July 15, 2011

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Wow, what a night. I'm sure most of you joined all hardcore and not hardcore fans in seeing the final installment of the Harry Potter films last night, but I'm still going to review it for you! Last night was pure magic. Not just because of the movie but also the energy and love that only HP fans can give. During the pre show there were guys performing skits, that were to my knowledge, sponateous. So many people were dressed up and looked awesome (my philosophy for the midnight premier is "Dress up or go home"). You could just tell every single person was excited for this film (with the exception of the person I was sitting next to, who hadn't seen any of the films. Pre-show, her friend was reading the plots off Wikipedia to her...awesome). And why shouldn't they be? We have waited 11 years for this franchise to end. So did Harry Potter go out with a magical bang?

Mofo Harry Potter


Well, here's the deal. Even if the majority of the scenes were crap, people were still going to love it as long as they rocked the "key" scenes. You know...the scenes where your entire theatre cheered for almost no reason at all, except that they were favorites from the book.  That in mind, the majority of the scenes weren't crap...and the "key" scenes were awesome. So, nothing to worry about with that. The film exceeded that expectation. Despite it's dark material, the movie managed to be very funny. The one thing I love about Harry Potter films (especially the David Yates ones) is that they have good comedic timing. I probably laughed more at this movie than the Hangover II.

The actors were better than usual...a lot of them didn't have too much screen time, so they had to make the best of it. It felt like they were in a cameo to me but as everyone's last hurrah they sure delivered! Most notably, Maggie Smith as Proffesor McGonagall. She kicked ass, just like her character in the books. Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange was personally my favorite performance. She was perfect when she had to be Hermione pretending to be her. Carter is one of my favorite actresses and I'm so glad she played this role. Alan Rickman was Snape was also very, very, very good. In the books, I was never that sympathetic towards the whole "Snape loved Lily" thing. This changed during the movie...the pensieve scenes were probably the most emotional and heart wrenching in the entire film. Bravo.

I love the bad guys

Most of the movie is the Battle of Hogwarts. After the film is over, you may be wondering how they managed to stretch that all out because it seems like it takes a really long time when you're watching it (in a good way). I thought the battle scenes were the best. They really took in the spirit of the book, while still making things even more interesting. The death of a few characters (you know who I'm talking about) was very quietly done. I personally was thankful, because I thought the deaths were unnecessary evil in the first place ...but I'm sure a lot of people will complain. The effects were very cool, probably the best in a Potter film.

I only have a few points of criticism. Though it didn't bother me because I knew what was happening, I don't think the movie explained enough to the non-book readers. If I were watching raw, I would have been SO confused. That said, I think those who haven't read the books would have enjoyed the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort. That scene was very intense and drawn out...I thought it was good, but the book's was better. The way the events proceeded was much less awkward in Rowling's version. However, Neville's final act of badassness was very enjoyable in both medias. Also, why do all the bad guys die by getting broken into a million pieces? WTF is this bullshit?

All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. I don't know if it was the emotions leading up or the movie itself...but this was a great way to end the series. Unlike some sobbers in the theater, I did not cry during the emotional parts...at least until the last scene when they were waving at The Hogwarts Express. BTW, I thought that scene was really well done. It could have been awful if they got other actors to play the aged characters, but they didn't, and it was super classy. Anyways, it all suddenly hit me that this was going to be the last time I would see a Harry Potter movie for the first time. My days of midnight premiers would be over. What was I going to do with my costumes? What was I going to do with my life? All these things hit me as I saw Dan and the gang with awkward hair waving with smiles on their faces. Unfortunatelty, I think it was only a surface wound because it actually hasn't fully hit me yet. I don't think I'm prepared for what happens when it does.

Final Grade: -A

If you haven't already seen it, GO! You won't hate it and I promise it will be a nice trip down Harry Potter lane. It's magical. That's the only way I can describe it.

On a different note, I would like to breifly discuss the movie trailers that came with out during HP. I personally am very excited for Cowboys and Aliens and The Dark Knight Rises. I have already seen the C&A trailer many a times...but not the Batman one! It barely gave you anything and that was why it hit the money. Such a tease, Chris Nolan, such a tease.  I also really want to see The Three Musketeers, mostly because it has Orlando Bloom, Matthew Macfadyen (hey, if James McAvoy was in it, we could call it the three dudes who banged Kiera Knightley in a historical setting! Think about it!), as well as my favorite actor Christoph Waltz. They aren't all the Musketeers themselves (how unfortunate!) but they are all in it. It's going to be hard to beat a Three Musketeers movie with Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland (who am I kidding, of course it won't). Who knows if it will even be good, but I'm still seeing it!

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