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I've heard a lot of people say that reviewing the newest Harry Potter
movie is a pointless exercise. By now, people have made up their minds
regarding the film series. If they are on-board, then they'll see it
regardless, and if they don't like it, they aren't going to make an
exception for the newest one. That's fair enough, but it's not a
sentiment I necessarily agree with.
I don't think that has to be correct, because Deathly Hallows Part 1 has convinced me it is not. I think it actually could turn people off the series. That's not to say that it is a terrible film, but all of the charm that the previous films had seem to have been lost with this one. There is also the worrying thought that since Part 1 and Part 2 were shot back-to-back, the second film will have the same flaws.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the first of two films based on JK. Rowling's seventh Harry Potter book. It, once again, stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. That's about all the actors who "star" in the film, as none of the secondary actors are given much chance to enhance or establish their characters.
This ends up being the first problem with the film. None of the secondary cast members get their fair share of screen time. Take, for example, Alan Rickman as Severous Snape. He's a character that was incredibly interesting in the first few films, and pivotal in the last one. Here, he gets maybe two scenes over the course of the film, none of which are that important. This is true for all of the other secondary characters as well. They show up, disappear for a while, and then reappear for another scene. That's all we get from them, and it doesn't allow any time to get any insight into their character that we hadn't already been shown.
While you are expected to have watched the previous six films in order to get a feel for the characters, it almost feels like you could have skipped them and still have gotten a good idea of what is happening. Not being in that situation myself, I cannot be sure, but the film did seem to be a bit too direct in an attempt to fill the audience in on what happened previously. Certain plot points continue to be hammered home, multiple times, and it makes you feel like the film doesn't think you are smart enough to remember them.
Without involving the secondary characters, the film turns out to consist mostly of Harry, Ron and Hermione, one of which ends up being absent for a large chunk of time, searching around various locations for the remaining Horcruxes. Since Hogwarts has now been taken over, they can't go back there, so they instead decide to ditch their final year of classes and go on an adventure. The Hogwarts setting is actually what made a lot of the previous movies interesting for me, meaning this change was not a good one in my mind. Yes, I am well aware that this also happens in the book, and can't be omitted, but making it happen for almost all of the entire two and a half hours the film plays for is not welcome.
This also means that the film does get kind of boring. The secondary characters made the previous films more interesting, but since most of them are absent from this one, we can only focus on our three leads. These are characters who, after this film, I have grown to dislike. I didn't before, because there would always be side-sessions with other characters dispersed between long sequences with the primary cast. Here, we don't get that, and I began to grow tired of Harry, Ron and Hermione.
The worst part about it is the fact that the film does attempt to have some emotional moments. Sadly, they almost all fall flat on their face. There is one scene, right near the end that was sad, but the rest of the time, I was sitting there questioning why they even bothered to try to stir emotions. There were also attempts at humour throughout, none of which worked in lightening the mood, and only served to remind me that when the film tries to change the mood, it fails.
The best part about the film was the visual effects. From transforming characters into multiple Harry Potters, to the house elves, to the spells used, you can tell that a lot of effort was put into the visuals. The film looks nice all around, and it does take you to various locations. At least you'll have some nice scenery to look at.
I'm still not sure whether or not I can dissuade Harry Potter fans from going to see Deathly Hallows Part 1, but I hope that they will take this review as a caution. This is perhaps the weakest film of the series, and it fails to bring any depth to any character that isn't named Harry, Ron, or Hermione. The scenery and visuals are great, but the secondary characters are pushed aside for ones that end up getting on your nerves. I do fear, however, for Part 2, as they were shot back-to-back. Hopefully they will rectify them in the editing process, or even go back and re-shoot some scenes before release. Either way, I was let down by Part 1.
I'm not a Harry Potter fan and I've never read the books, but I have
seen all the movies up to now and have been following the unfolding
plot. Bear in mind, this is a review of the movie, not the book.
