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July 15, 2011

Harry Potter and the Fantastic Finale

'Deathly Hallows' reaches an intense, satisfying end... says The Wall Street Journal, and so far the reviews are great with records said to be broken.  Harry is currently holding strong at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.  The article below from online.wsj.com contains a clip  showcasing our '911' sequence on The Deathly Hallows! (full of Lumos and replicating Treasure)  The shot below was one of mine...

Watch a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final film in the series. Video courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

So many good films come to bad ends, but not the tales of Harry Potter. The final episode of Harry's epic journey, part 2 of "The Deathly Hallows," is the best possible end for the series that began a decade ago. In contrast to part 1, which was a ponderous exercise in stage-setting and dramatic incipience, this film, directed by David Yates and adapted by Steve Kloves, is a climax worthy of the term. It's a dark and thunderous pageant that sets its bespectacled hero in the midst of vast forces, yet never loses track of who he is--a brave boy, to borrow both parts of Dumbledore's fond phrase, on the way to becoming a wonderful man. (Daniel Radcliffe, in his turn, has grown from likeably bland at the outset to impressively--and still likeably--confident.)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Daniel Radcliffe in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.'

Keeping the audience so closely connected with Harry is a remarkable achievement, considering the intensity of the action that swirls around him: a roller-coaster ride down to the Gringotts vaults; a dragon-back ride back up; serpentine menace on a cosmic scale; wands sizzling, towers toppling; Hogwarts besieged, and aflame; and, in the shoot-out that will define humanity's fate, not to mention Harry's future, Voldemort and his evil allies wielding weapons of sufficient energy to put the Hadron Collider in the shade. "Is it real?" Harry asks at one point, "or is it happening inside my head?" You can understand his perplexity, and you can choose your level on which to savor his mentor's answer: "Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry. That doesn't mean it's not real."

The Harry Potter film series is coming to an end but Warner Bros. hopes to keep the magic alive. Kelsey Hubbard talks with WSJ's Michelle Kung about the studio's plan to maintain the popularity of Harry Potter beyond the blockbuster films.

J.K. Rowling's books first hit the screen when computer-generated imagery was coming into the fullness of its power, and the beginning of its abuse. Some of the movie versions used the new technology to create new realities, while others abused it to the point of banality. Until now, the film that struck the best balance between technology and humanity was, by widespread agreement, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," which was directed by the Mexican filmmaker Alfonso CuarĂ³n. But all of the movies, like all of the books, were as real as they were, and as successful, precisely because they were happening inside our heads. The books have been rightly hailed for inciting a generation of kids to read. Yet the Harry Potter movies--good and occasionally indifferent, though never bad--deserve thanks for inciting a sense of wonder in a generation of kids who've been shortchanged by the movie business.

As a failed Harry Potter scholar, I must have missed, in my Muggling way, countless intricacies of the surpassingly convoluted plots. That's why I took special pleasure this time from Harry's question to his friends: "When have any of our plans actually worked? We get there, and all hell breaks loose." But I'll also miss my periodic encounters with Harry, Ron and Hermione, and with the small army of British and Irish actors who made these films a distinguished performers' pantheon: Michael Gambon, and before him the late Richard Harris; Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, David Thewlis, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Timothy Spall, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Oldman and Jim Broadbent. Wizards all. (online.wsj.com)

Visual effects by Double Negative, the Moving Picture Co., Cinesite, Framestore, Baseblack, Rising Sun Pictures, Tippett Studio, Lola Visual Effects, Gradient Effects, and Union Visual Effects.


Posted by dschnee at July 15, 2011 12:39 AM