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Quint thinks Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is emotional, tense and dark, dark, dark!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here fresh from a press screening of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 and I’m happy to report that it’s just as dark as the book was. Moreso even. I’d be willing to bet that this generation’s small children will point at this film as one of those that made a huge impression on them. For me it was watching Artax sink into the Swamps of Sadness, that fucking horrible bog witch from Legend and Toht’s face melting in Raiders of the Lost Ark. For them it’ll be moments from this film, particularly the opening. Some might consider this spoiler material, so you’ve been warned, but one of the very first things we see is Snape showing up to an evil dinner with Voldemort and all the top Death Eaters. In a corner is a woman in obvious pain, floating in mid air facing skywards, back arched. Voldemort explains this is a Hogwarts teacher, a specialist in Muggle studies. She’s moved over the table and when she sees Snape she begs him to save her. “We’re friends, Severus! Please!” Alan Rickman plays it stone-faced, but there’s something in his eyes that betrays sympathy at a near microscopic level and watches as Voldemort murders her. As we watch as Voldemort murders her. It’s not so much the killing. It’s not so much the begging (although that is very effective), but there’s a shot of her corpse as it hits the table, a single lifeless tear rolling down her cheek, that signals from the beginning that this isn’t a kid’s movie anymore. Anybody who has been watching this series (or read the books) knows that as the central three characters mature so does the tone and complexity of the series. That’s the brilliance of JK Rowling’s story and what the movies have more than adequately reflected: the audience is growing with the characters. The first book is simple, short and filled to the brim with happy wish fulfillment broad characters. The first movie is on a similar level. The second gets a little darker, but is still a kid’s story at heart. The third film and book mark a real course change and then when Cederic is killed in Goblet of Fire we know that this world has real stakes, that people can go and that magic can't fix everything. In the past Warners has kept the series fresh by bringing in different filmmakers, but in this film we finally get out of Hogwarts and the cycle of storytelling isn’t the same old same old we’ve watched 6 times over. Harry goes to Hogwarts, things happen, Harry solves them with a little help from his friends and then they all eat in the magic hall and go on summer vacation. Not this time. In fact outside of one moment towards the end of the film we don’t see Hogwarts at all. This is the dark times. Voldemort has all but won. He controls everything either through fierce loyalty of the evil wizards or fear of the good ones. The Order of the Phoenix has put all their eggs in the Potter basket, but even with that support they essentially are just trying to sneak Potter from safe spot to safe spot and barely getting away with even that. There’s a sense of hopelessness in this movie that I love. I know that sounds macabre and I swear I’m not a brooding loner that likes to cut myself in candlelight, but what I do love in these kinds of stories is seeing a situation where the heroes aren’t having an easy time overcoming evil. If I hadn’t read the book I’d have no clue how the hell Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley could possibly succeed. For every victory they suffer two defeats. This is war and they are losing. Their side has no army and all their hope rests in what essentially amounts to a treasure hunt. Tone wise the film is perfect, the acting is a career best for all the kids and they did a surprisingly good job at keeping the pace up through a ton of exposition. From a filmmaking standpoint I have a few issues, problems that stem from the book, so I can’t really get on too high of a soap box about them, but they still stood out to me. The biggest one happens early on when a character that has been a part of the series for a long time dies off screen. It’s literally “Hey, (___) is dead. Now where were we?” If my memory isn’t deceiving me it happened very similarly in the book, but a book’s a book and a movie’s a movie. It’s a cinematic moment begging to be included and is just glossed over. I get it. It’s war, it’s chaos, big things happen in the blink of an eye. But even here there is no blinking because there’s no eye to see it. That moment could have been powerful, but instead it’s just an offhand comment and a sad look for two seconds. But that’s a nitpick. I totally admit that. It is indicative of a flaw of the movies and that’s the reliance on the audience to be read up on the material. There always seems to be one thing in every movie I find myself having to explain to someone, whether it’s why it isn’t bullshit that Gryffindor won the house cup in the first movie or why specifically the Marauder’s Map means a lot to Harry (his parents, Wormtail and Sirius created it, an emotional revelation we never get in the film that is one of the biggest oversights in the otherwise brilliant film from Alfonso Cuaron). My nitpick isn’t so much relying on me to explain something, but a general feeling that the audience knows the book already and either won’t accept a shift in focus or will understand the value of a moment that is simply not dwelled upon in the finished film. Other than that moment and one towards the end of the film where it feels like a re-introduction scene to a character we haven’t seen in nearly a decade was just lopped off, I find no fault in David Yate’s direction. In fact, he overcame a huge cinematic hurdle with the story of The Deathly Hallows themselves, a fairy tale that is crucial to understanding the MacGuffin of the finale of the series. He very smartly uses an animated sequence, narrated by Hermione, and makes it feel as Grimm’s Fairy Tale as possible. He took one vital bit of exposition and made it visual, employing a stylized Gothic look that fits perfectly with the tone of the rest of the film. And hell, he even throws a little jab at Twilight, which absolutely didn’t go unnoticed by me or my friends. I mentioned earlier that this film is a career best for the leads and I wasn’t lying. Emma Watson is outstanding, having learned how to stop acting with her eyebrows a movie or two ago. She really is a standout with a movie star quality that forces you to watch her when she’s on screen. I know that probably reads creepy, but I don’t mean it in a perverted way, believe it or not. There’s a depth to her performance, starting from the beginning of the film where she essentially erases herself out of her parent’s heads as a means to protect them from the evil that’s spreading in the world. Hermione is a haunted figure who seems to be relying on her burgeoning love of Ron and the friendship she has with both Ron and Harry to keep her sanity. One of the core messages of the films and books is that true friendship can overcome any obstacle and it rings truer in this film than any other. Daniel Radcliffe is in his element and is totally comfortable holding this massive film (and even more massive franchise) on his shoulders. I really hope he survives this series. As iconic as he is in the role, I think there’s a real talent there that I’d hate to see get squashed by typecasting. And Rupert Grint is just as dependable as ever. His comic timing and sincerity make Ron the friend we all hope to have. There’s bickering, sure, but when the chips are down Ron’s always dependable. The chemistry between these three has impressed me from the first film, but it wasn’t until last year’s THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE where I got the impression that their off-screen familiarity was fully caught on camera. The glimpse you get in the Gryffindor common room is now more fully formed in their characters. Every scene radiates that comfort and warmth, making that friendship the one glowing light of hope in another wise hopeless situation. Rowling has said this is her favorite movie of the series so far and I understand why. It takes a lot of stuff from the book that could have been dull (the wandering around in the woods looking for a Horcrux segment, for instance) and made them very cinematic and by virtue of cutting the massive book into two movies they were able to spend more time building character. So this film is the least offensive in terms of cutting huge moments out. It almost makes me wish they’d been doing this for each book since Goblet of Fire. Also, this film almost retroactively helps some of the weaker moments of the early films, mostly in the form of Dobby, the House Elf. If you don’t love Dobby by the time the credits roll then there’s something wrong with you, something I wouldn’t have said about The Chamber of Secrets. And it’s not just in the better effects that bring him to life, but his actions and the moments Yates decides to focus on. Part 1 of The Deathly Hallows is incredibly strong, incredibly tense and incredibly emotional. Having read the book, I’m so excited to see the next film it’s not even funny. If they were able to get me with this part, what could be considered the boring part of this particular book, I can’t imagine what we’re in for during the final, epic confrontation. If Yates doesn’t put it together on a level similar to the Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers I’m going to be incredibly disappointed. The whole thing builds to this final 2 ½-ish hours that we’ll see next summer. I was anxious before seeing this film and now that I’ve seen and loved it I’m more excited than anything. I have a feeling Yates is going to stick the landing and I can’t wait to witness it. -Quint quint@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:45 a.m. CST

