Sunday, August 23, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Ron Weasley: [about Ginny and Dean] What do you think he sees in her?
Harry Potter: She's smart... funny... attractive...
Ron Weasley: Attractive?
Harry Potter: Well you know... she has nice... skin.
Ron Weasley: So you think he is going out with her because she has nice skin?
Harry Potter: Well, I dunno, I'm just saying it could be a contributing factor.
Ron Weasley: Hermione's got nice skin. You know, as far as skin goes.
Harry Potter: I-I've never thought about it before. But now that you mention it, yeah. Very nice.
Ron Weasley: [long pause] ... I think I'll be going to bed now.

I have to say that I am a bit miffed b/c I wrote a long and detailed review about what I thought of the latest HP and thought I'd posted it but hadn't yet, so long story short it's all gone. Grr...Oh well.

In short, I liked HP6 a lot. It might just be my favorite Harry Potter movie to date (although it's a bit of a tie between Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.) Azkaban was, in a lot of way, more subtle and I loved Alfonso Cuaron's take on Hogwarts, b/c his Hogwarts is not only beautiful but you get the sense that it's very magically alive with all the moving staircases and magical portraits.

What Half Blood Prince excels at is characterization and the portrayal of relationships between the characters. In a lot of ways, I think I actually like the movie versions of the characters over the ones in the books b/c they feel more real, more human. In particular, Hermione's a lot less prissy and up tight and Harry is much more focused. And while I'm not much of a fan of the Ginny/Harry romance in the books, I root for them in the movie and their kiss scene is actually a very tender, intimate moment whereas in the books, it's just sort of over the top. Also, while in the books, when Hermione sends the charmed birds on Ron, it's a very mediocore moment, not very memorable save for the fact that it's probably the angriest we've ever seen Hermione- In the movie, though, it's a really moving moment, and I absolutely love how through that you get to explore the Hermione, Harry friendship.

Other things I liked about the movie:
-It's ultimately a very good adaptation. The movie stands on its own feet, and while there were things I wish it included (which I will get into later), for the most part, I don't feel as if I'm at too much of a loss for not having certain things included.
-They included Luna! Luna was probably the best part of movie 5; I remember really liking the weird chemistry she had with Harry. While there's none of that chemistry in this movie, I'm really glad (and pleasantly surprised) that they give her a minor role in this one.
-The raising of the wands in remembrance of Dumbledore is very well done and a good adaptation of the funeral scene, which may have seemed a bit cheesy and too much in movie form (although it's certainly not in the book)
-They fit in Draco's story very well, instead of very abruptly as it is in the books (which is, I think, is a problem in the books mainly b/c they're all from Harry's perspective and towards the end of the series when things got darker, it would have been more effective had we been able to see others' perspectives as well.) And Tom Felton does a great job with Draco; I actually felt sympathetic towards him whereas in the books, he just comes off as annoying and pitiful. Felton's certainly come a long way from the slightly buck toothed wanna be (adorable) stuck up bully in movie 1.
-The locket retrieval scene is pretty flawless. The cave is very well done, epic looking even at times and reminiscent of LOTR. I imagined the Inferi to be different (more chilling) and Dumbledore to have suffered more, but all in all, fantastic stuff
-As is Harry on Felix Felicitus

Things I wish they'd included/things that could have been better
-One of my favorite parts of book 6 is at the beginning where Fudge and Scrimgeour are talking to the Muggle Prime Minister and telling him about all the damage that Lord Voldemort has been causing. At one point, the prime minister interjects with something along the lines of, "but you guys have magic- I can't understand why you're having all these problems." To which Scrimgeour replies with "well, so do they" which gah just raises the stakes a lot.
-No Merope/the Gaunts, some of the creepiest parts of book 6
-No Scrimgeour. Not that I particularly like him but I would have liked to see Harry been called Dumbledore's man through and through
-Why isn't Ron there in the last scene?? It should end with the trio, not with just Hermione and Harry.
-While there are some lovely parts to the score in this movie, I do miss the days when John Williams was scoring the HP movies.

Post Grad

I hope this doesn't ruin my credibility as a wanna be movie connoisseur but despite its abysmal 8% (or something like that) rating on, I didn't think it was such a terrible movie. Perhaps b/c I am a post grad myself and to some extent we can all relate to the situation that the main character, Ryden, felt when she's at a party and all her friends have things lined up after graduation except her. It sucks to feel like you're being left behind. It was rather enjoyable to watch as chick flicks go, not too many cringe worthy moments although plenty of awkward ones.

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