Film Junk Podcast Episode #295: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

0:00 – Intro
3:58 – Headlines: Daniel Day-Lewis to Play Abraham Lincoln, Steven Soderbergh to Direct The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Guillermo del Toro Producing New Hulk TV Series, New Batman TV Series Starring Karl Urban?, Eli Roth to Produce Horror Movie Based on Fake Trailer, Oscar Shortlist for Best Documentary Feature Announced
19:50 – Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
52:40 – Trailer Trash: Green Lantern, The Green Hornet, Your Highness, Cowboys & Aliens
1:06:36 – Other Stuff We Watched: Catfish, We Live in Public, Kisses, The Losers, Conan, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, The Night of the Hunter, Toy Story 3, The Larry Sanders Show
1:34:00 – Junk Mail: Quidditch World Cup, Movies Overshadowed by Publicity Stunts, My Winnipeg, Movies Too Sad to Watch a Second Time, Spielberg and Tintin, Where is Chian?
1:49:00 – This Week’s DVD Releases
1:50:45 – Outro

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  • Johnny Roy

    Yo, link is fudged.

  • kyri

    Nothing it’s fudged boy..
    Nice show you guys.

    Sean please don’t get me wrong but I would really like to see a duckface picture with your new mustache.

    just think about it.

  • Works for me. Anyone else having problems?

  • rjdelight

    I don’t think you should take the January release date for The Green Hornet as a sign of quality. The film was pushed back to January to allow time for the 3D conversion.

  • Or so they claim!

    It’s still not a great time to release a movie. If they really thought it had blockbuster potential they probably would have pushed it back to at least March.

  • kyri

    Just Think about it Sean..

  • Gil

    Wow! Even Harry Potter parodies sound boring.

  • bullet3

    Haven’t seen the new harry potter so I can’t comment on quality, but its kind of ridiculous for you guys to complain about not understanding things if you haven’t recently watched the previous movies. Its an ongoing story and it can’t be expected to re-explain everything in every movie in case you’ve missed the last one. If you watch them in a row (like within a month or two span) I don’t think you’d have any problems following these movies. As it is, most of the confusion and questions you guys have are easily understood if you’d been watching the earlier movies.

  • Gil

    @bullet3
    i suppose you have a point, but what if you’re just a theater rat? you’d only watch these as they come out in theaters.

  • Gil

    Night of the Hunter reminded me of Undertow.

  • Mark In Ottawa

    Thanks for the new episode.

    Hey Greg – What did you think of the Pat Burns tribute ?

    I thought the use of the Beatles song was a bit much.

    Get well Frank.

    Hos and Brews – That’ll do it.

  • AJ

    Wow, I’ve read and heard some clueless Harry Potter reviews. But this hands-down is the most clueless and lethargic discussion of Harry Potter I have ever heard. So much so that it was actually hilarious to listen to, rather than frustrating. “What did you think abooot the sandwiches?”

  • Napalm

    Being a fan of the HP books I facepalmed through my way thru the review. Would have to agree with bullet3… I really don’t see why you folks even watched the movie in the first place. Could’ve reviewed something that you were interested in instead.

    Btw, love Jay’s new comedy routine of spelling out every single fucking website lmao.

  • All I can say is that we gave it a chance, and again, I’m sure there are other people out there in our situation. Hopefully it was still at least somewhat entertaining to listen to.

    I’m sure we would have reviewed something else if there actually was something else in theatres that we were interested in. To be honest I have no idea what we’re going to review between now and Tron.

  • Review Faster, Sean. It’s The Rock and Billy Bob, that should be enough!

  • Aaron

    I watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince over the weekend and I had a similar experience as you guys watching Deathly Hallows. Even though I could basically follow the story, things kept coming up that weren’t really explained and I just had to go with it. Also, there were many moments in the film that just felt short-changed or unearned. These movies really should stand on their own, but the past few have ventured further away from independent viewing experiences.

  • Falsk

    I don’t know who I’m more frustrated with–the HP fans who are all, “OMG you guys don’t know ANYTHING” or the film critics who are all, “I don’t remember ANYTHING and I don’t care to.”

    It’s actually interesting that you three had the same reaction to the film as Colin (and he’s read the books, seen the films) who, throughout the movie, kept asking me, “Who’s that? What’s that? Why are they doing that?” At first I thought this was because he’s an idiot … but four people all saying the same thing has got me thinking…

    Here’s the problem. The story of Harry Potter isn’t rock solid. In fact it’s a little tedious and dull. It
    doesn’t help that it was diluted into a seven-part series. Now add the second and third-tier characters all with their whimsical names and thirty-second cameos and it gets to be a bit much, film-wise. With a book you can flip back and forth if you forget something, etc, but it’s really a little much to ask your film fans to keep up over the course of NINE YEARS. In my opinion, these films have ALWAYS been supplements to the books and I, too, would like to hear from a fan who’s been watching the films on their own all this time and has been keeping up.

