2001: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is released. I think the previews look childish but someone entertaining. I don’t end up seeing it in the theaters and don’t think twice about it.
In college my roommate Chris vowed to me that the first Harry Potter was a good movie and was sure I’d like it. Even though I was a movie buff, at the time I was too busy consuming the 3 dollar liter of Vodka that I paid too much for, and the only thing I really cared to know about Harry Potter was that Haley Joel Osmet almost got the role.
One cold winter at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (random shout out) while everyone was on winter break Chris and I were finishing some classes. Seeing it was only the two of us he knew it was as good a time as any to ask me… “Want to watch Harry Potter?” I really don’t know why I didn’t want to watch this movie, but I’ll take any excuse not to study, so I finally said – yes.
I guess I can now admit that I didn’t really want to like Harry Potter before watching the movie. I’m not sure if I was oddly stubborn that I didn’t come up with the idea or if I was turned off by the phenomenon and the eagerness to embrace this little lightning bolted kid. But to my credit I think I did go in with an open mind.
He started the movie… I watched about 30 minutes… And without surprise I passed out before the second act got kicking. Not sure if it was from the probable hangover or the lack of interest, but either way from that moment, I was done with Harry Potter.
Flash forward from that point on, or rewind from current day.
2002: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is released. I have some interest and am still wondering what happened to the first film and me. I contemplate either seeing the movies, or actually opening the book. I do neither and don’t miss it.
2004: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is released. Wait, Gary Oldman is in this movie? He’s a badass, should I be seeing these movies? I don’t see it but I hear they’re only getting better, which was a surprise because Chris Columbus kicked ass with the first 2 (apparently).
2005: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is released. At this point I’m sick of these movies, don’t know why, I just am. Are these really still being released? I have no interest what so ever in these movies but I will admit the trailers look cool. The other thing this movie has going for it is Mike Newell, the director of Donnie Brasco, what the hell?
The major note with this film – Potter goes to PG-13 territory. It takes the step from PG and enters odd territory – more on this soon.
2007: Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix is released. This is where I believe a monumental change happened in Harry Potter, and at this point I still have only seen 28 minutes of the first one.
1) Also PG-13 like it’s predecessor.
2) The poster is ominous. The movie looks dark.
3) The word of mouth happens, and if my name was Malcolm Gladwell I think this would be called “The Tipping Point” this is the movie that people started to say: “Harry Potter is Dark and isn’t for kids.” In my opinion this was always what people said in order to bring in an older crowd and I didn’t buy it. I thought it was all for marketing, in hindsight it’s kind of genius because as Potters audience got older, so did the movie content.
4) The trailer looks badass, again.
5) Random Robert Pattinson cameo aka Edward Cullen from Twilight. Not really a cameo but his picture used, it should be noted he died in the first Harry Potter. Not sure how this is relevant, just seems like it is.
2009: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is released. In my opinion at the time Harry Potter was the octomom of movies. When will this ever end? Also, why do I think these movies look so cool yet I’ve never seen them? Should I start watching now? Nah… it’s too late.
HARRY POTTER NEWS ALERT! There will only be two more Harry Potter movies ever but it’s going to be split into an epic story of Potterness. Fans go nuts - others don’t care.
2010: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1 is released. Watch the trailer. Let’s be clear about something, this trailer looks really cool. These kids look weathered like the banker who has to count all of the money these movies have made. But I’ve given up on seeing this movie. I think it’s just too late for me to get my head in the game, I focus on other great movie releases in 2010 like…um… ah… moving on.
2011: Present Day-ish.
I’m sitting in The Green Lantern (don’t ask) and the trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2 is shown. While the trailer is happening my girlfriend clinches my hand and whispers that she has the chills. Huh? I say to her “I’ve been with you for 3 years and you’ve never said a thing about Harry Potter.” She tells me she loves it.
Okay. Okay. Okay. Now I need to know. My girlfriend rents “The dark one” aka The Order of the Phoenix and I watch it.
The weirdest thing happened. While watching the movie I found myself to be somewhat bored, but oddly engaged. I let the movie play out and I stuck with it. I didn’t know if I liked it but as soon as it finished I had about 20 questions. And how do I get answers to these questions? I must watch the other movies of course.
I watched the next one – same thing, I found it slow but I was engaged the entire time. The again I watched Deathly Hollows. The movie felt like it was 480 minutes but I stuck with it.
Now I find myself here today open and willing to admit that I am a fan of Harry Potter. It snuck up on me and I have been wondering how it happened. I’ve realized that that’s been the problem the entire time, I’ve been wondering too much. I just didn’t accept the adventure of Harry Potter, I questioned it too much and I fought it simply because it felt right.
These movies are really straight up adventure of kids and it has sucked me in. I can say that these have been some of the most consistent movies I’ve seen from the characters staying the same to the growth of the film… this is a really great story. What kid doesn’t want to leave his house and embrace adventure?
One random note – This cast of characters have aged perfectly, in the history of movies I don’t know a group of kids who have stayed pretty good looking for this long a time. I should stop talking about this before it gets too weird.
I called my college roommate Chris today and told him my deal. Told him that I’ve turned and came around to Potter, I told him he was right the entire time like Jack in LOST. After my Potter ramble he said:
“Oh yeah, I haven’t seen the last 3 but I need to catch up and my girlfriend loves them.”
I don’t get it. I just know that I get that I like Harry Potter.