I went with several friends to the Warren Theater (or maybe it's TheatRE, I'm not certain) to see Harry Potter on opening night last Friday.
As I climb into the confessional, you should know that I have not read Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows since purchasing it at 12:02AM at the Border Bookstore in Boulder, Colorado, on the day of its official release many years ago. After roughly elbowing aside the costumed tweens standing between me and the register I paid for my book, went home, called in sick to work, and began reading at a pace which allowed for absolutely no retention of the material until I, bleary-eyed and slightly nauseous, had blasted through to the final page. Then I had a nice cry and stumbled to bed to sleep for the following 13.5 hours.
I hardly retained anything beyond who lived and died in the final battle and who got married in the epilogue. The movie was all new information to me, full of "Oh, yeah, now I remember that!" moments.
Dude, I can't even remember what I had for breakfast this morning. Cut me some slack.
Realizing that this movie is set up for the final installment, I don't have any major gripes. Maybe when I re-read the book I will. My only issue - and it is minor - was with the use of animation to tell the mythology of the Deathly Hallows. The animation itself was beautifully done, very Tim Burton-esque, but totally inconsistent with the remainder of the movie and previous six HP movies - none of which contained any animated scenes. (Of course, I'm not counting CGI as animation.) It felt as though the scene had been filmed previously in some other fashion, but when it went to editing, the original scene got cut. Needing a quick fix and relatively inexpensive solution, they inserted the animated storyline at the last moment.
The Potterverse characters are wizards, right? Couldn't the wizard retelling the story have animated it for their audience (Harry, Hermione, Ron)? Or shown it through the moving pictures in the book? Or crafted it in a bowl of ink, or a magic mirror, or shadows cast on a wall? There were countless options that could have been used to incorporate the necessary plot element into the movie without taking us out of the scene to do it.
The best part... sitting in the balcony above the common riffraff, indulging in alcoholic beverages, and toasting my heinie in the heated movie seats while watching the film with friends. It's the only way to fly.