There now. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s get down to my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, shall we? And just this once, since all hope for professionalism has flown directly out of the window, I’m going to cut straight to the chase. A sort of stream of consciousness review, if you will.
Well, we waited until Sunday to let the crowds die down a bit. I bought the tickets early, and we showed up at The Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar about an hour and a half early (don’t worry about the wait, they serve beer!). We managed first position in the queue (yeah, our means of getting there were a bit dodgy) and ordered a pair of beers (see, I told you we had the wait covered). I ordered an appropriate English Dark Ale called Hobgoblin for myself, and a Blue Moon for Kelley.
They let us into the theater pretty early, and we enjoyed the typical pre-show entertainment that The Alamo is famous for while we decided what to order to eat. We decided on the green chile cheese fries as an appetizer, ordered refreshers for our drinks, and settled in for the show.
I never get very excited about something until it sure to happen (isn’t that pessimistic?), and my excitement swelled on cue when that trademark Warner Bros. symbol floated towards us from the screen and those familiar first notes from John Williams’ score came tinkling out of the surround sound speakers. The roller coaster ride had begun.
First of all, if you’ve never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie, then you’re out of luck. I’m not going to summarize six book/film plots just because you’re too stubborn to get on the bandwagon. Now, for those of you that are up to speed, but haven’t yet seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, let me urge you to buy tickets as soon as possible, and see it. From start to finish, this is a beautiful film. And as far as I’m concerned, the best Potter film yet.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I has it all. It has happy. It has sad. It has funny, silly, drama, action, chases, magical shoot outs, anger, betrayal, redemption, daring rescues, and so much more.
Did I mention that it has sad?
Yeah, Harry, Hermione, and Ron have grown up. They have real issues to contend with in addition to all of the odd stuff the wizarding world is throwing at them, and all of those real human emotions and human situations create an environment that allows these characters to really stretch their legs and walk around in who they are as people, not just who they are as wizards and witches. So the movie has drama.
One thing that I think this film does better than any of the Potter films is action. The action scenes are well planned, well shot, and well written. The kind of magic these kids are tossing out is more likely to result in severe laceration than a bad case of acne. The sound effects and VFX used to convey the use of magic onscreen are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Make no mistake: the magic in this movie is to be taken seriously, and so are the people using it.
The shooting locations in this film are breathtaking, and provide some seriously juicy fodder for the cinematographer, who handles them brilliantly. The sets never feel grandiose just for the purpose of being grandiose. Every step in this film has been carefully planned, well thought out, and executed with the intention of bringing the ending of one of the most important book series’ of our time to life. From the direction to set design, to VFX, the film score, cinematography, acting, comedic timing, to the adaptation of the screen play; everything is spot on.
And if that isn’t saying enough, I have these closing remarks:
The last time I found myself thinking before a film was even over that I wanted to see it again was with Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings adaptations. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I has taken its place amongst those movies in my mind. This is why I go to the movies, kids.