My thoughts on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
#1
Saw the movie last night. Will go back to see it again today. Let me add my voice to the legions of voices saying, "WOW!" What a finale to a fantastic series of movies this has been. I don't know how they could have done a better job of bringing the series to a conclusion.

As August and I noted, the Harry Potter franchise is different from other science fiction and fantasy franchises in a variety of ways.''

The emotional highs and lows in the movie reflect (for me) many of the emotional highs and lows of the book. The subtle changes to the storyline helped to make some of the most expected moments (such as Nigel beheading Nagini) UNexpected. I kept waiting for certain things to happen and it seemed like at times the film was playing with the audience, teasing us. You could hear questions rippling across the audience: "Is this where such-and-such is supposed to happen?" "Doesn't so-and-so do ....?"

There were cheers and applause when you would think people should have been happy. There was the sound of soft weeping at the appropriate moments.

And I loved it when Maggie Smith said, "I've always wanted to do that spell."

For covering events that occur within the span of a day, the movie seemed to follow an appropriate pace. There were scenes where time passed quickly and scenes where time slowed down. The audience's focus was well-managed and artfully crafted. I think David Yates showed that he was familiar enough with the series to be absolutely the right director to pull off the finale. There is just no way they could have brought in another director (even if it was Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, or Mike Newell) to finish off the series with the consistency and potency that was required to bring it to a proper conclusion.

Of course, I sensed J.K. Rowling's hand in a few subtle departures from the book. I mean, I don't believe they would have done certain things without her approval. I don't want to give too much away as I know many people have yet to see the movie.

We wanted to test out a new theater and so I paid premium prices for the luxury of sitting in "leather" seats and watching the movie in 3-D. I was not impressed with the 3-D effects. There were only a few scenes where they seemed to make an impact on the audience. When Harry finally sees the Resurrection Stone, for example, you do get a sense of depth. But most of the movie would look just as well in normal 2-D.

The discomfort of wearing the goofy 3-D glasses detracts from the film experience, in my opinion. There is not much need for a 3-D presentation in a movie that uses so many distant shots. Seeing "armies" rampage across a landscape doesn't really benefit from 3-D so I doubt Harry Potter will help the pro-3-D crowd make their case.

The movie was dark in the right places and brilliant in the right places. I didn't have time to reread the book this week as I had originally hoped so my impressions of the film's quality are based almost solely on what the film does for itself. I had very vague expectations based on the book. It's probably best NOT to reread the book before you see a movie like this.

All in all I thought it was well done. Although I would have wanted to see some more details (and perhaps they'll be included in the inevitable "Extended Director's Cut Edition") I think they covered most of the important points.

The final dialogue in the epilogue between Harry and his son Albus Severus Potter showed us what Harry missed as a child -- what Voldemort's selfish quest for power had denied many families (including Neville Longbottom's family, for example). The "sending off of the kids to Hogwarts" is a special moment each year in the lives of these families. It is one of the bonding moments for the Wizarding World of Great Britain (and undoubtedly in other countries when those magical families send their children to special wizarding schools). The audience finally gets to see the normalcy that these families crave.

I remember when I saw the first film for the first time being impressed with how well organized a "fringe" society of wizarding families had been portrayed. They had laws, rules, teachers, schools -- everything was a mirror of what we see in Muggle life. I think that throughout these stories there is a sub-theme of "There but for a special gift go people just like us despite all their quirks and differences". The point seems to be, "This COULD be us in a special circumstance. Would we make the same choices?"

The day when we have abilities similar to those of Harry Potter's wizarding world are coming closer. Science and technology are beginning to reach stages where they are sufficiently advanced enough to give us magic-like capabilities. 100 years from now Harry Potter's world may seem quaint and crude compared to what people will be able to do "in reality".

Meanwhile, we'll be able to enjoy reading these books and watching these films over and over again.
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#2
inked
"Aslan is not a tame lion. Safe?
No, he's not safe, but he's good."
CSL/LWW
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#3
Just got back from the movie and enjoyed it thoroughly. It's everything I could have hoped for. There were some things left out (no Grawp, no Kreacher), some things changed (who was that kid playing Draco's crony? Ariana was not well explained at all.), but overall they did a fine job adapting the last half of the book. Loved so many moments: Maggie Smith's "I've always wanted to do that spell" and Ron's "Hey, that's my girlfriend!", Molly's fight with Bellatrix, and Ginny running out when Voldie and co. show up, and so many more. The graphics are stunning - they've really matured in style, believability and effectiveness over the course of the franchise. There was applause at the appropriate moments and sniffling at the touching moments. Even managed some tears for Snape. The big showdown did feel anti-climatic, but they bounced back from that quite well by the end.

I'll be seeing this again, for sure!

