Category Archives: Theatrical Reviews

Review: Snow White & The Huntsman (2012)

Directed by: Rupert Sanders
Written by: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock and Hossein Amini, and Evan Daugherty (screen story)
Genre: Action/Adventure/Drama
MPAA: Rated PG13
Released: 1 June 2012 (USA)
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Sam Spruell, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Johnny Harris, Brian Gleeson, Vincent Regan, Noah Huntley, Liberty Ross

Synopsis: In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.

Review: 8/10

My Thoughts: For generations many have watched the Disney kid-friendly classic Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, however few have ever heard the dark Grimm’s’ version it’s originally based on. While Snow White & The Huntsman isn’t exactly the dark version some might have hoped for, it’s the closest thing to date. In Snow White & The Huntsman, we’re told a different, more mature version of the classic tale with a dark twist. In short; this is not your daddy’s Snow White!

Before I go forward with my breakdown on the film, I must make a confession: I was biasedly rooting against this film from the get-go. Yes, yes you’re probably asking yourself; Oh how a critic can hold a moral high ground and hold a biased opinion against a film!?! Well it’s easy.. I’ll let you in on a little secret; we’re all biased to some extent, especially the ones who claim they are not! Now with that being said, I rooted against the film for a number of reasons, more than I can remember on hand, but two sole reasons I was against it are: 1. I am not at all a fan of Kristen Stewart. I’ve always considered her an actress with wasted talent. She has the presence in her and the skill to be great (Panic Room was proof of that) but she wastes it all on terrible film choices like “Twilight.” It’s a role that always leaves her with a blank stare of zero emotion and total boredom, and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, those films are sucking the dear life out of her!

The 2nd being; I was not at all pleased with some of the choices made by the production during filming. Like mirrored designs that were quite similar to other known franchises (the crest on Snow’s shield looks painfully a lot like the crest of Gondor from the LOTR series) or the fact this was going to be the second Snow White related film being released within just months of each other (the first being Mirror, Mirror). Which between the two would be the true film and which the pretender was yet to be seen. So yeah I was rooting against it to say the least.  Despite my low expectations and thoughts about it from the beginning, above all else, I waked in with an open mind.

To my surprise Snow White & the Huntsman turned out to be a very enjoyable film. I walked in expecting your typical “tween” flick since the Twihard fandom was obviously the targeted audience here, but I found SWATH surprisingly jammed packed with enough action and maturity in the storyline to appeal to a general movie going audience. The story is really nothing like any other Snow White film made to date; it’s dark, twisted and quite grim.  Like in past Snow White retellings, much of the evil queen’s agenda is left unknown to us.  Especially why she wants Snow dead so badly, other than the obvious, her birthright. Much like, but not entirely similar to the ABC show “Once Upon a Time,” in SWATH we’ve given a layered back story on why the queen must be the “fairest of them all” and what her true intentions are towards Snow White and how their fates, as well as the fate of the land itself, are linked to one and the other. As I stated earlier this is not your daddy’s Snow White; here we’re given a more harden Snow, one who has known nothing but pain and misery most of her childhood while locked away in the castle tower since the queen took over the kingdom. While a part of her still clings to her innocence, she is prepared to stand up and become the leader she was born to be and lead the remnant of those still loyal to the king ,who continue to fight on in hope of one day restoring the true hair to the throne.

Introducing the huntsman into the fold was interesting, but also worrisome. The huntsman is indeed a part of the classic Grimm’s tale and quite frankly this film would not be complete without him. However, I feared his part in the film may result in a love triangle with Snow and her childhood friend William, the Duke’s son, whom she may one day marry. The good guy and bad boy fighting over the same girl angle is such an overly used and tiresome cliché story point the studios like to work these days, and I personally have had enough of it with within the last 4 years with the Twilight films and Red Riding Hood to last a lifetime. Interestingly enough, while there is a romance developing between certain characters in the film, it doesn’t dwell too much on it however and plays a very minimal part in the film. Snow White isn’t fighting for love or a boyfriend; she’s fighting for her people and to avenge her father’s death.

