Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the must-see film for the school holidays around our nick o’ the woods, what about yours? And if you’ve seen it, what did you think?
And what did you think of the trailers for upcoming attractions?
- I reckon they better do a really good job on Pelham 123 if they want to top the original rather than just being a two-headed star vehicle for Denzel Washington and John Travolta (probably still worth watching, but worth cinema ticket money? (Rotten Tomatoes says probably not)).
- Shorts looks to be a quite delightful kids movie (I loved Spy Kids, so fingers & toes all crossed, and James Spader is a baddy again (yay!)).
- The new Vanessa Ann Hudgens flick Bandslam looks like a good career move to cash in on all the High School Musical fanbase yet move her along more into her own actual age group, but will it be worth watching? Didn’t look to be quite my cup of tea.
Back to Pottering: since it’s so long since the book came out, spoilers should not be a big issue (if you wanted to read it you would have done it by now). If you haven’t read the books but still enjoy the films and anticipate some surprises in the plot twists, then best avoid the rest of this thread.
Now, as FP pointed out, where the hell was Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix in the fight against the Death Eaters at Hogwarts? And prior to that, where was the sense of impending menace as the Death Eaters killed wizard after wizard amongst the families of the students, resulting in ever expanding slots of empty seats in the dining hall through the year? There’s a nod to it all with the attack against the Weasley household during the school holiday break, but what about all the other wizarding families who were attacked and suffered? The attack feels like gratuitous magical fireworks instead of part of an escalating threat.
The writers/directors sacrificed all that tension, tragedy and bravery to focus on the adolescent moonings of our principal characters. Some of those segments were quite well done and certainly well received by the audience I saw the film with today, although there was some dreadfully hammy acting going on (thank goodness for the delightfully underplayed eccentricity of Luna Lovegood). But on balance, did these criss-crossing crushes and pinings need to displace the dark and doom to quite this extent? It made the battle at the end and the sacrifice of Dumbledore seem tacked on instead of a naturally tragic outcome of previous events. I may have my issues with some of Rowling’s prose stylings, but her ability to build a dread atmosphere hanging over Hogwarts through character traits and narrative moment piled on narrative moment is truly impressive, and the film writers weren’t able to catch hardly any of that.
There were lots of moments in this film that I enjoyed while I was watching it, but on the whole its narrative was disjointed, and it fails to leave a lingering aftertaste of satisfaction. The average reviewer for Rotten Tomatoes gives it more credit than I feel able: enjoyable but not great is the best I can manage.