Harry Potter Revisited: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I have now arrived at the 6th movie in my retrospective on the Harry Potter movies. It’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The ending in particular packs quite an emotional wallop. So spoilers ahead!

The movie opens on a somber note as Death Eaters (minions of Lord Voldemort) are seen attacking London’s Millennium Bridge. Both the wizard and Muggle worlds are under attack. Following right where Order of the Phoenix left off, Lucius Malfoy is disgraced and in Azkaban prison due to his involvement with the Death Eaters. His son, Draco (Tom Felton) is giving a secret mission by Voldemort. Draco’s mother gets Snape (Alan Rickman) to protect Draco and carry out the mission should anything go wrong. Snape is rumored to have been a mole in the Order of the Phoenix, informing on Dumbledore to Voldemort.

As another semester at Hogwarts begins, there is a new potions professor: Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent). When Harry and Ron get their potions text books, Harry’s are filled with helpful notes from someone known as the Half-Blood Prince. The notes allow Harry to excel in the class and impress Slughorn. One day in potions, Harry wins a vial of Liquid Luck potion.

Dumbledore reveals to Harry that one of the reasons he hired Slughorn was because he has a memory relating to Voldemort that is needed in their quest to defeat the Dark Lord. Dumbledore has a version of the memory, but it has been altered. Why? Slughorn feels guilty about not stopping Tom Riddle (a young Voldemort) when there were signs he was headed to be a dangerous wizard when Slughorn had him as a student.

Harry uses the Liquid Luck to get Slughorn to give him the real memory. He succeeds. In the memory, Tom Riddle asks about Horcruxes. Horcruxes allow a wizard to divide their soul into seven pieces by putting them in inanimate objects. It allows the wizard to be immortal. Harry even destroyed one already: Tom Riddle’s diary in Chamber of Secrets. Dumbledore and Harry set out to retrieve and destroy the other Horcruxes. In the process of getting Slytherin’s locket in a seaside cave, Dumbledore is forced to drink poison (he has to drink it to get at the locket).

Dumbledore apparates them back to Hogwarts. But he is weakened from the poison. After arriving back at Hogwarts, a number of Death Eaters arrive via a Vanishing Cabinet courtesy of Draco Malfoy. It’s revealed that Draco’s mission is to kill Dumbledore. But Draco just can’t do it. Dumbledore asks Snape to kill him, this ending his pain. Snape honor’s his request, enraging Harry. When Harry attempts to pursue Snape, it’s revealed that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince. The Death Eaters escape and Hogwarts holds a funeral for Dumbledore.

Half-Blood Prince is a return to form after the uneven but enjoyable Order of the Phoenix. What I appreciated the most was how front and center the friendship of Harry and Dumbledore was. This is some of the best acting by Daniel Radcliffe and Michael Gambon in the whole series. And they’ve been solid throughout. My heart broke when Dumbledore was killed off. It was just like when I read the scene in the book.

I want to again credit Alan Rickman for being the pitch perfect Snape. There are so many layers to the character. And Rickman is able to tell us just what we need to know at just the right time as the series progresses. It’s masterful acting without being showy.

Where would I rank this one in the whole series? Ahead of Order of the Phoenix but after Prisoner of Azkaban. I’ll give my whole list after Deathly Hallows.

Harry Potter Revisited: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Greetings, readers! Apologies for the delay on this blog entry. And now, without further ado, here are my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The fifth entry in the Harry Potter franchise is particularly bad. But it’s not great either. It’s somewhere in the middle for me. What a shame too. Because I loved the book.

Part of the problem to me is that the whole movie feels rushed. IMHO, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows should all have been split into two parts. More on this later.

The movie opens with Harry Potter fending off dementors who come after his cousin Dudley. Harry is brought before the Ministry of Magic for violating the decree of underage wizardry. He’s acquitted, in spite of being prosecuted by a kangaroo court. On that court is Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton).

Umbridge is the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher. But her class is a theoretical one, forbidding the students from learning defensive spells. Why? The Ministry of Magic is interfering in the curriculum at Hogwarts. Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy) is so terrified of the very idea of Voldemort being back, that he does everything he can to discredit Harry and Dumbledore, who know for a fact that the dark lord has returned.