Now the film isn’t perfect, far from it truth be told.  It’s got it’s flaws and some questionable aspects that left me a little confused. One in particular is that it’s established at the very beginning that this tale takes place in a mystical realm, as it always was meant to be, but the very first line muttered from Kristen Stewart’s mouth is the Lord’s Prayer. It felt a little awkward hearing it in this film seeing that its’ not taking place in our realm. Furthermore, Christianity plays a role in the overall theme, not shoved down your throat like some films do, but it’s clear they did this to appeal to a Christian fan base since it was diverse with so many different mystical creatures. However, I enjoyed the way they fit in all the classic elements of the classic story, except for the poison apple which I thought felt a tad bit rushed. However, looking upon the film as a whole, I’ll forgive that mishap.

As for the acting: Well this is where it got interesting for me. Why? Because as stated in the beginning of this review, I am NOT a Kristen Stewart fan, she’s played the same role in most of her films without even trying to broaden her horizon a bit performance wise. I blame the role of Bella for this, but she’s gotten too comfortable in the role of the damsel in distress waiting on a man to save her. And I’ve grown tired of this repeat role of hers. Now she’s no Rooney Mara and SWATH is certainly not TGWTDT (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) in comparison of breakout performances go, but Stewart did something here that surprised me greatly, she impressed me in her performance! Yes you read it write, she impressing in her performance. For once that drained emotionless look she normally gives worked and worked with a charm it did. We also see a side of her strength and determination, which is something I haven’t seen in her for a long time, and yes she smiles for a change too. If this is what playing Snow White does to her she ought to play more characters like this in the near future.

Now with that being said, while Stewart is the lead and this is a Snow White tale, Charlize Theron steals the movie with her performance as the evil queen Ravenna. She put emotion and drive into the role, and to some extent, she made you feel sorrow for the queen despite her evil ways. Chris Hemsworth did a great job as the Huntsman, but to be honest, it was incredibly hard seeing him in this, especially after seeing him appear as Thor in The Avengers a few weeks earlier. No matter how much I tried I kept picturing him as the mighty thunder god Thor. Sam Claflin performance as the Duke’s son William was fantastic; he played the part with conviction and was spot on. Sam Spruell’s deserves a special nod for his performance as Finn, right hand to the evil queen and her brother, he embraced the deviousness of the role. You loved to hate him almost from the get-go, yet a part of you can’t help but feel a little sympathy for his character since he only does what his sister wills. Now unlike the classic tale with only seven dwarfs, SWATH has eight dwarfs, who were presented unlike they’ve ever been before being played by: Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Johnny Harris, and Brian Gleeson. Yes all full size actors playing dwarfs and CGI’d down to size using top quality special effects that were barely noticeable.

Finale Say: Snow White & the Huntsman may have its flaws and is not a exact adaptation of the Grimm’s tale, it’s dark atmospheric tone help make the most of its PG-13 rating. This twisted retelling of a classic tale proved to be quite enjoying from start to finish. I highly recommend.

Critic Vs. Critic: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (2010 & 2011) [2/2]

Since the start of The Critic’s Word, we have prided ourselves with the notion that we present to our readers with critiques built on high standards with quality writing, presenting only honesty and an unbiased moral high ground. Though because we support freedom of speech among our writers, there’s always going to be a spin zone due to difference of opinions, and from time to time one or more critics here will voice their opinion in a completely different direction of the others. So in the sprite of outspoken voices we at The Critic’s Word would like to present a new exciting edition of Critic Vs. Critic!

Tonight The Critic’s Word Editor in Chief and Chief Film critic Clifford Kiyabu sits down with fellow film critic, columnist and colleague Kelsey Zukowski. In this edition of Critic Vs. Critic: we talk about Warner Bros. Pictures’ final installment to the Harry Potter series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I & II Written by Steve Kloves (screenplay), and J.K. Rowling (novel). And Directed by David Yates.

