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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

The first part of the two-part finale to the Harry Potter franchise released in 2010.

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Prepare For The Final Chapter

  • Nov 16, 2010
Rating:
+5
Having secured a seat at a local sneak peek premier (all it took was dressing up like Mad Eye Moody!), I had the grand opportunity to check out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I last night.  I must admit that I wasn't a fan of Potter until the first film came out.  After that, I was hooked.  I've gone on to watch all of the films and read all of the books.


Deathly Hallows, as far as I can remember since reading the book some time ago, follows the printed page very closely.   Of course there are a few moments that are left out as is almost always the case with films based on books, but the core of the book is lovingly cared for by director David Yates (who also directed Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince). 

**If you haven't watched the last couple of films or read the books, you might want to skip the following part of my review.  While it does not contain spoilers for Deathly Hallows, it does mention a few things that happened in previous films/books.  For my opinion of the actors' performances, film direction, special effects, etc. skip to the next asterisked section.**


As with the books, the days of cute spells and Quidditch are gone.  This film finds Harry and his friends trying to protect themselves and others in the wake of the death of Dumbledore and the rise to power of the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort.  Both Harry and Voldemort are looking for the horcruxes that are crucial to the complete success or utter defeat of the Dark Lord.  Changes at Hogwarts (which is all but ignored in this particular part of the story) and at the Ministry of Magic, as well as the loss of Dumbledore, have left Harry and all of the wizarding world in great danger.  There's a price on Harry's head and the Ministry has begun "interrogating" all of its workers in order to find out where their loyalties lie.  

Harry digs deeper into the lives of certain individuals whom he believes can help him find and destroy the horcruxes.  He, Ron, and Hermione also have a few run-ins with Death Eaters and their loyalists.  This results in some brilliant action scenes that any Potter-phile will enjoy.

Of course, if you've read the book and already know the outcome of the tale, you'll quickly pick up on a lot of foreshadowing throughout the story.  The end of this particular part of the story is both heart wrenching and terrifying, for it leaves the viewer baited for next year's grand finale.


**Spoilers for those missing the last few films/books ends here.**

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione), and Rupert Grint (Ron) nailed their characters a few films ago, but in this particular go round, they deal with some very heavy emotions.  All of them handled their roles especially well and made their characters very believable.  While Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort) is perhaps the second most crucial character in the story, his role is a lot smaller than you might think.  Still, he expertly manages to strike terror into those who dare challenge the Dark Lord.  Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) doesn't have a lot of screen time either, but if you didn't like Bellatrix before, you'll really hate her after seeing Carter hold nothing back in what I believe is one of the best performances in the film.  The core cast from the last couple of films all return and do wonderful jobs.  I was especially pleased with Jason Isaacs performance as Lucius Malfoy.  He portrays the once-haughty character splendidly as a beaten down and desperate man.

David Yates keeps the story moving at a breakneck pace, but manages to toss in a few key drawn out sequences in the film that a few non-Potter fans might find a bit tepid.  Remember this, though, with a film so loyal to the original book, these drawn out scenes are crucial to the story.

I also enjoyed the fact that despite this being one of the darkest tales in the Potter series, humor was injected at just the right time to keep the viewer from becoming completely depressed.

The music and special effects are also very good.  Some of the CGI was obviously fake, but the FX crew got it right for the most part.

It should be noted that this film is rated PG-13 for some very good reasons.  There is quite a bit of intense violence, suspense, and a few very cringeworthy scenes of torture.  Also know that no character, and I mean NO character is exempt from death in this film.  There is also a brief scene of sensuality between two key characters that involves some very strategically placed CGI dark clouds.  It occurs during a vision given to another character when they face a great challenge.  Parents with younger children might want to preview this film before allowing their kids to watch it. 

Overall, this is the best Potter film that Yates has directed to date.  After watching it, I want to see Part 2 NOW!  It's going to be a tough few months for me until Part 2 finally hits the screen.  I guess until then, I can re-read Deathly Hallows and try to visualize it on the screen.

Highly recommended!  
Prepare For The Final Chapter Prepare For The Final Chapter Prepare For The Final Chapter Prepare For The Final Chapter

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January 01, 2012
Great pictures and review too !
January 02, 2012
Thank you!
January 02, 2012
You are very welcome.
 
November 20, 2010
Great review, kfontenot! I'm so glad to hear you say it's the best movie so far. I can't wait to see it.
November 22, 2010
It's well worth checking out!
 
