Tuesday, July 21, 2009

movie: harry potter and the half-blood prince

See, here's the thing: I liked this moviw, and I'm not particularly appologetic about that. It was fun, exciting, sweet, a little scary, and it had all the important parts that move the plot along and develop the characters. So what if it doesn't follow the book exactly? The book is freakishly long, and a seven hour movie just isn't worth the time. The first movie was practically a read-along, and that was dull, dragging and opressive. I think the movies have been saved by the fact that the books were so long by the end; it means the directors and scriptwriters could cut the things that work in a book but are unnecessary in a movie, that they can pare the story down to it's basic components and show us what's needed to make a movie-- because movies and books are different things, even if they're telling the same story, and there's really nothing but agravation in trying to make them the same.

Half-Blood Prince had everything I wanted it to have: It had Draco being tortured by his own divided loyalties, lurking and brooding and crying alot, and I swear the kid got skinnier and paler as the movie progressed, as he should if he's really dealing with this horrible crap. It had Ginny getting to do stuff and have lines, and she's really good at the shining, compassionate better-person schtick. It had Ron totally missing the point with Hermione and Hermione realizing what all these weird feelings meant. It had Snape being subtle and divided and obviously unhappy and murky and snarky and wonderful. It had Dumbledor at a loss, damaged, and ready to finish the plan. Slughorn was wonderfully twitchy, Lavendar was exactly as clingy and weird as was necessary for us not to feel bad when she gets jilted. I hated seeing the Weasley house burn, I loved Bellatrix, the few moments we got of Fred and George were awesome as always, Luna was fantastic, and that scene where the whole school bands together to stop the cloud-skull-creepiness totally got me.

And best of all, it reminded me why I loved all these characters, and set up how horrible it's going to be in the next movies when they start offing people left and right.

Best parts:
- Hopped-up-Harry talking about the spider's pinchers
- "He likes my sister for her skin??" "Well, I'm just saying it could be a contributing factor."
- "I supposed you're wondering what we're doing here?" "Honestly, sir, after all these years I just sort of go along for the ride."
- "Why does it always seem that when there's trouble, the three of you are involved?" "I've been asking myself that for six years."
- The set design. Hogwarts looks more like a real place every time, and this time it was gorgeous, all stairs and vaulted halls and weird little details like the birdcage inside the birdcage and so on. I want my office to look like Dumbledor's...
- Ron and Harry hitting eachother as they fight over the book. Just like real boys.

There were a few weird things:
- They almost entirely cut Harry's obsession with the book and who wrote it, and then Snape is all 'I'm the Half Blood Prince' and I went 'Oh, right, that was the title of the movie...'
- Did we see Ginny break up with Dean? Because all of a sudden she was all over Harry, and it was very sweet and exactly what was supposed to happen, but I don't remember her stopping dating... And most of that relationship got cut, too.
- Where was Hagrid as his house was being burned down? And what happened to the Weasleys after the same? We just sort of skipped those parts, and I don't remember what happened in the book.
- Wasn't there more with Lupin and Tonks?

Over all, though, it was great fun and I really enjoyed it. Each movie holds together as a movie better than the last, the world gets more detailed and real, and the characters act and dress and speak more like real people. I loved it.

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