Warner Bros via Everett Collection
As we eagerly await (wait, wait, wait) the distant release date of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, why not rewatch some of the Harry Potter films? Which one was your favorite? Here are ours, ranked worst to best.
Sorcerer's Stone/Chamber of Secrets
Both so bad they don't even deserve their own ranking.
Order of the Phoenix
Many name Order of the Phoenix as their least favorite book – Harry's angrily depressed for a good portion of the story, and that's not exactly fun for the readers. A lot of that dementor-y angstiness carries over to the film, which doesn't make for the best cinematic experience. Quibbles aside, we can all agree that Imelda Staunton was the perfect Umbridge.
Goblet of Fire
This one gets a lot of hate (they did cut out a lot of the best moments), but I don't know; the awkwardness of the whole Yule Ball debacle kind of saves it for me. Oh, and the adorable Beauxbatons hats.
Deathly Hallows Part I
People say that Deathly Hallows is basically Harry Potter and the Never-ending Camping Trip. Which, okay, it kind of is. But I think the marriage between the book and the movie worked well here – even though Daniel Radcliffe/Emma Watson's chemistry had everyone clamoring for a rewrite of the Hermione/Ron storyline.
Half-Blood Prince was awesome, right? Right? ::crickets:: At least JKR's got my back (it was reportedly her favorite of the first six). I loved the balance of humor and darkness in this one. The Felix Felicis scene? Daniel Radcliffe at this best. And the extra material that Rowling added about Professor Slughorn's remembrances of Lily Evans? Absolutely beautiful.
Deathly Hallows Part II
A just conclusion for a franchise that went on for roughly a decade – it certainly went out on a bang (well, a bang followed up by that infamously bad epilogue, anyway).
Prisoner of Azkaban
Prisoner of Azkaban was such a breath of fresh air after the first two butcheries, was it not? Many hail it as the film that saved the franchise – it finally captured the humor of the books, and the Harry/stag patronus scene continues to get me time after time. And honestly, the entire time turner sequence made for some popcorn poppin' cinema.
Whenever a band splits up, especially if it's a particularly nasty break-up, usually the remaining members may try to soldier on without that one thorn in their side. There are some that are successful: Pink Floyd made two very good albums after Roger Waters left the band. There are times though that the end result is nothing short of an unmitigated disaster.
Van Halen - Van Halen III
After burning through two lead singers, the band went with former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone. It didn't help that the album's cover featured a man getting hit in the stomach with a cannonball - that was how fans probably felt after the group had reunited with David Lee Roth and then dropped him to the side like one of their groupies in the '80s. Worst of all, Cherone tried to make the band more political, which is something that Sammy Hagar OR David Lee Roth ever could have been accused of doing. Just a bad album all around.
Genesis - Calling All Stations
After Peter Gabriel left, people lamented that Genesis would never be the same. Phil Collins, who had already been an integral part of the band on the drum kit, came and led the band into a whole new direction, one that led to huge stadium tours. After Collins left, Michael Rutherford and Tony Banks hand-picked a new lead singer, Ray Wilson. The problem is. that while the music was decent in some parts, it never felt like a Genesis album, since Collins' drum sound was as important as his voice. It was one-and-done for Wilson.
Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy
This time it was the lead singer who stayed with the band and the other members left. Axl Rose pretty much kicked all the members of the band to the curb and brought in a new group. Gone was master guitar player Slash and in came Buckethead. The only similarity between those two was their predilection for wearing giant hatwear. Predictably, the album was rather poorly received.
Velvet Underground - Squeeze
Lou Reed was long gone from the band, having quit before Loaded came out, and Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker were also MIA. Since there were so many band changes, this shouldn't have even been called a Velvet Underground album. Bassist/guitarist Doug Yule (who himself had replaced John Cale, meaning that no original VU members were on the album) should have just put it out as a solo LP. Also, there's just something weird about a giant hand holding the Empire State Building like a tube of toothpaste. (Fun fact: the British band Squeeze, whose debut album was produced by Cale, named themselves after this album.)
INXS - Switch
This album came out after lead singer Michael Hutchence died of an apparent suicide in 1997. The band decided to soldier on and had a reality show where they auditioned for a new singer and they settled on J.D. Fortune. He was chosen partly because he sounded like Hutchence. That was both good and bad, since fans who had grown up listening to INXS had a cognitive disconnect and while it sold well, it just didn't feel like an INXS album. They released one more album that was more of a tribute album and have faded away.
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