Lumos maxima! HP 7.1 opens

19 Nov

Last night I caught the midnight showing of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 with some good friends.  The movie was good, but overall it was a great experience:

* We arrived at 5:30pm to find the first in line had arrived at 10:00am, and the line wrapped around a quarter of the mall.  It wrapped the rest of the way around before the night was over.

* I passed Hermione in the bathroom, and Hagrid was hangin’ out in the seats below us.  Luna Lovegood even let me take a picture of her.  Can’t put a price on that.

* Harry Potter Fact:  Harry Potter fans are talented, artistic.  A talented dark mark Sharpie tattoo artist made the rounds in line.  And Hot Topic couldn’t keep HP shirts on the shelf.

* He stormed on screen and my heart did a little flutter.  I (still) heart Alan Rickman.  One day I’m gonna write a part for that man.  Can’t help loving what a great actor he is.

* Fleur!  Hooray for the return of Fleur, however brief.

* Parents should know that HP 7.1 has earned every bit of it’s PG-13 rating.  At this point, Harry Potter is no longer a children’s franchise.  The first few minutes gives us Ginny asking Harry to zip up her dress.  And when Nagini attacks Harry in Godrick Hollow, it’s pretty terrifying.  I’d hate to see that in 3-D.  Harry, Hermione and Ron are all adults now, and they are thrust into a very grown-up world where no one is safe and no answers are easy.

* The graphic novelization of the story of The Three Brothers was beautifully animated and gorgeous to watch.  That alone was worth the price of the ticket.

* But my favorite part of the night was the event itself, hanging out with friends and a community of people who believe that the experience of sharing this event together was worth the effort of pre-ordering tickets and waiting in line for hours to get a good seat.  Observing the older teens everywhere in their Gryffindor and Slytherin costumes, I also realized that this generation has grown up on Harry Potter.  As my friend Jason said, “Harry Potter is their Star Wars.”  Finishing this series together will be a rite of passage for these young Magic-seekers.

See you on the island — one last time — in 2011.

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