Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"

Guest Blogger Liz Parker is back from seeing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1".  Is this the epic drama of a life time or a big snooze?  Let's read what Liz thinks...

Full disclosure: I am a big Harry Potter fan: I have read all the books, and seen all of the movies. However, the last movie was a year ago, in July 2009, and I last read the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when it was released, in July 2007. Therefore, I tend not to compare the movies to the books. This Harry Potter film, part 1 of 2 that covers the last book, was definitely a lot darker than the past six movies, which is why it deserves its PG-13 rating; however, although the film was good, it ended up being my least favorite of all the Potter films.

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are still recovering over Dumbledore's death (as seen in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the previous movie). Voldemort has assembled his minions and they have already taken over the Ministry of Magic; all "good" witches and wizards, then, are in fear for their lives. Harry and his friends must find and destroy the Horcruxes, which Dumbledore had told them about, as this is the only way to defeat the Dark Lord. On their quest to do this, they find out about the legend of the Deathly Hallows, and that one of the hallows, the most powerful wand in the world, is something that Voldemort desires in his mission to find and kill Harry. 

The special effects in the movie were amazing. The film was definitely the darkest of the past six Harry Potter movies, and that was actually kind of cool because we get to see all the evil characters such as Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, "Clash of the Titans"), Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter, "Alice in Wonderland"), and the recently evil former Hogwarts professor, Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). There were definitely a few parts that made me jump in my seat (mostly involving snakes ...) and if the film had been in 3D like it was originally intended to be, those parts would have been even scarier. 
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Maybe see this movie. I really, really wanted to give this movie a straight-out "Yes" review, but there are some caveats. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will most likely like this movie. The friend whom I went to see it with said that it actually most resembled the book on which it was based. I knew the ending would be abrupt, since Deathly Hallows Part 2 will be released on July 15th of next year, but when the movie finally did end I wanted more, even though it chose a good place to finish. Also, it clocks in at 2 hours and 25 minutes, and a lot of the film shows Harry, Ron, and Hermione searching for the Horcruxes; these parts tended to slow the movie down a bit, especially during the middle of the film. I also missed seeing Hogwarts, which is not in this movie at all, although the book did not have any Hogwarts scenes either, as I recall. I have no doubts that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" will be epic, however, if it stays true to the book's events, and I am very much looking forward to seeing it in July 2011.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" will be in theaters on November 19th.

Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films

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