Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, November 12, 2001

Enchanted fans line up to view Harry Potter

 •  Movie review: 'Sorcerer's Stone' does not disappoint
 •  Harry Potter books are a welcome distraction

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Without a doubt, 11-year-old Gaston Kimble-Rehm's favorite scene in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" — previewed yesterday before a select audience at Consolidated's Ward 16 complex — was the one in which the title character and his mates battled the Mountain Troll in the bathroom of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Avid fan Isabella Hastings, 7, wore her Harry Potter costume to a screening of the movie.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

"That was awesome," said Kimble-Rehm, who showed up to the preview handsomely adorned in wizard robe, Hogwarts patch and, of course, a red-ink lightning bolt mark above his right eyebrow.

On second thought, maybe it was the scene where the creepy Lord Voldemort drinks unicorn blood in the Forbidden Forest.

"Scary!" he proclaimed, squeezing his eyes shut for extra emphasis.

Check that. It was definitely ...

"Quidditch!" Kimble-Rehm finally announced.

Indeed, the on-screen rendering of the boy-wizard's favorite sport drew unanimous raves from the nearly 500 Potter fans in attendance. But the best magic — the real kind — came days earlier when Kimble-Rehm's mother, Denise, contacted KSSK, Warner Brothers and the Honolulu Advertiser to see if Gaston — who suffers from a rare genetic condition called Williams Syndrome — could attend the preview.

Gaston just had surgery to alleviate the pain of his pacemaker shifting in his chest. Another surgery is pending.

"He's a huge Harry Potter fan," she said. "He's read all the books. We even downloaded all the trailers off the Internet. I don't know how many times he's watched them."

Hundreds of Harry Potter fans lined up early to see a special screening of the movie yesterday. The film officially opens Friday.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

The family was able to get the passes, and they arrived extra early just to make sure they got their seats. Others weren't as fortunate.

Warner Bros. issued more passes than there were seats available to ensure a capacity crowd for the lone 2 p.m. preview. When the theater's 500 seats were filled shortly after 1 p.m., dozens of pass-holding Potter fans were turned away at the door.

The passes did include a disclaimer at the bottom informing holders that seats could not be guaranteed and that seating would be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. That was no consolation for the Figueira family, who drove in from Wai'anae only to be disappointed.

"It's frustrating," said Walter Figueira, who won four passes through a KSSK contest. "I could see if we came after the movie started, but we came early, paid for the valet parking and then we get turned away.

"It's almost better not to win," he said. "We got false hopes."

Eight-year-old Amanda Hipolito, who came with her mother, Ailene, and 12-year-old brother, Michael, summed up her disappointment in one word.

"Bad," she said.

But those who made it into the preview were uniformly enthusiastic about the movie.

"It was scarier than I thought, but not in a terrifying way," said Carolyn Michaels, who took her son Josh and his friend Jeff Brooks to the preview.

"It was very true to the book," said Michaels, a teacher at Moanalua High School. "I thought it was excellent."

Twelve-year-old Kyle Monette and his 9-year-old sister Melissa also gave the movie high ratings.

"It was exciting," said Kyle, who was looking forward to seeing the famous chess scene played out on the big screen.

Deborah Goldberg of Kaimuki, who got her pass through her employer, said she enjoyed the story and was amazed at the cinematography — though she has yet to read any of the books.

"I'm ready to read all of (the books) now," she said.