Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

All posts in Film Reviews 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Year: 2010
Director: David Yates
Lead: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Rated: Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.

 The beginning of the end. (this review does contain spoilers)

 This movie is the best Harry Potter movie to date. There haven’t been any better, frankly, if this film were to stand alone with no prequels or any books to back it up, it would still be excellent. The opening scene says it all, the Minister of Magic stands up to the press, with only his eyes visible in the frame, and utters the words that will sum up these final two Potter films: “These are dark times”. One of the opening scenes in the Malfoy home is one of the darkest most unsettling scenes Ive watched, it ranks up there with the swastika in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds”, and even the infamous “Shower Scene” in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”. Another very cleverly artistic aspect of the film is all the gloom. There isn’t one bright scene, not a single one. Every scene is shot in fog, if they hadn’t, the film would certainly lose its dark undertone. Which brings me to the camera work; its impeccable, its so well done. When I think of great cinematography in this movie, multiple scenes come to mind. The first being the scene where everybody drinks the poly juice potion to turn into Harry, the camera tracks around Harry to show before and after, the director never cuts the scene. He also did this in the scene with Hermione in the forest, where the snatchers could smell her perfume but could not actually SEE her. Another is the forest chase scene where the three of them are running from the snatchers. There are multiple EXCELLENT truck shots at high speed through the trees, and some great dolly shots against the action. Along with those, every scene was very well framed; all in all Yates was very successful. Another stand out accomplishment is the acting. Daniel, Emma, and Rupert have definitely learned how to act which made for some greatly dramatic scenes that evoked a lot of emotion. Now the acting would only be half as good if the script wasn’t as good as it was, and it was. Every scene was very well written and the ending was as good as it could have been. This movie is a hunt, a lonely, boring hunt. If the movie was filled with tons of action and actors, it would take the boringness away. Now I understand it makes no sense to intentionally make a movie boring, but that’s the way most of the book was, and to the screen writers credit, all the boringness was actually not boring. The movie was so desolate and dark and semi-uneventful, that it really brought the emotion of the book to life. Now lets talk about the end… or should we call it the beginning? Call it what you may, but either way you say it, its good. Its so good in fact that its the only way you could have ended this movie. I sat there in my seat as I tearfully watched Doby being buried, and Voldemort stealing Dumbledore’s wand, and I thought: “This has potential to be a great ending.” and as that thought passed through my mind, the screen went black.

   The end of the beginning.



Title: Jackass 3D
Year: 2010
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Lead: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Wee-Man, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn
Rated: Rated R for male nudity, extremely crude and dangerous stunts throughout, and for language.

 The Boys are back. Enough Said

 Jackass 3D is really funny. Really disgusting, yet, really funny. There was never a dull moment in this movie. Every stunt was pretty original, and extremely hilarious. While it wasn’t as funny as I expected it to be, it is still the best of the 4 Jackass movies. I saw this in 3D and it was pretty cool, SO clear. Overall, it was a very good looking picture. I really enjoyed it. It is a pretty sick movie that isn’t for the easily gagged. I recommend seeing this movie. 7 out of 10


Title: Buried
Year: 2010
Director: Rodrigo Cortes
Lead: Ryan Reynolds
Rated: R for language and some violent content.

Paul Conroy is a contractor in Iraq who is taken hostage, buried alive, and held for ransom. As time is running out, Paul tries to negotiate his escape.

