Notes on Seeing the Latest Harry Potter Movie

Will and Annette and I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie this afternoon. Here are some of my thoughts on the whole experience:

  • We got Will out of school a bit early, mainly because it is like a 3 hour movie and we wanted to be able to watch it and get home before it was way way past dinner.
  • We settled in, into kind of the front row as you enter the theater. It’s not the absolute front row, but it was maybe the fifth or so row, and it was also very near the enterance to the theater.
  • Just as the previews commercials that I didn’t pay to see were starting, a group of older folks who seemed determined to talk through the entire feature and who also seemed hard of hearing sat down to our right. Annette and Will, who were sitting to my immediate right, moved over to my immediate left.
  • Then, about a minute or so into the feature itself, a man and his two children sat down to our (and specifically, Annette’s) left. And I mean right on her left, like a seat away, and it’s worth pointing out that while the theater was crowded, it was far from packed. These people could have sat in many other places. Then this guy then starts explaining the movie to one of his kids, saying stuff like “Okay, now all these people are wizards. Oh, and this game quidditch is sort of like soccer but they play it on brooms.” Annette, not a person to suffer fools in a movie theater, leaned over and said “shhh!” His response was “No.” Annette said “What?” He said “I’m not going to be quiet. This isn’t your house.” Annette said “You’ve got to be kidding me.” He said “My son is hearing-impaired so I need to explain things to him.”

    Now, let me point out that I didn’t hear any of this, but I could tell that there was some kind of commotion going on over there. Annette gave me the very brief version of what was going on and I knew immediately that this wasn’t going to work. I started gathering the coats hastily and said “Let’s move,” and we did.

    As we walked by Mr. Talker and his “hearing-impaired” son (I’ll get to that later), I said, quite sarcastically of course, “Thank you.” You know, a “THANK you!” kind of thing. Mr. Talker’s loud and somewhat sincere response was “Asshole!” Whatever. We retreated to seats a few rows behind.

  • I liked the movie, I think quite a bit. It was a bit problematic for me though because I have only managed to read about 200 pages fo the 700+ page book, and the movie got through this material in literally the first 10 minutes. But I was able to follow what was going on and I thought it was pretty well done.
  • It is a pretty scary movie, and one of my former students/friends sent me an email last week saying that he thought it was too scary for a kid Will’s age. I emailed back and told him (and I’m not really proud of this) that Will has what strikes me as an unusually high tolerance for violence and such on the screen. And it does turn out he was fine. When I asked Will after the movie if he thought it was too scary, he just scoffed at me.
  • It turns out that in our huff to leave our previous seats, I had left Will’s mittens and stocking cap behind. So, as the credits were rolling and Mr. Talker et al were watching them, we walked by to look for them. To Mr. Talker’s credit, he apologized to us profusely for his earlier behavior, explaining that he too didn’t like it when people talked at the movies, he was embarassed for his past behavior, etc., etc. We small-talked a bit about the movie (Mr. Talker liked it too), and then he explained that his son was actually not hearing-impaired but he had ADD and Mr. Talker thought he’d have to explain everything to his son. Which, for me, prompted a big ol’ “Huh?!?!?!?!” in my head.
  • Annette clearly had mixed feelings about the flick, largely based on the many things that were left out of the 700+ page book, and also (IMO) largely based on her extensive knowledge and scholarship on the whole Harry Potter series. It wasn’t quite like this, but it was a bit like her saying “And that whole deal that was on page 373? That’s not there at all!! Can you believe that?! Jeesh!” Well, like I said, I need to finish reading the book first.

Like I said, other than some weirdness, a good movie. Worth checking out.

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4 Responses to Notes on Seeing the Latest Harry Potter Movie

  1. Andre says:

    It’s awesome that you don’t have to pay for the previews… that’s a nice little bonus. They give you all that for free!!!

  2. Alison (from last year) says:

    Hi Steve
    I’m procrastinating on beginning Thanksgiving dinner preparation and decided that commenting on your Harry Potter experience would help me in this endeavor.
    Coincidentally, my son and I had a similar experience when we saw it sunday. A woman sat down next to us with three kids; one elementary school aged and two who looked to be under five yrs. Violence issues aside, is it realistic to think that children that young will be engaged for three hours? Obviously a rhetorical question, and you can imagine how the little ones acted 10 minutes into the movie. She actually spanked one of them for being too loud. That of course made the child quiet down instantly (not)!It’s foolish to go to family type movies and not be prepared to tolerate the normal disruptions that go with kids. It’s like expecting to get an intimate dinner for two at McDonalds. But preschool kids sitting quietly for three hours in any movie? Ain’t gonna happen. It used to be that theaters had what they called “cry rooms” which were somewhat sound proof where parents could take crying infants or fussy toddlers, so that they could watch without disturbing others. Times have changed (sigh).
    Have a great holiday.

  3. mr skin says:

    Has anybody seen the sneak peak of the next Harry Potter? I heard it’ll debut on HBO in late November.

  4. Harry Niles says:

    Read SWAP by Sam Moffie. It’s the Harry Potter for the hearing impaired!

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