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Penultimate Potter movie still delivers the goods Jeri Jacquin | Sat, Nov 20 2010 12:25 AM

Opening this Friday (Nov. 19) to the anticipation of millions from director David Yates is the beginning of the end of the notable Harry Potter book-to-film series with Warner Bros. release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.”

This film continues the story of the boy wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint). They are continuing the search for the remaining horcruxes that can bring about the end of Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

As they say goodbye to their families, these three friends set out to find answers to questions about Dumbledore’s connections, the deathly hallows all while evading Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), Lucius (Jason Isaccs) and Draco (Tom Felton) Malfoy and others sent to capture Harry.

The Ministry of Magic is crumbling and Voldemort has taken control. Along the way friendships are tested, friends are lost and answers are slow in coming. But Harry, Hermione and Ron will not stop until they are all free from He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named!

Final word: Radcliffe has given so much of his life to this character and, in this film, he delivers once again. Finally discovering a little of his own past brings him ever closer to answers about the “boy who lived.”

Watson has also grown in her role as Hermione, but there is still that wonderful smart girl right before our eyes. Grint as the red-headed Ronald Weasley finally comes to terms with his feelings for Hermione and being a good wizard himself.

The film is focused around these three with other characters helping them along in a story filled with twists and turns. It is slow in the telling and dark at times, but it is obviously leading up to a finale that cannot be avoided.

It is hard to believe we have watched Harry Potter go from a sweet little boy to a grown man! It is equally hard to believe that it is coming to a close. Whether the wait was worth it or not will show with the fans opening day.

The good news is that the first installment will not be in 3-D. I am thrilled beyond belief and am hoping they will scrap the idea for part two. The story should be left to stand on its own, without the discomfort of 3-D glasses. I think Harry Potter purists would agree.

Tubs of popcorn: I give “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” three-and-a-half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is one of those times when it doesn’t matter what rating I give it — it will do exceedingly well. Harry and his friends have a die-hard following.

Yes, it is much darker and yes, it is much scarier. Coming in at two hours and 30 minutes, it is not, in my opinion, meant for smaller children. Take the older kids and your kid at heart.

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