Wizard World

Harry Potter, The Movie, Took in $93.5 Million in Its Opening Weekend. Feeling the Magic?

imageMARIA BLANCO
Age 24
ResidesBrooklyn
Occupation Student

Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I've seen it and I was very disappointed. Everything looked very transparent. They chose the wrong director. The director who made City of Lost Childrenwould have done a great job with Harry Potter, but unfortunately, they wanted to make it as unscary as possible. I came out of the theater and said, "This is for people who haven't read the Hobbit."

What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? I still think the best story for kids is Alice in Wonderland. It's trippy, and it's the closest thing to a dream you can show a child. I like Lewis Carrol because he had a complex life. For my generation, the movie was Return of the Jediand, because I grew up with older siblings, anything by John Hughes. If you had magic powers, what would you change? I'd like to go back to September 10 and to know in advance what was planned for the next day. I'd like to be able to pick up the phone and call someone and tell them to guard the airspace around the World Trade Center. And to get everyone out of the buildings. September 11 was the weirdest day of my life. It was like an exodus over the bridge to Brooklyn. I became immediately depressed. I couldn't get out of my mind how simple and brilliant the attack was. I'd always seen brilliance as a good thing, but it was as though they were making fun of us as they were atttacking us. Equally disturbing were the anti-humanitarian sentiments, the "let's just nuke them." I heard this a lot from people I knew. The event mimics Hollywood, and we're all waiting for the happy ending where we find this guy sitting in a cave with his 20 wives. The reality is that it isn't going to end.



imageEMIN YAKUBOV
Age 18
ResidesBrooklyn
OccupationStudent

Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I read some of the Harry Potter books in school because they were used to test us on reading and spelling and vocabulary. I actually only read enough of them to answer the questions. I liked them, I thought they were nice magical books. It's like the Merlin story for kids. I want to see the movie when it's all children in the audience. Adults would be all serious, but with kids you can bug out and yell and scream, "I wish I could do that!"

What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? When I was young I loved the book Animal Farmwhere animals like the pig and the dog take over and try to be like humans. It made an impression on me. I also liked Bruce Lee movies, King Arthurand the Knights of Jesterand the X-Men and Double Dragon cartoons.

If you had magic powers, what would you change?I'd make my sister disappear. She acts like she's the boss of me. She's always saying things like, "Don't eat too loud, turn the TV down. . . ." I'd make her vanish for a couple of hours a day so I could have some peace. Then I'd make my teacher pass me. I'd do a lot of things.



imageCHICHI MCNEAL
Age 30
ResidesBrooklyn
OccupationMother

Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I'm going to take my kids to see it as soon as the theaters are less crowded. My kids have read the books and they're pestering me to go see the movie; they also want all the games. I don't know what they are. There's one where a ball flies through hoops and circles that also has an owl. The book is usually better than the movie they make from the book. One of my favorite books, Flowers in the Attic, was a novel about a woman who locked her children in the attic because she wouldn't inherit money if she had kids. The movie they made from it was terrible, nothing like the book.

What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? I loved The Aristocats. I recently bought the video and sing "Everybody wants to be a cat" to my kids. I loved the cartoon of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, although I haven't read the book. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factoryscared the hell out of me with the purple midgets singing oompa, loompa. I couldn't watch them. They were too scary.

If you had magic powers, what would you change? I'd do something to help my family and I'd make myself a house in Brooklyn. I'd also want to be a superhero. I actually think about that. My costume would look like Storm from the X-Men. I'd put it on and I'd go around helping people.



imageEDDIE K
Age 26
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Art promoter

Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I am excited about it because it's something positive for the kids. I haven't read the books, but I'm on my way to buy one of them. I'm going to read it aloud to my three-year-old niece. I saw Monsters Inc. yesterday and it was great. It was about monsters who live off of kids' screams. They go from closet to closet. I loved it.

