Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter


Harry Potter The Exhibition


We were recently in New York and we had the opportunity to take in Harry Potter The Exhibition at the Discovery Times Square. Similar to Indiana Jones The Exhibition (original names I know), the display is a traveling exhibit that is put on at different venues around the world. Starting off in Chicago in 2009, Harry Potter The Exhibition has also toured in Boston, Toronto, Seattle, New York (previously), Sydney, and Singapore. After its worldwide tour, I guess the exhibition in back in New York for an encore.

To start off the exhibit your group is herded into a dark room where eight or so flat screen TVs are setup vertically with a movie poster from each film displayed on them. After a minute or two the TVs change and launch into a coordinated introduction to the exhibit playing clips and custom graphics to get everyone pumped for the exhibit and to set the tone.


After the intro video we were then ushered into another small dark room (chamber if you will) where up in front on a stool was the Sorting Hat itself! Ok so it wasn’t THE Sorting Hat, but rather a nice prop that looked like it. Along with the stool and hat was an attendant dressed up in Hogwarts garb fake accent and all.

Since there were quite a few number of kids in our group we were courteous and let them go through the sorting process. Now, this wasn’t as big of a spectacle as it was in the film. My main gripe with the whole process though was that the hat wasn’t actually put on people’s heads. The attendant that was “sorting” people held the hat about six inches of off each individual’s head–not at all like the movie.

This is exactly how people were sorted . . . hat not on the head.

This is exactly how people were sorted . . . hat not on the head.

The second thing that wasn’t kosher to me was that the attendant asked each person what house they wanted to be in, and you know what . . . they were all sorted into those houses! Now I know that Harry Potter told the Sorting Hat that he didn’t want to be in Slytherin–so there is precedent for someone telling the Sorting Hat which house to put them in. However, I found it little too convenient that everyone that asked to placed in a certain house was placed in that house. I feel like the real Sorting Hat would put people in a particular house despite what they ask for. I know these were kids but come on, the real Sorting Hat wouldn’t pull any punches.

After the sorting was done it was finally time to enter the main section of the exhibition where we could finally move on our own and check out all the cool props and costumes from the films . . .

Quiddich uniforms from the Quiddich World Cup.

Quiddich uniforms from the Quiddich World Cup.

Props and costumes from the Death Eaters revival of Voldemort.

Props and costumes from the Death Eaters revival of Voldemort.

The infamous Marauder's Map and other miscellaneous items associated with Harry Potter.

The infamous Marauder’s Map and other miscellaneous items associated with Harry Potter.

One of the few items you could touch and handle in the exhibition . . . the pulling of Mandrakes.

One of the few items you could touch and handle in the exhibition . . . the pulling of Mandrakes.

The Boggart Jack-in-the-Box and wardrobe from the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The Boggart Jack-in-the-Box and wardrobe from the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Items from the Goblet of Fire: the Triwizard Cup, Rita Skeeter's quill and notebooks, name slips from the goblet.

Items from the Goblet of Fire: the Triwizard Cup, Rita Skeeter’s quill and notebooks, name slips from the goblet.

Harry and Ron's room at Hogwarts, along with the golden egg from Goblet of Fire.

Harry and Ron’s room at Hogwarts, along with the golden egg from Goblet of Fire.

And before you know it, you’re done. There’s actually more to the exhibit than the glimpses I’ve given you in these photos; but alas, you’re not allowed to take photos while you’re in the exhibition. And there lies one of the biggest points of contention that I have with the exhibition–no photography. Oh sure we could have snapped off a few photos with our phones; but with the exhibition dark in many places getting a good photo with just a quick snapshot was impossible.

My other point of contention is that there aren’t that many items you can touch either. For an exhibition that prides itself with letting “guests will get an up close and personal” at the items on display; there was way more getting ‘up close’ than getting ‘personal’ with things in the exhibition.

The items on display were worn and handled by the actors and who knows how many countless numbers of production staff on the film. Who knows if they were even handled by the cast or if they were one of many duplicates that were made for the film. Point being, these items were meant to be handled by people and yet here we were walking through the exhibit unable to do so. No touching of horcruxes (not that you’d probably want to), no taking photos with a Hungarian Horntail (again, that not you might want to), just plain old walking through and observing things that were made for people to wear or handle. To me that was the most disappointing aspect of the exhibit (hence the use of publicity stills throughout much of this post).

So what’s the deal then? If this thing were to come to Hawaii could I recommend people see it? At $27 ($19.50 for kids, $23.50 for seniors) a pop it ain’t exactly cheap to walk around for an hour or so admiring props from Harry Potter. However, if you’re any kind of a fan I’m sure it will be well worth the time and money spent. If you were to go I would say make the most of your time and look at every single item and read every single placard description. Probably the biggest takeaway for me was that it made me want to rewatch the series again or maybe even read it.

Going to the exhibit wasn’t something we specifically sought out to do, it was more something we stumbled into, so at the end of the day I was ok with our experience with Harry Potter The Exhibition. We’re always down for checking out movie stuff here at Red Band so we had a good time. The no taking photography and no touching of objects though, I just had to shake my head at that one. To me, that was just riddikulus.


Photos: Harry Potter 7 Midnight Line-Up at Ward

The marquee at Ward had an entire block dedicated to the midnight showings.

Last night we took in the advance screening of Disney’s new film Tangled. Before and after the showing however, we encountered some of the Hawaii Potter faithful as they eagerly awaited midnight showings at Ward. Check out the pics from various times during the evening.


