Harry Potter Film Review (Maybe A Couple Spoilers)

Hello,

My school had an advanced screening of the movie HP7 and I thought I'd take the liberty of writing a review.

I am not a professional movie critic for morals and artistic value, but since many will choose to see it before the reviews really come out, I thought I'd provide some direction to weary parents.

First off, I would like to say that I am a huge fan of the Potter books. I think they are well written fiction and they tell a moralistic tale. :thumbsup:

It's a great movie IMO and follows the book well with adding a few things to keep even readers of the series unsure of the next scene at times.

That being said, those of you looking for a good-triumps-over-evil, moral-filled story may be disappointed. While the side of good is, well, good (and there is space for a moral lesson or two), the movie itself is almost all action and of couse, it is only the first half of the book meaning the major good vs evil battle still has yet to occur by the end.

What little violence is usually as goreless as possible and although a few graphic scenes are implied, most are offscreen.

Those of you who have not read the book may be confused at times (many times) and may want to at least watch the sixth movie again.

MY FEW MAYBE-SPOILERS TO INFORM

Warning! At one point two characters are almost entirely naked (they are actually, but smoke covers a lot of it, and they are seen to the side, so it's not that bad). There is also an upsetting scene of torture and many scenes with blood.

END SPOILERS

This is not a kids movie! It merits its PG13 rating! Parents strongly cautioned for young kids IMO.

Any questions about it, please shoot me a PM.

CotL

Since the whole story is now fully known, I expect the last two movies to be the BEST!

Whatever, I still prefer potter puppet pals!

here's a sample

youtube.com/watch?v=tI7FkF3Z6ms

I think part one of *Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows *was the best out of the other previous four. I actually had no compliants of the first three. Since it's targeted towards children, they could have done without the "looking naked while make-out scene" and tone it down a notch, but other than that, the action featured within the Deathly Hallows was pretty decent. I don't think people could complain about that part, as a lot of death is featured in the Harry Potter books as well as (ears being blasted off and what not.)

I was satisfied to say the least.

:bighanky:Actually, the last few HP films have NOT been marketed towards children, but towards older teens and adults. And the 'looking naked while making out' scene was tastelully done, in my opinion--they looked nude but you certainly don't see anything other than bare arms and backs. It wasn't real, it was the visualisation of Ron Weasley's worst nightmare about his best friends, brought on when Harry finally managed to open the locket horcrux, releasing the bit of Voldemort's evil soul trapped inside (I'm sure you know that, Academia, but just for those who might not...).

Anyway, I saw the film the other night, and wrote a review of it for a forum I belong to. In case anyone might be interested, I'll repost most of it here. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, have been since about 2001, so please excuse any gushing. ;) Oh, and there are a couple of spoilers, so read at your own risk!

First off, they really left very little out, and most of what they *did *leave out generally wouldn't have enhanced the plot anyway. Overall, the opening scenes really set the stage well for what was to come, covering a lot of the beginning chapters of the book without wasting any unnecessary time. I *was *a little disappointed there wasn't more to the Dursley scene--it would have taken literally a few seconds more to do it proper justice. Hermione's bit was particularly poignant and well done, and the moments with Harry alone in the empty house at Privet Drive made me want to weep as I remembered back to the beginning of it all. Once everyone was at the Burrow, I felt there could have been a slight bit more--wedding preps, Mrs Weasley trying to keep the Trio apart, a little more of the wedding scene, but again, none of that would really have advanced the plot. The scene with Ginny was sweet, but a bit lacking in that subtle promise of passion hinted at in the book. I think with a better actress than Bonnie Wright (she LOOKs the part so perfectly to me, but that's about it), the screenwriter, Steve Kloves, could have done more with the whole Harry/Ginny storyline. I think Kloves went with what he knew Bonnie was capable of, which really isn't much. :rolleyes:

Several times I found myself wishing they'd shown just a bit of what was going on at Hogwarts while the Trio was on the run. There was one tiny scene on the train on September 1st. Neville was wonderful. But I think it would have been good to show a little of the student-led rebellions going on in Hogwarts, even though in the book we don't learn about all that til the Trio gets back there. But that's just me--I missed seeing Hogwarts.

