Next month, Harry Potter will celebrate an important anniversary:
Yes! Insane, I know. But the first book was indeed published in the UK on June 30, 1997. With that in mind, it's time to wax nostalgic! (But really, when isn't it time for that?)
Last year, I re-read the entire series, and in the past few weeks I've re-watched all the movies. Good fun, I must say. I have determined it's best (for my own sanity) to keep the movies and the books separate. When I read one of the books and then watch its movie counterpart soon after, I start getting cranky. But when they're kept as separate entities, they = highly enjoyable! Magically enjoyable.
After this most recent marathon, I've decided my favorite film is Deathly Hallows. It's just really amazing to watch. The music is good, the young actors have perfected their skills, and while they did leave out a few book details, I can forgive the filmmakers because they actually made some things from the books -- well... even better! I mean, nobody wanted to see Hedwig die. Especially not me. I loved that feathery little gal. But I found her death in the movies more moving because she died trying to protect Harry rather than just sitting idly in her cage. So kudos, filmmakers. If you had to do it, at least you did it with class.
My least favorite film? Prisoner Of Azkaban. Sigh. I love the book, but the movie just has so many WTF moments; it makes me cringe. I'm glad they didn't bring that director back for any more films. I mean, the man is obviously a creative guy, but I think he might also be slightly crazy.
ANYWAY. I saw 7/8 movies in the theater, and here are some of my memories of those occasions:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
I was in college when this came out, and I came home for the weekend to see this. My mom and I saw the movie together. A few weeks later, at Thanksgiving, my brother came home from his college, and we went and saw it again! I think this is the only one I saw twice in theaters.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Chamber is the only HP movie I saw opening night. During my senior year of college, my roommate and I went to the nearest movie theater -- this tiny, old-fashioned little place -- to see the film. The theater was packed, we both enjoyed it. I remember we both were highly amused when Ron first appeared on screen. His voice had changed! Bwahaha!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Okay, so I didn't actually remember seeing this one. I knew I did... but when, and with whom? So I went back to my old, old journal entries. Found it! Apparently I saw it with my brother in June 2004, and we sat near a 10-year-old kid who kept making nerdy comments about everything from Dumbledore to Dementors. Now I remember! But I wish I didn't.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
The only one I DIDN'T see in the theater. My brother and I went to go see it and it was sold out. We meant to go another day, and it just never happened, and then it left the theaters and that was that. I saw it on DVD three months later. I really enjoyed it. This one made me really respect Daniel Radcliffe because wow, he had to do a lot of his own stunts! All those underwater scenes? He had to actually do them under water, for hours and hours of shooting. CRAZY. (Crazy cool.)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
2007 was an awesome year for HP fans. Within the span of a month, we got a new book and a new movie. And within the span of 24 hours, I experienced both for the first time. The book arrived on Saturday morning; I began reading it and did not stop until I'd finished the last word... about 15 hours later. Then I went to sleep for about seven hours, woke up, and went downtown to see HP5 with my friend Jenn. By that point my brain was sort of swimming in Potterness. Now every time I watch the scene where Harry and the others fly on their broomsticks over London, I get nostalgic, thinking of that day, being in that theater and feeling so happy. I remember loving Luna's performance. Luna in the books is a little hard to bear sometimes, but on film she's fantastic.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Again, I saw this one with Jenn. She had traveled to London not long before seeing this, and recognized some of the places they showed in the movie, and told me so. I don't know why I remember that. Just a weird little thing. Dang, I want to go to London someday!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
I saw this one with my Little Sister maybe a month after it came out? I had to explain a lot of things to her afterwards because I guess she hasn't read all the books. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THE BOOKS. I have spoken.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
I saw this with Jenn. I think we saw it in 3D. AND YES I TOTALLY CRIED WHEN HARRY WAS WATCHING SNAPE'S MEMORIES AND SNAPE WAS CLUTCHING LILY AFTER HER DEATH WAHHHHHH.
So! That's what I remember about the films! Got memories you want to share? Leave a comment!