Since Umbridge won’t teach the students how to defend themselves, Harry, Ron and Hermione recruit some students go form Dumbledore’s Army. They meet in secret and Harry teaches them the ropes. Eventually the organization is found out. Umbridge uses all sorts of nefarious methods to get at the truth, including threatening Harry with the torture curse.

Luckily Hermione stops Harry from being tortured by giving Umbridge a fake story about Dumbledore’s secret weapon. Harry, Ron and Hermione lead Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest and let the centaurs get revenge on her (she has been further and further restricting the boundaries of their territory).

From there, the rest of Dumbledore’s Army eventually join them and head to the Department of Mysteries. Earlier on the movie, Harry has a vision of Sirius Black being tortured there. So they set out to save Sirius and retrieve the prophecy about Harry and Voldemort.

While at the Department of Mysteries, they are ambushed by Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy. Sirius and the other members of the Order of the Phoenix (a secret organization formed years ago to fight Voldemort) arrive in time to save Harry and company.

But all does not end happily. In the chaos, the prophecy is destroyed and Bellatrix Lestrange kills Sirius. Voldemort then arrives to try to kill Harry. Dumbledore arrived in time to stop him. In a last ditch effort to win, Voldemort tries to torture Harry by invading his mind. But Harry resists.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix crams a lot into its nearly 2 1/2 hour running time. In fact, it feels overloaded. I can’t imagine someone who hasn’t read the books or seen the previous movies being able to just walk into this one and make heads or tails of it. But, maybe that’s a moot point. At this point the franchise isn’t starved for having enough fans to support it.

My problems with the movie aside, it does have its good points. For example. this is the movie that introduces us to Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch). Luna is quirky and looked down on for being eccentric. But she proves a good ally for Harry and is often his voice of reason. Their friendship is one of my favorite things in the movie.

I also loved all the Dumbledore’s Army scenes, where we get to see Harry grow from student to teacher and become a mentor to his classmates. Amidst the learning of magic, there’s also real character development of Neville Longbottom. That is one of my favorite character arcs in the whole franchise.

And, as much as I hate the character of Umbridge, Imelda Staunton plays her flawlessly.

Order of the Phoenix has its flaws. But it’s still a movie I would happily watch if I came across it on TV or felt like having a Harry Potter marathon.

Harry Potter Revisited: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Now we come to fourth installment: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Darkness has been building in the last three installments. But this is where things turn pitch dash thanks to a magical contest and the return of Lord Voldemort.

The movie opens with the Quidditch World Cup. It’s all fun and games until there’s an attack at the competition by Death Eaters, Lord Voldemort’s followers.

As Harry, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts, the school is joined by students from two other wizarding schools: Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. Champions are selected from each school to compete in the Triwizard Tournament.

Students wishing to compete put their names in the Goblet of Fire. The champion from Hogwarts is Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), Durmstrang’s is Viktor (Stanislav Ianevski) and Beauxbatons is represented by Fleur Delacour (Clemence Poesy). The field seems set. But then the Goblet of Fire spits out Harry’s name. After heads of all three schools debate what to do, it is decided Harry will also compete. But Harry didn’t enter his name. Who set him up?

The contests are no walk in the park. First, each competitor has to go up against a dragon to retrieve a dragon egg. Then they have to save friends of theirs being held underwater in the Black Lake while fighting off all sorts of underwater creatures. Finally, they have to navigate a magic maze to get the Triwizard Cup. My favorite is the first one, because dragons.

As if all of that wasn’t enough excitement, Hogwarts gets a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He’s an ex-auror (dark wizard hunter) named Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody (Brendan Gleeson). Oh, and there’s a dance: the Yule Ball.

So, there’s a lot crammed into this movie, just like Prisoner of Azkaban. Goblet of Fire brings another new director to the franchise: Mike Newell. You might remember him as the director of Four Weddings and a Funeral. His knack for dry humor shown in that film shines here in the lighter moments, especially the teenage drama surrounding the Yule Ball.

One of the smart things this movie does is allow Harry, Ron and Hermione to go through teenage growing pains in a realistic way. And the feud between Harry and Ron early on (Ron is mad at him for not telling him he would enter the tournament) doesn’t get dragged out as long as it does in the book.

