I saw not one, but two movies this weekend.
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part One (2010)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes
Directed By: David Yates
We are now near the end of the saga of the “boy who lived”, and my has he grown from the small child that we first met in Sorcerer’s Stone. In the first part of the final Potter story, Harry, along with Hermione and Ron, are not returning to Hogwarts. The dark lord Voldemort or “VoMo” for short (again played brilliantly by Ralph Fiennes) is actively hunting Potter so he may destroy him and face no opposition in his rise to power. With help from past characters Lupin, The Weasely Twins, Hagrid, and Mad-Eye Moody, the movie gets off to a great start with a stunning chase through London, as Harry and Co. fight off the swarming Death Eaters.
From there on, Deathly Hallows exhaustively covers roughly the first half of the final book. Even though Hallows runs nearly three hours, it never once feels like it drags, and contains some of the darkest moments in the Potter universe. Director David Yates, who helmed the last two Potter flicks, has really grown as a director with this movie, and balances the action and the character moments exceptionally well.
Many reviewers have called this installment the Empire Strikes Back of the “Harry Potter” movies, and I definitely agree with them. Tonally, this movie goes to some pretty dark places (especially with the dark wizards’ quest to wipe out all “mudbloods”), and the ending looks pretty bleak for our characters (unless you’ve read the books of course) . For now, this is one of the best movies of the series, and I can’t wait for part two in July.
5 VoMo’s Out of 5
Starring: Jessica Lowndes, Juilianna Guill, Ryan Donowho
Directed By: Kaare Andrews
Altitude is comic creator Kaare Andrews‘ directorial debut, and I can say that unlike comic legend Frank Miller’s The Spirit, it’s a pretty passable film. That’s not to say it’s very good though. The film follows a young pilot who decides to take her friends on a joyride. However, after flying into a storm, they find that something is in the clouds, and attacking the plane. Andrews’ pacing and directing style are fine, but the weak link comes in the actors. My god, there has never been a cast of characters that I wanted to see die quicker than this one. Each actor goes from freaking out, to being in control, getting pissed at another character, then BACK to freaking out. The visuals for the creature were pretty cool, but the big “twist” at the end fell extremely flat for me. While it’s a decent first film, I hope Mr. Andrews’ can get a better hold on his actors for his next film.
2 1/2 “Cthulu” Rip Offs out of 5