The Harry Potter Retrospective – The Kids (Charts Ahoy!)

Over the course of the eight Harry Potter films a group of young actors went from amateurs to movie stars, but are they any good? We’ve updated our charts to give you our opinion on who was the best actor and who should give up now.

After each of the eight films we scored Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Tom Felton out of ten for their acting ability, the results can be seen below.

As you can see film seven was the moment when each of the main three had equal acting skills, but from there they each went in a different direction in the final film.

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe certainly looks like the perfect Harry Potter, it’s just a shame that when the films started he was the worst actor of a weak bunch. As with the rest of the kids Radcliffe learnt on the job and gradually got better up until the fourth film where he was required to lose control of his emotions. Anger and sadness at the death of a friend and the rise of an enemy were not within Radcliffe’s range and he dropped back down. From then he slowly recovered while gaining comedy chops in Half Blood Prince and then proper dramatic muscle in Deathly Hallows Part 1.

After the impressive display in Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Part 2 was a step in the wrong direction as his performance became patchy again. When required to be sincere or earnest Radcliffe falls short, and a final showdown against evil is not a relaxed occasion. Regardless, Daniel Radcliffe has come a long way since 2001 and it will be interesting to see him play a different character. We’ll be watching him closely with Excel at the ready.
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Harry Potter – A Premature Retrospective… With Charts

Harry Potter 1 to 7

What follows is the result of sleep deprivation, a Thermos of coffee and a pile of scrawled notes.

EDIT: Updated versions of the charts below can be found in our new retrospective posts on the seven films and the young actors.

On Saturday night Mild Concern returned to the BFI IMAX to finish the Harry Potter All-Nighter marathon. To keep ourselves stimulated and, at a more basic level, awake, we discussed each film in between, scoring various aspects, making notes and even counting one specific phrase. In this post we’ll have a look at some of what we noted down, what this says about the franchise’s progression and what it can tell us about the final film. Once that final film is out we will review it alone and then all eight as a whole, as our final word on the franchise we grew up with.

But first, let’s talk about the IMAX. Our two recent trips have been great, the image is crisp and clear and so wide my peripheral vision was fully taken up with the world of Potter. Films were made to be seen on the big screen and this is the biggest screen in the UK, what more can we say?

Still, there were two drawbacks. The minor one was some distracting disco lights at the bottom of the screen during Order of the Phoenix. The second, more important, factor was a sequence in 3D in two of the films. The 3D worked in a few shots but for the majority of the time it gave us both double vision, caused one of us headaches and made the action scenes extremely hard to follow. Thankfully most of the films are made entirely in 2D, but the upcoming Deathly Hallows Part 2 is another matter.

Presentation quibbles out of the way, onto the charts! Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – Blu-ray Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

We’ve already given Deathly Hallows Part 1 the dubious title of Top of the Potters in our review last year so we’ll skip the bit where we go on about how good the film is, though it really is, and focus on the extras.

The Blu-ray and DVD have the same extras with one exception, the so-called “Maximum Movie Mode” which I had to abandon early on. With Maximum Movie Mode turned out you have the movie repeatedly interrupted with the cast present various extra features, these include deleted scenes, clips from earlier films, behind the scenes footage, random trivia and at one point Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) reading out part of the book. I prefer not to have the film interrupted and was disappointed to not be able to watch all the extra bits separately, although some were elsewhere on the disc. I tried to skip through the film but gave up after some inane trivia and Felton’s first reading. This particular special feature forgot to make its features special.

The rest of the features are more interesting and aren’t limited to just the Blu-ray. Deleted scenes are mostly quiet emotional scenes which flesh out the Hermione/Ron romance and give more closure to the Dursleys. You can see why they were cut from the already slow film but as a Potter fan they were great to see.

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The behind the scenes featurettes avoid traditional talking heads extras, instead going into details about certain scenes while still leaving film nerds wanting more. Still, you can’t expect too many in-depth documentaries on the DVD for a children’s film, can you? The only extra outside Maximum Movie Mode that I had to abandon was a 20+ minute long clip following some of the cast playing golf and talking about how good friends they are, great for fans of the Weasleys perhaps.

If you’re the sort of person that buys Harry Potter DVDs then there’s no reason not to buy this on DVD or Blu-ray, though only opt for the Blu-ray for the high-definition as Maximum Movie Mode isn’t worth the extra money. You can also get a box-set of the first seven films, but with one left to go that would be a pretty stupid thing to do.

The DVD/Blu-ray is out today and Part 2 hits the silver screen on July 7th 2011.