November 20, 2010 Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part I
Studio: Warner Bros. Rating: PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.
Picking up right where "The Half-Blood Prince" left off, things are looking pretty bleak for Harry Potter.
Lord Voldemort's power is on the rise...and Harry is on the run.
To protect the chosen one...the good guys resort to a little magic to try and fool the forces of darkness.
But Voldemort has spies everywhere...and soon Harry, Ron and Hermione are cut off from their family and friends...all alone. First in London..and then away from the city and into the countryside.
Forced to leave everything they know behind...the trio hidee in the wilderness. Their only hope is to find several mystical objects which contains parts of Voldemort's soul. Once the horcruxes are destroyed the dark lord can be defeated...but the enormous task takes its toll on their friendship.
This may be the best of the "Harry Potter" series. That may seem strange because many of the signature moments are missing. There is no train trip to Hogwarts. No quidditch match. No fantastic holiday party.
Instead, there is action and suspense. Both the beginning and the end boast exciting sequences...with the middle portion of the film consisting of serious moments of self-doubt and soul-searching. Harry, Ron and Hermione are stretched to the breaking point, while Voldemort is poised to claim victory. The film ends on a cliff-hanger, with part two scheduled for June.
I hope that chapter is as good as this one. The acting ability of the young leads Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron) and Emma Watson (Hermione) has grown by leaps and bounds as the series has progressed. That being said, this installment belongs to the bad guys.
Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort) and Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) steal the show.
I also really liked the cinematography. The pictures lend to the overall feeling of isolation as our heroes continue their quest. The various shots of their lonely tent...sitting on expansive plateaus ...do a great job of setting the tone of the movie.
Evil is rising...and Harry will be hard-pressed to stop it in part two, which is scheduled for release in June 2011.
On my rating scale, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One" earns a HOME RUN.