Harry Potter Primer

Five things you need to know before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 comes out this Friday.



We dragged it out for as along as we could, but, after seven books and eight movies, enough is enough. After a week of movie marathons and Harry Potter-shaped 3D glasses, the Harry Potter series comes to a close this Friday with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two. What do you need to know to give the series a proper conclusion?

3D?
The question of the summer movie season seems to be whether or not 3D is worth the step-up in ticket price. (Cinema De Lux in White Plains, for example, charges $11.50 for a 2D ticket and $16 for a 3D ticket.) Last year, it seemed like 3D was an unstoppable force, and it was hard to find 2D screenings of big-event movies, even if you were on the hunt for them. This year, theaters seem more receptive to people's complaints and it's easier to weigh your options. Harry Potter films have had an inconsistent relationship to 3D. The early films were 2D, some later ones were mostly 2D but had some 3D sequences. Deathly Hallows Part One was only in 2D (they didn't have enough time to post-convert it to 3D), and Deathly Hallows Part Two wasn't filmed in 3D (it's another post-production conversion job). In my professional opinion, I take that to mean that the 3D isn't essential to the enjoyment of the movie, and you should be fine with the 2D if you want to save some cash. (As much as I hate to say it, save your 3D dollars for the boneheaded Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which was filmed with 3D cameras.) Just be aware that some theaters that alternate between 2D and 3D screenings sometimes forget or refuse to take the 3D lens or filter off the projector for the 2D screenings, making for a dim or blurry picture. Complain to a theater manager if you think this is the case.

IMAX
Unlike 3D, I personally find that it's really exciting to see a film in IMAX, no matter what the movie is or how it was filmed. The caveat: It has to be a big IMAX screen. We go over this every summer, but IMAX recently decided that the word "IMAX" refers to the superior sound and projection, not the size of the screen, so not all IMAX theaters have that soaring screen we imagine. To recap, the biggest screens nearby are at the Regal New Roc City in New Rochelle, the Palisades Center in Nyack, and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema multiplex on 68th and Broadway in New York City (and also the one in the Museum of Natural History, but it doesn't usually show feature films). All of the rest, even if they're advertised as being IMAX screens, aren't as big as we're used to.

Wizard Rock
We've written before about the proliferation of wizard rock (aka “wrock”) bands, or bands that make music inspired by the Harry Potter universe. Sadly, none of our local wizard rock bands seem to have any gigs lined up in conjunction with the release of the final movie. But if you can keep the excitement going for a couple more weeks and you're willing to take a couple trains, Harry and the Potters—the best known of these nerdy outfits—has a concert scheduled for the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on 7/31.

Spoilers
If you can't wait until Friday, Cinema Blend has eight clips from the new movie up for viewing right now. It only equals about six minutes, though, so even by spoiler standards, they're not very much. Oh, what the heck—we'll post one, too. The clip below features trash-talking from one of my favorite characters, Neville Longbottom. 

Speaking of awesome clips, we hear rumors that there will be a trailer for The Dark Knight Rises before Part Two, and I'm almost as excited about that as I am about seeing the Potter movie.

For Further Reading
There are a couple of great oral histories of the series, one in The Guardian and one inEntertainment Weekly. Sadly, EW's isn't online, but it does have extensive Harry Potter coverage the website, including pics that show how the kids have grown up over the course of the series. (In the first films, they look like babies.) And, since no good wizard can do anything without a wand, the Hollywood Reporter has fun tidbits about wands and other props used in the series.

Planning to attend a screening? Are you and your significant other dressing up as Dobby and Kreacher? Let me know in the comments.

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
 


Westchester's Pop Culture

About This Blog

Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY

Articles Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester Magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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