To pay tribute to one of the greatest film franchises of all time, I have decided to make Harry Potter my blast from the past. Harry Potter was one of my favorite books as a child/teenager and when it came to the big screen myself and millions of others have flocked into the cinema to see the saga unfold. The magic of Harry Potter will never die in the hearts of the masses. Diolch yn fawr iawn J.K Rowling and co for making this such a magical journey.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Cert: PG Runtime: 152 mins Director: Chris Columbus Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane and Alan Rickman
You’re a wizard, Harry!
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is an average bespectacled 11 year old boy who has lived with the Dursley family ever since his parents died in a car crash. For some reason the family has always mistreated him. On his 11th birthday a giant man named Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) hands him a letter telling him that he has been accepted as a student at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry learns that his parents were wizards and were killed by an evil wizard Voldemort, a truth that was hidden from him all these years. He embarks for his new life as a student, gathering two good friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) along the way. They soon learn that something very valuable is hidden somewhere inside the school and Voldemort is very anxious to lay his hands on it.
This episode contains loads of adventures and action and is such deeply riveting and emotional as its followings , furthermore gets lots of bombastic special effects and several images have you on the edge of your seat including an amazing array of technical bizarre creatures, a breathtaking ogre ,a three-head animal , and Potter fighting creepy , scary monsters and an exciting final taking on between Harry and the Dark Lord and his henchmen . In spite of overlong runtime, it suffers from over-length, and the difficult of adapting, the film still managing to keep a quick enough pace for those unfamiliar with the literary and highly detailed work by J. K. Rowling. The motion picture is splendidly filmed with sensational production design and colorful cinematography by John Seale . Phenomenal and spectacular music by master John Williams. The movie is magnificently directed by Chris Colombus . The film is for Harry Potter saga lovers as well as neophyte who have never read J. K. Rowling novels. 7.4/10
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Cert: PG Runtime: 161 mins Director: Chris Columbus Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Kenneth Branagh, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris and Jason Isaacs
It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts School of Wizardry for his second year. After a confrontation with a house elf named Dobby, Harry escapes to the Weasley house with Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) in a flying car. They are then late for the train and have to ride it to school. When they get there, strange happenings invade the school. Mudbloods are petrified by an evil monster lurking in the grounds. When every one suspects that it is him, the trio then set out to find the culprit and find out more than they bargained for: the diary of Tom Riddle, why Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) was expelled and what the Chamber of Secrets is and why is it so feared in Hogwarts.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a huge step on from the first film. In the Philosophers stone we were introduced to the the world of Harry Potter and given a taster of what lies ahead. In the Chamber of Secrets the main story line for the series of books really starts to be told. It is much darker and sinister than the first film and Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint give good performances and give us a glimpse of the fine actors they are becoming.Kenneth Branagh and Jason Isaacs are perfectly cast as Gilderoy Lockhart and Lucius Malfoy and truly bring the characters from the book to life. Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley while under used in this film is going to be great in the next few as his character has more to do. The Cinematography is again superb and somehow the Quiddich game is better than in the first film. A fine sequal to the first film and should dispel any notion that the first one was just a one hit wonder. 7.2/10
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Cert: PG Runtime: 141 mins Director: Alfonso Cuarón Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis and Gary Oldman
Our pain becomes their power
Approaching his third year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has had enough of his muggle relatives. He runs away from them and enters his third term facing trouble from more than one side: for using magic outside the school and from the news that a notorious criminal, serial killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), has escaped the wizard’s prison at Azkaban and apparently is headed for Harry. The school calls in supernatural help against Black in the form of Dementors, but unusual things continue to put Harry in peril. He is thrown into a confusing panoply of shifting alliegences and shifting shapes where nobody is who or what they seem. Who is the real criminal? What is the real crime? Who is telling or knows the truth?
Azkaban is my personal favorite, Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is a slightly different character in this film as the anger inside of him for what happened to his parents has grown over the years. This made, for me, the film much more enjoyable than the first and second.As one would no doubt assume, Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the character Sirius Black is nothing less than perfect. However, Sirius Black seams an unlikely roll for the talented Oldman. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a “fan film”. By this I mean the makers have made the assumption the majority of viewers, the core audience – are fans of the Potter series. As a stand alone film would leave a viewer confused by a fast moving plot devoid of a lot of detail contained in the original book which the film quite closely follows. To fully appreciate the movie, prior knowledge through reading the book would be most beneficial, it would allow you to fill in the many blanks. 8.0/10
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Cert: 12 Runtime: 157 mins Director: Mike Newell Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes and David Tennant
The Goblet of Fire is an exceptionally powerful magical object. Only an exceptionally powerful Confundus charm could have hoodwinked it! Magic way beyond the talents of a fourth year
Harry’s fourth summer and the following year at Hogwarts are marked by the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament, in which student representatives from three different wizarding schools compete in a series of increasingly challenging contests. However, Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) Death Eaters are gaining strength and even creating the Dark Mark giving evidence that the Dark Lord is ready to rise again. In the unsuspecting lives of the young wizard and witches at Hogwarts the competitors are selected by the goblet of fire, which this year makes a very surprising announcement: Hogwarts will have two representatives in the tournament, including Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)! Will Harry be able to rise to the challenge for the Tri Wizard Tournament while keeping up with school or will the challenges along with Voldemort’s rebirth be too much for the young hero?
