ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Goodbye Harry Potter


‘Deathly Hallows Part 2’ is a brilliant summation of the remarkably consistent movie series.

By Lori Hoffman

Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 7 | Posted Jul. 20, 2011

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Back to Hogwarts

What the Harry Potter movie series has accomplished is something that has never been done before. The James Bond movies had high and low points. The Star Wars trilogy had major issues when its three prequels were added. The Lord of the Rings  only had to maintain its quality over three films (granted, with a new one on the way).


For a series of eight movies based on a popular book series to maintain such a high a level of excellence truly is magical. While the Harry Potter films have had different tones thanks to the various directors that have been involved (Chris Columbus for the first two films, followed by Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates for the last four), screenwriter Steve Kloves has to get a big share of the credit, since he adapted all but one of the books. Certainly the source material by J.K. Rowling deserves praise, but many a great book has been turned into a less-than-stellar movie.


Perhaps, best of all, the entire cast has essentially remained intact for a decade, with the notable exception of Richard Harris who passed away. However, his replacement, Michael Gambon, was the perfect choice to keep the quality of the acting intact.


The second half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a brilliant finish to the series, mixing an action-packed finale with elements of darkness, beautifully integrated moments of humor, heroism from a couple of unexpected sources, and a sense of closure that should satisfy fans of both the books and the movies. 


Facing the challenge of global expectations, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the best film of the series and therefore fulfills those expectations.


The dark tone of Hallows Part 1 continues as the final chapter is set in motion. The minions of Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) continue to control the Ministry of Magic, Hogwarts and the rest of the wizard world. Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) is running Hogwarts, which is now more like a prison. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) remains in hiding as he, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) continue to search for the Horcruxes that Lord Voldemort needs to complete his resurrection.


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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 7 of 7
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1. Kel said... on Jul 20, 2011 at 08:14PM

“But the LOTR quality was much higher than HP. It had a rich amount of detail that HP just didn't have. I won't bother listing the ways, because I don't want to go on a rant. I do like HP, they're very good, just not epic or great. As a fan of the books, they never exceeded my expectations. Which great movies should do. But I'd put it over the SW prequels... barely... not the old trilogy. I have never cared for James Bond, so I won't go there.”

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2. Lori Hoffman said... on Jul 21, 2011 at 07:53AM

“Kel, I agree that the LOTR trilogy was a deeper, richer experience, but what I was saying was how remarkable HP was for its eight-film longevity.”

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3. cleber said... on Jul 22, 2011 at 05:32AM

“well, i don't think LOTR is deeper than HP as long as character development goes. in fact, the whole LOTR theme seems much less interesting - or not so interestingly dealt with - when compared with the ones of the HP series ("i won't bother listing the ways, because i don't want to go on a rant", either) especially when one considers the films only scraped the bottom of the novels. however, i agree the LOTR films look more epic and it's basically because of the setting, you know, medieval times and the likes. i don't beileve you have to read HP books to be able to understand what's happening on screen (do it if you want to know about the details); you just have to watch them more than once. as for the fans of the book's quibbles, well, at least they prove they have actually read the whole books, which is more than can be said of most of LOTR fans.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Jul 22, 2011 at 05:50AM

“The franchise has been around for a decade, yes, but the films take place over the course of seven years. Please fix this error.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Jul 22, 2011 at 05:52AM

“Lori, according to Rotten Tomatoes, you gave "The Social Network" two stars out of four. However, I don't see a star rating with your review. Where is it?”

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6. Lori Hoffman said... on Jul 24, 2011 at 04:28PM

“Our web master must have forgotten to put it in, but my review of the Social Network was a two (out of 4 star) review. The second time around I liked it better and would give it three stars but I never like to go back and change my opinion. I go with my first impression.”

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7. Anonymous said... on Aug 11, 2011 at 02:06PM

“How is it possible not to mention Ralph Fiennes' terrible evil disfigured and pitiable Lord Voldemort? He's the most complicated being of this story. Rejected child, brought up in an orphanage he became deformed in body and soul. He was on the top in Part 1. After knowing the loss of his Horcruxes he began to fear and uncertainity made him human. His death was the right punishment for what he has done. IMHO it was a good choice not to kill him with a curse which behaves like a boomerang. The blowing up was a good idea . I'll never forget his last facial expression before the explosion. This performance deserves an Oscar.”

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