Friday, July 24, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Movies that have been taken from my favorite books are always so hard to review. It doesn't matter how good of a job they do making it, there are always those page-to-screen differences that are difficult for me to swallow.

The Harry Potter movies have probably done the best job of being worthy of their printed counterparts. Each one, in my opinion, has totally lived up to the phenomenon. The visual effects, the casting choices, even the *cough* adapted screenplay. The same can be said for the latest installment.

While there was nothing new or especially exciting in The Half-Blood Prince, it was still completely enjoyable. A good mix of humor, suspense, drama, action, first-time love and teenage turmoil.

What I love the most is watching these child actors and the characters they play grow and develop before our eyes. It makes it so real for me, seeing them actually grow from baby-faced eleven year olds learning how to use a wand to grown adults fighting the forces of evil and developing relationships between themselves. I have loved watching Hermione's and Harry's friendship blossom and mature throughout each movie, something I actually never picked up on in the books. I can't get enough of Ron and Hermione's love/hate relationship and seeing the starts of their denial that there is something more. And surprisingly enough, I have really enjoyed watching Malfoy transform into the tall, tormented man that he is now. That is why I LOVE the movies. I almost feel like a proud mother bird watching her babies take flight for the first time. (Forgive me the cheesy metaphor.)

What I can't stand is the obvious changes they made. My goal is to one day make a movie from a widely popular book EXACTLY AS IT WAS WRITTEN, and then cut out less-important parts for the sake of time. I understand there are certain things that may need to be juiced up a bit to be visually appealing, but I am sorry--cutting out ENTIRE scenes only to add in completely NEW and embarrassingly POINTLESS scenes is ridiculously uncalled for. And changing the way the most pivotal romance plays out is just insulting to the masses of fans who know these books inside and out. And while I'm on a roll, I know that England isn't necessarily known for its sunny weather, but why did everyone have to look like they were one bout of the flu away from death? Everyone had a pasty gray palor bordering on ghost-white that actually started to make me feel a little ill myself just looking at. I didn't get it. Oh, and I really think it should have been rated PG13. Any movie with crawling corpses and a reference to dragon testicles should not be rated PG.

All in all, I really did enjoy it. I can't say I loved it as much as the Order of the Phoenix, but it's not too far behind. If you love HP and haven't seen it yet, call yourself a fan?

Movie Queen Rating: G (for Great)


Rachael said...

I pretty much agreed with everything you said. I did not however, notice the pasty skin...I think I always enjoy watching movies like this twice. The first time I am always watching to see how closely they follow the book. It is a bit distracting from the movie but I totally can't help it. I think one of my favorite parts of the movie was Luna's dress for the Christmas party. The worst part was Tonks haircut. They never mention in the book that she was an eighties butt-rocker. I could talk about the movie forever, so we should probably just go to lunch later this week!

Amy said...

aMEN to paragraph 3!!! I was so mad that they wasted so much time MAKING STUFF UP!!! Why not spend 20-30 minutes instead on stuff that is actually in the story line? just sayin'...
oh, and the beginning where Dumbledore tells Harry he's been very wild this summer, right after Harry tries picking up a girl at a diner?? really?? what was that??? he'd been cooped up in his room totally depressed because his godfather just died! but I could see how they might misinterpret that. Oh wait. No I don't.
I really need to see it again now that I'm over my shock of how much they butchered the story line. Really worried about how they're going to do the 7th movies...
okay, stepping off soap box now...

tharker said...

The entire Christmas scene at the Weasley's is what bothered me the most. Why? Why? Why? I too don't understand why they thought it would be a great idea to just make up stuff that had NOTHING to do with the story and throw that in there instead.

Overall, I enjoyed it. Both times.

Marilyn said...

I love reading your reviews so much!

even though I've never read the Potter series [i know, i'm lame] I had no expectations at all, and I was just slightly dissappointed. I can't even really pinpoint why, except to say that I thought the ending was very lackluster.

I loved the first 4 movies in the series much better than these last two.