Early Fan Review of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I’

Published 4 years ago by

harry potter deathly hallows emma watson Early Fan Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

Coming Soon got wind of a Warner Bros. test screening that took place in the Chicago area for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the two-part finale to the Harry Potter movie series. A source named “Kyle” happened to be part of the test screening and was kind enough to share his thoughts about the film.

As we do with all of our early fan reviews, we’ll present Kyle’s thoughts to you guys 100% SPOILER-FREE. Even though some people make the argument that “The books have been out for, like, ever!” we realize that some of you guys are only familiar with world of Harry Potter from the movies, and we wouldn’t want to ruin anything for you.

Before we get into this, let me reiterate that this “review” is coming from a random person who happened to see a version of Deathly Hallows that was meant for audience testing. It should also be noted that This review is for Deathly Hallows Part I, which is to be released this November; Part II will be coming in July of 2011.

Nothing in this review should be taken as the “official” word on the film (if there is such a thing); the version of the film Kyle saw could (and might) be altered by the time it hits theaters, based on how it tested with audiences.

With those disclaimers now out of the way, here is Kyle’s assessment. Again, we’ve edited it for grammar and to keep it 100% SPOILER-FREE:

I was lucky enough to get invited to a secret test screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I at the AMC River East in Chicago this afternoon. We weren’t told what movie we would be seeing until seconds before it started, but my friends and I suspected that it may be Harry Potter due to the Warner Bros signs and the intense security. When producer David Heyman walked in, I was pretty sure what it would be. Director David Yates was also in attendance, and spent some time talking with fans outside the theater after the film.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is a great continuation of the series, thematically and visually in line with films 5 and 6. Though it is a fast-paced film, with several nice set pieces and much-improved performances from the young cast, it does suffer from two major problems. First, it faithfully adapts the seventh book, including the book’s own problems. The “camping in the wilderness” scenes become quite repetitive, and the attempts at drama/angst amongst the trio during these scenes comes off as tired. Also, the scenes involving a horcrux that causes its wearer to be angry/aggressive are far too reminiscent of Lord of the Rings.

All three young stars acquit themselves admirably, however, doing the best they can with the material. Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, in particular, are quite good. The second problem with the film, and this may be fixed by the time the final cut is released, is the editing. Some scenes feel utterly rushed and incoherent (Godric’s Hollow, for example). Others go on for far too long (Ron becomes jealous, etc.). There are several flashes / dream sequences that demonstrate Voldemort’s search for a special Wand. These are bizarrely edited and poorly executed. Luckily, they are just a small fraction of the film.

Despite these issues, this was a quality film on par with films 5 and 6, both of which I quite enjoyed. As with those films, the cinematography is beautiful. There are several creative and dramatic shots throughout the film, so that even if one gets bored, you could just stare in awe at the scenery. The beginning of the film is also quite exciting…a series of great action sequences. The visual effects were not completely finished in these sequences, but I imagine it was quite close to what the final version will be.

The film ends at a very appropriate spot, and though not exactly a “cliffhanger”, left me greatly anticipating Part II.

At the end of the film, we all filled out lengthy questionnaires regarding our opinion of the film overall (I gave it 4/5), as well as our likes/dislikes with the performances, scenes, and other aspects.

Though I will reserve final judgment until after seeing Part II, this is overall an effective and exciting, if not perfect, continuation of the series that struggles with some of the same problems as the final book, but mostly overcomes them through excellent technical aspects and performances.

voldemort poster Early Fan Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

If you’re one of those people who only became familiar with Harry Potter when the movies came out, then by now you surely know just how slavishly loyal (fanatical?) fans of J.K. Rowling’s books are. It certainly helps fans of the novels to hear an early word on Deathly Hallows from someone who is seemingly familiar with the books, although, as someone who’s only read a couple of them, I would like to hear an opinion on the film from someone who is only judging it as a film.

