Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.

|[P]| 28 October 20174:10 pm

It all ends here. Reeltime Harry Potter concludes on 29 October 2017 at 8pm GMT.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:00 pm


Starting right where we ended.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:01 pm

Welcome back to the final instalment of the first cycle of Reeltime.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:02 pm


We’ve covered a decade of films in just under three and a half months.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:04 pm


Reminding us first of the casualties – there must be many more to come.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:05 pm


Snape placed a fake sword in Bellatrix’s safe? I’m guessing it’ll take more than that to prove his allegiance…

|[P]| 29 October 20178:09 pm


More wand swapping. “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr Potter. That has always been clear to those of us who follow Wand Law.”
More wizarding law! Although I suspect this is more on the level of Charlie’s Bird Law than Magical Contract Law.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:11 pm


“I’m afraid you really don’t stand a chance.”
“Never tell me the odds!”

|[P]| 29 October 20178:12 pm


Time for another heist! Is this film going to follow the structure of the last one identically?

|[P]| 29 October 20178:14 pm


Oooh, Gringotts looks just like I remember from Orlando.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:15 pm


When does the Escape from Gringotts ride start?

|[P]| 29 October 20178:16 pm


Oh, right now.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:18 pm


Was this designed with a theme park ride in mind? A rickety minecart seems like a terrible way to travel into a vault at a bank that must be rolling in cash.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:19 pm


Dragons seem a lot less intimidating by this stage…

|[P]| 29 October 20178:20 pm


“Accio Horcrux”?
Oh right, now they think that’s stupid.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:21 pm


“That’s unfortunate.” Ron’s understatement has levelled up.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:23 pm


Okay no, dragons still kind of a big deal.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:25 pm


If Voldemort knows the kids are hunting Horcruxes then presumably an ambush is in order whilst they still can’t kill him?

|[P]| 29 October 20178:26 pm


Another obligatory topless Radcliffe sequence.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:27 pm

“Hermione! When have any of our plans ever actually worked?” He has a point.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:29 pm


So we’re introducing Dumbledore’s brother as a new character in the final film?

|[P]| 29 October 20178:29 pm

At least he’s questioning why everyone implicitly trusts Dumbledore when he keeps so many secrets from everyone else.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:31 pm


Not that Harry’s considering this for a moment.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:33 pm


“My brother sacrificed many things, Mr Potter, on his journey to find power. Including Ariana.” That sounds more like the Dumbledore I’ve seen through these films.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:35 pm


Neville! Looking rugged, but really rocking that cardigan.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:36 pm


“We have a new weather report. Lightning has struck!” Their subtle codes are uncrackable.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:38 pm


I’ll admit I still have absolutely no idea what Snape’s gameplan is here.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:39 pm


So they’ve gone with the cunning plan of waltzing through the front door? So actually they could have done this at any time, given that the Order is apparently weaker now than it’s ever been.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:41 pm


More proper dueling, although it highlights how rubbish those early wizard duels were. Oh, it’s sadly truncated with the old through-the-window escape.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:42 pm

Were the pupils all cheering for being taken to the dungeons?! This lot cheer for the weirdest things.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:44 pm


Animated statue warriors. A classic defensive gambit.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:45 pm


Why is Harry still not paying attention to Luna?! Although admittedly pointing out that you need to find a dead person to speak with in Hogwarts hardly narrows things down.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:47 pm


Time for a war, I guess.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:48 pm


Pretty dark fireworks. Direworks.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:49 pm


Conversing with ghosts in between makes for weird pacing.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:51 pm


“It is the quality of ones convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.” Yes Lupin. But numbers don’t exactly hurt in a war either, do they?

|[P]| 29 October 20178:53 pm


These two suddenly look about 35.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:54 pm


I’m glad they burst out laughing immediately after this as if they know just how ridiculous this scene is.

|[P]| 29 October 20178:56 pm


Go Neville! This is going to be his film, isn’t it?

|[P]| 29 October 20178:56 pm


You can’t die yet, Neville!

|[P]| 29 October 20178:58 pm


Neville and Luna… I really wish that had been set up properly. They’re great characters but I really can’t see this.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:00 pm


Eh.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:01 pm


Still too early for Draco’s Redemption, isn’t it?

|[P]| 29 October 20179:03 pm


Snake fire. When did they learn all these cool spells? I don’t remember any of this being covered in Hogwarts.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:04 pm


Saving Draco. Is this just a chance for Harry to flex his mercy muscles?

|[P]| 29 October 20179:06 pm

Oh the snake is the last Horcrux. Couldn’t Harry just talk it into killing itself?

|[P]| 29 October 20179:07 pm


At last they really have built up towards the scale of Lord of the Rings. Not quite as coherently choreographed.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:10 pm


Snape must have more in mind than just misleading Voldemort about the wand.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:12 pm


Oh, this is a Wizard’s Boots thing. Snape has to die for Voldemort to control the wand.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:14 pm


Given everything Harry has said about Snape, why is he trying to save him now? To show Harry is “good”? Because even pragmatically, at this point he could kill Snape and have the Elder Wand bind to him, which seems in everyone’s best interest.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:15 pm


There’s certainly been a lot of destruction. What’s the bodycount?

