Friday, November 19, 2010

Deathly Hallows Part I: Review

(earlier than I thought, even!)

For those of you who have READ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, this post will be Spoiler Free (have some inclusion/exclusion info, but nothing you wouldn't know to ask about) HOWEVER, I want the rest of you to be able to read if curious, so anything that is spoiler AT ALL uses invisible ink. You know the spell: “Revelio” (along with your cursor highlighter)

Set-Up for the Night

We planned to go about 11:00 for a 12:25 show, but daughter had friends going at 9:00 and honestly, when you are hanging around drinking caffeine in anticipation of a midnight show, how much DIFFERENT is it to wait at the theater? Answer: Pretty darned different. There was not a single House Elf at home. Nor did we have any Ravenclaws, Slytherins, Quidditch Players or Professors. There WAS cake, but it is lopsided, as hubby would rather grumble that our oven rack is uneven that creatively problem solve by turning one of the layers the other direction before frosting *rolls eyes*

We arrived at Showcase come Rave (meaning the former Showcase theater, now given some silly name) at about 9:30 and there were probably 100 people waiting already—sitting in their various lines, but as it happened, they were all sitting in line for movies that started earlier than ours by a bit—we were the first in line for our particular theater (which made son grumble quite a lot, in spite of having dinner out and two doses of dessert—the free one from the restaurant and the birthday cake).

It took about twenty minutes for the kids to stop complaining about me changing my mind on the 'going to get snacks at Meijer' thing—I'd planned to, but after cake, I wasn't entirely sold on needing more SUGAR and I wasn't sure how things would go... plus, when you are first in line, the sign that says 'no outside food' takes on a meaning that I normally ignore when I go to theaters.

At that point though, the theater made a more serious attempt to fill up (and entertain us). The last NON-Harry Potter show started at 10:00, so by 10:05, the only people in the lobby were kindred, and MANY were in costume. Some of the House Elves were particularly cute. There were a ton of generic student costumes (scarves like me, robes, ties, wands) and a fair number of 'specific character' costumes (a few of the Hagrids were great), but the HIGHLIGHT was the Golden Snitch, who was accompanied by Fluffy (the three-headed dog). These guys ended up sitting behind us for the movie (and gave permission for the photo) and the girl on the other side of the snitch complained that the snitch kept copping a feel with his wing *snicker*.

As theaters emptied of their other inhabitants, lines got moved INTO those theaters, so some of the lines got to go in and get their places as long as 90 minutes before the movie, but our own stupid movie that preceded us was SAW 3D and didn't start until 9:55, so we weren't let in until 11:30. An announcer came in and said that in the history of the theater, this was the first time ALL 20 THEATERS had been sold out. He declared Harry Potter fans more devoted that Star Wars fans then asked if anyone wrote cross-over Harry Potter/Star Wars fan fiction.. Someone apparently raised his or her hand, though I couldn't see who, and he promptly told them they were twisted... it made me think of Tara... (*snicker*--she has a Star Wars Parody using the Potter characters)

Movie Summary

I started crying even before the 'Harry Potter' flashed on the screen, something related to 'Hermione and how she leaves home'. The opening scenes showed the 'world' and what was happening... it was very dark and desperate, all fitting with the book—the details were a little different, but not a lot and nothing overly annoying. Harry's escape from the Dursleys was less detailed, and they didn't go to the Tonks, but these seemed like important decisions, given all the extra explanation that would be required—the highlights were all there and the one notable substitution VERY well chosen (the 'how they knew which Harry' piece). The wedding, likewise... It just seemed like given the necessary explanation, their choices for what stayed and what went were good ones.

On the run was briefer, though still a little too long, considering the low level of action, however, I just need to say, the acting range of these three kids has flourished—both the comedic timing and the sad, scared, or desperate range were really very well acted. Here, I DID MISS the portrait in the handbag—Oh, I get it... tons of explanation needed, but there are a couple plot holes without it.

The rest of the movie... the main points were all there, simplified a bit, but not obnoxiously so. Frightening, moving, gripping, as necessary...

