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Posted on 9/22/11 02:33 PM
In this summer's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2", Daniel Radcliffe and Co. pleasantly come into their own, completing an iconic and mystifying ten year movie run.
As an avid reader of the books, who had his nit-picky issues with the previous seven films, I was admittedly cautious walking into the packed South Dennis cinema for a midnight showing of Harry Potter's self-promoted "epic conclusion". Fanboys and girls all around, some in full Hogwarts garb, eagerly shuffled into the theater, visibly excited for the event.
After a slight issue in the projection room, which led to a full theater viewing of the "Captain America" trailer almost five times, the trailers began working and everyone in the room fell into an excited silence.
My thoughts contemplated over the next few minutes the fact that even if the movie wasn't enjoyable, at least I got to see the first teaser trailer for 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises".
In short, "Hallows Part 2" delivered in its promise of grandeur. Unlike the slow-paced "Hallows Part 1", nearly half the movie is an action scene, beautifully choreographed with special effects impressively crafted to create a mixed feeling of chaos, excitement, and magic.
The story continues where it left off, with the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) stealing the famed elder wand from the grave of Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Immediately it moves onto Harry (Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) continuing their search for Voldemort's horcruxes: dark magical items containing a piece of Voldemort's soul.
An impressively sequenced heist of Gringotts Bank, flows swiftly into the final battle at Hogwarts School, and eventually a final confrontation between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort.
These actors have truly come into their own. After being tossed into a series that would encompass their teenage years, Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint seem to have truly grown into their acting abilities, bringing the lovable characters from the books to expertly executed fruition. Their performances allow us to see their growth since The Sorcerer's Stone in 2001.
The acting in the film is superb. Call me crazy, but I'm ready to submit Alan Rickman as Severus Snape up for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. The story truly is able to find itself in its conclusion, touching on themes of friendship, loyalty, family, and of course, the power of good over evil.
Another important quality is its likeness to the book which is something I haven't seen done well since the third Harry Potter film, "Prisoner of Azkaban". "Hallows Part 2" takes all necessary precautions to make sure every enjoyable and necessary scene from the book is present. Inclusion of the Fiendfyre chase sequence and the conversation with the eerie Grey Lady add to the suspense resonating in each of the characters, which in turn makes its way into the audience.
Most importantly, it left the audience wishing for a magical intervention that would make the experience never end. But as was said in "Chamber of Secrets", "he'll never be gone, not as long as those who remain are loyal to him". Something tells me, looking over the sea of Potter fans, that he'll be around for a while.
Posted on 1/26/11 08:30 AM
Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time. Now while it is expected that a blockbuster by James Cameron, which was released in IMAX 3-D, would make a lot of money, after seeing it, I confess myself utterly appalled at the fact that this tops the list.
The movie is not terrible. The special effects are incredible and the 3-D works brilliantly, however this is the only thing about the movie that I truly liked. The story was a rehash of Pocahontas and Ferngully, and the dialogue, plot, acting, and hilariously bad naming of the unobtainable rock that the humans are searching for (Unobtanium....really?) make Avatar one of the most overrated movies of all time.
I give the movie a 30% for one reason and one reason alone, and that is the special effects. James Cameron, as overhyped of a director as he really is, did an excellent job revolutionizing the way people will see heavy-CGI movies, and is paving the road for movies like Tron and I imagine many more to come. However, this does not make up for the rehashed story, bland plot, and stylishly confusing battle scenes.