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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

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Links to our threads on the film versions of [i][url=http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=1266]Prisoner of Azkaban[/url][/i] (2004), [i][url=http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=16]Goblet of Fire[/url][/i] (2005), [i][url=http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=6986]Order of the Phoenix[/url][/i] (2007), [i][url=http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=15536]Half-Blood Prince[/url][/i] (2008) and [i][url=http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=18392]Deathly Hallows: Part 1[/url][/i] (2010); and links to our threads on the book versions of [i][url=http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=3446]Half-Blood Prince[/url][/i] (2005) and [i][url=http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=7612]Deathly Hallows[/url][/i] (2007).

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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFGNG5U1l-g[/media] Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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[url=http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/04/18/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-2-watch-the-opening-scene/]The first scene[/url]. Or one of them, at any rate.

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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcf6cwr9TnY[/media]

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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NYt1qirBWg[/media] Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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At least three of my study-abroad students plan to join the throng around the red carpet in Trafalgar Square this evening, hoping to catch a glimpse of the stars. They haven't snowball's chance of getting into the actual premiere, of course. Weather calls for rain (it's raining now, in fact). Wish them luck!

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[url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/jul/07/harry-potter-deathly-hallows-part-2-review?CMP=twt_fd"]The Guardian:[/url]

[quote]With one miraculous flourish of its wand, the franchise has restored the essential magic to the Potter legend – which had been starting to sag and drift in recent movies – zapping us all with a cracking final chapter, which looks far superior to CS Lewis's [i]The Last Battle[/i] or JRR Tolkien's [i]The Return of the King[/i].[/quote]

I... I don't understand.

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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK2WCPYMERg[/media]

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[quote name='Overstreet' date='07 July 2011 - 11:56 AM' timestamp='1310057773' post='255327']
[url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/jul/07/harry-potter-deathly-hallows-part-2-review?CMP=twt_fd"]The Guardian:[/url]

[quote]With one miraculous flourish of its wand, the franchise has restored the essential magic to the Potter legend – which had been starting to sag and drift in recent movies – zapping us all with a cracking final chapter, which looks far superior to CS Lewis's [i]The Last Battle[/i] or JRR Tolkien's [i]The Return of the King[/i].[/quote]

I... I don't understand.
[/quote]

The British press are notoriously sensationalistic.

Example: How many "best British bands" have we gone through while the previous one is better than when they were crowned (and significantly outclasses the latest FOTM)?

I'm a Harry Potter fan, but I know better. Edited by bloop

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[quote name='bloop' date='11 July 2011 - 08:22 AM' timestamp='1310383335' post='255506'][quote name='Overstreet' date='07 July 2011 - 11:56 AM' timestamp='1310057773' post='255327'][url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/jul/07/harry-potter-deathly-hallows-part-2-review?CMP=twt_fd"]The Guardian:[/url]

[quote]With one miraculous flourish of its wand, the franchise has restored the essential magic to the Potter legend – which had been starting to sag and drift in recent movies – zapping us all with a cracking final chapter, which looks far superior to CS Lewis's [i]The Last Battle[/i] or JRR Tolkien's [i]The Return of the King[/i].[/quote]

I... I don't understand.
[/quote]
The British press are notoriously sensationalistic.

Example: How many "best British bands" have we gone through while the previous one is better than when they were crowned (and significantly outclasses the latest FOTM)?

I'm a Harry Potter fan, but I know better.[/quote]
I think Jeffrey's bewilderment is compounded by the comparison of the latest Harry Potter [i]movie[/i] -- specifically, how it "looks" -- to "CS Lewis's [i]The Last Battle[/i]," which has never been adapted in any screen version.

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[quote name='SDG' date='11 July 2011 - 07:55 AM' timestamp='1310388940' post='255507']
[quote name='bloop' date='11 July 2011 - 08:22 AM' timestamp='1310383335' post='255506'][quote name='Overstreet' date='07 July 2011 - 11:56 AM' timestamp='1310057773' post='255327'][url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/jul/07/harry-potter-deathly-hallows-part-2-review?CMP=twt_fd"]The Guardian:[/url]

[quote]With one miraculous flourish of its wand, the franchise has restored the essential magic to the Potter legend – which had been starting to sag and drift in recent movies – zapping us all with a cracking final chapter, which looks far superior to CS Lewis's [i]The Last Battle[/i] or JRR Tolkien's [i]The Return of the King[/i].[/quote]

I... I don't understand.
[/quote]
The British press are notoriously sensationalistic.