What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? I loved Thundercats.This guy has a sword and he summons human cats by repeating "Thundercats, Thundercats, Thundercats." I loved Bugs Bunny, and Scarfaceand The Godfather, both of which I saw with my parents. I read more now as an adult than I did as a kid. Mostly nonfiction, antigovernment things like Behold the Pale Horse, and books about the Illuminati. I also read a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It's written for you to read to your nine-year-old kid. It's about business. The kid in the book has two fathers, one with money, one without.

If you had magic powers, what would you change? War would be resolved in a word. Osama bin Laden would be captured and put in jail for the rest of his life. He wouldn't be killed. He would be placed in a room with a light and a window overlooking a large population so that he could see what he was missing. Or across from the World Trade Center to see what he did.



imageDONALD ALEXANDER
Age 29
Resides Manhattan
OccupationAuto body repairman

Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? Yes. I want to see it because I'm into vampires and wizards. There's a movie I really like, the title of which I can't remember, about a boy and his brother who end up in Santa Monica hanging out with bikers who are vampires. It was very good.

What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? I was into Disney movies and Captain Kangaroo and Sesame Street. I also remember liking Votron, where big robotic lions were transformerd piece by piece into crime fighters once trouble showed up. They were the good guys. Transformers was good. The characters in that were robots in disguise too.

If you had magic powers, what would you change? If I had powers like that, I'd be a vampire. I believe that vampires are from another realm, and that they're here and walking among us now. As a vampire, I would feed off evil people—the rapists and murderers and the government. I'd only drink the blood of bad people so that good people could survive.



imageLENA
Age18
ResidesStudent
OccupationQueens

Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? Yes, I'm very excited. I've read some of the books and I'll see the movie when I get through with my schoolwork. I've read that many adults have been less satisfied with the movie because it sticks so closely to the book, but kids like that. They like when they know what's going on and what's going to happen because in real life they rarely do.

What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? I was a Disney freak. I'm a Micky Mouse obsessive. I loved Beauty and the Beastand Aladdin. I still watch Aladdin. Even this year, Shrekwas my favorite movie. There were lots of dirty jokes in it. It was subversive. I think that it was probably made for adults.

If you had magic powers, what would you change? I wish I could read minds because I have trouble figuring out if people are real or fake. Whether it was over personal things or more global issues, I'd like to sit in a room and really know what people were really thinking.



imageCURT LUTMAN
Age33
ResidesManhattan
OccupationTheater manager

Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I haven't seen it, but I want to. I'd like to read the books if I could only find the time. I think that the movie has come at a perfect time because it's pure escapism. That's why it made so much money its first weekend.

What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? I loved the Chronicles of Narnia. Last night I was watching a Thirty Somethingrerun and it was the episode where Nancy has cancer and Eliot quotes to her from the Narnia books. My favorite movie as a kid was Star Wars. I was nine years old when it came out. My friends and I would say, "What did you do today?" and one of us would say, "I went to see Star Warsthree more times."

If you had magic powers, what would you change? I'd be an empath, able to feel and tap into others' emotions. I'd be able to connect more intuitively with them, to sense their moods. Not to take advantage of them, but for greater self-knowledge.



imageSKYE
Age26
ResidesStaten Island
OccupationPolice cadet

Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie? I haven't seen it, but I want to. I saw an interview with the director where he said he had turned to his own daughter for help, since she knew the book better than he did. Generally, I like these kinds of movies and I watch things like Charmedand Buffy the Vampire Slayeron television. I stopped watching TV after September 11 but have started again. I had to return to normalcy.

What was your favorite book or movie as a kid? Worst Witch.It was about witches who were students and the main warlock was the lead from Rocky Horror Picture Show. A girl sang a song: "Growing up isn't easy, scared of every move . . . " It was all about fantasy and growing up.

If you had magic powers, what would you change?I'd change the fact that people don't express their feelings enough. I'm from Florida, and although I love New York, New Yorkers bottle their feelings. They're always angry. The World Trade Center did soften people, but I still think communication's an issue. Can you imagine not having freedom of expression? I couldn't live like that.

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