Archives For Harry Potter Days

My love for what David Yates has brought to the Harry Potter franchise can be exemplified by one short scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. After weeks of wandering about the beautiful English landscape with nothing to show for their adventures, Ron decides he’s had enough and leaves. Harry and Hermione are left on their own and after pitching their tent in a new cliffside locale and settling into their grief Harry hears some music. He is sitting outside the tent when he hears the sounds of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Taking that as his cue, he goes inside the tent and sits down lazily on a chair. He sees the sadness in Hermione’s eyes as she is lost in the music and her own thoughts, and so he gets up, takes her by the hand and begins to dance. What follows is a heartwarming montage of their dancing, Harry’s extremely awkward movements and all. It’s a slice of joy amidst a world of darkness and loss, and when the song is over the dance ends and once again all Harry and Hermione have for comfort is each other. There is a moment, a split second, when it seems like maybe they will take that comfort to another level and truly embrace, but the moment passes too quickly and Hermione’s thoughts move right back to where they were just a few moments earlier. It’s a small scene filled with life, love, friendship and sadness and it rings as one of the truest expressions of character and emotion I have scene in a film in a long time. Click to read more

There is always a lot riding on the final entry in a great series, but I don’t think expectations for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows could have been higher. The Harry Potter series was already far and away the best-selling book series ever published and the fans were ravenous. J.K. Rowling’s last book about the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends needed to be great. It needed to be epic. And most of all, it needed to be satisfying. I can tell you, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows does not disappoint in the slightest. Click to read more

David Yates really is a hero. He was chosen to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and did an amazing job. he was then asked back to direct Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, becoming only the second director in the franchise to do more than one film. Bringing him back was a great decision as with the fifth film, not only had he crafted the best Harry Potter film up to that point, but with the sixth film he was actually able to improve upon what he did before and make an even better film. Yes, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the best Harry Potter film, and also one of my favourite films in years. Click to read more

The penultimate chapter in the Harry Potter series has arrived. It’s time to talk about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I’d like to warn anyone who might read this review that there will be SPOILERS. But not just spoilers for Half-Blood Prince. I fully expect that anyone reading this already knows what transpires between Snape and Dumbledore. No, this review will contain SPOILERS for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Again, I imagine most people reading this review have already read the entire book series, but there may be a few of you who have only seen the films, in which case I’d be giving away events that take place in Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Now that we have that housekeeping out of the way, I’d like to get right into my review of what I consider the very best book in the Harry Potter series. In my mind, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince may be a clear stepping stone into the final book, but I also think it is the best, most compelling book in the series. Click to read more

All hail David Yates, the director who finally moved the Harry Potter films into the realm of greatness. Many people credit Alfonso Cauron with the first great Harry Potter film, and though he definitely paved the way for Yates’ work, Prisoner of Azkaban is a decidedly mixed success. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a great film that I could stand alongside any other great film without any qualms. It’s a superb combination of beautiful cinematography, great acting, wonderful writing, and astonishing action. Click to read more

When Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released back in 2003, I loved it like everyone else, but like everyone else I was a bit put off by the darker, more angry Harry. Dude, I know Voldemort is back and that kid from last year died, but can’t you lighten up just a little? Harry’s teen angst made for a book that was not only the longest in the series, but the most aimless and boring. All I can ask myself now is, what the hell was I thinking? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a remarkable book. Click to read more

When Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was first released theatrically in 2005 I loved it. I thought that it executed the drama and comedy and action so well that I made sure to see it twice before it hit DVD. Then I did not watch it again until just before film 7 came out. That’s five years and two movies later. Two great movies. I was genuinely excited to go back and see Goblet of Fire again and relive all the fun of the Triwizard Tournament.

And then I actually watched the movie. Click to read more

Technically it all began with the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK in 1997. But that’s only technically. The true beginning was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, published July 8th, 2000. Potter Mania can all be traced to that one date. It was when Harry Potter began its term as the reigning king of the publishing world, breaking records and setting the rest of the world on fire.

I had started reading the Harry Potter books about a year earlier. The first book had been given out as a school reading assignment. I scoffed at the assignment. A story about a boy who fins out he’s a wizard and then has to go to a wizard school? Why would I ever want to read such a thing? I was already a snob at the ripe old age of eleven. In retrospect, I was a total moron. Thank Jeebus I had a teacher who forced us to read good books! Click to read more

Coming off a book like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling had a tough job ahead of her. Not only did she need to live up to her previous work, Harry Potter was officially a phenomenon. Kids across the UK and North America lined up at Midnight to buy Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, an unheard of occurrence in the world of publishing, and the expectations were huge. Rowling delivered a book that broke all preconceptions of what kids would read. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is dark, dense, complex, and long. Really long. It’s also really great. Click to read more

Chris Columbus was out and Alfonso Cuarón was in. So began the rejuvenation of the Harry Potter film franchise. Of course, only two films had been made, and for the most part they weren’t bad, but there’s no denying the series needed a kick in the pants to get itself out of a generally inartful funk. Hiring a new director, and one with such directorial flare and independent instincts, did the trick. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban completely redefined what could be expected stylistically from the series. It’s too bad the film itself is a problematic mess of tone, plot and creative confusion. Click to read more