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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (04/12/2011)


Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.

Directed by David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint


Todd's Rating: Rental

It’s Harry Potter…you’re either a fan or the whole thing is somewhat silly.

Voldemort's power is growing stronger. He now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide to finish Dumbledore's work and find the rest of the horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord. But while doing so they uncover the existence of three of the most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows. Little hope remains for the trio, and the rest of the wizarding world, so everything they do must go as planned.

I’m convinced there are two groups of people in this world, those who dress up for the midnight showing of Harry Potter and those of us who just don’t get it. So in an effort not to offend the diehard fans of Harry Potter, I will try to keep this as positive and brief as possible.

No doubt the story is fascinating… millions of copies of the books have sold (Nope haven’t read a single one) and the films continue to rake in the money. I saw this one with the Children’s Pastor from our church (who has read all the books and a self proclaimed “pothead”). Based on his comments, this film follows the book closely and was very well done. And I would probably agree if I had any idea what was happening.

What I can tell you is that the cinematography and special effects are amazing. The movie is almost completely colorless and yet brilliantly elegant.

Like other Potter films I thought this one was very slow, and at times just didn’t make sense. Like why can they disappear one minute but have to run through the woods the next (seriously if you know the answer to that question don’t email me, it’s rhetorical). But my biggest complaint was the Harry and Hermione kissing scene. Although it was shown as a dream sequence, they still showed way too much of the two naked characters.

It’s always harder to review a film that is part of a series. Do you judge it alone or as part of the larger body of work? Either way for me it wasn’t higher than a Rental…sorry Pot-heads.


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
That’s the question right? Is Harry Potter appropriate for children and teenagers. I’ve heard it all from there is nothing wrong or evil about the films to there is nothing good about them either. Some believe they can be a gateway to real magic and real evil, and honestly that is a legitimate danger. So if you find your child obsessing over the films and becoming increasingly curious about witchcraft, you need to intervene. As far as this movie goes, there are some pretty scary and disturbing images. There is also that scene mentioned above where Harry and Hermione are kissing and embracing while being naked. It is a dream sequence and the characters appear to be more like ghosts, but I still felt it crossed the line.


Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message/theme of this movie?

A: The obvious answer here is witchcraft and sorcery.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
A: I think the best answer to the question of “How should we—as serious Christ-followers—react to this movie?” is carefully. I joked earlier about there being two kinds of people in this world when it comes to Harry Potter films, but truthfully the two kinds of people I have met are either very opposed to the movies and books or they see it as harmless entertainment.

Personally I believe both extremes are dangerous and we need to be careful with our reaction.
For those who would say, “The Bible tells us to completely avoid witchcraft” (Deuteronomy 18:10 and Galatians 5:20) I would say I completely agree…when the witchcraft is real and not part of a fictional story. I thoroughly enjoy films like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings and even the recent release, The Sorcerer's Apprentice…and I think you can enjoy them too.

Then there are those who say, “It’s no big deal, it’s just a book or movie”. And again I would agree, but I also believe that it can lead a child to become curious about witchcraft and open doors that should not be opened.

So no matter where you stand, please be careful.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?
A: Like all media we need to use discernment and we need to be mindful of how our children/students are responding to the message in the media. I wasn’t joking when I said there were people dressed up like Harry and other characters from the film at the midnight showing. Personally I think that’s pretty ridiculous, but I also wonder how many of those wishing they attended Hogwarts, secretly wish they were wizards or witches. Our job is to be ready to answer the questions people have about the Hope we have.



Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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