As with Michael, I didn't re-read the book before seeing the movie - probably better that way. I didn't see the 3D - I just can't stand 3D. It's such a pointless gimmick.


Edit: typo
Sheldon: I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.

~ The Big Bang Theory
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#4
Draco's crony was Blaise Zabini (whose mother had been widowed 7 times over). He appeared in "Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince" but has not appeared in any earlier films. I believe he was written into the climactic scene to replace Jamie Waylett (Vincent Crabbe), whose off-screen legal issues resulted in his being dropped from the franchise. That's why it was Goyle who died in the fire and not Crabbe.

If I had a complaint to make about the movie, I guess it would also be about the final moments with Voldemort. It did feel somewhat anticlimactic, but how do you top all the previous scenes with the horcruxes? It's like, "We've killed this guy seven times already -- let's get it over with and be done."
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#5
Crabbe and Goyle - could never keep them straight, and completely forgot that one of them was supposed to die.

I felt the same way about Voldie finally dying. Maybe if they hadn't inserted that connection of him knowing when the Horcruxes bit it, it might have had more impact. At least he could have acted surprised.

I have a minor quibble also with Harry's invisibility cloak. They never specify that his is the actual cloak of invisibility. Since they never introduced the other "fake" cloaks into the movies, I suppose the audience can infer that Harry's cloak is one of the Deathly Hallows, but it seems underdeveloped all the same. They also never specify that he kept the cloak. They showed him using it for that one scene and then made no mention of it again. Seemed an odd treatment of that subplot.

Loved Helena Bonham-Carter as Hermoine! Not sure if they changed her makeup slightly, or did some sort of computer morphing thing, but you could almost see Emma Watson in there, trying to be intimidating and evil and failing miserably.
Sheldon: I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.

~ The Big Bang Theory
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#6
I think they morphed Helena and Emma. We watched one of the TV documentaries this week where they showed how the "Seven Harrys" scene from Part 1 was done and in that one they morphed Daniel and everyone. We're pretty sure that Hermellatrix was produced in much the same way (but we'll have to wait for the DvD to find out, I guess).

I think the audience can put the pieces together about the invisibility cloak. Since the characters never ask where Harry's comes from or try to reason out whether some other cloak might have belonged to Ignotus, and since it was clear that Ignotus' family lived in Godric's Hollow, I think the audience has enough evidence to show that Harry's cloak was one of the three hallows.

The film-makers, of course, are not familiar with the Uzi Rule so certainly some film-watchers can argue that "since they didn't say it was the deathly hallow cloak it could be that the real deathly hallow cloak wa somewhere else".

The Uzi Rule, for those who are not familiar with it, says that the Orcs in The Lord of the Rings all carried Uzi sub-machine guns (Because J.R.R. Tolkien Never Said They Didn't). People often use the absence of denial to "prove" absurd conjectures which are not otherwise supported by texts (or whatever sources one has to work with, such as films) about a specific topic. It's a false premise.
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#7
Can I just put my 2 cents in here..... I didn't get to see it at the theatre. :confused: But finally got to watch it the other day on "On Demand". There were a few parts I wasn't real happy with, and yet, some that were amazingly well done. I thought the Snape/Nagini dying (although, done differently in the book) was well done. More impact of hearing it rather than seeing it. I also thought that the way they got the memories from Snape was different. Funny how Harry got a few drops from his tears at the time, but was quite a bit when he put in pensieve. I agree the final battle was a little letdown. And in the book, Harry repairs his own wand with the elder wand first. I thought that should have been in there. As for the epilogue, also funny how Draco looked at least 10 years older than the other 4. Lol. All in all, I enjoyed most of this movie. For it being the final it was well done.

~Jopru~
~Strangers are just friends waiting to happen~
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#8
Time for my two bits worth. All in all, I thought they did a good job on filming this half of the book. I would however liked it better if they had flimed the final battle as it was in the book. I miss the conversation so brilliantly written by JKR. That was powerful dialog that should not have been diluted. I also agree that Voldy shoud not have felt the destruction of the horcruxes. AND what's up with the exploding bodies? I was looking forward to Voldemort falling backward as shown in the book.
One bit of nit-picking: To be consistant, Snapes memories should have been silver just like Dumbledore's and Slughorn's.
Other than that--I like it. Later Kind Folks--Paul:bg:
Frontiers of any type, physical or mental are but a challenge to our breed. Nothing can stop th questing of man, not even man. If we will it, not only the wonders of space, but the very stars are ours
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#9
Although I missed many aspects of the final battle scene myself, I thought Voldemort's literal undoing was rather poetic. I liked it. I think it drove the point home that he had squandered his power and his soul in a fruitless pursuit of both immortality and domination over others.
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