Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

It seems that when it comes to tales of good and evil – we often see anything besides good winning and evil losing as some kind of a cop out. Like… we’d rather see the villain fall to their death or be eaten by hyenas than learn the error of their ways -something that’s more than evident in Disney films, which have featured both killer hyenas and high places. But, you know – when a bad guy ultimately turns good, if done right, it’s way better to watch. More often than not they still usually end up dying horrible, so there’s that too, but at least they die good. There’s probably going to be a lot of spoilers below.

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Amidst the pinky-out prestige of awards season sits the manic pixie of The People’s Choice Awards. Perhaps they can easily be dismissed by the cinephile crowd for not being nearly well-rounded or interesting enough, but looking at the nominees and the winners can provide a bird’s eye view into the abyss of mass-entertainment. With over 200 million votes cast, according to a press release, the winners included Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds as The Green Lantern, Adam Sandler‘s comedy and Bridesmaids. To put that into perspective, that’s a ridiculous amount of people. To really put it into perspective, it’s 7.6 million more people than the entire population of Brazil, and it’s 2/3rds the population of the United States. The giant, faceless wad of “the people” have made these their movie champions of 2011:

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The Best Movie Trailers of 2011

They say it’s hard to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to world of cinema and movie marketing (and the plethora of films that hit theaters each weekend), it’s hard not to use a film’s three-minute long trailer to judge whether or not it will be something you’ll be interested in seeing (and with movie prices on the up and up, it’s hard to go in blind these days). The illustrious Jack Giroux and Allison Loring rounded up the top 11 trailers released over the past year. They’re both for films that came out in 2011 and either lived up to or fell short of their promise and for films due to be released next year that have begun teasing us early. Plus a few honorable mentions because Jack and I aren’t super great at math (we’re writers, and I’m pretty sure you can only be good at one or the other). From horror to action to comedy (and much discussion about the merits of underwear – you’ll see), our picks spanned the genres proving that it does not matter what type of film you are promoting, just whether or not you are able to grab people’s attention. Listed in no particular order, let us know in the comments if you agree, disagree or if there was a trailer you loved that we missed on our list.

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When I was given the opportunity to interview French composer Alexandre Desplat, the question wasn’t what I would ask him, it was how many questions I would be able to get in. One of the busiest composers in the business, just this year alone Desplat has created the scores for The Tree of Life, A Better Life, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The Ides of March, Carnage, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and is already on deck to compose next year’s Moonrise Kingdom. Desplat first caught my attention a few years ago when I realized he was the composer behind both the quirky score for Fantastic Mr. Fox and the epic score for Twilight Saga: New Moon – two very different films with two very different musical tones. Having won Film Composer of the Year at the World Soundtrack Awards, it is clear that the rest of the world is starting to take notice as well. As this year comes to a close, I spoke with Desplat about what inspires him, his composing process, the differences between working on American and French films, and how he balances his various projects while keeping his passion for composing fresh with each go around.

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The Reject Report

Some aliens are stupid. Other aliens are crazy. Some aliens are just in love, but we usually don’t see these aliens between May and August. No one wants to see alien love in their Summer blockbusters. They want explosions and people shooting those aliens with well-placed bullets. Which brings us to this weekend, where two films about aliens getting blasted by pesky humans find release. Of course, one is having a much larger opening than the other, and neither of them feature Smurfs. That’s right. I said Smurfs. We’ll talk about them here, too. Enjoy this week’s Reject Report, and if you want loving aliens, come back in November.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dances with joy because it’s the only time you can dress up in flowing robes and head to the cineplex to see a movie based on an alleged children’s book and not get arrested. After cinching his wizarding cloak around his waist with his Gryffindor scarf, he sails off to check out Winnie the Pooh. Then, from the dysfunctional head cases in the Hundred Acre Wood, Kevin sneaks into the screening room next door to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II only to discover he doesn’t have his 3D glasses. Curses!

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There’s a special kind of challenge in ending a story. Talk to the right writer, and he or she will most likely tell you that typing the last bit of punctuation can be the hardest ink to stamp into the page because even though that’s the goal, it also means saying goodbye to characters you’ve fallen in love with. Characters you’ve fought for and alongside of. Characters that have reflected the best parts of you, shown you your weaknesses and made you all the better for it. We may use stories as escapism, but we have to return to the real world eventually. There’s a special kind of challenge in ending a story because a final chapter has to encapsulate everything that’s played out in the much larger space that’s come before it. It has to confront the audience and its characters with choices they’ve been avoiding, trials that have been kept at arm’s length, and the lessons of all of the smaller tasks has to be used sufficiently against the most dire of consequences in order to be satisfying. It’s been a long journey, but in all of those undertakings, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 succeeds with incredible resolve.

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So much potential and so much promise… and yet so much blandness. I had been trying to stay as hopeful as one could when it came to Green Lantern. Even after Neil – who I usually think is spot on when it comes to his criticisms – posted his review, I still held on to what little optimism I could maintain. “Perhaps Green Lantern would be this summer’s G.I. Joe, a film that is so cartoonish that you just can’t help but to laugh with it,” I thought. But, boy, was I wrong. Green Lantern is no laughing matter. Green Lantern + The guy who reinvented Bond twice + Reynolds’ mojo + Great Sarsgaard + Potential for Space Battles + Mark Strong as Sinestro = what should’ve been a real event film. Wha happened?

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Last summer was a good (not great) movie season. Granted, there were some notorious duds with Robin Hood, Jonah Hex, Avatar: The Last Whatever-It’s-Called, the one where Jake Gyllenhaal talked real funny and had his shirt off a lot, and many, many others. And, of course, there were some rather disappointing missed opportunities (*COUGH* Iron Man 2 *COUGH*). But overall, it was a solid time for both big event films and the smaller ones. There were two excellent high profile films (Toy Story 3, Inception) and a handful of great little-seen ones (Animal Kingdom, Cyrus, Solitary Man, etc.). And who could forget about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? This summer will most likely be no different. There are a few films not to get too excited about, but there are plenty of other films to get tingly about. There are two Marvel films, a new frickin’ Terrence Malick epic, a great looking new X-Men…the list goes on and on. In fact, the list goes on right now with the 15 Must See Movies of Summer 2011:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It is a nightly movie news column that ain’t afraid of sharks. Just don’t tell any sharks that it said that, because they just don’t need to know about it. It’s also a movie news column that continues to unapologetically report on all things Michael Bay and Doctor Who. If you can’t handle that, there’s other stuff in here, too. Shark Night 3D is a real thing. So real with its bikini-clad Sarah Paxton almost within the grasp of a big ass angry fish. So real with Snakes on a Plane director David R. Ellis at the controls. Oh, who are we kidding? This is going to be ridiculous, bloody and one-step above porn. If we’re lucky.

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Some new footage from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was shown at Cinema Con, and afterwards Potter producer David Heyman sat down with Cinema Blend to talk about what from the novels is going to be included in the film, and what will be changed. Their conversation included some pretty specific spoilers about the end of the film, but presumably most people have already read the books; so giving away story details isn’t as big of a deal as it might be normally. If you’re one of the people who haven’t read the books, and who would like to see Deathly Hallows: Part 2 without any idea of what it has in store, then you should probably not read this article. Or, you know, do it anyways and then bitch about how stuff was given away in the comments section. Either way is good. Spoilers ahoy…

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