I saw two movies this week, the low budget "Monsters" and the big budget Harry Potter sequel, and I'm not sure which one bored me the most. I think I spent more time looking at my watch with Harry Potter. The middle part where they jumped all over the place & spent nights in their tent could have been greatly shortened. The information I needed to carry me into the finale could have been covered in 15 minutes. This did not need to be a two part movie. This was clearly just dragging it out into two episodes for profit purposes.
This was also a very dark & violent movie. Lots of blood, lots of killing. I don't have children, but if I did, I wouldn't let them see this movie.
Seeing the current rating of 8.3 at this writing, obviously there are two versions of this movie out and my theater was playing the bad version.
In the first few books/movies, the story was light, funny, had good side story lines but carried a level of surprise and a hint of dark mystery. In the last couple of books/movies, the story line has taken a change to a more serious and dark quality. The acting is less than desirable and the villain is overly complicated making it a bit annoying to the point of unbelievability. Deathly Hollow's part I is a waste of money and time. If this was the first movie of the series, I don't think it would make it to the box office. If the Harry Potter team doesn't 'bring it' in the last part, it will ruin a great storyline.
Dull and slow. Someone obviously realised that the money train was going to finish soon and so to cash in they split the final book into two films. They then discover that there isn't actually enough material to fill the first so have lots of sitting around on mountains - very dark, moody and ultimately annoying. Other 'fillers' include some dancing in a tent, some more sitting around on a mountain and some sitting around in a forest (to break things up). And lets not forget something to do with a mad old woman who turns into a snake - don't know what that was about or what it added to the story. Lots of people say that it's "building up for the finale" or "setting the scene for part 2". If that's the case then my advice would be to just save your money and wait for part 2, as nothing really happens in this film. Unless, of course, you like to watch people sitting around on mountains.
Never before have I felt so immensely satisfied with a Harry Potter
The opening sequence may be one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking moments in the series. It is absolutely gut-wrenching to see how much Voldemort (menacingly played by Ralph Fiennes) has taken over and what has to be done to protect the ones we love. I've seen the movie three times (more than any Potter movie); and this particular moment never fails to move me.
The acting is absolutely spectacular in this movie. I'm so glad the trio stepped up their game because the movie would have collapsed had they not been up to the challenge. Emma was absolutely phenomenal; I was really quite impressed with her performance. Nuanced, poignant, and deeply affecting. She has come a very long way, and I'm grateful that she stepped up her game. Rupert was great. You could always tell in the past movies that he had potential, and it was certainly shown in this one. We get to see a very different side of Ron. Daniel gave a good performance, but he was the weakest of the three.
Sure enough, we get to the middle, which has been criticized by some. To me, a lot of the past movies in the series failed to capture a lot of the emotional resonance that were in the books. With Deathly Hallows 1, during the middle sequence, we are rewarded with some of the most beautiful, touching, and poignant moments in the series that define our heroes. These moments either made everyone in the theater giddy with happiness, or sad due to the losses. Deathly Hallows 1, above all else, is a coming-of-age tale, as our heroes that we have come to know and love change and develop into adults. A magnificent and highly moving evolution that was, unfortunately, sometimes sorely missing in the previous outings. Deathly Hallows 1 proves why we fell in love with witches and wizards, and it's because they're just like us, dealing with the same internal conflicts we all have gone or are going through.
The action sequences are excellent, and Yates has proved to be very apt at creating suspense. A lot of people jumped at one particular scene in the movie.
The cinematography (filmed by Eduardo Serra) is absolutely gorgeous and stunning to look at. I was in awe at the breathtaking beauty of England's countryside. Fortunately, not once did the very impressive special effects overwhelm a scene, which was very comforting. The production design is absolutely staggering, and Alexandre Desplat's haunting score blends in with the movie perfectly ('Obliviate' is one of the best tracks in the series).
