Friday, February 19, 2016

Inexplicable Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Continuing my tour of Harry Potter movies way after the fact… If you missed the first couple posts, movies 1 to 4 are here, and Order of the Phoenix is here.

At times I definitely feel like my watching of Harry Potter is skewed way too much because of Star Wars. If I was a kid watching these wizard movies for the first time, I feel like I’d be more genuinely surprised than with the valuable life lessons of Star Wars already engrained in my mind.

As it relates to Half-Blood Prince – It was hard to believe that the Potter series was going to let one of the teens go full evil, even if we’re talking about Pretty Boy / 1980s Movie Villain Draco. I mean, that would be kind of dark for a kids’ movie series. So, once Snape made that pact with the Dark Lord, and Dumbledore kept making references to being old AF to Harry, well, I figured this was the “SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE!” movie of the series.

Most of my complaints about Phoenix carry over to this movie – We have a lot of long scenes with Dumbledore and Harry that mostly bored me. We don’t have enough scenes with Luna Lovegood or Tonks. (It was good to see Luna invited to the fancy party, but then, we don’t really get any of her interactions at the party.) Ginny actually gets to do some stuff in this flick, which is nice.

Anyway! Despite all of these complaints, I’d rank Half-Blood Prince as the second best of the series. There’s enough going on with Luna to carry the movie through some otherwise dull points, and while I think the Harry-Dumbledore stuff is a bit too focused upon, the last 30 minutes of the flick are a good, dark romp.

Stray thoughts:

- Slughorn was a good addition, and interesting. Maybe I’ll do a ranking of Random Hogwarts Professors at some point, but if I don’t, he’s near the top of the list. Snape and Hagrid, of course, are at the tops of the list.

- Speaking of Hagrid, he’s among the characters sidelined through much of this movie. Hermoine and Ron also don’t really get many glory moments, since they’re too busy having awkward encounters with one another over who they’re snogging. By the way, Ron’s girlfriend for a moment is Lavender Brown apparently, who 1) is barely named in the movie and 2) has a name more appropriate for a 1970s Blaxploitation film or a 1980s porno. “Lavender Brown and Foxy Cleopatra used to be menaces on the street, now they’re menaces TO the streets and all of its hustlers!”

- Outside of the whole killin’ bit at the end, the big reveal is that Snape is the half-blood prince. However, I didn’t think this was such a surprise. After all, Harry found that book in Snape’s old classroom, and during the course of the movie, it’s obvious that it couldn’t belong to other evil characters. Draco’s family is notoriously pure-blooded, and we find out that Tom Riddle / Voldemort is essentially an orphan, making it unlikely that he would give himself that name.

- I probably won’t get around to watching the final two movies until March, since my movie buddy (also known as a girlfriend) is traveling for the next week. So instead, I’ll be writing about Fallout 4 and some other things. Also, a reminder to check out Your Parents Basement, the podcast and blog I do with some buddies.

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