    By the end I had a greater appreciation of ole Snape...

    by Toruk_Makto

    Poor guy never really caught a break did he?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:49 a.m. CST

    boring

    by Kobaal

    It's been "the darkest one yet!!1" since movie three, yet they've never really lived up to that promise. I suppose they are for children.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Hmmm

    by jae683

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Just think...

    by yodalovesyou

    If you were eight when the first film came out, you'd more than likely be eighteen by the time their finished!

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Oh, but this time they mean it...

    by Toruk_Makto

    There's a scene where Lord Voldemort tortures Hermione for information about Harry's location.<p> I thought sodomizing her with those wands was really, really pushing it.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 2:28 a.m. CST

    I just couldn't get into this series...

    by bubcus

    ... but as I am getting pulled to see this movie with a friend, something tells me I am going to enjoy it for its darker, more dismal tone.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 2:30 a.m. CST

    Great movies-

    by Fortunesfool

    Yates' work on the last one was exemplary. There was artistically composed shots in that film. At the very least they're introducing a new generation to proper film-making. Hollywood has all but obliterated the language of film from the minds of movie goers and as a result we accept any old shaky-cam crap as 'cinema'. Good on the 'Potter' franchise I say.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 2:45 a.m. CST

    8 big budget movies with tight continuity

    by David Cloverfield

    with characters starting out as kids and finishing as adults... I don't have to love these movies to appreciate the scale of the enterprise.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Just going through all the Harry Potter Blu Rays

    by HarryBlackPotter

    The first 2 are ok but Chris Columbus' direction was flat and uninspired, but from Prisoner of Azkaban, I thought the series really took off. The films looked better, the young cast were better and the scripts were better. Looking forward to this.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 2:47 a.m. CST

    I look forward to Dobby's horrible death

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Seriously. He's the Jar Jar Binks of the whole series.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 2:52 a.m. CST

    just for fun.

    by juiceboy66

    cunt.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 3:01 a.m. CST

    Proofreading

    by juiceboy66

    I know I'm being a bitch but you guys suck at spelling, grammar, and just about everything related to writing.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 3:02 a.m. CST

    Spoiler alert

    by juiceboy66

    Harry Potter wins in the end. People with lives didn't give a fuck.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 3:13 a.m. CST

    "People with lives didn't give a fuck."

    by Happyfat73

    I guess those un-fuck-giving "people with lives" were too busy nitpicking the spelling errors in an obscure review about a movie they fail to give a fuck about, in order to give a fuck about said movie.</p> Gotta love the complete lack of self-awareness there.</p>

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Reboot this

    by jasper Stillwell

    It's getting old. Needs a 'revisioning'.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 3:57 a.m. CST

    As long as Quint likes it, I'm sold.

    by Gabba-UK

    His is the best remaining reviewing and writing talent left on the site. Glad about the muggle murder at the beginning still being there. But can anyone confirm if a certain feathered friend still takes one for the team. I've seen some photos online that suggest that they baulked at that particular death. Don't know why. The book is like the end of The Godfather in terms of bodycount.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 4:06 a.m. CST

    At don't feel bad about cracking one off over Emma Watson

    by Gabba-UK

    She's 20 now for gawds sake and if you've seen the photos from the premiere you'll know she merits a sprained wrist. Just to rub it in to the yanks she's been 'ok' to crack one off to for 4 years here in the UK rather than the 2 you guys have been allowed to. Not that I'm condoning such behaviour you understand....

