August 22, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I doesn’t officially drop until November 19th, but Warner Bros. held a test screening in Chicago on Saturday, with director David Yates as well as producers David Heyman and David Barron reportedly in attendance.  A few of the Midwesterners lucky enough to see it have posted their early reviews online.  Hit the jump to get a sense of their collective response to the screening.  (Be warned of spoilers, naturally.)

For the purposes of clarification, The Leaky Cauldron has provided a technical outline for this cut:

  • Yates, Heyman, and Barron attended the screening
  • The current runtime is about two-and-a-half hours
  • Some CG and other effects work was unfinished — green screens, cranes, and other equipment were still visible at some points within the film
  • This cut used a temporary soundtrack, with the full soundtrack still in the recording stage

As such, it’s worth noting that version of the film screened in Chicago is not yet final.  The filmmakers have three months to polish the film and fix any noted issues these fans may have with the rough cut.  That said, here are excerpts from the early looks that have hit the web.  (Click on the link for the full review.)

/Film reader Kyle:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is a great continuation of the series, thematically and visually in line with films 5 and 6. Though it is a fast-paced film, with several nice set pieces and much-improved performances from the young cast, it does suffer from two major problems. First, it faithfully adapts the seventh book, including the book’s own problems. The “camping in the wilderness” scenes become quite repetitive, and the attempts at drama/angst amongst the trio during these scenes comes off as tired. Also, the scenes involving the locket horcrux causing its wearer to be angry/aggressive are far too reminiscent of Lord of the Rings.

harry_potter_and_the_deathly_hallows_part_1_2_posterMuggleNet reader Gaby:

This film felt very perfect. I don’t remember feeling this satisfied with a Harry Potter movie since Chamber of Secrets. By this, I mean that the experience of seeing this movie almost exactly mirrored my experience reading the book all those three years ago… I cannot wait to see this movie again. It’s going to be spectacular and even more perfect. To believe that this is just Part 1 is crazy. To just imagine Part 2 is too much because if it is like anything like this (which it probably is), it will be even more perfect.

MuggleNet reader Kyle:

First off, this is the most perfect Harry Potter film ever. The movie on a whole is amazing and dark. Everyone was on top of their game. Everything was perfect. Dobby’s death was done perfectly. You could see the emotion in Harry and the gang. We saw green screens of course (because the film’s digital effects were not yet complete), but it didn’t affect me at all. The audience LOVED Dobby. Everyone was clapping when we saw him.

In case your interest is piqued, both The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet have a full rundown of which plot points made it from Rowling’s book to the screen.

I’m a bit late to the Potter scene, but I’ll have Book 7 finished by November.  I copied and pasted these excerpts with one hand over my eyes, but I hope that you get the gist of it — plenty of links to explore if you’re keen for more.  I’m really looking forward to Part I, so I’m glad to see (through my fingers) that most fans seem pleased with this iteration film.

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