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'Harry Potter' And The MTV Movies Live-Blog

As previously announced here on the blog, we're celebrating the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" on DVD and Blu-ray this Friday with the most obsessive and wonderfully nuts way we could think of: watching all eight movies in sequence in a single day. Thanks to the good people at Warner Bros. I've got all of them here, ready to go. It's roughly twenty hours of magic, so there's no time to waste. Let's get to it!

Year One: "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001), Running Time: 2:32

5:20am: Oh my it's early. But I realize that it's actually an hour earlier than I thought. Never before has daylight savings time worked so fortuitously in my favor. Score.

5:25am: We're off and running with the Chris Columbus-directed first film. If one could say Professor Dumbledore ever looked young, this is it.

5:28am: Oh yeah, the Dursleys. I hate the Dursleys.

5:29am: We get our first look at Daniel Radcliffe, who appears to weigh about 90 pounds, including his ill-fitting outfit. One certainly could not see "Equus" coming here.

5:31am: First bit of accidental magic at the zoo, and the foreshadowing of Parseltongue. Happy birthday indeed, Dudley.

5:35am First real magic as the Durleys' house is swarmed with thousands of copies of Harry's Hogwarts invite. It always seemed illogical to me that Mr. Dursley didn't want Harry to leave to go to school. Like, doesn't he hate Harry and want to be rid of him? His later threats to keep Harry out of Hogwarts as punishment seem oddly misplaced.

5:38am: World, meet Rubeus Hagrid.

5:30am: "You're a wizard, Harry!"

5:40am: Cauldron shopping and our first look at the magical world.

5:43am: Oh, that Professor Quirrell seems nice.

5:45am: First real special effects shot as Hagrid and Harry open up the brick wall to Diagon Alley. By today's standards it looks a little flat. At the time this flick was visually ground-breaking. I recall seeing the first trailer a decade ago and thinking "wow, this movie is going to make a billion dollars." If you add up both foreign and domestic gross, it comes to $974,755,371. Partial credit, then.

5:48am: The Sorcerer's Stone is very briefly revealed. Commonly known fact among "Potter" fans: In England it's called the Philosopher's stone. Less-known fact: In France it's called the large delicious hunk of roquefort cheese.

5:50am: OK, not really. First lie of the live-blog.

5:52am: The wand chooses Harry and Olivander makes first reference to the Dark Lord. I always felt a connection to big V. Can't wait for his return in movie #4.

5:56am: Hey its the Weasleys! Don't worry, Ginny, you'll matter in a few years.

5:58am: Chocolate frog. Love.

6:00am: Emma Watson sighting. She's sporting the kind of hairstyle many 11-year-old girls grow up to regret. Sadly, most other girls don't have motion picture evidence to live down. Still, she turned out all right.

6:03am: Momentarily get distracted by my Facebook for the first time. Meantime, we've arrived at Hogwarts.

6:04am: Tiny Malfoy wants to be friends with Harry. That would have been interesting.

6:06am: Original Dumbledore, the late Richard Harris welcomes us to school and the sorting ceremony begins.

6:08am: Did anything good ever come out of Hufflepuff? Twitter punchlines don't count.

6:10am: As Harry is sorted into Gryffindor, I check the time for the first time. We're at 46 minutes. It's going to be a long day.

6:11am: Nearly Headless Nick! Where'd he go in the later movies? John Cleese was great in this role, small though it was.

6:18am: Missed some first class / first broomstick lessons there when I snuck off to the men's room. But hey, it's like the theater. The show must keep going.

6:22am: First Malfoy/Potter broomstick battle. And we're playing Quidditch in 3....2....1.....

6:25am: Sweeping shot of the moving staircase. Still remember seeing that for the first time. Killer shot.

6:27am: First magical creature: The children discover Fluffly, the three-headed dog guarding the Sorcerer's Stone.

6:28am: Wood teaches Harry to play Quidditch. Wood has both the best accent and the best name in the movie.

6:32am: Halloween feast. Quirrell bursts in and panics everyone about a troll in the dungeon. I trust him. He seems nice, with no ulterior motives whatsoever.

6:35am: The children battle the troll in the girls' washroom. Brilliant.

6:38am: Snape finally says something. Alan Rickman was the best casting in the entire series. And that's not just my opinion. You agreed in the Harry Potter World Cup!

6:41am: We're playing Quidditch! I often thought Quidditch was the great failing of the movies. They could have done so much more with it, even if the game's rules are so illogical. I think we get the most in this first movie though.

6:45am: Snape's first questionable action at the Quidditch match. Was he jinxing Harry or trying to save him? I'll keep watching to find out.

6:50am: Christmas at Hogwarts! Wow, I'd totally forgotten the Invisibility Cloak comes in this early.

6:53am: Filch nearly busts Harry in the library restricted section. Does that guy ever sleep? Or do ... anything else? Speaking of which, we've been at this for 90 minutes and I haven't eaten anything. Accio breakfast!

7:05am: First dragon! Baby Norwegian Ridgeback.

7:10am: Kinda sorta Voldemort sighting in the dark woods, as Quirrell dines on Unicorn blood. He looks more like a Dementor at this point. Scary.

7:15am: First caffeinated beverage (mine): Hot green tea. Pumpkin juice was not available.

7:25am: Giant Wizard's Chess! It's your moment, Ron!

7:31am: Quirrell is revealed as the villain, not Snape as the children thought. And his turban is removed to reveal....

7:33am: The Dark Lord! He lives! I never doubted you, my lord. What is thy bidding?

7:37am: Harry melts Quirrell with his bare hands. "You have chosen...poorly." No. Wait, wrong movie.

7:41am: All is well as Harry recovers, Dumbledore ties up loose ends in the story and eats a gross Bernie Bott's every flavor bean.

7:43am: End of year feast and the awarding of the House Cup. With their formal pointy black Wizard hats, the children look like garden gnomes. Especially Malfoy.

7:45am: Dumbledore totally fixes the House Cup by awarding 170 points to Gryffindor for no reason. Other than they totally saved the day and defeated the most powerful evil wizard ever.

7:47am: Hagrid swoops in and makes the end of the movie a tear-jerker with photos of his parents. Which is then totally balanced by his encouragement of magical threats towards Dudley. Which I endorse!

7:48am: Hey that's a wrap for movie number one. Seven more to go. On to year two!

Year Two: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002), Running Time: 2:41

7:50am: The movie starts with the now-trademark chimes over the title sequence. And we're back at the Dursleys. It's always the Dursleys.

