July 20, 2007, 11:30 PM
I sat outside the closed shops of Petaluma along with my cousin, his girlfriend and some of their friends, we lined the streets that led to the local bookstore waiting for midnight to strike so that we could crack open the last installment of the Harry Potter series. Will he die? Or will evil win out over good? Questions of all sorts went through our brains as we discussed possibilities but mostly just enjoyed the community that had come out to celebrate the release of the book. Some people had been lined up for hours at this point with blankets, food, music and chairs. There was such an excitement that went through the crowd as the hour crept closer and closer.
Once I had the book in my hands I started it immediately but unlike most people who stayed up all night to get to the end as quickly as possible I took my time. I enjoyed the prose and let the story develop paying utmost attention to plot twists and answers to the many questions that had been created in past books. When I finally finished the book (took me about a week) Harry Potter's saga had ended. I was sad, but even good things can't last forever.
July 14, 2011, 11:30 PM
I arrived at the Aurora Theater around 11 PM. Crazy lines that were certainly the situations of Regals across the nations didn't exist in this little hometown treasure. I almost didn't get a ticket, but Maddie talked me into it. I'm glad I went, the theater had put together a great event that ran smoothly with only the slightest amount of cheesy humor (Left side say "Harry" Right side say "Potter" "Harry" "Potter!" "Harry!" "Potter!"... "Pick a side! No going both ways"...What?!?!? Somebody didn't edit too well but it at least got some genuine chuckles. It's not as funny typed out, probably had to be there) The theater was full of excitement and throughout the movie there were cheers at points of victory for the good side. One girl a row ahead of us was completely sobbing through the war when the casualties were shown. I'm pretty sure I cried while reading the book but the movie didn't quite do it for me. I enjoyed the movie over all but I can't agree with many fans' opinions that it was "the best movie yet." I thought the movie itself was full of awkward moments that just seemed like the producers needed to fill a few seconds here and there. The fact that they separated the 7th book into 2 movies just shows that they were just trying to get as much money out of fans as possible. They made the romances, not to mention other interactions, between characters utterly awkward and really made them feel fake and forced. My favorite moments included Professor McGonagall overcoming Snape and Neville's speech.
I have always been partial to the books. I always make a point of separating the books from the movies in my mind when seeing them, but still the movies have never created the excitement I had felt for the release of the books. I never went out of my way to see the movies at midnight, though I'd tag along with friends if they were going. To me the movies were just an excuse to make easy money on a mediocre production (the acting has improved, but it was never great.)
It's hard to explain how I feel. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the movie. I did. I'm not saying I wish I hadn't gone at midnight. I'm glad I did. I'm just saying I don't find the excitement in the movies that I felt in the books. The Harry Potter saga ended in 2007 for me, the movies being a way to revisit the stories in a new medium. I sometimes wonder if there will ever be another sensation like Harry Potter that is enjoyed by all generations, hated by some, obsessed over by others and at the same time a universal symbol throughout society.