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Where Were We. . .


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#1
LaLaLuna

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Where were we…

Is how the movie begins. We are brought into part two with the last minute of part one. Voldemort has desecrated Dumbledore’s tomb and we has Harry sitting at Dobby’s grave.

No time is wasted as we are brought into Shell Cottage where Harry, with Ron and Hermione in tow, to question the goblin and Mister Ollivander. And in these short scenes hardcore fans, readers and viewers alike, realize that Delores Umbridge had a profound and lasting effect on Harry. He, Harry, blatantly accuses Ollivander of lying. Lying is something, after Order of the Pheonix, Harry has little tolerance for and Dan’s performance made that very clear.

I could go on and on at how brilliant everyone stepped up their game with this last installment, but in my review of part one made that clear. But I will say this one brought forward the characters that were peripheral to keep the story moving…until now.



* Neville Longbottom, Matthew Lewis. This actor has the true ability to helm a movie should he ever get the hankering to do so! Not only did he have great presence, he never, at any point, tried to outshine the trio. He was subtle where needed and anything but when called upon. As a character, he truly has come a long way from the boy who had self-esteem issues to the self-assured hero, and the thing is, in the last three movies we watched it happen.

Now to the man and actor who was the underlying thread and silent driving force of the series; Severus Snape or Mr. Alan Rickman. This man’s challenge for the past ten years was to play the most difficult and complex characters to come along in some time. And brilliant does not begin to encompass how he did it.

As readers we waited seven books to learn why this man was trusted with very little question by the wizarding world’s most powerful wizards, as we waited eight films to see it all unfold. The book’s chapter, “The Prince’s Tale”, was shown to viewers in a short four minutes, but how true a thespian Alan is, it was the best four minutes to grace the screen.

Those were the two notable characters were what we, or at least I, waited all these years to see step forward and was not disappointed.



* The effects were as grand as ever, and what we have come to expect in this franchise. The dragon’s break from Gringotts was surprising. By surprising, I mean the emotion they gave this voiceless character. In the book it was a cool escape tool, but on screen…this creature sought light and freedom. And when he found it, crawling into the light, he takes a breath and becomes one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in an emotion-driven film.

The fight with Harry and Voldemort was, I have to say, greater than the book. The rapid apparition of the two around and through a crumbled Hogwarts was something to see! At one point they even appear to splinch into each other becoming one. Visual eye-candy; as were the spells, enchantments and other pyrotechnics done. And though it was mostly white, the stark scene at King’s Cross was an effect to see. Almost the only color seen in this “room” are Harry/Dan’s eyes and the remaining piece of Voldemort huddled under a bench.

Harry’s walk into the forest and opening of the snitch to reveal the Resurrection stone was as lovingly done as the Mirror of Erised in the first film. The final talk with those he had longed for and those that had been a part of his recent life, were all there as his support. And Lily Potter says something there that caught my breath…it very nearly mirrored the scene with Dumbledore and Snape when Harry ask his mother if they will stay with him.


* Humor and tears with a bit of shock tossed in were really the only things felt while watching part two. There was very little room for anything in between.

We did have Harry’s wry comments. The funniest being how their plans never pan out and almost always go to h.ell once execution is tried. Neville thumbing his nose at Snatchers. Or Seamus purposely putting his first year failures to excellent use. Or even Luna finding her voice and being helpful when she is usually underestimated for her child-like innocence.

The odd but telling Voldemort/Draco hug was one of the funniest and flat out weird moments in this movie. They got the laugh they were aiming for, but readers and movie fans understood what Dumbledore had been telling Harry all this time, Voldemort just does not understand love. And it should win an award for the most awkward moment in movie history.

Now, always thought of as rigid, Dame Maggie Smith brought quite a bit of humor to her character, Professor McGonagall. In the true spirit of showing how badass most of the witch and wizards teaching a Hogwarts can be, she did so with true grit.

More humor was found in the specs of romance to tie up loose ends. Hermione and Ron FINALLY kiss! It was as awkward and sweet as the characters’ relationship that unfolded as slowly as a slug swimming in honey. The element of danger provokes the kiss that took place privately in the Chamber of Secrets unlike in the book where they tackled each other in front of Harry amist the chaos going on around them.

And then there was the very surprising but for me, very gratifying Neville’s scramble to find Luna to tell her he loved her! In my fanfics I put those two together and wanted…no wished it would happen, and it did! And seeing that JKR was consultant and executive producer, she had to approve it before it was put to screen, so I do my happy dance that this was one of her green lights.


