I just watched all eight Harry Potter films for the first time in a big binge and.it.was.AWESOME! I had been meaning to do this for many years now. I haven't read the books and for some odd reason I didn't get hooked into seeing the movies when they were coming out, even though so many friends are huge fans of both the books and movies. I told myself one day I'd sit down and see them all; and everything lined up for me to be able to do that this weekend.
This is an amazing franchise. Below is my list of assigned Fresnerd grades for each entry. What's so great is that in a franchise of EIGHT movies, every single movie is at least good! Yes, some are noticeably weaker when compared to the others, but not a single movie is bad. That's incredible. What other large franchise has that kind of track record?
Sorcerer's Stone B+
Chamber of Secrets B
Prisoner of Azkaban A
Goblet of Fire B
Order of the Phoenix A-
Half-Blood Prince B
Deathly Hallows Part 1 B-
Deathly Hallows Part 2 A
This franchise is full of wonder, fascinating world building, and unique, lovable characters. Each movie is a fun mystery-solving adventure that makes you understand and enjoy both the world and its characters more. Having the same actors play these characters so well over so many years allows you to see their growth in maturity and fate; so much that you feel part of the emotional journey they're all on. So good!
Where some of the movies appear weaker than the others is in their management of plot. Even though I've never read the books, I can tell there is a massive amount of source material that these filmmakers had to condense into well-flowing movies. That must have been so difficult. Some movies exhibit heavy exposition and rushed or confusing plots (especially for a person that hasn't read the books). An example of this that I want to highlight is Goblet of Fire, where even though I think it's one of the weaker entries, I can tell it would be my favorite book in the series to read. However, none of the movies suffer from these faults. Like I said before, they're all at least good. The gems of the franchise are those like Azkaban, Phoenix, and Hallows 2 where the director was able to focus on the most important story elements while servicing character development.
Key praises include:
* Chris Columbus's visionary casting of the leads
* The reactions of awe maintained throughout the whole franchise
* John Williams' moving scoring that perfectly captures the spirit of these stories
* Alfonso Cuaron's masterful directing in Prisoner of Azkaban that shifted the whole style of the franchise in a great way
* Standout performances from Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes
* Best villain of the franchise: Dolores Umbridge
* Locking in for the second half of the franchise a talented director that obviously understands and cares about the source material
* Especially tearful losses towards the end of the franchise (no spoilers on who and which movies)
I'm officially a Harry Potter fan!!! Only took me 16 years hahaha. Which are your favorite Harry Potter films and what do you most love about this franchise?