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 4:10 a.m. CST

    "the friend we all hope to have"

    by smackfu

    Careful, you're talking about a Daywalker. You can't trust them.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 4:15 a.m. CST

    First 36 Mins out...

    by TheAznOne

    http://www.megavideo.com/?v=ZHDP6V23

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 4:17 a.m. CST

    36 mins of HP

    by TheAznOne

    http://tinyurl.com/2w9xhb6

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 4:48 a.m. CST

    This series has been very good from the third one on.

    by Mr Gorilla

    As the films continue to raise their game, the people who keep writing them off as 'average' are looking more and more ridiculous. I totally get that this kind of thing may not be your bag - but to deny the craftsmanship and ambition in the movies is just silly.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 5 a.m. CST

    Potter does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Like the December releases of the LOTR movies or the regular Bond flick (sadly irregular now), the HP movies have become quite an appreciated staple in my movie going year.<p> They always deliver decent well-crafted entertainment, and glad to hear (in Quint's view at least) that this new one is no different. Although I did notice that he's not claiming it's the best of the series so far or anything particularly hyperbolic... so more of the same?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 5:41 a.m. CST

    "that people can go and that magic and fix everything."

    by V'Shael

    Seriously Quint. Get a fucking word processor or SOMETHING. A proof reader. A spell check. SOMETHING.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 5:49 a.m. CST

    Half-Blood prince was pretty fuckin' perfect

    by Joely_Boy

    Gonna be hard to beat!

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 5:56 a.m. CST

    Harry Potter now looks like a lesbian!!

    by TheManWhoCan

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Offering my services as a proofreader...

    by kells

    ...and my rates are reasonable. I mean, seriously. This isn't a high school newspaper. Get your professional acts together. It's humiliating.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:14 a.m. CST

    I keep seeing them out of order

    by Shpadoinkle

    It's never planned. My nephews are big fans and and i'm just in a space where I don't mind them - they entertain me but never overwhelmingly so - but to date i've ended up watching the first, Azkaban and Order Of The Phoenix while babysitting. I might aswell watch the last few after OOTP, since the ending of that promised alot of shitstorm yet to come. I could do without anymore of that quidditch malarkey though. Someone make Imajica into a film series already!

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:26 a.m. CST

    Funny how the "dark" factor counts for more than

    by CreasyBear

    anything else mentioned by a lot of talkbackers. "Trust me, you'll like this one. It's nothing but miserable hopelessness through and through, with morbid death scenes, a complete lack of joy, and unending agony." "Oh, ya don't say! Well, then, I'll have to give this movie about wizard school a shot, then! Awesome!"

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:31 a.m. CST

    I'll see this movie and probably enjoy it.

    by antmanx68

    BUT not because of Ms. Rowling. She is an OK writer at best who (in my opinion) took some of the most successful elements of Harry Potter from a few way more talented authors. All artists borrow from the same inspirational stew but I find it very hard to believe that she did not lift off of Vertigo's Books of Magic and the character Tim Hunter. Coincidence that Warner's owns both Harry Potter's film rights and The Books of Magic? There goes your smoking gun. The lowly comic book doesn't do a whole lot for Warner's bottom line but these 7 (well 8 if you count this latest 2 part cash grab) HP books are a guaranteed billion dollars plus each. She's like the long, lost Wachowski sister. The book covers should read "Re-packaged and made more popular by J.K. Rowling". The above shouldn't detract from the movies though. You cannot fault these actors who are really doing an amazing job, or masters like John Williams who have really breathed life into these potentially dull adaptations.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:52 a.m. CST

    'Rowling said it's her favorite of the series so far'

    by zom-bot.com

    big surprise! it's called a press junket. it's called selling the new product. didn't she say that about EVERY movie?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:01 a.m. CST

    The AznZone

    by jackalcack

    How come there's no sound?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:19 a.m. CST

    First 36 minutes... looks good.

    by V'Shael

    Since someone was asking.. yeah the body count racks up early, a certain feathered friend is dispatched on screen, and a certain other person is dispatched with just a word off screen.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:21 a.m. CST

    @jackalcack - AznZones upload lost the sound.

    by V'Shael

    But it's available for download elsewhere.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Going downhill

    by VXXXJesterXXXV

    In my opinion the movies have been going downhill since Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix was better than Goblet, but not by much, and Half Blood Prince really didn't do much for me either....waaaaay to many things left out like the battle for the school at the end and more on the Voldy backstory. Here's hoping these last two flicks are actually solid, but I will be waiting for the blu ray.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Wow, this TB is much more positive

    by gooseud

    compared to the other, more accurate TB a few spaces down on the main page. Ok, so lets make the checklist: does Gambon play Dumbledore as manic, sweaty, and spazzy? Is there an overwhelming amount of teenage romance that no one cares about and goes nowhere? Do they cut major scenes from the book (Dumbledore's funeral.....wait, DUMBLEDORE'S FUNERAL?!!?!) and play other ones all wrong? (Snape's conversational "Oh, and by the way, FYI, I'm the half blood prince, just thought you should, ya know, know"). Do they continue to remove virtually all action set pieces from the books (HBP's completely awesome invasion of Hogwarts) and botch the ones they bother to leave in? Has Michael Gambon actually, you know, BOTHERED TO READ THE BOOKS yet? Sounds like yet another post POA both job on film, yayyyyyyy!!!