Example: How many "best British bands" have we gone through while the previous one is better than when they were crowned (and significantly outclasses the latest FOTM)?

I'm a Harry Potter fan, but I know better.[/quote]
I think Jeffrey's bewilderment is compounded by the comparison of the latest Harry Potter [i]movie[/i] -- specifically, how it "looks" -- to "CS Lewis's [i]The Last Battle[/i]," which has never been adapted in any screen version.
[/quote]

In which case, it's indisputable that, no matter what [i]Deathly Hallows Part II[/i] looks like, it looks better than [i]The Last Battle[/i]. :P Edited by NBooth

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[quote name='NBooth' date='11 July 2011 - 10:05 AM' timestamp='1310389521' post='255508'][quote name='SDG' date='11 July 2011 - 07:55 AM' timestamp='1310388940' post='255507']I think Jeffrey's bewilderment is compounded by the comparison of the latest Harry Potter [i]movie[/i] -- specifically, how it "looks" -- to "CS Lewis's [i]The Last Battle[/i]," which has never been adapted in any screen version.[/quote]
In which case, it's indisputable that, no matter what [i]Deathly Hallows Part II[/i] looks like, it looks better than [i]The Last Battle[/i]. :P[/quote]
Not necessarily. Some movies have been known to be a step down from watching a blank screen for the same length of time.

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ROTK definitely does exist, however.

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[quote name='bloop' date='11 July 2011 - 11:03 AM' timestamp='1310393004' post='255516']ROTK definitely does exist, however.[/quote]
Yes, which only adds to the confusion. You don't know whether apples are being compared with oranges, or whether one apple is being compared with another apple and an orange at the same time, or what.

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bloop wrote:
: ROTK definitely does exist, however.

But the article does refer to TOLKIEN'S [i]Return of the King[/i], rather than Jackson's. So the comparison is still to the books.

Incidentally, [url=http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2011/07/hogwarts_reduce.php]Jeffrey Wells[/url], who hasn't liked any of the Harry Potter movies since [i]Prisoner of Azkaban[/i] (i.e. the third film, which came out seven years ago), apparently liked THIS one well enough. (Warning: There are major end-of-movie spoilers in his post, for those who have not already read the book.) So that may dovetail with the article's claim that this film "restore[s] the essential magic to the Potter legend – which had been starting to sag and drift in recent movies".

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[quote name='Peter T Chattaway' date='11 July 2011 - 01:54 PM' timestamp='1310403265' post='255530']: ROTK definitely does exist, however.

But the article does refer to TOLKIEN'S [i]Return of the King[/i], rather than Jackson's. So the comparison is still to the books.[/quote]
But is it a movie-to-books comparison? What would it mean to say that a movie "looks" better than a pair of books?

[quote]Incidentally, [url="http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2011/07/hogwarts_reduce.php"]Jeffrey Wells[/url], who hasn't liked any of the Harry Potter movies since [i]Prisoner of Azkaban[/i] (i.e. the third film, which came out seven years ago)[/quote]
Inclusive or exclusive? It's pretty funny that after jokingly "striking out" deliberately on his first three attempts to get Voldemort's name, he still spelled it wrong (presumably inadvertently) on the fourth attempt!

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SDG wrote:
: But is it a movie-to-books comparison? What would it mean to say that a movie "looks" better than a pair of books?

I have no idea.

: Inclusive or exclusive?

He liked [i]Prisoner of Azkaban[/i]. I'm not sure if he liked the two films that Chris Columbus directed before that; it's possible that [i]Prisoner of Azkaban[/i] is the ONLY movie in this series that he liked, until now.

