It’s been 10 long years, but we finally graduated college, got a job, and moved out of our parents’ attic. And just in time, too, because the final ‘Harry Potter’ movie is hitting theaters, and we’d feel pretty outgunned having to compete in today’s job market against a boy wizard. Nevertheless, the Potter saga, which began in 2001, is finally coming to an end after 8 films, and we couldn’t be happier. Not that we haven’t followed the movies or grown to love the loveable wizards and that cute little muggle girl, but because it’s time, and those kids aren’t getting any younger. However, Warner Bros. hasn’t taken this lying down, chopping the last film in two and stretching out the whole thing, squeezing every bit of money out of the rabid fans who have dutifully been shelling out their hard earned money on everything from tickets and tie-ins, to some of the weirdest merchandise ever seen outside of Japan. But not even Lord Voldemort is bold enough to try to take on that cash cow, as every other studio has bowed out this weekend, except for Disney and their very ambivalent attempt to tap into any trickle down ticket money for those too late to get into theaters this weekend. So , for all intents and purposes, this weekend it’s all about Harry.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 opens up nationwide to cheers and tears as the last movie in the series storms into theaters primed to set records and sew up the franchise. Sure to be a cultural touchstone for fans and pop culture junkies alike, the kids have grown into young adults and so have their loyal followers, and viewers shant be disappointed. After Part 1 came out last November to middling reviews, we’ve been waiting patiently for the finale, even more so, since the first half was so slow. But now, with all the exposition out of the way, we are set for nothing but action upon action, and that’s what we’ll get. With all the characters and plot points set in motion, all the pieces have been positioned on the board, and it’s time to unleash them upon Hogwarts in a battle royale. Will Harry take on Voldemort and perish with him in the fires? Will Ron Weasley and Hermoine finally kiss? And will Professor Snape prove that under all that black lies a heart of gold? If you’ve been a fan of the books, you probably already know all the answers, but moviegoers will delight in this last installment that’s sure to tie up all the loose ends, and sneak in a couple surprises at that. For true fans, the franchise is poised to go out on a high note as one of the best in the series, and for even the most casual movie buff who’s willing to do some light background reading, the show will prove to be a movie milestone as a textbook way to provide onscreen summer movie magic. Either way, the 2+ hour runtime will fly by, keeping you on the edge of your seat. If you sat through Transformers 3 over the Fourth of July weekend thinking the big summer blockbuster hit its peak, be sure that the summer movie season will last a least a few days longer. Don’t miss.
And as a complete afterthought, Disney, who lost out on the biggest movie franchise of the new millennium, is practically puking out a movie in the hopes that some poor family, somewhere, missed out on tickets to the final Potter film. But, in a move that’s almost defiant to the big budget light and magic of Potter, an all new Winnie the Pooh movie comes out this weekend, without CGI, without Pixar’s computers, and without any pretention whatsoever. Modeled in the same vein as the classics that built the “House of Mouse,” Pooh comes along hoping to snatch up the littlest of kiddie viewers who were born five years after the Potter series started, and just aren’t old enough yet to enjoy a sophisticated wizard movie. A classy and shrewd move on Disney’s part, at half the runtime and a fraction of the cost to make, the studio recognizes that pitting something against the boy wizard is a suicide move, so they’re planning on sneaking under the radar, and hopefully, will stand to make a couple bucks issuing a cheap movie that’s actually fun to watch and is getting pretty good reviews. For nostalgic reasons alone, the movie should have parents moving to introduce their kids to the pudgy yellow bear they grew up on, and if not, hey – they’re not out any money on an overblown kids film that stands no chance at making a dent on the one BIG movie this weekend.