Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Being a huge Harry Potter fan I always have to except the fact that the movies are not going to be the same as the book. It's impossible to fit every detail, and to take the film for what it's worth and look past that. I loved the Half Blood Prince, but I'm still having trouble getting over a few things.

David Yates is back to direct, which is great. 'The Order of the Phoenix' was my favorite book until Deathly Hallows came out, and is my favorite of all the Potter movies. However the horrid screen writer Steve Kloves (who did not pen the screen play for OotP) is back and there starts my first problem. It's obvious which characters Kloves likes to write about and which ones he doesn't. Characters like Ron (Rupert Grint) get the put on the back burner and characters like Hermione (Emma Watson) go center stage. In this film there is far to much Harry/Hermione going on. It's no secret to anyone that's read the books that *spoiler* Ron and Hermione get together in the end, and while there are plenty of subtle hints towards that in this film, it ends with Harry and Hermione holding hands...why? There's always plenty of closeness with Harry and Hermione when Kloves is around and I find it to be a bit un-canon. And slightly annoying. Which brings me to my next point. A few things the film left out that they probably shouldn't.

1) Dumbledore's funeral: That was an important ending, mourning the most powerful wizard that ever lived. Reading it in the book was one thing because not only does Ron hold Hermione for the first time, but Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) breaks off his relationship with Ginny (Bonnie Wright) because he doesn't want her to be a target. Those were important plot points leading in to Deathly Hallows and they were left out, probably for viewers that have never read the books so that they don't get confused. I don't think the movies should be made for those people, they should be made for the book fans who read through all the stories to be surprised by the endings. (We didn't know Barty Crouch was Mad Eye Moody in 'Goblet of Fire' but the viewers did right away) Then that brings me to the relationship with Harry/Ginny and their hyped up "kiss" that took place in the room of requirements rather than the Gryffindor common room after a game of quittich. I understand certain things need to be changed for the film. For example, it's Luna that finds Harry on the train at the beginning of the film instead of Tonks, I can see why changes like that are made. But Ginny and Harry's kiss seemed to quick and less special without Ginny winning the Quittich match and Harry spontaneously kissing her in front of all his classmates. Now Ginny is the instigator, and she's that way for the entire film. I understand that they want to cut the quittich scenes because they are hard to shoot, but did we really need the "attack of the burrow" scene that wasn't in the book and added absolutely nothing to the script? I would've much rather seen the kiss as it should've been and/or Dumbledore's funeral. My last thing is Snape. Alan Rickman is brilliant as Snape, and I loved him more and more in this film, but as Harry is chasing him away from Hogwarts he merely admits to being the Half Blood Prince without any explaination of where the name came from. He also does not advise Harry to "close his mind" when he is yelling spells at him. That is a very important part of Deathly Hallows because it foreshadows who Snape really is. Leaving that out was absurd, it was only a few lines of very important dialogue.

I may sound like I'm totally bashing the film, but really I loved it. Those were just the 3 things that bothered me with it. I have way good things to say than bad. The acting was top notch. It's great to see the actors really grow with their roles. Grint and Radcliffe are spot on, and for once I could almost stand Watson's normally horrid portrayal of Hermione. Rickman as I stated before was perfect, as was Tom Felton who plays Draco. We've never really gotten a chance to see Tom's acting as an adult. The last few films he's just had a few lines of dialogue but this film he takes center stage, and it's wonderful to watch him play torn Draco. Michael Gambon as Dumbledore was my favorite. The scene with Harry finding the horcruxes was just as depressing as it was reading in the books. His death had the same effect in the film as it did on paper. I loved how the inferi looked. I loved the special affects, even the subtle things, like Romilda's valentine to Harry with the floating heart bubbles. It was funny, lots of innuendos that had my theater laughing, and it was just as dark as the last. One of my fears going in was that Sectremspecta was going to be so toned down, but it wasn't. I'm not sure how exactly this film got a PG rating, but it must have just missed PG13 with the blood.

Overall: I loved it. It was worth seeing the midnight showing and being tired all the next day at work. Of course as a book fan I have my gripes, but the good always over shines the bad in Harry Potter. Yes, I'm upset that Steve Kloves is back as the screen writer, but hopefully he doesn't butcher Deathly Hallows. Now onto the year wait for part 1. It's going to be a long one. It's interesting to see that Harry Potter broke 'The Dark Knight's' record for midnight openings bring in $22.2 mil. I wasn't expecting TDK's record to be broken so soon, but really..who's going to stop Harry Potter? Deathly Hallows will be interesting. I've already started my countdown.

Recommended: Yes 4/5 stars.

Memorable Quote: "So did you and Ginny do it then?" - Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)

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