Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I’m genuinely unsure what to make of the 6th Harry Potter movie. It took its time and worked hard to include what was necessary, unlike some of the previous films. Lots of backstory was ditched, but it kept the important bits. And they did a great job with the character interactions. Every cylinder fired really well[1], honestly, except for the parts that dealt with the central storyline and mystery. The Half-Blood Prince’s identity scarcely registered as a mystery in the first place, despite so many revealed reasons as to why it might be troubling. Voldemort’s secret was mostly an afterthought, though I suppose it being the main focus of two more movies will make up for that. And the climatic scene felt, well, rushed.

But what I can’t decide is how it would have looked to a newcomer. Were the scenes unsatisfying because the script and the direction weren’t quite up to it? Or because I was able to choose the pacing in the book, and the movie simply didn’t live up to my preferences? You’ll have to ask someone who came at these from a different direction, I guess, because I’ve got nothing to go by here, except what I’ve already said. On the bright side, it was pretty good in itself, just not as satisfying as I had hoped. Alan Rickman, as usual, is the tops. Oh, and speaking of bright sides, I think I recommend an afternoon or evening viewing. It’s a very dark film, visually, and emerging into the bright of summer would be… disorienting, at best.

[1] Okay, Daniel Radcliffe is simply not keeping up with the emerging talent of his co-stars. Pity.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Big movie of the weekend, I hear, and yet mostly unpopular with the literary set of which I am aware. Yep, it’s November, which means it’s time for Harry Potter to go back to school. (Except for that time he went back to school in July. British people are weird; I think it’s because of all the fog.)

Note: Expect spoilers for the books below, as well as for previous movies. Well, and maybe for this movie, depending upon your perspective.

As the books get longer, the movies get longer; nevertheless, more and more of the books is disappearing. Harry faces the dangers of a magical tournament between Hogwarts and other wizarding schools around Europe while plagued by dreams of Voldemort’s return to power. Also: adolescence! Anyhow, it was pretty good for what it was. It kept the core plot elements, sacrificed a number of unnecessary elements (freedom for house elves, Percy is a prat, some guy is in hock to the goblins), and then sacrificed several wholly relevant plot elements (the second half of the Rita Skeeter plotline where the wizarding community loses its crush on the Boy Who Lived, Harry’s growing relationship with his uncle Sirius, a reasonable explanation of what happened in the climactic moment). But that’s okay in a way; as long as those elements are established solidly in the fifth movie when they would be coming to fruition, then it could still work out. Of course, that book is longer still than the current one, so it hardly seems fair to try to cram in info from an earlier book too. Luckily, this is not my problem.

In short? Decent movie, pretty to watch, and the edits are all the more painful for coming so near to being masterful and then falling short of it. I’m missing all the actual wizard-learning as well, but that is disappearing from the books too, so, y’know. Below the cut, my one big (and unmistakably spoilerish) complaint with the film adaptation.
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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Over the past couple of years, I’ve become gradually aware of a thriving internet fandom community for these Harry Potter books, complete with wars over which person should date which and extensive fan fiction. To my very great delight, I’ve completely avoided all that smeg, and this review will be completely uninformed by that section of the internet. It’s all about me, baby! Also, I’m not sure how to discuss it in any real detail without a spoiler cut. So, if you haven’t read the book, or if you haven’t read the series but might someday, stay out from this point on. (Includes spoilers for previous books as well.)
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