The finale is also handled very well. When (spoiler alert!) Harry and Cedric both reach for the Triwizard Cup, they’re transported to a cemetery. There Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is resurrected by Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall). Pettigrew kills Cedric with the killing curse. And then Voldemort challenges Harry to a duel. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. But, when Harry and Voldemort cast spells against each other, their wands connect. This brings about images of people Voldemort killed. Voldemort is distracted long enough for Harry to grab the Triwizard Cup, which takes him back to Hogwarts, along with Cedric’s dead body.

The emotional impact of the ending is handled as well as you could hope. I for one shed some tears. Daniel Radcliffe really makes you feel the weight of Harry’s struggles. He’s great in the first three movies. But here, his acting chops really go up a few notches.

Among the acting performances, I want to give a special shout out to Brendan Gleeson. He’s been a great character actor for a while. You might remember him from 28 Days Later. He brings a lot to Mad-Eye Moody. At the end, when we learn that the Moody we’ve seen has been an imposter (Barty Crouch Jr. used polyjuice potion to assume his form and imprisoned the real person), his turn from helpful teacher to villain is quite jarring.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ratchets up the tension in the franchise to whole new levels. The Triwizard Tournament is thrilling, the Yule Ball a fun diversion from the darker elements and the human drama involving. I enjoyed it a lot. But I’m not sure where I would put it in my ranking of the movies.

Harry Potter Revisited: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

We have now come to my favorite book in the Harry Potter saga: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Alfonso Cuaron’s entry in the franchise stands out to me because of how the movie effectively handles the dark and ominous overtones of the book. It also benefits from the brilliant casting of a few new characters. More on that later.

As Prisoner of Azkaban opens, Aunt Marge is visiting the Dursleys. When she insults Harry’s parents, Harry loses his temper. The manifestation of that anger is him causing Aunt Marge to inflate like a balloon and float away. Harry then packs up his things and gets on the magical Knight Bus to stay at the Leaky Cauldron until classes begin. Along the way he meets the Minister of Magic, who is surprisingly forgiving of what Harry did to his aunt.

While at the Leaky Cauldron, Harry runs into Ron and Hermione. They get on the Hogwarts Express together. The train ride takes a dark turn when the train is searched by the dementors. They are the grim reaper-looking guards of Azkaban (prison in the wizarding world). The guards are looking for escaped murderer Sirius Black. Making things scarier? Black is the only person to ever escape from Azkaban and sold out Harry’s parents to Voldemort.

At the first night back at Hogwarts, Hagrid is introduced as the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher. And we also are introduced to Remus Lupin (David Thewlis), the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher. Harry, Ron and Hermione meet him briefly on the train ride to Hogwarts when Lupin repels a dementor that enters their train car.

We learn later that Lupin was good friends with Harry’s parents. With Sirius Black on the loose and dementors guarding Hogwarts, Harry asks Lupin to teach him the a Patronus Charm that Lupin used to repel the dementor on the train. The friendship that grows between Harry and Lupin is really a joy to watch. Lupin is an effective mentor and a good confidant for Harry. Casting David Thewlis was a master stroke.

But back to the story. After a Care of Magical Creatures class goes awry (Draco provokes hippogriff Buckbeak to attack him), Buckbeak is sentenced to death. Harry, Ron and Hermione go to watch Buckbeak’s execution and be there for Hagrid. Afterwards, Ron’s pet rat Scabbers escapes. A large dog appears what drags Ron and Scabbers into the base of the Whomping Willow. Turns out it contains a secret passage to the Shrieking Shack.

The large dog is in fact Sirius Black. Black is an Animagus. In the shack, it is also revealed that Lupin is a werewolf and Scabbers is Peter Pettigrew. Pettigrew was the one who betrayed Harry’s parents, not Sirius. Harry tries to help Sirius escape. But he’s unsuccessful. To set things right, Harry and Hermione leave injured Ron to heal in the hospital while they use Hermione’s time turner to go back in time. This time they’re successful in freeing not only Sirius but Buckbeak.

Okay, lots to unpack here. Let’s talk about why this installment is such a success. One I’ve already mentioned. That’s the casting of David Thewlis as Lupin. There’s so many layers to the character and Thewlis brings them all out in a brilliant performance. The screenplay wisely doesn’t reveal all of Lupin’s secrets all with blunt dialogue.

The other standout performance is Gary Oldman as Sirius Black. Oldman is one of our greatest actors, one of a few in modern times who deserves the chameleon label. While his screen time is limited in this movie, Oldman does a solid job of establishing one of the most crucial characters in the series.

