Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Childhood excitement

Sad I missed that one

In high school I camped out for two movies: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. At the time I remember thinking Star Wars was amazing--it was a serious case of "not enough sleep" mixed with "seeing Yoda with a lightsaber for the first time." For The Two Towers I literally waited in front of the theater for 28 hours; 3 PM the day before for the 7 PM showing the next day. I was 13th in line. Ahead of me were a handful of college students, a few home schooled kids, and a music professor from one of the local universities. Two Towers was infinitely better than Star Wars in viewing pleasure, longevity of enjoyment, artistic quality, and campout festivities. (It was a significantly smaller group, but we got to know each other, shared Krispy Kreme donuts, hot chocolate, and had readings from the book.)

Yes, I was one of those those nerds.

I've gone to midnight showings since then, but nothing has really peaked my interest in quite the same way as those films. Last night Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince premiered and my brother entered childhood excitement mode as he tends to do around things either "Harry Potter" or "black-and-white and in Swedish." He didn't dress up like any characters, though he did wear his Harry Potter glasses. If he had a Gryffindor scarf, robe, uniform, or anything else I have no doubt he would have worn it. That's beside the point.

There was a large group of people who were dressed up. Much like the release of the 7th Harry Potter book, the movie had fans out in full force. One guy was even trying to profit from the night by walking around the line selling replica wands for $8 (later he dropped the price to $5). Maybe I'm biased, but the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings nerds seemed less geeky. It's one thing to have choreographed lightsaber duels or fights with broadswords; it's another to be

Yep, it was that sad

pointing sticks at one another shouting "Expelliarmus!" and hoping the other person reacts appropriately. I don't know; one seems more theatrical and cool to watch, the other is just sad.

I think the low point of the night in this category was watching two people dressed up as Hogwarts students trying to get a guy out of a tree by pointing their wands at him and shouting spells. It was as ineffective as a rational person would expect.

When the movie started there were previews for various films--a few looked interesting, but I was too tired to really care too much and my ears were bleeding from all the girls screaming at the New Moon trailer. It served to remind me that there's three more films in the series coming out that I'll have to tolerate girls going primal over. I suppose girls deserve it--a lot of films have had fan service for men for decades, women are due their share.

An hour into the film the power went out in the building. I was torn between thanking God that he had bestowed upon me a chance to actually get some sleep that night and sad that we were getting robbed of a movie premiere. Power came back on about 7 minutes later--if it had been 10 they would have had to evacuate the building and we would have been sent home--we finished the film without much issue save some light screaming. The movie is good; I enjoyed it, but either they changed a number of details from the book or I don't remember it as well as I thought I did. Not a big deal, just my thoughts.

Next year we get the first part of the 7th movie and the year after we get the finale. I'm glad they're actually doing the next film in two parts--they really should have done the last two films in two parts since the story demands more explanation and background. Without the character development and details the movies start to become little more than eye candy for those who know the books. It'd be nice if they were solid works in their own right. Lord of the Rings did that--
they did change some details from the books but they still stand as very high quality works of art separate from being

What I didn't get last night...

visuals for the literary fanbase.

It'll largely depend on if/where I'm working and what my circumstances are, but it seems likely I'll go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I at a midnight showing, too.

1 comment:

--jeff * said...

i'm glad last night didn't completely alienate you from the notion of midnight harry potter premieres.

i like going to the scera for those (the only time i do see movies there, really), because it's kind of fun to be in the midst of all the excitement. yes, it is a little overboard and overbearing sometimes, but when you go along for the ride, you get the ups and the downs.

the brief "harry vs. malfoy" duel wasn't any goofier than a couple of guys with plastic light sabres, in my opinion.

i'm glad you lot came.

and i'm pretty sure i'd be in hufflepuff, not gryffindor, but the idea's the same. i'd wear the scarf if i had it.

maybe i can get one made before next year's movie...