Movie Review: "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"
----SPOILERS! If you haven't read the books or watched the movie beware!------
So for the past month I've been walking around with a pencil (or just holding my hand pretending) and yelling out things like "Lumos!" "Expelliarmus !" or "Expecto Patronum!" In a year of blah movies (Up and Star Trek being my exceptions), I have been eagerly awaiting the new Harry Potter movie. Heck, I've been waiting for this movie since last year when it was supposed to come out during November but got pushed back due to Twilight (grumble grumble). As you know I'm a HUGE fan of the books. I remember when this book originally came out and I stayed up late to finish it. I also remember the debates about certain character's true loyalties for months until Deathly Hallows came out.
To prepare myself for the movie, I have been relistening (yet again) to the audio books and was currently about 3/4 through HPB by the time I saw the movie. Therefore everything was fresh in my head when I saw it.
Obviously they had to change things for the movie from the book. And I will have to say, out of the recent movies, this one has probably been the best at adaptation. The filmmakers have been careful not to change the storyline too much (Cho being the tattletale in OOTP, please) in this one and left things in just for the readers (Arnold the pygmy puff was on Ginny's shoulder in the train!).
Things I did like:
1) Quidditch! - So excited to see it back and loved the scene with the tryouts. Very faithful to the book. And have the brooms always had those footrests? Very practical when you think about it. Cormac is different from the book but very funny scenes.
2) Draco - Tom Felding's time to shine. He did a wonderful job. This movie was his, after having to play second fiddle in the past ones.
3) Bellatrix - I don't think Bellatrix was in the book as much as she is in the movie, but Helena Bonham Carter is simply wonderful. I mean she really makes you hate Bellatrix and you want to kill her. In the next movie, if the ending for her doesn't happen in that exact way, I will be very angry.
4) Weasly's Wizard Wheezes - I want to go to that store. The movie did an EXCELLENT job at making that store come to life. Seriously, so colorful and fun, just like the twins. Although it would have been great to see a U-no Poo poster.
5) Dumbledore - I have faults with Michael Gambon but there were several scenes I did really enjoy. Loved in Slughorn's house about the knitting magazines. Also the scenes in the cave were absolutely perfect. I am SO GLAD that the screenwriters had him crying "It's all my fault, it's all my fault" as a reference to the 7th book. And when he makes the fire, I was just bawling. The scene at the end when everyone lights their wands was such a nice touch. I almost really lost it then, the napkins were soaked.
6) Snape - again I cried. Snape became one of my favorite characters after reading the 7th book and then I would go back and relook over his character. Alan Rickman is absolutely perfect as him (although he look like he had gained a bit of weight?). I cannot wait til the next movie.
7) Luna - I love Luna! The actress who plays her is just wonderfully cast. She's just like how I imagined.
8) Tom Riddle - While I was sad that the actor who played Tom in the COS didn't reprise his role due to being too old, the two boys who played him in this movie were really good. Creepy young kid. And then the teenage Riddle is Ralph Fiennes (Voldermort)'s nephew so it really is a young Voldermort! Although he wasn't as handsome as is frequently mentioned in the books.
9) Katie Bell being cursed - Deliciously scary. I mean honestly that was really freaky about what happened to her. And a plus for being true to the book.
10) Pansy Parkinson - she actually did look like a pug!
Some things though I just didn't like:
1) The lack of Tonks and Lupin - so apparently they are already in a relationship, which then eliminates pretty much their whole story.
2) No Bill and "Phelgm" - I understand why this was taken out but it was great comic relief in the book. I am thrilled that they will be in the final movie
3) The burning of The Burrow - absolutely unnecessary. It's not even in the book! I can take a lack of Battle of Hogwarts 1. But this was just horrible. And no one did anything!!! Why didn't the Weasleys use spells to put it out? And where is Bill and Fleur's wedding supposed to take place?
4) The Classes - ok it's a known fact in the books that Crabbe and Goyle did NOT pass their OWLs for potions. Why are they in the class? For that matter, why are the Patil Twins, Dean and Seamus? I never understand why the producers always have to "fill up the classes" and add in random people.
5) Narcissa Malfoy's hair - minor but why in the world does she have skunk hair? the books clearly state she has long blonde hair.
6) Ginny - While I'm glad they showed her relationship with Dean (who did not have a single word in this movie), her character was just blah and very intrusive. For example, the Ginny in the book would have NEVER tied Harry's shoes! And I would have liked the kissing scene from the book better than what was actually shown.
7) Dumbledore- Yes I did sob, but I'm sorry Michael Gambon is not how I have pictured Dumbledore to be. If only Richard Harris hadn't died. He was absolutely perfect as him, regal and grand, with that spunk. Michael Gambon is just very different and just not THE Dumbledore. Plus his hand was barely black. I was expecting it to be crisply burnt.
8) Horcruxes - or should I say the lack of importance. Seriously. The horcruxes were severely downplayed in the movie. Plus I was highly disappointed to hear that Dumbledore thinks they could be anything when in the book he clearly tells Harry the difference between them and a Portkey. Plus Harry is given no direction about where to look as opposed to in the book where he knows he has to look for Hufflepuff's cup, the snake, and something of Ravenclaw's. I mean how in the world is he supposed to know what to look for?
9) The Half Blood Prince - title of the movie, but barely mentioned. Sure Harry uses the book and does a potion or two. But it's sorta like a red herring. Very downplayed.
So those were just a few likes and dislikes I had about the movie. Overall I really enjoyed it and I think it's the best of the last few. I know I am eagerly awaiting the release of Deathly Hallows especially since they are splitting it in two movies. The word is they are going to be showing everything from the books and including everyone that's ever been in the movies. I'm already dying of eagerness.