Friday, July 17, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
It has taken me a couple days to recover from my midnight madness of HP6 the movie. Edith and Nima came up from San Diego to join me, Natasha, and Mike for the midnight showing at AMC in Victoria Gardens. We got in line between 6:30-7pm and were probably around the twenty to twenty-fifth people in line for our auditorium. We ate Chick fil-A, played two games of Taboo, ate some Chocolate Frogs, and at 9:45pm they let us into the auditorium. We got perfect seats and while waiting for the movie did some Harry Potter trivia. I won a free movie pass and a small popcorn!
After much anticipation the film finally started at a little after midnight. A few technical difficulties during the first preview had me quite worried, but the film played without problem.
While I know some people don't read anything about or watch any scenes before they are able to watch the movie for themselves, I read everything I could find and watched every scene available multiple times. I like to be prepared. As a result, many of the changes the writers and director made for this movie adaptation of the sixth book I was prepared for. The movie and book should not be compared. Despite the movie being around 2 hours and 30 minutes in length, a lot of detail from the book is left out. Somethings that you might consider to be vital to the book are absent from the movie. If you haven't seen the movie yet, go in with an open mind. I think you really have to trust the Art Direction to truly enjoy it, recognize that the book cannot be made into a theatrical film properly, it should be a BBC mini-series. But, keep in mind that the team who did this movie is the team doing the next movies and so there are probably reasons why things were left out of this movie, perhaps there will be greater resolution in the final two movies. Last note before I get into talking about specifics, the CGI has greatly improved! For example, Quidditch is much more realistic, then when it was last seen in movie three (I don't count movie four because you don't actually see much of the teams playing at the Quidditch Cup).
The following are things left out of the movie that I would have liked to see, if you don't want me to spoil the movie than don't continue.
1) There is no time to really delve into Tom Riddle's family, Harry only sees two memories from Dumbledore the one in which Dumbledore first meets Riddle at the orphanage and the one in which Riddle discusses Horcruxes with Slughorn.
2) The Battle at Hogwarts is completley cut. While the Death Eaters do get on campus and the "task" is performed, there is no attack on any students or professors. They swoop in and out rather quickly. Bill is therefore not attacked by a werewolf and Tonks and Lupin are romantically involved in this movie. Come to think of it, there is not even any mention of Fluer and Bill's engagement.
3) The Dursley's are completely absent from the movie which has me wonder if they will even be in the final films.
4) Dumbledore's funeral is not included and neither is the bit where he tells Harry that he must continue where he has left off with the Horcruxes. Maybe it's supposed to be implied.
All I can say is that I'm glad I've read the book so I know what to read between the lines.
That being said, I did really enjoy the movie and I'm glad I went to a midnight showing even though it took me two days to recuperate. The movie is more of a teen fantasy/romantic-comedy film. There is one scene in particular in which Harry and Hermione share this serious moment (not romantic) where they comfort each other because they both have feelings for people (Ginny and Ron, respectively) who are in relationships with others. It was endearing, not something that the book really had. You feel for the characters who are facing "real-life" problems on top of the bigger problem of their world being in danger.
The movie has a PG rating, so there are not many "dark" moments in the film. The darkest moment is when Dumbledore takes Harry to retrieve the locket in the cave. The movie is filled with lighthearted humor. Despite the relative absence of the Weasley twins, who usually provide the comedic relief, I found myself laughing a lot more in this movie than any other. My favorite scenes are when Ron eats the love-potion laced chocolates meant for Harry, and when Harry drinks his Felix Felicis and goes about in a somewhat drunken state to visit Hagrid.
The movie has done exceptionally well. Grossed $22 million the first night, and exceeded $100 million in the first 24hrs. Plus, it currently has an 85% rating on rotten tomato.
If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out. It is quite entertaining. I think I'll be seeing it again this weekend at a $4 matinee theatre :D