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Potter premiere casts a spell on loyal fans

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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Wizard wanna be’s, Harry Potter look- a-likes and muggles came out in droves Tuesday evening for the midnight showing of the sixth and latest installment to the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Lines for the five midnight showings at Roseville’s Century 14 began forming early Tuesday afternoon eventually filling two hallways and snaking around the side of the building. Rocklin fans Tegan Shmidt, Molli Amar and Alyssa Schmidt have been braving the crowds for the midnight movie premieres and book releases for several years, every time dressed in full costume. “We’ve been avid fans since our mom read us the first book when we were too young to read,” Tegan Schmidt said. “(Before each premiere) we re-read all the books and watch all the movies. We look forward to it for months.” Dressed as Dumbledore, Hogwart’s (the school for wizards) headmaster, Tegan passed out lemondrop candies, Dumbledore’s favorite, to fellow moviegoers, a treat only true Harry Potter fans would understand she said. Many of the teen moviegoers have remained close to the Harry Potter franchise since childhood as the topic matter and film content has matured and grown with the fan base. “The characters have more depth. They’re more mature and the films are getting darker,” said 17-year-old fan Andrew Brooks from Rocklin. “The series has adapted really well with the fan base and kept us interested.” Anticipation for the newest Harry Potter flick has grown, as well as expectations since the release date, originally scheduled for November 2008, was pushed to this month. “We’ve waited for so long,” said Mallory Muolick, a Roseville fan dressed as Harry Potter’s love interest Cho Chang. “Expectations are high and the movies are always good.” In the film adaptation of the sixth Harry Potter novel, evil wreaks havoc in the wizarding world and Hogwarts is no longer a safe retreat for Harry, Ron and Hermione. Harry’s intuition tells him that evil is lurking in the castle but Harry’s talents are focused on a far more important task at hand. With help from his faithful mentor and Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore, Harry begins preparing for the imminent battle to destroy the dark lord Voldemort, a task Harry has learned he is destined for as the “Chosen One.” Meanwhile each character is battling the turmoil of adolescence and raging hormones as romance begins to blossom. Viewers have long anticipated a romance between Ron and Hermione but the film instead focuses on the complications of young love. Ron has found a girlfriend in a fellow classmate causing jealousy to grow in Hermione who is determined to keep her true feelings under wraps. Harry’s close friendship with Ron’s younger sister Ginny grows into a romantic dilemma as Ginny is already involved with another classmate leaving Harry at the apex of a difficult love triangle. “It’s a visual representation of the book, some of the characters aren’t explained and some details are left out,” said Rocklin fan Sarah Schweyer. “It’s a great adaptation of the book. People shouldn’t expect an exact portrayal.” The latest film of the series is considered by some critics and fans alike to be the best of the Harry Potter movies so far. “From someone who read the book, it was accurate enough to be great and inaccurate enough to be interesting to watch,” said Roseville moviegoer Kevin Thompson. With a runtime of 135 minutes, more than 1,000 fans filtered out of the theater in the early morning hours, their thirst for Potter finally quenched and offering up their own reviews. “It was really good, both as a movie and a book adaptation” said Roseville Potter fan Leslie-Anne Snipes. “It had great editing, hilarious, and good amounts of action, and well-done “tear jerker” moments. Overall a fantastic film, definitely a must see.” Danelle Wacker contributed to this story