Now showing on cable: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”

Premiering this weekend on HBO was the penultimate movie in the Harry Potter franchise, 2010’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”.

When I think of the final two “Harry Potter” movies, the analogy I can’t resist is the 1998 movie “Twins”.

In it, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito play a couple of genetically engineered twins, separated at birth. The gag is, Ahnuld was spawned from the most desirable elements of the genetic code, and DeVito was created from the residual elements.

To me, that’s how I feel about the final two “Potter” movies. The second part is a nonstop explosion of action, character reveals, battle scenes and resolutions. It’s a phenomenal movie, a genuine big ticket movie.

This one? Not so much.

Until this movie, the Potter films had always been “stand alone”, even though they were part of a larger story. And if viewed from that perspective this is a fine chapter within the series as a whole. Were one to watch the entire series as a single 80 hour long movie, this portion would be fine. Kind of a “darkest before the dawn” segment. Hell, even if you were to consider this the front half of a single two part movie, it would be fine.

But in spite of the name, that’s not exactly how it works. I mean, HBO didn’t premiere BOTH parts this weekend.

And so, I have to call it like I see it. This movie was dark, and dreary, and felt extremely uneventful to me. A major portion of this movie is the just the three kids wandering in the woods. The action revolves around a MacGuffin chase the search for Horcruxes, and introduces “The Elder Wand” I recognize that these movies were based on the books, and as such, there was a perceived requirement to cover everything that was written in them, but I found myself questioning if this entire chapter couldn’t have been eliminated.

I’m pretty certain that the fact they could make another billion dollars played into the decision making.

It IS a Harry Potter movie, so it isn’t totally awful… I mean, there’s super high production values, we do care about these characters, and we are invested in the story.

But a lot of that was earned prior to this.

B-

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19 thoughts on “Now showing on cable: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”

    • Yeah, like I said, I wouldnt have ANY problem with it really if it were viewed as a part or a chapter of the entire series… but before this, all of the flicks stood by themselves really well. And this one… I didnt think as much. It even kind of felt like that mini battle they had with the Malfoys and Helena Bonham Carter’s character… Magic Marla (I dont know what her real name is in this series, and I just watched Fight Club) felt tacked on. Maybe it was big in the books, I dunno.

  1. Harry Potter SUCKS!
    He’s the most useless & stupid (shit) character created.
    Harry Potter is scum, dumb moron & gangster asshole.(His brainless fans, actors & actresses, J.K. Rowling, etc are weak-minded, sore losers with low IQ)
    All of his books, movies, etc are all shit, all dump, garbage, rubbish & suck-ass.
    He must be removed from this face of this planet.
    Harry Potter & Daniel Radcliffe (& their fans, forever) SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS & SUCKS!

    • Well.

      Hm.

      It may take me a bit, you’ve come up with a sound, compelling argument, there…

      I think the chink may be in the “Gangster Asshole” assertion. I may be too old for it, I may just not get like all the current slang nuances, but… Harry doesn’t strike me as being a Gangster.

      Your “SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS” though is pretty hard to refute. I mean, I’m hard pressed for a counter to that.

      • Man that comment was amazing. I think I want that guy to write for my site! From his incredible diction to the subtle themes he works into his comment, nothing short of brilliance.

      • You know PG? Dont you have that enormous Harry Potter retrospective on your site? LOL.

        Now watch in a day or two youre over here bitching me out because your spam filter is completely trashed with Harry Potter hatemail. LOL

  2. I’d go so far to say this is the weakest of all the HP movies, despite the fine performances from all the leads. And I don’t necessarily think it’s the movie’s fault, the final book was unfortunately not very good.

    • Dunno about the books, but I’d…. tend to agree?

      I want to agree, I just have to admit I dont remember all of the others ones succintly well enough. They all blend into “The Prisoner’s Stone Goblet of the Phoenix” for me.

  3. I stopped watching the Harry Potter movies after, 45 minutes into HPVI (wow, yes, that looks like a venereal disease) I realized they didn’t make any sense and hadn’t in years. At the most, Rowling provided a great trilogy’s worth of material. But to stretch it out to eight films? Especially when the seventh book was heavily criticised for being a bunch of meaningless meandering in the woods – what would possess you to go ahead and make a film of the same damn – oh. Yeah, the promise of a quadrillion dollars might lead to that…

    Maybe when Hollywood decides to do a remake of it in six years or so, they’ll have the sense to weeds all that out. Plus or minus the bullshit, the core of the story is pretty good.

    • HPVI – or even worse, it looks like the virus from Contagion!! EEESH!!!

      I think your estimate was correct, it WAS a quadrillion. What did I say, billion? Way off. :D

      I dont know, for the most part, I liked the movies well enough… until the final one, which I thought was awesome. Up til then, I always felt I could count on being entertained for 2 hours without bitching about stupidity, pot holes, bad acting, etc etc.

      This one didnt really deliver all that much, but it wasnt terrible.

      Oh and please! Lets hope Hollywood never shortens the remake cycle THAT much!!

  4. Personally, this might just be my favorite movie of the bunch. I’m sure money came into the equation when the decision was made to turn the final book into two parts but you know what, I liked that way.

    And come on, it can’t be all action all the time. The characters have come a long way and some “meandering in the forest” was due for the task at hand to sink in.

    • You know? You’re right, it cant be action all the time. Absolutely, man.

      But … like the “Twins” anthology I used, it really felt to me like they took all the good parts and pushed them onto the second half of this, and got everything else out of the way here. I’m sure that it was “following the book”, but if anything, thats been a criticism people have had of these films, and especially this one… just because its “in the books” doesnt mean it makes for a good movie.

      I dont mind some meandering in the forrest… It’s just… the rest of it around that didnt pick it up enough.

    • You’re right that it can’t be all action all the time. I felt their biggest pitfall, however, was in remaining too true to the books. It’s supposed to be an adaptation, not a play by play. Stories need to be told differently to accommodate different mediums. Example: Lord of the Rings. Those characters do a lot of woods-wandering too, but if Jackson et al had tried to include all the Tom Bombadilloing going on in the books, their trilogy would have been as disastrous as every other attempt to adapt that series. Re: HP – right off the bat, Quidditch matches could have been cut by appx: All.

      Throughout the written series Harry Potter spends so much time with his dick in his hands, moaning about homework, that we can literally go hundreds of pages without anything of consequence actually happening. But instead of rewriting that out of the screenplay we end up with seasonal montages and shots of Dan Radcliffe’s brooding-face.

      The cinematic effects are wonderful, and underneath it all there is a compelling story, but I really feel like the adaptation team blew it in terms of pacing and story quality, bajillion dollar gross or no. Only time will tell, but I seriously doubt the HP octology will be able to stand up in history as a classic.

  5. I agree that we are invested in these characters, after all, it’s been what – ten years? But the story… well, I still don’t understand the darn thing, but whatever… I do like Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2 :D

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