Tag Archives: Movies

The End of Harry Potter

Back in 2003, I was determined to avoid the Harry Potter craze at all costs. I’m not one for trendy things and reading a juvenile fiction series hardly seemed a reason to break my rule. Then our friends, Zeke and Maggie, went for broke. They decided to give to us books 1-4 in the series, in all their hard-bound glory, to help me see the error of my ways. (They had recently married and each had a set.) They assured us that if we just gave it a try we would be hooked. We graciously accepted the gift (thanks again!) and reluctantly agreed to read.

They were absolutely right in predicting our addiction.

Reading Harry Potter became one of the greatest activities we’d enjoy together. We read each one out loud to one another at the park, on the couch, in the car (on long trips), becoming completely engrossed in the saga. When books 5-7 came out, we pre-ordered our copies and stayed up late finishing chapters. We were captivated by this incredible story.

Our love for the movies was never quite as strong, but as the last few entered the theater we became increasingly more excited to see them, especially for the special effects. Yes, I love to imagine the scenes myself, but if someone is going to put it to life on the silver screen with the latest CGI magic (pun intended) then I’m all for it.

Which is why when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out this summer in 3D IMAX we just had to make a date to see it in the theater.

But we’re not fanatical. It’s not like we’re not first-in-line, midnight showing junkies or anything, mostly because we’re old and have too many children that wake us up early. We at least waited until the week after it opened. But we did see it on a Thursday afternoon. A 3PM showing, to be exact, so Colin had to leave work early. A showing where the next youngest moviegoer in the theater was approximately 60 years old. There were only roughly 10 people in the theater. It was not your tween’s movie viewing experience. I thought conditions were perfect.

Say what you will about the deviations from the book (always one of my biggest complaints when you’ve experienced both print and film) I thought the show was excellent. And I cried. With my hokey 3D glasses on I wiped some big tears.

When it was over, we walked next door to Panera Bread and dined on sandwiches and fresh-baked cookies as we tried to process the visual/audio/emotional overload we’d just experienced. Epic.

But this fine date could not have been possible without the truly amazing babysitting efforts of Julianna, Super Mama Extraordinaire. She not only watched our four but also had her three with her, too. Seven kids for nearly 4 hours all by herself. What a woman. (Jules, you know I owe you so cash in any time!)

And now, with this last movie, we’ve reached the end of an era in pop culture. Goodbye, Harry! We’ll catch you again sometime on DVD. Or better yet, in the books as we read them all over again, this time with our children.

Movie Under the Stars

Friends from Warren’s school invited us to a movie party at their house Friday night. But instead of gathering on their living room floor, we all brought sleeping bags and beach chairs and watched the flick outside in their backyard, under the stars. The movie: “Gnomeo and Juliet.” Absolutely silly and ridiculous and just perfect for a bunch of kiddos up way past their bedtimes.

An LCD projector pointed at a large wall, a can of bug spray, and a gigantic bowl of popcorn is all it takes to make summertime memories like these. What a fun night!

Groundhog Day

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Call me crazy but this is my favorite movie. Really. Colin and I watch it every year on February 2nd. We actually quote many of the lines pretty much as often as we can.

Some people don’t appreciate the humor of the repetition in this simple but profound flick. I ask you to reconsider. If you were stuck in the same day over and over again, what would you do with your time?

Thank goodness eternity will not be as mundane.

Happy Groundhog’s Day! Did he see his shadow?

I Heart Gotham City

Well, the city behind the Hollywood version, that is. Colin and I finally got to see “Dark Knight” this week. Three months later, yes, but at least we still caught it in the theater! Thanks Mom and Dad for making it possible!

As our Windy City friends know, all of the outdoor city scenes were filmed in Chicago. The grand vistas of Gotham’s downtown: Chicago’s amazing architecture. The multi-leveled streets and tunnels: S. Columbus and W. Wacker Drives. Batman speeding through a glass-walled shopping area on his motorcycle: the underground walkway system that’s part of Metra’s Randolph Street station. Some of the final scenes take place pretty close to the movie theater where we would have seen this if we still lived there.

We enjoyed the movie for the story, of course. But the real thrill came from seeing parts of a city where we spent three wonderful years of our life. A city that we absolutely love. A city we still think of as home.

I’m so glad we finally got to see this amazing movie. But it’s made me miss Chicago and our friends there a little bit more.