Sunday, August 9, 2009

HP: Half-Blood Prince (spoilers)

I finally got to see Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince yesterday. I liked it, but that hardly comes as a surprise because I've liked all of the movies, even the Chamber of Secrets which was based on my second least favorite book. (my least favorite of all was the last book). As with the books, the movies have gotten consistently darker too, and I can't say that I object.

Out of curiosity, no one is surprised that Hermione is my favorite character, right?

This time I didn't rewatch the older movies or reread the book as I've done in the past. I wanted to see if not having the story fresh in my mind made any difference in my enjoyment of the movie, or my notice of what was changed. Not really. I have a good memory for what I've read anyway, which in general makes me a fount of useless trivial to confuse and/or dazzle people with, so it's not as though I forgot Snape's far more bombastic speech in the book, that in the book Harry spelled so he can't move instead of failing to act as he did in the movie, that Dumbledore's behavior was much more pathetic as Harry forced him to drink the poison when they tried to get the locket...

Most of those changes worked fine in the movie, but the three of us discussed Snape afterwards: if you hadn't read the book, you'd probably be really confused by Snape's throw away line that reveals that he's the half-blood prince. They totally cut out all explanation of what made him it, and eliminated a lot of the effort Harry, Hermione and Ron went to in order to try to discover the identity of the HBP. That, and they didn't do a very good job of explaining why Harry was willing to give up the potion book after he hurt Malfoy: in the book he didn't know what the spell did, and was horrified to discover that it cut the victim up. Sure, they showed Malfoy bleeding, but not Harry's guilt.

We'll have to see what happens with the last book, which will be broken into two movies. There was so much in that book about hurry up and wait, I'm not sure why they think they need to stretch it into two movies. I'll admit that I dislike the last book the most because I wanted Harry and Hermione to end up together. She and Ron have no chemistry, so I never was able to buy their relationship. Which isn't to say that I don't like couples that bicker, because God knows that I'm the type of person who teases the hell out of guys I like myself (and the ones I like best give as good as they get), but there should be something beyond that to make a couple realistic. Look at Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice and Benedick don't just make fun of each other and fight. I see that as lacking with R/H.

I suppose it might sound like I'm holding JK Rowling to too high a standard, but really, she's one of my role models, along with Anne Tyler and Stephen King. Some people which they could have the power, responsiblity and respect that the president commands, but I want to capture imaginations like these three do instead. That's the sort of power I'd like to hold over the masses.

"I have all of this potential building up... I'm the bullet, will you be my gun?" - The Ropes, Be My Gun

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