    I wonder if the prodcers had approached this series the way they did with LotR if it would have faired better. I found the LotR books to be absolutely tedious and I think it’s interesting that the writers stripped the stories away to their most basic, released those films in theater, and then made the super extended versions complete with all the add-ons and extra characters just for the fans–all without confusing the general audience. Sure you get the diehards moaning and groaning with, “It’s not the same! They RUINED IT.” But guess what, the LotR films were great. Even without stupid Tom Bombadil.

    With HP, if the screenplays had been a little more solid for all the films (and maybe did a little more recapping at their beginnings) I feel there’d be less confusion. Of course, if there were maybe four or five films instead of eight… that wouldn’t be too bad either.

  • Greg

    As far as I’m concerned, seeing all of the movies should be good enough to follow the story. A film goer should not have to revisit all of the movies before seeing a new one. That’s poor storytelling if one needs to do that. I’ve never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I only saw those movies in the theatre and they are some of the best movies I have ever seen. Fans of the HP books will absolutely love this movie and that’s great, but if a movie fan who only sees the films in the theatre can’t follow along then I don’t think it’s done it’s job. I’m sorry you didn’t like my review or if I offended any HP fans. I stand by the fact that if you haven’t read the books and have only seen the movies once then you’ll have a hard time following this movie. To me, that’s careless filmmaking.

    @Mark in Ottawa – You are the one person that didn’t find that tribute emotional. That organization does tributes better than any other. A great tribute for a good man.

  • Falsk

    @Greg – That’s what I’m saying!

  • Colin

    Greg, your review was sweet vindication. I’m not an idiot after all!

    BTW–Who is Harry Potter???

  • Berserker

    I’m convinced that Greg didn’t actually watch the Harry Potter movie. He was faking the review. I’ll do that when friends loan me a dvd sometimes. They are so excited about the movie, so I don’t want to spoil their mood by saying I don’t want to watch it. So, I’m like,”yeah, that one part in the beginning was so cool…”.
    Greg, stop being so lazy. Seriously dude. Also, get some 5-hour energy before the show. You are too quiet lately.

  • Nic

    An additional comment on the tidiness of the script: In the books (much to my chagrin) there are increasingly lengthy “Previously on Harry Potter” chapters that remind readers what will be important for this book. This seems to cater to the younger target audience, but no such devices are in the movies. Also missing (thankfully) are the lengthy postmortems between Harry and Dumbledore for up to two chapters after the story is essentially over. Again, this helps the reader understand, but perhaps the weaker plot points don’t transfer to film as well due to these necessarily absent story-telling devices.

  • Well at least the response to our review gives me good reason not to force myself to see the next film. To think I felt a responsibility to see it for the sake of the show! I will gladly sit out on Harry Potter 8..

  • Jason W

    I’m not the biggest HP fan (the franchise or the computers) but why did you guys give a half-assed review of this when you coulda seen “Next Three Days” or something you couldve reviewed with more insight. If you’re indifferent to the franchise, or chose to give up, don’t bother continuing even just for the sake of the podcast. Even Greg didn’t contribute much, for simply not knowing what was going on. Was he too tired? I know fanboys will give you shit for dismissing HP, but I’m giving you shit for even bothering to review it when you coulda spent time on something more interesting. The reviews couldve Been summed up in one word: “Whatever.” Who cares at this point if you’ve stopped caring a few films back? Don’t bother with the final installment if the review is going to be like this past one. Indifference is just boring, and uninteresting to listen to, guys.

  • I can’t speak for Jay or Greg, but I honestly thought this one would be better than the last few because of the fact that it was the finale. I was wrong.

  • projectgenesis

    As far as stuff to review between now and Tron? I vote for Terry Fader: Live in Concert or Best of Terry Fader: Volume 1. Both on are on sale at That’s Entertainment.

  • Whether there were any preconceived notions going into this, the bottom line is that the movie’s just not very good (and no one calling the reviewers out on their cool reception to it has actually defended Deathly Hallows). If it were good (or as good as some of the previous installments), it’d likely dispel any prejudice, but it’s not, which is why it didn’t. It is slow, it is confusing, and it does expect you to know a lot of backstory.

    And if it’s really that traumatizing to listen to a lackluster review of a film, just fast-forward.

  • It just comes down to the fact that people don’t like to hear lacklustre reviews of films they love and a lot of people love Harry Potter. And yes, I have yet to hear any responses to the criticisms we did have for the film.

