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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – (2010)

Reel reviews for real people

Plot: In this seventh and final installment of the beloved Harry Potter series, Harry faces new troubles; he must collect all of the Horcruxes that the evil Lord Voldemort has left behind. He has no idea where these are and he has to destroy them all, even without the faintest idea how to do so. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Rating: PG-13  for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images

Genre: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Starring: Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane

Director: David Yates

Running Time: 2:30

Kate says -3 stars “Here’s the thing about trying to review a movie so anticipated/monumental/beloved/era-defining as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, it doesn’t matter one tiny bit what any reviewer/neighbor/friend/co-worker has to say about it. If you’re someone who has spent the past 13 years immersed in the world of Harry Potter, measuring time by when the next book or movie comes out, then you are going to see this movie, even if it means walking barefoot through the snow, uphill both ways, to get to the theater. (Haha mom, are you laughing about that reference right about now?) If you’ve never read the 7 book series, and you’re perfectly content with catching the flicks years later if they happen to be playing on some movie channel on tv, then you’re probably not going to rush right out and fight the crowds to be one of the first 25 million to see it, even if reviewers give it 7 out of 4 stars.

That being said, here’s my somewhat irrelevant review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. This first of the two-part grand finale of the Harry Potter series is suspenseful and thrilling, and much darker and full of a pervading sense of gloom and doom than your typical kids movie. The special effects are so amazing that you often don’t even realize you are watching special effects, they’re that good. I don’t think it’s even possible to make a “bad” Harry Potter movie because of the attention paid to such detail and quality. This time the action leaves the walls of Hogwarts, and it’s enjoyable to see the kids out in the “real” world for a change, even though I missed the whimsical feeling of the magical Great Hall.

The movie drags a bit in the middle section where Harry and Hermione spend a lot of time doing not much of anything, waiting around for something to happen. It is important, however,  to note the “Part 1″ in the title. This movie serves as mostly as exposition and set-up for “Part 2″coming out next July. There is an incomplete, and somewhat unsatisfying feel to the film, and there’s no logical way of getting around that fact. The plus side, though, is that the audience is left anticipating the action and climax of the final film, which will surely complete the circle of Harry Potter life.Let the countdown to Part 2 begin.

*And as a final note, I must address the controversy of “the NUDE scene”, which seems to be causing quite a stir in my neck of the woods. (Several people have already gone to the local theater to get refunds for their tickets because they’ve heard there is a nude scene. I kid you not.) It’s true, there is a nude make-out scene, BUT it’s a nude scene where you don’t actually see any nudity and not much making-out happens. I’ve seen more nudity in body wash commercials on tv, and way, way, waaaaaaaaaaay more making out on this season of Glee. It’s part of a hallucination/dream sequence between Harry and Hermione, and all is covered in smoke and fog, and the characters have a somewhat ethereal CGI feel. It’s implied nudity, folks. Much ado about nothing

Ebert says – 3 stars “David Yates’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is a handsome and sometimes harrowing film, and will be completely unintelligible for anyone coming to the series for the first time. My cluelessness didn’t bother me, because the film depends more on mood and character than many of the others…As we approach the end of a decade of Harry Potter, it’s clear how wisely (and luckily) the studio cast the series. Radcliffe, Grint and Watson have grown from children to young adults, still retain the qualities they had when younger, are practiced professionals and carry the series.” (read full review)

Michael Phillips (Chicsgo Tribune) says – 3 stars We have reached the semi-finals. Staffed with half the best character actors in Great Britain, ” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ brings the seventh J.K. Rowling tale to market, reminding both fervent Hogwarts maniacs and the Potter-ambivalent of this series’ priorities, its increasingly somber tone, as well as its dedication to one of the rarest of all franchise qualities: actual quality.” (read full review)

Roger Moore (Orlando Sentinel) says – 3 stars “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is a brisk, bracing film of actors in close-up. The lead players have grown into the roles and of the Who’s Who of British character actors in supporting parts shine like never before, placed, as they are,  in both real-world London and a selection of desolate landscapes that match the gloom of this apocalyptic tale. Alternately funny and touching, it’s the best film in the series, an “Empire Strikes Back” for these wizards and their wizarding world.  And those effects? They’re so special you don’t notice them. The digital elves are the most lifelike the movies have ever seen.” (read full review)

Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times) says – 3 stars of 5 “Much of the plot of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” involves the attempt to find and destroy a series of Horcruxes, and if you haven’t a clue about what they are or why they’re important, you might as well stay home. There is something different, however, about this Potter movie, and that is the words “Part 1″ that end the title. Understandably distraught about “Hallows” being the last of the phenomenally popular J.K. Rowling novels, Warner Bros. has split the final effort into two films and is likely kicking itself for not having thought of that with the earlier books.” (read full review)

Eric Snider (Snide Reviews) says - “Was ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ split into two movies so that the franchise could make more money? Well, yes. But maybe not just for that reason. As it turns out, ‘Deathly Hallows: Part 1‘ is a quietly thrilling and artful chapter in the eight-part series. It doesn’t stand on its own, exactly, any more than the first half of a TV two-parter would, but it isn’t merely set-up, either. If you think of ‘Half-Blood Prince’ and the two ‘Deathly Hallows’ entries as a trilogy that concludes the Potter saga, ‘Part 1′ is a terrific middle.” (read full review)

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