Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince Review

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This post won't contain any spoilers, but I must caution you, DO NOT READ if you don't want any preconceived opinions prior to going to see the movie. I know of some people who are doing their very, very best to not read ANY reviews until they see it themselves, so there you go, there was my warning. (You can read up until the asterisks where it says Movie Review.)

Going into this movie, I was excited. Beyond excited, actually. I felt like Animal, pausing every few minutes to let out gleeful gutteral noises that seemed to only further exaggerate my joy. Time was proving to be an enemy for me, but I didn't care. By golly, I was going to squeeze as much as I possibly could into the day (which isn't unlike me), but at the sacrifice of adequate sleep. After I made the conscious decision to sacrifice many precious hours of sleep, and my beloved to join in on the ride, we scored two tickets to the 1AM showing. Fortunately for us, the neighbor kid agreed to come over to hang at our place in the wee hours of the morning so we could continue my tradition of seeing the movie on opening night (thanks Sam!).
Sidenote: Initially, I didn't want to read the series. I held off until book 3. For my birthday one year, my sister bought me the first book and made me promise her that I'd read it. Because I couldn't back down on a promise (much like an unbreakable vow), I reluctantly read it. I wasn't completely impressed, but moved on and devoured the subesequential books. When the first movie opened, I met up with her to see it on opening night. She, dressed in full witch regalia, and I wearing striped socks because, quite frankly, I always wear striped socks. I enjoyed the movie and it was there and then that I simply HAD to do this for every movie.
Anyway, we didn't have tickets to the show up until 8 hours before. This was definitely a last minute decision and I was COMPLETELY deflated when I discovered the theater by us was sold out. On a whim, I checked out Fandango and discovered that the ol' theater I used to frequent was showing it on EVERY screen! Plus, they had tickets!! (I later discovered that each showing was sold out!! holy cow!) I called up Primo and we made a plan to meet up with them at 11.

After work, I bailed on yoga mostly because I forgot my clothes. I was starting to get cranky because I didn't sleep well the night before. No matter, though. I was going to see HP! We headed to Chipotle to pick up a quick bite, then headed to the track for Sias Track Night. Yes, I know that I ran 4 miles earlier in the day (Don having done 6, plus a spin class...overachiever!), but Sias Track Night is our sacred thing and we were committed to it. Anyway, was yesterday hot? Maybe you can't sense the sarcasm, but it was so hot, that my shoes were already warm before I started the run.

Anyway, we powered through and rocked 1.5 miles. I mostly walked it, enjoying the company of one of my very dear friends who is expecting, our conversation surrounding fond memories of pregnancy and infancy. I did get some sprints in, while someone familiar to Mr. Blue Shorts was doing his own workout. He looked really fit, but I couldn't help but look over at my own man and be grateful for his build. That guy was too skinny, had no body fat, and while his protruding muscles showed off his excellent shape, I was unimpressed because he was running on the innermost lap of a mostly vacant track. All I could think was "slacker." My honey, was not only on the 4th lane, but also pushing our 20+ lb daughter, this after a day of physical exercise. God I love him! His work ethic, his drive, and passion to stay fit! *swoon* Ok, back to the story.

We get home and quickly shower. I prep Mari for bed and she goes to sleep without any fuss (3rd night in a row, score!). I force myself to stay awake for 15 more minutes while the washer finishes the cycle. I prep my clothes to dry, congratulating myself that my blacks were mostly workout clothes instead of dress clothes. :D Then, I nestle into bed and pass out for two hours until it is time to leave.

We bid the neighbor kid hello and joke on our way to the theater, reminiscing about our ride down that same road February 7, 2008. We pull in and are overwhelmed by the cars in the parking lot. EVERY-SINGLE-SPOT was taken. We had to drive on over to the parking garage to get a spot and had to pull on the 2nd level, no less. crazy! After trekking on over to the theater, the inside is a mad house. They have changed the way the concessions work, emulating a cafeteria feel, which was confusing, but also seemed comfortably familiar. I grabbed some nachos and a water, apparently unaware that Don had asked me for a soda and a hot dog. (How did I miss that? Oh yeah, I was still waking up from my nap.) We made it to our seats and to pass the time, we were cracking jokes at all sorts of little things and I played Brain Age on Prima's DS. My age was 80. Yeah, lack of sleep does that to your motor skills, folks. It's just as bad as being inebriated and I don't recommend unless there's an emergency, like opening night of a Harry Potter movie.

************movie review*****************
Visually, the movie was great. Hogwarts was a character all its own, similar to how the settings are a character in Ang Lee movies. Beautifully done, every single detail incredible! The wardrobes for the! The tailoring on Snapes outfit was impeccable. I want to be that person's apprentice. I especially loved how his cape flows, then again, I have a not so secret crush on Professor Snape in the movies. Random, I know. Anyway, while the visuals were great, I think they focused too much on them at times, and in interrupted the overall flow of the movie. Also, some of the story line seemed a bit forced. This movie is (loosely)-based on a bestselling novel, the story line should NOT be forced. Yes, I have to be honest, I was slightly more than disappointed. To hear people say this was the best movie of the bunch, well, I'd have to disagree. It was enjoyable and worth watching, but it isn't one of those films that I'd pay money to go watch again in the theater. The actors, as always, did a wonderful job. It's so nice and refreshing to see them grow-up before our eyes and you really do feel connected to them. So much so, that even the antagonists continue to make your skin crawl with their high pitched shrieks and yells, think Helena Bonham Carter. However, there was just something lacking. I can't put my finger on it. But like Primo said, I was just waiting for it to take off. The one scene that sticks out to me more than the others are when Harry is in the cave with Dumbledore. That scene is EXACTLY what I hoped the rest of the movie would have been. That scene nailed it. For that alone, I would HIGHLY recommend you go out and make some time to watch it. I was on the edge of my seat, holding onto Don's arm, heart pounding, knowing, but still in utter suspense. THAT'S what I wanted for most of the film.

On a different review, Don, who hasn't read ANY of the books (and I've forced him to watch the others) said he really enjoyed it and wasn't disappointed. The three of us in our group who had read the books were disappointed, so I guess if you've read them and were expecting/hoping for some specific details that particularly stood out to you in the book, well, you could potentially be disappointed. But, on the other hand, if you go in there to just be entertained, then I think you will be pleased. Looking forward to the final two films that, I think, may come out next year. The tradition will, hopefully, continue.

*for those of you wondering, I've had a total of 3.5 hours of sleep, but I'm feeling pretty good. I'm just upset that I missed the morning workout because I failed to set my alarm properly. Here's to hoping I figure out a way to make it up.

Have a good one!


Anonymous said...

I didn't like that they changed certain elements of the movie compared to the book myself. The cave scene was fantastic, and the scene where Ron was charmed with Romilda's love potion candies was as hysterical as I imagined it. All round, it was well done, and much better than the last film.

Jacki said...

I had read the book so long before the movie that I really had no idea what was going to happen. I devour books so quickly, and that one, at that level was in and out so quickly I didn't remember it at all. :) The movie was pretty good, I thought, although I have to admit that I only saw it because my daughter wanted to see it. Luckily, it was in the screening lounge at the Inwood. I assumed I'd get sleepy b/c I'd find the movie boring (this happens to me a lot), but I wasn't bored or sleepy!! because of that, I give it a thumbs-up. Although, now, I can't remember the movie, either. Only that I didn't get sleepy or antsy.

btw My daughter's name is Emily Rebekah

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