Film Junk Premium Podcast #26: The Harry Potter Series

We started off the new year with a Weasley Whiz-bang by revisiting all 20 hours of the Harry Potter series covering Years 1 through 7 at Hogwarts. The goal was to finally give this insanely popular fantasy series a fair shake and to determine whether Muggles who haven’t read the books can truly become Potterheads. (The answer might surprise you.) Plenty of highly technical debates ensue including the rules for casting spells, accusations of racism in the movies, and the confusing relationship between the real world and the wizarding world. So is J.K. Rowling obsessed with Labyrinth and David Bowie? Why is Dobby such a beloved character? Is there really a point to the Sorting Hat? Download this month’s premium podcast and find out which member of the Film Junk crew needs a Pottervention!

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This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just $1. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

Around the Web:

  • woo

    I can’t wait, your Potter reviews are classics to me. I remember listening to one of them in the car while learning to drive the first time with my dad.

  • Lori Cerny

    Frank –
    The Lego Harry Potter video game is very cute and a lot of fun. It is also has easy achievements.

  • Dooobie

    Hey Junkers! Any chance you turn the February Robocop-premium into a Verhoeven-Premium? Skip Robocop 2 & 3 and just add some of Verhoeven’s US-Flicks: Robocop + Total Recall + Basic Instinct + Showgirls + Starship Troopers + Hollow Man! That would be sick!!!!

  • Lori Cerny

    “Because you’re a sociopath! You’re evil. And you don’t know what love is.”

    Absolutely the best thing I’ve ever heard.

  • Sean

    We will be including Starship Troopers with this one. We already did Total Recall with The Terminator premium.

  • iammattz


  • pcch7

    Do it Sean, read the books. Do it. 3-7 are amazing.

    It’s true Frank, I think pretty much all of the things you bring up are addressed in the books =D.

    As for Dumbledore, I prefer Harris. He’s more like the book Dumbledore. He’s not as energetic as Gambon plays him. No surprise really because Gambon didn’t read the books I believe.

    Harry’s only the “chosen one” because of what his mother did to protect him. Not because he’s some awesome and powerful wizard. He’s not anywhere near Dumbledore or Voldemort. Him staying with his mean family also has something to do with the ties to his mother if I remember correctly.

  • devolutionary

    If you can even briefly, touch apon the Robocop arcade game. Blew a lot of quarters on that wild ride!

  • Film Junk Fan 15

    The PotterCast was Amazing!!!! Over 3 Hours of Pure Gold!!!!! Thanks you Guys For Putting out Such Great Content

  • Sean

    Thanks for listening and for being a Film Junk fan, Film Junk Fan 15!

  • Sam

    I’m pretty eager to listen to the rest of this, only halfway through the discussion of part one. I’m actually new to Harry Potter as well and have a lot f the same questions you guys were raising at the beginning. I’m pretty immersed and intrigued by the world though I didn’t LOVE any of the movies, I found them all pretty solid.

    In preparation of this premium, I watched all the HP movies for the first time within a week, and since managed to listen to the Stephen Fry narration of the first four novels already (can have headphones on at work luckily, and can crank out 1 every two days or so). I feel like I know way too much about Harry Potter now.

  • Essie

    This was amazing. Rivals your best premium shows, and I appreciate you guys challenging yourselves to watch some movies you weren’t exactly over the moon for and having an open mind. Thanks for all you do.

  • Film Junk Fan 15

    i Just Noticed Re Watching “Half Blood Prince” that Malfoy calls Argus Filch a “Filthy Squib” so that means Filch is no-magic. and his job in this world is like a janitor & he is Fucking his cat!!! so i don’t think non-magic humans have a lot of great job opptions in this World.

  • Film Junk Fan 15

    i compleatly agree!!! Love the fact they chose somthing a little diffrent and it was Funny as Hell

  • Anthony Hebert

    Considering my own love of the Film Junk, I’m going to do my own top five for the premium episodes (so far).

    5) From the Harry Potter discussion, as Lori pointed out, “Because you’re a sociopath! You’re evil. And you don’t know what love is.”

    4) The personal stories of peoples interactions with individual franchises are quite entertaining, especially the Star Wars and Jurassic Park stories.