Still, the Deathly Hallows trailer makes these movies look epic regardless of any other factor. Add the fact that we’ve watched actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint grow up before our very eyes (in almost perfect tune with their onscreen counterparts) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows takes on a whole other dimension of significance and accomplishment. Based on what Kyle has to say, it would seem that we’re in for an enjoyable time.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be in theaters on November 19th – Part II will be in theaters on July 15, 2011.

Source: Kyle via Coming Soon

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TAGS: harry potter

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  1. Yay! The movie swings around the corner. But…oh Wow!
    Check out this cute catchy new Harry Potter-Emma Watson song & music video on YouTube
    HERMIONE GOT HOT!
    by NYC singer/songwriter
    DAVID IPPOLITO
    Don’t miss! Check it out! It’s a lot of fun!

  2. I dunno why, but I find it annoying they are doing test screenings for this in the states instead of UK.

    I hated every second of HBP, and it was possibly my favourite book, it really felt (pun intended) that the magic was gone from the series. The reviewer says this is of a similar quality, not sure how well that bodes.

    • I am sure there will be test screenings done in England as well.

      It does however make sense from a business standpoint, the Potter franchise makes an overwhelmingly larger percentage of its money in the States.

  3. I heard other reviews that says that like “Return of the King” the film is too long, but what can I say? I loved every second of that movie and I think that the last 2 films have been the best in the series so I’m excited.

    • Oh and I heard from the early reviews that the score wasn’t completed for the film so they had a fake score made up from the other movies. But I’m excited to hear the completed score from Alexandre Desplat (The Ghost Writer, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Queen)!

      • oh thank GOD! I’m so glad they got rid of the hack who did the last two Potter films… something Hooper? Talk about destroying a franchise.

        • Really? I actually enjoyed the score from the previous movies.

          • Yeah, the HBP score was one of the best out of the Potter series, along with the excellent film.

            • i agree. hooper did an excellent job! especially HBP (Fawkes’ song and the end was fantastic)

  4. Sam why does where they text screen it matter?

    • Isn’t it a British movie?

      • That was largely my point.

        • no it a british book not a british film

  5. I read the deathly Hallows and the part in the wild really did drag on. I only hope that they fix that before the final cut. I was so glad when I read through that part. I love the series (Both Film and Books) and I felt that The HBP was completely stripped down and missed alot of key points. The best were The Chamber of secrets and The order of the Phoenix. Cant wait to see it though

    • really……. prisoner of azkaban and order of the phoenix all the way.

    • COS, the best!?! LMAO. I see loads complaining about the films. Two words for them – Ungrateful Purists. Books are not films. What may work for a book may not work for a film. Deal With It.

      • To me, I agree completely. (Wow, that sounds weird)

        For a great example of that, look at fight Club. Chuck Palahnuk (sorry if that’s misspelled) thinks Fight Club the movie is better for doing things the book didn’t, or just making it different.

        Half-Blood Prince was the movie that really got me into the series. I hadn’t read the books up until that point, and to be honest I was completely sold on the cinematography alone. I liked the overall atmosphere.

        I read the books following that movie, and I do agree that they left out too much of the pensieve scenes.

        • But overall, I have faith in these 2 movies. My only concern is that with the two movies there not going to leave anything out, which creates issues with things they never mentioned before, such as the wedding, the identities of several horcruxes, Bill’s face, (though I’m told they already have a fix for that one)

    • aaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaAhhhHHHhhhhhhhhhhHHHHhhhhhH >:O

      whats HBP stand for? its killing me trying to figure it out Harry B(?) Potter

  6. OMG HP is the best!!! I’ve been spoiled too much already :( I know EVERYTHING about deathly hallows,like I’ve seen the movie…..that’s how I feel,I’ve seen it and it’s the best!!!! Whoo hoo!!!! Long live HP!!! :)

  7. @LAURA
    GREAT VIDEO I LOVE IT :D

    @Dr Sam
    HBP was good,my second favorite :)

    @Cpl hicks
    True

    @JOSE
    Yeah,when the logo appeared they used The dark Knight score LOL!

