Review – Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2

So I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 last night. For once, sitting in those sticky movie theatre seats didn’t bother me and just about everyone in the theatre was being eerily quiet. No sounds at all but the occasional sniff. Find out why below!Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Poster

After 10 years and 8 movies the Harry Potter saga is ending. Finally we get to see the climax, confrontation and conclusion that all of us fans have been waiting on. The seventh book is split up into 2 movies. The first one, which appeared in theatres last year, consisted mostly of a build up to a climax that never came. Part 2 is build entirely around this climax. I watched the movie in regular 2D, but I heard the 3D version isn’t very impressive as it wasn’t filmed for 3D.  So by all means go see it in 2D, it’ll give you the best experience still

At the start of this last part Harry, Hermoine and Ron are still looking for the remaining horcruxes, items in which parts of Voldemorts soul are stored so that he can live on even if his body is destroyed. The young hero destroyed a couple of horcruxes before and have only a few left to go. Next to that, they’re looking for the Deathly Hallows (magical items that combined, make one master of Death). Voldemort took the Elder Wand, Harry has the Invisibility Cloak and the Resurrection Stone (although he doesn’t know that for a while). And finally, there’s also a looming confrontation between Harry and Voldemort because the prophecy foretold that one has to kill the other.

Even though the last book was split up in 2 movies, this last part still needs to handle a large part of the plot. As a consequence the movie almost buckles under the weight of flashbacks and scenes that explain what’s been going on. On the other hand, these intervals make for good periods of ‘rest’ between the many action scenes. Where the first part was made up mostly out of building the story and developing characters, we now feel like we’re in the middle of Saving Private Ryan, and that’s totally fine! 

The grim-looking colours match the atmosphere and feel of the movie and the story as a whole. Only Hermoine’s clothes and the Weasley’s hair bring some colour to the movie. It’s certainly a pallet that matches the apocalyptic and desperate tone of the movie. This atmosphere is strengthened by the decor and mostly after the big attack on Hogwarts: wounded are being taken cared of in the Great Hall, dead are being covered up and there’s definitely an atmosphere of defeat hanging around.

Between all the violence and impressive looking action sequences, the small scenes that the supporting actors play in are the most entertaining. Professor McGonagall who gladly prepares the defense of Hogwarts, Molly Weasley kicking the shit out of Bellatrix Lestrange and Neville Longbottom who takes on the role of a hero. I do think however that Neville’s story and fight during the year at Hogwarts could’ve been portrayed better than just a slight reference to his wounds.  Compared to these, some of the scenes the main actors play are leaning very close to clichés but I didn’t find it bothersome at all. The epilogue is something that could’ve been better though, although it’s not abysmal at all.

The best part of the whole movie is Snape’s story and why he did what he did. It got quite emotional and it shows what a great actor Alan Rickman is, I could hear plenty of crying in the theatre. Alan Rickman is without a doubt the star of this movie

Conclusion, this is a fitting end to a movie franchise that many of us grew up with. While some scenes take certain liberties and change facts that are in the books it’s still a really good movie. The part before Hogwarts might seem a bit rushed, but you’ll quickly forget about that once the fight breaks loose.

My advice to you is watch part 1 and part 2 directly after each other. I re-watched part 1 just before I went to the cinema and I was fine, but some of the people I was with had a little trouble understanding what happened previously and it does break down the experience a bit. In any case, this was well worth my money and I find it quite sad that it’s now over.

I did notice a distinct lack of ‘NYEAAAAHHH’ from Voldemort though, seems they cut it all out after hearing the reviews on the trailer maybe?

Let me know what you thought of the movie in the comment section below! I eagerly await your views on this movie or the entire franchise.

/Gamecultist

The Magic Of Harry Potter

With the upcoming conclusion to the Harry Potter movies I began thinking about the franchise as a whole. It strikes me that I grew up with it, and that it’s now coming to a (temporary) end. The main actors from the movies being the same age I am, it’s not only an end for them but also for me.

The seventh and last book

Back in 2001, when I read the first book  (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) it had already been released for a couple of years and received highly praising critics from The Scotsman, which said it had “all the makings of a classic”, and The Glasgow Herald, which called it “Magic stuff”. Soon the English newspapers joined in, with more than one comparing it to Roald Dahl’s work. The Mail on Sunday rated it as “the most imaginative debut since Roald Dahl”, a view echoed by The Sunday Times (“comparisons to Dahl are, this time, justified”), while The Guardian called it “a richly textured novel given lift-off by an inventive wit”.

