The End of an Era

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So, I’ve been a pretty busy girl, and by busy, I mean incredibly lazy, as I’m on vacation in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. I’ve been reading and watching television to my heart’s content — I even re-watched the entire first season of “Game of Thrones.” Like most of the country, I also went this weekend to see the last “Harry Potter” installment, and yes, I went at midnight.

Now, I always get to the movie early, with enough time to get a good seat and wait for the trailers to start. My mother and I showed up an hour and fifteen minutes early, and still had to sit in the very front of the theater, craning our necks up to see Harry and friends.

And though I felt all the same things that most people my age would feel — excitement, sadness, apprehension that the last movie would live up to expectations — I couldn’t help but feel that the whole hype surrounding the 2nd part of the “Deathly Hallows” was extremely anti-climactic. Was it the fault of the movie? Definitely not. I have many quibbles with how the filmmakers adapted the books, but they were always exciting and, for the most part, satisfying.

No, the feeling came from getting to the movie theater over an hour early and having to stand in a line that wrapped from the front of the theater all the way around the side to the very back (and almost to the other side). I’m used to waiting, and I’m not complaining about the lines (we should’ve expected it!), but it got me to thinking about the movie experience and how it really can affect the way you view a film. I walked out of ‘Harry Potter’ feeling pretty much “meh” about the whole thing (NOT the way I felt after reading the last book all those years ago).

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We then went to see “Winnie the Pooh” on a rainy Saturday afternoon surrounded by children. I can’t objectively say that I liked ‘Winnie’ more than ‘Harry Potter’  the way some critics are, but I did walk out feeling a lot better. The film lightened my load, and it’s 70-minute running time made me feel as if I just sat down to watch a television show (or an animated short, which I love).

My point to this rambling post is that movies need to be experienced with a clear head in order to evaluate them. It’s hard to do that when you’ve waited outside in the 90-degree heat and humidity for over an hour, then had to sit in the very front at an hour that is way past your bedtime. I almost wish I’d seen ‘Harry Potter’ at a normal hour without lines. Maybe I’ll have to make it back for a second trip…


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