7:52am: It's Dobby, sir! Dobby was a great looking effect from the first. Better looking than Mr. Dursley's mustache for sure.

7:56am: What a shame. It was a good looking cake.

8:00am: One flying car later and we've left Privet Drive. See you next movie, Dursleys!

8:01am: Harry arrives at the Burrough Burrow and it's immediately apparent that this movie, Columbus's second and last, is a step forward visually.

8:03am: Token Ginny Weasley appearance. In time, Ginny. In time....

8:04am: "What, exactly, is the function of a rubber duck?" Bon mot, Mr. Weasley.

8:05am: Traveling to Diagon Alley via Floo Powder. The best part is how mortified even the experienced Weasleys are of Floo Powder.

8:06am: Harry's first misadventure at Borgin & Burke's and Knockturn Alley. Urban Decay is such a shame.

8:07am: Herminone shows up just in time for her yearly Occulus Reparo. Also Radcliffe is suddenly a foot taller than Watson. #GrowthSpurt.

8:08am: Gilderoy Lockhart! Kenneth Branagh's one and only turn in the "Potter" movies. Magnificent. If only they'd been able to work him back in later.

8:12am: Yearly Platform 9 3/4ths scene. Fun fact: The platform is an actual Foursquare venue in London with over 3300 check-ins.

8:14am: Speaking of awesome but unnecessary social media, I should be logging these movies on GetGlue. Maybe I'll get some kind of Potter-obsessive sticker.

8:17am: Whomping Willow. One of Rowling's cleverer inventions, I think. Best part is how the flying car throws them -- and their luggage -- out, then takes off into the woods.

8:21am: Professor Sprout's greenhouse and the nearly-fatal cry of the Mandrake. Hogwarts would not do well in a more litigious 21st century America.

8:23am: Nearly Headless Nick and Colin Creevey make appearances just before the screaming red howler. Very nice effect.

8:24am: Hermione's hair looks way more styled this year. Just saying.

8:25am: "Let me introduce you to your new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Me! Guilderoy Lockhart." Further enhanced by the fact that Lockhart's classroom has a portrait of himself on the wall.

8:29am: First use of the word "Mudblood" by Malfoy. Hard to take the social impact of Wizard discrimination seriously while Ron vomits slugs into a bucket.


8:35am: There really should have been a cool celebrity nickname for Harry, Ron and Hermione. "Harronione" doesn't roll off the tongue.

8:40am: Professor McGonagall explains the entire Chamber of Secrets back-story, setting up the conflict between Muggle-borns and Purebloods. It's a key theme of unrest throughout the series, which closely mirrors the social upheaval in 1960s America. But without the cool Rock N Roll.

8:43am: Quidditch vs. Slytherin. It's always Slytherin. Does Ravenclaw even have a team? Probably for the best that they don't.

8:46am: Malfoy totally wrecks at Quidditch. His hair is quite unfazed.

8:48am: Very nice effect as Lockhart screws up the bones in Harry's arm.

8:51am: Dobby drops house-elf knowledge. Take note everyone, this matters later on. Also, how did Andy Serkis not get that motion-capture job? Too busy with the "Lord of the Rings" series maybe?

8:54am: Branagh continues to chew the scenery as he gets totally worked by Snape in a duel.

8:58am: Harry speaks Pareseltongue to a snake. I hear in the Director's cut he actually does the Parseltongue scene as a rap song. Gotta get that version.

8:59am: OK. Second lie of the live-blog.

9:02am: Good grief, more spiders. My paralyzing arachnophobia does not agree with this movie.

9:09am: Polyjuice potion gone wrong. I know how that feels. One minute you're drinking something a friend gave you, the next you're a human/cat hybrid hiding in a washroom. Right there with you, Hermione.

9:12am: Laptop needs a charge. Had not considered this earlier. No way it lasts for the full twenty hours. Hmmm. Battery charging spell?

9:18am: Harry discovers Tom Riddle's diary. Not only do I remember all the dialogue here but I can repeat it faster than he writes it into the book. Not skipping forward, but considered it.

9:22am: Aragog origin story told in flashback. This bodes not well. Crikey.

9:26am: Quidditch is canceled? What? Just because Hermione was petrified and is down for the count for the rest of the movie? Way to overreact, Hogwarts administration.

9:29am: As Hagrid is dragged off to Azakaban Prison without a trial or any evidence whatsoever, I can hear the festivities for the ING New York City Marathon festivities outside here in NYC. 26.2 miles..... 20 hours of movies.... We've all got our mountains to climb, challenges to defeat.

9:32am: Ron & Harry "follow the spiders" into the woods. "Why couldn't it be follow the butterflies," says Ron. I agree. True story: when I read this book I could barely keep from crying during this whole sequence. Worse, yet: when I saw it in the theater, I actually stood outside in the hallway until the whole horrible Aragog scene was over. Rules be dammed, this part gets fast forwarded!

9:44am: After riding down the world's worst water-slide, Harry & Ron arrive in the Chamber of Secrets.

9:47am: Gilderoy gets his hilarious comeuppance and obliterates his own memory with Ron's defective wand. This is what Rowling does so well. Lays innocent-looking groundwork at the beginning on the story, then brings back key points at the end when they matter. More like that shortly.

9:50am: Tom Riddle reveals himself and explains the entire Chamber of Secrets story we haven't seen. Ginny Weasley is unmasked as the unwitting perpetrator, now near death. So she did have a reason for being around. Interesting. See you again in four movies, Ginny.

9:51am: It's strange Harry doesn't try the fairy tale standard kiss on Ginny to wake her up. Not that kind of movie, I suppose. Yet.

9:52am: Tom does some fancy anagram work in the air and reveals he is actually the childhood Voldemort. I confess I was surprised by that, first time around.

9:54am: Fawkes flies in with the Sorting Hat. Again, Rowling's small foundations come back big in the end.

9:55am: Riddle unleashes the Basilisk on Potter. Man, that is a really big snake.

9:59am: Down goes Frazier! I mean the Basilisk!

10:01am: Harry plunges the Basilisk fang into the diary, saving the day and inadvertently destroying the first Horcrux. Wait, what's a Horcrux? Who said that??

10:08am: Lucius Malfoy declares "Let us hope Mr. Potter will always be around to save the day." Harry, in his first real show of bravado, shoots back "Don't worry, I will be."

10:10am: Harry tricks Mr. Malfoy into freeing Dobby. The old "sock hidden in a magical book trick." Gets em every time.

