Harry Potter and the Love Woe Angst

Thursday, July 30, 2009 -- 8:12 am
Mood: 12 Excited for new house!!!

(This is very belated blog entry that I meant to post last week but instead just left it piling up sadly in my drafts folder. In any event, onward ho and all that jazz.) Against my better judgment I went and saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince with Chelle. While I adore the books to a squeeing fangirly extent, the movies leave a lot to be desired and usually only succeed in destroying another little part of my soul with each new book-butchering film that gets released to theatres. Considering that HBP is by far my favorite out of the seven, I was obviously extra concerned about how they were going to ruin this one. Surprisingly enough, while they did inevitably take HBP and viciously chop it into thousands of tiny pieces, it also ended up being the most entertaining one out of the series yet.

Let's start off with the good, then ease our way slowly into the horrible, agonizing bad that made me want to hit my head against the wall over and over. Warning: probably spoiler ridden.

THE GOOD

  • Daniel Radcliff is the epitome of geeky cute in a bottle and his acting has improved leaps and bounds when compared to his cringe-worthy performance in Philosopher's Stone.
  • Gambon's Albus was a finally a bit more Albusy. Overall, I've always very strongly disliked his version of Dumbledore -- he always plays him too rough and cranky sounding. However, there were scenes in HBP where he brings the overdue and much needed twinkle back to the roll. Plus the part where he fights off the Inferi in the cave was fucking rad.
  • I really enjoyed the addition of the scene with Snape and Harry seeing each other under the stairs prior to the tower. The way Severus offers that (arguably false) gesture of reassurance is an aspect I wish had actually been in the book.
  • I also really liked the way they replaced the funeral with the simultaneous wand salute to Albus. The movie scene didn't make me cry like I thought it would (though neither did his death in the book), but it was very touching.
  • Molly's face as she stares up at the burning Burrow... gut wrenching. My heart broke.
  • Tom Felton looks smarmy in a suit~

THE HORRIBLE, AGONIZING BAD

  • They destroyed the Burrow? WTF? Where is the wedding in book seven going to happen? *So confused*
  • Seeing as once again they were forced to take a 600+ page book and hack it down to fit in under 3 hours, it's still inevitably pretty choppy (though not as bad in the past movies at times.)
  • Ginny and Harry don't seem to have much chemistry together. The actress playing Ginny at times was really good, and at other times just floundered awkwardly. MOST AWKWARD KISS SCENE EVER.
  • I understand why it was cut, but I was still a little disappointed to see they didn't include the opening bit with Dumbledore paying a visit to Privet Drive. I would have loved to see the wine glasses flying around and clinking against the Dursley's heads. :B
  • What was up with Narcissa's hair? The Malfoy family are supposed to all be platinum blonds, but they gave Cissa this horrible black stripe that made it look like a tacky teen dye job. Someone's version of symbolism foreshadowing her role in DH to come I guess? o_O She was also way, way too old.
  • The didn't do the Unbreakable Vow scene justice! My favorite scene! D: *Angst* Neither Snape or Narcissa's roles in this scene had enough time to be flushed out given the right amount of depth that you feel from the characters in the book. It's the first time Narcissa is given any serious attention and it failed for me to nail down who she really is and what drives her -- that she's a mother first, and everything else second.

    And what about Snape? We weren't introduced to anything new about Snape! I remember finishing the "Spinners End" chapter in the book and going wow. The way he responded in just tiny, simple, but genuine ways to Narcissa's grief and desperation; that's a side of this character that we'd never seen before -- where the impression that perhaps this guy isn't just doing this simply under his master's direction. It added a new element to Snape. But in the HBP film, we don't get any of that. He's so flat and boring -- even up until the end when Harry is chasing after him and calling him a coward. Where is the Snape Flipout? When do we get to ever see this guy unhinge like he's supposed to? He looses his cool at three different important parts in the series and in the film's he has yet to have a strand of hair fall out of place. *Irked*

    Okay and while I'm getting completely off-topic, does anyone else notice that Alan Rickman talks like Captain Kirk? Very... drawn out... and sort of -- choppy. Like. This. Ugh. *Facepalm* RickmanSnape kills me.