The movie flew swiftly by; I didn't feel the camping scenes dragged at all, but then I never felt they dragged in the book, either. I was too caught up in the story to notice the passage of time. I did look at my watch at one point, thinking the film was probably half over--and it was nearly 2:30 am, and fifteen minutes later the film was done! http://globalradcliffeaddicts.com/simplemachinesforum/Smileys/classic/eek1.gif

As for performances, I've read all this week about how critics and fans alike are praising Rupert Grint and Emma Watson up one side and down the other, while little is said about Dan Radcliffe. I don't understand it--they were all three of them absolutely at their very best. In all the other films I've always watched Dan first and foremost, as his is the starring role and it is, after all, "Harry Potter and the Whatever," not "Ron Weasley and the..." LOL This time I found myself watching Rupert and Emma just as much as I did Dan. There was no 'domination' by any one of them in a given scene; they complemented each other so well and seamlessly it was a joy to watch them together. It made Rupert's absence during some of the camping scenes and the Godric's Hollow scenes all the more keenly felt.

I loved the dance between Hermione and Harry; it began a little awkwardly, but once they got into it, the love and tenderness on Harry's face as he danced with the girl he considered one of his two best friends on earth brought me to tears. It's brought me to tears again just writing about it. :bighanky:

Emma did particularly well during the torture scene with Bellatrix. Her screams and sobs of terror were real and gutwrenching.

The only time I felt I could have sobbed aloud myself was when Dobby died and Harry buried him. A few tears had escaped me before that point, but I really had to work hard to hold it together when Harry looked at Hermione so confidently, sure that she had in her miraculous beaded bag that which would heal Dobby. And his face when he realised she had nothing, and that Dobby was going... well, I nearly lost it. :bighanky:

The music was wonderful--understated and elegant, appropriate, and never overwhelming to any particular scene.

On the performances of the Trio alone, I give the film an 11 out of 10. :thumbsup: For everything else, it's a 9 to a 9 and a half (I like Rhys Ifans, for example, but felt he didn't really do Xeno Lovegood justice). And the ending was the perfect set-up to the start of the grand finale. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the movie the book fans have been waiting for all along.:popcorn:

[quote="MissGranger, post:5, topic:220081"]
:bighanky:Actually, the last few HP films have NOT been marketed towards children, but towards older teens and adults.

[/quote]

The only Harry Potter movie that wasn't PG was this one. I just assume that any movie rated PG and based off of a children's fantasy book would be marketed towards them. Not that children shouldn't see it, it was the best of all the films.

But they could have left that scene out and it would have still been equally as good. :p

[quote="Academia, post:6, topic:220081"]
The only Harry Potter movie that wasn't PG was this one. I just assume that any movie rated PG and based off of a children's fantasy book would be marketed towards them. Not that children shouldn't see it, it was the best of all the films.

[/quote]

The first three HP books were for 'children,' i.e., mid-elementary through middle school-aged. The fourth through seventh got steadily darker, and the seventh is decidedly adult, with fully developed, mature themes of death, war, racism, etc. Even love, in the true mature sense, not in the usual Hollywood sexual sense. Sacrificial love, for friends, for husbands and wives (Arthur and Molly Weasley, Remus and Tonks, Bill and his new wife Fleur). This is no longer the charming children's world of Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone. The children have grown up into a dark and sinister world. Not entirely unlike our own, sadly.

A lot of films for adults are rated PG. All the rating means is that there's only a certain amount of, or no, profanity/sexual innuendos/violence/smoking/drinking, etc, not that a particular movie is just for certain age groups. The trailers and commercial spots for Deathly Hallows were aimed mainly at a teen and young adult audience--mostly on MTV, CW, Fox, and of course the major networks and ABC Family.