    @Mike E
    Nicholas hooper was the bomb! he did great for the HBP score,i have them all,an i like hoopers,but i hope John Williams returns for DH 2

    @Kahless
    Yes it is,based on the british HP books.

    @Last dragon
    I thought the book was fine,its my favorite! Oh and weird that u liked COS and OOTP i mean,COS has TOO much of the book and OOTP has TOO little. Heres my order: POA,HBP,GOF,OOTP,SS,COS :P

    • That’s my order of the films too! :D

    • Ricky, I’m a huge Harry Potter, I just couldnt stand HBP. They left out Dumbledore’s funeral! Unforgivable!

      My order.

      Films

      1.Goblet Of Fire
      2.Prisoner Of Azkhaban
      3.Order Of The Phoenix
      4.Chamber Of Secrets
      5.The Philosopher’s Stone
      6.The Half Blood Prince

      Books

      1.The Half Blood Prince
      2.The Goblet Of Fire
      3.The Deathly hallows
      4.Prisoner Of Azkhaban
      5.The Order Of The Phoenix
      6.Chamber Of Secrets
      7.The Philosopher’s Stone.

  8. Brilliant. DH Part I is on par with OotP and HBP? I mean, really, that’s just absolutely brilliant. NOT. Those were by far the worst of all the Potter films–and that’s saying something, as PoA and GoF weren’t all that great, either. PS and CoS were the only ones that did a relatively decent job in keeping the movies true to the books.

    SPOILERS AHEAD FOR OOTP, HBP AND DEATHLY HALLOWS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

    I mean, don’t even get me started on everything that was wrong with HBP. They pretty much messed up everything involving the Horcruxes, practically came right out and told us that Harry is a Horcrux, and royally screwed up Dumbledore’s death scene, and basically left no doubt whatsoever as to the fact that Snape was not loyal to Voldie, but rather killed Dumbledore with Dumbledore’s full consent. In the books? Sure, some people were convinced of these things, based upon various hints dropped throughout the books, but equally many were convinced otherwise. In the movies? You’d have to be completely blind to not pick up on it.

    And OotP was almost as bad, but I don’t have the time or energy to point out everything that was wrong with both it and HBP.

  9. LUNA
    Ok the horcruxes WILL be explained more in DH1,and believe me these will be the best HP films….We are gonna see BLOOD! its not for kids anymore,i agree Dumbledores death couldve been better but it still made me cry T_T.

  10. its that constant battle of being slavishly devoted to the books so that the films are a representation of the main themes of the work. Could they have been, would they have been better if they expanded upon all of the other subplots that were in the stories, maybe yes, maybe no. Depends on the director and the screenwriter and the patience of the audience.

    I think folks have forgiven Peter Jackson for his treatment of the Tolkien masterworks, I believe that the same kindness may be bestowed upon these directors as time allows. Looking forward to the movies and hope that they stay faithful to the story itself.

  11. piratedan
    Well said :D

  12. @ Ricky
    The HBP missed too much for my tastes. The book was way better. The COS was near perfect, and OOTP imo was better then the book. The most underrated HP movie

    • @lastdrag0n89

      Books are not films. What may work for a book may not work for a film. Why don’t you judge a film on how good it’s cinematical elements are (ya know, pacing, editing, cinematography etc.. Like how films are SUPPOSED to be judged) rather than comparing it with the book, which is foolish. Books and films are spearate mediums. Who cares if HBP left out stuff ?? It has to for time and budget constraints. It was a magnificent film!

      • Well if thats the case, why bother calling it Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, why not rename the film altogether if almost everything to do HBP wasnt in the movie! They had a chance to make a film with more character and drama, instead they chose to add bits that were unnecessary. Running length had nothing to do with it as they added extra parts, and as for budget, its Harry Potter, do you really think a film like that has budget constraints?!

