Film (with rating): Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 (PG-13)
Warner Home Video
this, the final adventure in the epic “Harry Potter” series, the battle between good and evil, Harry
Potter and Lord Voldemort, escalates into an all-out war.
can I even begin to review this? Part of me is remarkably saddened by this
final chapter; I actually avoided seeing the movie in theaters. I didn’t want
the journey to end. Yes, I’d read all the books and enjoyed them immensely. I
knew how the story wrapped up, and I loved it. Yet seeing the closing credits
on this, the eighth movie in the franchise, proved to be depressing.
But another part of me is absolutely thrilled to watch every
minute of “Deathly Hallows Pt. 2.” It’s just that well done, in every
way, from the acting to the plot to the cinematography.
We watched the cast literally grow up this past decade or so.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have been at the helm as the
title characters since they were just grade schoolers, barely bigger than their
wands (and so cute I wanted to move to London just so my future children would
speak with that adorable accent). And now, they’re all grown up, gaining more
and more talent with each passing film. The acting caliber and plot progression
throughout all of the movies has never once stumbled, despite changes in the
director’s chair. Having entire–and fantastic–casts (save Dumbledore) remain
the same throughout this long of a project is more proof that the “Harry
Potter” series is something for the record books in more ways than one.
In “Deathly Hallows Pt. 2,” we continue on with
the second half of the seventh and final novel. And it does not disappoint in
the least. All of the movies have stayed true to the book, and this one is no
exception. The epic battle scene adds even more dimension than did my own
imagination while reading J.K. Rowling’s prose. To say the scene was massive is
But don’t think this movie is so filled with eye-popping
special effects that everything else is sacrificed. No, on the contrary.
Director David Yates made sure that there were quiet moments in “Deathly
Hallows Pt. 2,” the kind that move a film and the viewer. We not only
experience the adrenaline-fueled action scenes, but we feel the emotion and
angst of the characters we’ve grown to love. We see and feel the movie’s plot,
and like the characters, we’re left different for it. Different, and better.
It seems strange to wax so poetically about a blockbuster
movie (blockbuster, to the tune of $1.3 billion worldwide). But as any fan
knows, “Harry Potter” is more than a film series. It spans the
generations, it teaches us lessons, it shows us that sometimes fate is not just
what is laid out before us but what we make of it. The “Boy Who
Lived” taught us about friendship, believing in yourself, going up against
the odds and knowing that being who you are is sometimes so much harder than
just going with the group. A book that began as a labor of love for one British
writer who wanted to pen a novel for children has now become a worldwide
phenomena, transporting readers and viewers to a magical kingdom filled with
fantasy, friendship and hope.
While it was with sadness that I watched the final scene in
this final “Harry Potter” movie, it wasn’t as traumatic as I feared.
In fact, it was another life lesson at the hands of the boy wizard. Just like
Neville said, trying to make sense of all the tragedy endured in this epic
battle: “Those who die remain with us in our hearts.” The “Harry
Potter” series may not be “dead,” exactly, but it is over, and
it will always remain in viewers’ hearts.
For a really monumental sendoff, begin a “Harry Potter” marathon,
with all the films watched back-to-back. It may take you more than one weekend,
but what a great way to really become one with the young wizards. You’ll be flying so high on Hogwarts
fun, you’ll bet someone hit you with a Wingardium Leviosa spell.
“A Conversation with J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe” for a look
into the two people who really are Harry Potter.
What to serve for dinner: You’re in for a treat, my friends. A whole spread
influenced by the magical world of Harry Potter.
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda
In a small saucepan over medium, combine the brown sugar and
water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads
240 F on a candy thermometer. Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 heavy
cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Once the mixture has cooled, stir
in the rum extract.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar
mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat
until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall
glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each
glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional
cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.
QUIDDITCH PLAYERS PIE (http://www.smithbites.com/2011/07/movie-bites-quidditch-players-pie/)
pound ground beef
medium jalapeno peppers, ribs & seeds removed
garlic clove, smashed, finely diced
cup diced onion
cup diced carrot
cup frozen peas
packet IKEA Swedish Meatball Gravy mix
cups real mashed potatoes to cover (good frozen or refrigerated mashed potatoes
work here; and for the love of all that is good in this world, please don’t
cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
smoked paprika for garnish
small saucepan, make Ikea gravy according to package directions; set aside.
Brown the beef in a large cast iron skillet for about 5-7 minutes; when no
longer pink, remove from heat, drain fat and set aside. On medium heat and
using the same skillet, add jalapenos, garlic, onions and carrot; saut about 5
minutes or until vegetables are softened.
Stir in peas and warm – about 3 minutes. Add cooked beef and gravy; stir
to combine. Place
ground beef mixture into greased individual cast iron skillets or casserole
dish; cover with a layer of potatoes, top with cheese and sprinkle with smoked
Bake in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes; move rack to broil position and
broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese gets golden brown. Remove from oven and
let rest for about 10 minutes before serving
MRS. WEASLEY’S ROCK CAKES (http://thebaresthintofsweetness.blogspot.com/2007/08/mrs-weasleys-rock-cakes.html)
Makes 12 Large
or 16 Medium Rock Cakes
4 cups self-raising flour (or
plain flour, plus 4 tsp baking powder)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dried fruit (dried cranberries, currants, raisins or sultanas)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a large aluminum sheet. Sift the flour, salt
and mixed spice together in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and
rub it into the flour until it has the consistency of large crumbs.
Stir in the sugar and dried fruit. Beat the egg and milk together. Pour the egg
mixture evenly over the flour/fruit mixture in the bowl. Using a large metal
tablespoon, blend the mixtures together to form a rough dough. Try not to over
mix; this causes the rock cakes to come out hard and tough. Just mix it enough
until the flour is mixed in.
Using the spoon, dollop portions of dough onto the aluminum sheet. They will
fall off the spoon in a rather rough fashion – resist the urge to smooth them
out! Make sure to leave 1 1/2 inches between the mounds as they will spread
when baked. Sprinkle each mound with plenty of granulated sugar. This gives
both good crunch and shine when baked.
Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes – smaller rock cakes will take
about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack immediately and let cool fully before
eating. Best eaten within a couple of days.
What to talk about over dinner: What was your favorite “Harry Potter”
movie? Book? Why? Least favorite? Why? Favorite character? What life lessons
did this series teach you? How did the books appeal to both young and old
alike? Why were they so successful? Why were the movies so successful? Has
there ever been anything like this Harry Potter phenomenon before? What will
come next? What’s on the horizon for the stars of this movie? Will there ever
be any more Potter news from Rowling? Will Daniel Radcliffe ever step away from
Harry’s shadow? How did they (Emma, Daniel and Rupert) become some of the
world’s biggest movie stars, and yet still remain “normal” and
trouble-free? Lindsay Lohan, are you listening?