Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Action Movie plus Magic plus Nancy Reagan

Besides doing super-fun dating stuff like going to haunted houses for Jackalope Ranch's comprehensive Halloween guide, New Times blogger Colin Lecher and fellow young journalist Jessica Testa go to the movies.

Colin: Can I start this off with a confession?

Jessica: Go ahead.

Colin: I didn't read all the Harry Potter books. Someone revoke my nerd license and repossess my comic books.

Jessica: Don't be too hard on yourself. Harry Potter nerds are a different kind of nerd. They are more mainstream than you comic book people. In a way, you not reading the books just validates your status as a hipster nerd.

Colin: Ouch. Anyway, I actually liked "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," whether or not I know what the hell a Horcrux is. I wasn't that into it at first, but during one of the chase scenes I said, "Holy crap. This is like 'Die Hard' but with magic. I am so on board."

Jessica: "Die Hard" is kind of a stretch, but yeah, the action scenes were pretty intense. I'm glad the director refused to release it in 3D. I might have had a coronary, Also, those Daniel Radcliffe make out scenes (yes, multiple scenes!) would have been way grosser in three dimensions. Remember when he was like 12?

Colin: Agreed, I feel like 3D actually ends up making things less believable sometimes. But how real the movie felt was what drew me in -- the worst scenes were when they tried to make it cheeky and fun before Ron gets a "Saving Private Ryan" battle wound. In a way, it's (and we're coming full circle here) like making a comic book movie. When you make it straight-faced, you get "The Dark Knight." When you try to make a joke out of it, you get "Batman and Robin." ("Ice to meet you!")

Jessica: The humor/tragedy combination is very much part of the books, though. But even as a (very light) Potter fan, I felt like the new movie was really disjointed. The later films have been made for the fans, not the average movie-goer, which can be a good or bad thing. Here, I don't think it worked. If I had seen the movie without reading the book, I, like you, would have no idea what a Horcrux was.

Colin: Wow. Did I actually like this movie more than you did? Maybe it ended up appealing more to non-fans than they expected. But I can see where you're coming from. One thing I hated is that a lot of the action happened off-camera. Case in point:

"What happened to Moody?!"

"He just died in that epic battle."

"Oh, I bet that was pretty wild. Well, let's have some tea then."

Jessica: The best scenes were the character development scenes though. Like when Harry and Hermione start dancing after a really dark, depressing moment. It's touching. Seriously. And I'm not going to say I cried or anything ... but the death count was high.

Colin: I'm not going to say you cried either ... but the tear count was high. I liked how they squeezed a ton of different styles into the movie. After the "Die Hard" scene, Harry and the gang went on a spy mission that could've been an "Ocean's 11" outtake. Then there's some awesome animation, and then a scene where it looks like Ron is on a bad acid trip. And Dolores Umbridge looked like Nancy Reagan or Margaret Thatcher handing out Soviet propaganda. Try that one on for size, Harry Potter over-analyzers. (Yeah, I know, Dumbledore is gay.)

Jessica: Wait, Dumbledore is gay? That makes so much sense...

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