Since then, J.K. Rowling’s creations have travelled across the globe with translations in as much as 17 languages, capturing the attention of millions of people all around the world. Fans of the series camped outside of bookstores for days to get their eager hands on a copy of a new Harry Potter book. Certainly a rare occurrence to see a character that was first created during a train ride can bring about such amazing things like this.

The events following the hysteria around the books, commonly featuring mock sorting, games, face painting, and other live entertainment have achieved popularity with Potter fans and have been highly successful in attracting fans and selling books with nearly nine million of the 10.8 million initial print copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince sold in the first 24 hours. The final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows became the fastest selling book in history, moving 11 million units in the first twenty-four hours of release . The series has also gathered adult fans, leading to the release of two editions of each Harry Potter book, identical in text but with one edition’s cover artwork aimed at children and the other aimed at adults. Besides meeting online through blogs, podcasts, and fansites, Harry Potter super-fans can also meet at Harry Potter symposia.

The word Muggle has spread beyond its Harry Potter origins, becoming one of few pop culture words to land in the Oxford English Dictionary. The Harry Potter fandom has embraced podcasts as a regular, often weekly, insight to the latest discussion in the fandom. Both MuggleCast and PotterCast have reached the top spot of iTunes podcast rankings and have been polled one of the top 50 favourite podcasts.

The ‘Harry Potter’ main cast

Now, why exactly do we like Harry Potter so much? Let’s look at what’s causing this ‘Pottermania’.

First of all, relatability. The character Harry Potter is easy to sympathize with. Take the Dursleys for example, they are so awful that you’ll automatically like anyone they do not and vice versa. Next, through his difficult circumstances. Harry gets into trouble, is hunted by Voldemort and revered by others. As story starts to develop around him this effect only fortifies. In all the early books, Harry is such a decent hero that he is hard not to like; and all the people around him generally fit into the pattern of being either people the reader likes as well (the Weasleys, Dumbledore, Luna) or else people we enjoy disliking (Malfoy, Snape).

Harry’s day-to-day experiences are also very relatable. Throughout the series Harry is occupied with school, exams, sports practice, friends and eventually girlfriends. We all had similar experiences making it all the more relatable. The overarching story is more of the same. During the course of Harry’s teenage years we go from the happy, cheerful and young Harry to the adult Harry where he learns to deal with death and all the responsibilities that come with adulthood and his legacy.

Next, accessibility. The world of wizard is much like ours, but with a magical and humorous tone to it. The staircases move, clocks talk and cooking happens with the flick of a wand. But it’s still very recognizable and not all that hard to fathom as a result of that. Tolkien’s Middle Earth wasn’t even near this accessible to people as there was a whole new world with new races, languages and creatures to discover. Diving deeper into the humorous tone I mentioned before. Rowling’s humour is … unique. Firecrackers that spell out POO and exams called O.W.Ls and N.E.W.T are just a small fragment of the rich humorous sections in the books. Nothing makes a reader chuckle like a good joke.

Moving on … complexity. In the books, things never are like they seem and seldom simple, which is much like real life. James Potter was an arrogant S.O.B during his childhood, contrary to what Harry thinks. Voldemort had an unhappy childhood, Snape protected Harry because he loved Lily and Dumbledore wanted to rule over Muggles. The line between good and evil is very clear, but every character on both sides are various shades of gray. it’s not something I often see in books (correct me if I’m wrong).

Next up: Mystery. Seven books, the keys to the climax of the seventh laid in the first, a mystery in each book feeding into the mystery of the whole. Clues and references in every book that y

 
J.K. Rowling

ou’ll only get when you finished all 7. Plot twists that you’ll never expect. Rowling manages to tell an incredible story without every giving away a word more than she wants to reader to know at that very moment in the story.

Escapism. In a good way mind you. The Harry Potter franchise offers us a way to escape our day-to-day lives and jump in to a book, a story, a world. Even though the world is much like our own, it’s imaginative and fresh enough to offer relaxation and a way to escape all our worries about work, money, war, terrorism, …

Community. Harry Potter was published right at the beginning of the dot.com boom when everyone was getting acquainted with the internet, making websites and joining chat rooms. As the books went on, the community of fans grew and lots of them wanted to speculate on what would happen next or discuss the events in past books. Us readers got to know other people around the world and we all further reinforced the place that the Harry Potter series has in our current culture.

