Tag Archive: voldemort

Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


Would it be a surprise to anyone to find out that the topic of today’s column is the latest and last Harry Potter movie?


Image from IMDB.com

Considering I have spoken about my fondness for the series in the past, I would assume that is not the case.


My 14-year-old son and I did go to the midnight show at the Paramount theater in Kankakee. We arrived around 10:30 and went to the back of the line that wrapped around three sides of the block. The end of the line beyond us was almost at Chestnut Street.


There were people dressed in costume as various members of the cast including Draco, Mad-Eye, Hagrid, Bellatrix and Harry. I asked Mad-Eye if he had a flask and he pulled one out from an inside pocket of his coat. That was the perfect placement of a flask for Mad-Eye.


Once we were in and seated, we waited another 20 minutes before the movie started. But then we saw a placard for a trailer for Cowboys and Aliens. The cheers went up. Next was a trailer for The Dark Knight. Screams went out for that movie. The third and last trailer was for Sherlock Holmes which drove the crowd crazy. Who wouldn’t go crazy for Robert Downey Jr. in drag?


Then, and only then, did the movie start with hardly any prelude. We see Lord Voldemort grabbing the item he believes will help him win everything. We see Harry making the fateful decision of which group of magical items to pursue. And it begins hurtling towards the end.


Lord Voldemort from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Image from IMDb.com.

For fans that have read all of the books and need closure on some of the most important storyline, you will get it. Some of the best lines from the book make it to the movie. Some of the plot moves are re-aligned and shaken up to make a smoother movie. 


If you have not read one book or seen any of the movies, you will be lost. Bellatrix’s maniacal evil personality won’t make sense. Snape’s end and confession will not have the impact without the loathing of Harry he displayed throughout the series. You will not understand the tears of the audience members such as me who are watching this last bit of Harry.


For me, it is watching a child who has been a part of my circle grow up and get ready to leave home. Harry has gone from being a cute moppet to a young man willing to face danger. He has taken on the hero’s mantle and who would have guessed this from the first time we saw him.


At the beginning of the series, image from IMDb.com.

There he was a boy being bullied by his unfeeling relatives and once he came to his new school, he became the boy who would stand up to bullies on a regular basis. He became a boy willing to stand up to members of authority, including the head of the government, all so that those who have no voice can be heard.


If you haven’t seen the movies, rent them all before you go. If you are a fan, plan to spend a day or two getting caught up by watching the movies.


And if you are a total weeper like I am, bring tissues with you. You might need them.  


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Just Who Can Hang With Harry?

Family Movie Night

Harry, Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, picture from IMDb.com

In case you have not been pay attention, next week is the opening of the latest Harry Potter movie as we move towards the end of the wizarding world saga.

Next Friday, or late Thursday night I assume, people who have followed this series will be standing in line waiting for the second to last movie. Finally we will be able to watch on the screen what we have tried to imagine in our feeble minds.

So the only thing left to do is have a Harry Potter


But wait — what about appropriate viewing ages? Good point and thanks for asking because not all Harry Potter movies are for all ages of the family members.  So let’s explore each movie for best viewing ages.


Hermione, Harry and Ron in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Picture from IMDb.com

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

In this movie we meet Harry and his friends, Hermione and Ron. We also see the beginnings of a great rivalry. Then there is Professor Snape whose dislike of Harry has everything to do with his father.

This introduction into the series is good for all members of the family. There are scary moments and scary creatures but those scenes are handled in a friendly manner that  makes them less scary.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Here Harry will learn one of his talents that is not popular with his school fellows. With the Chamber of Secrets opened, it is a race to save Hogwarts from a threat that could destroy the student population.

What is scary is a series of events leading to discover who opened the door to the chamber. This movie is still appropriate for early grade school students with some fun scenes dealing with magical creatures.

Gary Oldman as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, IMDb com

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

A highly dangerous prisoner from the wizard’s prison has escaped and he may be coming for Harry. While third year students can go to Hogsmeade, the only completely wizarding village in Great Britain, Harry could not get permission from Uncle Vernon.

This movie shows the series starting on a path of darkness, with fear becoming a part of the norm. It is a film that is best suited for pre-teen kids and up as there are themes that need greater maturity to understand, such as long-held hatred and a need for revenge.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


I believe this chapter of the story is the last one that is suitable for anyone under the age of 13. There is a constant mood of fear as Harry competes in a contest to find the ultimate magical champion. We meet students from other schools as well as some very scary creatures. What Harry and Cedric face at the end of the movie can be terrifying to younger viewers under the age of ten.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Lord Voldemort, Picture from IMDb.com

These last two movies are best for the teens, especially those who have been reading the series all along. The fear level is intense in both movies as Lord Voldomort is back and ready to rule the world. The action scenes are potent and lives will be lost, people we have grown very attached. I do not recommend these two movies or the one coming out to younger viewers because I do not believe their maturity level can handle the fear, the sadness, the manic need to do something against the tide of evil.

Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, picture from IMDb.com

If I am wrong, please let me know and I will include your opinion in next week’s column.

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.  Become my friend on Facebook.

Picture fom Barnes and Noble.com


This summer I decided to re-read the Harry Potter series. 

The second to last movie is coming out this fall and I am anxious to see it. I am wondering how they will fit everything in that in past movies was deemed unnecessary.


So now I am re-reading the books and remembering why we all fell in love with Harry in the first place. It’s not just that he is a cute kid, Harry is pretty smart. He puts together clues and can think on his feet. 

But more importantly he finds friends with people others might consider 

How the three looked when we first met. Picture from IMDb.com.


cast off kids. Ron is one of the poorest students at Hogwarts while Hermione is an annoying know-it-all. Together, the three of them are an awesome force, able to compliment each others skills and natural abilities. 

I have just finished the Chamber of Secrets and found myself laughing at little things, such as Ron’s disgust with Hagrid’s idea of a good pet. Who could forget the ghost party and Snape’s joy at almost having Harry and Ron expelled. 

Next up is the Prisoner of Azkaban and how I look forward to it. Harry begins to learn a little more about his parents and himself. He will find lost members of the family and discover big secrets. Plus, he will show himself to be a powerful wizard. 

What I love about the Harry Potter series is the giddiness of Harry’s discoveries. For Ron, some of it’s old hat. He knows the old tales and is our ambassador to the world of magical living. But like Harry and Hermione, we are all learning it for the first time. We are discovering this world. We appreciate their wonder and awe of what magic can do. 

Lord Voldemort, picture from IMDb.com


While Lord Voldemort is the ultimate boogeyman, he is also a reminder that no matter what type of world we live in there is on person who needs something more to be satisfied. Voldemort’s ultimate desire for immortality may be the stated goal. But I think what he wants more than anything is to matter, to make sure he never needs anyone but all will be dependant on him. 

Now I know there are people who totally hate the Potter series. They have made judgments without reading a single book in the series. Or they focus on the point that Harry and the gang tend to lie about the things happening to them. So let me ask this. Do you lie about how you are feeling so someone will not worry needlessly about you? Do you lie when you do not want to look silly or stupid? Do you lie to avoid dealing with a sticky issue? 

Thought so. 

If none of that applies to you then step on up for your wings and halo. You obviously do not belong with us mere mortals who make mistakes and do things they should not. And if your plan is to argue with me about the lack of input from God in these books, perhaps you need to read the seventh book so you can get the message of the whole series. 

Picture from barnesandnoble.com.


http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/watch?v=_EC2tmFVNNELast but not least, enjoy the trailer for the movie that comes out in about four months. Look at it to see what you recognize from the last book. And then tell me what this series has meant for you. 

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her husband and children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.