Thursday, March 31, 2011

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Despite the fact that I like both the Harry Potter books and movies, I find myself waiting quite a while to see the newer movies. I’ve seen all of them but I just don’t find myself getting as excited about them anymore (maybe it's because of that one time I had a sticky foot drop down from the ceiling onto me during HP5, most random thing to happen to me in a theater ever). But after seeing this one I think I’m excited for the 8 th movie to come out this summer. Hmm, I’ve never seen one of the movies at a midnight release, I believe I need to go make some plans with local friends to do this now (it’s my last chance to do it after all).

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Summary: Adapting material from the first half of the seventh Harry Potter book, Voldemort has once again risen to power and the wizarding realm (and those muggles who know of him) are cowering in fear. Guided by the mission Dumbledore left him, Harry (and Ron and Hermione of course) try to hunt down Voldemort’s remaining horcruxes  to bring about his ultimate downfall.

The Good: I’ve always thought that the movies were pretty good adaptations of the book (although I do prefer the books, more subplots) so no complaints on the plot here. The actors were also very solid* and Radcliff, Watson and Grint managed to hold down the movie pretty well on their own (and the point where they used the polyjuice potion was also well done, not sure if they used completely different actors with a voice over or what but that scene was still well done). So I’m happy I saw the movie and it has me all excited for the final film now, although I do hope it’s a little better in a few respects….

The Bad: I’m a by the book purist and I thought that the previous movies did a fairly good job at squeezing in everything necessary to advance the plot. This movie however went the opposite direction and made full use of the five hours total (two and a half hours here) to tell the story and the movie drags a bit. Tons of character development and little action work better in book form than movie and I felt myself getting bored in parts. The second part should be more action filled, plus the trio is back together, so hopefully that will move a little faster.

The Music: Aside from a few nostalgia inducing bits of music (like the title music, who doesn't hum along to that one?) I didn’t really notice the other music in the film. I’m sure if I heard the soundtrack I’d recognize a number of the tracks but I was more interested in the visuals than the audio here.

The Visuals: The visuals, especially the opening shots with Voldemort and his followers, that struck me as very British. Low lighting but very high saturation and the blues were more saturated than the other colors, something I’ve noticed in other British productions like Sherlock^ and Top Gear. A nice looking movie, very low key looking and the bleakness in the even tone lighting helped add to the general feeling of despair. But I am hoping that some of the settings in the second movie are a bit more cheerful, there’s a limit to how much doom and gloom I can take before I get bored.

So yep, back to normal reviews now, hope everyone enjoyed webcomic month and hopefully I'll find enough new titles between now and next March that I'll be able to pull this off again next year. Got enough reviews lined up (not all written, heck no, but planned) for something every day until almost the end of the month and then just play it by ear for, well, the rest of the summer and probably next fall since school is going to try and kill me again and that leaves little time for reviewing. But that's not for a while bit so see you guys tomorrow!

*even if the fact that Harry looks like a combination of my brother and one of my cousins keeps weirding me out. Actually, Harry in the first and second movies was a dead ringer for my brother at that time, apparently my mom heard little kids in the grocery store go “Mommy, is that Harry Potter?” Heck, my brother even has a scar or two on his forehead, although it looks nothing like a lighting bolt.

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