Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (Part 1)

Directed by: David Yates
Written by: Steve Kloves and R.K. Rowling
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman
Synopsis: With Voldemort rising to power, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine go searching for
the Horcruxes, artifcats infused with Voldemort's soul, in an attempt to finally stop him.

Javi-So what did you think of the movie?

Jonesy- This movie is the Potter’s fan dream! Since the filmmakers broke it up into two movies, they’re able to put so much detail, and spend the time to delve into scenes that they’ve never been able to do with any of the other movies. The books are so rich, full of story and characters, and situations that they have always had to cut out a lot of it. Even though I would love a five hour Harry Potter movie, most people aren’t willing to sit that long.

Javi- I agree there’s a lot of details that you couldn’t have done with any of the other movies, but because of the fact you haven’t been able to do that before, I feel there’s a lot of plotlines that were just mentioned almost too briefly. For example, there was Bill Weasley, who is one of Ron’s older brothers, who has never been introduced in the movies, and there is a lot of back-story to him in previous Harry Potter books. If they would have introduced him in a previous movie, that would have made his character more cohesive, but he was shoved in here very messily. I would almost forgive David Yates for that if it weren’t his 3rd Harry Potter movie. But I do agree it’s better paced, and that allows for more character exploration.

Jonesy- I can understand what you mean with saying there’re random characters that seem thrown in.  And in reading the 7th book, there are a lot of people and ideas that get mentioned, and they seem to come out of nowhere. There are little hints here and there like the Invisibility Cloak, which we’ve seen throughout the series, but you never understand the weight of it until this the final movie. As an outsider, I can completely understand that the movie could be hard to follow, which could be one of the downfalls of the movies. 
Javi- Some might argue that Doby the elf’s appearance in the movie is random. He just pops up in this movie after being absent for so long. I don’t agree, but I just don’t think that everyone watching this movie is a Harry Potter novice. 
Jonesy- I will say that I give credit to the writer, Steve Kloves. He has worked with Rowling since the first movie to make sure that if someone just watches the movies, there will be a coherent story line and have the same catharsis at the end, but with the books, obviously, you would get more of the details.
Javi- With looking back at all of the movies, I start to get a bit frustrated with Harry Potter in general.  I feel, to an extent, you’re always playing “Pokemon” in this world. You always have to catch that one magical artifact. Then I remember reading from a film site (sorry that I can’t remember which one) that said the reason most people, who aren’t the super, hardcore fans to the Harry Potter world, are drawn to both Prisoner of Azkaban and Half Blood Prince movies because of the great character moments that occur, and there’s not such a huge focus on a magical year-long quest that has to be completed by the end of the school year. This movie has an even balance of searching for the Horcruxes and character moments. Now, it had the potential to mess it all up and just focus on the quest of finding the Horcruxes, but it doesn’t, and I like it.  The middle scenes where they’re running through the forest had the potential to suck. I’ll admit that I was bored through most of those camping scenes, which you have said is a common complaint, but I appreciated seeing the characters just interact with each other. It made it more endearing seeing their relationships/friendships grow. You get nostalgic thinking of them in the first movie and thinking of their development through the years. And I’m glad that they managed to get those scenes right even though they didn’t move the plot along as much.
Jonesy- I agree with the Pokemon statement because that’s the same problem I had with the first two books; they go to school, there’s a problem, they solve the problem, and defeat a form of Voldemort and then they go home. I agree that the middle parts of the movie can get a bit tedious, but I think that’s the point David Yates was going for; they’re fugitives on the run, and they have no time for awesome adventure each day. They might go weeks without knowing what to do or where they’re going. That sense of frustration is really well represented here. You get to see them in their highest points and their lowest points, and it made us care about them more than we did already.
Javi- I will say I don’t agree with your perception about them being fugitives because I never felt the weight of their situation. I remember the book gave me such a sense of paranoia, despair, and restlessness, and I didn’t feel that way during the movie.

Jonesy- The tone seemed more of being on the run than living in fear.

Javi- I didn’t feel they were in any danger. There was one scene with the Snatchers, but that was not enough to make me feel tense. I just didn’t get the feeling of their world being turned upside down and growing darker. I did enjoy the scenes where they had the radio that called out the name of the missing people during their cross-country trek, that was very artsy touch and I really appreciated it. 
Jonesy- There was a few characters that only had a few lines that I cannot wait to see in the next one, like Neville and the Carrow siblings, two of the Death Eaters that take over teaching jobs at Hogwarts. A lot of the characters that weren’t focused on in the first part will be amazing in the second.

Javi- I will say I wish they had shown something of Snape being the Headmaster just a little bit.

Jonesy- That would’ve been nice to flash to Hogwarts once or twice, but they wanted to keep him a bit mysterious

Javi- I will say I’m disappointed there was nothing that showed the conflict within Draco Malfoy in this one.  If we’re separating the book and movie and if we think of how Malfoy was dealt with as a very conflicted guy in movie six, then it’s a shame that they chose to just show him hanging out with mommy and daddy. He needed more face time.  

Jonesy- I’m so glad they showed Hermoine leaving her parents. It was talked about in the book in passing but not shown explicitly like that. It was brilliant.

Javi- It sets such a tragic tone from the beginning.
Jonesy- I cannot say enough about this movie. I absolutely loved it, and I know I’m being totally biased being a fan of the books for so long. This is my favorite movie in the series, until, I’m sure, July comes around. Both parts together will make a great ending to the series.
Javi- My initial reaction was to be really annoyed with this movie. It wasn’t until I thought about it more that I was able to get over my frustrations with the middle parts and find the subtleties, so I ended up liking it better after thinking about it. Not sure how I would rank it with the others because I can only think of it as a part of a whole; otherwise, part one would be horrible.

Jonesy- Last note: they split the movie at a perfect point, and they left enough time to flesh out how it needs to, and the audience is just drooling and cannot wait for the next one. Go see it!

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