  • All right and obviously my biggest grievance with this movie was the blatant way they, for reasons I can't even fathom, completely replaced the two main plots of the original story with Teenage Love Woe Angst filler? Seriously, the two main plots in HBP are: 1) Harry journey with Dumbledore examining Voldemort's past and the memory traveling, and 2) the Half Blood Prince and potion text book bits; and instead they chopped both of those story lines into such itty bitty tiny side plots that you hardly remember that they're there, and instead focused entirely on PUBERTY AND TEENAGE LOVE AND WOW!GIRLS AND WOW!BOYS. *Hits head repeatedly against wall over and over and over again* How can you take all of the actual story and just shove it under the rug like that? They cut more than half of the memory traveling! They barely even touched actual Half Blood Prince aspects, which I find exceedingly stupid SINCE THE MOVIE IS CALLED "HALF BLOOD PRINCE". They didn't even bother explaining why Snape is the Half Blood Prince, so I really hope every one who sees the movie has read the book beforehand or else they're going to leave feeling VERY CONFUSED. *Pulls at hair*

THE HUH?

  • Hahahaha, oh god the Snape/Draco shippers are going to have a field day. The smoldering stares... the dark corridor exchanges... The slashers must be going to town.
  • Why did Draco have Snakey? Now that his father has been carted off to Askaban, does he carry Lucius' snake staff around with him everywhere he goes like a security blanket? Oh Draco, you're such a sap.

That is all. I still have like 9 hours that I have to struggle to get through today before the keys to our new house are placed in my hands. I don't think I'm going to make it! D: *Torture*

Countdown until shiny exciting house possession: OMG TODAY TODAY TODAY!

Vance says:
July 30th, 2009 -- 3:40 pm

The reason behind the teenage angst is that girls that enjoy angst are the largest demographic in the world. The movies are designed to appeal to as many people as possible, and not actual Harry Potter fans. It's the same problem that plagued Spider-Man 3. That's the reason these things are books first; so people that are interested in character development can get that. The movie versions are for the people that don't read.

In any event, boy wizards are dumb.

Alfvaen says:
July 30th, 2009 -- 4:27 pm

I pretty much agree with your assessment, though I thought the wand tribute was too much "people holding up lighters while Bryan Adams sings 'Heaven'".

What did you think of the Malfoy cabinet scenes we didn't get in the book? They kind of reversed the mystery from the book--the book he was overheard talking, but they didn't know about what. In this, they knew it was something to do with the cabinet, but they didn't know what. Anyway, I always thought Draco's story in HBP was more interesting than Harry's, so I liked seeing more of it here.

It was weird that they had Quidditch scenes, but then changed the Harry/Ginny kiss scene to have nothing to do with it. I agree that the Room of Requirement replacement scene didn't quite work for me.

I will have to go reread the series soon. Again.

Brenna says:
July 30th, 2009 -- 5:04 pm

The cabinet scenes were all right, I think. Actually, I kind of liked the addition of them showing Malfoy place the birds inside to judge his results -- it showed exactly what he was trying to do without words. Though it also took out any mystery at all about what that part of his mission was.

Personally, the Quidditch scenes never do anything for me. I'm glad they cut down the "Weasley is our King" story. I see what you mean with the kiss though -- I guess they moved it because they didn't want to drag the Quidditch stuff out any longer than it was.

Amy says:
July 31st, 2009 -- 1:25 am

The lack of explanation of the HBP is my major annoyance with this movie. I only read this book once, and that was during that first week it was out, so I don't remember a lot of the details. Maybe that's why I can't find tons of flaws like I can with the other movies :D

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