My Assessment

Well we get to see Harry nearly naked three times, so that's always good (nine if you count that one scene had seven of him), though I confess that ONE of these scenes was the only one of the movie that I thought, 'erm... okay...'--a little too much... you'll know it when you see it.

Overall, while I still hold that Prisoner of Azkaban is the best movie for the 'non-book' set, I think this was the best interpretation of the books thus far. Probably that is because they only had to cover half a book, so they didn't have to make the substitutions that bug me or chop nearly as many important subplots. I was disappointed when it was OVER, but only because I have to wait for July to see the rest, but the stopping place made sense. I think this may be less so for people who haven't read the books—that the ending will seem abrupt and not quite satisfying, but the rest is coming... and I think I even have faith now that it will be fabulous.

Odds and Ends

So I am off today (more off than usual). I plan to write (try to make up for a pretty bad week, in terms of word count—I averaged less than 1000 words a day, so it was a good thing I was ahead as of last Friday... I may nap, but more likely I will do laundry (a mindless activity), so tomorrow (when I normally do laundry) I can write with a less tired brain than I have today. The goal is to hit 40K by the end of tomorrow, so for the rest of the month I can keep a 1000 word a day pace and make it... I am about 3500 words shy right now.

I will try to still get around the blog circuit to some degree, but will be less constantly at my computer, FYI.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


LTM said...

Yay! Sounds awesome--we can't wait to see it next week! :o) And omg! Is it possible... did I just get your comment cherry??? :D <3 have a great weekend~

Haleine said...

I really enjoyed reading your review and I find I agree with you. I am just returning home from my own Midnight Harry Potter experience (the closest theater to me showing it at midnight was a two hour drive away). We were there at 7pm and the line was out the door about ten minutes later. And there were some people in costume too but nothing as elaborate as a golden snitch.

I really hope July comes quickly and not just because it snowed this morning.

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

i am seeing this in ten hours.

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

There are a TON of blogs on Harry Potter today :) and so far all have said this was a great movie and well done because it was split in half and there was more time for detail.
So glad you had a great time! and able to fix the cake (giggled, we have the same problem)
Have a wonderful weekend and you get your word count up and sneak in a nap ;)

Lola Sharp said...

We see it tomorrow (Sat.) and we're pretty excited! I am hearing pretty good reviews.

I'm the mean mom who wouldn't take my daughter to the midnight movie...she had tests today. I would take her tonight, but it's sold out. *pouts*

Thanks for a terrific and solid review and sharing you evening of fun with us. :)

Rachel Morgan said...

Overseas Harry Potter fans are SO AWESOME!! I want to be there! Here in South Africa the movie only comes out next Fri, and while there is excitement it doesn't seem to be quite up to the US and UK levels of excitement :-( Glad to hear that it was good though :-) I've been disappointed in the past by some of the movies, but there's definitely the feeling that each one is better than the last!

RaShelle said...

Hart - Harry nearly naked? Isn't it sad, that's what stuck out to me? LOL. Can't wait to see the movie. So excited. My goal is a 10K weekend for NaNo. I've got to, I'm so far behind. Good luck with your goals, too. =D

Hart Johnson said...

*snort* Leigh, you'll love it... and yes... today's cherry...

Haleine-welcome! I don't think I've seen you here before! A two hour drive is serious dedication!

Sarah-you'll totally love it!

Erica-believe it or not, I haven't yet gotten around (never thought I'd say that *shifty*) but sounds great to see what others thought!

Lola-yeah, tests would have canceled it for us... and actually, son's birthday had a huge amount to do with me giving in.

Rachel-I'm not sure I knew you were in South Africa-I have a young writer friend there who is a pretty big HP fan (met her writing fanfiction). All the excitement really is pretty great. And this was more organized than waiting for the book release (though the book was more anticipated.

Hart Johnson said...

RaShelle-were you always a secret nudist or is my nefarious plan for naked World Domination working? teehee

Marty said...

Agree so much with your review - really thought it was well-done. It will be interesting to hear the kids take on it after they see it this afternoon, as I went by myself last night/this morning. Loved the one notable substitution, and YES! "we get to see Harry nearly naked three times,..."

