Thursday, July 16, 2009

harry potter and the half blood prince

Saw the new Harry Potter last night and easy to say it's my favourite of the bunch so far. Here's why:

  • you really see the depth of the friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione this time. The actors are really coming into their own and are showing that they've actually got some acting chops;
  • It's funny. Hilariously funny. And in a real subtle way. The jokes are small and usually centered around facial expressions or shared glances - not the slapstick predictable humour that kinda ran amuck in some of the other ones;
  • The scene-stealers - Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown is perfect casting. She really is great. But who's better than her? The incredible Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn! You'd hesitate to use the words "Oscar worthy" in the same sentence as a Harry Potter movie but he really is exceptional. I'm only sad that he hasn't been in every one of the H.P movies;
  • Michael Gambon really is the best he's ever been in this movie;
  • Snape. One doesn't need to say more than that. He was born to play that role;
  • They really stepped up their game in terms of transition shots etc. They found some really different ways to move around the set etc. It's a gorgeous movie - and with the same cinematographer as Amelie, it's not hard to see why;
  • Ginny Weasley - the chemistry between her and Harry is teen-love perfection. Considering what a build-up this was they couldn't have done it any better;
  • Hermione's love for Ron - so sweet and so sad all at the same time;
  • Helena Bonham Carter - normally I'm not a fan at all but she OWNS that part and is just the perfect amount of bat-shit crazy to nail that role;

What was dumb about this movie:
  • I would have liked more story less flitty romancy stuff. Yes it's a funny story line BUT they did seem to have favoured more of that at the expense of some of the guts of the book;
  • The fight scene when Dumbledore dies. How can you leave that out??? There was supposed to have been a big fight between the Order of the Phoenix dudes and the Death Eaters and there wasn't at all. Zero Bill and Fleur too!! Wha??
  • In the book Dumbledore puts the Invisibility cloak over Harry and freezes him, thus preventing him from doing anything to help - in the movie he just tells him to hide. Hard to believe that Harry would actually listen without being physically prevented from doing so. Character adjustment that just doesn't work for me;
  • No fight scene kinda makes the movie just stop. It rolls along brilliantly and then just has this ending that is so lacking in comparison to the rest of the movie. Ron's silly little tryst with Lavendar gets more screen time than the whole Dumbledore thing! How is that possible? More screen time than Snape?!?!? That's just wrong.
But outside of a bit of an unsatisfying ending, the movie is brilliant. Considering it's the BIG movie, they delivered. It's super sad, super funny, interesting start to finish and totally my favourite of the bunch so far.

Now do I really have to wait AGAIN for part one of the Deathly Hallows?!?!?!?! You SUCK!!

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