    We’ve given many lacklustre reviews in the past and it’s never been much of an issue.

  • I just saw it, and I’d give it a 3/4. It’s really one giant movie split into two parts. I’d probably be better off just reviewing it as a whole once Part 2 comes out.

    I can understand both sides – the INSANE love for the series, and the indifference. The only one of the Potter movies I loved was PRISONER OF AZKABAN. They should’ve just had Alfonso Cuaron on board for the entire series. With that said, I did like the last two films in the series. Sometimes I don’t always have to know what’s going on. If it’s visually interesting at least, then I can get behind it. I thought you guys did the best you could with this kind of material. It’s not something people should take really seriously at all. It’s minor escapist entertainment that is nowhere near something like LORD OF THE RINGS. Confusing? Yes. Entertaining? For the most part. It’ll be interesting to see the end of it all, but I’m also not clamoring for it either.

  • I think you should review “Burlesque” for your next podcast.

    I would love to hear Greg’s opinions on the film.

  • Cassandra

    Ha, I was going to comment about how terrible the HP review was but I’m not sure you guys deserve any more flack for this. Although I’ve never read past the first book and am by no means a hardcore fan but at least I knew what was going on, they do explain everything in the movies you just have to pay attention. I did agree completely about the dancing scene though…it was just ridiculous.

  • Primal

    I would say that the Harry 1&2 are good standalone films where you don’t need to read the books enjoy them. 3&4 are well-made and just good movies but would need all that backstory from the films at the very least. 5-7part1 all are guilty of horrendous cinematic storytelling. They are filmed as if you you’ve read all the books and it doesn’t care if you seen the movies. I don’t know if this is because Yates is directing, but the films seems like pure fan service now. So all the HP hardcore fans will like even the shitty ones.

    I continue to really dislike any films that take the viewers for granted and tell the story as if you’ve read the books or have seen all the films of said franchise. Having stuck with the franchise all this time, I’ll watch the last one, but I’m pretty sure that it’ll be shit too.

    All the holes seemed to be covered in the review. The only person who seemed into their role and I enjoyed looking at on screen would probably Helena Bonham Carter. I thought she did great in her role.

  • Well now I know what it sounds like if three clones of Reed review a movie. Mark that off the ‘ol Bucket List.

  • Still waiting for someone to refute or defend the actual criticisms we had for Harry Potter 7.

    I guess it’s easier to write off anything negative we had to say because we had issues with some of the plot points.

  • Perhaps if you guys could have actually articulated your criticisms.

    The issue with the review isn’t that you didn’t like it, the film has plenty of flaws, its that you and Sean were both clearly uninterested in even discussing anything and let Greg dominate the conversation when he clearly struggled with following the film (which I think is a valid criticism but one that you guys examined in an incredibly lethargic, and thus, uninteresting way).

    So the review ended up being very scatter shot and covering inane details like why John Hurt was in the cellar (when he’d already appeared earlier in the film) to the point that it felt like Reed looking for boom mics in Star Trek.

    If you guys aren’t interested in watching a movie, then don’t watch it. It’s that simple.

  • “If you guys aren’t interested in watching a movie, then don’t watch it. It’s that simple.”

    Gladly. More than happy to not waste my time/money on shit I don’t want to see that people don’t care about hearing us talk about. Still, just for the heck of it, here’s a list of comments and criticisms from our review:

    – film was too long
    – might require having read the books
    – too much politics within the world (much like Star Wars prequels)
    – plot was confusing at points
    – wedding scene was extraneous
    – Several plot holes (some people who suffer bodily harm can be saved while others can’t for some unexplained reason)
    – The overall quest has lost its clarity
    – What happened to the school? (I enjoyed the time at the school)
    – Voldemort showdown keeps getting strung along
    – Horcruxes are not a satisfactory Mcguffin and their journey to find them seems somewhat unfocused and haphazard. It plays like a stall tactic before actually confronting Voldemort
    – Why was it so hard to kill Harry Potter? Sometimes they’re easy to find, sometimes they’re not.
    – If the bad guys knew when Harry Potter would be transported and from where, why didn’t they just attack the house?
    – The Harry Potter face change disguise was a poor plot device.
    – This film wasn’t as fun and magical as the first couple of films.
    – Why do the kids keep wearing the Horcrux if they know it makes them angry (a device stolen from Lord of the Rings)
    – The Horcrux was a cheap device to allow their otherwise perfect and pleasant characters to express natural human emotions. This shouldn’t require a necklace.
    – Characters haven’t changed over the seven films (only physically).
    – Enjoyed the diner scene and the broom escape at the beginning.
    – Wished they explored their time in the real world a little further. Fish out of water story.
    – Glimpses of modern day London helped build the ‘secret’ world of the wizards.
    – Rules of the universe seem very inconsistent
    – The end was not entirely unsatisfying (although Sean thought ‘that’s it?’) and worked as the conclusion to a first part.

