Sunday, November 21, 2010

Revamp + Potter Movie Review

*rubs and squints eyes* Sept...em..ber..

Oh my gosh, my last post was on September the 8th? Really??!!??!!

As you can see, to mark my return to the blogosphere, I've decided to do a little revamp to rekindle my spirit of blogging.

The changes are namely:

1) New blog header! Did it myself; the filmstrip border is to highlight my undying passion for movies, but why those two pictures, you might ask. Well, the balloons photo is about celebrating the colourful things in life, and the picture of the clouds is about the quiet, contemplative moments in life. I guess this blog strives to be a mixture of both =)

2) New search bar for blog. It's the first thing after the chatbox. Want to look for what I've blogged about a certain topic? Just type it in and it'll scour through my blog posts and dig them out for you. Go ahead, try it. Try "Harry Potter" and see what comes out =)

3) New movie rating system! Explained below. Read on =)

Gosh, I really miss blogging. About my favourite music videos, my favourite eats, my favourite places to go...

...and of course, those beloved movie reviews that probably take up 80% of wilsoniscurious. How I've missed my beloved popcorn men!

Do you miss them too? No? Okay. Moving on.

It's probably time to start finding a new rating system - time for a revamp! =)

Introducing my new range of movie ratings - from 0.5/5 to 5.0/5.

And I've got just the right movie to kick-start the reviewing again.

But before that, just a little trip back in time.

That link was last year's review of the 6th Harry Potter film. Guess what, the 7th one is out! Although, technically, it's really just version 7.1.



It's been close to a decade - that's 10 whole years - since the first Harry Potter movie was released and took the world by a big-freakin-Avatar-plus-Lord-of-the-Rings-epic-Jurrasic-Park storm.

Yes, nothing comes close. The Harry Potter movies, to-date, is the highest grossing film series of all time, with box-office receipts across the globe mounting to over US$5 Billion. If James Cameron plans Avatar to go on for another 4 or 5 films, it just might break this record, but truth is, Cameron is no J.K. Rowling, so I guess Potter wins.

Okay, I digress. But for those who've read my blog since the beginning of Life, Curious would know that I'm quite the Potter fan. I've even written one uber-long and intensely-documented post when I finished reading the last book (warning, though, that link contains spoilers).

Anyhow, a release of a Potter film is always considered a landmark in the movie industry. Not only for the movie studios who are delighted their cash cow is still milking the heck out of movie-goers, but for people who grow up with the series (yours truly), it is quite thrilling to witness how the magical world is translated onto the screen.

Of course, we are happy to reunite with our favourite cast members in the cinema - be it the lovable trio or sick favourites like Snape, Voldemort and Bellatrix; they never fail to excite, scare and move us like before.

Alright, time for the review, then.

HP7 part 1, as most of you might have heard, serves as a prelude to the concluding film which will be out mid of next year. But as a beginning, this is an extremely well-made entry into the Potter film franchise.

With an unsettling opening sequence, the brutal murder of a Hogwarts teacher at the start jolted the audience into realising that we are no longer watching the happy adventures of Harry Potter, but rather, "these are dark times" indeed. In fact, scenes involving Nagini the snake are especially terrifying - protect your young ones.

Harry, Hermione and Ron continue their quest to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes - cursed items that contain fragments of Lord Voldemort's soul - on their own. Being the 17-year-old angsty wizards and witch as they are, conflicts abound, and Ron even walked out on the pact at one point.

Incidentally, that scene displayed the fine acting abilities of the three young leads - especially Emma Watson's - as it carries hefty emotional performances which they pulled off nicely.

With hundreds of millions in profit, the film benefited from the big budget and delivered visually as well. The editing of fight scenes was taut and intense as characters flailed and dodged and sparks of spells flew in rousing exchange.

Most delicious, perhaps, is the ensemble of respected acting veterans. Ralph Fiennes, as usual, provides the right amount of menace as the cunning Voldemort, while Alan Rickman's Snape basically steals every (limited) scene he is in. Helena Bonham Carter's Bellatrix revels in her own insanity, and Imelda Staunton's Dolores Umbridge returns more piercing than before.

Director David Yates and long-time Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves are to be credited yet again, for successfully bringing to life the action that Rowling wrote on paper.

Besides the one gripe that the film does seem a little episodic and a bit aimless in the middle, the stunning cinematography as the trio Disapparates from location to location, and the well-choreographed action scenes more than make up for it.

Brush up on your Potter knowledge a little before watching this sprawling part 1 to the epic finale. It'll help. But other than that, sit back, cower in your seat and enjoy this thrilling serving of Potter, and patiently anticipate the final part 2 next year. Good things are worth the wait.

Wow, that was a long one.

Continue checking this space for more posts (hopefully)! =)

Shall end with a happy photo:
Yup, "Find Happiness Within" =)

Take care, people!


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