Kelsey: I just got back from re-watching The Deathly Hallows Part II again. It was a different experience, but if anything it was even more interesting, knowing these characters better and going back to watch everything they did prior to the revelations. I feel like I really know them now and it’s refreshing and tremendous to hold these truths and to realize their full meaning. Upon writing this review, I decided to put in The Prisoner of Azkaban to continue that magical, uplifting high that Harry Potter gives you no matter how dark the particular film is. Once again, I have to disagree with you on the transition from the first two films to this one. It pushes the films forward, hinting at the darker material that the series is headed for, but I don’t think it is too big of a switch. It’s so quirky, colorful, and full of character, much like the first two.

Watching The Prisoner of Azkaban as I type this I can’t help but thinking how reflective it is on the Potter series as a whole, quite possibly more than any other film. Once again I am with you on Gambon not living up to Harris’ calm, patient, and wise performance as Dumbledore. It took me a film or two to get used to Gambon, but honestly now I don’t even think about the difference. In time he became Dumbledore. More importantly in Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry really defines himself, Ron and Hermione’s strengths and personalities we quickly fell in love with are even more dynamic. So much character is given to not just Hogwarts, but the entire magical world just aside of the Muggle’s world reach, with such celebration. There are darker things at work, but compared to those that follow it’s actually somewhat tame. As you said Sirius ends up being family rather than the threat he is thought to be. The death eaters are the biggest threat rather than Voldemort himself for once. Let’s not forget how the dementors are beaten and Harry is saved in the end.

Sirius Black and Severus Snape are two of the series’ most compelling characters. Neither are at all what they seem to be, carrying so many heavy secrets that truly define them to those that know their true nature. Thinking about their relationship to Harry, makes their characters all the more interesting. Both Gary Oldman and Alan Rickman to an astounding job of bringing such truth to their characters, all of the very complicated dynamics. The best and worst in them are equally convincing, making us question the true nature of them, and finally once it is uncovered, what we see of them is actually quite moving. Draco Malfoy is another very interesting character. Even between Prisoner of Azkaban and Deathly Hallows he has changed so much, he’s barely the same character. He used to be hateful and antagonistic, and even now feels a need to keep up appearances, but even in the last few films the difference was clear. He was wavering from what was expected. So to say his “allegiance has changed”. The growth is remarkable and Tom Felton is another who was able to show how dynamic his character is over time.

I do agree that Harry Potter is the Star Wars of our generation. Science-fiction movies aren’t my favorite films, so I never got in to the series, but I can view the similarities in the epic nature, complex relationships, and just how mind blowing it is to audiences experiencing it for the first time. Harry Potter is the same way. Every film, but especially The Deathly Hallows Part II, is such an amazing theater experience; uplifting, powerful, and really feels like something out of this world. It takes us out of our daily lives and takes us to the magical world where hope, belief, and persistence in fighting evil is the most powerful weapon; a better place than we live in. We grew up with these films, but there’s so much more there than just nostalgia.

I really liked the ending of Deathly Hallows Part II. It was the perfect ending and we were given even further closure on the series being tied up with seeing the characters 19 years later. Honestly, I think they would have been better off using actors that resembled the main cast rather than having them portray the older versions of themselves. A few of them looked like they had aged a little, but none of them were really that believable in the age they were meant to be. Ginny still looked like she was about 14, not much older than her children were supposed to be. It was easy enough to look past though and enjoy the cycle of Potters, Weasleys, and Malfoys continuing their journey through Hogwarts. It seemed fitting for it to end in a full circle from when we first joined the characters upon their acceptance to Hogwarts, their lives never being the same again once they met.

