Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Night I Was About to Go All Umbridge

If you're reading this, chances are you know I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. I started reading the books in 2001 and have been totally immersed in almost everything Harry ever since.

2001 is also the year the first movie came out. For, it I gathered a few of my friends, we stood in line for the opening night showing...and the rest was history. We've done that for every movie ever since.

As it was for a lot of people, the last movie coming out was very emotional for me. So was the last book, but I think that was offset--slightly--by the excitement of getting to read the final bit of the story. With the movie, I already knew how the story would end. It was just the last time I would experience the excitement in a large crowd like that: with my friends, waiting in line and feeling the love for HP in the air. Goodbyes are hard for me, people.

But I planned the outing anyway and sent out the usual email with the date and time. We decided that we would go to the Regal Cinema in Union Square (in NYC). That was where we had seen the very first movie and almost all of the movies since then. We considered going to a midnight showing on Thursday, but then opted for Friday night since we thought it'd be better if we didn't have to go to work the next day.

This turned out to be the wrong decision.

Although we have always gone to the late Friday showing at this theater, something was off from the very beginning. We waited in line for three hours (and were second in line), but when we got in, a good 50 or so people had somehow snuck in before us and already filled the theater. What was going on? Had they apparated in? That hardly seemed fair (especially since I hadn't known that was allowed! I would have studied up.).

Special Harry Potter 3D glasses: when my friend first noticed they were handing those out, my geek meter went off the charts. I mean, if you have to wear glasses to watch a Harry Potter movie, it would only make sense that they would be HARRY'S GLASSES, right?! Right. Except they ran out of them way before it was our screening time.

This has never happened to be before, but the 3D glasses gave me a massive headache literally a half an hour into the movie. You know that scene in Bellatrix's vault where the gold keeps dangerously multiplying: that could be a metaphor for Hollywood's love of 3D movies. Only replace the gold with poop. I don't need to pay an extra $10 to have things jumping out at me, Hollywood. I can get that for free on my daily commute on the NYC subway.

And then...there were the people in the row behind us.

Remember what I said about the communal magic and love for HP?!

Right. These Muggles did not get the memo.

Now, why you would want to wait in line for HOURS (because these people had decent seats--they must have been there for a long time...and, trust me, there's no way they passed their apparition test), just so you can sit back and snort, snicker and call Bellatrix "ugly" for two and a half hours is beyond me. And when I say WHYYYY, I mean that in the Cee Lo Green sense of the word.

And THEN...then...just as Harry and Ron were escaping the fiendfyre on their broomsticks, I got SMACKED IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD. No joke. Some girl was coming back from going to the bathroom, went to pull my seat back, and literally punched me in the head. If Mad-Eye Moody were around, he would have totally turned her into a weasel.

Afterwards, my friends asked me what I thought of the movie. My sad but honest answer: I don't even feel like I saw it.

My friends and I are going to go again (to a 2D version), but I am truly upset that I never got that final experience of seeing it on opening night with a theater chock full of fans. So much so that I have been reading tea leaves for each and every rude and loud person who was in that theater with me...and they ALL have the Grim.

Now the Thursday at midnight showing: those were my peeps! I should have stuck with them. So excuse me while I go dig out my Time Turner (and by dig out, I mean grab it from the prominent position it has in my living room).

In other news, I'm taping a podcast with my two friends tonight and we're discussing Potter! If you have any questions for any of us (or any particular Potter subject you'd really like me to geek out over), feel free to leave it in the comments section below.


  1. That sounds like a truly miserable night of cinema - I'm sorry. :( Really hope your next showing is much more enjoyable.

    Question for you to geek out over: Minerva McGonagall and Neville Longbottom: axis of awesome - yes/yes?

  2. How did you feel about the epilogue? I've heard a few negative comments like"Why?" and "It wasn't necessary," but I think, to remain faithful to JK's vision, it really was necessary. It showed life went on after this epic battle, which life always does unless the world itself is destroyed. And even then, it might go on somewhere else. (See "Knowing.")Life is a cycle, the "Circle of Life", if you will, and there will always be more. That's why Jo could say "Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you back with open arms." (OK. I'll shut up now.)

  3. I'm sorry you had to experience that degree of disappointment. With a little social networking effort, I bet you could coordinate a viewing and fill the theater with hp fans.

    we could have a potter buck making party beforehand (like how I just invited myself?)

  4. Euric, this is an excellent idea! Making Potter Bucks beforehand is genius too. And, of course, you'd be invited.

    Liz & Suzanne, we shall be discussing your excellent questions tonight! :-)

  5. My question is: What do you think of the Harry-Ginny relationship? I believed it when I read the book, but not onscreen...