But they could have left that scene out and it would have still been equally as good. :p

Yes, but then the whole point of Ron being the one to destroy the Horcrux would have been lost. The Horcrux affected him the most; it made him think that he'd lost Hermione to Harry, that she was 'cheating' on him with Harry, when of course that wasn't the case at all. Harry and Hermione were like brother and sister, dear friends, nothing more.

The scene is in the book; no, JKR didn't say whether they were 'nude' or not in Ron's mind, that's left to the reader's imagination. But it was very effective on film. It's what was eating Ron up inside, it's what Voldemort wanted him to believe--the very worst.

I'm not a big fan of nudity in films. It's just not my thing. But in my opinion this was a situation where it was used properly--it wasn't glorified at all, it wasn't presented as a good thing, and it certainly wasn't graphic. It was only from the waist up, and no sexual body parts were visible. The scene was filmed that way to show what the insidious presence of evil can do to twist a person's mind, and I think it conveyed that very well.

Spoilers

The only thing I felt wasn't done so well was the ministry scenes. Like, I get it, they're suppose to be magical Nazi's. Seriously though, it looked like the SS was chasing the trio before they escaped the Ministry. If someone would have "heiled", it would have been a full-blown parody instead of the action-drama-fantasy it is. The pamphlets, the colours, the literature titles, the uniforms, the armbands; it just seemed a bit on the overblown side.

Like, you already get the feeling from reading the books and Rowling has said that they were modelled after the Nazis. But I never thought that they'd actually pretty much BE Nazi's. Give Voldermort a little credit, like he'd blatantly rip off some Muggle who tried to rule the world (and apparently everyone who works at the Ministry doesn't know history well enough to recognize when literal Nazi's have taken over).

Spoiler/Rant over

[quote="MissGranger, post:7, topic:220081"]
The first three HP books were for 'children,' i.e., mid-elementary through middle school-aged. The fourth through seventh got steadily darker, and the seventh is decidedly adult, with fully developed, mature themes of death, war, racism, etc. Even love, in the true mature sense, not in the usual Hollywood sexual sense. Sacrificial love, for friends, for husbands and wives (Arthur and Molly Weasley, Remus and Tonks, Bill and his new wife Fleur). This is no longer the charming children's world of Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone. The children have grown up into a dark and sinister world. Not entirely unlike our own, sadly.

A lot of films for adults are rated PG. All the rating means is that there's only a certain amount of, or no, profanity/sexual innuendos/violence/smoking/drinking, etc, not that a particular movie is just for certain age groups. The trailers and commercial spots for Deathly Hallows were aimed mainly at a teen and young adult audience--mostly on MTV, CW, Fox, and of course the major networks and ABC Family.

Yes, but then the whole point of Ron being the one to destroy the Horcrux would have been lost. The Horcrux affected him the most; it made him think that he'd lost Hermione to Harry, that she was 'cheating' on him with Harry, when of course that wasn't the case at all. Harry and Hermione were like brother and sister, dear friends, nothing more.

The scene is in the book; no, JKR didn't say whether they were 'nude' or not in Ron's mind, that's left to the reader's imagination. But it was very effective on film. It's what was eating Ron up inside, it's what Voldemort wanted him to believe--the very worst.

I'm not a big fan of nudity in films. It's just not my thing. But in my opinion this was a situation where it was used properly--it wasn't glorified at all, it wasn't presented as a good thing, and it certainly wasn't graphic. It was only from the waist up, and no sexual body parts were visible. The scene was filmed that way to show what the insidious presence of evil can do to twist a person's mind, and I think it conveyed that very well.