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:36 a.m. CST

    the bones of harry potter were stolen from TROLL

    by zom-bot.com

    ..where a boy ACTUALLY named Harry Potter, whose mother has just died- moves into an apartment complex and he's given a wand and mentored by a good witch on how to defeat a Troll (now evil and transformed, that used to be her husband) intent on comming back and transforming the world.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:36 a.m. CST

    "OH MY GODZ TEH DARKZ!"

    by knowthyself

    What is it with our obsession with stories that get darker? Does that somehow make it more mature or adult? Do we just get off on negativity and sadness? Whats up with that?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:36 a.m. CST

    ^^^

    by gooseud

    botch job, not both

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:43 a.m. CST

    that people can go and that magic and fix everything

    by Wilford_Brimleys_Diabetes_Rage

    Jesus...Quint Did you let Harry edit this review while he had a double bacon cheeseburger and his flaccid penis in the other ?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:43 a.m. CST

    All these potter movies blur into one.

    by knowthyself

    I really can't pick out any defining element to make any one of them stand out from the other. I've watched every single one in theaters. They are forgettable and derivative of eachother. Was there any real reason there had to be SEVEN books? Feels stretched beyond recognition.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Hopefully better than the last two

    by Judge Briggs

    Because fucking Yates really did murdered and omitted some of the best parts of the books and fucking killed the ending in the Half Blood Prince.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:47 a.m. CST

    CC should have returned for the final two.

    by knowthyself

    Just saying.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:54 a.m. CST

    I haven't seen it yet, but going by the trailers...

    by Cervantes

    ...it's dark, dark, dark alright, due to the atrocious blueish 'color-grading' that seems to have infected just about every modern movie nowadays. Going by the trailers, it looks nothing like the first colorful instalment for instance, which was easy on the eyes. Like too many others, later instalments took on a 'tinted' look which just ends up making EVERYTHING dark and murky, no matter the subject.<P>These 'tint'-jobs look dreadful most of the time, and is a trend that sucks the life out of the visuals nowadays!

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Columbus is still exec producer of these, ain't he?

    by terry1978

    Or is that not the case? Though he still gets respect like mentioned for even having an eye to locate these kids, and I'm sure dude is pretty proud to see what they've become.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:56 a.m. CST

    DARK ie: Blue Filter WWWooOOWWWW

    by TheManWhoCan

    Harry likes Twilight also. Potter Movies are boring as all fuck. The kids CANT ACT the stories suck and the pacing of the movies is tedious. It’s a cultural phenomenon sure, but so is Twilight. These days “Cultural” phenomenons are bought and paid for by the companies that flog them. Both have NOTHING to offer adults for entertainment. They are KIDS movies/Books they are in no way family movies. Celebrities can praise the hell out of it all they want, its industry politics plain and simple. Stephen King would want to get his tongue out of J.K.s arse because he is rrrrreally starting to piss his fans off with his out of nowhere shameless plugs of this ripped off shit.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Bad Knowledge, Quint

    by Darth Waldo

    Artax dies in the Swamp of Sadness in The Never Ending Story, not Legend. And if the film is that dark, could you compare it more to Empire Strikes Back than Artax sinking in a swamp? Sounds like a total (in a good way) "evil is winning" downer.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 8:29 a.m. CST

    "Tone wise the film is perfect"

    by IndianaPeach

    Really?.....Really????.....Really???????????? Just kidding Quint, nice review!

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Prisoner sucked, deal with it.

    by shutupfanboy

    If any of the Harry Potter movies were prentiously bad as well as boring as hell, it was that one. Yes, it looks beautiful and thats about it. The first two were great and the fifth one was pretty tight. Half Blood Prince was almost as bad as Prisoner, but it had a little bit more action and was important. Curious about this one, yet I am so bored about everything needs to be dark, dark by fanboys that I might skip it and wait for the finale. Also, the giant complaint about the person dying in this film was the giant complaint in the book that needed to be fixed instead having a dance off.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Split in half -- Book 4 and up

    by mayorofsmpleton

    They should have been doing this from Book 4 and up -- heck even book 3 might have worked a tad better. All the films, with the exception of 5 have been magnificent. Order of Phoenix was the weakest and still worked on many levels. It was too fast and skimmed over too much necessary to help the flow of the narrative. Half Blood Prince took it back on track -- and it sounds like the final 2 films are going to blow us all away. This was my favorite of the books mostly because it deviated from the structure of the first six and the hopelessness fully rang true to me. Glad to see the movie is appropriately dark.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Why does everyone call these films DARK!

    by Series7

    Besides the fact that you couldn't actually see most of the last film because it was just fucking too dark? Or is that what they are talking about, that it's physically hard to see on the screen?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST

    You misread that, Darth Waldo

    by bah

    He's citing three different scenes in three different movies. Don't feel bad, it took me a couple of reads as well.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Major hype fail

    by FeralAngel

    I'm not all that interested in seeing this, so I guess the hype has failed me. I read the entire book series, and to me the most disappointing book is the last one. The dopey illogical romantic hookup between Ron and Hermione was the major turnoff, but Rowling's killing everyone of interest off was the final blow. Plus the Half-Blood Prince movie was a dull dire P.O.S. The only Rowling character I can stand anymore is Snape - or Snape as he's played onscreen by the incredible Alan Rickman. So pass, thank you very much.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Is Twilight THAT big a threat to Potter?

