14 November 2005

My Harry Potter birthday surprise (no spoilers)

My wife and I have a Harry Potter date this coming weekend in Baguio. She was insistent that I do not watch it beforehand. However, who can resist the chance to watch this highly-anticipated movie a week before it comes out? Plus it's Cherry's belated birthday gift to me. So dear, in case you get to read this, don't worry we will still be watching HP and I won't fall asleep in the cinema. You know me ... I watch movies I like at least two times.

My Saturday was moving uneventfully and it was already mid-afternoon when Cherry called me up. I have been "pestering" her for HP tickets for quite a while now, so when I saw her number on the display, I immediately answered it.
me: Hi Cherry! May Harry Potter tickets na?
Cherry: Where are you?
me: Office.
Cherry: Yes I have a ticket but you must go to Glorietta NOW.
me: (demanding!) Really? How many tickets? (Pushing my luck but I wanted Tol-Pare Harry to tag along)
Cherry: Isa lang e. The movie will start at 4 so better go here now! (I learned later it was a spur-of-the-moment ticket so a second free one would be next to impossible. Sorry Harry!)

And so I took a quick ride to Landmark and ran from there to Cinema 3, which is at the third floor. And there was Cherry waiting at the entrance and I running off to her, bulky bag in tow, like we were in an airport and we were meeting after so many years.... yeah right :-).

The movie started a few seconds after I sat down.

It was everything I expected it to be. The CGI is top-rate and was not overly used. This is also a fun movie to watch! Loads of comic relief. My, how these kids have grown! And of course, we get to see Mad Eye Moody for the first time whose character translation to the big screen is impressive. Likewise, seeing Cho Chang, Viktor Krum, and the other characters from the other magic schools were a delight to see, like seeing friends we haven't met for quite some time. Newspaper writer Rita Skeeter was also nosey and arrogant, just like in the books. But by golly, it was sooo good to be back at Hogwarts.

So how was the translation of the book (which is the thickest so far) to the movie? It was pretty accurate, actually. Of course, they left out some of the minor details and concentrated on the highlights (such as the Quidditch World Cup and the tri-Wizard tournament) but I really wouldn't mind sitting it out for three hours or more for a Harry Potter movie.

I thought the ending would appear very violent and will not be adviseable for kids to watch. However, the manner by which the Avada Kedavra curse and the return of he-who-must-not-be-named were done were just right.

If you don't have a ticket yet, don't hesitate and book yours right now! It's two and a half hours of magical fun and adventure!

[more photos, story summary (spoiler alert!), and personal review are available at Cherry's Ampalaya blog. Photo borrowed from hk.yahoo.com]
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