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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Winnie the Pooh, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan plus films on newspapers and travel


It's been 10 years coming. The final confrontation between Harry Potter and Voldemort. A terrific end to a terrific series.

Harry Potter is the giant among the movies this weekend. Winnie the Pooh, Snow Flower and the grey lady of New York also show up.

Here's the List:

Harry Potter #8:    4 1/2 stars
Winnie the Pooh:   4
Page One: Inside the New York Times: 3
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: 2 1/2
180° South:   4 
I Travel Because I Have To: 3

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS Part 2: I remember Saturday afternoon at the movies years ago and no matter the film there was always a point when the music starts to rise up and it became apparent that it’s about to end. I had a version of that sad-sweet feeling during this film. It’s been ten years after all that we’ve followed Harry and his pals Hermione and Ron. Remember when they were just kids riding on broomsticks?

We watched them grow, school year by school year, through their teenage years to this.

It’s been a trip, as they used to say. And this final film is a glorious, rousing send off. The final man-to-man confrontation between Harry and Voldemort isn’t as long as I would have expected, but the build up to it is gripping and the battle scenes around it are spectacular. The attack on Hogwart’s and the rubble that results reminds exactly of the London Blitz. Even better, there’s an earlier sequence, in the underground vault of Gringotts Bank, reached via a roller coaster and guarded by a dragon, that’s exciting with tension and imaginatively-staged action. Later there’s a fire monster and our three friends get back on broomsticks to escape him. To me that’s part of the satisfying way this film wraps up the saga. It recalls what came before and answers all the questions still hanging, what Voldemort is really up to, how Harry really figures into it, final revelations about Snape and Dumbledore. It’s so well done, it doesn’t at all feel like boring exposition, but it does complete the themes of good vs evil, tolerance vs bigotry and fear of death.

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