    by FeralAngel

    Seriously, how pitiful is that?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Yates is the wrost of the series

    by Faust_8

    really, after POA and GOF, the two best of the series. He delivers the turd OOTP. And then when he tries to redeem himself with HBP, he cuts out the major confrontation at the end. Hello, the story has been propelling itself to the battle of hogwart's for how many books. Way to fuck us in the ass and not even have the god damn common courtesy to give us a reach around.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:23 a.m. CST

    wrost = worst

    by Faust_8

    I type like Quint

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST

    emma is such a beautiful woman

    by ludmir88

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    The camping scenes are still deathly dull...

    by rainbowtrout1265

    just like in the book. It's a real slog to sit through. The beginning and ending of DH1 are strong, but that middle section is boring, boring, boring.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:42 a.m. CST

    It's been a pleasure to watch these movies....

    by sam jacksons wig

    ...and I am unashamedly a huge fan. As a cinematic spectacle they have hit the mark time after time after time. <br><br> Sure, we've had some clunk during the journey- not less than Chris Columbus following the books verbatim which led me to worry slightly about this penultimate installment, but the kids have grown and we are in safer hands with Yates than with Columbus (see Percy Jackson, a blatant LETS DO ANOTHER HUGE FRANCHISE if there ever was one.)

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Quint,

    by yossarian82

    a nitpick from me... the marauder's map was made by sirius, harry's father, LUPIN and wormtail. his mom had nothing to do with it.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:44 a.m. CST

    rainbowtrout1265

    by sam jacksons wig

    Have you seen the movie? It hasn't opened yet.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:45 a.m. CST

    yossarian82

    by sam jacksons wig

    His mom made the tea while it was being made.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Sounds promising

    by BradZuhl

    Frankly the last couple of films have felt like the series is just treading water to get to the big finale. So it better be a damned good payoff!

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    sam jackson

    by yossarian82

    's wig. Possibly... Anyway love the books, think the movies are meh (Cuaron's is the best by far) hoping the last two are good

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Dobby? I loved it when Dobby kicked his...

    by moonlightdrive

    former master's arse in the other movie and I liked his appearance and voice too.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Yawn

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Yes they're well made but completely vacuous, and the three child leads are incredibly annoying. Azkaban was pretty good fun, the rest - not so much.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 10:07 a.m. CST

    HONESTLY, THE FIRST TWO ARE STILL THE BEST

    by BringingSexyBack

    I know I'm going against the grain here, but to me they're still the most magical. They treated magic with a sense of awe. <P> The rest (as many have already said) are just tedious and a blur, storywise. I think this could easily have been a great quadrilogy. It just seems stretched out so much to the point that it's hard to care about any of the characters (there are too many of them to focus on) and quite frankly Harry's self-importance is grating. <P> Anyway of course I'll see this. But I can't help but remember walking out of the theater extremely disappointed the last two rounds out. Hope we get to see a little of Emma's tits. Fuck I wanna suckle them so bad.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 10:07 a.m. CST

    seriously formulaic

    by zom-bot.com

    the first four..5..(i can't remember anything distinctive enough to tell them apart, other than by the actor's ages)flicks (and i assume books) have the same structure. the main plot being, two new characters(teachers) are introduced each time, one seemingly good and another shady or mysterious and suspicious. over the course of the film, we learn that the good teacher is bad/evil/working for valdemort, or otherwise cowardly,arrogant and useless....while the shady character turns out to be good all along and is either eccentric or working undercover to help defeat team valdemort. at film's end, harry learned a lesson about friendship/power/responsibility/his past and valdemort is one step closer to gaining control. EVERY MOVIE.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 10:52 a.m. CST

    zombot Hogwarts isn't even in this one.

    by Tacom

    So this is a different structure.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Yodalovesyou

    by BlaGyver

    No idea if you're being sarcastic, but that's actually my case. My aunt brought the first two books over from England when I was 8 and I've grown up with them since then.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST

    As someone who has never read any of the books

    by eric haislar

    I really have enjoyed these films and find they get better with each entry. I am looking forward to seeing where this all goes.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Gambon, though

    by BlaGyver

    I hate him in the role. Richard Harris was perfect for the role of Dumbledore in the way that Harrison Ford was perfect for Han Solo (not putting them on the same level of importance to film, just pointing out how good he was in the role). I was watching Chamber of Secrets the other night for the first time in a while and really...just...wow. There are so many actors better for the role they could have picked. I feel like they just went with Gambon because he bears a strong resemblance to Richard Harris.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack

    by BlaGyver

    The first is still my favorite too. I fully understand why people don't like them as much: they're safe. But if you go back to the time they were being made, people were EXTREMELY skeptical about these movies and how they would reflect the series. I remember reading an article when I was in 4th grade when the first movie was coming out where they interviewed some locals about the movie coming out. A few people said that they had no intention of seeing the film because they didn't want their image of everything in the book ruined. While the directing, acting, etc. may be a bit off in those first two, the flawless asthetic is what makes it for me. Watching that....that was Hogwarts. That was Dumbledore, that was Hagrid, that was The Whomping Willow, the flying car....the difference between the first two and the proceeding ones in my opinion is that from Azkaban on, the directors set out to make great FILMS. Chris Columbus set out to make great ADAPTATIONS. And had those first two movies been lousy adaptations, there wouldn't be the following six.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Bad reading...