* Body count. There was no shying away from the massive body count, and they did not try to. First life lost was very surprising that they showed it as they did. At first, one wants to chuckle before realizing, okay this goblin just got toasted by dragon’s breath. Then the deaths that follow were mere collateral damage, but deaths all the same. By the time we get to the Battle at Hogwarts, we have seen Voldemort walking through bloodied bodies at the Malfoy Manor, the disintegration of a handful of Snatchers running through the protective barriers of the school, the hacking of giants, and the assault of Greyback on Lavender, whose throat has been ripped out.

But by far the most violent death was the one we were there to see, and that was the death of Severus Snape. His death was quite simply, violent. We actually see his throat cut by Voldemort, which was horrific in itself, but on the other side of the window, where our trio hid, we knew what was happening every time Nagini struck.

The valiant fighters and protectors of Hogwarts are lined up in the Great Hall and we get the full scope of lives lost. As in the book we don’t witness the deaths of Lupin and Tonks, but they are laid side-by-side nonetheless as if reaching for each. Then there’s Fred Weasley. Last we saw Fred he was at the mercy of one of the Carrows before Voldemort calls for his people to fallback. We learn his fate and experience the loss through the faces of his family and the raw wails from Ron when he sees his brother.

The final fall of Voldemort was magically done. In the book readers have a body after the final blow, but not here. Voldemort’s demise began early on in the movie as each one of the horcruxes were destroyed. His skin became more pallid with veins popping out across his skull, and flaking off on his neck and arms. By the end, he was literally like the walking dead.


* This screen adaptation lived up to its source material as its predecessors. Loose ends were tied with the epilogue, which I have to say lacked a bit, but had to be there. The kids casted as the offspring of the trio and Draco was done about as well as the casting of Dan, Rupert, Emma and Tom ten years ago. Albus Severus had the eyes of Dan (could have been his little brother if Dan wasn’t an only child), and the little girl casted as Lily looked like a mini-Bonnie.

And as with every book to screen adaptation, things were cut, but in all honesty what was cut was not missed. With the exception of maybe Harry repairing his Phoenix wand, not much was missed. Fan favorite lines and scenes were incorporated to pleasing effects.



As sad as I was to be attending the very last Harry Potter midnight premiere, I left with a light heart and sense of peace. And though there will be no more books or films, these characters will live on thanks to the wonderful imagination of JK Rowling, her fateful train ride and the little café table at which she sat and she jotted down the beginning of a phenomenon.

IKWT!

Beginnings:The Great Purification~by Liliana Muddied Black Blood~by Nicola
My Fics
Riddle and Secrets ~ Coming Full Circle ~ Living Memories ~ The Sorting of Priorities
Luna's Loss ~ A Summer's Day ~ Who Would Have Thought ~ Wilted Flower ~ Spring in the Air


#2
Stuart

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Great review, Hanna!

I agree about empathizing with the Gringott's dragon. I really felt sorry for it! The way it was treated was, as Hermione said, barbaric. The attention to detail in that scene (i.e. the dragon not being able to fly straight away, due to being chained up for so long) gave it an added gravitas for me.

Alan Rickman really was superb, wasn't he? Would he get an Oscar nod, do you think, or is that not possible given the ensemble nature of the cast?

#3
LaLaLuna

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I loved that too! It was like a baby trying to walk for the first time.

There was no question this was Alan's movie, but sadly the Oscars are too political. They not only won't give credit to this film, they won't give accolades to Mr. Rickman. At the most the film will most likely get something in "Special Effects" and/or "Music Score" (which Alexandre Desplat totally deserves).

So unfair! And I wish that they could prove me wrong. Though there's always the BAFTA awards. . .but it isn't the same. I'd like to see an American acknowledgement of ten years worth of excellence.

IKWT!

Beginnings:The Great Purification~by Liliana Muddied Black Blood~by Nicola
My Fics
Riddle and Secrets ~ Coming Full Circle ~ Living Memories ~ The Sorting of Priorities
Luna's Loss ~ A Summer's Day ~ Who Would Have Thought ~ Wilted Flower ~ Spring in the Air


#4
Gary

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Super review, I agree with everything, I loved the movie :( its so sad its come to an end

#5
LaLaLuna

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Thanks, Gary! I don't think it's sunk in yet that's it's done...over. I think I'll see it again, alone, just to absorb it.

