#151 / 365 – ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1′ – 145 mins
Cinema Challenge #63 / 115
Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction – the Horcruxes. Without the guidance of their professors or the protection of Dumbledore, the three friends must rely on one another more than ever. But Dark Forces in their midst threaten to tear them apart. Meanwhile, the wizarding world has become a dangerous place for all enemies of the Dark Lord. The long-feared war has begun and Voldemort’s Death Eaters seize control of the Ministry of Magic and even Hogwarts, terrorising and arresting anyone who opposes them. But the one prize they still seek is the one most valuable to Voldemort – Harry Potter. The Death Eaters begin their hunt for Harry with orders to bring him to Voldemort – alive!
Day 7. From the opening moment when new Minister of Magic (a flawless Bill Nighy) tones rain down “These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today.” – you know you are in for a dark ride ahead, in fact it’s the darkest episode yet as the production opts for a sombre colour palette largely consisting of ashen greys, washed out blues and shadowy blackness in many of the scenes.
The visual effects are from the top draw, with highlight coming during the mesmerising animated sequence towards the end of the film, when the Tale of the Three Brothers (the origin story of the Deathly Hallows) is explained – is simply exquisite.
During the films middle act the pace does grind to that of a snail, but despite this, it does offer some excellent drama during this segment, as the narrative becomes a more character-driven story rather than a plot-driven one, as Harry, Ron, and Hermione struggle to come to grips with life, jealousy, frustration and everything. It easy to see, having grown up in their roles that Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint give off their best acting in this penultimate chapter.
Once more J.K Rowling wizardry fantasy world casts a magical spell over you with ‘‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1’ which leaves you eagerly and excitedly awaiting its climatic finale, which luckily is less than 24-hours away.
#152 / 365 – ‘Trainspotting’ (1996) – 94 mins
IMDb Challenge #90 / 250 – Ranked #154 – Via DVD Collection
Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), a young man with few prospects and fewer ambitions, lives in economically depressed Edinburgh. Like most of his friends, Renton is a heroin addict who loves the drug’s blissful nothingness; financing his habit also provides excitement and challenges that his life otherwise lacks. Renton’s two best friends are also junkies: Sick Boy (Jonny_Lee_Miller), a snappy dresser obsessed with James Bond, and Spud (Ewan Bremner). Renton and his pals also hang out with Begbie (Robert_Carlyle), a borderline psychotic who loathes junkies even though he drinks like a fish. After one too many brushes with the law, Renton kicks heroin and moves to London, where he finds a job, a flat, and something close to peace of mind. However, Sick Boy, Begbie, and Spud all arrive at his doorstep on the trail of a big score, leading Renton back into drugs and crime.
I have a confession to make, despite everyone I know having watched ‘Trainspotting’ I haven’t – until today. At times Trainspotting isn’t an easy watch and it dares to challenge its audience, as Danny Boyle pulls no punches in portraying the lifestyle of the heron addict’s but he presents the films revolting images in an oddly humorous way, Renton’s headfirst dive into the “worst toilet in Scotland” or Spud’s reaction when he wakes up in soiled sheets.