By now many of you will be queuing up for the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One. I am at home in my pajamas. I have happy memories of dressing up for the premiere of the first several movies in the mega-hit franchise. Memories in which I put on a pair of Harry Potter glasses, drew a lightning bolt on my forehead with eyeliner and tied a Gryffindor scarf around my neck and set off into the cold night to be among the first to see the movie.
But thanks to my job, I am among a new kind of first to see the movie. Thanks to my job, I attended a screening of the seventh HP film on Monday night.
Before we go any further, it's probably worth mentioning that I was never NOT going to like the movie. I've liked all the other movies so far and out of movies 3-6, my least favorite was probably the fifth one, 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' (IMO, the first two movies don't really get a rating, they are what they are).
So let's just be honest, my overall impression of this newest movie was always going to be based on a scale that ranges from "liked it a little" to "liked it a lot." But I was surprised at how much I liked it. Liked the pace of the movie. Liked where they chose to break up the two movies. Liked the special effects. Liked the sweeping English countryside scenery. And liked the performances of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint... a lot. I even liked the house elves (whom I ordinarily loathe).
Click here to watch Moviefone's interviews with Dan, Emma and Rupert.
I've spent the last three days gloating on Facebook and to all my co-workers that I've already seen the movie. Everyone asks, 'Did you like it?' Yes. But here's a question I received a lot this week that I didn't expect. Is there nudity in the second to last Harry Potter film?
But is that why the movie is rated PG-13? No. Well, at least I don't think so. Unless I missed something during the three seconds when I spilled my popcorn all over the floor, there is one specific, and without giving too much away, "dream-like" scene in the movie where two characters (and it's surprising which ones... or maybe not) are kissing and they appear to have forgotten their shirts. Is it shocking? Well, sure. It comes out of literally NOWHERE. And might I add that as a true fan of the books, although I only read Deathly Hallows once and it was all within 24 hours of its release so maybe I'm forgetting what J.K. Rowling really wrote, I found it completely unnecessary, distracting and cringeworthy.
And I'm annoyed.
Annoyed that this weekend, when I go see this movie with my friends, and during the holidays, when I go see it with my mother (who, it should be mentioned, paid me $5 to read 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' when I was in the 10th grade because I was only reading comic books), and when I have my first Harry Potter marathon -- believe me, that will happen the first day I have all eight DVDs in my possession -- I will most certainly cringe again, again and again.
But back to why it earned it's PG-13 rating and then some: the movie is creepy. If you've read the books then you already know that this movie is lacking in scenes where Harry, Ron and Hermione eat Chocolate Frogs on the Hogwart's Express, down a butter beer with friends in Hogsmeade and obsess over the upcoming quidditch match. This movie is dark. So dark, a seven year old sitting next to me cried... twice. Yes, it's life and death times for non-Muggles and Muggles alike and Voldemort isn't some whispered-about villian who must not be named and only appears in the final scenes of the film -- no, he's killing innocent characters at a big Death Eater dinner party within the first five minutes.
And then there's that whole Bathilda Bagshot scene... *shudder*.
Final verdict, aside from a somewhat awkward beginning (including a couple of made up scenes), a cover-your-eyes-until-it's-over scene involving a snake and a lot of blood, and that cringeworthy "nude" scene, this movie does not disappoint. It's actually kind of perfect. I tried to get a ticket for tonight's midnight showing as well, but they were all sold out. Better to give the spot to someone who hasn't seen it yet.
In the meantime, I've put this Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One photo gallery in chronological order (to the best of my memory). Enjoy, Muggles and if you disagree with my review after you've seen the movie, let me know.
As a Ravenclaw, I'm always up for a good debate.
Find theaters and tickets here.
Follow Stacy on Twitter.
The original story said the writer was paid ten dollars to read 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.' Her mother has since corrected her that it was only five dollars. We have edited the story to reflect this