Sunday, November 20, 2005

date night

This weekend's opening of the new Harry Potter movie posed a dilemma for my wife and me. Do we wait until our kids are available to see the movie, which will be next weekend? Or do we go see it this weekend, without the kids? And if we do go, do we break my rule about only paying matinee prices for movie tickets?

We analyzed the times for my work schedule, my wife's church singing schedule, our eating-every-three-hours schedule and our son's plans to attend a high school football game, a poker-themed birthday party and his team's swim meet. Instead of staying home alone Saturday night, my wife and I decided that Harry Potter was worth paying full price ($8 each) for our tickets. The kids can go to a matinee over Thanksgiving weekend.

The parking lot at the movie theatre was packed. I dropped my wife off at the box office around 8:15 and parked in the next shopping center over. When she tried to buy tickets to the 8:45 show, they told her it was sold out but that there were two tickets left for the 8:20 show. She bought them, went inside, put her coat over two seats and came back outside to wait for me. We bypassed the concession stand since we had brought LA Weight Loss snacks with us. The previews were still showing when we sat down.

Despite a two and a half hour running time, the movie felt rushed. I had read that a lot of material from the book was left out of the movie but there were still plenty of plot points to cover. The movie seemed to skip over Harry's anxiety about each of the tasks in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. In the book he had to practice the "accio" charm once he had figured out his strategy for the first task.

I liked the movie very much but I thought that there were some references that could have used a little more explanation. For example, the filmmakers assume that you will remember the ingredients and effects of polyjuice potion. I guess that everybody who sees the new Potter movie will have already seen the previous ones. Do you know of anyone who will see "Goblet of Fire" without having watched the earlier films?
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