Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Film Review

The Original BJ
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Re: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Film Review

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:22 pm

I suspect we'll be hearing a lot of "Will the franchise finally get a Best Picture nomination this year?" in the coming weeks, and I have to say that I think folks are just setting themselves up for another Dark Knight. The Harry Potter series has never done particularly well with Oscar -- in fact, even below the line, its tech elements could have handily picked up more nominations over the years than they have. And I bet few in the Academy view the series as "due" for major category consideration, given that it's never been a serious contender in any other year. (Even the first film's PGA nod was viewed by most as an Oscar-never-would-go-there fluke.)

I realize this installment is picking up pretty strong reviews, even from some of the fringe critics. But it's not like the LA Film Critics Award made a difference for WALL-E, and that wasn't the eighth film in a franchise.

That being said, I haven't seen the movie yet, and anonymous has, so I'm predicting somewhat blindly here. But, based on precedent, I'd be shocked if it happened.

anonymous1980
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Re: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Film Review

Postby anonymous1980 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:23 am

It's currently enjoying a 96% Fresh on RottenTomatoes.

Even Slant Magazine gives it 3.5 stars.

Granted, it is not Ed Gonzalez but still....

Reza
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Film Review

Postby Reza » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:28 am

Hd Reporter


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Film Review

6:15 PM 7/6/2011 by Todd McCarthy


Opens

Friday, July 15 (Warner Bros.)


Cast

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Helena
Bonham Carter


Director

David Yates


Screenwriter

Steve Kloves


Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson finish a 10-year
journey with "The Deathly Hallows Part 2," directed by David Yates.

It ends well. After eight films in 10 years and a cumulative global
box-office take of more than $6.3 billion, the most successful
franchise in the history of movies comes to an obligatory -- and
quite satisfying -- conclusion in Harry Potter and the Deathly
Hallows Part 2. Fully justifying the decision, once thought purely
mercenary, of splitting J.K. Rowling's final book into two parts,
this is an exciting and, to put it mildly, massively eventful finale
that will grip and greatly please anyone who has been at all a fan of
the series up to now. If ever there was a sure thing commercially,
this stout farewell is it.

It has been an extraordinary run, really, marked by careful planning
as well as very good luck. When some quick shots at the end remind
how incredibly young Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson
were when this all started, one marvels that they've all grown up to
be as physically plausible for the roles and sufficiently talented as
they have. With a parade of wonderful British actors filling
exceedingly vivid parts, casting has been the series' most
consistently strong suit throughout; remarkably, only one major
actor, Richard Harris, died over the course of the decade, and he was
undisruptively replaced by Michael Gambon (though regret still
lingers that Peter O'Toole wasn't cast as Dumbledore in the first
place; was it thought he wouldn't survive this long?).

After Chris Columbus launched the franchise capably but with less
than dazzling flair, producer David Heyman smartly chose Alfonso
Cuaron and Mike Newell to stage the next two --the best of the series
artistically -- then settled on TV director David Yates for the long
march to the end. Initially working in what seemed too
straightforward and briskly efficient a manner, Yates has finally
come into his own in this last installment, orchestrating a massive
chessboard of events with impressive finesse and a stronger sense of
dramatic composition than he has previously displayed.

But perhaps the key player all along has been screenwriter Steve
Kloves, who made what must have been a vexing decision to put a
promising directorial career on hold for more than a decade to write
all but one of the Potter episodes (though confessing exhaustion and
the need of a break, he later expressed regret over not adapting The
Order of the Phoenix). Tricky in that so many characters, including
quite a few from the past, needed to be shuffled into the dramatic
deck without sacrificing forward momentum, this final chapter
suggests an even greater-than-usual attention to narrative balance
and refinement. Simply put, it's clear the filmmakers felt the
responsibility to do this job right, and that they have. [See what
other critics have to say about the movie

Of course, Deathly Hallows Part 2 is all about the final
confrontation between Harry and Voldemort, the ultimate showdown
between good and evil, the climax the entire series has built toward
from the beginning. With Voldemort wielding the coveted Elder Wand
with blinding power even before the Warner Bros. logo appears
onscreen, Harry, Ron and Hermione at the outset are still in the
wilderness, commanded to find and destroy four remaining Horcruxes
(all of which contain fractions of the Dark Lord's soul) and obliged
to make a deal with disagreeable goblin Griphook (Warwick Davis) to
gain access to Bellatrix Lestrange's bank vault, where one Horcrux
might be hidden.