10:13am: Dumbledore cancels all exams. The students will never learn anything that way, Professor!

Movie number two is done, six to go. It's on to year three!

Year Three: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", (2004) Running Time: 2:22

10:18am: New year, new director. Alfonso Cuarón takes the reins for his one and only "Potter" shot. "Azkaban" is where the series got dark and brooding. Perhaps best of all, Cuarón takes a less slavish approach to re-telling the book page-for-page, word-for-word. It was the first time I felt like the film was free to tell its story and not just visualize a book.

10:19am: Aunt Marge brought her dog! Hi puppy!

10:22am: Another gross magical punishment as Aunt Marge badmouths James & Lily, then blows up like a balloon and floats away into the air. Seems fair. See you next year, Privet Drive!

10:26am: Hey it's the Knight Bus. Where were you when I was unable to find my way home in college, O magical Knight Bus?

10:28am: The whole Knight Bus sequence has a Tim Burton style of scary hilarity (scalarity?) about it. It's fast-paced and fun. Stands apart from the rest of the movie. I mean, a talking Rastafarian shrunken head is hanging from the rear view mirror.

10:33am: The textbook about monsters is actually a monster! Get it?!

10:36am: Sirius Black back-story from Arthur Weasley. How is it that everyone, including friends of the Potters, believe Sirius is a murderer? No one from back then knows the truth?

10:39am: Dementors board the Hogwarts express train and molest Harry for no reason. Good law-enforcement system you've got there, Wizarding World.

10:40am: Lupin! Another year, another defense against the Dark Arts teacher. Just like "Spinal Tap" but with better British accents.

10:41am: Yearly hairstyle check. Watson's is getting shorter and Grint's is getting longer.

10:43am: First "something wicked this way comes" reference (the promotional tagline for this movie), originally a line from "MacBeth." In the original play, the line is spoken by one of the witches. Which is the only real connection, since "MacBeth" is not about a falsely imprisoned murderer who turns out to be the hero's godfather.

10:50am: We meet Buckbeak and Harry goes for a magical flight, arms out. Thank goodness they didn't sneak in an "I'm King of the World!" reference here. He's another minor plot point that comes back big time later on.

10:58am: Lupin's class vs the shape-shifting Bogart. Finally a defense against the dark arts teacher that knows what he's doing, and has no personal issues whatsoever. I bet he lasts a while.

11:01am: AHHH Ron's fear is Aragog! No fair spiders in this movie!

11:05am: Lupin makes the first "You have your mother's eyes" allusion. Also here the first appearance of Michael Gambon as the new Dumbledore, replacing the late Richard Harris for the rest of the films.

11:10am: Snape at his finest giving an impromptu lesson on Werewolves. I wonder why? Hearing Rickman snarl "page three hundred and ninety four" over and over is a treat.

11:13am: Yearly all-too-brief Quidditch match. They get shorter every time.

11:20am: First appearance of the Marauder's Map, courtesy of George and Fred.

11:25am: Harry gets dark as he "learns" about Sirus' involvement in his parents' death, vowing to kill him in revenge.

11:29am: Harry casts his first Patronus. The U2 cover band blasting "New Years Day" outside does not help enhance the drama at all.

11:37am: First time in Professor Trelawney's class. Can't wait till Umbridge sacks her in movie five. Oh wait, this is the one where she does an actual prediction! I stand briefly corrected.

11:41am: The executioner arrives to carry out Buckbeak's sentence and is comically sharpening his giant ax in the courtyard. Because that's where you'd do that.

11:42am: Hermione pops Malfoy in the face, setting a generation of young men's hearts afire.

11:47am: Suddenly black dog Sirius and the Whomping Willow (again) are all over the children. Hogwarts is not a safe place.

11:49am: Yay it's scary, ragged Gary Oldman! Oldman is excellent in everything. No effects needed. He's amazing.

11:53am: The true villain revealed: Peter Pettigrew. AKA Wormtale. AKA Scabbers the Rat. Instead of exacting vengeance, Harry elects to imprison him in Azkaban. They shoulda just listened to the Marauder's Map.

11:57am: Oh no full moon! How did THAT slip Lupin's mind?

11:59am: So now there's a dog fighting a werewolf while some British kids watch. If only there were a bear and a shark, this could be a pay-per-view special!

12:02pm: Final showdown between Harry and the Dementors as he stands guard over Sirius. Also, how have I not made some kind of "Sirusly" joke to this point? That's just shameful.

12:05pm: Big cryptic speech from Dumbledore about time and how it can be used to save a life. Out comes Hermione's Time-Turner. I could use one of those right about now.

12:07pm: Harry declares, "This is not normal" which makes me laugh aloud. But honestly, is it more unusual than the .... anything else?

12:17pm: Loving the layered complexity of the forwards and backwards in time plot in this film. Maybe my favorite of the whole series.

12:18pm: Buckbeak kicks the Werewolf (Lupin) in the head, saving Harry and Hermione. Harry delivers the line of the movie with "Wow, Professor Lupin's having a tough night."

12:23pm: Sirius flies off to safety on Buckbeak. Unrelatedly, I begin to feel weary and seek another caffeinated beverage.

12:27pm: Movie three ends with Harry rocketing off into the sky on his new Firebolt broom. Although I do not approve of the use of the freeze-frame at the end, the Marauder's Map style credits more than make up for it. That's three down, four to go! On to year four!

Year Four: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005), Running Time: 2:37

12:30pm: New year, new director. Mike Newell, who was previously most famous for 1997's mobster flick "Donnie Brasco." There's probably also a new defense against the dark arts teacher coming.

12:31pm: An older Muggle makes a kettle of tea, only to be interrupted by what he thinks are prankster kids. He'll probably be OK. Nothing bad will happen to him.

12:33pm: The Dark Lord welcomes the Muggle with the Killing Curse. First use of Avada Kedavra!

12:35pm: Quidditch World Cup. And who's that handsome older boy? Oh it's Cedric Diggory. I see big things in his future.

12:38pm: As the World Cup starts I'll pause and say that the filmmakers' decision to not show any actual Quidditch play here is the single biggest mistake of the series. In the books, the Quidditch World Cup match is epic. But we see none of it. Just a flash of the opening and then fans celebrating. I understand they had to cut something from the 734 pages of novel, but the World Cup should not have been among those cuts. "S.P.E.W." sub-plot: Good cut. Quidditch: Bad cut.

12:41pm: Death Eaters! The Dark Mark! We're back in business now, baby.