    by KabutoKoji

    Read it again, Darth Waldo. Quint never said that Artax was from Legend. He was mentioning three different movies in one sentence; The Neverending Story, Legend and Raiders of the Lost Ark. And Antmanx68, I 100% agree with you, mate. From where I'm sitting JK Rowling stole directly from such diverse works as Tolkien's classics, mainly Lord of the Rings, the legend of King Arthur, Vertigo's Books of Magic, the Indiana Jones series, the Dungeons and Dragons games so popular in the 80's, Star Wars (both from the original trilogy and the prequels, yes, I said it, the prequels), Willow, Troll and a few others. Hell, I even have a book that I got sometime in the late 80's, early 90's. It's part of an early Indiana Jones series of books, where Indy has to find several artifacts around the world because the main bad guy divided and hid his essence in each of the artifacts and putting all this artifacts together is the only way to defeat him. Horcruxes? Yup, you bet. The name of the book? Yup, you bet. Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone. She may have been able to elevate the material, but original she ain't.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Dumbledore

    by donkey_lasher

    Should have looked much different IMO, rather than an imitation of Gandalf.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Snape

    by donkey_lasher

    PERFECT performances by Rickman. Snape was an odd character, but it was predictable which way he would turn in the end, although how Rowling did it was superb.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST

    To be fair

    by BlaGyver

    JK Rowling never claimed to have invented the Philosopher's Stone.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 11:45 a.m. CST

    sounds great

    by taff

    The movie sounds great. Looking forward to seeing it. Only problem, I'm seeing an advanced showing of Voyage of the Dawn Treader thursday evening, then this on Friday. Hopefully it will be two great movies based on some of my favorite books.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 11:57 a.m. CST

    I can't fucking wait to see a god damn movie!

    by UltraTron

    When was the last fucking movie? I saw jackass 3D but when was there a fucking movie in the theater. I can't even fucking remember

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    And If You Care About Harry Potter You're A Dork, Dork, Dork!

    by LaserPants

    Seriously, Harry Potter? A decent, clever kids story that ran out of steam 4 books ago. Time to get over it. (Of course, the same could be said for Star Wars which never shoulda went further then the original trilogy.)

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Sudden deaths

    by lecter1914

    Was also my biggest issue with the last book. *SPOILERS BE WARY* I was extremely pissed at the deaths of Tonks and Lupin. It was written in such a way that at first I didnt even realize they were dead and then it was just kindof glossed over like "Oh hey look, its two major fucking people in my life who have saved my ass...they're dead, oh well." Pissed me off.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Saw it on Sunday and fucking loved it.

    by Novaman5000

    I could see people arguing that it's slow, but even the tent/on the run parts I found extremely well done.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    The People...

    by Karuma

    ...who have never read the books and have no investiture in the characters will not be persuaded to watch, bu they don't know what they are missing. I too wish that all the films had been broken into 2 parts. Barring that, a mini series of six to seven episodes per year per book, that would have been able to include all the nuances. You can see the growth of the characters in the flow of the series, as they grow from relatively simple childhoods into complex adults, as well as the growth of Rowling to take what is essentially a children's fable and make it the story of us. This series is meant to taken one dose at a time, and although I despaired ending each book because I knew it would be two years before I saw another new word, it was for the best. I can envision, in two or three decades when new technologies come around, that this entire series will be remade, maybe from a first person point of view, or in a holographic method, and bring a whole new realization to the characters and story. Hopefully, I am still alive by then.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Snape

    by badmojojojo

    @ Toruk_Makto: This is the book/film where you understand Snape more than any other character. Glad you picked up on that :-)

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:23 p.m. CST

    The middle is character-driven, which the other movies

    by Novaman5000

    haven't had much chance to do because they've been so rushed. The decision to split the films really opened this story up to quieter character moments than we've seen before. The middle of the film isn't dull at all, it's quite atmospheric.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST

    "His parents, Wormtail and Sirius"

    by pushthebuttonmax

    Really?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:41 p.m. CST

    "That’s the brilliance of JK Rowling’s story"

    by happyboy

    these words were actually posted on AICN.com. THIS IS WHY THE WORLD HATES US AND THE CHINESE OWN US

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Not dark?

    by Novaman5000

    Mixed blood people being murdered for being unpure, kids being tortured, snakes devouring people, animals being killed, magic tearing peoples flesh off, body parts being cut off... Just off the top of my head, all of these are in the first film. Granted it's not particularly gory, but there's no denying that this is darker than SHREK.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:12 p.m. CST

    First Part of DH i mean.

    by Novaman5000

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Why does it have to be dark to enjoy it?

    by sam jacksons wig

    The answer is simple- have you ever been to the cinema where they leave the house lights up during a movie?????? BAAAARUMP-POM-POM.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:50 p.m. CST

    why is rowling given credit for plagerism?

    by brabon300

    fact: gaiman was readying a lawsuit against her and was given a very nice payday by warners, which halted all action (though he will never admit it)<p>fact:to this day, rowling cannot explain how she came up with anything found in the book (came to her on a train...give me a break)<P>fact: the only original concept is that dumbass game of quiddich<P>fact:i will only see this movie if watson shows her boobies

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 1:55 p.m. CST

    How the fuck can it be dark IN ANY WAY?!?

