Best Movies of All Time + [sequel]

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 1

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1-13

You can watch the trailer here

I would like to start by saying that I am not a huge Harry Potter fanatic; I have not read the books, but I have been relatively pleased with the franchise thus far. I'm sure that there is plenty of information in the books that has not been translated to the screen, but you can always chalk that up to time constraints. However, I feel as though the previous six films found ways to make the movies accessible to your average viewer like me who may simply be following the story chronicled by the films. Unfortunately (and I know I'm going to catch a lot of heat for this, so if you're a die-hard Potter fan, you should probably stop reading now), Deathly Hallows: Part I just simply did not deliver.

Part of what makes a movie a good one is its ability to be easily understood. For a franchise such as Harry Potter, this means that anyone should be able to watch the films and understand them without actually having read the books themselves. Sure, fans of the books will have more appreciation for the films (as is evidenced by the $24 million the newest installment made on last night's midnight showings), but a good film will make sure that everyone, readers and non-readers alike, can access and enjoy the story being told.

Deathly Hallows: Part I did not do that for me. From the opening sequence, I was left in utter confusion. I had followed the previous six films pretty easily, but this one never really gave me a chance. There were scenes of seeming explanation every once in a while, but they moved so quickly that there was no way an unfamiliar viewer could possibly keep up. Then, the sequences between those explanations mostly consisted of the lead characters teleporting from place to place and staring blankly into the distance. There was nothing to grab me; there was nothing to hook me. It was just way too confusing, and to make matters worse, it was completely boring. I found myself nodding off time and again - that did not bode well for this movie. Direction from David Yates just didn't fulfill any expectations I had going into the theater.

I understand that Deathly Hallows was the second-longest book in the series, trailing only Order of the Phoenix in page length; however, the filmmakers found a way to keep Order of the Phoenix as a single film, whereas the split of Deathly Hallows now more than ever seems like a ploy to pull as much money from the franchise as possible. What's even more difficult for me was that the film version of Order of the Phoenix was my second favorite installment in the franchise. Essentially, Deathly Hallows: Part I offers little more than a build-up to the grand finale coming next summer. I hope above all hopes that Part II can deliver; otherwise, I'll have to think of the end of the Harry Potter franchise as a total and complete failure.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: C-
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