Mike Newell has really shaken up the formula – there are no Dursleys, no long introduction, no dodgy CGI moments – he has given it the grittier, more emotional reality that it’s been missing. Much has been made of the fact that the series becomes progressively darker, and this is certainly reflected in the film’s unnerving opening sequence and the unexpectedly brutal climax.Inevitably, it does feel a little rushed at times, but for me this wasn’t off-putting – the script incorporates the book’s most important scenes (the World Cup, the three tasks, the Yule Ball) and includes several new moments which are both authentic and highly enjoyable for viewers who want to see more than a laborious word-for-word adaptation of the book. The film is also very, very funny, and the humour is very much in the distinctive, quirky style of the books which the other films have, to my mind, never quite captured. 7.6/10
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Cert: 12 A Runtime: 138 mins Director: David Yates Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Julie Walters and Helena Bonham Carter
Cornelius, I implore you to see reason. The evidence that the Dark Lord has returned is incontrovertible
As another year begins for Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry so does the never-ending articles stating that he and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) are insane. As the ministry starts to invent new and malicious lies about Harry’s account on Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) return, Hogwarts begins to change for the worse as the ministry sends in their cure for all the insanity, Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge (Imelda Satunton). As she begins to inflict her rules and regulations on the students at Hogwarts they begin to find that with her as their teacher, they’ll never be ready for the outside world. So Harry along with his friends decides to take things into their own hands and begin to learn magic the real way. As Harry starts having visions of terrible events happening with the Ministries very walls he decides to take action, leading himself and his friends into battle, ultimately teaching them what friendship, loyalty and sacrifice really means.
The movie did not at all live up to my expectations; to me it felt rushed and choppy. I realize that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was a very long book, but so was The Goblet of Fire and I enjoyed it’s movie adaptation. In this movie seemed as though David Yates merely had a check list of scenes that he needed to but in the movie put no thought into connecting them. The speed and choppiness of the movie took away from the characters. It was just events and there was hardly any character development at all. Which was a shame because the young cast continues to get better, and there were some amazing acting veterans Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes & Helena Bonham Carter. In my opinion if the director had slowed everything down, only a little, he could’ve added a lot more (character development, humor, fluidity) However, despite by prier comments, the movie was not terrible. It did have it’s good moments, but I think it could have been done a lot better. 7.1/10
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Cert: 12 A Runtime: 153 mins Director: David Yates Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Dave Legeno, Jim Broadbent, Alan Rickman and Michael Gambon
Times like these, dark times, they do funny things to people. They can tear them apart
In the sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, and in both wizard and muggle worlds Lord Voldemort and his henchmen are increasingly active.Harry finds a book marked mysteriously, “This book is the property of the Half Blood Prince,” which helps him excel at Potions class and teaches him a few dark and dangerous ones along the way. Harry is taking private lessons with Dumbledore in order to find out about Voldemort’s past so they can find out what might his only weakness. Harry Potter, together with Dumbledore, must face treacherous tasks to defeat his evil nemesis.
Only the most unyielding literalist Potter fans will not enjoy this film as it has it all: exquisite cinematography, a brilliant soundtrack, imaginative direction, and the best acting from both veterans and young guns we’ve seen so far in the series. All are put to brilliant use as Dumbledore and Harry conspire to discover Lord Voldermort’s secrets whilst simultaneously straining every sinew to contain outbreaks of rampant hormones and potion-taking at Hogwarts. The veterans pull out all the stops, Michael Gambon is exceptional, becoming a truly charismatic and compelling presence by the end of the film, and of course, perfectly pitched performances from the likes of Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, and Alan Rickman. And, despite being on the screen for what seemed an instant, both David Thewlis and Helen McCrory successfully convey their respective characters’ desperation and edginess.The film is all the more satisfying because there is a very strong sense of place, and the characters are three-dimensional, and utterly recognisable. And, it is truly multi-dimensional, part romcom, detective story, rites-of-passage teen adventure, magical, scary-horror, political, and, above all, about love and friendship. All Rowling’s stories are multi-layered but this is the first film to really capture the complexity and fun of the series. 7.6/10
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Cert: 12 A Runtime: 146 mins Director: David Yates Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Bill Nighy, Bonnie Wright, George Harris and Rhys Ifans
The Ministry has fallen. The Minister of Magic is dead. They are coming
Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) power is growing stronger. He now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) decide to finish Dumbledore’s (Michael Gambon) work and find the rest of the Horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord. But little hope remains for the Trio, and the rest of the Wizarding World, so everything they do must go as planned.
Thanks to the decision to split the final book into two films, Yates doesn’t hurry through these scenes. Instead, he allows the audience to experience the frustration, jealousy and uncertainty of his characters, and allows for Radcliffe, Watson and Grint to display some fine acting with the minimalest distraction from any visual effects. The lack of Rickman is a shame, but the presence of Bonham Carter makes up for it. Big baddie Ralph Fiennes manages to finally be a menacing, scary Voldemort in the film’s first scenes, but as the story progresses and he gets appearances in a few messy, rushed and disappointing visions, Voldemort’s actions just don’t continue being an ominous cloud of danger, as they should be. The additional time also turns out to be a blessing for fans and audiences, allowing them the opportunity to see their favourite supporting characters back on screen- most prominently of course Dobby the elf who returns to give the movie a touching finale. The film’s greatest achievement, however, is the animated sequence detailing the “Tale of the Three Brothers”, an interesting wizard fairytale. It is a daring move from the filmmakers, one that will pleasantly surprise the audience.The biggest letdown is how the film doesn’t just keep going. After two-and-a-half hours, it doesn’t feel like the story’s finished. A few scenes were added to make the climax more exciting, but it’s just a downright shame that the movie doesn’t just continue for another hour or two. 7.9/10
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:Part 2
Review Coming Soon