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New Harry Potter - Half Blood Prince

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Anyone else see it yet? I saw it on Sunday, and I have to say that is by far the best of the movies so far. It's about 2 and a half hours long, but it didn't feel like it. It's obviously much darker and more adult than the previous ones, but there is also a good dose of humor injected in the right moments. I noticed that there were a number of times when the adults in the audience laughed, but the children did not...I suspect it was because, now that the characters are in their mid-teens, the adults in the audience can relate to all the social awkwardness that comes with adolescence, whereas the kids cannot.

There are a few important parts of the book that were left out. I know that, since it was already 2 and a half hours, they had to cut some stuff, but I would have preferred if they had chosen something else to cut. Here are the examples that come to mind.

SPOILERS


  • The Dursleys are not in it at all. In the book, the beginning with the Dursleys is actually pretty significant, since Dumbledore uses it as an opportunity to make a rather important revelation.
  • After Snape heals Malfoy from Harry's attack, he doesn't give any hints that he knows Harry had his old potions book. In the book, he actually interrogates Harry about it.
  • When the Death Eaters are running away at the end, Snape doesn't give Harry "advice" the way he does in the book. In the book, that was what made it obvious to me that Snape was ultimately a good guy.
  • Hagrid, McGonagal, Lupin, etc. are mostly included as afterthoughts. They're basically extras, but the director knew that he couldn't leave them out entirely, so they all make a couple of token appearances.
  • It doesn't explain why the Horcrux is in that cave, or how Dumbledore found it.

The music is fantastic, and sounds like it was scored for an epic movie, rather than a children's movie...which is a welcome change, given the darker subject matter. The scene in the cave is also fantastic, particularly when Dumbledore saves Harry from the zombie-things.

I look forward to Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Edited by The Wrath
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I thought it was mediocre at best. Far too much information that was actually important to plot and events was left out. Heck, they even mangled the scene where Snape tells Harry to "go get your schoolbooks", so it wasn't all that obvious why the book suddenly needed to be hidden. I had difficulty paying attention and I spent (literally) half an hour explaining to my housemate what was actually going on after we left the movie. He hasn't read the books and he was utterly baffled.

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I haven't read any of the books yet. I cannot make any sense of why that potions textbook had to be hidden away except out of some misplaced sense of honor. So there was a better reason which the movie failed to convey?

Yes, a much better reason.

In the book, Snape demands that Potter bring him his text books. Harry hides the book and brings Ron's instead.

The movie ignored this and turned the hiding of the book as the opportunity to bring together Harry and Ginny.

Overall, I disagree that the movie dropped really important plot elements. The movies are mainly about the struggle with Voldemort, while the books bring in many more sub plots. As such, the only really important info for the movie was conveyed - the existence of and need to destroy the Horcruxes.

I was overall satisfied with the movie on its own legs. It's important not to put book based expectations on these things, after all. They are very different forms of art.

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Overall, I disagree that the movie dropped really important plot elements. The movies are mainly about the struggle with Voldemort, while the books bring in many more sub plots. As such, the only really important info for the movie was conveyed - the existence of and need to destroy the Horcruxes.

Yeah, it might be more accurate to say that they've wrecked a lot of the interwoven themes of the books and made it into a really two-dimensional story. But it's hard to judge if you've read the books, as Wrath said.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just saw it, and the thing that I didn't like about it is that it does not stand alone. Perhaps book-VI did not stand alone (I don't remember), in which case the movie-makers didn't have much to work with. Coming to it as a movie on its own, it had little drama and suspense and almost no plot. Maybe it'll work well as an introduction to VII

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Just saw it, and the thing that I didn't like about it is that it does not stand alone. Perhaps book-VI did not stand alone (I don't remember), in which case the movie-makers didn't have much to work with. Coming to it as a movie on its own, it had little drama and suspense and almost no plot. Maybe it'll work well as an introduction to VII

Books 5, 6, and 7 of the Harry Potter series don't stand well alone, but the Half Blood Prince book was much better than the movie in this regard. There was more re-introduction of characters and there was definitely more of an independent plot.

If you've ever read the Death Gate series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (great books if a bit laden with altruistic themes), they had exactly the same situation. It's a series of seven books, the first four of which stand pretty well on their own and the last three of which cover the resolution of the meta-plot that underlay the first four books. In fact, if you enjoyed Harry Potter and would like something a bit more grown up (in that the characters are adults instead of teenagers--in some respects J.K. Rowling's writing is more adult, so it probably balances out), you might want to give Death Gate a look. Now that I think about it the overall plot structure of the two series are AMAZINGLY similar.

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I thought it focused too much on silly love relationships. There was not enough action.

Actually I thought the movie did fairly well with the relationships. Ginny was portrayed as a much more efficacious person in the movie than in the book, I thought, since the book focused more on Harry's emotions, while the movie also showed some of the reasons for those emotions. I disagree that this relationship was silly; I also disagree that the relationship between Ron and Hermione was silly, as it showed the importance of introspection - recognizing you're in love with someone before learning it through pain, and doing something about that love once you do recognize it.

I agree with the potions book discussion though - the sense of 'honor' portrayed would have been much better served through a short discussion about not trying spells on people when you don't know what they do, and it should have been fairly easy to add enough suspicion from Snape about Harry having the book to necessitate hiding it.

I am so very glad they're making two movies out of Deathly Hallows. This one could have been two as well, but they did a pretty good job making one movie that kept the important elements.

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I thought that the movie was very slow, and that the three kids have grown up into mediocre actors. My favorite aspect about the Harry Potter movies is the weird supporting characters, who are almost always very interesting. Even if the Harry Potter world isn't conveyed very well, as I didn't think it was in this movie, the characters will get you through things.

Well, there was only one character, the new teacher who liked Harry, and he didn't get me through it (though he was so funny).

The fire at the end was awesome, wasn't it?

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I left with very mixed thoughts toward the movie. Visually, it was by far the best Harry Potter movie yet, and perhaps one of the best I have ever seen. The cave scene was incredible.

But it is getting harder and harder for me to get past the horrible acting of the 3 main characters, it seems as if it has gotten worse and worse each movie, or maybe it's just me? All though I was pleasantly surprised with Tom Felton's acting, he hasn't really had the chance to show his acting chops in the way the other 3 have and I think it's safe to say he's the best of all the "students."

I thought the relationship scenes were terribly awkward, Ginny and Harry specifically, there scenes together were poorly acted and lacked any chemistry or romance.

I did love the soundtrack as well. The flashback scenes with Tom Riddle were very well done and I thought Slughorn was a wonderful addition to the cast and characters. And, of course, the crowning jewel for me, as it has been in all the movies, is Alan Rickman. I can't wait for the next film where they can really dive deeper into Snape's character.

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