        • for one naming it harry potter got millions of poeple into the cinema 2nd the onforutnat part of a book to movie adaption is that everyone has there own vision of how it should be also if you’ve seen and read the movie/book golden comapass the movies adaption of a book is made so that someon with no kwnoledge of the book couled understand what is happening this involves not giving the moviewatcher to much to grasp in one movie

  13. What is that thing Emma Watson is wearing in the top pic? O.o it looks disgusting

    • It’s what’s underneath that counts.

      • outstanding

  14. @Dr sam
    We WILL see Dumbledores tomb in DH youll see,i was dissapointed too,but ive learned to accept that they skipped his funeral. And yeah i wanted Snape more in the film and explain why hes called the HBP but it was still an exciting movie :D

    @NECO
    Im not sure what shes ACTUALLY wearing,but she wears this because she impersonated an older woman,youll see :P

    @Last Dragon
    The books are always better,though im sure DH Movie will be better,im LOVING the changes :D

    @ME
    Yes i agree :)

  15. I had to skip some of the posts because of spoilers; thank you for putting warnings before posting those spoilers.

    IMHO, HBP was the worst of the the HP movies. The first 2 are still my favorites. Hopefully they have less teen angst and more magic in the last 2.

    • Part one will have more angst, but its not teen related, and its also more dramaticto the point tht its more of a character driven drama. Part 2 will feature magic.

  16. An all British cast, based on a British book, British director. Sounds like a British film to me. Just because the money came from Warner Bros, that makes it American does it?

    • nope, it sure doesnt sam :)

  17. Kahless
    Youve read the books right? The first 2 are TOO close to the books,maybe thats y u like them :D

    • Never read any of the books; well, except going to the end of Deathly Hallows, just to find out if everyone dies. Oh, BTW, at the end, everyone…..OUCH!! Vic, you didn’t have to smack me that hard!

  18. Dr sam

    Yeah it has british written all over it,its NOT american i admit.

    • And that’s why he wondered why it wasn’t prescreened in the UK.

  19. its always pre screened in chicago.

    • Do you know why Ricky?

  20. errrr…not really. WB almost always has all there movies pre screened there,IDK why though….

  21. I’ve loved harry potter from the start, by reading the books I couldn’t wait for the movie now it’s the end of the movies. Life moves too fast.

  22. harry potter and the deathly hallows

    I loved it since the first movie,i was 10 then :D

  23. I felt the movie was simply awesome, some parts were edited like Harry’s birthday party, but some were really well filmed like the Malfoy Manor one. The sounds were great, fabulous music, and whoa, what great special effects! Scenes in the movie were very comparable to those in the book. The Forest of Dean, Shell Cottage, The Ministry of Magic, wow!
    And the characters have definitely evolved, setting the mark even higher. According to me, it has been a complete mixture of comedy, pain, terror, magic, horror and of course anticipation of whats next…. It has actually made me more mature.
    This movie justifies the book in the right manner, portraying the ruthlessness of Voldemort and the courage of the trio rightfully. I’m desperately waiting for the second part, hoping it to be even more fun packed than this one….
    if anyone has any comments on my opinion or want to be friends with this mad fan, my email addresses are-
    amey_ambade@yahoo.com
    ameyambade@gmail.com
    find me on twitter- ameythegr8
    or on facebook- Amey Ambade.
    hoping to connect with other harry potter fans out there in the world!

