Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Verdict is In...And I'm a Loon!

Take a theater full of excited people, a highly anticipated fantasy movie, add in some "magic" and what is the result? The Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince midnight premiere. Scheduled to start Wednesday morning at 12:01, there were already over thirty people in line when we (this loon, who happens to be the one who gave me my geeky DNA, and I) arrived at 6:30. Once settled in line, the only thing to do was wait.

And wait we did. We waited while people walked in, wearing full Hogwarts robes. Others took the "cool teen look" wearing distressed t-shirts proclaiming Slytherin and Gryffindor. Still others came dressed as Muggles, the non-magic population, us included. As we waited through the same five songs, (some Miley Cyrus song, some other Miley Cyrus song, something inaudible and a push for the Harry Potter soundtrack, complete with one song), we buried ourselves in books. Me: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince( not quite sure why I brought the book to the movie, but it was nice and thick, and took me a while to read), Over Sea, Under Stone and Sense and Sensibility. Him: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Around 9:15, we were ushered into the theater, where the captive audience was shown the same seven trivia slides over and over and over again, and some advertisements. But, of course, that was much too boring. So, some extremely devoted fans decided to provide entertainment. Pulling out their wands, they proceeded to duel, even using the words from the books. When one of the duelers "died", the whole theater burst into applause. Ahh, opening night.

As the minutes ticked by, the excitement was rising. When the previews came on, the sound of ecstatic screams and applause were deafening. As the captive audience watched the Twilight: New Moon preview, showing Robert Pattinson (Edward) more screaming filled the theater (along with a hearty "boooo" from the male portion of the audience). When a shirtless Taylor Lautner (Jacob, the other heartthrob) came onscreen, the goofy person next to me (yes, Him) yelled "Sharkboy!". Next time I see that preview, I'm going to get everyone around me to yell "Cedric! You're alive!" when Pattinson comes onscreen.

Warning, potential spoilers ahead...

As the color palette seen in the previews for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince warns, this is a dark movie. The series has gone from cute supposed-to-be-eleven-year-olds-but-actually-nine-year-olds being cute, to a tense, who's-going-to-die-can't-trust-anyone-nowhere-is-safe atmosphere. Still, mixed in with that is some very sweet, humorous scenes. One of my favorites was the "Chosen One" scene with Harry and Hermione:

Hermione(seeing Romilda Vane looking at Harry):

Hey! She's only looking at you because she thinks you're the "Chosen One"

Harry: But I am the chosen one.

Hermione whacks Harry in the head with a rolled up parchment(or something similar)

Harry: Sorry...kidding.

The scene between Lavender Brown and Hermione, after Ron's been poisoned is really good too, summing up that triangle well.

Lavender, seeing Hermione by Ron's bed in the hospital: What is she doing here!?

Hermione: I might ask you the same question.

Lavender, indignantly: I happen to be his girlfriend!

Hermione: I happen to be his...friend.

The filmmakers did an excellent job adapting the book. They made changes, but mostly they were done well. But the great big battle at the end was cut, and I hated the part with the Muggle waitress. The opening scene is unnerving, showing the bad bad bad guys collapsing a bridge which kills Muggles (non-magic people), but again, it contributes to the tense, who's-going-to-die-can't-trust-anyone-nowhere-is-safe atmosphere.

All in all, it was a magical couple of hours, setting the scene for the last two movies (they're doing two, 'cause the book is too long). Now I have to go and see it in IMAX3D.

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