    3) The first mention of “Mom Mentality” and Jay and Sean’s reaction in the Lethal Weapon premium.

    (Tie)2) Jay trying to harmonize with Frank AND Jay sounding like (as Greg puts it) “Bill Cosby” in the Indiana Jones premium.

    1) All of the top and bottom fives and the discusion that comes up from it, that presents distinct perspectives and funny as hell observations.

  • Thurston

    God like quality of humor in that Vimeo preview highlight clip. Well, looks like I need to make a trip to my local FYE and purchase the HP baby blu box set so I can participate in the fun. Into the abyss my fellow Junkers…

  • Thurston
  • John Abides

    Excerpt from the diary Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Given that a proper villain have need of an imposing name and Tom is not the least bit imposing, a new name must be selected. Perhaps a mixture of letters from my name. Behold the fearless Drilloom Tromeda!

    No, no, that won’t do. Gentlemen, fear the imposing Modo Lit Rammodel! That’s better, as long as I am able to roll my R’s on command. RRRRammodel. But will my foes pronounce it correctly? I doubt it. Too easily changed to ‘Mondo Twit Homodel’ as well. ugh.

    Ok ok, let’s simplify this. ‘I’ and ‘am’ are both part of my name, so that gets rid of a few letters. Oh look, ‘lord’ is there too! Thank the dementors! So let’s see … I am lord … Tremovold. Mmm, not bad. Suggests I might have a tremor, and I cannot imply weakness with my name. I am lord Rovomteld! No, no, way too hard to say. Voldemort? Fuck it, sounds good to me.

  • patrik

    Two in the blood one in the mud?

  • Bas

    Not done listening yet, but LOVING it! About Harry living with the Dursleys and the way they treat him: the way I see it Rowling gave the first book a bit of a Roald Dahl flavour where grown-ups are absurdly and fantastically horrible. The “real” world of the Muggles was perhaps portrayed a little too “serious” in the movies. But that’s just my take.

  • Bas

    Yes, but also in reply to what’s said in the Premium about squibs doing menial chores at Hogwarts: I believe that, apart from the teachers and Filch, Hogwarts has a bunch of house-elves (like Dobby) that do all the cooking & cleaning, using their magic skills to remain unseen.

  • Sam

    Regarding the use of “Padfoot”. I’m trying to recall if there was ever a throwaway line in part 3 about it. I was new to the series and might have missed some stuff. After starting listening to the books, the Marauder’s map that the Weasley twins steal and give to Harry was made by “Wormtail, Moony, Padfoot, and Prongs” which I know can be seen on the cover when the words start appearing. Which are nicknames for Peter Pettigrew, Lupin, Sirius Black and Harry’s dad, just don’t think it was ever explained in the movie.

    Speaking of the Weasley twins, not enough Weasley twin love in the podcast. Also thought you guys would talk about the deaths of one of the twins and Lupin at the end of the series and how that was handled.

  • pcch7

    Web, do you know why all the “guest” commentators are named Film Junk Fan 15? =D

  • Loren

    Ahh! Jay C yelling out “BUMBACLOT!”. That made the podcast right there. I actually had to hear that word a lot. I use to deal at a Casino in South Florida, so whenever I had a Blackjack or pulled 21 you would hear “Ahhh! Bumbaclot!” basically means “Fuck Me”. The good thing was the Jamaicans for most of the time never called me a Bumbaclot.

  • pcch7

    Frank, I’m a relatively slow reader because I usually only read before I fall asleep but I piledrived through the first 6 books in one month. They are very easy reads, and addictive. I can highly recommend reading them.

    As for Seans comment on the horcruxes, 7 is a special magical number or something. And as for Franks comment, everytime he creates an horcrux he splits part of his soul.

  • Sam

    Otherwise, if Frank has time to listen to stuff, while doing some work or playing Candy Crush, the audiobooks read by Stephen Fry are nice. I imagine reading the actual books though would be quick as hell reads.

  • pcch7

    Yeah. By comparison, it took me the better part of a year to read the LOTR books which are not even half as long as the Potter books in total.

  • kyri


  • John Abides

    In other words, I loved the discussion of his name, Frank. It never struck me just how absurd it is that his name is an anagram for ‘I am lord Voldemort’! So stupid.