[/quote]

I don't have a problem with 'nudity' in films, but just in films based on childrens literature. Sure, all of the books got darker: death, (racism showed in the second book/movie), etc. But I suppose that scene took away from the movie to a certain extent. I guess this article accurately expresses how I feel about them: (mtv.com/news/articles/1652680/20101119/story.jhtml) -- not 'halfway kissing' but going into a full make-out scene. If I really liked someone (which by all the clues Ron and Hermione have showed throughout the series), it doesn't matter whether they peck someone on the lips or linger for a few seconds, it's going to rub me the wrong way. Maybe that's just me though. :shrug:
It wasn't that big of a deal though, it was still a good movie.

SPOILERS!!

Saw it tonight, liked it a lot, very true to the book.

My main thought tonight is, where was Harry's invisibility cloak? It's one of the Deathly Hallows for heaven's sake and it was never used or even mentioned!

And I wish they had shown the Bible quotes on Harry's and Dumbledore's parents' graves.

Also in the book Kreacher (learns to serve Harry with loyalty), Scrimgeour (dies protecting Harry's whereabouts), and Gellert Grindewald (lies to Voldemort about the elder wand) all get redeemed somehow and that didn't happen here.

Can't wait for July for part 2!

[quote="smswife, post:10, topic:220081"]
SPOILERS!!

Saw it tonight, liked it a lot, very true to the book.

My main thought tonight is, where was Harry's invisibility cloak? It's one of the Deathly Hallows for heaven's sake and it was never used or even mentioned!

And I wish they had shown the Bible quotes on Harry's and Dumbledore's parents' graves.

Also in the book Kreacher (learns to serve Harry with loyalty), Scrimgeour (dies protecting Harry's whereabouts), and Gellert Grindewald (lies to Voldemort about the elder wand) all get redeemed somehow and that didn't happen here.

Can't wait for July for part 2!

[/quote]

I think at least some of that redemption will occur in Part 2. Kreacher is still alive, remember. And I agree, the Invisibility Cloak should have made at least one brief appearance, they used it fairly frequently in the book.

I just saw the film again this morning, and I paid particular attention to the graveyard scene. If you look closely, you can see the Bible quote on Harry's parents' grave, down along the base of the stone. Unfortunately, Dumbledore's parents' graves weren't even shown, just Ignotus Peverell's.

[quote="Academia, post:9, topic:220081"]
I don't have a problem with 'nudity' in films, but just in films based on childrens literature. Sure, all of the books got darker: death, (racism showed in the second book/movie), etc. But I suppose that scene took away from the movie to a certain extent. I guess this article accurately expresses how I feel about them: (mtv.com/news/articles/1652680/20101119/story.jhtml) -- not 'halfway kissing' but going into a full make-out scene. If I really liked someone (which by all the clues Ron and Hermione have showed throughout the series), it doesn't matter whether they peck someone on the lips or linger for a few seconds, it's going to rub me the wrong way. Maybe that's just me though. :shrug:
It wasn't that big of a deal though, it was still a good movie.

[/quote]

As I said above, this wasn't a children's book, nor is it in any fashion a children's movie. But we'll just have to agree to disagree on this issue. And yes, it was a very good movie. So good--I saw it again this morning! :p

Heh, we’ll have to do that. Of course, my opinion that the Harry Potter series was intended for children only stems from interviews with J.K. Rowling’s comments on the matter. But I suppose if she would have labeled it a “YA” book (due to there popular appeal to the general public) perhaps the first book wouldn’t have been rejected as many times as it was. :)

I concur with what several have said. To me, the movie was enjoyable and the pacing, though in parts slower, seemed appropriate - it gave people time to reflect on the emotional side of things.

Wasn't particularly crazy about the nudity thing, think they might have gotten the point across with more subtlety....

I'm curious though whether they shouldn't have made at least a passing mention of Ariana Dumbledore as they did Aberforth. Or did I miss that? At the beginning, I found I had to get used to the British accents so I missed some lines.:D Going to see it again with a friend who didn't get to go with our little group the first time, so maybe I'll catch what I missed.

