Friday, July 17, 2009

July 17 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) The sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry kicks off with a bang for young Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) when he inadvertently discovers a mysterious book that sheds light on the sordid life of the evil Lord Voldemort. Preparing for inevitable battle, Harry and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) turn to professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) for help in pinpointing the weakness in Voldemort's forces.

(The description above, from Netflix, is not quite accurate. The book is not what tells about Voldemort. But whatever...)

I saw this movie last night and came away from it one pissed off chickie. First things first though. I was in town during the day and decided it would be best to stop and get tickets ahead of time. There were other people already there doing just that. The guy ahead of me asked the ticket girl if the shows were still selling out. She said the day showings were slowing down already but the evening showings were still crazy. Ok... *phew* ...glad I got the tickets early then.

Hubby got home from work shortly after 5pm, hopped in the shower, and then we quickly headed back to town. We wanted to get there plenty early so we could get our favorite seats, all the way up in the back and over to the far end. The start time was 6:30pm. We got there just before 6pm and there was already a line waiting to get in. We had the boys get in line, while hubby and I went to buy the drinks and snacks. A few minutes standing in line and we were soon let in. We got our seats. We were happy.

It was rather shocking to see how few people there actually were. Equally shocking to see how many young *guys* were there. Not alot of young kids this time. Have parents finally figured out it's not the same little kid Harry Potter stuff that we started with all those years ago? Still there was the usual amount of slightly loud and obnoxious teens present. Luckily they settled down when the movie started. And by the end the place was totally silent. That was weird too, kinda funny.

It's been two years since the final Harry Potter book came out, two years since the previous movie came out. I have not read the books since then. I bought the dvd but have not watched the movie since the time in the theater. My Harry Potter obsession has definitely cooled since then. I knew I would see this movie but the excitement and urgency wasn't there like with the others. But what the heck, my day off and it's just opening, why not go? I started to wonder how much I'd forgotten from the book. While we were sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start I was trying to remember as much as I could, then wondered if I was remembering enough to recognize things that might be different or just not there.

So the movie starts and I'm ok with it in general. I think I was quite liking it but also recognized that it just wasn't the Harry Potter type stuff we've come to know. All the regular things were there but it just seemed different, like it was all just old familiars that we didn't need to spend much time with. I actually liked Quidditch this time. Snape looked great this time, I was greatly relieved to see that. Luna was in fine form. Sadly, no Dursleys. I really liked both of the boys who played the younger versions of Tom Riddle. I started to realize what things were missing or changed but I was ok with most of it.



Dumbledore and Harry recovering the horcrux was still pretty good. But everything after that was...ridiculous. In my case, it was infuriating. I *do* remember from the book that everything after that had an extreme urgency to it. The race back to Hogsmeade and then back to the castle. Dumbledore at death's door and telling Harry to get Snape. The chaos with the fighting in the already infiltrated castle. The thing I remember and was looking forward to was a screaming, frantic Harry chasing after a desperately fleeing Snape and Draco...screaming "Coward!" and trying to cast spells only to have Snape deflect them and try to toss back cryptic information. Even after they got away I seem to remember chaos back in the school, trying to sort out what had happened and who and how and why.

But what did we get in the movie? Nothing frantic or urgent. No Dumbledore paralyzing Harry under the invisibility cloak at that last moment. No fighting within the castle. Not even any urgency once Snape finished the job. Nooooo, we have a fairly healthy looking Dumbledore telling Harry to hide below and stay quiet. We have Snape turning Draco by the shoulder and leading him and the few other Death Eaters down the stairs and out of the castle. We have an almost leisurely stroll across the grounds with a bit of an 'oooh let's torch Hagrid's house' side-thought. We have Harry running to catch up, yelling a bit and maybe trying to cast a few spells, but then Snape zaps him and reveals in his cool Snape-way that he is indeed the half-blood prince, and then they leave the grounds with no trouble. So THEN, we have Harry coming back to find everyone standing there gawking at Dumbledore's body but is anything happening? Is anyone afraid or wondering what the heck just happened? Is anyone doing anything?? Nooooo. Harry will go to the body and cry, and Ginny will go to Harry and hold him while he cries, and everyone will raise their lighted wand in a very cheesy looking bit of crap. Then we'll skip right over the funeral and the explanations have Harry say he's not coming back, and Hermione saying they'll come with him, and Fawkes the phoenix flies away and....the end.


I. Hated. It. I literally sat there with an open mouthed, lip curled, hands out in a 'what is this' gesture. The tears I'd had just moments before instantly dried up. I shook my head and blinked my eyes and snorted in disgust. When we got out to the car I let my anger go in the form of a long rant to my hubby and sons about how it was *supposed* to be. Do I really not remember the book? I don't think so! I almost wanted to get it out last night and read to my family just to be sure, just to prove my point. There have always been parts of the movies that don't live up to the books but this a slap in the face. Maybe because I'd been soooo looking forward to these particular parts for so long? Maybe because it seemed like there wasn't much they could do to screw it up and I was too confident?

Or did I really just misinterpret that whole ending of that book?????

Oh, I'm still steaming about it.

A bit of trivia...
The boy who plays younger Tom Riddle is Hero Beauregard Fiennes-Tiffin. He is the nephew of Ralph Fiennes, who plays adult Tom Riddle, aka Voldemort.

(Hero has a brother named Titan, and a sister named Mercy. Wow.)


  1. I saw it today, and I agree with you on everything! I mean, I enjoyed it up until that final sequence, but it pissed me off how much they changed it all. They didn't really go into the explanation of the "prince" bit, too, like that it was Snapes' mother's maiden name or anything, so if you didn't read the books, I'd expect people to be sitting there going "huh?"

    Oh, and people in NJ clearly haven't figured out that this is Not a Movie for Children, because there was a pair of girls a few seats away from me who could not have been any older than five. I mean, really- a five-year-old? At a movie with, you know, death and stuff? Really? Where exactly was this father's brain??

    I did like all the humor, though. I loved when Hermione smacked Harry upside the head with the book during the Romilda Vane scene!!

  2. I liked pretty much everything with Ron too. LOL When he and Harry fought over the book was good.

    I was telling a co-worker about Half-Blood Prince today. She has not read the books so I was giving a summary of that before going into my rant about the movie...when I realized just how much was missing from the movie.

    I've long thought there should be a Voldemort book. You know, we've gotten pieces of his background but a full story would be interesting.

    Well, I'm glad you were pissed too. At least I know I'm remembering it correctly. :P