12:43pm: On the train, Cho Chang makes her debut, while Ginny becomes more of a presence too. "Something sweet for you?" the woman with the snack trolley asks Harry. Subtle.

12:46pm: Hair check. Watson's is longer again. Radcliffe's is too. Fred and George's are even longer. There must be something in the pumpkin juice.

12:48pm: The ladies of the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic swoop in like the Cirque du Soliel. Just once I want to enter a room and have birds and butterflies swarm out of my body. Just once!

12:50pm: Mad-Eye Moody suddenly pops out of the woodwork. Or so we're meant to think.

12:52pm: As the actual Goblet of Fire is unveiled, my wife leaves for work. We do some rough math and conclude I'll be roughly at the end of "Half-Blood Prince" or the beginning of "Deathly Hallows, Part 1" when she returns.

12:53: Mad-Eye's first class as defense against the dark arts teacher, where we learn--and have to watch--the unforgivable curses. Intense.

1:00pm: That handsome devil Cedric Diggory throws his name into the goblet. He's then outdone by Fred and George who comically bungle their underage entries.

1:08pm: Rita Skeeter, aka the TMZ of the Wizarding World, appears for the first time.

1:13pm: Amazing effect as Sirius' face appears in the embers of the Gryffindor fireplace.

1:16pm: The tension between the kids -- Ron and Hermione, Harry and Ron -- is starting to get serious. This is the movie where the snogging starts, right?

1:18pm: Dragons! Dragons for the Tri-Wizard Tournament! Of course they're from Charlie Weasley in Romania, which is where all Dragons go or come from.

1:21pm: "Is that a student?" "Technically, it's a ferret." Bulls-eye!

1:26pm: As the first task begins, I do some light housekeeping. Not because anything's really dirty. Just because it involves standing up off the couch briefly.

1:29pm: Those dragons look fabulous. Given, of course, that dragons aren't real so there's nothing to compare them to.

1:30pm: "Goblet of Fire" was where the novels really got long and complex (see tirade at 12:38, above), and it certainly has a much grander story arc than one, two, or three. It's where the mainstream media (aka our parents) took note in a big way. It's also where, I'm afraid, I'm most likely to accidentally fall asleep. Especially given that I started this eight hours ago.

1:35pm: The children go on a rant against Rita Skeeter. I sneak a peek at the internet for early NFL scores.

1:38pm: In practice for the Yule Ball, McGonagall forces Ron to slow dance with her, further increasing the awkward sexual tension the students are already experiencing. Snogging ahead.

1:40pm: Ron, you stupid Git. Ask Hermione to the ball. Don't be such a Prat.

1:42pm: Snape shines (again, still) as he wallops the boys in the head with books.

1:43pm: Cho Chang, and her amazing Scottish brogue, thwart Harry's romantic intentions. Where was she in years one through three, anyhow?

1:45pm: The Yule Ball! Hilariously bad dress robes! Hermione all done up! Wizard rock music! It's like a Jennifer Love Hewitt movie. This scene rules.

1:54pm: "We don't talk much at all. Victor's more of a physical being." Gross, Miss Granger. Gross.

1:55pm: That nice boy Cedric, his fantastic haircut and dreamy eyes are back. I don't know about you, but I'm team Diggory!

1:59pm: Second task: the black lake, and Mer-man Harry. If only the Wizarding World had Google, this whole "how do I breathe underwater" problem would have been way easier.

2:07pm: What's weird about the Twi-Wizard tournament is that they seem like they're in real physical peril. Here's a kid who defeats the most powerful evil sorcerer in the world and he nearly drowns during a school activity. But they won't let him go to Hogsmeade Village without a permission slip.

2:13pm: Harry falls into the Pensieve and witnesses the trial of Death Eater/Durmstrang Headmaster Igor Karkaroff. What's interesting about it is that it reveals Barty Crouch, Jr as a Death Eater. But it also introduces the Pensieve which the heroes will use again and again for details in the "case" of Lord Voldemort. If you're not familiar, it's a big magical sink.

2:22pm: Third and last task. Not to be mean, but .... Did anyone at any point think Fleur Delacour had a chance of winning this tournament?

2:23pm: We get a wide aerial shot of the entire, massive maze. Love it.

2:25pm: Fleur is out of the competition. Called it.

2:26pm: Harry and Cedric close in on the Tri-Wizard cup as the U2 cover band continues to play outside my window on the street. At least, I think its a cover band. Maybe it's actually U2. Maybe I should check.

2:29pm: Oh snap the cup is a Portkey! I learned about those at the beginning of the movie and now it's a key plot point at the end.

2:30pm: Cedric meets his end at the hands of Wormtail, of all people. He's not a Vampire yet, though. I guess that scene is coming up.

2:31pm: Ralph Fiennes erupts into being as You Know Who. Now it's a party. What is thy bidding, Master?

2:32pm: I adore everything about Fiennes' portrayal of Voldemort, except that there's so precious little until the very end of the series. The makeup, the way he delivers dialogue, the way he floats instead of walks. Love it.

2:35pm: Voldemort steps on the deceased Cedric's face. Not his handsome face! He needs it!

2:38pm: Potter/Voldemort duel #1. You can't help but watch this scene, with their red & green jets of magic hitting each other, and think of "Star Wars." Except Yoda's ghost was not as handsome as Cedric's ghost.

2:40pm: Harry returns to Hogwarts with Cedric's body but no one believes that Voldemort has returned. Cedric's father, played by Jeff Rawle, gives a short but heart-wrenching performance as he wails over his dead son's corpse. Luckily, Mad-Eye Moody pulls Harry away to safety.

2:45pm: Moody is revealed to not only be bad but not even actually be Moody at all. Shouldn't they have some anti-Polyjuice test for just this sort of thing? Maybe they can Google it.

2:48pm: Dumbledore sorta eulogizes Diggory to the rest of the school. Surprisingly, the word "handsome" doesn't come up. Although, point of order, Dumbledore says Voldemort murdered Cedric but it was actually Wormtail who threw the killing curse. Credit where credit is due, and all that.

2:52pm: Hermione gets the last meaningful word. "Everything's going to change now, isn't it?" Yes, it is. Cause we're four down and four to go! On to year five!

Year Five: "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007), Running Time: 2:18

2:55pm: Year five opens with Dudley (looking juiced up) and some bullies pushing Harry around. Harry looks muscled up too. Director David Yates takes the helm on this one but, unlike your average defense against the dark arts teacher, stayed on through the entire second half of the series.

3:01pm: Worth noting that at the time of its release, "Order of the Phoenix" was commonly abbreviated as "HPOOP." Draw from this what you will.