|[P]| 29 October 20179:17 pm


This after-the-fact death count continues to be underwhelming. Characters like these deserve better send-offs. At least they die together.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:23 pm


Severus and Lily is almost certainly the relationship I’d have wanted in that era too.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:26 pm


“You’ve kept him so he can die at the proper moment. You’ve been raising him like a pig for slaughter.” Is that a surprise? That’s Dumbledore all over. It’s a shame they’re going to bottle Harry’s actual sacrifice and not kill him offf…

|[P]| 29 October 20179:28 pm


This is powerful but I wish there were more time to delve into Snape’s side of the story instead of this rapid flashback within a flashback.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:30 pm


So Harry actually has part of Voldemort’s soul bonded with him. Does that make him a Horcrux? It certainly explains the pained look every time he destroyed the Horcruxes. I just assumed weakening Voldemort was also weakening himself.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:32 pm


I suppose for a generation, this sequence with Harry coming to grips with his own mortality was their first exploration of death.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:33 pm


Well that was sudden.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:34 pm


Voldefetus. Well that’s hideously unexpected.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:34 pm

…and apparently unexplained.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:35 pm


“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” There’s the writer talking.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:37 pm

Harry is still grappling with the nature of reality as well. Everything’s inside your head from your perspective, Harry. Particularly when you’re that unobservant.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:38 pm


And… you’re back in the room.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:38 pm


Dead? How dead?

|[P]| 29 October 20179:42 pm


Continuing strong choices from Draco.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:42 pm


Neville?

|[P]| 29 October 20179:43 pm


Oh it’s speech time!

|[P]| 29 October 20179:44 pm


Hang on, why didn’t Neville kill the snake? It was right there!

|[P]| 29 October 20179:47 pm

Right, the actual duel now that we’re done with this fake death stuff.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:48 pm


Bellatrix gets a better death than most characters in this film.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:49 pm


Oooh, a Reichenbach Fall…

|[P]| 29 October 20179:51 pm


Definitely Neville’s film.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:53 pm


These new particle effects are fantastic.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:55 pm


The wand cares about disarming rather than killing? That actually makes reasonable sense. We are still going to destroy it though, right? Good.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:55 pm


Is… is that it?

|[P]| 29 October 20179:56 pm


Oh, of course. Epilogue time.

|[P]| 29 October 20179:58 pm


Still not buying this. I should probably let it go once they have kids…

|[P]| 29 October 20179:59 pm


Albus Severus Potter. Totally rolls off the tongue.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:00 pm


Some seriously unconvincing ageing effects here.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:01 pm


Aaand carefully cropping Ginny out of the final shot.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:03 pm

Well that was a suitably epic final film, though I’ll admit I found the ending somewhat underwhelming. I know the epilogue is straight out of the books but it doesn’t really add anything.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:05 pm

The action set pieces had really ramped up over the course of the series. I think these last two films had the epic sensibilities to rival Lord of the Rings (if not the scale). That said, the weight of the fights was devalued by the fact we rarely saw deaths until afterwards. It’s telling that the villains were treated less ignominiously than the heroes for the most part.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:09 pm

I’m surprised to find my feelings about many of the characters did not change substantially over the series. That’s not to say that they didn’t have arcs but, rather, they were well enough set up that the their trajectory could be discerned within the first few stories.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:11 pm

Snape is obviously exceptional and his pairing with Alan Rickman was a gift that makes his loss feel all the more weighty. I do wish we had been able to see his backstory with a little more clarity. With the sacrifice he made to protect Draco, it was rather underwhelming to see the Malfoy’s simply scuttling away over a bridge and no real development for Draco over the entire arc. The Malfoys in general were just gradually ruined as characters.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:14 pm

With a series put together over a decade and a recurring cast growing up before us, this was an audacious undertaking and a serious achievement. I think only the three-phase Marvel Cinematic Universe over the past decade has been a bigger controlled production to navigate.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:16 pm

Incidentally, is there a school of thought that Harry is Snape and Lily’s secret lovechild? I thought that’s the direction we were headed, which would equally explain Harry’s parseltongue and the Sorting Hat’s Slytherin inclination. It also turns Snape’s “your father was a swine!” outburst into an expression of guilt. Perhaps just wishful thinking on my part.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:18 pm

Having discussed character arcs, Harry is the other exception. His growth was pretty minimal – he accepted responsibility and confronted his own death. But then bravery (or foolishness) was a character trait from the start. Mostly he just continued being ineffectual. Even at the end it was really Neville that ended the final battle.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:21 pm

I’m supposed to have a favourite film, aren’t I? I think it’s still The Prisoner of Azkaban. At the time it was that Alfonso Cuaron pushed the series forward in terms of filmmaking, but I think it also tells the best self-contained story before the overarching Voldeplot takes over.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:24 pm

So, this has been a fun experiment. It’s a slightly exhausting way to watch a movie but I hope you’ve all enjoyed this first cycle of Reeltime. Feel free to offer feedback on what you liked or disliked so that I can improve the commentary in future.

|[P]| 29 October 201710:27 pm

And now I’m off to read some fan theories explaining how the prophecies are really all about Neville because, really, if he can pull off that cardigan then what can’t he do? Well, Luna, probably. He got as far as sitting near her by the end…

|[P]| 29 October 201710:27 pm

Reeltime will return…