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Looking forward to seeing it today. (Except for Harry naked - that doesn't entice me in the least.) And I could never do a midnight show. It's WAY past my bedtime!

Mary Vaughn said...

Thanks for the review I'll see it next week.
Clever thing with the invisible ink.

gideon 86 said...

Hi Hart,

Great review! I can't wait to see it later. I hope I get to see some fierce costumes tonight when I go.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Thanks for the review! And for introducing me to the invisible ink trick!

Hart Johnson said...

Marty-how did your kids let you go?! Did you have to SNEAK!?

Alex-part of it is comical (in fact one of the movie's biggest laugh scenes). You'll survive.

Mary-I hope you enjoy it!

Michael- Have a BLAST!

Elizabeth--no problem! Sometimes I want to give people the option. I had a guest who wrote erotica and that is when I decided to give it a shot--let people decide whether or not to read. I got the idea from B. Miller who sent me an email that way at one point.

Colene Murphy said...

It was amazing! Glad you had so much fun. Those costumes are priceless.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one to tear up in the beginning! So many times after that too...ahh...great.

Man, we were lucky, we got to sit down by 9:45 in our theaters. They didn't schedule any movies to start after 7:50 just so we could but it was such a huge theater we had over 3,000 people book tickets so they knew better than to make crazy Harry Potter fans stand around too long.

Glad you had an amazing time!

Ezmirelda said...

Thanks for the awesome movie review! I can't wait to see the showing some time this weekend. I feel like the only one left who hasn't watched it yet. So many of my classmates went to see the midnight showing. :)

Old Kitty said...

Wow!! I love that the cinema goers got into the HP spirit!! Loved the guy snitch!! LOL!! and great review, thank you!!!! I think having the two parter to cover the final book should just about do it for me as the last film was so distilled - it should have been a two parter too! :-)
Have a great weekend- great that you and your family saw HP!! Take care

Deb and Barbara said...

My daughter lined up with her friend for the midnight showing. Made homemade Oreos (because that's the kind of little baker-women they are) They looooved the movie! Gave it pretty much the same review you just did.

Have a great weekend! xo

Michele Emrath said...

Wonderful review! I love the family time put into this event. I look forward to these kinds of things when my kids get older...but no rush!

Southern City Mysteries

Ellen aka Ella said...

Glad you went; Your kids won't ever forget this memorable evening! Great review; WE look forward to it. My daughter's boyfriend wants her to go with him and his family... It changes the dynamic of fun, time will tell~ I know my son will take his new girlfriend; He has read all the books~

I love it when people dress up for events! Cake looks yummy, it isn't about how it looks!

How old is your son? Glad you went~

Adina West said...

I just love the pic of your unimpressed son sitting there with his headphones on. A picture tells a thousand words, as they say...

Hey, would that work for NaNo? All you'd need would be 50 good pictures and that's your word total right there!


Katy Foster-Dugan said...

I went to a midnight show with my mom. She hasn't read the books and had a hard time believing that we needed to get there several hours before the show started. We got to the theater a little before nine and the line was out the door. But we were able to talk to the manager and since we both have arthritis they let us wait inside on a bench. I was crying from the beginning as well. From the time that the trio were being chased by the snatchers on I was practically sobbing.

Ellen aka Ella said...

I have something for you ;-D

The Words Crafter said...

A friend of mine went to the midnight showing and he said he loved the movie. I can't wait till next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've gone to a midnight showing of Heavy Metal and Rocky Horror before - is it as weird?

Rissa said...

That part in the beginning got me too, but the one that really set me off was when he was saying goodbye to Privet Drive. I'm sure a tear snuck down my face there. I truly loved it, it is by far my favorite (you liked PoA--gah! I twitch whenever I watch that one! LOL) I felt the very few things that were changed or left out were because they simply hadn't had enogh backstory airtime thanks to the other movies. *grumbles about Burrow burning down*

I agree with the one scene too, I was like "Is this really happening--I guess that could have been that way, but not exactly how I pictured it!"