IKWT!

Beginnings:The Great Purification~by Liliana Muddied Black Blood~by Nicola
My Fics
Riddle and Secrets ~ Coming Full Circle ~ Living Memories ~ The Sorting of Priorities
Luna's Loss ~ A Summer's Day ~ Who Would Have Thought ~ Wilted Flower ~ Spring in the Air


#6
potterlovnmom

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I completely agree with this riveting summary! I think out of the entire movie the performance of Alan Rickman was the most superb! Although I did not like some of the embellishments they added to some scenes I think the Snape's memories scene was the most heart wrenching and emotional and extremely well done! I knew going into this movie I would cry from beginning to end, but that particular scene had me torn up and crying my eyes out. I agree if I thought it were possible for Mr. Rickman to even be nominated for an Oscar for this movie, he would deserve to win, HANDS DOWN!
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#7
LaLaLuna

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Thank you for liking my review.

You know the additions didn't bother me so much as I thought they would. Though the biggest change (I thought I'd have issue with from the pics and articles before the movie release) was Snape's death scene. But as it turned out it was actually one of the nicest sceneries for the horrible violent death. Had they used the Shreiking Shack as in the book, it would have been disappointing, I think, because of the filth and darkness. The boat house was light and the water was calming and a bit cleaner than the shack...and the fact that there was a Gryffindor scarf at Severus's back was a bit symbolic in this hero's death. Even with the murder that occurred, it will remain one of the stand out scenes, in my opinion.

IKWT!

Beginnings:The Great Purification~by Liliana Muddied Black Blood~by Nicola
My Fics
Riddle and Secrets ~ Coming Full Circle ~ Living Memories ~ The Sorting of Priorities
Luna's Loss ~ A Summer's Day ~ Who Would Have Thought ~ Wilted Flower ~ Spring in the Air


#8
Nymph

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Hey Hanna, I read your review and thought - Hang on, I don't remember this.. and this.. and what was here.. lol So I went and rewatched the movie once again and only then decided to make my own little review, but as I told you it's not really a full review, so I better leave it here as a comment ;) (sorry if the quotes are not entirely the same - I watched movie with translation)


Now, always thought of as rigid, Dame Maggie Smith brought quite a bit of humor to her character, Professor McGonagall. In the true spirit of showing how badass most of the witch and wizards teaching a Hogwarts can be, she did so with true grit.

I just loved her "I always wanted to cast this spell"

The odd but telling Voldemort/Draco hug was one of the funniest and flat out weird moments in this movie. They got the laugh they were aiming for, but readers and movie fans understood what Dumbledore had been telling Harry all this time, Voldemort just does not understand love. And it should win an award for the most awkward moment in movie history.

You know, I didn't even notice that.. Only when I watched the second time I understood what did you mean.

Absolutely loved Luna's "Harry Potter! Listen to me now!" :lol:

The dragon’s break from Gringotts was surprising. By surprising, I mean the emotion they gave this voiceless character. In the book it was a cool escape tool, but on screen…this creature sought light and freedom. And when he found it, crawling into the light, he takes a breath and becomes one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in an emotion-driven film.

The entire scene was so close to the book that I forgot I was watching the film and not reading the book :blink:

Scene with Grey Lady is made very well and I like this actress (I believe it was her who played Evangelina in "Nanny McPhee")

I think they made it right that Harry and Voldy feel it every time when Horcrux is destroyed and that Harry feels them near.

Hermione and Ron FINALLY kiss! It was as awkward and sweet as the characters’ relationship that unfolded as slowly as a slug swimming in honey. The element of danger provokes the kiss that took place privately in the Chamber of Secrets unlike in the book where they tackled each other in front of Harry amist the chaos going on around them.

I agree, this scene was made perfectly.

I was surprised to see different actor as Crabbe (with same Goyle) but I was even more surprised when Goyle, not Crabbe, died in the Fiend Fire. But the whole scene with Fiend Fire was great, very realistic.

'Prince's Tale' - everyone knows I'm not a Snape lover. But even I must say that this scene is great. Alan Rickman here at last shows his emotional side. Rickman really is awesome (as always! If you didn't see him in 'Love Actually' and 'Snow Pie', go and look)

'Forest again' - Harry looks doomed after the Pensieve, it seems he grew old in those minutes.

