Some movies are worth talking about...

Just saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and it's actually (I'm a little ashamed to admit, the first Harry Potter movie I've seen where I've read the book first).

Truth is, I was kind of old when the books first came out. And reading children's books really wasn't all that cool at the time. I tried to read the first book at one point but couldn't really get into it too much since I had so many other great books to read. But as time went on and I went to see the movies and I kept hearing about them I decided to read them. And I'm glad I did.

But I probably would have liked the movie better had I not read the books - because let's face it - it's just not as good as the book. I did really like the movie, but the book is better.

The two things that bothered me: they cut out a lot of the memories that Dumbledore and Harry sift through to learn about Tom Riddle, which were some of my favorite parts of the book. Those memories (that backstory) is what really allows us to see who Tom Riddle really is. Those scenes in the book give us how behind Lord Voldemort's history. That said, I understand why the director or script writer cut those scenes and they did have to cut something. But I also didn't like the way Tom Riddle was portrayed in the flashbacks. In the book, with the exception of the first time Dumbledore meets Tom in the orphanage, Tom Riddle was a charasmatic kid, a talented wizard, and a well-liked student - he wasn't creepy. In the movie - he comes across as creepy. To me, that distinction is important. If Tom was so creepy as a kid, all these intelligent wizards should have known or guessed how he'd turn out. They didn't because he fooled them. That's just not apparent in the memories.

For anyone who hasn't read the books - probably not many people reading a book blog, but just in case - beware. This isn't an action adventure with a feel good ending - it's dark. Darker than the previous movies - though they were headed in this direction. And the ending is reminscient of Empire Strikes Back - you know there's more coming and the good guys aren't winning right now. It's not exactly a kids' movie anymore.

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Erica said...

While they left out a lot, I honestly thought it was decent until the end. WHERE WAS THE BATTLE?!?!!

I mean I know they left out complete mention of the "lessons" with Dumbledore, and Bill and Fleur (WHICH I'M WONDERING HOW THEY'RE GOING TO DO THE WEDDING), and the new minister wanting Harry to work for them, etc. but overall I thought for the length and the depth that book contains it was decent until the end. I mean NO BATTLE and I didn't feel ANYTHING when Dumbledore died, it was just kinda like ohh... he's dead. too bad.

Unknown said...

Totally agree with you which is why I HATED the movie. I want my money back. :(

Victoria Schwab said...

I enjoyed it, but I definitely agree having read the books put a definite damper on things. My biggest issue: it's called THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, but I felt the whole mystery of who that was (where in the book I felt I was given options, encouraged to deduce) was completely shoved under the table.

suzie townsend said...

You're so right! The Battle, Bill and Fleur, and most of the Half-Blood Prince details were completely missing. I think if I hadn't read the book I would have wondered about the Half Blood Prince title, and by missing out on that mystery, we're also missing a lot about Snape's character and the choices he made which is of course important in the end.

Also, can you believe the movie is rated PG? It's so dark and kind of violent for PG!

Ashley N said...

I agree that the battle was the thing that I missed the most. I mean there was really no point to the death eaters coming on Hogwarts grounds they smashed some things in the great hall. Ooh boy. Scary. I mean that was a knock down drag out fight in the book! WTH?! A friend of mine said she heard that since there's such a big fight in the last book that they didn't want to make it too repetitious. But seriously. When is a fight scene NOT good for a movie? Especially when it's not even a "gratuitous" fight scene?!

And Harry was supposed to be paralyzed when Dumbledore's killed!!! That adds a whole new level of helplessness for him! Argh. But until the end and their wussing out I found it very enjoyable. :) Very well put-together and great effects.

Victoria Schwab said...

Oh man I completely forgot about Harry being paralyzed. That makes it even worse. Why wouldn't they follow that?!