3:02pm: Harry saves Dudley from Dementors but, due to his unauthorized use of magic, is promptly expelled from Hogwarts. The Dursleys, not surprisingly, are ecstatic and ungrateful.

3:07pm: Our first look at 12 Grimmauld Place and Sirius Black, back in the flesh. Also the fabulously hateful Kreacher.

3:08pm: Hair check. Watson's is a lighter shade than before, but both Grint's and Radcliffe's are shorter than in "Goblet." Grint also looks to have added some real muscle.

3:09pm: Most importantly, the setup set forth in movies 1-4 now begins to play out in the good vs evil plot that carries us through the end of the series. Pick a side, people. I choose evil!

3:13pm: Our first look at the Ministry of Magic. It has an interesting, Orwellian quality to it. We'll be here again later on. If only the "Potter" theme park in Florida were like this.

3:17pm: Minister Fudge is so mean!

3:18pm: Speaking of mean, there's Delores Umbridge.

3:23pm: Harry arrives at Hogwarts to a frosty reception from pretty much everyone except Ron & Hermione. What makes book #5 super, I think, is the long, drawn-out isolation Harry feels while constantly being battered by Snape in their ongoing Occlumency lessons. Regrettably, the movie has too much core plot business to do, so all that is cut short. Yates makes up for it by letting "Deathly Hallows, Part 1" play out slowly and properly.

3:25pm: Luna Lovegood first appearance!

3:26pm: New defense against the dark arts teacher: Professor Umbridge. Good luck, Delores.

3:27pm: Third caffeinated beverage. I can't tell you what it is, but it's a popular soft drink with a polar bear on the label. Popcorn has also now mysteriously Apparated.

3:31pm: Umbridge tries to teach. I bet she would enjoy funny cat videos on the internet, if the Wizarding World had such a thing. Or crafts on Etsy.

3:33pm: Harry has to do those horrible lines as every quill movement is also scratched into his hand. While it's gut-wrenching to watch (or read), it's the quintessential window onto Harry's isolation and suffering.

3:34pm: Also, why would they make a quill that also scratches itself into his hand?!

3:35pm: First appearance of Fred & George's side business selling jokes and pranks, soon to be known as Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.

3:37pm: Harry writes Padfoot a letter and we hear his words in voice-over. First use of voice-over in the series, I think. Yates, you devil. Call me a liar.

3:41pm: Hello again, Ginny Weasley. Welcome back to plot relevance.

3:42pm: "Delores Umbridge, High Inquisitor." If only Mel Brooks had gotten a hold of that one.

3:45pm: Umbridge sacks Trelawney. Guess she didn't see that one coming. Ironic.

3:50pm: A dark and stormy night punctuates the formation of Dumbledore's Army. Oooh and Cho Chang is there.

3:53pm: Room of Requirement appears. I know I could use one of these in my apartment.

3:57pm: Neville Longbottom practicing the Disarming Charm is sort of like me in a yoga class: The instructor is patient and helpful, but we hopelessly suck at it anyway.

3:59pm: Umbridge's notices pile up on the walls. I really appreciate how they look oldey timey, like a soft drink ad from 1908. No moving pictures here. Charmingly out of place.

4:01pm: Getting up close and personal with Cho. I see a snog comin' on.

4:05pm: Occlumency lesson! Yes! Snape rules!

4:10pm: As the House of Black has a family moment, preparation for magical dinner (spicy chicken wings, homemade) begins at the House of Goldner.

4:15pm: Never mind the chicken wings, it's the incomparable Helena Bonham-Carter (HBC to her friends) as Bellatrix Lestrange!

4:20pm: Overheard from the kitchen, Dumbledore escapes the clutches of the Ministry when Fawkes swoops in and he Disapparates. Shacklebolt gets the last word "You can't deny, Dumbledore's got style."

4:28pm: Occlumency lesson #2 and Harry turns the tables on Snape, exposing more of his back-story with James Potter. All that aside, he really could be less of a jerk to Harry.

4:33pm: Fred and George go out with a loud, colorful bang, setting the OWL exam room alight. A dragon made of fireworks chases down Umbridge but instead of using magic to defend herself, she just runs away. If it's my movie, she tries and fails to use a spell.

4:37pm: Hermione manipulates Umbridge into going into the woods. Some Centaurs and one Giant later, she's in trouble. As the Centaurs, known in mythology for their libidos, carry her off one cannot help but think what they might do to her. Bye Delores.

4:445pm: As I accidentally burn my chicken, the prophecy is revealed. Neither can live while the other survives. Same could be said of my dinner.

4:47pm: Battle over the prophecy ensues at the Ministry between the students and the Death Eaters. Is it just me or does every large room in the Wizarding World get destroyed or set on fire by these kids?

4:50pm: Sirius and the Order show up to defend the kids. Sirius stars the final battle with an actual punch, which is out of the ordinary. With all this spell-casting, they should really be careful of the mystical dimensional gateway in the middle of the room. Wouldn't want someone to fall through it and be lost forever.

4:52pm: Bellatrix hits Sirius with a killing curse and he floats away into the dimensional gateway. See, Professor Trelawney, THAT'S A PREDICTION!!

4:57pm: Final battle over, team Phoenix wins but with a heavy cost. Leaves me longing for more Ralph Fiennes. Two hours of wait for ten minutes of him. Worth it, though, as he hisses his final line of the movie. "You will lose ... everything."

5:00pm: As Harry leaves school -- wearing a blazer?? -- your regular Movies Blog editor, Josh Wigler checks in on me. "I can't believe you're still alive" he says. I reply, "Sure, if you call this living. Only three more!" It's true. Five down, three to go. On to Year Six!

Year Six: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009), Running Time: 2:33

5:12pm: Yates is back and the movie opens as dark as the London sky it portrays. "HBP" was, if I recall, the first of the series to use post 9/11 fear of terrorism as a theme and allegorize it with the Death Eaters. It was the one-and-only time it appeared that the real 21st Century world played a part in Rowling's plot.

5:19pm: Another year, another defense against the dark arts teacher. Introducing Horace Slughorn. Mercifully, "HBP" doesn't open with another painfully gratuitous Privet Drive escapade.

5:25pm: Hair check. Harry still short, Hermione still light, Grint longer than last time. Also noteable: Ginny's hair has turned a darker shade of brown and is much less red. Maybe she was adopted.

