Here it is! The moment we've all been waiting for! This marks the beginning of the end. Director David Yates, who's taken the helm of the last few Potter films, made an inspired decision during the production of this movie - he went toe-to-toe with the studio and refused to shoot it in 3D. Good for you, Yates! The Harry Potter movies don't need Hollywood's trendy gimmick-of-the-month to put asses in seats or rake in the dough. So why did you decided to split the last Harry Potter book into two films? Don't get me wrong; when the Deathly Hallows part 2 comes out and I can watch them back-to-back, I'll be thrilled that they did. But to release this as a singular movie doesn't do much for the illiterate portion of the Potter fans that never read the books. The movie follows JK Rowling's last novel to an exceptional detail and still comes in at over two hours...yet is one of the shortest Potter films. It follows Harry and the kids carrying on with the mission Dumbledore gave them before his death at the end of the last film. It also really pushes the limits of that PG-13 rating with some deeply emotional scenes, sexual imagery and violence like we haven't seen in the series yet. Yeah, you can tell that this is the last one and it's balls to the wall time! I did read the book and found the first half to be almost dull at times. Most of it seemed like it was spent trying to figure out how to kill Voldermort while hiding in the woods. I'm glad my memory isn't that great or Yates felt the same way I did because the first half of the Deathly Hallows movie is much more entertaining than I was expecting. It's funny, it's sad, it's thrilling and totally turns your crank for the next one (which comes out this summer). However, it's not complete and that's the problem with the film. You can't look at this like the other Potter movies or even part of a saga like Kill Bill or Back to the Future or Star Wars. Those are separate installments of a story that have a beginning, a middle and an end. Sure they are trending toward a larger story, but each have climaxes within themselves. The Deathly Hallows (the book) does as well...and holy crap is it ever a climax! But half of it doesn't. By the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 1 comes to an end, you're in tears and you're amped up for more, but you feel unsatisfied because you only got half a movie. It really is unfair to review this film at all. Everyone involved did a great job. Yates is continuing to see how dark and brilliant he can make a Harry Potter movie. The acting from everyone is top notch like it always is and the kids (who are now all adults) are giving the best performances yet. Even the familiar whimsical score was eerily absent from this film to let us know that this isn't the Harry Potter we were introduced to a decade ago. The only reason why this movie doesn't work as well as it should is ONLY because it's an incomplete story. So that's what I'm gonna give it...an I. I know that's a cop out but until The Deathly Hallows is REALLY complete, which happens in July, we'll just have to make do with this.
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part 1 (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: I (but a B+ if I have to give it something)
Well, I thought the movie wasn't as great as Gavin put it out to be, but I could be wrong. One major complaint is that they FILLED the movie with cheap scares that pop out at you. Every time Harry was dreaming or when it showed Voldemort or when there was a snake it was torture. To how I felt at the end of the movie, I would give it a B-