Tag Archives: Harry Potter

The Good, The Bad, The Bogus: Movies with All-Star Casts

Cue the sparkly text, pretty faces and ideal romances — it’s the Valentine’s Day sequel, New Year’s Eve. Yet again, Garry Marshall snatches up some of the biggest names the industry has to offer – Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank and Sofia Vegara.

Sure, a top-notch cast can give a solid production the push it needs to make it great, but then, sadly, there are those instances where massive assemblies of the best of the best are spoiled by other subpar elements. Where will New Year’s Eve fall on the spectrum? Well, if you consider that aforementioned question, you’ll find out what I’m guessing soon enough.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

After ten years and seven films, it’s a near impossible task to wrap up the Harry Potter franchise. As someone who’s never read the books, I sat down for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 expecting to say goodbye to the gang in their graves or living happily ever after. Ultimately, the piece does find an appropriate spot on that spectrum, making for a great series conclusion. Then again, that’s great as compared to something that I hoped would be excellent – just short of excellent that is.

Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) are back and in the midst of their Horcrux hunt. With Griphook (Warwick Davis) the goblin’s reluctant assistance, the trio infiltrates Bellatrix Lestrange’s (Helena Bonham Carter) vault at Gringotts where they suspect yet another Horcrux containing a piece of Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) soul hides. From there, it’s on to track down and destroy the remaining items, both of which are suspected to be at Hogwarts.

The trio arrives back at school to find Snape (Alan Rickman) has assumed the late Albus Dumbledore’s (Michael Gambon) position. Once Harry arrives, Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith), Neville (Matthew Lewis), Ginny (Bonnie Wright) and all of his old Hogwarts pals abandon their efforts to simply submit to their new headmaster’s oppressive regime and join Harry to fight back. Soon thereafter, Voldemort arrives, massive army in tow, and the Battle of Hogwarts begins.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: It’s An International Takeover

After a slow start to the week, we finally amassed enough new promotional material courtesy of the marketing teams abroad. While the domestic promotional departments were enjoying their country’s independence along with the obligatory BBQs and fireworks, the international designers were hard at work helping fill the slots in this week’s promotion section while the few slipups took care of the demotions vacancies.

Just missing out on top honors were two featurettes for Captain America: The First Avenger, both of which are worthy watches as they pack a great deal of back story and behind-the-scenes material. Sliding down the scale the slightest bit is the first trailer for 5 Days of War. While a good portion of the material suggests the film could teeter upon being a bit cliché, the action is alluring enough to build curiosity.

The new trailer for The Myth of the American Sleepover finds itself in a similar position, as while the festival honors are a major draw, the trailer itself makes the film look no better than Prom. As we trickle down closer to the bottom of the barrel, we find Taylor Lautner and his Field of Dreams 2: NFL Lockout parody. While I do appreciate any attempt to make light of a poor situation, thanks to The Twilight Saga, most things featuring Lautner become instantly tacky.

Don’t worry Twilight fans; Jacob Black will live to see another day as there are three other items more deserving of the demotion status. What were they? Check out the best and worst promo material of the week below.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

8 Great Big-Screen Teachers

After going through years and years of schooling, how many in-class lessons do you actually remember? Now, after years and years of moviegoing, how many big-screen lessons do you remember? While I can barely recall my French vocabulary words, standard high school mathematics or chemistry formulas, I’ve got no problem recounting some of the best of the best from on-screen educators like Harry Potter’s Professor Dumbledore and even School of Rock’s so-called Mr. Ned Schneebly.

In honor of the June 24th release of Bad Teacher, in which Cameron Diaz will likely taint our minds as a “booze-swilling, pot-smoking, hard-swearing” middle school teacher, why not take a look back at some big-screen lessons that actually ring true? (And maybe some that are just downright hilarious, too.)

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: ‘Our Idiot Brother,’ ‘The Avengers,’ ‘Harry Potter’ and More

After a week packed with new trailers and clips, mostly courtesy of the MTV Movie Awards, this week turned out to be one overflowing with posters. Quite a few images came through the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, but as most were mere snapshots and consisted of incredibly simplistic designs, as most promo posters do, not many stood out enough to make the list – whether it was for good or bad reasons.

On the other hand, Apple got in on the promo poster fun and premiered one that managed to just miss the cut, the one for John Carter. While it doesn’t say much about the film, overall, this clean-cut design with the film’s initials is simply nice to look at. And yes, that’s partially due to the fact that half of the design consists of Taylor Kitsch.

Barely avoiding demotion territory is the new trailer for Dolphin Tale. While my instincts tell me to roll my eyes at the majestic Morgan Freeman narration and the cute and incredibly noble kid, it’s a true story about a boy helping a dolphin; it’d make me heartless to shame this trailer, right?

Click here to read more.

1 Comment

Filed under Features

Should ‘The Hunger Games’ Be PG-13 Or R? Director Gary Ross Weighs In

Back in October it was revealed that ‘The Hunger Games’ film adaptation was going to be stamped not with an R, but a PG-13 rating — and outrage ensued. Yes, Suzanne Collins’ entire series is for young adults, but for anyone who’s read the books – young or old – you know that the kids of Panem don’t play nice; they’re fighting for their lives.

After posting the news here on Cinematical, we got tons of angry responses, one of which going as far as to say, “This book is not appropriate for twelve year olds, but unfortunately, too many parents lack the spine to say so,” and another posting, “This book is nothing without its brutality. Unless the slaughter of those ten innocent kids is shown in the movie, the audience won’t understand why a revolution is needed.” However, we also got quite a few readers defending the PG-13 ruling: “The books are already PG-13. They’re totally innocuous and lacking in much action and certainly any adult themes. The books seem tailored to a PG-13.” Another pointed out, “I grew up on G movies that killed more horribly.”

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

There’s a lot to the world of Harry Potter. We’ve got all these spells with crazy names, people with crazy names, items with crazy names and for those who’ve never read the books or watched the films dozens of times, it’s impossible to remember them all. Having only seen the last film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, once, not knowing enough information to understand The Deathly Hallows: Part I was a major concern. Well, there’s no need to worry because as important as all of the details are, the quality of filmmaking is monumentally more important and that’s as evident as ever in this film. Director David Yates delivers such an entertaining, engaging and well-made film, you practically feel as though you’re part of the world yourself and it’s that sensation that not only clarifies nearly every detail, but it makes for an immensely powerful and all-consuming experience.

Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) are back, but not at Hogwarts. The search for Voldemort’s Horcruxes is now their top priority forcing them to leave their education and families behind. With the help of Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), Mad-Eye Moody (Brendn Gleeson), Lupin (David Thewlis) and others, Harry is smuggled to the Weasley’s house for hiding, but when their group is ambushed by Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Harry can’t bare to see his friends suffer on his behalf and attempts to venture off alone. That’s when Ron steps in and puts things into prospective; Harry may be the chosen one, but this situation is far bigger than him.

A short while later, the Wesley’s home is attacked in the middle of Bill and Fleur’s (Domhnall Gleeson and Clemence Poesy) wedding and everyone scatters. Harry, Ron and Hermione wind up together and knowing that everybody is surely in hiding, opt to take the search for the Horcruxes upon themselves. With just a few cryptic clues left behind by Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), they’re left to trek across the land in hope they’ll uncover more clues along the way.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews