Friday, August 14, 2009

Harry Potter 6 review

We were up in Portland last month when the new Harry Potter movie was released. As our daughter is a big HP fan we went to see the new movie on the first day of its release, at an old little one screen movie theater that’s been showing films for over eighty years or so. There was a large crowd; it looked like the place was sold out even though it was not a big screen fancy surround sound place, and mostly a ‘younger’ group. As this is a long movie, and the showing we went to started at eight, there were no kids but probably mostly college age (sorry RSG, younger college age) . We thoroughly enjoyed the movie, it followed the book fairly closely but as usual when putting a 600+ page book into movie format lots of scenes and characters were left out. There was an opening sequence dealing with the Weasley’s house that was not in any of the books, but it seemed to get the dark angle of this movie going. I was most amused towards the end when a white hand reached out of the water to grab Harry almost everyone in the movie (including me), though expecting it, still jumped and screamed.

Prompted by the movie release I had started to reread the whole book sequence again, but was only into the second book when we went to see it. Since I have some time at home now I have continued reading, and on Monday finally finished book six, the one this latest movie is based on. So yesterday we went off to our local casino movie theater to see it again. Here in Vegas almost every large entertainment venue is attached to a casino. The majority of movie theaters are in casinos, though there are a few located in shopping centers. We usually go up to Red Rock Casino where there is a sixteen screen Regal cinema attached to the end. HP was still playing on two screens, and we figured to try something different so paid the extra bucks for the 3D Imax screen showing. Since we were given 3D glasses in anticipation of something marvelous we were pleased to see that the previews showed were also for upcoming 3D movies; the best looking will be the animated ‘Chance of Meatballs’, which looked really good in 3D and seemed like a fun flick. Fortunately there were only two previews, so we were not stuck with fifteen minutes of preliminaries prior to the main event.

The Imax version of HP6 was the same as the smaller one we had seen previously, with no new scenes added. Unfortunately only the first fifteen minutes or so was in 3D, at which point we were prompted to remove our glasses. The 3D effects were very good – this technology, using video projection and polarized glasses instead of the hokey old red/blue glasses produced great results. Everyone flying around seemed to come off of the screen, and things fit together very well. I just wish the whole movie had been made like that, it was rather an expensive charge for such a short portion of the film. Watching it in the Imax format, with dozens of surround sound speakers and a fancy sound system, made the film much more active.

End result, if you haven’t seen it yet and it’s still around, go see Harry. A lot of the film was directed at the next one coming up. Fortunately the seventh (and last) book will be split into two films, so hopefully more of the book will end up on the screen. It’s obvious that they are waiting too long for the filming, the actors are all looking a little too old for high school. Daniel is 20, Emma a year younger and Rupert (Ron W) a year older is getting so tall they do a lot of filming with him sitting down. But it still all works well.

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