So, the countdown to the end of one of history's biggest phenomenon begins in earnest... pretty soon the world will see what will happen to "the boy who lived," as he faces up to "he who must not be named."
Across the world, people will be rev
isiting the films that since 2001 have chronicled the exploits and dangerous adventures of one Harry Potter - the boy who turned o
ut to be not a muggle after all, but a wizard whose name is known by all in the wizarding world.
Whether it be in the comfort of their own homes, or in the exc
ited atmosphere of a packed cinema, audiences around the world will watch the 7 existing movies as they play back-to-back to pay tribute to a true cinematic marvel as it takes its final bow.
On Saturday 18th June, from 11:30 pm, I will be one of those people, as I sit down to watch the penultimate 3 Harry Potter films shown back-to-back at London's Waterloo IMAX cinema with all of them being shown in IMAX DMR format. The followin
g will be a blog of the night that is scheduled to finish at 9:00am the following morning... tiredness permitting!
It's 10:40pm and am walking through the rain towards Waterloo. Out of nowhere, a yawn attack has sprung itself upon me - this does not bode well...
11:00pm - arrive at the IMAX theatre to find people already there and a few surprising statistics as well... the audience consists of approx. 70% female, with most of them in groups of 4+ and between the ages of 14 to 30.
The auditorium itself is pretty much a
sell out with what looks like only a large handful of seats not filled.
FILM ONE: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (2007)
Start time: 11:50pm on Saturday.
There's cheering and applause to welcome the fifth film of the franchise onto the screen from the audience as Harry, Hermione and Ron recruit pupils to their practical Defense Against The Dark Arts class to be ready against the returned Voldermort and the delightfully evil Delores Umbridge.
The IMAX print along with the stunning 3D finale battle that takes place in The Ministry Of Magic is more than enough to keep the audience alert and happy.
Finish time: 02:05am on Sunday.
FILM TWO: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Start time: 02:45am on Sunday.
The surprisingly "one-of-the-better" films despite being the lesser-liked books, Prince comes across as an extended episode of HollyOaks with wands. All teenage angst and hormones make for a consistently funny film as Ron and Hermione step closer and closer to that inevitable kiss. The death of Dumbledore makes its mark with the staff and pupils all raising their wands to dispel the DeathEaters mark above the rooftops of Hogwarts.
Finish time: 05:15am on Sunday.
FILM THREE: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Start time: 05:50am on Sunday.
The necessary one so that we can have the
visual treats of the battle of Hogwarts and the final confrontation between Harry and Voldermort in Hallows: Part 2. Not as slow-going as you might remember it first time round, it does take its time but this actually allows some welcome characterisation for the three main leads so that you can invest in them before all hell breaks lose.
Finish time: 08:15am on Sunday.
All-in-all, a great way to get ready for what really will be the end of an era when Deathly Hallows: Part 2 gets released very soon. Watching them back-to-back, especially in the IMAX format, reminds you of why this has become the biggest franchise in movie history, superseding the likes of James Bond. Watching them grow up over the last ten years has been a privilege, especially since, thank God, their acting improved by leaps-and-bounds for them to share the screen with all the best adult UK actors that took part over the years rather than embarrass themselves.
An example of the mainly female audience who Harry'd themselves up for the occasion.
Available on Bluray and DVD now.