Before our Tangled screening, these were the only folks waiting in line–on the upper deck just past the automated ticket kiosks. Over seven hours out from showtime, you have to give these people credit:



After coming out from our screening there were a lot more people on the upper deck. However, the center staircase was still empty:



What a difference an hour makes. After coming out of dinner at D&B’s, Potter fans spilled out into the central staircase, the backside staircase from Buca leading up to the box office, and the upper deck:


Did you seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at midnight last night?


Total Eclipse Of The Heart

Turn around….

Every now and then I get a little bit nervous about big pop culture phenomena that creates masses of crazy fans. In my tween years it was boy bands, but of course these days it’s vampires and werewolves and wizards. Today movie theaters around the country are losing their minds trying to deal with females of every age who are dying to see the 3rd installment of The Twilight Saga. I haven’t  had the privilage to see Twilight Eclipse yet (8pm tonight I will have the honor; it is my favorite book in the series and the guy who directed 30 Days of Night is attached to this installment so I have my fingers crossed), but let’s talk about what I have seen… The latest Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows trailer via Film School Rejects which is supposed to be attached to today’s release of Twilight.

I was stunned into silence by this trailer. David Yates and Warner Brothers are sending Harry Potter out with a huge bang and you can feel how enormously epic this ending is in just these brief two and a half minutes. To be completely honest with you, the release of this trailer on MSN before Twilight’s opening has reshuffled my excitement. My immediate thoughts following the trailer was “screw Eclipse, I want Deathly Hallows”  which can only make me wonder how many other Twilight moviegoers may feel the same? Obviously the Twihards won’t care, but what about the rest of us? Could this trailer outshine Twilight Eclipse? Ok maybe I’m getting too excited. Honestly the Twilight fandom is so intense and rabid, I doubt this would be the case nationwide… But for some people (boyfriends and husbands being dragged to see Twilight), it may just be the highlight of the evening… along with Taylor Lautner being shirtless… yummy.

Whatever team or franchise you support its a great day for all. New epic film and new epic trailer… another great day at the movies.


Do You Believe In Magic?


Excitement is in the air as Harry Potter fans storm theaters around the country to see the 6th installment of Harry Potter better known as Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (I shall refer to it as HP6).  Last night midnight screenings across the US grossed $22 million, which is astounding considering fans were seriously thinking about protesting the film due to Warner Brothers’ decision to push back the release from November 2008 to 2009. I was fortunate enough to attend the advance screening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but figured I’d wait until the release date to post something. I thought it would be cruel to write about the movie, get everyone excited, and still they would have to wait… so now that everyone can see it here we go…

I am a Harry Potter movie and book fan, that read Half Blood Prince in the fall of 2007 immediately after reading Order of the Phoenix. I couldn’t stand how emo Order of the Phoenix was. If you’ve seen the movie you know that it was a heavy story (if not go here to catch up)… I remember leaving the theaters feeling incomplete and depressed. I missed the magic. I wanted Harry to finally catch a break. I felt like all hope was lost…On Monday night at Ward Consolidated theaters, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel (and no it’s not a fast approaching train). Harry is back!

The thing I was most impressed with in HP6 was how well the story was translated to film. I’m sure you’ve been a victim of this… you read an amazing book, you go to see the motion picture, you leave disappointed (i.e. Da Vinci Code and Twilight). David Yates did a great job in selecting crucial moments in the book and building the scenes from the book in real life. To me the movie was exactly what I envisioned in my head when I read the book. The one fatal flaw, as always, is you can never fit all 704 pages of a book into 2 1/2 hours. In this movie, you don’t really get to see the story of the Half Blood Prince, nor do you get to see all of the memories of Lord Voldemort, but we all knew they were going to have to leave things out. Was the story of the Half Blood Prince that important in the grand scheme of things? Not really.  If you want to know all the nitty gritty details, read the book, but if you don’t and you just watch the movies, you’ll still get all the main points.

HP6 breathed life back into the Harry Potter Film series… its not the studio or director’s fault that the movies hit an emo point, its just how it was written by JK Rowling. Life can’t be happy and magical all the time, you know.


In the previous movie, everything sucked for Harry… Dumbledore distanced himself from Harry, an annoying lady took over Hogwarts, Harry struggles to find good in himself, and in the last big battle of the movie, Harry loses his God Uncle, Sirius Black, who was the one person Harry looked to as family. How could any of that make you feel good? Director David Yates and his team (with a little help from JK Rowling) brought everything we loved about Harry Potter back in Half Blood Prince. Everything seems to go back to normal…Dumbledore is back in command and once again Hogwarts is the one safe haven for Harry and his friends. YES! JUSTICE! But wait it gets better. Throw in the first awkward puppy love moments, a serum that makes you totally lucky, and memories showing the origins of the evil wizard known as Voldemort and you get the perfect come back. Oh and did I mention they brought back Quidditch, the awesome wizard version of soccer/football?

The story is not all warm and fuzzy… there is death and there are tears, but you’ll understand that the loss suffered in this movie gives Harry a purpose in the next two movies. Harry is no longer this helpless kid that cheats death with the help of Dumbledore. Harry is now the “Chosen One” forced to take on the mission of bringing down, Lord Voldemort and saving the rest of the wizarding world. You almost want Harry to end the movie by saying, “Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing” with Ron and Hermione at his side as the screen fades to black… with the Optimus Prime voice of course.

To keep this short, Half Blood Prince brought hope back to the film franchise and will leave you anxious for the last installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So forget your principals and all your anger at Warner Brothers for pushing it back… get to the theater. You won’t regret it.

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