Clifford: I couldn’t agree more with you on the notion of a second viewing being inaudibly different. I myself have yet to view it for a second time, but feel as you do about it in a manner of speaking. Any fan that’s seen the final film for the first time will no doubt feel a heavy sense of sadness; surrealism will rain over them, because knowing that once the curtain is called it will be for the last time. There simply won’t be another epic journey like it in the world of Harry Potter. As the poster reads; “It All Ends”. Which, I think only draws more anxiety within the fans as they know the end truly is nigh. And well, that’s precisely what happens, so for anyone who’s stuck by the series as loyally as you have, I and the hordes of fans have, there will no doubt be a great deal of conflicting emotions running through us that only a fan of the series could possibly comprehend. I also can understand and respect your love for the third film, Prisoner of Azkaban, because it is as you’ve said a nudge in the right direction in terms of tone. Though I still retain my stance about the film despite this debate. Though I will say this, I have only ever seen the theatrical cut to all the films, and have yet to dive into the extended cuts that were recently released, and even though I own all but the ultimate editions of The Deathly Hallows Part I and II, I’ve vowed to not watch any of them until I’ve completed my collection, so I feel obligated to retain myself from any further talk of Prisoner of Azkaban until I’ve had a better understanding with the film by watching the extended cut. So until then our little conversation on the matter will no doubt be put on hold for a later date. And who knows how I’ll feel towards that film after my viewing of it, perhaps even a slight chance of coming out with a slightly more positive view towards the film.

And yes I agree, Draco Malfoy has probably gone through the biggest transformation over the course of the films than anyone else. When we first come across him in The Sorcerer’s Stone, he was a pack leader among the first year students in the house Slytherin and quickly becomes one of Harry’s adversaries. This is further developed into something much more around the time of Chamber of Secrets, it left us wanting to see these two lock heads in battle one day. But by the time Prisoner of Azkaban came around he became more of a simple bully trying to prove he was better. But over the course of the other films that followed we see him change so dramatically to someone we barely recognize. The biggest change in the character came around Half Blood Prince where he is noticeably conflicted emotionally to the point that we see it surface on his complexion, his character carried a dreary gloom on his shoulder that was clearly heavy. But this also goes for many of the other characters too, as much of them displayed a clear sign of feeling the drain the 7 years bestowed upon them, the misery, the loss of allies and friends, the tough decisions set before them and ultimately, the overbearing sense that hope was lost looming over them. And with Draco one could go a bit further and argue that this showed that he was indeed fighting a war within himself. The growth of this character is indeed quite remarkable and Tom Felton is mostly responsible for this fantastic transition through his delivery as Draco. Mark my words, Felton is going places after everything is said and done with this series.

All and all, looking back at all the Potter films as a whole, it really was the “perfect” series that came to an almost perfect end. In most cases, a film adaptation never truly lives up to the source material that it’s based off of, but in such a rare case as this, the films really did carry a unique flavor of it’s own that can’t really be compared to it’s literary counterpart. I think you and I will agree here that the book to any franchise will always rain superior over it’s inferior cinematic companion, but for the Potter series, the films and books will rain as equals in their own right as they each stand proudly on their own.

Kelsey: The “It All Ends” tagline on the poster really was completely fitting. The series is coming to an end, everything we have seen before leading to this last epic battle that will determine everything. Even more so though, Harry Potter’s life could very well be coming to an end; “the boy who lived” and the boy so many fans have lived through in experiencing every Harry Potter adventure. The magical and muggle worlds could be coming to an end if Potter’s blood is spilled. If this happens the muggle world would surely be shattered in the flick of a wand. If the magical world still existed it would exist in such a pitiful, domineering way full of slaughtering and cruelty. Either way it is all ending with this film, the only question is what kind of world we will be left remembering.

You make a good point about not only Draco but all of the characters in the series. They have all been touched by death, either nearly escaping it or losing loved ones to it. In this case it’s more than death, Voldemort and all he represents is more vindictive, torturous, and obliterating than death. We really can’t even comprehend what characters such as Neville are going through, looking in to the face of pure darkness, the coming of all hope lost, and essentially spitting in its face yet doing it with such dignity. He refuses to give up, as do nearly all of the characters. Their faith goes beyond Harry, proving this at the end. No matter what happens and no matter how grim their chances seem they have to fight against the darkness when light radiates through them.

The books are the original source material. They are what created everything we have come to love about Harry Potter. There is more detail, depth, and understanding in the books, but the films have achieved a rare feat in bringing such life to them, which is rarely done in adaptations. Films seldom get better with sequels, but Harry Potter only got deeper in to the things, more mature and dark, complex and thematically showing the line between the light and darkness. It ended up developing in to something so all-encompassing and astonishing that it’s completely beautiful and powerful. Seeing things that have been in the works for so long and only now truly understanding them makes the entire series seem much more important and awe inspiring. There are so many layers there and every single one of them is a little piece of the magic behind Harry Potter.

