A movie called “The Woman in Black” appeared in my Direct TV queue the other day and because of my unnatural obsession with all things paranormal, there was little I could do to combat its pull. Now, before you get all “OMG, I can’t believe you didn’t know about it” or “Ugh, isn’t that the one with Harry Potter not being Harry Potter” on me, hear me out. This film was quite good. Yes, it can be difficult to see Daniel Radcliffe as anything other than the brooding kid with glasses and an owl, but the way the movie progressed from first conflict to denouement was outstanding. I literally screamed at a couple key points in between, so the thrill factor was certainly present.
It’s hard to believe we’ve made it. The series that began over a decade ago on the written page and soon after on screen has come to a final and complete end this weekend. All the Nerd Appropriate guys took a trip to the theater to finish out the series and when an event is this size, we thought it would be best if you hear from all of us.
Deathly Hallows part 2 is directed by David Yates, who brought us both the Order of the Phoenix and Half Blood Prince. The usual cast of characters follows including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as the dynamic trio at the head of all of the Harry Potter stories. The movie picks up immediately where part 1 left off. It would be literally impossible to come into this movie with no previous knowledge of the series. At this point, they have assumed you saw not only Part 1 but also the previous movies before it. There is no introduction, no who’s who, just jump in feet first and get moving. We join our hero Harry who needs to find the last 3 horcruxes and destroy them in order to defeat Voldemort once and for all. The story then follows this quest and ultimately a massive battle between the forces of good and evil. I’m going to leave it here and let the nerds take over with their (hopefully) spoiler free thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 and the series as a whole.
I came across Harry Potter in about 2001 when my then girlfriend goaded me into reading a children’s book about a boy wizard. To say I was immediately enthralled is an understatement. I quickly devoured the first 3 books with little pause. Then immediately consuming each following book the moment it came out. I watched the first movie hoping to hell that I would not hate it. I will be honest, I didn’t love it, but it was quite a spectacle. I bring these up because I feel like it’s hard to talk about this final chapter without speaking about how we got here. The journey has been as important as the end. This is because this movie does not feel like a full 3 act movie. It is tense, fast paced and moving until the end. They do make some adjustments to make this second piece feel like its own full movie, but to be frank, it’s not. I’m OK with this. If the movie was to weighted down with trying to force story that is not there into it, I think I may have felt like it was stretched out. I don’t need to tell you that if you are a Harry Potter fan in any sort that you should see this movie. The thing I feel like I do need to say is that if you have held off of taking part in this series for whatever reason, you absolutely should watch it. The movies stand alone as their own great movies, but the end in no way tears apart something you will almost definitely come to love. At the end of the day, you watch a story about overcoming unreasonable odds, about becoming an adult, and about the love of a Mother. It is a series I will definitely be sharing with the child I may some day have and can say with a sureness that it is probably the most epic and classic series since Star Wars. A whole hearted Nerd Appropriate.
Ash: I had the pleasure of seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 at a six-plex in the middle of nowhere Georgia. While the screen was old and the seats were creaky, the movie was still an absolute pleasure. On the way back from the theater my wife and I discussed how the Harry Potter film series shouldn’t have worked. The fact that the films turned out as good as they did is a feat of magic worthy of any Hogwarts student. After all, when in the history of cinema have there been a series of EIGHT films that, barring death, keep their entire cast with no one jumping ship or publicly begging for more money? The Harry Potter film series should have never existed, and should have never been so incredible. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a profoundly adult story that deals with duty, sacrifice, and above all else, growing up. A large portion of the film takes place back at Hogwarts, but this time there is very little “education” occurring. The Death Eaters and the forces of darkness have converged upon the wizard’s school to kill Harry Potter and murder anyone that dares stand in their way. The action is incredibly well done and, even though I knew what was going to happen, I experienced dozens of moments that made the hair on my arms and neck stand at full attention. Once again the cast and crew managed to capture exactly what I saw in my mind’s eye when I was reading the final novel. I have to admit I was a bit sad to walk out of the theater and realize that Harry Potter was officially OVER. After seven books and eight incredible films, I’m still delighted to call myself a Harry Potter fan. Without a doubt the franchise will continue in some fashion as it really is the “Star Wars” of our current generation. (haha I didn’t read Matt’s review until I finished mine… glad we feel the same way buddy)
Scott: My experience with Harry Potter started with the films. If I’m not mistaken I might have seen this first movie with my mom while at home visiting some ten years ago. My mom is one of those people who loves to go to the movies in general and “heard good things” about the first movie. After that, I was pretty much hooked on the films. I stuck with them, but never sat down with the books for some reason. I think I didn’t want to feel like I was being bamboozled with a series that had no end, and various editions that I couldn’t keep track of. In any event, I felt it more than necessary to read the entire series after seeing Goblet of Fire at which point it was very clear that there was much more to learn below the surface of the movies. I didn’t start reading the books, however, until I saw Half-Blood Prince. Like many, I plowed through the entire series in the matter of a month or two before Part 1 came out. The books really do enrich the story in ways that I believe give fans more of what the probably love about the movies, but never get to know about. Characters like Dobby, Longbottom, and Luna all get more “screen time” in the books, and its well worth your time investment. After seeing Part 2, I was both pleased and disappointed. I thought the film was great, but my disappointment was internal in the sense that I put my expectations for the film at an unattainable level. I somehow wanted more large-scale battling, and a bit more raw emotion out of the final confrontations — again, I think I placed unrealistic expectations on the film, but thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. Do not be mistaken however — like Ash, I knew what was coming, but constantly found myself full of tension, emotion, etc. In a world of reboots and remakes, it is wonderful to get to take part in this new experience of Harry Potter as a cornerstone of our popular culture. Just think how cool it will be to share this (and Star Wars, duh) with future generations!