  24. What a POOR review indeed. I doubt if the reviewer has even watched any of the movies in the franchise, let alone the books. I felt the movie was simply awesome, some parts were edited like Harry’s birthday party, but some were really well filmed like the Malfoy Manor one. The sounds were great, fabulous music, and whoa, what great special effects! Scenes in the movie were very comparable to those in the book. The Forest of Dean, Shell Cottage, The Ministry of Magic, wow!
    And the characters have definitely evolved, setting the mark even higher. According to me, it has been a complete mixture of comedy, pain, terror, magic, horror and of course anticipation of whats next….
    This movie justifies the book in the right manner, portraying the ruthlessness of Voldemort and the courage of the trio rightfully. I’m desperately waiting for the second part, hoping it to be even more fun packed than this one….
    if anyone has any comments on my opinion or want to be friends with this mad fan, my email addresses are-
    amey_ambade@yahoo.com
    ameyambade@gmail.com
    find me on twitter- ameythegr8
    or on facebook- Amey Ambade.
    hoping to connect with other harry potter fans out there in the world!

  25. im sorry for the poor review comment, i thought it was another sire where a bad review was given.
    just can’t hold it. Good review anyways…………..

  26. Oh, what a terrible disappointment The Deathly Hallows turned out to be for me. Let’s face it, I wasn’t exactly happy with The Half-Blood Prince either, but it was certainly worth the price of admission when compared to this absolute rip-off of a sequel.
    Ok, so it started out pretty good up until the group splits off to meet up at the Weasleys only to get the crap beat out of them. Would someone like to tell me how the hell all these great, once powerful, wizards and witches have somehow, in this last episode, wound up being a bunch of weak-as-kittens, pansy-waisted, inept magicians? Moody, one of the most powerful wizards in the Potter series is killed off?! Unbelievable!

    So now, lets skip ahead to the wedding.. Here we have 50 or so wizards and witches celebrating, including 3 of the youngest and most powerful to come along, meaning Harry and pals, of course, and suddenly, out of the blue, they are attacked once again.. Instead of everyone coming together to do battle with the minions of Voldemort they all run and scatter like a bunch of rats caught in a maze! Amazing!

    What has happened to all these people!? From the looks of Voldemort’s table at Malfoy’s estate there are few there that could stand up against the entire student body and faculty of Hogworts.. Where are all the experience teachers, all the upcoming students in magic? As far as I could tell only three people at the table posed a real threat to Harry and the gang and that is Voldemort, Snapes and Bellatrix.. The rest are petty magicians at best.. Malfoy seems to have turned into a frightened drunk and Draco is wishy-washy, unable to make up his mind if he is on the dark side or the light side..

    What a sad lot of bad guys that, if confronted by the full force of Harry, Hermione and Ron, together with the experienced witches and warlocks of Hogwarts they shouldn’t stand a chance!

    Ok, so now we can lightly skip over the wasted hour or more spent waiting for something to happen while our kids are wandering out in the wilds, to the last major fight in the movie.. Again, a fight that should have gone in favor of Harry and crew because, folks, THEY HAD THE UPPER HAND AND RAN AWAY AGAIN!! Why, why I ask, did they turn tail and run when they could have wiped out, once and for all, both Lucius Malfoy and the hated Bellatrix!? There she stood, helpless, Malfoy knocked out, Draco dithering around and, at last, Harry could have gotten his revenge for the death of Sirius! What the hell happened? And how the hell do any of these people expect to defeat Valdemort, Snapes or any other member of Valdemort’s minions when they can’t seem to kill them, they just run away!? So poor Dobby has to die because these dweebs are far more interesting in running away then staying and fighting? Bah!

    This series of books and movies have been dragged out FAR too long.. Like Rowling needs more money, I guess.. The millions she’s already made aren’t enough.. I can understand Warner Brothers wanting to divide up the last book, after all it’s a nice, neat way to make a few million from an adoring public, I think it’s an outright, blatant bit of extortion, nothing less, nothing more and what’s really sad, it’s extortion aimed mainly at kids.. They should be ashamed..

    All in all, this part 1 was nothing more then a rip-off, the whole series could have been wrapped up in two or two and half hours, all questions answered and all plots put to bed, but greed is what it’s all about and always has been, particularly in Hollywood.. I would not recommend anyone buy this movie on DVD or Blu-Ray until it comes way down in price.. It’s a waste of money..