Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Midnight Madness

It finally arrived. The event that I have been anticipating for months. In preparation for July 15, 2009, I began re-reading the Harry Potter series for the fourth time. (I finished it Monday night, and it was just as good as ever.) I knew the plot revealed within the sixth Potter installment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I knew that I would not be able to endure watching particular scenes unfold unless I submerged myself back into the Wizarding World. Which didn't take much convincing. Any excuse to read the books again was good with me.

You see, I'm one of those. One of those crazy Harry Potter freaks. And I'm not at all ashamed to admit it.

(My wizard zeal has encouraged a sort of frenzy with some friends at work: one has watched the entire series-so-far on DVD, and another has become quite engulfed in the books and is currently working his way through Book 6.)

Being the fanatic that I am (with a very supportive husband), it was a given that Brad and I would attend the midnight premier, just as we have for each previous movie, as well as the last couple of book releases. I bought our 12:01 tickets online, last week, to ensure that we were some of the first addicts to witness the theatrical premier.

We walked into the cinema two hours before the show was to begin and joined the already developed line. Thanks to our early arrival, we procured spots towards the beginning of the procession; we were at least in the building. Rumor had it (we wouldn't step out to actually see for ourselves so as not to sacrifice our own placement), the anxious fandom wrapped itself all the way around the outside of the theater.

The theater was selling out right and left and accommodated the swelling crowd by adding multiple consecutive showings. They filled seven (how very fitting) theaters, airing each minute after midnight. I was glad that we ordered our tickets early; we were the few elite in the 12:01 showing. I pitied those poor Potter enthusiasts who didn't get to enjoy it until 12:08. (Actually, due to the massive crowd, all of the shows began late. Our 12:01 movie lagged into a 12:20 movie. But, that's beside the point.)

The entire event, was, of course, wonderful. There are just few things more exhilarating than experiencing a cultural phenomenon with thousands of other people around the country at exactly the same moment. We were all inexplicably bonded, joking and laughing together with total strangers during the waiting time, and then fervently discussing the film afterwards. That's one of the reasons I love Harry Potter; it has brought so many people together and bridged social, gender, geographical, and age gaps. Anyway, I digress...

The movie is a little harder to describe. I have mixed emotions...

Alright, alright, the film, itself, is awesome. The acting is great (for the most part), the special effects are incredible, and the computer effects are off-the-charts. It's suspenseful, exciting, funny, and entertaining. It's just... I'm really hard to please.

For each film adaptation, they have naturally had to modify the plot some. I totally understand needing to condense the storyline to fit within the time confines of a movie. However, in this chapter, some plot points were pretty heavily altered. Some others were left out altogether, and one particular scene was completely fashioned out of nowhere - no mention of anything like it in the whole book.

Oh well. I know the books and the movies are two entirely different things. There's no way the movie can be everything that the book is. It's just not possible. I think I need to watch it a few more times in order to accept the discrepancies and move on.

After all, if J.K. Rowling approves of the movie (which she does, wholeheartedly), who am I to pass judgment?

What about you? Have you read the books? Are you looking forward to the movie? Have you seen the movie already? What are your thoughts?


Sheridith...Mom to Peeps said...

I am like you.. after reading the book..the movie always seems just "not that good"...

I am one of those crazy people that just waits for the DVD...

Bryan said...

where's the wizard robes? none of these pictures shows you with a wand or robe or HP glasses? What's up with that?

Erin Howell said...

yay for Harry Potter! :)

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