FINALLY! BURIED IS HERE! Ive been waiting so long for this movie, it definitely lived up to my personal hype. Buried is a truly amazing film experience. Its a movie that only comes along, well, never actually. Its very unique. The entire movie is filmed in a coffin, great concept. Rodrigo Cortes takes this concept and constructs something truly excellent. The story is very hooking, and very cool. The film does have some illogical bits, but its ok, they are very easy to get over, and they didn’t really bother me during the movie, Ryan Reynolds acting quickly took my mind off of them. Reynolds is the only actor we ever see on the screen, and he is great. I am even going to go out on a limb and say that (you can quote me) “Ryan Reynolds defines his entire career with this film.” Its hard to act when you are the only actor on the screen, but Ryan Reynolds does it, and does it well, really well. Visually, Rodrigo does something amazing by shooting a feature film in a box that its nearly impossible for a human being to move. I don’t want to give away a lot of details, but, he adds so much emotion with the camera, spinning it, flipping it, moving it, etc. he is able to dolly the camera from a close up to almost a master shot of the inside of the coffin… basically, its nuts. He does so much with so little. This movie is so intense, it almost makes you cry several times, and its so suspenseful that it would make Hitchcock roll over in his… well, coffin I guess. Rodrigo Cortes definitely blows the door off of the theater with this ambitious film. It goes wide release on October 8th, but right now you can catch it in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and New York I believe. This film is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Go see it, everybody go see it, buy it, watch it in a dark room, hell, watch it in a closet. Bury yourself with your TV and watch it. Watch it with a friend, watch it alone. Watch it with your dog, with your mom, with your uncle. No matter who, where, or when you watch it, watch it in the dark, and watch it with your phone off. Ryan and Rodrigo and their masterpiece get 9 1/2 out of 10.

The Town

Title: The Town
Year: 2010
Director: Ben Affleck
Lead: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall
Rated: R for strong violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and drug use.

The leader of a bank robbing crew decides he wants to find a way out of the town that has defined his life.

The Town is great. Ben Affleck has shown that he is a true director, he does a lot of things right in this movie. It is acted so well by Jeremy Renner and Ben Affleck; but more by Jeremy Renner, he really proves that his Oscar last year for Hurt Locker wasn’t a fluke. He’s legit, and he’s here to stay. He handles the Boston accent so well, and is so scary in this movie. The locations in this movie are fantastic. The Town is beautifully shot around the wonderful city of Boston, using Fenway Park for the most pivotal scenes of the film. Be warned, however, this film is violent, and the language is truly pervasive at some points. Its a very unsettling movie, but it is so awesome. I recommend it highly. Ben Affleck does not take shortcuts in making this movie, and he most certainly does not cheat his audience, nor question their intelligence.  The Town gets 9 out of 10

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Title: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Year: 2010
Director: Edgar Wright
Lead: Michael Cera, Alison Pill, Mark Webber, Johnny Simmons, Jason Schwartzman
Rated: PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language and drug references.

If a boy wants to date the girl, he has to fight and beat her 7 evil exes.

AWESOME movie, I loved it so much. This film has a lot of good things going for it, the music is kickass, the fighting scenes are visually stunning, and everything in between the two is so clever and amazing that it makes this movie great. This film has tons of awesome little quirks, like comic book captions on the screen, and cutaways, and funny/random moments that make this movie so great. Let me first talk about the music, its great, it makes this movie probably half of what it is, its punchy and raw, and very garage band sounding, it adds to the pace of the movie. The other half of this film is comprised of some cool fight scenes, romantic bits, funny bits, etc. The story is so far fetched that its believable in a world where things like this would happen, and the actors succeed in being believable. Michael Cera is so ordinarily funny in this movie, he does a great job along with the rest of the cast. I didn’t like Ellen Wong’s character, “Knives Chow”, I found her very irritating. She did serve a purpose though and was not completely pointless, but she was very irritating, which was probably the writer and directors point anyways. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a visual stunning film with an awesome soundtrack, I recommend it to everyone, it is very enjoyably! 8 1/2 out of 10

Blue Velvet

Title: Blue Velvet
Year: 1986
Director: David Lynch
Lead: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern, Dennis Hopper
Rated: R for a lot of bad things!

A young man discovers a nasty underworld in his lovely, suburban town.

Blue Velvet is one of those movies that you need to see at least once in your life. Its one of those films that will leave an impression on you, no matter what you get out of it. Its a classic, and I feel like not enough people have seen it, so see it. We all know that David Lynch is a great director who has made some pretty odd films, Blue Velvet definitely being one of the weirdest. The story is so odd, and unsettling, that it will leave images scarred into your memory long after you’ve turned it off. Jeffrey Beaumont (MacLachlan) finds an ear in a field by his house and decides to do a little detective work of his own. He soon finds out about a woman who is rumored to be a murderer, so naturally he decides to sneak into her apartment, where he finds out that she, in fact, is not a murder, and is part of something so bizarre that you will have to watch it to find out. The film is really made by two fantastic performances by Isabella Rossellini, and Dennis Hopper; Hopper’s character, Frank, is, in my opinion, one of the most bizarre, unpredictable, gratuitously violent characters I have ever seen on-screen; and Rossellini, Dorothy, plays a fantastic paranoid woman, who is so mentally destroyed by Frank. David Lynch shoots some great film with this one, very well composed shots that have a lot of meaning, he does a great job with using the camera to add extra emotion to his shots. Very great, shocking, movie. Everyone watch it. Blue Velvet was snubbed by the Academy, it was nominated for Best Director in David Lynch. Blue Velvet ge