Yates and Kloves have captured the essence of Rowling's very dark story with grace and potency, creating a movie that is extremely faithful to the source material both thematically and in content. This is by far the most satisfying movie in the series, and easily the most mature. I personally cannot see how any fan could be disappointed in it.
I'm glad I am not the only one that thought this was the most boring -
and worst of the Harry Potter franchise. That is dragged out over two
hours made it worse. The three main characters had lost their spark and
almost looked bored and tired themselves. There were some very dark
undertones about death and had this been around when my kids were
young, I would have hesitated to let them see this. Mind you I think
they would have given up after the first half hour.
I guess there must have been budget constraints as there only fleeting appearances of the usual characters other than Harry and his friends and very little 'magic' and absolutely no fun.
The only redeeming element for me was seeing some scenery that I had been to in real life.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have been fan of Harry Potter books since 2001, when I first saw
Philosopher's Stone in movies. I was 11 years old back then, and I
thought the movie was great. One month later I saw The Lord of the
Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring, which literally changed my life; I
now study cinematography in Finland.
Sadly, none of the Harry Potter films have been better than the first one, which is still a great movie, but very childish. As the books became darker and better book by book, the films remained childish. To me, Half-blood Prince was an awful film: I didn't like the way how there were scenes that weren't in the books, like stupid jokes and the burning of The Burrow. Especially I was irritated by the way there were some great scenes missing, like Voldemort's memories.
But now, in The Deathly Hallows the movie series has finally reached the stage it should have been since The Goblet of Fire. It is absolutely great! As a movie, there's only one word for it: unbelievable. Cinematography is beautiful and the scenery is breath-taking (I gave this part of the making a lot of thought as it will be my occupation someday). Director has done good job with everything. Music fits well to the scenes and Daniel Radcliffe shows finally his talents as an actor. Visual effects are great, and they gave me some serious goosebumps. The best thing in the movie is that there are not many scenes that were not in the book. Those that are, are actually pretty good jokes that fit well to the story. All the main parts of the novel are there, which was nice. Only few things made me annoyed (like Wormtail, and the actor of Bill Weasley, who was not "cool" as Harry described him in the books). Also a good thing was that the movie was actually bit scary, even to me - and I'm 20. Bathilda Bagshot was creepy and the Horcrux scene was gorgeous in a strange way.
All in all, this is by far easily the best part of the HP series as a film and as a book. It's so good it deserves 10 stars out of 10, and I even dare say it's one of the best films made in few years. It is absolutely one of the best fantasy/ sci-fi films ever made. I wish the next July would be here already...
This is one of those movies that causes you to reach deep down in
yourself and think. For example, I was thinking, "Did I turn off the
iron? Why did I pay so much for popcorn?" I'm sure the producers were
thinking, "Hey, they are so far into it now, we can throw up any thing
on the screen and still make buckets of money. But let's have Daniel
Radcliff take off his shirt so they won't know they've been suckered."
Even if you're read the book and watched the other movies, the plot is
incomprehensible. The movie consists of a bunch of action sequences
strung together with no regard for the story.
At least I didn't pay to watch it in 3D.
After I'd seen the sixt Potter movie, I thought they would improve on
the pace in this (part 1) seventh movie. But boy, was I wrong. I was so
bored after the very well done beginning of the movie. Voldemort's
meeting and the motorcycle chase were very exciting, but then it
started again just like in part six...the very very slow scenes about
how Harry thinks he's so alone and he and his friends don't know what
to do...blablabla. Really, I have to see the second part of the seventh
book, just because I have to know how it all ends, but the director is
giving me a really hard time. I like the wonderous world of Harry
Potter, but not like this. Personally, I think the fourth part was by
far the most exciting of the Potter movies. OK, now let's sum up what I
liked about this seventh movie: -The beginning (Voldemort's meeting and
motorcycle chase) -The overall look of the movie (sets, lighting, etc.)