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    It's a fucking children's movie! Rated PG-fucking-13!<p>WTF?!?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 2:31 p.m. CST

    HARRY POTTER was plagerised

    by zom-bot.com

    from an american/canadian movie called TROLL.where noah hathaway (atreyu from neverending story)plays a boy named HARRY POTTER whose family just suffered the loss of his mom (half orphaned, anyway!)and moves to an apartment with a troll in the basement who starts turning people into trolls and goblins, etc. he meets a good witch who gives him a wand and together they defeat the troll (who is actually her ex husband, transformed.) there is a shitload of magic and creature puppets in it...she has even acknowledged she's seen the movie and may have accidentally lifted a few things without realizing it.she settled with the movie's writer out of court before he went public with a big case. end of story.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 3:01 p.m. CST

    hard to follow up "dark" with...

    by TheHumanBurrito

    ....yeah, sorry, the words "Hogwarts" and "Muggle" just don't really work anywhere near in conjunction with the word "dark". Ooooh, "Dumbledore"! Drunken babytalk is not dark. Spoiler alert:the good guys win, it's A CHILDREN'S BOOK, no matter how much it "grows up" if you're surprised by any of it you aren't really paying attention.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 3:06 p.m. CST

    TROLL

    by zom-bot.com

    i need to watch it again, but the good witch (played by june lockheart and her daughter (younger self)) was also a plant-based witch- even had a little living mushroom thing in a pot (not unlike the mandrake root thing)...guest starred sonny bono, julia louise dreyfuss as other tenants, and the girl from poltergeist as his little sister. i really need to watch it again and do some comparing...

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Troll 2

    by lecter1914

    It scared me as a kid lol.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Harry Potter is a joke

    by DioxholsterOperationsOutpost

    one big ass joke.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:01 p.m. CST

    This series IS dark.

    by Happyfat73

    I'm baffled by people who say otherwise. You've gotta look at it in context - it's not fuckin' Taxi Driver, and its not meant to be - but, when you consider the target audience, then it is thematically and tonally darker than any 4 quadrant fare you can name.</p> Main characters die violently (including children), there is torture, supernatural horror and the stakes are life and death. That's a rare trait in four quadrant stories.</p> The people who bang on about it not being dark come across as posturing teenagers, pretending they're too cool to enjoy something that is enjoyed by kids and adults alike. That's fine - go watch that Serbian Movie if you don't consider this dark.</p> There's no denying that the HP series is derivative... most modern fiction is, to a greater or lesser degree. But what Rowling lacked in original vision, was made up for with tight plotting and engaging characters in an interesting setting - which is where the strength (of the books anyway) lie. It's a series that dared to mature in tone, along with its main characters. I, for one, really appreciate that scope (even if I think the films never quite captured the energy of the books).</p> You can't fault people for not engaging with a story - different strokes for different folks - but to dismiss it as nothing more than children's fare is plain ignorant.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:16 p.m. CST

    WHO CARES IF ITS DARK OR NOT

    by DioxholsterOperationsOutpost

    ITS A FUCKING CRAPFEST

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:19 p.m. CST

    GOLDEN COMPASS IS MORE MATURE

    by DioxholsterOperationsOutpost

    THAN HARRY POTTER CAN EVER BE, NOT BECAUSE IT HAS DEATH AND DARK BUT BECAUSE THE CONCEPT IS FUCKING MATURE.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Lord of Light

    by Happyfat73

    Again, different strokes for different folks. Some of us >12 males like a little variety in our diet.</p> BTW.. it IS dark (well, it became dark as the series progressed). I'm wondering how you define dark? When main characters die violently, you're entering dark territory with your story - they don't need to be ass-raped with a pineapple before being beheaded while a blood-soaked naked woman drops f-bombs in order to be categorised as dark, you know. The darkness is figurative.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Dioxholster

    by Happyfat73

    It appears your capslock key is broken. Maybe its time to get a new keyboard. Unless of course, your shouting is intended to show us how mature you and your tastes are.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Zimmer's score deserves a mention

    by Novaman5000

    I was completely surprised by how great it is. I was concerned he wasn't going to use much of William's themes but I didn't even notice, ultimately. Fantastic stuff.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Sorry- Desplat, haha

    by Novaman5000

    I guess they're interchangeable in my mind.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Happyfat...

    by TheHumanBurrito

    ...ever hear of Star Wars? The first movie for instance, with the charred corpses, lopped off limbs, murder of billions, allusion to genocide? THERE is dark four quadrant. Harry Potter isn't dark even by children's standards, and by the seventh book she realized that the money was coming from gullible adults, not children.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Is it just me...

    by SK229

    or is this site's traffic down? Or is it just fewer TBers?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Lord of the Rings is as childish of a concept as Harry Potter

    by Novaman5000

    So I hope those of you saying Harry Potter is for kids feel the same way about that. I don't care how it was written, conceptually (since we're talking about content and not style or tone), it's a bunch of kids stuff. Elves and trolls and magic. Not that it matters, LOTR is good shit, too. This is a fucking stupid conversation. <p> If you think you're too "mature" for Harry Potter, then good, fuck off and go balance your check book and masturbate to CSI reruns.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Human Burrito

    by Happyfat73

    You're right - those aspects of Star Wars are very dark. But, saying Harry Potter is not dark by children's standards? WTF? Seriously, how do you people define thematic and tonal darkness, and by what measure does the tail-end of the HP franchise not meet these measures? Especially for kids.</p> Look at a lot of Grimm Fairy tales, for examples - that shit is dark.</p> I'm thinking people here are judging thematic darkness by their own desensitized standards - or mistakenly equating "darkness" with explicit blood and gore.</p> Regardless, I think it's an interesting topic - the subjective nature of "darkness". Perhaps it says more about the viewer than it does the material.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Human Burrito,

    by Novaman5000

    Harry Potter films everything you just listed, with the exchange of Thousands for billions (we're just talking about the UK here not a planet). The genocide (not allusion but actual) of mixed race people? Hands, ears chopped off, Children tortured... It amazes me you can list all these things that makes star wars dark but when they happen in HP they don't count.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 10:38 p.m. CST

    sam jacksons wig

    by rainbowtrout1265

    yeah, i saw it at the WB employee screenings over the weekend.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 3:11 a.m. CST