Prisoner of Azkaban also is just an all around great looking film. Cinematographer Michael Seresin gives us some images that are beautiful, like the whole sequence where Harry goes for a flight on Buckbeak. But then there are also images that are beautiful but also haunting, such as the ride to Hogwarts in a rainstorm and the reveal of the dementors.

This movie is a shift in tone from the last two installments. But Alfonso Cuaron handles the material very well. There’s a sense of foreboding throughout that really keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. But the movie does have moments of great humor too. It isn’t all gloom and doom. It’s a delicate balance that works. Prisoner of Azkaban works as not just a Harry Potter movie, but as a movie period. It’s well made on every level.

One final note (pun intended). This is the final movie in the series that features a score by John Williams. He goes out with a bang, delivering some of the best music in the series.

Harry Potter Revisited: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Continuing my nostalgic tour through the Harry Potter movies, this week I’m revisiting Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

As the second movie opens, Harry is living with his cruel adoptive family, the Dursleys. As another year at Hogwarts gets ready to begin, Harry is visited by a house elf named Dobby. Dobby warns Harry not to return to Hogwarts and that terrible things will happen. In the process, Harry learns Dobby has been intercepting letters from Ron and Hermione. Dobby thought if Harry felt left out by his friends he wouldn’t want to return to school.

Harry refuses to promise Dobby he will not return to Hogwarts. So Dobby gets him in trouble with the Dursleys. Uncle Vernon puts bars on Harry’s bedroom window and locks him up like a prisoner. Thankfully Ron, Fred and George Weasley show up to break him out and get him to school. The sequence introduces us to an enchanted flying car, one of the most inventive effects in the movie. Harry then goes to spend his last time before classes resume with the Weasleys.

One of the joys of the early parts of Chamber of Secrets is seeing how the Weasleys become a surrogate family to Harry. There’s also the way that Molly Weasley (Julie Walters) has no trouble scolding her kids and welcoming Harry with open arms at the same time.

But what about this specific year at Hogwarts? Well, the Chamber of Secrets of the title has its roots in the history of Hogwarts. The school’s founders: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin had differing views on who should be allowed to attend Hogwarts. All but Salazar Slytherin believed Hogwarts should be open to all magic and mixed families (meaning allowing Muggle-borns as well). Since Slytherin could not convince the others, he left the school. On his way out, he built a hidden chamber in the castle. Only the heir of Slytherin would be able to open the chamber, unleash the monster and purge the school of Muggle-borns.

Well, the chamber gets reopened and cryptic/disturbing messages are left on the walls. The first victim is Filch’s cat, Mrs. Norris. She’s found hanging, petrified in one of the school corridors. The attacks continue, and eventually, Ginny Weasley is taken into the Chamber. Hermione is also found petrified. Hogwarts goes on lockdown to catch the culprit.

Hagrid is also sent to Azkaban prison. As we learn from a mysterious diary, Hagrid was accused of unleashing a monster on the school 50 years ago. So Hagrid is sent away as a precaution and Dumbledore is temporarily relieved of duty. As Hagrid is escorted off to Azkaban, Harry and Ron hide in his hut under Harry’s invisibility cloak. They later learn from Hagrid’s friend, a giant spider named Aragog, that Hagrid is innocent.

Harry and Ron then discover the entrance to the chamber in the girl’s bathroom, with no help from new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh), who they discover is a total fraud. Harry is then able to open the chamber. It is revealed earlier in the movie that Harry speaks Parseltongue (the ability to talk to snakes).

Into the chamber Harry goes, where he meets Tom Marvolo Riddle. Riddle is revealed to be Lord Voldemort, just a younger version of him. Tom sets a basilisk loose against Harry. Eventually Harry fights it off with a sword brought to the chamber by Fawkes, Dumbledore’s Phoenix bird. Harry is then also able to get rid of Tom by stabbing the pages of his diary with a basilisk fang.

The diary is what brought Tom Riddle back to life in the first place. It was slipped to Ginny Weasley’s cauldron in Diagon Alley by Lucius Malfoy. The diary possessed her to write the messages on the walls and do Tom’s bidding.

