Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Number 7 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

To be clear, I didn't accidentally leave off "Part 2" from the title. I mentioned while making the list last year that Part 1 was naturally unsatisfying. Dividing it into two parts was a good idea to be able to tell more of the story, but you need to have them both. So this entry really is for the entire movie, and really for the entire series.

In previous years, movies in the series have takes regular places on my top 10 list.My favorite of the movies is Prisoner of Azkaban. That one was directed by Alfonso CuarĂ³n, and was the transition from kids movies to darker movies. It's the movie where the main actors finally became the characters. And it's almost a miracle that those three made it through all three movies still looking good enough to be the correct ages and ending up being pretty good actors.

But at the time I watched that one, the books hadn't yet ended. I was still nervous about how the series would play out. There were little hints and subplots, but would J.K. Rowling remember and tie up all of them in a meaningful way? I had my doubts because of how other series ended. In recent memory, the TV series Lost and Battlestar Galactica ended showing the audience that there was, in fact, no plan. Stephen King's Dark Tower series ended the best and only way it could, but it was (as King even mentioned in the book) frustratingly slightly unsatisfying.

(spoiler alert in this paragraph) I thought Rowling nailed the ending. No, not the tagged on ending, but the showdown between Harry and Voldemort. It ended the only way it could and was still satisfying. It was perfect and filmable. Splitting the movie in two allowed for that, so the movie tied up the series just right. The biggest flaw is that the movie didn't explain Harry's resurrection clearly. It had been too long since I had read the books to remember, and I was confused. The book did a nicer and clearer job of explaining it, and I had to refer back to it when I returned from the theaters. And the aged Harry, Hermione, and Ron at the end was cheesy, but just like it was in the book.

It's a series that I'm going to miss. I enjoyed looking forward to the next episode. But I'm sure we'll go through it again when someone remakes the whole thing in 20-30 years. And I wouldn't put a remake or two on my top 10 list, would I?

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