And that concludes this edition of Critic Vs. Critic with myself and Kelsey! While Kelsey and I generally had positive things to say about the series in general and greatly appreciated the final installment, we obviously had our differences on certain aspects of the series, most notably the third installment, Prisoner of Azkaban, which she adored as one of her favorite films in the series as where I did not. Like Yin and Yang, the past C vs. C’s have shown that we’ve rarely agreed on things in Co-reviews but still hold a respect for the other’s opinion, but on such a rare case as this one, Kelsey and myself stand almost completely in agreement that the final installment to the HP films was the best in the series and served as the perfect send off to one of the most important series’ of our generation.

However despite what you’ve read here between us it’s still up to you, the reader, to decide if you agree or disagree with any of the opinions laid out here, and if you’re still not sure then by all means I implore you to take the leap of faith and find out for yourself. I want to thanks Kelsey Zukowski for taking the time to sit down and have this little chit-chat about one of the most iconic franchises to come out of the film industry within the lat 10 years. We invite you to join Kelsey and I again as we debate it out like maniacs in the next edition of CRITIC VS. CRITIC! Coming Soon.

Critic Vs. Critic: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (2010 & 2011) [1/2]

Since the start of The Critic’s Word, we have prided ourselves with the notion that we present to our readers with critiques built on high standards with quality writing, presenting only honesty and an unbiased moral high ground. Though because we support freedom of speech among our writers, there’s always going to be a spin zone due to difference of opinions, and from time to time one or more critics here will voice their opinion in a completely different direction of the others. So in the sprite of outspoken voices we at The Critic’s Word would like to present a new exciting edition of Critic Vs. Critic!

Tonight TCW’s Editor in Chief and Chief film critic Clifford Kiyabu sits down with fellow film critic, columnist and colleague Kelsey Zukowski. In this edition of Critic Vs. Critic: we talk about Warner Bros. Pictures’ final installment to the Harry Potter series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I & II Written by Steve Kloves (screenplay), and J.K. Rowling (novel). And Directed by David Yates.

Clifford: Before we go into breaking down what we’ve seen in the final chapter of this magical series, I think we really must make note of the fact that this final chapter coming to a close truly is the end of an era. It feels a bit surreal realizing that it’s been a decade since we began this marvelous journey into the cinematic world of Harry Potter and all its companions with whom we‘ve come to love and hate along the way. From the Sorcerer’s Stone to the Deathly Hallows, we’ve invited these young individuals into our lives and watched them over the years grow into the people we’ve come to know today, from the characters they play on-screen, to the talented individuals we’ve come to know them as off-screen. Daniel, Rupert and Emma have been our beloved companions along this journey from beginning to sweet end, and for all fans true to the series, this last chapter is a bittersweet celebration, because it will be the last time we’ll experience this magical tale on the big screen in a crowded room filled with complete strangers with whom we share a common bond with.

Now Kelsey, I know you want to jump right into dissecting the last chapter but I think we really must look at this final installment not as part 1 and part 2 individually, but as a whole film as it was intended, because it was after all adapted from a single book. So with that being said, let me say this: Chapter 1 (or, the first half) was great, but not as great as some claimed it to be. I mean I thought it was on par with some of the previous sequels and I enjoyed it just the same, but I felt it was a little too slow paced than usual and at times felt almost as if it was coming to a screeching halt. It certainly didn’t feel like any other Potter film that came before it. To steal a quote from you; “The Deathly Hallows Part I is practically void of any light; darkness nearly filling it whole. In many ways it doesn’t feel like a Potter film”. Granted each of the Potter films have their own uniqueness about them that makes each film/book stand out on its own, but the first chapter felt extremely out of place, at times it felt as though I was watching a non-HP film which just so happen to feature the characters from the series. The first chapter was my least favorite part of the potter series next to Prisoner of Azkaban, but my dislike to Prisoner of Azkaban mostly steams from the fact it was the first film Michael Gambon took over the role of Dumbledore from the late Richard Harris, whom I feel played a much better Dumbledore then Gambon.

