Went with a group to see “HP 7.2” this afternoon. Since 3D was the only option at the theatre our group went to, I saw it in 3D although I would just as soon have seen it in 2D. Actually, the experience wasn't bad. I just don't think it really added that much to the experience of the movie. Sure, there were a few places where the effect was noticeable and kind of cool, but overall my feeling about 3D is still “meh” and frankly I found the glasses annoying after a while. Oh well – not like I had a choice this time.
As to the movie itself, it was a very worthy ending to the Harry Potter saga. I was not in any way disappointed. (Well, I was disappointed in that the preview of next year's John Carter [of Mars] rumored to be attached to this movie was was not shown, at least in this theatre, but that's a separate issue. I've seen it here, but wanted to see it on the big screen. Happened to me last year when the first Green Lantern trailer was supposed to appear with HP 7.1.) All the major story beats of the epic confrontation between good and evil in the wizarding world were hit, although it generally moved at a breakneck pace that would, I think, leave the unsuspecting viewer totally bewildered – but if they expect to come into a “Part 2” without seeing at least Part 1 and knowing what's going on before, shame on them. It is not a separate movie; it is very much a jump-right-in-and-take-up-where-we-left-off continuation. It would also help immensely to have read the book. Frankly, had I not (or at least, in my case, had I not heard the audiobook) I would have been lost in a few places. Members of our group who had not read the book but had seen Part 1 were mystified by such things as the hat that Neville found – they thought it was McGonagle's and signified that she had been killed. One thing I think we were all in agreement about was that the significance of Dumbledore's sister was totally missed. But there's no way everything could possibly be included in any movie adaptation of this book. I think all of the major characters and even some secondary characters got their chance for one last moment in the spotlight, fleeting though it might have been. Neville in particular got to shine as a hero on a par with Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
One measure of how much better a movie overall that this was than, say, Green Lantern – not to pick on the latter, just that it is the most recent movie I saw in the theatre – is that coming in at just over two hours this one did not in any way feel that long. Green Lantern came in, I believe, at just under two hours, and yet it felt longer … and I do not mean in a good way!
It is a bit bittersweet to know that this is the end of a decade-long movie experience that, I think, could be watched from beginning to end and would hold up very well as one long story, as the books were meant to be and do indeed. That is a theory I mean to test at some time in the future, when this last movie makes its appearance on DVD/Blu-Ray, with a closely spaced viewing of all eight in succession.
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I've been on the road here, there, and yonder for the past few days - plus had to close out a three-week summer internet class I taught - and thus have had little time for blogging. I have several things finished reading and just waiting for me to put my thoughts down and out there, however. Maybe I'll get a chance to catch up over the next few days.