Definitely a keeper. Glad we don't have to wait much longer for Movie 8! :popcorn:

[quote="Academia, post:6, topic:220081"]
The only Harry Potter movie that wasn't PG was this one. I just assume that any movie rated PG and based off of a children's fantasy book would be marketed towards them. Not that children shouldn't see it, it was the best of all the films.

But they could have left that scene out and it would have still been equally as good. :p

[/quote]

I see you're in Russia. I don't know about other countries, but in the U.S., HP4 (Goblet of Fire) and HP5 (Order of the Phoenix) were both rated PG-13. I would expect that Part 2 of Deathly Hallows will get a PG-13, as the first part did. The PG rating of HP6 (Half-Blood Prince) is actually an aberration in the film series ratings since 2005.

I looked up the movie ratings for (the UK and United States) and it appears that the last three films were rated PG-13, (I stand corrected!) :p There isn’t a distinct movie rating system here, so I assumed that this was the only of the movies changing its rating, due to some press its gotten.

We saw HP 7 Part 1 yesterday at a 10 AM showing. DH summed it up: "It was like they were reading off a checklist: OK, here's the wedding scene, let's move on to the forest scene, now we gotta get the icy pond scene going----"

I read the last book very recently. So my thought is that they have removed (deliberately, it seems) every Christian reference (the Biblical quote on the Potter's graves, for example, and Harry REFUSING to kill an innocent man, thus revealing himself to the enemy), and even scrubbed off a lot of the wizarding elements that made the books so special. They ripped the heart from the story.

I can't believe how far we've sunk as a society and a species. We sat through about twenty minutes of trailers that were completely inappropriate for children, even though they were rated 'for all audiences.' I felt soiled.

I hate movies.

At least this latest HP venture wasn't as bad as the fifth movie

I have seen the seventh addition the Harry Potter movies and must say that this one really redeemed itself. I guess you can say my problem is I have read the books (read them many times) and after the third movie I have been very upset with how they did the adaptions (Three actually made me for the first time ever yell at the screen when the movie was being played :blush: ). I was worried to go see this one because it was such a darker book from the rest, but I knew that it was going to be harder on me because my favorite characters I know what happen to them.

But it seems that because they are making this a two part it means that they can focus on getting more true to the book. I always say to people the movies for Harry Potter only touch the surface.

God Bless,
Nikita op

Correcting my earlier post - today I saw it again and caught a lot more things, which added depth and enjoyment for me.

I did see an Ariana Dumbledore reference. Maybe others have seen it too. I won't say where. ;)

I think Ralph Fiennes did a good job with Voldemort - fleshed out his character. I mean, Voldy is in some ways your typical villain, and yet Mr. Fiennes did do some subtleties that to me showed he really got into the role.

Thought it was good too how the Malfoys were shown as haggard and weary, like they want out but are afraid to leave. Like Hitler's cronies when he was losing and knew it.

I didn't mind some of the "obviousness" of the Voldemort & Minstry=Hitler & Third Reich allusions in the Ministry scenes, because I don't think it was too overdone (except maybe the uniforms could have looked more wizardly, I agree on that).

But for younger generations getting further away from those events in time, and whose parents or even grandparents weren't alive during the time it actually happened, I think it subtly helps the historical satire/cautionary tale come across more.

Can't wait for the DVD. :bounce:And for Movie 8.:popcorn:

Totally agree with everything here! That scene in the book with Grindelwald and Voldemort was actually one of my favorites (especially combined with Dumbledore’s comment at the end that he had heard Grindelwald had expressed remorse towards the end of his life). Grindelwald’s last act in his life was to say to Voldemort “You will never win”. I thought that was great!

And the invisibility cloak–I was very surprised that wasn’t in there at all. They’ll have to give it a lot of use in the second part.

In Christ,
Rand

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