    Seems like a fair amount of articulated criticisms.

    I can’t speak on behalf of Greg and Sean (who have been willing to go along with this series and have seen all of them) but my review comes from the perspective of the outsider. I didn’t expect ALL of us to be outsiders or else I would’ve suggested skipping this film.

  • kyri

    “”If you guys aren’t interested in watching a movie, then don’t watch it. It’s that simple.””

    What a load of sophisticated Crap Gamble. I and I think many others enjoy the FJreviews of crappy films way more than the so called 4star reviews. First of all if a movie is any good I don’t want to hear anything about it. Not even nonspoiler reviews.

    I enjoyed the shoe-house jokes I enjoyed the anti-British jokes. Overall it was a great solid show.

    One of the reasons I like this show is because they do not only review films they Like.. That would be Boring as Gamble.. ;)

  • kyri

    God Damn it JAY c We were writing simultaneously..

  • Mark In Ottawa

    Hey Greg,

    The tribute was great. I just found that the Beatles song is a little overused in that stuation.

    They should have went with something like “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2guQYivZ6w

  • So the general consensus is we shouldn’t review movies we aren’t interested in, and we shouldn’t review any movies that are actually good. I guess we’ll stick to movies we’re interested in that end up sucking?

    Strangely, enough I think Harry Potter falls into that camp. I think we all had some level of interest in it, and we were kind of hoping that it would win us back because it was part of the finale.

  • Mark In Ottawa

    I think you should review whatever Sean wants. For a while now people have been disregarding Sean’s role on this podcast and I think it’s a real shame. I think the group mentally gets in the way of selecting movies.

    I think the answer is to fire Greg.

    Actually, I don’t care as long as Frank reviews “Drive Angry” that’s gonna be the best film since “Hot Rod”.

    I’m so pumped for that movie I’m gonna pay twice to see it.

  • Cassandra

    I think it’s funny that people are actually trying to tell you what and what not to review seeing as how it’s your show. They say not to review something you’re not interested in when they could just as easily not listen to a show they don’t like. People listen to this podcast for your opinions on movies, not for any kind of official ruling.

  • Man, I should have been on this podcast and said that I loved this latest Harry Potter instalment. Then I would have finally been redeemed in the ears of the Film Junk audience!

    I don’t know why Jay is getting so worked up about all the criticisms of this particular podcast. It’s not like he cares about what you all have to say anyway. Ha ha.

    (P.S. When all of you grow up, you’ll finally realize how bad the Star Trek movie was. :-))

  • Mark In Ottawa

    REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD !

  • What a load of sophisticated Crap Gamble. I and I think many others enjoy the FJreviews of crappy films way more than the so called 4star reviews.

    So do I, I just don’t enjoy reviews where clearly all the reviewers have no interest in talking about the film at all. And that’s exactly what this review was.

    And while Jay listed off the points of complaint, almost all of them can be attributed to the answers already being discussed in this film, previous films and/or the books. But since all three of them clearly pay little to no attention to the films due to lack of interest, you get them discussing topics that bear no relevance on the actual review. Which is exactly why I pointed out why it sounded like 3 Reed’s.

    Questioning whether the 7th chapter of an 8 part linear narrative should be readily accessible to people who haven’t watched/read the first 6 chapters is a somewhat interesting and valid criticism, but they never really went into that. They just harped on plot points for 30 minutes, which makes for a ridiculously boring and borderline obtuse show. If I wanted that shit I’d listen to the Row Three Cinecast.

  • @Matt Gamble. Although it was a bit harsh on the Row Three Podcast to describe this FJ review in this way… I look forward to describing other podcasts & bands as “auditory abortions,” Mr. Gamble. Thanks for the hearty guffaw, sir.

  • Henrik

    When you start a review with: “herp dep how was I supposed to know mifflemorf was dead and by the way I thought Alan Rickman was a good guy LOL WTF?”, it pretty much doesn’t matter how many valid points you bring up afterwards.

    I think this was definitely the rare case where not bothering would have been the preferable choice. It’s the 7th movie in the series, unless you’ve been paying attention, shit is going to go over your head. When there’s several movies you haven’t even watched, it would have had to have been some sort of godlike storytelling to bring a newcomer up to speed elegantly, let alone somebody who isn’t interested in being brought up to speed.

  • look forward to describing other podcasts & bands as “auditory abortions,” Mr. Gamble. Thanks for the hearty guffaw, sir.

    Suck it, Chay.