-The Deadly Hallows story sequence -The casting. Helena Bonham Carter
is one of my favorite actresses Now, things that I didn't like: -The
pace...ow my goodness. And I thought Gone with the Wind was slow or for
instance Dr. Zhivago or Signs. -Ron thinking Harry has the hots for
Hermione and fighting about it. Jeez...this was so forced. I mean,
Harry already knew in the 5th and certainly in the 6th movie that Ron
liked Hermione and Harry already had it going with Ginny. This was so
stupid and boring. -How many items do they actually need to kill
Voldemort. 7 Horcruxes that can be destroyed by a sword and than you
also have the 3 Deadly Hallows. My goodness...in a computer game
OK...but in a movie?! -When it became clear the neckless was making
people angry I wanted to shout: "Cast the ring into the fires of Mount
Doom!" Damn, this was such a rip-off of Lord of the Rings. -And yeah,
there we have it again...all those damn unoriginal references to WW2.
As Basil Fawlty would say: "Don't mention the war!" -There were so many
moments in this movie that it seemed like the story progressed simply
by chance. -The introduction of Dobby again and his utterly useless and
overemotional death. He dies and the movie tries to make us feel so sad
because he was such a lovable and important character...NOT! Maybe in
the books, but when you've only seen the movies like I have, Dobby's
not really a character that I established an emotional band with during
the last six movies. -The movie took itself too serious, but that's
probably what the tone of the book is too. A little more wonder and
innocence would have been nice. The humor was so scarce. As The Joker
said in The Dark Knight: "Why so serious?!"
All in all I just have two words for this movie...too bad! :(
Is it part art film? I'd say yes, in the better parts, it had something
wise and melancholy going for it, rather like the book, but it was lost
all too easily to the infrequent action sequences which neither impress
nor lend any forward motion, aside from a particular part of the
Bagshot/Nagini sequence making the audience jump a couple feet, and all
without Voldemort. Meh.
Alterations to the plot were generally as bad as they've been in the past, but the Lovegood house was so very poorly done, it rates special mention. It well and truly sucked. (I wondered if there had been some technical difficulties with the editing, it was so bad.) Most of the emotional scenes are strangely unmoving. Hermione's torture becomes something weirdly camp - Tim Burtonish, if you will - with no power to unsettle. The much anticipated horcrux destruction scene lacks any sort of nuance at all, so much so that Ron's resigned remark at the end of it falls as flat as a bassoon. Hermione looked like an airbrushed NY fashion house mascot, and Harry looked like plastic, with some silvery gloss smudged on. It was hokey, and I felt embarrassed watching it.
There were other bothersome things (the list could go on) - the whole imprisonment scene was horrid, rushed and thoughtless, and the basement itself looked like they were in some half-finished suburban ground floor, only thing missing was a couch, a TV and some paneling. Olivander looked far healthier than he did in the first film, Luna was an afterthought, Wormtail was apparently lulled to sleep by general uneventfulness, and Dobby looked like a wax figure moved by strings. Bellatrix was about as scary as The Count from Sesame Street, the snatchers behaved like the three stooges, and the confrontation at the end had all the movement drained from it, arranged instead like a lazy, half-hearted family portrait, just so they could end it with a hokey special effect that didn't work - the knife turning to jelly or something in the whirlwind of apparation. Dobby's death was atrociously handled, Luna spoke far too soon, and the burial was filmed in the blandest possible way.
The story was told in a linear way, and the camera work was too, which resulted in a very one dimensional film. The burial scene, for example, could have had a shot threw the window, with Hermione on the couch, Ron beside her, and Harry in the background or something - it would have taken no more time, but it would have filled the world better. Anything to vary the 1, 2, 3 of the telling.
The Story of the Three Brothers animation was very cool, and strange as it may seem to say it, Emma Watson's acting is almost the best thing about the film.
I liked the arty parts, but everything else is trash.
The film needed a new director and a new writer. I fear for part two very much now.
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