As much time and money and effort as Hollywood pours into big-budget franchises, only a handful manage to make a real lasting impression on moviegoers. But the best of them live on long after the last installment has hit theaters, and one that falls into that category is Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter series.

From 2001 to 2011, the studio released eight films based on J.K. Rowling‘s books. Collectively, they’re are one of the most successful cinematic series of time by any standard — critically, commercially, culturally. Even now, after all the cast and crew have moved onto other projects, fans still harbor a deep affection for the Boy Who Lived.

In tribute to the beloved fantasy saga, Kees Van Dijkhuizen Jr. has edited together a gorgeous thirteen-minute retrospective titled “Mischief Managed.” Hit the jump to watch his video, and be warned that you may get a lump in your throat once John Williams‘ iconic theme kicks in.

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If you’re the kind of person who got all emotional during all those Harry Potter cast interviews about shooting the final scene, or if you referred to the last movie, without irony,  as “the end of an era,” then When Harry Left Hogwarts is for you. The documentary, by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Morgan Matthews (The Fallen), chronicles the making of David YatesHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2, and will make you get teary-eyed all over again as cast members talk about what it’s been like to be part of the franchise for the past ten years. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Fake Criterion covers have become a pretty popular form of fan art as of late. Design-inclined cinephiles have fake-Criterioned everything from Orson Welles’ Macbeth to a French version of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle to Kickpuncher (which is itself a fake movie), and it’s no wonder why. Criterion DVDs often get the kind of cool, artsy covers you would never find on ‘normal’ DVDs, which usually opt for something more tame and immediately recognizable.

The latest property to get the fake-Criterion treatment is the Harry Potter film series, which concludes this weekend with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Cooper Union graduate Patrick Sullivan created this stunning collection for his student portfolio, and it saddens me to know they’ll never actually be used. Flip through his cover collection after the jump.

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IMDb’s Top 10 Films of 2010

Since we’ve been doing top 10 movies of the year lists, I thought it was a good time to look at Internet Movie Database’s top 10 highest rated movies of 2010. While it is very easy to discount any of these lists (or any best of list in general), and while it might be easy for many of you to just write off the user ratings on IMDb as fanboy voting, it’s definitely the largest sampling of movie-going opinion that exists today. Hit the jump to check out the list.
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It’s the beginning of the end for Harry Potter. The seventh film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I, breaks half of JK Rowling‘s final Potter novel into a film of its own. The result is rather unlike anything else in the series, and, despite the not-quite cliffhanger structure that results, one of the most satisfying Potter films. Read More »

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Briefly: Warner Bros. just threw a light jab into the face of post-conversion 3D. The studio had planned to release Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I in post-converted 3D. But now WB has released a statement saying that the film will release only in 2D and IMAX versions, and that,

We will not have a completed 3D version of the film within our release date window…Despite everyone’s best efforts, we were unable to convert the film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality. We do not want to disappoint fans who have long-anticipated the conclusion of this extraordinary journey.

In other words: “with the time we’ve got to make this happen, it will look like Clash of the Titans, and that was shit.” Or, if you want the kind version, director David Yates says “This decision, which we completely support, underscores the fact that Warner Bros. has always put quality first.” You have chosen well, Warner Bros.

Editor’s Note: They still plan to release Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 3D. More details in the press release, which you can read after the jump.

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Warner Bros held the first test screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I today in Chicago, and /film reader “Kyle” has sent us his early reader reaction. Hit the jump if you’re curious.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Warner Bros has released a teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the DVD/Blu-ray of Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince. The 50-second teaser trailer is preceded by brief introductions from David Yates and David Heyman, as well as a bunch of behind the scenes footage. The whole segment runs almost two-minutes long, and is now online, embedded after the jump. As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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