20 July 2011

End of an Era

Even if you live under a rock-- though you wouldn't read my blog if you do-- you are probably aware of a small movie premiere last weekend: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.  It's the eighth and final film in the Harry Potter movie series, opened in over 4,000 theaters across the country in 2D, 3D, and IMAX, and had the largest box office opening of a film ever in the history of the world.  No big deal.

Being a film and fantasy nerd, I, of course, had tickets to the midnight release in 3D. Normally I prefer 2D as the 21st century interpretation of the third dimension is a joke, but 3D was all they had left and beggars can't be choosers, right?  Thus my husband and I arrived at the Appleton movie theater two hours before our showtime to snag decent seats... and it's a darn good thing we did because the place was hopping!  I know this seems like common sense to you cool urban and suburbanites, but northern Wisco doesn't always jump on the Geek Train like you'd expect.  When we saw Part 1 up here a couple years ago, we didn't buy midnight tickets until the day of and got in without a hitch.  So I was pleasantly surprised to see an array of kids, teens, and adults sporting Trelawney glasses, homemade T-shirts, and full on costumes hours before the bell tolled twelve.  My favorite costumes in our theater were  an older man (like in his 50's older) as Dumbledore-- he even had a wand from the Harry Potter theme park!-- Professor Trelawney and Tonks (dyed hair and all), and finally Mad Eye Moody, complete with walking stick and glass eye. Amazing.

Unfortunately our actual film watching experience wasn't too great.  My husband had some annoying too-cool-for-school jock next to him making snide comments the entire time (dumb ass should've left), the 3D glasses were especially annoying to wear over my real glasses, and the speakers buzzed (like BZZZZZZZZZZZZZ) the whole time-- and if you've seen the film you know there are several key moments that are super quiet.  Needless to say we should go for one more theater viewing.  Though I liked much of the film, it seemed to dwell on scenes that didn't require extra time and placed little to no emphasis on a few key parts (like Fred's death).  I'm not going to do any type of review because you've probably already seen the film; all I have to say is, if you're a fan of the films and books then just see the movie so you too can relate to everyone else.  :)

I would, however, like to briefly reflect on this magical journey provided to me by J.K. Rowling for more than half my life.  On Friday I turn 26 (hooray for birthdays!) and this milestone coupled with the release of HP7P2 made me realize that I've had a relationship with Harry Potter (I promise I'm not a pedophile) and his adventures for 15 years! I began the books at age 11-- the same age Harry was when Hagrid broke down the Dursley's door on that secluded island and said, "Yer a wizard, Harry"-- and am one of the small but fortunate generation that actually grew up with Harry Potter himself.  I love that I have such an experience; it brings the books and Harry's story that much closer to my heart.

The story of how I got into the books is similar to most: my brothers and I received the first three books as a Christmas gift from an aunt (who had a reputation for giving odd presents).  We were less than thrilled, especially since we'd never heard of J.K. Who and Harry Whatshisname-- plus books rank right above clothing as "Presents Kids Love to Get."  Thankfully I enjoyed reading even as a youngin' so I took advantage of the time off Christmas allowed and the rest is history.  It's funny to remember a time before Harry, Ron, and Hermione became household names and wearing black rimmed glasses was cool, but how exciting to see literary history made before our eyes.  My children will never know life without Harry Potter and that's okay, but it's a shame future generations won't get to experience the anticipation for the next book in a series, hanging out at Borders (so sad they're closing) for a BOOK's midnight release-- I was working there when the 7th book came out-- dressing up for movie premieres... we're truly lucky to have known such a phenomenon.  I wonder what the next one will be...

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