Saturday, July 25, 2009

Movie Review: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"

I normally do not like movies made from books. There are a few exceptions, as there are to every rule, "The DaVinci Code" and "Jaws" to name 2, but they are few and far between. I have seen every Potter movie so far, in the theater. I have seen most of them on opening day and I reviewed the last one, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" on this blog. It wasn't exactly complimentary. I was expecting to leave "Half-Blood Prince" as angry and annoyed as I left "Order of the Phoenix."

BabyBoy and I had planned to go to the midnight premiere. I bought tickets online, but, due to the fact that everyone I work with and my entire family laughed at the fact that we were going at midnight, I didn't expect anyone else to be there. Silly me. We arrived at 11:15 for a 12:01 showing. All four theaters were sold out and there were A LOT of people standing in the lobby. BabyBoy worked at this particular theater for almost a year and informed me, later, that each theater held over 300 people. So, at a guess, there were about 1,000 people in that lobby.

We had a brief discussion about whether or not to stay or go back the next day. I picked up my prepurchased tickets and handed them to the nice man patiently waiting (and politely begging) next to the ticket window. He paid for the tickets and BabyBoy and I went home!

We arrived back at the theater the next day at 12:30pm for a 1:00pm show. We had no problems buying tickets or popcorn or finding seats. By the time the previews were over the theater was pretty well packed, but we didn't care. Again, I prepared myself for upset, anger and disappointment.

And was pleasantly surprised that I had very little of all three. Even better, I laughed out loud on several occasions. This movie was the one I had been waiting for. This movie showed us the characters and made us care about them.


There was Harry, obviously carrying a torch for Ginny, but not sure what to do about it.
There was Ron and Hermione, carrying a torch for each other but not sure what to do about it.
There was Ron, accidently consuming a love potion meant for Harry and falling all over himself
(Sue me, I enjoy a little slapstick humor)
There was Draco, sobbing alone in the bathroom.
There was Hermione showing what an awesome witch she really is.

There were parts which were left out:
Memories of the Gaunts and other Riddle memories.
Harry's detentions.
The battle at the end.
The funeral.
The Dursleys.
Kreacher and Sirius' will.
Dobby.. again?

There were parts which were added:
The Burrow BURNED?
Tonks and Lupin together? Already?
Ginny and Harry together in the Room of Requirement

Those were all odd or strange, but the parts that made me nuts were the parts which were changed:
Harry standing quietly while someone he loved is threatened? Right!
Exactly where the potions book is now.
A better explanation of what other Horcruxes could be out there.

DSD took LittleMan a week after BabyBoy and I had seen the movie. DSD enjoyed it, LittleMan, not so much, but the reasoning behind that is another post that will, hopefully, be up soon. DSD, who has never read the books, understood about Horcruxes (and even figured out one not mentioned in the movie) but had many questions about other things that the movie did not explain, including Fenrir Greyback, because he had no idea who he was or why he looked so funny.

All in all, this was a much better movie than Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix. As a book adaptation it was lousy, but, just as a movie on its own, it was pretty good.

There will be two movies made out of the last book. Hopefully, between the two of them, they will answer all the questions, those of the book readers and the non-book readers. If not, I hope they are at least entertaining, as this movie was.


two crows said...

hey LLL--
the only other HP movie I really liked was Prisoner of Azkaban.
I didn't see Goblet of Fire and disliked the book, Order of the Phoenix so much I certainly wasn't going to see the movie.

so,given this review, I just may stop my self-imposed ban. thanx for test-running it for me. =)

LeftLeaningLady said...

I know a lot of people (ok, internet reviewers) who LOVED Order of the Phoenix, book and movie. I didn't like either one. So maybe we have the same taste and you will enjoy it also.

ModernMommy said...

I read the first book about 8 years ago and remember liking it but haven't read any of the others. We decided to watch all the movies before this one came out because we thought it would be fun. I admit I didn't really like them. The first couple were great, I thought, especially for kids. After about the third they just all started running into each other. I can't tell you what happens in which movie because they all seem the same to me. I didn't enjoy the new one very much. Then again I think if I had read the books I would have liked them a lot more.

LeftLeaningLady said...

Not necessarily. I think it would be overwhelming to watch all of them at once, but I only liked the first 2 and this one and I just finished re-reading the series. I do it once a year, cause I am crazy like that.