Thursday, 16 July 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (dir. David Yates 2009)

A few random thoughts on the new Harry Potter movie...

Warning: SPOILERS contained within. Only read this if you've already seen the movie, or don't care!

Went to see the new film last night and I loved it, though I did feel a bit like there were two scenes missing at the end (the fight between the Death Eaters and the kids/Aurors, and Dumbledore's funeral). I liked the extra bit at the Weasleys' house, but I was expecting Lupin to go all werewolf on the Death Eaters' collective asses, and was kinda disappointed when he didn't (because of Tonks' random reference to the first night of the cycle). That would've been cool. I loved how funny it was though - I was dreading all the teen romance, but it was done really well and it was hilarious. The felix felicis potion was also done really well - I think 'pincers' may be my favourite line in the film. ('Felix' means lucky, and 'felicis' is the genitive of 'felix', so I guess this means 'Lucky thing of lucky things'...) Also we finally got to see more of Snape and Draco, yay! (Mmmm, Alan Rickman).

There isn't as much Classics-y stuff in the last two books as in the earlier ones - something I'll talk about more when I do Book 7, which largely (though not entirely) substitutes it's own invented 'fairy tales' for actual myth or folklore. The main threat in Half-Blood Prince is more human than magic, though the wizards use magic instead of guns. The scene in the cave is reminiscent of a katabasis, that is, a part of the story where the hero goes down to the underworld, the land of the dead. The Greek underworld appears to welcome these visitors on a regular basis - Hercules, Theseus, Orpheus and Odysseus all pop down for a visit - and the scene showing all the Inferi (Potterverse zombies) surrounding Harry and Dumbledore and their tiny boat is definitely underworldy. (I want to do some more posts on pop culture examples of katabasis, so I won't say too much on that now!). A couple of my friends described the Inferi as 'all the Gollums' which I guess is a good point, though they looked somehow even grosser than Gollum to me. I did think that the Pensieve is looking more and more like Galadriel's mirror with each passing movie though.

I think Goblet of Fire is still my favourite of the films, and, unless the filmmakers do something amazing with the two parts of Deathly Hallows, I think it will stay that way. I really liked this one though, and I think it needs a second viewing to really enjoy it - on the second viewing, it's so much easier to just enjoy the film without constantly thinking about all the stuff that got moved around or taken out (and without the idiots who were sitting behind me and talked loudly all the way through the film). Oh, and I have to confess, I did cry a little bit - I was doing fine until everyone put their wands in the air to remove the Dark Mark with candle-like wandlight, at which point the tears started rolling!


  1. Hmmm... if you say you should probably see this a second time then maybe I should go see it once here in Spanish before seeing it again properly (in English) in London... ('cause there's no way I'll re-watch a movie in a dubbed version if I saw it in VO the first time around!) :p

    I'm not worried about spoilers... I already knew there was new stuff (Weasly house attack) from the trailers and had heard rumors about the fight being left out (WTF?!) But to hear they've left out Dumbledore's funeral?! We need the chance to say our goodbyes!!! :o(

    My favourite is still Prisoner of Azkaban. Much as I enjoyed Goblet of Fire, they just left out way too much for my taste! ;o)

  2. I find I always have to see book adaptations twice - and anything with a lot of expectations attached (including the Sex and the City movie). The first time, I'm so busy concentrating on what I was expecting vs what is on the screen that I don't properly appreciate the movie! SATC, Prince Caspian, Troy and even Return of the King all had to grow on me as I got used to what was and wasn't in the film.

    (I loved LWW, Goblet of Fire and FOTR on first viewing though - maybe that's significant!)

  3. I wished the other kids would kick some ass now and then. There's no reason Hermione can't unleash some awesome display of wizardry, knowing how much she knows and how hard she works (and I don't say that just because I'm a fan of Hermione...).

  4. I was really disappointed in the books when Hermione got less than Harry for DADA (just to show how fab Harry was - it seemed kinda silly considering there were only 3 grades!) and even more disappointed when Ginny didn't do much in Deathly Hallows - what was all that build up about how powerful she is for? For a woman, JK is strangely bad at writing good scenes for women/girls, and don't get me started on Fleur in GOF... (Tolkien does better than JK on this!)

    (btw, good to see you Hussein - I am really missing the phorum atm!)

  5. Took me a while to work out those initials! lol!

    Return of the King I loved from the get go, it was FOTR that took some getting used to and finally accepting (I mean, all those changes to the story, notably with Arwen?!)

    Ditto for the Narnia films, they just changed too much in Caspian for me to be wholeheartedly behind it... but I'm stil really looking forward to Dawn Treader! DRAGON!!! Sea monster! :o)

    I'll go see a movie twice in the cinema if someone who hasn't seen it asks me to accompany them. I'll do it voluntarily if the second time means I get to see it VO (when the first time was dubbed)! But I have a harder time of it if the first time I saw the movie was in VO and the second time would be dubbed... uh-uh! I think my record though is The Lion King, did I see it 5 or 6 times in the cinema? :p

  6. I know, I soooo hope Dawn Treader will be good. Prince Caspian did take some getting used to - I like it now, but I still think opening with childbirth was a bad idea and don't get me started on Susan and Caspian...

    I saw Titanic in the cinema 4 times, FOTR 7, Two Towers 6, ROTK 7. I've seen several films twice for various reasons as well - and only once in different languages! (I saw Gladiator in French after I saw it in English). Someone once pointed out how much I spent seeing FOTR - I try not to think about it...! :)

  7. ok, you've definitely got me beat on repeat cinematic viewings! lol!

  8. hehe... back commenting here again! I've got to be the most frequent commenter on this post, lol!

    Irony is, we're talking about Potter again (I'm following the link from your dvd reviews prepping the lateste film), and Dawntreader is also about to come out! I can't wait!!! :o)

    I just saw this one on dvd last week to prepare for Deathly Hallows, no time to go through all of them like you did. Still frustrated about the omissions at the end, although the moment with the wands and the light does feel better now.

  9. I loved seeing the list of Harry Potter comments from you in my inbox! :)

    Three weeks to Narnia - plenty of time to get a Prince Caspain post in, thankfully!

  10. lol! I must have flooded your inbox! ;o)

    I won't have time for a Caspian post... I'll be happy enough if I can sneak out to Brussels on Dec 9th to watch Dawntreader in English since in Liège it will only be in French! :s


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