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The Real Magic

A chance to go back

Last night I went to the Edwards Big Newport 6 cinema, my favorite theater on the planet, to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I would tell you about what I thought of the movie, but honestly, something so much more significant happened before the movie even started. It happened when one trailer flickered onto that giant screen. At that moment a real spell was cast, and as cheesy as all of this may sound, the real magic began.

I was sitting in my semi-reclining chair when the glimmering frame appeared and the sounds of wind blowing through creaking trees filled the (barely full) theater. Feeling a rush of warmth come over me, I grabbed my legs and pulled them into my chest, wrapped my arms around my knees, lowered my head down and towards the screen, took in a breath and held it. Was I shrinking?

That very night in the movie theater a forest grew and grew – until the ceiling and chairs and ruby red curtains hung with wines and the walls became the world all around and an ocean, or more accurately, a river tumbled down the aisles with a private boat for me.

When I was younger I would have jumped right into that boat—no hesitation. Now that I’m older, more afraid and living through days that all feel like the solstice—long and soul burning—the boat looks suspect to me. Is that a hole? It looks like it might have a leak. The wood is warped and smells swampy. I’m just not so sure. What’s more, how do I know that this boat will even take me to the same place it used to? What if I can’t get back there? Or, what if I do get back to that place, but it’s deserted; empty and silent?

In that theater, while familiar creatures threw one another through the air, while music played and hands clapped, while the sun shone and the sea roared, while creatures cried, something happened that I once thought was impossible. I was child again. I was genuinely excited. My stomach did flips the same way it did the day my third grade teacher bought us all giant stuffed bears. I was smiling. I was breathing. I was relaxed in that I-haven’t-a-care-in-the-world type of way. I was categorically elated. I realized I was using words like “categorically” and “elated” in my mind, and so I decided that I was instead, “really happy.”

To some people it may just be a trailer; a merely adequate one at that. To some people it may just be a movie based on a so-so book that was about a little jerk. To me though, this is a movie that I have been waiting for since I was four years old. It’s a last-ditch effort to get out of a twenty-year funk. It’s a chance to act my age (roughly six years old).

One of my favorite writers. One of my favorite directors. One of my favorite books.

I know that many of you are hesitant to be excited for a movie that will surely disappoint (it can’t possibly be as good as you hope, right?), but here’s what I think. It’s a movie that will ultimately please because it took me back. And it may not have taken me the whole night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year. It may have only been for about 2:05 minutes, but I got back somehow. Back to where the wild things are.

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5 Responses

  1. Agreed. I’ve seen the trailer more times than I can count at this point and this nearly reduced me to tears…again.

    If there ARE (sorry, no italics) people who aren’t excited about this movie, I don’t want to know them.

  2. I’m definitely more anxious than I am excited. It was like with Batman Begins and the first Spider-Man movie–it’s coming from source material that’s so culturally and personally important that I know I can’t keep my expectations where they should be.

    Mostly worried from the perspective of someone who wants little kids today to keep enjoying the story–I don’t know if I trust Eggers and Spike Jonze to make a movie that won’t go over their heads, which would inevitably affect the way parents or kids approach the book.

  3. I had never even heard of the book when I was a kid (well, when I was younger), I’ve never seen a Spike Jonze movie, and I’ve never read anything by Dave Eggers, so I’m obviously not as excited to see this as you guys seem to be. Still, to see someone become so emotionally attached to a trailer, the mere idea of a movie, is sort of heartwarming. I hope it’s every bit as amazing as you want it to be.

  4. I remember the books from when I was a kid, but I do not remember anything past the imagery of the characters and the art style of the drawings.

    I am the type who yearns for good fairytales on the big screen, and I have been satisfied with a few over the past few years with films like Pans Labyrinth and Coralline. However, that is really about it.

    This film looks completely amazing, I too have watched the trailer at least a dozen times now, and it gives me goose bumps every time. On the other hand, that could just be my genital warts acting up again, whatever.

    I think Jonze is one of the best directors working today and have been a fan of his since his skateboarding photography days. Anything his name is attached to is going to be at the top of my anticipation list almost automatically.

    TonyHex…you have to watch ‘Being John Malkovich’ right away!

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