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I'm one of the kids who grew up going to the midnight book releases, and let the series be this magical home for me, so I've found myself absolutely impotent about judging the merits of the films as films-- it's the only place I have the problem. I'm happy to let myself have at least one thing I'm thoroughly caught up in, and am looking forward to the inevitable sobfest that this Thursday night is going to be. Ebert tweeted something about it being satisfying, but a bit over the top. Perhaps it's ROTK ending syndrome-- a surfeit of closure. But I'm glad they do that, for the people like me. Sometimes, gifts to fandoms are appropriate-- at least when I'm in one :).

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[quote name='Lauren Wilford' date='12 July 2011 - 12:25 AM' timestamp='1310444746' post='255556']
I'm one of the kids who grew up going to the midnight book releases, and let the series be this magical home for me, so I've found myself absolutely impotent about judging the merits of the films as films-- it's the only place I have the problem. I'm happy to let myself have at least one thing I'm thoroughly caught up in, and am looking forward to the inevitable sobfest that this Thursday night is going to be. Ebert tweeted something about it being satisfying, but a bit over the top. Perhaps it's ROTK ending syndrome-- a surfeit of closure. But I'm glad they do that, for the people like me. Sometimes, gifts to fandoms are appropriate-- at least when I'm in one :).
[/quote]

FIRST POST ALERT!!! Welcome to Arts and Faith, Lauren!

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Lauren: no ROTK surfeit of closure symptom, definitely.

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I'm happy either way, but for the sake of it as a film, good!

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[b][url="http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/archives/review_harry_potter_7b_is_an_utterly_magical_conclusion_to_the_franchise1/"]Review: ‘Harry Potter & The Death Hallows Pt. 2’ Is An Utterly Magical Conclusion to the Franchise[/url]:[/b]

[quote]It’s been more than ten years since we first watched Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe, through thick and thin), with his jagged lightning bolt scar and hard knocks childhood (he was orphaned after his parents were brutally murdered by a dark wizard), arrive at Hogwarts School, to fulfill his destiny as “the boy who lived.” In the years since Chris Columbus’ sleepy debut films, the series has had its ups (Alfonso Cuaron‘s immaculate ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’) and its downs (Mike Newell‘s gonzo Bollywood ‘Goblet of Fire’) before settling in with its designated auteur, David Yates, who has helmed the last four films including this, the final entry, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.” Things have gotten decidedly darker since those early adventures, and decidedly more epic, too. And if you’re concerned about the series going out with an appropriate bang, you shouldn’t be. This swan (or maybe its Hippogriff?) song delivers emotionally, dramatically, and cinematically: the results are positively magical.[/quote]

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Just got back from my theater's midnight showing. They showed it on 4 screens (I think, and there are 8 in the building). By the time I got there, they only had tickets for the 3-D theater, which ended up being half full. Judging by the cars in the parking lot, the other theaters must have been pretty full.

As for the movie itself, it does everything I thought it should, but nothing I wasn't expecting (not necessarily a bad thing).

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Just got home. It is just strange how utterly incapable I am of making any kind of assessment about this. None. Powerless. Just call me the girl crying in the Ravenclaw costume.

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[url="http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/sdg-reviews-harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-2/"]My review.[/url] (Lauren, I quoted your phrase "surfeit of closure.")

[quote]Here at last, in the final chapter, the [i]Harry Potter[/i] franchise rouses itself toward something approaching greatness.
...
Harry Potter — The Boy Who Lived; The Boy Whom Things Happened To; The Boy Who Briefly Took the Reins and Then Ceded Them Again, reverting to passivity as recently as [i]Deathly Hallows: Part 1[/i] — is now, almost unexpectedly, not a boy of any sort, but a man. Whether squaring off against his old terror Snape at a Hogwarts’ assembly or facing the possibility of an ultimate sacrifice in a confrontation with You Know Who — no, with [i]Voldemort[/i] — Harry is finally, convincingly, the hero we were always told he would be.

