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Old August 6th, 2009, 9:34 pm
mrfutterman  Undisclosed.gif mrfutterman is offline
Fifth Year
Join Date: 13th May 2007
Posts: 968
Re: Half-Blood Prince Movie Reviews v.2

So…. my review. At last.

A very enjoyable and entertaining film. Yates has raised his game in most areas since OotP, save for one, unfortunately: pacing. The beginning was good; the climax was very good; the middle sagged quite a lot.

I have been asked, previously, by other posters if I didn’t want to see “more material from the books” in the films. The answer is a definite – NO! What I want to see is the story, presented in a cinematic way. What I don’t want is “stuff”. And in the middle of HBP there was tons and tons of “stuff”.

Now, my view of the HBP story is that it is about Harry’s choices in relationships.. Harry’s relationship with Snape is a case in point: he loathes Snape, while embracing Snape’s alter ego, The Half-Blood Prince, as his new bestie. This is very ironic, but the Potions book plot (the eponym of the book/film, after all), was downplayed and space made instead for Ron’s foibles. These were initially entertaining but soon outstayed their welcome.

Is there anybody who does not think that the whole film cranked up a gear when we switched to the Malfoy and Dumbledore plotlines, and cranked down a gear when we had to watch the teen drama stuff?

There was some good adaptation: the bridge attack, and the Vanishing Cabinet I thought were done well. And some not-so-good. I could see why they included the Burrow attack as a break from the school year, but I didn’t find it well executed, and the characters who showed up there to provide uninspired exposition (Lupin, Tonks), were not introduced. A speaking character in a film should have a role; otherwise he shouldn’t be there. And providing a few lines of exposition which could have been provided in some other way – is not a role. Likewise Katie Bell and the necklace. The scene had little impact because some-one who utters a few words is not a character: just a glorified extra. We couldn’t feel any sense of danger. Well, I couldn’t anyway.

Production values were top-notch, as was cinematography. Gambon and Broadbent were terrific, as was Felton. The other Hogwarts’ students were…. pretty much the same as usual, alas! The two kids who played Young Tom were suitably chilling.

I am not confident about DH. A one shot would have forced Yates’ hand and made him get a move on. The thought of a 2 hour road movie, full of camping and Potterwatch interludes, is resistible. Non-readers are already complaining that “nothing happened” in HBP. Wait till they get a load of DH1! If they do ……

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