But with that being said chapter 2 really does pick up the slack for the first chapter and really serves up the showdown we’ve waited nearly a decade for. Unlike chapter 1, the film managed to be ever so dark, but maintained that radiant glow that always made the potter films so magical even in the darkest of parts, which is something the first chapter was missing, the first chapter showed us a dark void in which there was no hope of light at the end of the tunnel, as where chapter 2 showed us that it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Kelsey: That’s exactly why it’s so hard to believe that we have really seen the last Harry Potter film. I was 13 when the first film came out, around the age most of the main actors were. I grew up watching these films and I grew with the cast, characters, and this magical world they had brought to life. The last film was bittersweet, but honestly I couldn’t have wished for more. It oozed epicness, was full of non-stop world changing action, and had so many mind blowing revelations about characters we thought we know so well. In many cases, we find out that the last decade was really all about what we were able to experience with The Deathly Hallows Part II. This is what it has always been about; a reality the audience and so many of the characters were blind to until now.

I understand that The Deathly Hallows is essentially one chapter of the Harry Potter series, but I have an extremely hard time grouping Part I and Part II together. They are such completely different films; day and night. Although, part II still has plenty of darkness seeping through. Part I doesn’t feel like a Potter film at all. While it isn’t one of my favorites for that reason, I do like that it’s different from the others. Harry and his friends were always the underdogs. They were going up against one of the most powerful dark wizards of all time. Especially towards the beginning, they were young, inexperienced wizards. They were always in over their heads, but somehow they managed to beat the odds and defeat Voldemort time and time again. They could only get so lucky for so long. Yes, they are talented and strong individuals, but things couldn’t go there way forever.

The Deathly Hallows Part I brings them to the reality that their luck has run out. All hope is lost. The Harry Potter series was always about hope, possibilities, and escaping to a place where anything was possible, where good prevailed even in the increasingly dark times. All of that is gone in The Deathly Hallows Part I. Our protagonists are in way over their heads. Their entire world is utter chaos. On the defensive, running for their lives when they are the last hope for both the muggle and wizarding world. For most of the film they aren’t even getting anywhere close to stopping Voldemort or weakening his power, but they keep on going, keep on trying, nearly being driven mad in the process. Why? Because they have no other choice. They have to at least try even if it makes them hopeless fugitives. Honestly, if you think about it that is almost more heroic than any other film; fighting the darkness when there are no delusions of thinking it won’t consume you whole.

I have to disagree with you on Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m actually a little shocked by your stance as it’s one of my favorite films of the series, behind Deathly Hallows Part II and The Order of the Phoenix. Out of the first four books that I read, it was my favorite one. I really see it as a step in the right direction for the series. The darker the films got, the more intriguing they got. The first two feel much more innocent. I love them for creating the world of Hogwarts and everything that was established through them, but in comparison the first two films aren’t nearly as compelling as the Prisoner of Azkaban or later ones that followed its lead. It was also the first that showed that some people are not what they seem to be, a component that is reoccurring throughout the series. Prisoner of Azkaban did this through Sirius Black, one of my favorite characters of the series. Ron, Hermione, and Harry are clearly growing up and are stepping things up a notch. Harry grows a tremendous amount in this film from mentally what he has to go through in what he thinks is the reality of Sirius selling out his parents and causing him to relive the memory of their untimely deaths to realizing Sirius is the only real family he has left, the very person his parents would have wanted to raise him. I do agree that switching Dumbledores felt unnatural and it was a difficult transition. It was some time before Gambon really felt like Dumbledore, but it was a necessary change.

The Deathly Hallows Part II has it all. That glow is what put it over the top, so charged of energy, rich story and characters, and such an intense showdown, but the thing is Part I wasn’t supposed to have that. Part II was a better movie for it, but it would have taken away the dreary state that defined Part I and made the revival of Part II so exhilarating.