November 18, 2010
Whoa, so cool that you got to see this way in advance! Thanks for sharing this great review, K!
November 22, 2010
Thanks!
 
November 17, 2010
Lucky man! I'm new to Harry Potter and have been catching up on the previous flicks but, this one sounds like the best of them all! Thanks so much for the review and letting us get a glimpse....
November 22, 2010
Thank you!
 
November 16, 2010
You lucky devil! I hope to see this sometime in the next week. Way to go!
November 16, 2010
It's well worth checking out.
 
November 16, 2010
Great review! I'm re-reading the book right now!
November 16, 2010
Like I said in the review, as far as I can remember, the film sticks very close to the source material. It's been quite awhile since I read it, though.
November 16, 2010
Yes! I'm on page 599 and rolling along. It's my second time through. I want to see the film with the book fresh. The Half Blood Prince ending was not as exciting as the book, so I'm hoping that excitement changes this time. Is this film a set-up for the final then?
November 16, 2010
Yes, it sets up the grand finale very well. Without giving anything away, let's just say that it has a very swift one-two emotional punch to set up the end.
November 16, 2010
Nice, thanks.
 
November 16, 2010
Oh heck yeah! I wasn't much of a fan of the movie franchise at first but with the later films I have developed a liking to them in the later films since they were becoming darker and more mature. Congrats on seeing an advance show! I'll see this flick this weekend! Thanks!!
November 16, 2010
This is definitely the darkest one of all so far. If you've read the books, you know that there are quite a few shocks in this film and the upcoming one. I could immediately pick out the people who hadn't read the books when certain things happened on the screen because they gasped or screamed out, "Oh, no!" each and every time!
 
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Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is an entertaining movie.  The tone is dark and the plot is a little hard to follow some times.  I enjoyed the movie nonetheless.  This movie sets up the last picture that will be released next year.  The plot of the Deathly Hallows has Harry Potter and his friends looking for Horcruxes.  Horcruxes are objects that can be used to destroy Lord Voldemort.  He is the bad guy in the movie.   He is played brillantly …
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I’ll go ahead and clear the air here; I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world. Not to say I don’t like the films or the books though. I saw the first two films whenever they came out in theaters, and I remember seeing and really enjoying the fourth film. Until now I’ve not seen either the 5th or the 6th films, and I’m not a big reader, so none of the books ever really caught my eye. I can also say that I’m not the biggest fan of the latest installment …
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A major improvement over the previous movie!
I finally made it to the theater to see the newest addition to the Harry Potter series, and i will start off by saying that all the fears and doubts that i had after the terrible movie that was The Half Blood prince where completely dissolved by the time the end credits were rolling. More than any other in the series this movie reminds me of The Sorcerers Stone in the way that it follows the storyline in the book almost perfectly, right down to the majority of the script. There are even parts in …
review by . December 24, 2010
Finally! After weeks of anticipation and quiet thoughtful patience, I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1. And may I say, I was not disappointed in the least. It was every bit what it marketed itself to be and everything I expected. I expected an epic penultimate film to lead to the last film, and that's certainly what I got. Some may not agree with me but I think this is the best Potter film to date and I can't wait to see how the second part will top it.      …
review by . December 03, 2010
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review by . November 26, 2010
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About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #30
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Wiki

  • Opens Friday, November 19, 2010 | Runtime:2 hr. 27 min.
  • PG-13
    For some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
  • Without the guidance and protection of their professors, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) begin a mission to destroy the Horcruxes, the sources of Voldemort's immortality. Though they must rely on one another more than ever, dark forces threaten to tear them apart. Voldemort's Death Eaters have seized control of the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts, and they are searching for Harry -- even as he and his friends prepare for the ultimate showdown.
  • Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman
  • Director: David Yates
  • Genres: Fantasy
  • Poster art for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: An IMAX 3D Experience"
  •  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I is a brooding, slower-paced film than its predecessors, the result of being just one half of the final story (the last book in the series was split into two movies, released in theaters eight months apart). Because the penultimate film is all buildup before the final showdown between the teen wizard and the evil Voldemort (which does not occur until The Deathly Hallows, Part II),Part I is a road-trip movie, a heist film, a lot of exposition, and more weight on its three young leads, who up until now were sufficiently supported by a revolving door of British thesps throughout the series. Now that all the action takes place outside ...
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