I love “The Hunger Games.” I read all the books of the series in three weeks. Now that the movies are being released, I’m reminded of how interesting the story is.
Despite my love for the series, I waited an entire week after the movie’s release to see “Catching Fire.” For seven days I listened to friends, co-workers, and the Internet talk about how wonderful the movie was. But I had promised my mom that we’d watch it together when my family was visiting for Thanksgiving.
So I waited. It felt like an eternity. It was worth it, though, to finally see a story I love come to life.
I’m a self-identifying nerd. As I say it, I really like things. And I really like people who really like things.
That’s why what I call the “nerd movie experience” is so much fun for me. I wait months for movies like “Catching Fire” or the latest installment of “Harry Potter.” The anticipation is almost as exciting as the movie itself.
But watching the movie with others who feel the same way is probably the best part. For a few hours, I’m surrounded by people who love the story as much as I do.
MIDNIGHT PREMIERES demonstrate this more clearly than anything else. Some of the most serious fans brave the crowds to watch a two-and-a-half-hour movie at midnight just so they don’t have to wait anymore. That’s dedication.
In the past, if you saw groups of teenagers in black robes with wands, it was either Halloween or the newest Harry Potter movie had been released.
My first midnight premiere was “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” in 2009. My best friend, another huge fan, was appalled that I hadn’t been to one before and dragged me along with her. I loved the atmosphere so much that I went to the midnight premieres of the final two Harry Potter films as well.
MY FAVORITE nerd movie experience was probably the midnight premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.” (For you non-nerds, that’s the second-to-last film in the series.)
At the time, I was in college and living in the Honors Program dorm. Unsurprisingly, it was full of nerds — so many, in fact, that the hall government reserved a screen just for residents of the building.
My friends and I had our seats reserved at least two months in advance. We went to the theater at about 9 p.m. (worried that we would be too late, of course). When they finally let us into the theater, the real fun began. There were character costume contests, sing-alongs of YouTube videos we all somehow knew the words to, and general mayhem.
The lights finally went down and the room erupted in cheers. We sat in virtual silence until the movie ended, cheering again when it did, and walked back to the dorm unable to control our emotions over what we’d just seen.
We rehashed our favorite scenes and commented on the performances we’d thought were especially impressive. We were far too energetic for 3 a.m., but I had no regrets when I woke up for my 9:30 a.m. class the next day.
THE PREMIERE for the next and final Harry Potter film was strangely emotional. I did not want the series to end. My friends and I cried our way through the last half of the movie and shouted, “Mischief managed!” when it was over. My best friend dropped me off at home, which turned into us discussing the movie for half an hour in my driveway, again at 3 a.m.
There’s something kind of enthusiasm, which is why I was so disappointed that I was unable to go to the “Catching Fire” premiere.
I suppose I’ve reached the age when getting enough sleep for work is more important, but the audience excitement is diminished a bit when you wait a week. At the same time, my personal excitement doesn’t lessen at all.
I still wanted to spend the rest of the night talking about the movie. Luckily, my mother knows this habit of mine and was happy to talk about the movie too.
I may not have had the full nerd movie experience this time, but I guess the odds aren’t always in your favor.