onscreen giving their lives for Harry and I think Dobby was kind of the intro to that kind of behavior, in people sacrificing themselves for Harry onscreen. Because up until this point, even in previous films - with the exception of maybe Cedric Diggory - we heard about Lily Potter sacrificing herself for her son - more or less happened offscreen, we've never seen it before. And so to do it with Dobby, to do it with such a pure soul and to build it up the way they did, giving him these innocent lines and that moment of triumph where he's, like, "He's my friend!" That was really important, I think...

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: ...because come Part 2, they're going to need to - a lot of people are going to be dying for Harry. Otherwise we wouldn't know how to take that if we haven't been prepped by David Yates with Dobby.

Micah: Can I just say one thing about this, though? And obviously she's responding mostly to what I said on the last episode. I do think, still, that there was a comedic touch to Dobby's speech, and yeah, that is part of his personality but I just don't think that that set up his death very well.

Matt: I still cried every single time I've seen it, though.

Micah: And maybe it's just that I need to go and see the movie again and...

Matt: You should come see it with me, Micah.

Micah: ...I'll have a different perspective. [laughs]

Matt: I'll make you cry.

Micah: Matt is convinced to make me cry and to...

Eric: He's going to give you a big old hug, a big old Matt hug, when Dobby appears.

Matt: No, I'm going to slip - I going to put some vapor rub under your eyes or something.

[Micah laughs]

Matt: But what did you think about his speech to Harry right before he dies?

Micah: Oh, I liked that scene. I did liked that scene.

Andrew: [accusing tone] Was that funny? Did anyone laugh at that?

Micah: No.

Matt: Yeah.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Good!

Micah: I just thought the setup wasn't good. That's my criticism of it, it's just the setup of it wasn't good and I'll leave it at that.

Matt: Well...

Andrew: I'll tell you guys why it connected with the audiences: Dobby has been trending on Twitter since the movie came out!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: What was that about? I mean, sure, I don't think the world is in agreement that Dobby should win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Film.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: But I think it did connect with the audiences. When it started trending, I think it was a surprise to a lot of people who haven't read the books and I think people did connect with him. I did, it seems like Matt did, and probably some others. Richard, what do you think? Were you moved by his speech or anything at all?

Richard: In the books, this was actually the only moment of the series that made me cry, it was the scene when Dobby died. My problem was more artificial though. And I liked the story and I liked the dialogue, but as I said last week, I just felt the CGI was poor. I struggled to take the entire scene seriously and I felt a little bit let down about it. I mean, it's almost so cartoony. And at the same time, you're just given this great, passionate speech - almost like the "Freedom!" moment from Braveheart. But I just kind of felt a lack of believability and I think that was down to the CGI.

Eric: Richard, did you laugh earlier in the film when Dobby is pushing Kreacher out of the way so that Dobby can be the one to tell the story of how they found Mundungus? Did you - were you moved at all by that? Did you feel it was unnecessary?

Richard: In the film?

Eric: In the film.

Richard: I wasn't particularly moved by it, I don't think. I mean, it was nice to see Dobby's character back again, finally, after such a long absence. I mean, he has a really, truly wonderful role in the books and I kind of missed him in the movie series as a whole, but I don't think the scene with Kreacher was particularly thought-provoking. I mean, don't get me wrong, the lines were good and they were delivered well. I liked the speeches on the whole but like I said, I'm just not sure I believed it as a filmgoer.

Andrew: I think most people would probably be more receptive to Dobby's performance if we had seen him sooner than 2002.

Matt: If the audience fell in love with him...

Andrew: [laughs] Or that brief cameo in Goblet of Fire.

Eric: Well, it's still been two or three years since Movie 6, and there was no place for him in Movie 6 because he wasn't following Malfoy around, Malfoy was going it alone, so there was no ñ I mean, they could have made a place for him, I suppose, but it's still been years since that movie came out, and unless he's on promo posters next to Harry in all of the posters, I don't think anybody would really remember him. I mean...

Andrew: He had his own character poster, though. [laughs]

Micah: Yeah, he did.

Eric: Oh, he did in this film, didn't he?

Micah: Well, didn't - don't you remember - I brought that up even before the film came out, and I said look at what they did with Fenrir Greyback in Half-Blood Prince and they didn't even really make an introduction to his character. And here's Dobby who hasn't been around since Chamber of Secrets and they're using promotional posters of him. So, again, I'm not - here's the thing from last episode, if I can just take, like, 30 seconds...

Andrew: Yes. Closing point, please.

Micah: ...because I got a lot of - the most feedback that I got was the comment that I made about the casual moviegoer. And I listened back to this episode and I have to say, I used the casual moviegoer argument way too much.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: And I'll concede that. No, I said in the comments. And in all honesty when I say casual moviegoer, I was really referring to some of the issues that I, myself, had with the film. Whether it was the Durlseys, whether it was Dobby's speech, whether it was the Hallows storyline. But these are things that other people had issues with as well. And I still feel, as I said in the last episode and I think it kind of got lost with a lot of the criticism. I do think this was the best book-to-film adaptation that we've had and I think you can still like a movie and be critical of it.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Matt: Oh, absolutely.

Andrew: And another thing that I wanted to bring up is that some people were saying we were being too negative, we weren't bringing up too many positives - I should have brought this up at the beginning of the show but I'm bringing it up now. The fact of the matter is if we were to be completely positive about a film, it wouldn't be...

Micah: Real?

Andrew: ...a good - it wouldn't be a good episode.

Eric: Well, we wouldn't be representative of the whole fanbase. I mean, I thought it was...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: I was stunned because you had withheld from me that we were at such disagreement from the film, Andrew. I feel like I don't even know you anymore...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: [laughs] ...because when it turned out we all had different opinions, I was excited, genuinely excited. It's not only a change of pace for me, it's got to surely be a change of pace for the listeners who listen to us weekly and...

Andrew: Yeah, that's true.

Eric: ...we tend to agree on a lot of stuff, so the fact that we didn't...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: ...I think made for a more interesting episode. I mean, if we can...

Andrew: But yeah, we needed to be critical, it couldn't be an all-rave show. Yes, this is a fan podcast, but an hour and a half of us going, "Oh my God, I loved that!" "Oh, me too, me too!" That's just not good. [laughs]

Micah: And the thing is the same people who wrote in and said that we were too critical would write in and say we weren't critical enough.

Andrew: We can't win! [pretends to cry]

Micah: Yeah, we can't win.

Eric: I think Matt and I are talking about Dobby.

Matt: Well yeah, and also I think a lot of the listeners when they say you guys are being too critical, they meant you guys are being too negative to where they wanted you to be more positive.

Andrew: Maybe, maybe.

Matt: I seriously don't think you guys were too critical because basically that's exactly what this podcast is for. You guys are critiquing everything. We analyze the books and we critique the movies, that's what the fan podcasts do.

Richard: Someone left a comment on MuggleNet, on the actual site, saying that maybe Micah and myself should see the film again and look at it in a different light. And I'm definitely going to do that because I think, on a second viewing, which I haven't had time to do yet, I would probably enjoy it more than I did the first time. That initial shock of saying, "All right, all of my favorite scenes may not have made it in," then, "Okay, I can accept that," and then I can look at, "Well, the rest of the film as a whole wasn't that bad."

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October 8, 2014

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#244 (November 20th, 2011): For the first time ever, MuggleCast has a DVD commentary! Watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 on DVD with us. We'll comment on each and every scene - it's as if we're in your living room watching alongside you!

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