What do I takeaway from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? It’s a solid second installment, building very well on the world and mythology established so well in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. While there were certainly dark elements in the first movie, the second one dials the scares up a few notches. It’s not just the victims of Slytherin’s monster turning up petrified. The scene where Harry and Ron meet Aragog and then have to flee from a whole group of giant spiders scared the bejesus out of me! Chamber of Secrets accumulates tension very effectively, making it into a thoroughly involving mystery. The way the secrets of the chamber are gradually uncovered is masterful. And, amidst all the darkness of the story, there is great comic relief from Gilderoy Lockhart. Kenneth Branagh plays him as a narcissistic buffoon, true to how he was written in the book. But he never feels like he’s straining to be funny. The part could easily have been cartoonish and annoying. But Branagh plays it just right.

The sets here are also something to see, especially the Chamber of Secrets itself. This is an excellent sequel that allows us to see the characters grow into the roles. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson pick up right where they left off, proving once again that they were the right choices for Harry, Ron and Hermione. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has a good balance of human drama, action and humor. It leaves you eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Harry Potter Revisited: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

With lockdown still in full swing, I thought it would be a perfect time to revisit one of my favorite book/film franchises: Harry Potter. So here is my reflection on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Given the success of the Harry Potter books, it was only a matter of time before J.K. Rowling’s series made it to the big screen. Enter Chris Columbus of Mrs. Doubtfire fame to direct the first installment. Transforming such a fantastical book into a movie was a daunting task to say the least. But Columbus and his talented cast/crew proved themselves more than equal to the task.

First thing that must be said about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is that it was perfectly cast from top to bottom. Daniel Radcliffe shines in the title role. Emma Watson as Hermione and Rupert Grint as Ron complete the core trio. Their chemistry is perfect from the word go. Child actors can often be hit or miss. Here, the casting people hit a home run. The kids are surrounded by amazing actors in the adult roles: Richard Harris as Dumbledore, Maggie Smith as McGonagall, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid and Alan Rickman as Snape. There’s not a weak link to be found.

But enough about the talent in the cast. Let’s talk about why the movie is such a success. It does a fantastic job of laying the foundation for the series. From Harry Potter being left to live with his cruel relatives the Dursleys at the beginning, Harry learning he’s a wizard when Hagrid comes to visit, to the establishment of all the people at Hogwarts we will come to know and love, this is a backstory handled beautifully.

The movie succeeds also because of its use of special effects. It would have been easy for a story like this rooted in the fantastical to get bogged down with bloated CGI. A great example of this is the scene where Harry, Ron and Hermione play a game of wizard chess with life size living chess pieces. It involves pyrotechnics, but that never overwhelms the scene. It feels very grounded in reality. The same thing can be said of the quidditch match. This is not a mindless action movie.

Another thing I love about the movie is its visuals. Hogwarts castle with its endless corridors, bewitched ceilings, moving staircases, talking paintings, etc. is an absolute wonder to behold.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a triumph that establishes a whole world we can’t wait to hear more stories about. There’s a danger with backstory movies. A lot of times the stories feel like they’re going through the motions just so we get to meet the characters but not experience much else. Here, we get the core trio growing into a tight knit group of friends.

And we get not just the fun and games of the wizarding world, but the dark side. There’s the story of how Harry’s parents died, the whole terrifying sequence in the Forbidden Forest and the real threat of Voldemort’s return. This is a fun movie, but it has a sharp edge to it. It’s a delicate balancing act.

So much could have gone wrong and the franchise could have been sunk. But thanks to a script that’s true to Rowling’s book, Chris Columbus’ direction and a gifted ensemble of actors, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a winner.

10 Thoughts I Had While Watching Cookie

This past weekend I watched Cookie for the first time. Here are 10 thoughts I had while watching it.

  1. Peter Falk is the cool uncle we all wish we had. 
  2. I don’t think this score could be anymore 80s if it tried.
  3. Don’t trust Segretto. That’s just my gut reaction to seeing Bob Gunton. Wonderful actor. But I always think of him as the corrupt prison warden in The Shawshank Redemption.
  4. “I’m practically the only person there who’s not an alien.” I’ve felt that way at many social gatherings.
  5. Wonder Bread wop is an insult I plan on working into future conversations.
  6. This is a strange prequel movie to The Sopranos
  7. The tone of this movie has shifted at least five times. Is it a comedy? Dramedy? Gangster movie? Not sure what they were going for.
  8. How many poor birds died for that hideous red feathered coat Cookie is wearing?
  9. Dianne Wiest’s character feels very underwritten. A shame since she’s a wonderful actress.
  10. I didn’t love that movie or hate it. It’s somewhere in the middle. There’s potential for a better movie with that cast and the premise.