The subsequent break-in involves a wonderful charade in which
Hermione disguises herself as Bellatrix (some amusing work from
Helena Bonham Carter here) but also a roller-coaster ride that feels
like a prototype for a theme-park attraction. This sequence also
calls attention to the fact that, after an aborted effort on the
previous installment, this is the first Harry Potter film to be
released in 3D. Those with a purist streak will probably wish Warners
had left well enough alone and not adopted the fad purely for the
extra dollars, as if it needed them. Still, apart from a few isolated
effects that look phonier thanks to the extra dimension, the 3D works
pretty well for the many spectacular visual effects as well as with
the greater sense of depth with which Yates stages many of his scenes here.

As Harry and his friends converge on Hogwarts -- now run by Snape
like a gloomy fascist camp and guarded by hovering Death Eaters -- an
admirably sober, melancholy mood cloaks the proceedings; Aberforth
Dumbledore (Ciaran Hinds) details unsavory aspects of his family's
early history and portents of what's to come reverberate as Harry and
Voldemort increasingly share what's in their minds, while Harry's
welcoming committee at school resembles a stalwart bunch of loyal
soldiers gathered for a none-too-promising last stand. Among the many
who have been recently little seen, the one who most surprisingly
rises to the occasion is the largely forgotten Neville Longbottom
(Matthew Lewis), whereas Harry's girlfriend Ginny (Bonnie Wright)
offers entirely expected solidarity.

Similarly marginalized in recent years, Maggie Smith's wonderful
Minerva McGonagall reasserts herself for this last campaign, helping
to create a shield around Hogwarts that will at least temporarily
delay Voldemort's army, which has converged on a cliff overlooking
the school. As preparations are frantically made for the final
battle, time is nonetheless found for crucial narrative trips into
the past, including one final and particularly revelatory dive into
the pensieve to explore the early relationships among Snape, Harry's
mother and Dumbledore, as well as the murders that started it all so
many years before.

Even the final wand duel between the evenly matched Harry and
Voldemort has its distinct stages that reveal final layers of
information. It's also nicely leavened with slashes of humor, leading
to a brief coda set 19 years later that, in the way it comes full
circle and reconnects with the relative innocence with which the
series started, feels just right.

The squabbling of Deathly Hallows Part 1 happily a thing of the past,
Ron and Hermione lend stalwart support, but the burdens of the
consummation lie squarely upon Harry's shoulders and lead one to
appreciate Radcliffe's accomplishment here and throughout the series;
whatever quibbles and shortcomings have existed in the past, he is
Harry, once and for all, and goes out on a high note. A number of
departed or otherwise absented characters make brief appearances here
as a means of tying things together, enabling such actors as Gary
Oldman, Emma Thompson, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall, Miriam
Margolyes, Julie Walters and others to make brief curtain calls along
with their fellow great pros.

Technically, nothing has been held back. The eventual sight of
Hogwarts as a crumbled ruin is striking, Eduardo Serra's
cinematography outclasses what he accomplished the last time out, and
some of Nick Dudman's makeup effects -- especially with the goblins
and a shocking glimpse of a fetal Voldemort -- are sensational.
Alexandre Desplat's score is arguably the best yet for the series,
briefly incorporating echoes of John Williams' original themes while
richly boosting the already heightened drama of this sendoff to such
a tremendously successful series.

All that's missing is an official "The End" after the final image.

Opens: Friday, July 15 (Warner Bros.)
Production: Heydey Films
Director: David Yates
Screenwriter: Steve Kloves, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham
Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, John Hurt,
Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Kelly Macdonald, Gary Oldman, Alan
Rickman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, David Bradley, Jim Broadbent,
Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Ciaran Hinds, Gemma Jones, Dave Legeno,
Miriam Margolyes, Helen McCrory, Nick Moran, James Phelps, Oliver
Phelps, Clemence Poesy, Timothy Spall, Natalia Tena, Emma Thompson,
Julie Walters, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright
Producers: David Heyman, David Barron, J.K. Rowling
Executive producer: Lionel Wigram
Director of photography: Eduardo Serra
Production designer: Stuart Craig
Costume designer: Jany Temime
Editor: Mark Day
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Visual effects supervisor: Tim Burke
Special makeup effects: Nick Dudman
Rated PG-13, 130 minutes


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