5:28pm: Narcissa Malfoy and Snape discuss Draco's "assignment" from the Dark Lord. True story: When "HBP" first came out in hardcover, someone ruined it for me by posting a comment about who kills who at the end on a totally unrelated blog. At first I had that "huh" moment, since it was so out of context. But then it clicked in my head and I was about as mad as a barrel full of bogarts.

5:30pm: I apologize for the "barrel of bogarts" metaphor.

5:37pm: Despite Harry's use of the invisibility cloak, Malfoy uncovers his spying attempt and casts a petrifying spell just in time for Harry to get stuck on the train as it prepares to return to London. Luna's batty awareness saves him. Also, Malfoy looks SHARP. Being evil must come with a wardrobe, or some kind of per diem.

5:40pm: Luna fixes Harry's broken nose. Personally, I would have waited for Hermione to do it.

5:41pm: As Harry arrives, Ginny asks "He's covered in blood again. Why is he always covered in blood?" No one else is surprised. Ginny, I have a wonderful series of books for you to read.

5:43pm: Oh I've made a factual error. Slughorn is potions master and Snape moves over to dark arts. I'm so ashamed. Go easy on me, people.

5:45pm: Harry snags an old potions book from the classroom cupboard, which is where the "Half-Blood Prince" title comes from (if I have to explain more than that, I can't imagine why you're reading this). True story: In similar fashion, when I was in the eighth or ninth grade, I was accidentally issued the teacher's edition of our French textbook. It had all the answers in it, which was awesome for about a week until the girl in the next seat turned me in and I had to play dumb like I didn't know what she was talking about. Possibly not my finest hour.

5:48pm: Slughorn gets the line of the hour. "It's perfect! So perfect I daresay one drop would kill us all." Seriously, Hogwarts has tons of legal exposure here for gross negligence. They need a good attorney, and a really excellent waste-disposal team.

5:51pm: We're in the Pensieve (aka magic sink) again, back to the memory of Dumbledore meeting Tom Riddle. I wonder if they sent out a casting call for "brooding, evil looking little boy." Because they certainly got one.

5:56pm: Ron tries out for Quidditch and new character Lavender Brown watches amorously from the sideline. So does the more restrained Hermione, setting up another Ron/Hermione/someone else love triangle.

6:00pm: First reference to Sectumsempra which I actually used on Movies Blog editor Josh Wigler the other day in an email. You'll be pleased to know that Madame Pomfrey says that he'll be OK in a few days.

6:01pm: Butterbeers! Is that the first time they've actually said "Butterbeer?" It can't be, but I don't remember it prior.

6:02pm: I could use a Butterbeer myself right about now. Siriusly.

6:03pm: Katie Bell gets hella hexed by touching a cursed necklace. McGonagall says what everyone is thinking. "Why is it, whenever something happens it's you three." Ron's comeback? "I've been asking myself the same thing for the past six years."

6:10pm: As Slughorn shows Harry his shelf of famous students, I can't help but wonder how that would go over in the real world. Creepy, at best. Right?

6:12pm: Lavender Brown breathes heavy all over Ron, wishing him luck in the Quidditch match. Which, of course, is against Slytherin. It's almost comical. Why are there even any other houses? I don't think I've heard the word "Hufflepuff" in about nine hours.

6:15pm: Great big congratulatory snog from Lavender, driving Hermione, crying, out of the room. On a related note, I have to go to the other room to tend to my chicken.

6:23pm: I definitely missed some stuff there as it's now suddenly Slughorn's Christmas party. Being a culinary giant is not conducive to epic cinematic journalism.

6:29pm: Awkwardly intimate scene between Ginny (in her bathrobe!) and Harry. Before they can kiss, they're interrupted by a Death Eater attack. Isn't that always the way? You're about to finally go for it and then a magical terrorism organization ruins everything.

6:32pm: The Burrow burns. Shades of that terrorism theme again.

6:34pm: Pensieve flashback. 16-year-old Tom still has that creepy, evil look. I really think it's the haircut.

6:40pm: Ron, under a love potion, is hilariously giddy. He tenderly hugs Slughorn and I may just have laughed aloud. I can neither confirm nor deny this rumor.

6:45pm: Apparent, if temporary, resolution to the Ron & Hermione triangle as Lavender Brown storms off crying. Ginny says what we've been thinking. "It's about time." Yes it is, Ginny. But you really should have read ahead.

6:50pm: Harry & Draco have it out in the washroom, destroying yet another perfectly good lavatory. Hogwarts must be running out of functioning loos at this point. Harry uses the Sectumsempra curse on Malfoy, not realizing how badly it will mangle him. Luckily Snape, who is familiar with the hex, sorts it all out.

6:52pm: Ginny, who knows something about found (and evil) books herself, forces Harry to dispose of the Half-Blood Prince's book. In exchange, he gets a nice, slow kiss. Now that's a room of requirement indeed!

6:57pm: AHHH giant dead spider! Why does this horrible thing keep coming back? Aragog, you will be in my nightmares tonight. If I ever get to sleep.

7:01pm: Slughorn and Hagrid get totally sloshed in a weird twisted tribute to the departed Aragog. Because there aren't any real people who die in this series that deserve tribute. Stay classy, Slughorn. On the plus side he gives up the key Tom Riddle memory. So the plot's back on track!

7:04pm: First use of the word "Horcrux." That seems important.

7:13pm: Dumbledore and Harry embark on Horcrux Hunt 2011! Reading this book when it first came out, I had this nutter theory that somehow Harry himself was one of the Horcruxes, owing to his confrontation with Voldemort as a child, and that the lightning scar was Rowling's "clue". And (spoiler warning) it turns out, I was right!

7:18pm: In all the enchanted excitement, I lost track of time and now have no idea when to take my chicken out of the oven. No good can come of this. And not to get all "Top Chef" on you, but I think my sauce is broken. But like Harry himself, I'll push through!

7:22pm: Smoke alarm in the house goes off with a piercing shriek. That sure ruined the drama. In other news, Malfoy's ready to try and kill Dumbledore.

7:24pm: Halfway "Star Wars" reference, as Dumbledore describes the vanishing cabinet as "A twin. A sister." The force is strong with that one. Too bad he won't be around much longer.

7:26pm: Dumbledore's last words are "Severus, please." Which at the time I interpreted as a plea to do the necessary thing and kill him. I was never sold on Snape one way or the other (two ambiguous). But you know what, I was totally right on that one too!

7:28pm: Harry learns that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince as he retreats along with the Death-Eaters. Simultaneously, I learn that I made way too much food. This raises an interesting question. How to eat messy food with my hands while still watching a movie and typing. Hmmm. Must figure it out as it's on to Year Seven!