Books often get labelled ‘The next Harry Potter’, but I honestly doubt any series of books will EVER be the next Harry Potter in much the same way as there is no series that can be called ‘The next Lord Of The Rings’. Truly, Harry Potter is a name that will be right up there with Alice, Frodo and Sherlock Holmes and it’s definitely a title I’d want my kids to read some day. Now that the movies are coming to an end, so does an age in which a lot of us grew up and it’ll be quite some time until we get to see something of this magnitude again.

Even though Rowling said there will be no new book, The Boy-Who-Lived will continue to live on for decades to come.

/Gamecultist

PS: Watch the trailer for the last movie below (Caution! high amounts of ‘NYEAHHHHHHHHHHHHhh’):

Videogames & Lego: Perfect Harmony

Hey there guys, this post is somewhat different from others on The Grumbler since we didn’t write it ourselves! I came across this post on Decades In A Digital World. A video game blog written by a veteran gamer who provides us with regular insights on various subjects within the gaming world. I decided to re-post this article because I never played a Lego game before and after reading it I might have to reconsider my opinion about the Lego games! I might just go out and buy the new Star Wars Lego game. All credit obviously goes to the original writer. Either way, this article is well worth your time, enjoy.

A quarter of a century ago I came to a decision. Having made the terror inducing move from primary to secondary school i’d also made the heart wrenching decision to ditch my toys. Farewell Millenium Falcon, au revoir plastic soldiers and cheerio matchbox cars. Oh, and that even goes for you Lego. My days of building all manner of wondrous contraptions forged of my youthful imagination and your colourful bricks are done, and no, I don’t care that my Mum has styled my hair on your little characters for years, you’re still out! Neil Bason ‘the Lego years’ was over……at least that’s what I thought…..but Lego had a plan, in fact, lets call it a masterplan.

As masterplans went it was simple, but the way in which it was executed was pure genius. If these kids will no longer sit and play with actual Lego blocks, then lets take the battle to them, ‘Operation Pixelate’ was on and our videogames were about to be invaded by a virtual Lego world.

By having the little Lego people don the outfits, play out the roles and enter the world of some of our most loved movie characters, console Lego games had an instant route to our hearts, and now find themselves as one of gamings most popular franchises. The secret to this success? Well that’s as simple and carefree as those childhood days were when we played with real Lego. The games’ managed to tap into the often overlooked vein known as fun.

Whilst Call of Duty and Battlefield were throwing us into high paced, adult worlds fraught with tension, frustration and uber-competitive online foes or Heavy Rain and Condemned were taking us to darker and more disturbing places than any gamer ever thought they’d go, the Lego bus was driving straight over the rainbow to destination Happyland.

Speaking as a gamer with more years on the clock than most nothing quite harks back to a golden bygone age of gaming than the Lego titles. They’re a series of games that could easily have found a home in any of the generations past and have an unbridled ability to please gamers of all ages. If you’ve a curious son or daughter at home there can surely be no better introduction to videogames than a Lego title. It’s an utter joy watching the wee ones faces light up as they take control of Lego Indy or Lego Batman for the first time and take their first baby steps into gaming. While for us longer in the tooth gamers it’s the perfect antidote to the usual super serious fare we’re served, for just sitting back, relaxing and simply enjoying gaming at it’s purest and simplest Lego games are worth their weight in gold. They know how to place a smile upon your face and these days that’s a quality that so many others fail to appreciate.

Lego has been a part of the videogame world since the late 90′s in various guises but it was the release in 2005 of Lego Star Wars that really took the world by storm and set the trend for Lego games to come. Since that fateful day we’ve seen not only the Star Wars Universe given a Lego makeover but also Indiana Jones, Batman and Harry Potter. Even Rock Band was given the treatment and they all delivered something a little bit special. Each movie tie in not only manages to provide humour, entertainment and a sense that you are rediscovering days gone by, they also manage to outdo almost every other, more serious, movie tie in without even breaking a sweat.

So with Lego: Pirates of the Caribbean about to drop anchor and row ashore into our gaming lives I urge you to put out the welcome mat and embrace it. The Lego phenomenon is here to stay and if games are still about fun and enjoyment, which isn’t always as clear as it should be, then Lego can stand alongside any game as an equal, maybe it could even give a little lesson on not taking yourself quite so seriously.

Did that spike your interest in Lego games? It sure did for me! Let me know what you think in the comment section below!

/Niels