Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Stupid

Well, it only took a decade, but I've now seen all eight Harry Potter movies. Granted, the first movie only came out a decade ago, and the last one is still in theaters at the moment, so I guess my statement isn't really saying much of anything, other than that I'm a big geek.

Now, I think it's safe to say that Harry Potter has enjoyed more mainstream success than just about any other fantasy series out there, save The Lord of the Rings. Still, mainstream can still be geeky. Keeping up with all the books and films as they come out reflects a certain degree of geek commitment, but I really don't know if I qualify as a true fan. I've enjoyed the series, and I can hold informed conversations about the series with even the most devoted diehards, but I've never had any interest in owning a Draco Malfoy shower curtain or getting a lightning bolt tattoo on my forehead. In fact, I only got into the Harry Potter fandom for research purposes (which is a story for another time); there was nothing inherently fascinating to me about the books or movies to lure me in...yet I've stuck with them all this time of my own volition.

I like several of the characters, but I never found myself as invested in anyone as I was in the protagonists of, say, The Time Traveler's Wife. I think what I appreciate the most about the series are the continuity and creativity. Referring back to previous installments (in moderation, where appropriate) goes a long way with me, and many of the spells, creatures, and concepts were endearingly novel to me (though I admit I don't read a lot of fantasy). Plus, being able to craft a coherent storyline that spans a decade is an impressive feat, especially with the movies, which started being released before the book series had concluded--kudos to the filmmakers for condensing so much material so well without knowing exactly what would and would not be important by the end of the series.

I'm not planning on rereading the books any time soon (I'm too busy working on Dune, for starters), and I don't believe I've seen any of the films more than once (possibly twice for Prisoner of Azkaban), nor have I had any deeply compelling reason to rewatch any of them. However, now that the films have all been released, I'm toying with the idea of throwing a Harry Potter marathon once the last film comes to DVD.

It's quickly becoming a personal tradition to hold a marathon whenever I move to a new place, so the timing on this is perfect. Beyond that, I'm curious to see the evolution of the movie series over the course of a day--watching the actors age ten years, seeing a decade's worth of improvements in special effects technology, and observing how such a huge story ties together, all in a matter of hours.

Curiosity's only part of it; it's been a while since I've done something stupid. That's almost 20 hours of movie, provided the movies are jammed in back-to-back with no break other than the time it takes to switch a disc. Calisthenics may be required during the credits. It'd be the most absurd marathon I've ever done, made even more absurd that I'm only a casual Potter fan.

I am only a casual fan, right?


Anonymous said...

I would be up for that!

Flashman85 said...

YEAH! And we've got another two takers, so we might just have ourselves a party!