Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I’m almost falling asleep, so the full thing will come later.

1) Very funny. I felt as if I laughed a good deal.
2) Kinda short? It didn’t seem like a great deal happened.
3) I am maybe getting it confused with parts of the final book, I do admit.
4) In any case, the ratio of time spent in the theater to time spent getting to see Ginny Weasley was not what I was looking forward to. There was a kiss, which was good, but I was kinda geared up for makeout (it was so masterfully done in the book, but I guess that’s the way it goes…)

As I said, more to follow.

POST SCRIPT [Includes Spoilers]:

Yeah, upon further mulling, I’m having trouble coming up with a full-blown critique of this film. I really enjoyed every minute of it. Thankfully, this film has a fantastically small amount of the “Harry Potter Forms Conspiracy Theory Against Draco Malfoy” attributes that mar previous films. I don’t know if that’s because of the book, or the editing of the film, I just know those parts always used to make me wince, and make me hate the character.

Not much of that to be found here. Really, the film was pretty character-oriented, and I typically don’t care for that. I’m a dude that’s big on plot, and not a whole lot happened. Certainly we learn about horcruxes, and Dumbledore meets his end at Snape’s hands, but aside from that, what?

I’m left wanting a little bit, for a few reasons:
1) The title of the film is the “half-blood prince”. That entire attribute of the film is handled in the most cursory manor possible, and I expect they would have cut it, if not for the title! The book reads more like a suspense thriller, and Harry’s obsession with the Prince was not conveyed very strongly. He parted with the book far too easily, but then again, HE WAS MAKING OUT WITH GINNY WEASLEY, which probably made it easier.

2) On that, I thought the kiss between Harry and Ginny was good, but it wasn’t what I’d hoped. The book did a great job building that tension, until it all cut loose in a makeout session after a massive quiddich triumph, which was AWESOME. I missed that, but I can see how it would’ve been a little difficult; also: everyone is sick of watching quiddich.

3) It suffers from what I guess we have to call “Dead-Man’s-Chest-Syndrome,” wherein the penultimate of a series only serves to do a lot of book-keeping and housework to ready the stage and the viewer for the grand, epic finale. To an extent, I understand the film’s functionality in such a capacity, but the book stood on its own far better than this film did. Particularly the omission of Dumbledore’s funeral was the biggest example (and in my opinion, mistake!) of this.

Three good reasons to go see it?
1) It’s a fantastic character piece. Slughorn is a hilarious addition, and I enjoyed the film version much more than the obese, awkward, intrusive man that I conjured from the text. The Ron-Hermione ordeal was well done, and makes you kind giggle to yourself at times, while at others you legitimately felt for the poor kids. I guess I just mean to say it decently captures the turmoil of such enterprises… Plus the paired-down Harry-Ginny subplot, while only a fragment of what it was in the novel, is comparably cute.

Additionally, the protagonists have matured to a point that we spend a lot less time listening to them whine and make stupid mistakes, which is a lot more pleasant for the mature viewer.

2) Ginny Weasley

3) It does do a great job setting up what’s to come. I’m pretty close to busting out my Potter books from the box in my basement and giving the whole thing another go, so re-invigorated in my Harry Potter fandom by seeing the film adaptation of my favorite book!

Go see it, it’s a well-crafted adaptation that does its source justice (within inherent limitations) and reminds you why Harry Potter is pretty much always bankable for a good movie.