PASS THE POPCORN: The beginning of the end for Potter and friends

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Courtesy of Warner Bros.

By Sarah Grieco, Managing Editor

Muggles, beware: “Nowhere is safe,” declares the tagline for the highly anticipated “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.”

To keep this review on the short side, it might be best to ask a question:

Want to see an amazing movie?

If so, go see the latest installment of the famed “Harry Potter” series.

With a budget bloated enough to cure the recession, “HP7” explodes into theaters after a grimacing year and a half-long wait. Gone are the happy days of Hogwarts and Quidditch; what instead lies ahead is a grueling adventure that will leave everyone, including the bookworms, on the edge of their seats. The opening sequence alone will jolt audiences across the nation into an anxious frenzy. In fact, the first five minutes of the movie are darker than all the other scenes in the “Harry Potter” franchise combined. Close-ups of dying witches and relentless killings are just a couple of the horrors seen in the beginning.

Courtesy of Waner Bros.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his loyal sidekicks Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) are on a final quest to destroy the ultimate antagonist of the modern era: Lord Voldemort. Without the safety of the castle walls, the characters are left to their own devices and knowledge in order to complete their last task.

The cast members are phenomenal, as always, but those unfamiliar with the books may be surprised by early scenes showing somewhat casual behavior from Voldemort, played eerily well by Ralph Fiennes. Another noteworthy act is Helena Bonham Carter who reprises her haunting role of Bellatrix Lestrange, a character so perfect for her it is borderline Academy Award-worthy.

Bonham Carter’s scene-stealing moments, however, may be a reason not to take young children to see this movie. Not only is the film frightening roughly 70 percent of the time, it also contains heavy themes kids younger than 10 may not understand. Little ones may be confused during scenes with an odd resemblance of World War II-like propaganda and Gestapo police running amok, so it might be best to let them age a few years before seeing “Deathly Hallows.”

Sadly, for the true Potter fans, this movie serves as a reminder that the end is near. In just a few months, the final flick will grace the screens. What will Gryffindor scarf-wearing enthusiasts do then? The Facebook group says it all: “After Harry Potter Seven Comes Out I Won’t Have Anything To Live For.”

That might be the case for super fans, but nonetheless it will be an exciting ride to the finish. It is a good thing Director David Yates decided to turn the final book into two movies, as the plot is much too complex to cram into one.

While the wizard franchise’s days are numbered, “Deathly Hallows” will certainly satisfy the national appetite for all things Potter, at least, until next summer when Part II hits screens.

Movie: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows

Directed by: David Yates

Release Date: Nov. 19

Grade: A

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