It seems like a lifetime ago that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was published, but it was just 1998.
Now we have just a couple of months until the second part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes to the big screen on July 15. So unless J.K. Rowling has a surprise up her well- tailored sleeve, this will be the end for the Potterites. What will they do? For now, at least they will have Friday's DVD release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 ($28.98, $29.98 Blu-ray), which includes the opening scene of the next film.
I have to admit that the series has gotten more interesting over the years as the kids — Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) — have grown up. They all have proven to be good choices and accomplished actors. David Yates, who directed the fifth, sixth and both parts of the seventh installment, seems to have an affinity for the material.
And you have to give credit to all the filmmakers involved for trying — largely with success — to turn up the creative juices on the films. Success helps, undoubtedly, but like The Lord of the Rings, which also had a literary source, there is a feeling of a real cohesiveness to the series.
If Deathly Hallows suffers at all, it's because it's a setup for the second half of the final story, but it certainly whets the appetites of the fans — even casual and initially reluctant ones like me.