Year Seven: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One" (2010), Running Time: 2:26

7:44pm: OK people, we're on the edge of glory now! Yates is back. I never left. Dumbledore's gone. Let's get some Horcruxes!

7:46pm: Hey it's Bill Nighy as the new Minister of Magic. I barely recognized him without that squid on his face.

7:48pm: First and only shot of Hermione's Muggle parents as she modifies herself out of their memory.

7:52pm: Voldemort convenes a meeting of his evil board of directors (aka the Tea Party). Which raises the question: Where was the Dark Lord for all of movie number six? No Ralph is a travesty.

7:55pm: Dumbledore is still dead. The movie reminds me, so I remind you. See how silly that is?

8:00pm: Everyone polyjuices themself into Harry. Great gimmick. Like he's a foreign dictator. Or even a domestic one. This leads to the one and only car chase in the series (flying car doesn't count, not a chase). The important thing is that Voldemort's here. Also Mad-Eye doesn't make it and George is seriously injured.

8:13pm: Ginny asks Harry to zip up the back of her dress before the wedding. Awfully forward of you, young lady.

8:20pm: OK! Dinner break, over. Fleur and Bill's wedding, over. Minister of Magic, dead. It's fightin time!

8:24pm: Indeed, a really excellent shootout erupts in the coffee shop where the kids are hiding out.

8:26pm: Ron calls Harry "the boss" which is interesting, given their friendship dynamic.

8:32pm: What I think is fab about "Deathly Hallows, Part 1" is the slow, plodding way the story plays out. It's the least rushed and most intentional of all the movies. But now, in my 15th hour, it's starting to feel like it drags. Maybe I'll do some Yoga here in the house.

8:34pm: Oh Delores Umbridge is alive! The Centaurs apparently were .... done .... with her. Gross.

8:40pm: As referenced many hours ago, my version of Yoga is more of a clumsy stretch. Still, it does the trick.

8:48pm: I guess the whole investigation/inquisition/fear/suspicion theme here is meant to remind us of the 1950's and McCarthy-era Communism hunts in America. Who's "loyal" and who's not. But it's always felt a little squishier than that to me. Can't put my finger on why, exactly.

8:55pm: Now comes my favorite bit of the movie. The kids have the Horcrux locket, are on the run in the wilderness from the authorities, and have no logical next step since they can't hurt or destroy the locket. Plus it makes whichever of them wears it hateful and angry. Love how drawn out and painful it is for them. The movie poster is them on the run for a reason. Yates scores here.

9:04pm: More tension around control of the group, not to mention the non-existent love triangle. Ron, don't leave. Don't be daft.

9:07pm: Harry & Hermione break a moment of tension by clumsily dancing to a song on the radio. Harry, you are a lucky wizard.

9:09pm: Harry discovers the inscription on the golden snitch. "I open at the close." One of Rowling's loveliest lines of riddle-poetry.

9:12pm: We return to Godric's Hollow (unlike many locations in the story, not a real place), the site of Lily & James' murder. Harry there meets an old, mute woman who they believe to be Bathilda Bagshot. But suddenly, in one of the biggest shocks of the movie, she turns out to actually be giant snake Nagini. The old "hide in a dead lady's skin" trick. Disgusting and awesome.

9:24pm: A Patronus leads Harry to a frozen lake where the sword of Godric Gryffindor is lying in wait. The locket around his neck tries to drown him in the process. Gotta watch out for those evil enchanted lockets. Ron re-appears just in time to pull him out of the icy lake.

9:27pm: Harry speaks Parseltongue to the locket in order for it to open. I hear Rosetta Stone is considering adding Pareseltongue to its language learning selection next year. Sign me up.

9:28pm: OK, third outright lie of the live-blog. That's not too bad though.

9:29pm: Ooh the infamous Harry & Hermione naked kiss scene. Even as imaginary holograms that only Ron can see, this is kinda hot.

9:30pm: With a swing of the sword, Ron strikes a blow for jealous boyfriends everywhere. Boom, baby. Another Horcrux down.

9:31pm: Oh man, I forgot to do hair check for movie seven. This one's easy. Ron: long. Harry: short. Hermione: long and really pretty.

9:36pm: Mr. Lovegood tells the story of the three brothers and the deathly hallows. Possibly my favorite scene in the movie, since it makes sense, actually answers questions AND has a cute animation to illustrate it.

9:44pm: Another shocking surprise as Lovegood betrays the children to the Death Eaters. They escape, but only to fall right into the hands of the snatchers.

9:45pm: This always raised an interesting question to me. What the devil is a "snatcher?" Am I supposed to know? Is it British slang for something? Regardless they aren't friendly.

9:47pm: OK quick Google tells me its Voldemort's militia. Right, then. Moving on.

9:50pm: HBC and the Malfoys at home. How quaint.

9:51pm: Hey it's Luna! They're all in the same enchanted prison. Well that's fun.

9:52pm: "Dobby has come to rescue Harry Potter!" Characters that only speak in the third person are always better.

9:54pm: Stirring moment as HBC tortures Hermione pretty good, carving "Mudblood" into her forearm. One can't help but think of it as a concentration camp tattoo allegory.

9:55pm: "Stupid elf! You could have killed me!" "Dobby never meant to kill. Only to maim or perhaps seriously injure." Win.

9:57pm: HBC nails Dobby with a knife. Watching him die, even though he's a virtual creature, can't help but pull at your heart. Those big, round, dead eyes.

10:00pm: The children bury him on the beach. If I recall, it's the only actual burial we see in the series, since Dumbledore has more of a tomb. Speaking of which...

10:03pm: In one of the most dramatic movie cliffhangers in recent memory, Voldemort breaks into Dumbledore's tomb and, floating inward, takes the elder wand for himself. Big bolt of lightning in the air, and it's on to "Deathly Hallows, Part 2!"

Year Seven, Part Two (aka movie 7B) "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" (2011), Running Time: 2:10

10:10pm: OK everyone, this is why we're here. "Deathly Hallows, Part 2" hits DVD and Blu-ray this Friday. And you gotta snatch it. Even the lenticular cover is really cool. It all ends here.

10:16pm: Quickie recap of the last moments of part 1. Tomb, Voldemort, Elder Wand, boom! We're off and running.

10:17pm: Hogwarts looks like a really sucky place. Dementors hanging about, Snape in charge, students marching in army-tight formation. Look what you've done, Severus.

