Thursday, December 10, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Going into this movie, I loved the book but had been told this movie is slow. I had a lower expectation for this Harry Potter so I didn't see it in theaters but decided to buy it the first day it came out on blu ray. This was my second blind buy, and my first blind mistake.
For those few who haven't read the book, the movie is quite slow and missteps over important areas of the book. Ok, let's just talk about the movie.

SPOILER ALERT! (go see the movie before reading this review)

This is my second favorite book next to the Goblet of Fire but the movie seemed to be confused on what it was telling. It took 2 hours to flash 2 flashbacks of Voldemort's life, get Draco in place to do his job, and tell a whole lot of snogging story that just doesn't go anywhere. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Twilight where they are telling a whole lot of love but miss the connections between the characters. You tell me that Harry and Ginny is told so that she can share one kiss in the Room of Requirement? Hermione and Ron aren't even together at the end of the movie and they spend TOO much time on them. And my biggest problem with it is it never feels like magic. It feels like a an average teenage whiney drama. I am okay with the teen love, but the story is not ABOUT that, it is a subplot in the book, but made mainstream plot in the movie. It makes it slow and directionless.

The story is about Draco and Voldemort. Of course we follow Harry around as he discovers the truth about both of them, but revealing only 2 memories of Tom Riddle leads us to believe that Harry really knows NOTHING about where the Horcruxes are, only that they exist. Where Harry was taking a whole semester of the history of Voldemort with Dumbledore, we get to see 2 glimpses. I pity Draco in the book. I'm glad they kept it that way in the movie, but missed his character struggle. So big problems were too much Lavender and not enough Voldemort.

I can get past that. I think I feel that way only because I read the book, but my biggest problem with the film is the battle at Hogwarts (or lack of) at the end. There is a perfect opportunity to make a great piece of cinema if you just follow what was written. There is no excuse for it, especially since they made us wait an extra 9 months for the movie. The cave and inferi were well done, but when they get back to Hogwarts and everything seems nice and calm. Dumbledore doesn't freeze Harry under the invisibility cloak?!? Snape greets Harry before heading upstairs to kill him?!? Snape and company escape Hogwarts swiftly and calmly?!? NO FREAKING WAY! This actually made me so angry that I couldn't get to sleep very well afterward. How could they completely skip the epic battle inside Hogwarts? The lucky potion that keeps Hermione, Ron, and Ginny safe? There was no reason to omit it. It still makes me angry.

In this movie, Harry Potter has lost his magic. After 2 hours of character development (which isn't really needed because we've known these characters for 5 movies now) and snogging , we finally get a quick run of the wizarding world but it is just not epic. I want to read the book again to compensate, but does anyone want to buy a Harry Potter 6 blu ray/dvd combo? I can't watch a movie that makes me angry. 4/10
PS>I know this movie will have the Breaking Dawn effect where it just gets worse the more I think about it.
PSS>My biggest problem with reading the book before is I have a good idea of how it should be directed. I was probably too harsh because of this.
PSSS>I just read that David Yates is directing both parts of the 7th movie. I am no longer excited. How did he get this gig?
PSSSS>I wouldn't be surprised if he took out the escape from Grimgotts (because I love it so much)
PSSSSS>This is my second least favorite Harry Potter movie (with the 3rd being the worst)

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