Thursday, July 16, 2009

After the Prince

**Warning- Some slight spoilers regarding Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince follow, but these are not major plot points, and will definitely not dampen your enjoyment of the film! Still thought I'd give you a heads up, though!**

“Half Blood Prince: So they won't start on this one until September-- that doesn't mean I can't make my predictions about the film now! It's hard to say what they'll leave out, since of course I always think everything should be in the movie. So I'll play process of elimination. They can't leave out Dumbledore's explanation/quest of the horcruxes, obviously, since that has become the crux (sorry) of the series. Whether that means they'll cut out Voldemort's backstory I'm not sure, but they'll obviously shorten that considerably. They have to include Draco and his little project, but it will be fast tracked, and trimmed down to just the bare minimum. They obviously have to include the Potions text book et al, since that is the title of the movie, but I bet it's just Hermione nagging at Harry not to use it and him getting really good at potions. I think that also would leave them to have to include Harry's attack on Draco, but I just don't know. I thought they had to include a lot of other stuff that they've left out of the movies! Let's see....they'll also need to have devote at least part of the storyline to Harry's new love interest-- that is pretty much just a given. Other than that, I don't know what else would be critical to leave in. I think Slughorn will be there, but not a lot of the storylines that he's involved with. Maybe just where Harry saves Ron's life, but most likely not Harry retrieving Slughorn's memory. Gosh, I just don't know! Man, I really hope they keep Quidditch in, at least so we can see what goes on with Harry there. It just makes me happy. :) And I'd love to see Fred and George's joke shop, but that falls into the "not entirely necessary" category. Fleur and Bill are so gone. Ron and Lavender are most likely out, as poor Ron gets left out of everything these days.

In conclusion, though, I think Half Blood Prince could be a really awesome movie. If Prisoner of Azkaban is dark and weird, then I think Half Blood Prince could just be cool. Really.”

I wrote the above on my old Xanga blog on July 17, 2007. Having now finally seen the movie, I’d say most of my predictions were pretty accurate! I didn’t get Slughorn’s memory or Ron and Lavender quite right, but other than that I got a lot of it correct. I'm so glad they did include Fred and George's joke shop after all, especially since I was wearing a "Weasley's Wizard Wheezes" shirt to the premiere!

So, yes: I did see Half-Blood Prince at midnight the other night. The whole evening was so much fun, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Can you believe I actually hoodwinked six other people into going with me? Me neither. ALSO: they didn't pretend like they didn't know me when I put on my Gryffindor scarf (knitted just for me by Katie!) AND Harry Potter glasses. I'm still amazed. I mean really-- would you just look at me? I wouldn't have blamed them BUT AT ALL if they'd made me stand in the very back of the line as long as I was dressed like that. It's a wonder....

The movie was indeed, very “cool.” I don't think I was expecting it to be so funny, though! I just laughed and laughed all the way through. (Until, of course, the devastating ending.) Other than that though, it was filled with absolute hilarity and teenage hijinx! I love the direction of David Yates, and am eager to see what he does with Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2. It's so great to see all of the British acting elite in all of the Harry Potter movies (Jim Broadbent was an inspired choice for Slughorn), and it will be great to see Bill Nighy finally join the cast as Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour in movie seven.

I really saw very few negatives in the overall movie. Aside from my usual issues with their changing things or adding puzzling new scenes*, my biggest criticism of HBP is that the movie felt like it had no soul. Yes, it was intense and scary and sad and, I said above, devastating in parts, but I just didn’t feel the gravity of certain events as much as I thought I should. I don't know what I'm looking for to help with this- slow motion? different music? longer scenes?- but it just didn't hit me as hard as I thought it should. I felt like HBP lacked the gravitas of my favorite Harry Potter film, Order of the Phoenix, and could definitely have taken a page from that movie as far as lasting consequences and the very real threat of an overarching and pressing evil.
I think, however, that this movie will appeal to a very wide audience. It's a remarkably accessible film that requires very little introductory information if you've never read the books or seen the previous movies. If you do go see it, let me know what you thought! Lord knows I have more say on the topic!
So is anyone planning on catching the movie this weekend? I'm ready to see it again, and would love to tag along....
*Really, I’m over it, even the bits about Harry and Ginny. It’s just—HOW can you botch that storyline? It was absolute perfection in the book, and they turned it into something awkward, nonsensical, and seemingly inconsequential. Sigh.


Katie said...

How glad am I that the Harry Potter scarf is still getting air time? (Even in July, you crazy girl, you.) I'm going to see it tonight and will definitely let you know what I think. Can you make it to Abilene by 7:40? :)

Tamara said...

Loved this! One small correction: You may have hoodwinked FIVE other people into going. (Everyone knows that I NEVER have to be hoodwinked into going to pretty much any movie!) I was actually going to go again on my day off so I could catch some parts I missed, but I didn't get it worked in... So I'll probably be going sometime Saturday afternoon.

shannonmichaelis said...

no you didn't wear that get-up to see the movie! (said in a valley-girl style voice to match that of alicia silverstone in clueless)

Lara said...

Oh I hated that randomly put in scene at the Burrow. What the hell?! I mean, it'd be one thing if they put that in and kept more of the storyline from the books... but they cut so much and then add in fake scenes!!
Oh well. I still did like it a lot. And am glad you did, too.