10:19pm: Harry and Griphook have a brief conversation about the sword of Gryffindor and getting into Gringotts bank. Then, across the hall, they have an equally brief convo with Olivander about the Elder Wand. From here on in, it's non-stop, rock-em, sock-em climactic final battle. It's actually quite exhausting.

10:28pm: More polyjuice potion shenanigans as the kids break into Gringotts bank. One last time: They really don't have any kind of test for this?

10:33pm: Hermione tries accio horcrux inside the vault. Come now, Ms. Granger. This isn't first year any more.

10:36pm: The children escape by flying up out of the vaults on a guard-dragon. When it plunges through the floor of the bank and out the glass dome ceiling, oh now it's on.

10:42pm: At this point, the search for the Horcruxes starts to feel less the point and more of a vehicle getting everyone toward the final battle. Even Aberforth Dumbledore's appearance is less interesting than it otherwise might have been earlier in the series. Now we just want the mano a mano action.

10:48pm: Interesting to see Nevile Longbottom sort of in charge back at Hogwarts all of a sudden. This is the kid who could barely pass first year charms.

10:50pm: Snape, in his least impressive scene in the whole movie, demands to know the whereabouts of Potter et al. But as soon as he's faced with any resistance, he flies out the window.

10:54pm: The Dark Lord infiltrates everyone's mind with a public address announcement simultaneously. That's why he's the man.

10:56pm: Plot continuity error here? Potter was wearing Gryffindor robes, then he wasn't.

10:57: McGonagall's best line of the series. After bringing the school's stone statues to life, she gleefully squeals, "I've always wanted to use that spell!"

11:01pm: Voldemort's forces are impressively assembled on the cliffs above Hogwarts. Final battle starts..... now!

11:07pm: Ron & Hermione kill another Horcrux in the chamber of secrets, which promptly erupts with a tidal wave of water. Suddenly they too erupt and we get the romantic embrace we've been waiting 10 years for. Admit it, you cheered in the theater.

11:14pm: Worth noting that not only is the action finally gloves off in this last movie, but the special effects are really quite good in this one. Every curse is crystal clear. When Harry and Malfoy duel in (read: incinerate) the Room of Requirement, you can nearly feel the heat on your face.

11:18pm: One Diadem plus one Basilisk fang equals another Horcrux down. Horcrux headcount! I see two left.

11:21pm: The scene at the castle is everything you'd hope for in a final battle. Giants, Death Eaters, Dementors and all lot of magical creatures about. Including, ugh, one last unnecessary shot of those accursed giant spiders.

11:23pm: Snape and the Dark Lord discuss the newish concept of wand ownership/authority down at the boathouse. And since Snape killed Dumbledore, the Elder Wand won't fully serve Voldemort. "Only I can live forever," he hisses, and Nagini goes to work. It's odd that Voldemort wouldn't use a simple, straightforward killing curse here. Much more reliable to take possession of the Elder Wand.

11:26pm: Harry quickly preserves Snape's tears in a vial. Of course Hermione has a vial on her person, which wasn't crushed during the battle.

11:27pm: "You have your mother's eyes." Bye, Snape. I never fully understood you.

11:28pm: "Harry Potter...Join me in the forbidden forest and confront your fate." That sounds like a good idea.

11:30pm: One of the Weasley twins didn't make it. Potter is moved to confront the Dark Lord, but first a quick stop at the Pensieve to basically explain Snape and Dumbledore's true motives.

11:42pm: Harry's still got the golden snitch, which opens to reveal the Resurrection Stone. The spirits of James, Lily, Sirius and Lupin appear to comfort Harry on his last steps to death. Even though they're not returned from the dead, they are sort of available now.

11:46pm: "The boy who lived, come to die." Love it. Avada Kedavra!

11:47pm: Harry finds himself in a bright, dream-like train station. This whole bit reminded me of one of the "Matrix" movies. In that its quite a trip that we aren't really meant to understand fully.

11:52pm: Narcissa Malfoy checks on Harry and proclaims that he's dead when in fact he's not. This lie, it turns out, saves her and her family later on. Why no one else seemed to catch on is unclear. But it's certain that the resurrection stone was not in use. But the part of Harry that was Voldemort's soul/Horcrux has been destroyed. Yeesh. Everyone got that?

11:58pm: Nevile Longbottom gives an inspiring speech to the assembled group of survivors and Harry decides this is the moment to not be dead anymore. Oh look, sword of Gryffindor! Death Eaters retreat left and right.

12:01am: Voldemort vs. Harry vs. Nagini. But amid the slo-mo carnage, Longbottom and the sword of Gryffindor wake up.

12:02am: Line of the entire series from Mrs. Weasley. "Not my daughter, you bitch!" Then she totally works over Bellatrix.

12:03am: Hey I just realized it's Monday! That's cool. And uh, twisted.

12:04am: "Come on, Tom. Let's finish this the way we started. Together!" Not in the book. A rare addition.

12:05am: Final final battle in the courtyard between Harry and Voldemort. Red vs Green. Simultaneously, Longbottom whacks the crap out of Nagini with the Sword. Last Horcrux gone. Voldemort, instead of being truly defeated, disintegrates into dust just as dawn breaks on the horizon. This ending kind of disappointed me. It lacked a certain final oomph that I would have preferred.

12:07am: The castle is totally busted up but the survivors look OK. They have tea & coffee and few visible scars. Except for Harry who aparently doesn't wish to wipe the blood off his face.

12:09am: Drawn-out explanation of who had the Elder Wand and when. Harry breaks it in two and chucks it off the Hogwarts bridge. Noteable omission: the last line of the book, "That wand's more trouble than it's worth. And quite honestly, I've had enough trouble for a lifetime." Here in the movie, the children just stare silently into the distance.

12:10am: The somewhat questionable epilogue wherein Harry and Ginny are made up to look like older versions of themselves / James and Lily Potter. Ron looks fat and Hermione ... well, Hermione looks like Emma Watson.

12:12am: The only meaningful thing here in the epilogue is that we learn Harry's son is named Albus Severus Dumbledore. So he seems to have taken Snape as an ally in the end. I'm still not sure. It's all so back n forth.

12:15am: The Hogwarts express pulls out of King's Cross and holy moly that's the end! Running time, 18 hours, 55 minutes. That was kinda nuts. You too can inflict 19 hours of insanity on your friends and family this coming weekend when you pick up "Deathly Hallows, Part 2" on DVD and Blu-ray.

Very special thanks to the good people at Warner Bros. for letting me do this little stunt!