As for Voldemort himself — that nightmare terror, that bogeyman, that satanic incarnation of evil — when he and Harry finally cross paths, he seems surprisingly mortal, finite, vulnerable. If Harry is Luke Skywalker, Voldemort is Vader and the Emperor rolled into one — yet where Vader in [i]Return of the Jedi[/i] seemed inexplicably diminished from the outset and the Emperor was struck down unexpectedly at his very moment of triumph, Voldemort has been progressively weakened by a series of blows, Horcrux upon shattered Horcrux, so that the figure whom Harry finally faces has become a shadow of what he would have been. Yes: [i]This[/i] is how villains should go down.

Magical spectacle is back. After a number of films surprisingly low in eye candy, [i]Harry Potter[/i] is worth looking at again, perhaps even in IMAX, although the 3-D conversion doesn’t add much. We’ve seen the bowels of Gringott’s Wizarding Bank before, but never like this: from a booby-trap spell that turns a pile of treasure into a throbbing, trash compactor-like deathtrap (sorry for the [i]Star Wars[/i] references, Harry-heads; I’m showing my age) to the thunderous escape sequence on the back of an effect that ranks among the series’ most impressive creature achievements, especially in flight.
...
Perhaps surprisingly, amid the darkness, humor is back. There was a little humor in [i]Part 1[/i], but it was spoiled for me by the setting. (Don’t ask me about the film before that — it’s all a blur at this point.) I can’t enjoy the last film’s visual punchline of a roomful of Harry Potters because of where that scene is going and my misgivings about it. Much funnier is a complete change of pace from Helena Bonham Carter, whose scene-stealing Bellatrix Lestrange has been a series highlight, here nailing another cast member’s mannerisms as a character awkwardly attempting to impersonate Lestrange.
...
The final chapter of Peter Jackson’s [i]The Lord of the Rings[/i] has been much criticized for what an “Arts and Faith” participant called a “surfeit of closure.” Here there is a shortage. We’ve seen the wizarding world brought to the brink, the Ministry of Magic in shambles, Hogwarts devastated, and even the Muggle world has felt the blows. A brief coda gestures toward a return to normality with no hint of the road to recovery from Voldemort’s reign of terror. If the filmmakers couldn’t find a dramatic way of fleshing out the dénouement, perhaps there might have been a few closing titles in the manner of a fact-based drama (e.g., “Minerva McGonagall became headmistress of Hogwarts”). After eight installments, this last [i]Harry Potter[/i] film finally left me wanting just a bit more.[/quote]

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SDG wrote:
: As for Voldemort himself — that nightmare terror, that bogeyman, that satanic incarnation of evil — when he and Harry finally cross paths, he seems surprisingly mortal, finite, vulnerable.

Quite. I think his scenes even had a few people giggling, at times, at least at the screening I attended. He's not imposing the way he ought to be.

It doesn't help that the films don't do a very good job of establishing Voldemort's relationship with the Death Eaters. I find myself thinking of [i]Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan[/i], and how Khan clearly loved his associates, such as Joachim -- but only to a point, of course, because there eventually DOES come a point where Khan's ego takes over and he recklessly casts both his friends and their advice aside. Of course, in [i]Star Trek III: The Search for Spock[/i], we do see a Klingon captain who kills his own crewmen for failing to follow his orders properly... but in that case, at least, we have military officers who exist as part of a larger social institution. Voldemort and the Death Eaters are closer to Khan's posse than they are to the Klingon captain and his crew; they have no official, institutional power; they are a mob bound together only by a shared goal and, perhaps, the charisma of the leader. But Voldemort has no charisma. So that just leaves the shared goal, but it's not exactly clear just what that goal IS here. Voldemort wants to defeat death, and I suppose the Death Eaters want to defeat it too ... but Voldemort says at one point (possibly privately, i.e. only to himself and/or to people he is about to kill) that no one should be immortal but him, so what's in it for his followers?

: Much funnier is a complete change of pace from Helena Bonham Carter, whose scene-stealing Bellatrix Lestrange has been a series highlight, here nailing another cast member’s mannerisms as a character awkwardly attempting to impersonate Lestrange.

Yes. Very funny.

: A brief coda gestures toward a return to normality with no hint of the road to recovery from Voldemort’s reign of terror.

It's still more than [i]Star Wars[/i] gives us!

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