Title: Following
Year: 1998
Director: Christopher Nolan
Lead: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw
Rated: R for some language and some violence

A young writer who follows strangers for material meets a thief who takes him under his wing.

Cool movie, neat twist at the end. Christopher Nolan’s first feature length film. The film was shot entirely in black and white, which gives it a darker feel. If it wasn’t in black and white, it wouldn’t be as impressive (in my opinion). Very interesting from the opening scene. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about his film. Its very cleverly shot, and written, Chris Nolan definitely shows that he has some tricks up his sleeves with “Following”. If your a fan of any Nolan work, you will surely enjoy Following. Buy it on amazon for around $5. I highly recommend it. 8 out of 10


Title: Brick
Year: 2005
Director: Rian Johnson
Lead: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matt O’Leary, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss
Rated: R for violent and drug content.

A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. (imdb)

Wow! Brick is awesome! Very well done film. The script is really great, really fast paced lines that make the movie even more tense. My favorite part of this film was its feel, it felt like a student film project, which I love, its something that just looks right, its very to the books and correct looking, lots of close-ups (watch the close-ups!). Joseph Gordon-Levitt is really and amazing actor that takes every role he’s given and does it justice. The story in this film is very dark, and bizarre, A high school crime ring, who knew high schoolers were capable of murder? Tug is one of the most intense characters Ive ever seen on screen, he’s so brutal that its scary, The Pin is even more awesome, he reminds me of a James Bond villain. But Gordon-Levitt steals the show, he makes this film what it is with his character. Great film. I highly recommend it. 8 1/2 out of 10

The Royal Tenenbaums
Title: The Royal Tenenbaums
Year: 2001
Director: Wes Anderson
Lead: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Danny Glover
Rated: R for some language, sexuality/nudity and drug content.

An estranged family of former child prodigies reunites when one of their member announces he has a terminal illness. (imdb)

Awesome Movie! Wes Anderson is really a genius in film-making. The Royal Tenenbaums is really a masterpiece, it has so much going for it; All star cast, great story, and awesome camera work. This film is so great to look at, it is visually stunning; I really enjoyed the trademark Anderson montages with titles, it brought me back to his film “Rushmore” when we are introduced to all the clubs that the main character is in, I love it, its really genius! Another great thing about the movie is the story. It is perfect, he ties the book into the film so well, and even though this isn’t really billed as a comedy, its hilarious, there are many funny parts in this movie. The characters are so great too, plenty of depth to each story line in this film that you almost need a second and third and even a fourth viewing to really pick up everything, and even then, I’m sure you would still miss things. Really great film through and through that I recommend you go and buy and add to your collection. 8 1/2 out of 10

Science of Sleep

Title: The Science of Sleep
Year: 2006
Director: Michael Gondry
Lead: Gael Garcia Bernal
Rated: R for language, some sexual content and nudity.

A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is lovestruck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world. (imdb)

I loved Michael Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, I consider it one of my favorite films, and I was hoping the same for The Science of Sleep, it did not deliver. I was very confused on the point of this movie, along with the characters. The story seems very jumpy, and there are characters in this movie that have a bigger part then they should. The whole story doesn’t make sense, a guy is in love with this girl in his mind, and then he tries to be in love with her in real life, and he acts like a jerk, it is as stupid as it sounds. On top of that, the language changes constantly from French to Spanish to English, subtitles pop up and then disappear it was very irritating. The dream sequences are cool, in fact, that’s the only place that this movie excels, other than that, it was completely pointless to me. I do not recommend this movie, I constantly had the urge to turn it off. 5 out of 10