Harry Potter Weekend

I'm not sure whether to call this weekend a "Harry Potter weekend" or a "San Francisco weekend". I went with the Potter version because A) SF was really only a Sunday topic, and B) going to SF is more common.

Due to a string of mundane, silly reasons I hadn't seen either of the original movies - although Karin had seen both. She expressed some interest in seeing them again, so I had rented the first one from Netflix. We watched that on Friday night, which seemed fine enough. I had plans to update my router on Saturday (and I think we've already established how well that went), and then Sunday we were going to see the Pop exhibit at MOMA.

The problem with going to MOMA is that it's not an entire trip unto itself, but it takes too long to be just a "little" excursion. So I was looking for something else to round out a SF trip when it occurred to me that they were probably showing the third Harry Potter at the Metreon. Indeed, it turned out to be much better than that - they were showing it in IMAX! So Saturday Karin picked up the 2nd HP movie on DVD and we watched that Saturday night. And then we saw the new one in IMAX Sunday evening. IMAX costs more than the regular show, and it was sort of late (8 PM on Sunday), so there weren't any kids around and the theater stayed quiet throughout the film.

I know some people who don't like the first two movies, but I don't know that I'd say anything against them. The third movie is meatier - the characters are more developed, and the story is darker, but that's true of the original source material as well. All three have solid effects, and are at least decent retellings of the storeis. The third one starts to gloss over some details - but that's going to be necessary given the length of the third book.

I was a little worried about IMAX, the last couple of things I'd seen in IMAX (at the SJ Tech Museum) had given me a headache. The screen at the Tech is so curved that it distorts the movie geometry - but the Metreon screen doesn't seem to suffer from that at all. I enjoyed all three movies, and the IMAX version was very cool. I'd go see an IMAX film at the Metreon again.

The one exception to that is that the credits were very shuddery. I know that IMAX is a higher frame rate than 24 fps, I'm not sure what it is. I was thinking it was 70, but web searching seems indicate it's 48. My original theory was a telecine "pulldown" sort of problem, but if just a simple doubling that doesn't make sense. So I'm puzzled by that - but I'd hardly say it detracts from the overall spectacle.

I'll try to post about the MOMA trip separately. Super short version - I liked the Pop exhibit, and the Larry Sultan section was certainly worth seeing.