Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bookish movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The 6th Harry Potter book is one of my favorites, so I was really looking forward to this movie. I made two mistakes:

1. I re-read the book right before going to see the movie. This makes all of the changes and discrepancies all the more obvious, and I knew I was going to regret it, but I couldn't help myself.

2. My hopes were too high. For some reason, I was thinking the movie would be very true to the book, even though none of the movies really have been since Chris Columbus left the project.

So, the special effects were great; there were a number of laughs; the girl playing Lavender was spot-on. It was an enjoyable movie. The kids are really growing up, and it's very cute to see.

Problems: Changes. The beginning was different--I could get over that. There's lots of little plot changes, too that I could look past, even though I do think the way Ginny and Harry get together in the book is infinitely better than in the movie. Then, they insert a scene at The Burrow that has no basis in the books. It was a big scene, too, and just seemed out of place and weird. I might have been able to get over that, but then they left out the big battle at the end! WTH! So, the invented Burrow scene took its place? That just does not work and was the biggest disappointment to me. I liked the movie more until that happened and since it is right at the end of the movie, it pretty well spoiled it.

They also left out major important plot points that are necessary for the 7th book, so I am not sure how they are going to work that out. The battle is pretty freaking important. Fenrir Greyback? Completely unexplained. Fleur and Bill? Wait, who? Percy? Not even a mention. Kreacher being inherited by Harry? Nope. There's a new Minister of Magic? No hint of that in the movie. Voldemort's parents? No flashback. The other objects that might be Horcruxes? No clue. Some of that probably could have been left out, but all of it? Yikes. I'm not sure how much sense the movie will make to those who haven't read the book. Probably most of the meaning will come through, but some things will seem very abrupt, I think.

So, I am SOOO glad they are splitting the 7th book into 2 movies because they have so much to fit in. The movie was good, don't get me wrong, but it could have been so much better. Seeing it at the opening showing (yes, I went at midnight and still got up for work in the morning) added to the atmosphere and was quite fun.

I will go see it again on IMAX, and being a little further removed from reading the book might make it more enjoyable.

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