10 Thoughts I Had While Watching Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

Continuing my series on thoughts I had while watching various movies, here are 10 I had while watching the cult classic Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.

1. Not only is Harry cheating on Nancy, he’s doing so while she’s in rehab? He’s a real winner.

2. Say what you want about Nancy and Harry. But they have a great home bar.

3. Nancy went to the Lori Grimes school of driving.

4. Nancy doesn’t need Harry. She needs a good divorce lawyer.

5. Too bad the satellite they ran into wasn’t the Satellite of Love.

6. It takes a real prize of a husband to use the woman he’s cheating on his wife with as an alibi.

7. Too bad the satellite they ran into wasn’t the Satellite of Love.

8. Pretty sure the filmmakers blew the budget on cheesy special effects and the interior of the spaceship.

9. The sheriff has all the aim of a storm trooper.

10. That movie belongs in the pantheon of so bad it’s good movies with Plan 9 From Outer Space and Red Sonja.

10 Thoughts I Had While Watching Targets

This month I thought it would be fun to just write about thoughts I have watching movies. The first movie I selected is Targets. WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

1. It’s not a proper Boris Karloff movie without at least one scene in a haunted castle (including stock footage from past Karloff movies, as we get in this movie).

2. Bogdanovich is carrying on the tradition of directors appearing in their own movies. Little did Hitchcock realize what a trend he was starting when he made cameos.

3. You can tell a movie is from the 60s/70s if the size resembles a small boat.

4. Boris Karloff elevates any material he’s a part of. 

5. Great incorporation of footage from The Terror and The Criminal Code to pay homage to Karloff’s career.

6. The mass murder of his family comes out of nowhere. Sweet fancy Moses!

7. Why is Bobby tucking a corpse into bed? 

8. Seeing the drive-in theater reminds me how much I miss having one in my city.

9. Bobby is not a very bright criminal.

10. That ending with Karloff winning the day and stopping the sniper was utter perfection. Definitely not what I expected.

Movie Characters I’d Want To Be Quarantined With

Greetings, readers! I hope wherever you are that you are safe and healthy. While many of us self isolate, it got me thinking, which fictional characters would you like to be quarantined with? Below are my top 5. Feel free to suggest your own in the comments.

1. Shaun and Ed: Shaun of the Dead

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have been making us laugh on the big and small screen for some time now, going all the way back to their cult sitcom Spaced. If I had to be quarantined with someone, I’d want them to both be capable in an emergency and be fun to be locked up with for an extended period of time. Shaun and Ed from Shaun of the Dead would not only be able to roll with the punches, they’d know how to have a blast in even the most dire of circumstances.

2. Nick and Nora Charles: The Thin Man

If you’re going through a tough time, you might as well be cooped up with people who are witty. And, in the history of cinema, few people have been wittier than Nick and Nora Charles. The banter in quarantine would always be lively. Plus, we could have some great murder mystery dinner parties. That, and they’d bring their adorable dog Asta. Always good to have an emotional support animal.

3. Mark Cardigan: His Kind of Woman

Vincent Price is rightly remembered as a horror movie icon. But he did branch out when given the chance. Of all his non-horror characters, my favorite is Mark Cardigan from His Kind of Woman. Mark is an actor along the lines it Errol Flynn. He also has a wicked sense of humor and a great screening room at his cabin. I’d want to be quarantined with him not only for his devilish charm, but for the opportunity to be enjoying movies in a primo screening room.

4. Ellen Ripley: Alien

If I have to be cooped up for a while, I’d want someone to stay active with. And Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise would be an amazing workout buddy. We’d pass the time doing CrossFit and HIIT. Plus, she’s resourceful. That’s definitely a quality you want during dark times.

5. Alma : Pillow Talk

Thelma Ritter was one of the greatest character actresses of her time. She specializes in playing the loyal, no nonsense BFF of main characters. While it’s difficult to pick just one of her unforgettable characters, I would want her character from Pillow Talk to be my quarantine buddy. We’d have the best time swapping stories, enjoying a good drink every now and then and she’s probably have some great pearls of wisdom to share about life. I’d come out of quarantine a happier and wiser person.