'Kings Cross' - perfectly made. just like in the book.

Surprised long hunt for a snake (unlike in the book)

Neville Longbottom, Matthew Lewis. This actor has the true ability to helm a movie should he ever get the hankering to do so! Not only did he have great presence, he never, at any point, tried to outshine the trio. He was subtle where needed and anything but when called upon. As a character, he truly has come a long way from the boy who had self-esteem issues to the self-assured hero, and the thing is, in the last three movies we watched it happen.

Very true. Neville matured so much through the series.

And then there was the very surprising but for me, very gratifying Neville’s scramble to find Luna to tell her he loved her! In my fanfics I put those two together and wanted…no wished it would happen, and it did! And seeing that JKR was consultant and executive producer, she had to approve it before it was put to screen, so I do my happy dance that this was one of her green lights

.Oh, that was really a treat for me!!!!!!! ^_^

And one more funny moment - Filch trying to clean junk in the Great Hall :lol: :lol:

'Epilogue' - Albus is great! looks so much like little Harry (unlike little James in the 'Prince's Tale' who was not even black haired but almost blond). Whole scene is made perfect, just one question - why there's no scar on Harry's forehead?!! :ermm:

And Hanna, I swear there was Cythera at Draco's side with Scorpius!!!!!!! :P

#9
LaLaLuna

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You've only seen it twice? You've got to catch up to me :P

Yes, that is the actress that played "Evangeline" in Nanny McPhee. She was more angry than the Grey Lady in the book, lol. In the book she was more sad and innocent (naive) in the retelling of her murder. But I did like the scene. It made me realize too the castle changes itself over the centuries...if you noticed, she would apprear to walk in certain areas while gliding in others, as if there were walls or stairs we couldn't see.

The whole thing about Goyle being killed instead and Crabbe being replaced by the Zambini character occured because in rea life Jamie Waylet (sp?), the boy who played Crabbe had been arrested on drug charges. The scene was rewritten because after his arrest, he was never asked back. I assume it either had to do with drug influence and a kids' film or he served jail time and couldn't be on set...either way, he was out.

Now, the Nagini scene did go on a bit, but if you'll remember in the book they didn't have to separate the snake from Voldemort, she lunged at Neville. That's why it went on as it did. They parted the snake from Voldemort.

Both of Filtch's main scenes were hiliarious! The "Children out of bed, children in the corridors!" and the sweeping the rubble was too funny!

If you go and see it again, Harry's scar is there, it's just really faded (like a cut that's healed). And I think that's because Voldemort was dead. I think the scar remained irrated and red as long as Voldemort was "alive". . .almost as if it were something living (which if you think about it, Harry was a living horcrux).


The actress who played Draco's wife is Tom Felton's girlfriend, but yeah, I thought the same thing :P Cythera!

IKWT!

Beginnings:The Great Purification~by Liliana Muddied Black Blood~by Nicola
My Fics
Riddle and Secrets ~ Coming Full Circle ~ Living Memories ~ The Sorting of Priorities
Luna's Loss ~ A Summer's Day ~ Who Would Have Thought ~ Wilted Flower ~ Spring in the Air


#10
Nymph

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If you go and see it again, Harry's scar is there, it's just really faded (like a cut that's healed). And I think that's because Voldemort was dead. I think the scar remained irrated and red as long as Voldemort was "alive". . .almost as if it were something living (which if you think about it, Harry was a living horcrux).

Oh, I really didn't notice the scar, but you know maybe it's because my bad eyesight :geek: and also those stupid 3D glasses :nuts:

If it just faded it makes sense, as it's said in the last line of the last book - 'His scar didn't hurt anymore'

#11
larrypotter

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Thanks for a great review of Movie #8... and a nice synopsis I think of how we all feel about the 15 productions (7 books, 8 movies). I will never forget opening my first HP book. How my life experience has been improved as a result! Thanks JKR!
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#12
LaLaLuna

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Thanks Larry. I can remember speeding to catch up by reading the first three books. I was a late HP fan, but once I became one, it was for life! LOL! So, yes, thank you JKR.

IKWT!

Beginnings:The Great Purification~by Liliana Muddied Black Blood~by Nicola
My Fics
Riddle and Secrets ~ Coming Full Circle ~ Living Memories ~ The Sorting of Priorities
Luna's Loss ~ A Summer's Day ~ Who Would Have Thought ~ Wilted Flower ~ Spring in the Air





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