Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Good But Not Great Entry For Potter

‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ was finally released after being delayed for a few months, and the film does have its strong points but it also has its weak ones.
In the movie, Voldemort is asserting his place in the Muggle (non-magical people) and the Wizarding worlds. Hogwarts becomes his eyes focus, making it a very danger place to be.
Harry and Dumbledore become more focused on preparing Harry for the final battle that is coming. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information to Voldemort’s past – information that if they don’t obtain will leave their world to chance.
Mix all that with raging hormones of all three of the core characters and we have the next Harry Potter film.
This installment had a very important and frustrating job and that was to set up the plot for the big finale. It does do that well in some cases and terrible in others.
The pacing of the film seemed a little off to me and some of the plot points seemed rushed. I know they had to get from point A to point B and they only make true progressed to their destination in the first and last six minutes of the movie.
In most of the middle of the film it felt if though someone was reading the book to me, the potions book that once belonged to the “Half-Blood Prince” really fell to the side for most of the film and the hormones of the characters seemed to really take the front and center of this chapter.
I was a big fan of all the Harry Potter books and I didn’t really want to compare them but I think it’s important.
In the beginning of the film we see Harry in a train station that didn’t make any sense to me (having read the book). Harry is just sitting down in a dark, train station in London and then suddenly Dumbledore shows up to take him to Slughorn’s house and eventually to the Burrow.
This is a crucial part of the story but it looses its feel of impending danger that the book did so well.
In the book Harry is not sitting in the train station, because that would be too dangerous knowing that the Death Eaters are after him. In the book he’s hiding out at the Dursley’s home instead of the station, so why couldn’t that just do that. Did they really have to change something so small that ultimately changes the feel of dread that the book had.
Then I really felt cheated when that narrowed down Voldemort’s flashbacks to just two and I rather have seen more of this villain to make him a more well-rounded character.
I also did not like how the film handled the Snape and Dumbledore showdown and also how Snape reveals himself to be the Half-Blood Prince. It just felt like “oh by the way I’m the Half-Blood Prince”. Plus the film had a lot of build up, yet lacked to give us some pay off in the end. The book gives us pay off with the attack at Hogwarts, which was omitted from this film for the reason that it’s happens again in the final book/film.
Those are my major complaints, but the movie also has a lot of great things going for it. Harry, Ron and Hermione are played very well and so are all the other characters. I really liked how they kept Slughorn’s story.
The direction is alright, like I said the pacing was a little off. The music in the film was classic Potter and it really tied some scenes together.
Looking back at this whole experience so far these characters have really grown but I do think this film really lacked magic that other installments had.
My favorite Potter film still remains Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.


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