Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

2010 monkey-maker

Rating: 12/20

Plot: Harry Potter and his buddies are on a hunt for pieces of Voldemort's soul and the sword that will destroy them. If I had to divide my soul into seven bits, I'd hide the pieces in the following: my disc golf bag, my beat-up copy of Revenge of the Lawn, my autographed picture of Peter Mayhew (That's right, bitches!) that my brother gave me, my koala cup from the zoo that I drink tea out of, my Samurai Jack action figure, the souvenir penny with a picture of the three-eyed guy that I got at a Ripley's Believe It or Not, and Harry Potter's forehead. Then, I could fulfill a life-long dream of playing hide-and-seek with Hermione.

I am glad that Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint were able to do all of these movies. I wish Richard Harris would have been able to Dumbledore his way through all of these, but them's the breaks. This entry in the series is really dull and very poorly paced. As J.K. became more and more verbose with her books, the movies stayed about the same length. Chopping inevitably had to occur. This book is, I believe, a little shorter than the book or two preceding it, and most of the book describes camping. Camping is really kind of boring anyway, so to stretch this into essentially a five-hour movie doesn't make much sense. Well, unless you're trying to fill Hermione's magic bottomless bag thing with wizard cash, I guess. This juxtaposes scenes of the wizard trio camping with some jumpy and barely coherent action sequences. Director David Yates really only has one trick up his directorial sleeve (like a wizard's sleeve only without the perverse connotation): jerking the camera around. During a wand fight, the camera whirls higgledy-piggledy, and things get so wobbly during a chase through a forest that I'm pretty sure I would have had a seizure if I had seen this in the theater. I'm glad I wasn't a kid when these movies came out. I would have probably run around my big yard with a stick while screaming, "Halitosis bonerificus!" and jerking around so much that my neighbors would have thought I was epileptic. The special effects are still really good for the most part, the exception being when some good-looking CGI in the dark suddenly turns into a car chase thing that looks like it came right from Matrix II where the light makes the CGI look terrible. But the whimsy of the early movies is completely gone and replaced with nothing but dread. No, I don't think the tone of these last couple movies should match the first few, but it does suffer from not having the emotional versatility of some of those. There's a scene I really want to see in the final installment of this cash cow, but I'm not in a hurry. Speaking of that, was Alan Rickman in this movie for less than five minutes or was that my imagination?

And before you ask--No, my autographed picture of Peter Mayhew is not for sale. Neither is my soul. J.K. Rowlings' soul might be though if the price is right.


cory said...

Your seven pieces of soul thing was very funny. Ultimately this comes down to the decision to break the 7th into two films. I thought the directing was fine and was faithful to the book (which had a very slow and divisive middle 300 pages). The acting is uniformly good, there are several powerful action scenes, and it ends with me near a tear over something that doesn't exist. Given some of the 13's, 14's, and 15's you give, I think a 12 is too harsh. Even with it's flaws I would give this a 15 or 16, and the upside of putting all of the angst in this is that part 2 should really rock.

rio blanco racing said...

i think i gave this a 14. there was no action. it was a little boring. the action scenes that did exsist were amazing and the special effects were never laughable.

Barry said...

I give this one a 13.....I thought it was poorly directed and poorly paced. The book spent a lot of time camping, as people have pointed out, but those scenes had advancements to the plot, while the film just had them sitting around and getting cranky.

This is my least favorite of the Potter movies. I tried watching it again just a couple weeks ago, and I could not sit through it. I guess its all set up for part two, but that didnt make sitting through part one worth it.

Shane said...

I do like the acting in these things...it's especially good considering a lot of it has to be talking to computer-generated things or being in front of screens.

That whole scene where there's a bunch of Harry Potters, and those shadowy things are trying to kill them = laughable. Not the Harry Potters part...that was fine. And not when they're in the darkness of the sky. But once they hit traffic on the street below, it looks really silly.

Probably my least favorite, too...I remember really not liking the second one though.

rio blanco racing said...

the first is still my least fav

Barry said...

Here...my official Harry Potter movie rankings. With Shane ratings.

Prisoner of Azkaban-17
Goblet of Fire------16
Sorcerers Stone-----14
Half Blood Prince---14
Chamber of Secrets--14
Order of the Phoenix-13
Deathly Hallows Pt 1-13

Now if I was going to rank the books.

1-Deathly Hallows
2-Prisoner of Azkaban
3-Goblet of Fire
4-Order of the Phoenix
5-Sorcerers Stone
6-Chamber of Secrets
7-Half Blood Prince

I wont give a Shane ranking for the books.

rio blanco racing said...

i'm not even going to try to remember the books to rank them. "prisoner of a" would be a little high for me but those were the best 2 movies and i feel they are all 12-15s nothing special but compelling enough that i have seen all of them.

Shane said...

Azkaban 16/20
The rest? I get them all confused. I'd rate the first movie higher than the second because I enjoyed seeing a lot of that magic imagery come to life on the screen. By the second one, we'd seen all that stuff before and, if I'm remembering this correctly, it had some dopey-looking snake special effects.