Hi Bryan Here…

One of my favorite things is when I go into a theater expecting a certain caliber of film to be shown, and by the end of the film, not only is that expectation met, but was much much more than what i could have hoped and expected for.  I certainly got this from the new Harry Potter film which is the first of two parts of the final film in the series.

I have certainly grown up with Harry Potter as many people have.  While I’m not as young as Harry, I feel that I have grown with him and his friends at Hogwarts throughout these several years.  The first book came out in 1998 in the USA which means I was 17 years old.  The first film came out in 2001 which I was 20.  Flash forward nine years later and I am almost 30.  Much like myself, over the years I have matured and become more of an adult (contrary to popular belief) or as much as an adult as I can let myself to be, the Harry Potter films have matured as well.

I remember the first two films, who were directed by Christopher Columbus (Ms. Doubtfire), really did a good job in adapting the beloved book and making it mostly appeal to everyone with an exception here and there.  But it played to a mostly kid audience and was very juvenile.  But that is what the kids were.  They were about 13 or 14 years old.  Starting with the third film is where the Harry Potter franchise really took off and became its own “film”.  And each film following the previous has become grown up and extremely dark.  It has been a magnificent ride journeying with Ron, Harry, Hermione, and all the other Hogwarts students as the battled evil, went to school dances, first kisses, and the turmoil that comes with friendship and love.  Just like anyone else.

I have read all seven books and have loved each adaptation.  They have done a remarkable job at transferring this hell of a story from print to film. And more so than the other books, after I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I wanted to see this film more than any others.  I believe because it is the most important one and I want to see how everything comes to closure visually and I want all that emotion to come back to me as it did while I read the book.

This film has no good ending and evil triumphs good in this film.  This is why I am calling it the Empire Strikes Back of the Harry Potter films.  Because, A) Evil Wins and B) It is the best film of the series thus far.

So the film opens up with Voldemort and his evil wizard minions sitting at a long table as they torture a poor teacher from Hogwarts for information and also for her just being a teacher and supporter of Muggles.  Without even flinching Voldemort kills the teacher and makes his giant pet snake eat her corpse.  This all happens within the first five minutes of the film.  Yes.  That is how dark this movie is.

So Voldemort is back and alive and in the flesh and he wants nothing other than to kill and reign his evil over everything.  So right from the start, things do not go well at all.  All those who are related to wizards and the students at Hogwarts go into hiding.  Even in the real world.  Here is where we see Hermione do something that just plain sparks tears in your eyes.  You really feel for her.

Harry meets up with the Order of the Phoenix and Hermione and Ron at some un-disclosed location where Harry finds out that Voldemort is solely after him and the Order will do everything to protect him.  So they all make way for the next safe house and head in to the night sky and are too quickly met by the evil wizards.  Most of the order make it back.  There they all discuss that they have to find several horcruxes in order to help defeat Voldemort.  Soon after this, things go awry and Ron, Harry , and Hermione are sent to another location instantly by themselves with no help.

And this is the start of this story.

There is no Hogwarts in this film.  No students learning or classes being held.  This is a film of survival and killing whoever gets in your way.  But it is also a story of true friendship and loyalty.

I love that this film, you get to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione use all the spells they have learned throughout the years.  Not just the normal 1 or two of them they have used.  They all come into play here.  I also love seeing how these three friends stick together through the hard and good times and what they do with each other to take their mind off all the evil.  Some pretty powerful stuff here and some very emotional coming of age scenes as well.

The whole sequence of the story of the Deathly Hallows is brilliant.  My favorite of the whole series.  It is very eerie.  I am glad they animated it as well.  Genius.

It is a very tense film all the way through and never lets up.  The ending had me in tears.  It is so well done.

Like I said.  This is a very dark film.  You have characters dying.  Loved ones saying goodbye for good.  And at the final frame of the film you get a feeling….the feeling that Harry Potter is completely FUCKED!  There is no way to win.

And the 1st part of the final film ends.  Just like Empire Strikes Back.

So yes, I three billion percent loved this Harry Potter film and it is the best one yet.

By Bryan Kluger

Former husky model, real-life Comic Book Guy, genre-bending screenwriter, nude filmmaker, hairy podcaster, pro-wrestling idiot-savant, who has a penchant for solving Rubik's Cubes and rolling candy cigarettes on unreleased bootlegs of Frank Zappa records.

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