Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Movie Review - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

So, it's been a week since Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince finally graced our theaters. The movie has since made more money than you can imagine and is sure to make more with the IMAX release next week. Despite being a Harry Potter geek in the extreme, I did not see it on opening day, due to friends being busy mid-week, but I did see it Friday night, along with everyone else it seems. I enjoyed it very much, but there are some things I would have liked to have seen, and adding them would not have made the film overly long in my opinion. Plus book six is so much a bridge book, setting up the events of the final book, and that translates to what the movie is as well, so they should have set up more then they did, because when you boil it down, this book doesn't have much plot. So here follows my pros and cons, the good and the bad of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Jim Broadbent was wonderful, great at the world weariness and the once great man brought low by his past.

Jim Broadbent as a chair!

It was funny! Lots of good dark humor.

The young Tim Riddle's were both great.

Luna. How can a character that I found originally so annoying in the books be so perfect onscreen?

Mr. Weasley's "Muggle Shed."

Lavender Brown, just perfect, moony and annoying.

Helen McCrory finally appearing in the franchise. Originally cast as Bellatrix she had to pull out when she found out she was pregnant, but now she's back as Narcissa.

Hermoine at the Christmas party eating stinky food.

Harry on Felix Felicis and how he was basically high, but really funny.

I like the added scene of the Burrow being torched, it upped the stakes a bit.

How Hermione shelves the books, so cool.

Quidditch being back.

Dumbledore's sleeping portrait.

Tonk's and Lupin are together!

Slughorn's little shrine to those he "collected."

Bad (which is a little nit-picky, but most could have been solved with a little line of dialogue or some action in the background, I understand the difference between a direct copy and an adaptation, but I think the story needed a little more structure at times to make it feel less jumpy and make it feel like there actually is a plot):

The lack of definition as to Harry and Dumbledore collecting memories, if you hadn't read the books you would have been lost. Would it really have taken extra time to say "I am going to give you private lessons Harry wherein we will only study the history of Voldemort in an attempt to find his weakness!?!?!"

The final fight. There WAS NO FIGHT! Did they just think it would be better to have Dumbledore die and the Deatheaters saunter out as if nothing had happened?

Ginny and Harry. They were never a couple, a few glances and a dumb kiss, I wanted coupledom!

Ginny not being mad at Harry for trusting a book, she seemed fine with it in the movie, are we trying to forget book two?

Draco and his vanishing cabinet. Why did they use the EXACT SAME SHOT of him pulling off it's covering every time?

I wanted some lessons on how to apparate, some spliching please! Just a kid in the background having forgot there leg, that would be funny!

Only two of Voldemort's memories? Sure they are the crucial two, but you kind of need a third to show the developing pattern of collecting after killing.

Why doesn't Harry have his invisibility cloak? Did the director just think him behind a pillar worked better than how it was written? Don't you think he would have been seen? Plus the cloak, kind of IMPORTANT!

The mounting death toll, or lack thereof, just a few shots of the newspaper racking up the death count wouldn't have hurt.

Cormac McLaggen was too attractive, I pictured him more thuggish, and less like Rafe Spall...

Harry willingly going to a Slug Club party, didn't he always avoid these?

The Bezoar egg, and how it was only on Slughorn because of Harry earlier in the day.

Madame Rosemerta being excised and Draco doing it all himself.

How did the Deatheater's know it was time to attack? Don't they like wait for Dumbledore to leave whereas this seemed more set time and place?

They didn't set up what a Horcrux is enough, making me not surprised that they need two movies to finish out the series versus one. In fact a lot of little things that they removed will have to be explained in the final two movies, they really should have been more careful with what they took out and what they left, because everything ends up being important in some way.

No Bill Weasley and Fleur! What the Hell! Are we just doing away with the wedding, again just them being there would have worked? But I guess with getting rid of the battle how will Bill be injured?

Ginny being in The Slug Club due to a bat bogey wonderful jinx.

Draco's manical glee at fixing the cabinet.

Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder. Used by Harry but not by Draco at the end?

The Gaunts and tying in with the Riddle deaths in book four. Actually not sure how they would do this, but they really needed another memory...I mean Dumbledore's big cabinet was supposed to be full of Voldemort memories, and we see two? Maybe even referencing that Dumbledore is showing Harry more would have worked.

Kreacher, just grumbling in the background would be fine.

The Cave, it looked like the Fortress of Solitude!?! All sleek crystal and so Kryptonian!

How come Dumbledore was so shocked about Horcruxes? Isn't that what he expected afterall?

They seemed to make Snape too nice, I mean we know he really isn't evil, but he's supposed to BE EVIL here and now, to have all outward appearance of a traitor!

Mr. Weasley finally has more power in the Ministry yet it isn't mentioned?

No Neville!?!

Well, there you go, my initial feelings for the movie, I'll definitely be seeing it again, so opinions might change, but this is what a feel now. Still anything's better than those first two movies right? Also, it wasn't my favorite book, so what chance did it have of being my favorite movie?


This is a really good review! You picked out things that I didn't notice when watching the movie last weekend, but I'm going to look for them the next time I see it. I REALLY need to re-read the book!

Thank you! I also really need to read it again, but then, I can find almost any excuse to re-read Harry!

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