Friday, December 17, 2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1
So yesterday, after several abortive prior attempts, I finally saw part one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I enjoyed it, quite a lot, actually. It seemed, to me, to be an entertaining encapsulation of the book, as much as I remember anyway. Those who know me in the 'real world' know that my memory isn't always the best, and unless a television or film franchise has the word star in the title odds are my recall of details will be sketchy. Most of the time I find this frustrating, but with the Harry Potter movies it's a positive boon. I have read, and enjoyed all the books, but J.K. Rowling crams so much stuff into each book that I only remember the general outline, so I don't always notice the changes, embellishments, and/or omissions of the films. That being said, however, I don't think you can really enjoy The Deathly Hallows without having read the book first. The movie, for all its sluggish second act, moves at breakneck speed, glossing over important details that will matter later. If I didn't already know the gist of what was going on I'd have been lost.
As far as the performances go I must disagree with many people who have said that Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint are all washed up. I think they did an excellent job in this movie, especially Watson. Granted these kids have been playing their respective roles for nearly half their lives, and we'll have to see if any of them go on to try their hands at other roles(yes, Radcliff has been doing stage work already) but I had no trouble believing anything they did or said in this movie. If anything it was the 'adults' who pulled me out of the film at times, especially Helena Bonham Carter's Bellatrix LaStrange. In the previous movies she was over the top, but not as cartoonish as she was in this show. But that's a minor quibble. The truly telling thing was that this two and a half hour long film didn't feel like it was that long to me. I was enthralled and entertained, and am very much looking forward to the second half. If you are a fan of the films you will like this one. If you have also read the books, so much the better.
And now, or in a few hours anyway, we are going to see TRON at the IMAX. I'll give a full report later.