    And christ that song is terrible. Gives Ladies First a run for its money.

  • John Abides

    A little complaint I had with the story is how Harry’s father is thrown under the bus. His dad went to his death fighting Voldemort, but it’s only his mother’s love that saved him? What the hell? Both his parents sacrificed themselves. Or did his dad not really love him or something? And what about everyone else who died for a loved one?

    But beyond that, James was a dick to Snape (as a kid) and teased him for liking Lily. But Lily liked James anyway, and no blame is given to her for marrying a guy who is a dick. No, she’s the pure, loving one, and it’s the men who do all the fighting.

    In other words, some of the family stuff bothered me. Regarding his hiding, I think the idea was to put him outside the wizarding world so people wouldn’t bump into him as a child (with his obvious birthmark) but with family who could care for him (however poorly). Then Dumbledore put some hiding spell on Harry so only he (and Prof McGonagall) would know where to find the boy. They hoped things would have blown over in the 10 years or so before wizarding school started.

    Another thing, the book wants to have it both ways with Harry Potter’s skills. Sometimes he’s portrayed as merely good (with Hermione far superior) but he is amazing on a broom, defeats all sorts of monsters, essentially ties in the Goblet of Fire to an older and very talented student, is quite good dueling, and dominates the shit out of Voldemort at the end of the series. The results always led me think of it as false modesty where the author wanted to build up suspense by telling us that he’s not that great. But wait, he’s just up to the task!

    I don’t mean these as a complaint, really. I love the books and adore fantasy in general. But it’s a difficult balance to strike where a character is very powerful, but there has to be some suspense as well. Similar to a movie character who is a great shot, but misses so many easy shots in a movie. But then at the end, he/she makes a killer shot!

  • John Abides

    Sounds about right. Cartoon villains in the beginning who get dropped as they lose relevance. After all, how can Harry really face off with them? He’s way over powered.

  • Film Junk Fan 15

    Hopefully Frank may Listen to the Books!!

    Then Review them on The Show!!!!

    Then Criticize them on how much they Pander to The Fans!!!!


  • Wait for the new one. The 8-disc set is a piece of garbage, has virtually no special features, and has awful packaging.

  • Tony D’Amico

    Great premium guys, 1 of the best. Frank, I think you would love the books, and 2 years ago, as a 32 year old, I was completely void of all Potter knowledge. So I “found” a file with all 7 audiobooks and proceeded to read all 7 books and watch all 8 movies in 3 and a half weeks. Granted I drive a forklift and can listen all day at work. The books are pretty awesome and all of your nitpicks will be explained. The total running time of the audiobooks read by Stephen Fry is about 123 hours, but they are incredibly addictive as stated earlier. Hopefully you enjoy them

  • Tony D’Amico

    Oh yeah, the reason for Part 1 of the Deathly Hollows being necessary IMO is because they are in the forest for about 6-8 months if I recall in the book.

  • Essie

    The movie with the quidditch in it is the Watch.

  • Len F.

    I have not read a page of the books nor watched a single minute of the films, but I still found this whole episode very entertaining. I swear it was even funnier since I had no idea what all of those nonsensical words you kept saying meant. Good stuff.

  • Essie

    The Internship*

  • woo

    Great podcast, guys. I wish I was in the room to act as a Harry Potter interpreter for you. There are too many to qualify to fit in a comment. But I’m impressed with all the research you did, you actually got a lot of stuff right! And I thought I’d analyzed these films to death as a child but you came up with unique and thoughtful questions I’d never considered before.

  • Kasper

    Fantastic premium. A treat like always – and a lot of laughs! Do you have any plans for March yet, Sean?

  • Napalm

    You’re correct about the mention of Padfoot. It was mentioned in Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry first gets the map.

  • Napalm

    Brilliant work guys. Really loved the cast. Although I wish you guys had went a bit more into the details like the Marauder’s Map etc. That’s what my inner fanboy is saying anyway.

  • Sean

    Nothing solid yet. We have a few options we are discussing.

  • Napalm

    Would LOVE a Polanski or Kubrick cast.

  • Kenneth Serenyi

    “Harry Potter is a ‘jobber’ going down the ‘jobber’ drain!” -Jay Cheel, July 17th 2006