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Harry Potter and the Future of “Part 1” Movies

Harry Potter and the Future of “Part 1” Movies  (photo)

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In his review of the new and (sorta) last Harry Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” New York‘s David Edelstein writes, “In all seriousness, there’s nothing wrong with the 146-minute ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1’ that couldn’t be solved if this were, as the Brits would say, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Full Stop.'” It’s a sentiment that’s being echoed by several critics reviewing the new “Potter.” Richard Corliss from Time writes, “For an hour of its 2 ½-hour expanse it sticks three young people in the woods with little to do but wait for awful things to happen. It’s like a minimalist indie horror film — ‘The Blair Witch and Wizard Project’ — on a $200 million-plus budget.”

Overall, reviews for “DH1” are positive. And even if they weren’t, it wouldn’t matter. At this late stage in the series, a “Harry Potter” film is not only critic-proof, it’s opinion-proof. If you’ve seen all six previous entries — even if you hated the last couple — you will see this one, just for the sake of completing the story. But comments like the ones from Edelstein, Corliss, and others bring up an important point: Warner Brothers has turned the final book in the series into two “final” movies. “Part 1” opens today; “Part 2” on July 15 of next year.

At 750-plus pages, J.K. Rowling’s novel of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” would be a tough story to tell in a single film. But most of the books in the series, particularly the later ones, are long. The fifth book, “The Order of the Phoenix,” is a hundred pages longer than “Deathly Hallows,” yet the film version of it was shorter than just the first part of “Deathly Hallows.” At the time Warner Brothers announced the decision to split “Deathly Hallows,” they stated that if they were going to be faithful to the book, they had no other choice. Producer David Heyman told The Los Angeles Times, “Unlike every other book, you cannot remove elements of this book. You can remove scenes of Ron playing Quidditch from the fifth book, and you can remove Hermione and S.P.E.W…. but with the seventh, that can’t be done.” Alan Horn, president and COO of Warner Brothers Entertainment told The Times, “This way, we have an extra hour and a half, at least, to celebrate what this franchise has been and do justice to all the words and ideas that Jo has put in the amazing story.”

Edelstein and Corliss might find fault with the film’s telling of that amazing story, but from a business perspective, “Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is a brilliant move for Warner Brothers, who get two guaranteed blockbusters for the price of (a bit more than) one. It’s a move that others in Hollywood are starting to copy. There have always been sequels, but instances of one piece of source material being divided into multiple films have been comparatively rare. Until now. In addition to “Harry Potter,” the release calendar also includes Bill Condon’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1” and Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: Part 1.” When Jackson first joined the “Lord of the Rings” franchise, the plan was to turn the three original novels into just two films. If they were made today, that plan might have looked a great deal different.

No doubt Harry Potter fanatics, who obsess over the “accuracy” of the films, are glad for their decision. For them, a two-part “Deathly Hallows” represents an opportunity for the most literally faithful movie in the franchise. Same goes for Condon and Jackson, who are working for fan bases as rabid and loyal as the Potterites. For some of the fans of these immersive, fantastical worlds, quantity seems preferable to quality, so that two decent movies are better than one perfect one. Any chance to spend more time with the characters they love. Warner Brothers will be happy to give it to them.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…