    @badmojojojo

    by Toruk_Makto

    *****Spoilers...Sorta*****<p> I remember getting a little choked up after learning how Harry chose to honor Snape, I thought that showed real class on his part.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 3:19 a.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack

    by AsimovLives

    You really think the first two Harry Potter movies are the best? Are you mad?

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 3:19 a.m. CST

    I thought the Golden Compass was horrible...

    by Toruk_Makto

    Well, pretty bad when compared to the books, which I really, really liked. But I wouldn't see the point in trying to pit His Dark Materials against the Potter books.<p> I mean, can inanimate objects actually 'win' anything?

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to Emma Watson doing grown up movies

    by gun_will_travel

    of a very "artistic" nature

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:34 p.m. CST

    HDM - Pullman is too controversial for Hollywood...

    by workshed

    ...and it was obvious to anyone who has read the books that tampering would happen from the outset. It needed someone really brave and with power of final cut to direct. Lyra and Asriel were cast completely wrong too. The girl playing her was way too pretty for starters (which wasn't how I imagined her) and Daniel Craig was just, well, Daniel Craig. In fact, as I recall, my main beef was Ian McKellen being cast as Iorek so soon after LotR. One day someone will do those books justice but I just hope it's not funded by Hollywood.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Teal teal teal

    by Twisk

    It's not dark dark dark, it's teal teal teal. ...yet another movie using the boring teal/orange palette. Give it a fucking rest already filmmakers, there ARE other colors available to use. Wake up from the 'It Ain't Gritty Real Unless it's Fucking Teal' bullshit.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 4:38 p.m. CST

    If we're talking concepts

    by Novaman5000

    AND I WAS, they're made of the same guts, Lord. I'm not criticizing lord of the rings. I'm saying they can both exist without me having to shit all over one. This isn't twilight we're talking about. It's clear you think you're too mature for HP and that's fine, but the fact that you're obsessively bashing this movie on not one, but TWO talkbacks, says more about you than it could ever say about the movies.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    And of course some people will say she stole it.

    by Novaman5000

    She made fucking billions and everyone wants a piece. If there was a legit case, it would have gone to court and been won. There isn't.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Well, I saw it tonight.

    by V'Shael

    I never read the book, and know very little of the plot, so I was going in cold. I have to say I enjoyed it. Even the ginger kid, who I have hated in every movie so far, and who is still a thoroughly unlikeable character in this one, at least has grown somewhat as an actor. <p> Things I really liked: topless Hermione, showing side-boob. Dracos possibly wavering on the dark path. Lucius not shaving. There were a couple of genuinely funny lines. Things I did not like : The assistant to the minister is back, and fair play to the actress, I can't remember ever wanting to see a character die so badly. Plot-wise, it's shallow as fuck. Also, she invented a new meaning for the word "Hallows". If you want to make up words like quidditch, fill your boots love, but don't redefine existing words. It confuses those of us who aren't kids and have more than third grade reading level. And there was no trailer for part 2 at the end. <p> I will pay to see the second part, but I won't be counting the days or anything. Solid entertainment.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Lordoflight

    by Happyfat73

    How many Harry Potter books have you read?</p> Because if you haven't read more than one of them, then you are basing your opinion on what exactly? Someone else's second-hand opinion? </p> And if you have read them all, despite your professed and utter disdain, then one must ask why you would bother?</p> Either way, it's pretty sad. Sadder even than dedicating so much internet time and energy to something that fills your life with bile. Man, here's a tip you can have for free - if you don't like something, don't give it your energy. Wouldn't your time be better spent in pursuit of things that give you enjoyment? Just saying.</p> Then again, this is the AICN talkback, where spending a great deal of time and effort on shit that makes you miserable is the only way some people can get their daily fix of attention.</p> Anyway, I'm seeing this on Saturday night. I'll reserve judgement on it as a movie until then.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Okay, I looked up the movie "Troll" and HOLY CRAP

    by FeralAngel

    How the HELL did Rowling get away with such out-and-out theft? She's even said she SAW a movie based on magic whose main character is named Harry Potter before she wrote her books...shit! I'd brushed off the plagiarism stuff up to now, but jeez...this is really questionable now...that and the "Willy the Wizard" lawsuit, where it looks like Rowling and/or her publisher lifted concepts right out of someone else's work...kinda outrageous. The day of reckoning for Rowling WILL come if she's the thief she now looks to be...

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Dune is an epic?

    by Shpadoinkle

    Yeah right. The book may be, but David Lynch's film was campy turgid shite. Just so awful on so many levels that he took his name off it. I love David Lynch's stuff but that's his worst film by miles, including the shorts. Sorry, I know plenty of people love it alot. I'll just never see why.