Sunday, November 21, 2010

Movie Review - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 1

Staring: Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Helena Bohnam Carter, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, and many many more...

Premise: The whole of the magic world has come to see and admit that Lord Voldemort has returned. Terror strikes the land as evil once more covers the world and people start turning up dead, imprisoned, or worse as Voldemort starts putting his stamp on all again. Those left of the Brotherhood of the Phoenix attempt to keep Harry and his friends safe as Voldemort places all his assets into finding him. Harry catches glimpses of a secondary goal of Voldemort's and tries to find out more about it even as he continues to search for more of He Who Shall Not Be Named's horcruxes.

Review: Did try not to get too excited, though I must admit as many people insisted on Friday the movie was fab I couldn't help doing so just a bit. Would have been better if I hadn't.

Beautiful cinematography! There is some truly breathtaking scenery that looked even more amazing in IMAX. Special effects were top notch as usual. The polyjuice scenes with Harry and later all three principals were especially fun.

All three actors are maturing in their craft and it totally shows. Especially for Mr Radcliffe. Which is great since these last two films will have a lot of darkness and emotional scenes.

The biggest problem, for me anyway, was the pacing and some of the bits they hung over. Wherever there were more than the three kids, those scenes flowed fast and furious. Which meant you saw a lot of characters we've come to know over the years, yet only got a glimpse if that much of them. The parting Duddley scene in the book where he finally acknowledges Harry wasn't shown. And I felt this did a great disservice to the books and the things JK Rowling was trying to show in them. It was a major point showing a change on a problem that had been existent since book one -- Duddley maturing and actually making his own conclusions - becoming his own man.

The scenes with just the three of the principals sometimes moved like molasses. They were off and on the run and on their own for months but there's no real feeling of that passage of time. I think if they'd taken thirty seconds to show the tent and little things about it changing/moving or locales flickering past in fast motion and even the characters moving at speeds, it would have done a lot to let the audience see that. (And then given more time to spend on other things! :P)

John Williams did not do the score for this film (I heard there were timing issues) but Alexandre Desplat did quite well. So nothing was lost in that area. Yay!

The three actors acting as polymorphed Harry, Hermione, and Ron at the Ministry were a blast! Especially the one for Harry. His walk and manners were especially a hoot. (That whole section was too much fun!)

The part where we're told the story of the Deathly Hallows was totally fantastic! The animation and dark slant of it was great.

Doby was back! And at least he didn't get belittled and had his proper moments. They changed a little of what was done with Hedwig but it made things more poignant and better in my opinion. so definite kuddos for that.

Ending spot was perfect. Just the right amount of despair as evil takes the upper hand! Bwahahahahahaha

Like I said before, there were some truly great sections to the film. Others, not so much. Worth watching, just not quite where it should have been...

Rating: 4 out of 5
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