Clifford: So true, just about anyone who is a true fan can easily recall their first encounter with the Potter films. I was 15 when the Sorcerer’s Stone was released in theaters, and I remember at the time I had known zilch about any of the potter books or the series itself for that matter. If I remember correctly, I had no interest whatsoever to watch the film or read any of the books as it did not intrigue me at that current period of my teenage years, I only went to see it because it was a free movie ticket (and only a idiot turns down the chance of a free movie). But after my first viewing I left that theater room and began my delightful journey into reading the books because that was the kind of impact the film had on me, to which the series itself made me a lifelong fan. The finale of this series, although bittersweet, was as you put it, worth every minute. From the nonstop action and beautifully captured cinematic battles, to the powerful revelations revealed in this final installment, every single thing about chapter 2 was beyond epic and fully lived up to the hype and standards set before it from the previous films. And even though we had known good and well all along what was awaiting us, we were still very much surprised and emotionally moved by it. This is something I can honestly say few films in the history of cinema can stand out for.

One could even go a notch further and argue that the HP series was this generation’s Star Wars (Original trilogy of course). Sure we’ve all enjoyed those films and basked in its glory, but neither you nor me can honestly know what it felt like to experience the original trilogy in its entirety on the big screen for the first time like those who saw it in the late 70’s and early 80’s. And in a rare case like this one before us, this is what the HP films have done for our generation, no one old enough to remember or yet alive from this moment on will get to experience what we felt growing up watching these films on the big screen for the very first time, this is our cinematic moment, or in other words, our epic journey that no other future generation will get to experience from this series.

As for my stance on Prisoner of Azkaban, I’d thought you might be a little surprised by it seeing, that you‘ve never made it a secret about your love for the film and the book. But don’t get me wrong, Prisoner of Azkaban is a very good film as is all the films in the Potter series. I just felt that the cinematic atmosphere in PoA was a little too dark from the last two previous films, and granted the book is equally dark, but to go from a more lighter tone with 1 and 2 to an extremely dark setting in PoA felt a tad bit out of place for me. Maybe it’s just me but that’s how I feel about it, I agree it was a step in the right direction for the series, but I would have preferred it much better had they gradually made it darker rather then take a leap forward like that. But I won’t lie that a major part of my liking this film the least still falls flat on Michael Gambon coming in to take over the role of Albus Dumbledore, because when I envisioned Dumbledore in the books, I pictured him as reserved and wise. He might seem weak because of his age and appearance, but proves to be the most powerful Wizard in the wizarding world when need be. If you remember in the book the Order of the Phoenix, when Dumbledore faced off against Voldemort he was patient and wise in his actions in the fight and retained a calm mood and a cool head that angered Voldemort as well as made him fear Dumbledore. This is not what I felt while watching Gambon’s performance as Dumbledore. I also feel that had Richard Harris lived to continue in the role, Dumbledore’s death in The Half Blood Prince would have been much more emotional and moving.

But I will say that the one truly magnificent thing that I am grateful towards Prisoner of Azkaban was that it serves as the gateway for Gary Oldman’s entry into the series as Sirius Black. Oldman’s performance as Black and Alan Rickman’s performances as Severus Snape alone makes Prisoner of Azkaban and every film to follow it worth watching, Black may have appeared to be the villain in the start of Prisoner of Azkaban which lead Harry to hating him, but his revealing to be one of the good guys, and proving to be the only family Harry truly has left was indeed brilliant and touching. And Rickman’s performance as Snape was probably one of the most moving in the series, because he brought to these films a delightful touch of class only a veteran actor of the theater arts such as himself could. And his breath taking performance in Chapter 2 only amplifies it, which further validates my argument that Rickman brings to these films a touch of brilliance and grace that grants credibility to both the character and the series that no other actor could have done had they been placed in this same role. In short, Rickman was born to play the role of Severus Snape. he only thing that I was a little skeptical about seeing prior to seeing chapter 2 was the 19 years later part, because I was a bit worried that the transition from paper to screen would come off feeling a little cheesy having Daniel, Rupert, Emma , Bonnie and Tom portray their characters in the 19 years later scene. But shockingly enough it worked extremely well, and if either of them look anything like they did when they reach their late 30’s then it will be something to see I tell you what. To Be Continued…