Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter at its Finest: Deathly Hallows Part 2

July 15th of 2011 marks the midnight premiere of the final film of the Harry Potter film franchise.  Many people argue that this generation was greatly influenced by Potter, and the devotion and dedication that fans displayed last night make an excellent point.  People of all ages, muggles and wizards, came to the Palisades Mall to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  I have been waiting for this moment since last November at the premiere of Part 1, and the finale to the whole series was flawless.

Hours and hours before the movie began, fans flooded the lobby to the theater, all dressed up in honor of the momentous occasion.  There were hundreds of people waiting in line, all excited to see how everything was to end.  Many people dressed up as certain characters, ranging from the notorious Bellatrix Lestrange to the timid Luna Lovegood.  Outfits were as simple as a wand in hand with a scar on one's forehead, to as complex as becoming Albus Dumbledore or Severus Snape. (Upon seeing Snape, I shouted hello to the Potions Master-turned-headmaster, and he replied, "ten points from Gryffindor").  Just the waiting for the film alone was exciting, the superfluous amount of fanfare brought people from all over together for one commonality: the boy who lived. 

Upon entering theater ten, many fans excitedly were challenging each other to duels in front of the screen.  Not wanting to miss out on the fun, a fan dressed as Potter and I challenged two muggles in a duel.  They won, using Avada Kedavra on Potter and Crucio on me.  Everyone seated in the theater cheered as spells were being cast and wands were flying everywhere.  Such devotion to the beloved book series wouldn't be found any other place.

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint return for the last time as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley for the final battle in defeating Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).  Realising that the dark lord had hidden the horcruxes in Hogwarts school, they make their way back to destroy them in order to ultimately defeat Voldemort.  The film shows what happens in the course of roughly two days, and these two days are the most epic anyone who attended Hogwarts had ever seen.

Director David Yates outdid himself in every way possible.  The storyline of the second half of the Deathly Hallows novel was kept intact and not twisted, which made the film really feel authentic.  Little details and nuances were kept and shown in the movie.  As an avid Potter geek, I was very satisfied that nothing was left out or changed.  The final film was funny; many one-liners uplift the audiences' spirit even though the film is plagued with death and suffering.  The losses of loved ones and favorite characters make it hard to believe that it's all over, and everything that happened up until this point has moved many people emotionally. 

Fans in the theater screamed and clapped when Ron and Hermione finally had their moment.  Their scene in the movie was written especially for the film, and although lots of passion was displayed, Grint afterwards remarked that it was awkward to do it and then watch it on screen. 

The epilogue for me was the hardest part to watch.  Once "19 Years Later" showed up on screen, I started tearing up.  I knew this moment was to come but it had come too soon.  All choked up, like the rest of the theater, I struggled to leave without a blurry vision.

The Harry Potter franchise has finally released its last installment, in regards to the film. The ending was perfect and much worth the wait.  I recommend that whether or not you are a fan of Potter, you should see this movie.  And if you are a fan, whether mild or complete Potter geek like myself, see it, love it, embrace it. 
People wait in line at the Palisades theater.

Voldemort, myself, and Harry Potter (good costumes, right?)

People in line waiting to see the film.

Lines stretch and snake around everywhere.

 Fans wait to enter the theater.
 Danielle and Kat

Me and a premiere poster featuring Tom Felton.

Me and the Chosen One.
People get their tickets checked.
 Danielle, Kat and I
 Harry, Ginny and Bellatrix
Harry and Voldemort duel in the lobby.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Super 8 is Super Great!

Super 8, Steven Spielberg’s latest film follows the adventures of six teenagers after witnessing an intense train accident in 1979. Joe Lamb (Joel Cartney), grieving the recent loss of his mother, lives with his estranged father (Kyle Chandler), the police deputy of the town.  Sneaking out one summer's evening to film an amateur movie with his friends and their “super eight” camera, they happen to be at the right place at the right time.  Unbeknownst to them until later, they capture footage of the fateful evening at the train stop.  Things then exacerbate themselves, and the six kids then continue to investigate the strange phenomenon. 
Teaming up with J.J. Abrams was a smart move for Spielberg.  Although this film may seem like an E.T. knockoff, it does have its own personality.  As disaster strikes Joe’s Midwest town, he begins to learn more about himself, along with the girl he liked for what seemed forever, (Elle Fanning).  Super 8 is unsuspecting as well; one may not expect the sensitive undertones to be present throughout it.  The special effects for the train scene and further along in the movie were spectacular.   
The film, according to J.J. Abrams, was homage to the producer of the film, Steven Spielberg and his 1970's films ranging reverence from Spielberg's directorial films like "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" and "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" to Spielberg's produced films like "The Goonies." I found this particularly interesting because it pulls certain elements from his earlier movies into his most recent. 
After unorthodox disappearances pop up throughout their town, Joe and his friends learn just how unpredictable life can be, along with what "production value" is all about!