Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

harry-potter-and-the-half-blood-prince-SM I saw the new Harry Potter movie the afternoon of opening day and the Friday afterwards (had to take hubby at some point!) Let me warn you before you read any further that this review will contain SPOILERS – so keep that in mind!

I read the book (for the third time) about 3 weeks before seeing the movie in the theater; so the plot of the book was very fresh in my mind. If you are an avid fan and like to compare the movie and the book then don’t go into the theater thinking they will be the same – because this movie is very different from the book.

Remember – major spoilers – don’t read the rest if you don’t wanna read the spoilers!

The movie begins a few minutes after the last movie ended – with Dumbledore and Harry exiting the Ministry. Harry looks awful (as expected) and it’s so sad to watch. The scene leads into Death Eaters flying around London wreaking havoc on the weather and the local Muggles and, in the end, kidnapping Ollivander the wand maker.

Next we see Harry in a diner reading a Prophet and getting his flirt on. This was completely different from the book but I personally think this was a cute scene because it really showed how old the character has gotten. Harry is through and through a teenager now, with teenage hormones. Harry meets up with Dumbledore and they pay a visit to former Hogwarts teacher Horace Slughorn. This scene was very well done and matched up with the book.

Afterwards, Harry is apparated by Dumbledore to the Weasley house and this is when you really see how gorgeous Ginny Weasley has become. She’s had the face of a 10 year old for the past movies and she now finally looks like she could be Harry’s love interest. The whole scene is adorable and I won’t spoil it for you. Look out for a more ‘interested and giggly’ Hermione!

The scene at Spinner’s End was right on par with the book although I really pictured Narcissa Malfoy having different hair. Snape also looked less greasy than in past movies – wonder if he finally took a shower?

“Weasley’s Wizard Weezes” was up next and that scene didn’t disappoint! They really brought the happiness back to Diagon Alley – when a lot of other businesses were already gone. In this scene we also see Cormac McLaggan for the first time and he’s certainly a cutie. The scene also shows Lavender Brown for the first time – and she seems to already have her sights set on Ron! The rest of the scene was different though – as it shows Draco’s mother Narcissa (and plenty of other Death Eaters) more involved with Draco’s little visit to Borgin and Burke’s.

The train to Hogwarts scene was different in the movie also – but this scene being different didn’t bother me much. It did give good screen time to the hilarious Luna Lovegood who had a bigger part in the movie than the book. This scene also introduces Pansy Parkinson who doesn’t look as much like a ‘bitch’ as the books portray her as. She talks the talk – but the girl playing Pansy in the movie just doesn’t do it for me. The original girl was looked more like “Pansy” I think.

The scene in Slughorn’s classroom was very funny with Harry and Ron fighting over the school books, the girls going gaga for the Amortentia potion and Hermione’s hair!

The orphanage visit that introduces a young Tom Riddle was perfectly executed. The child that plays Tom (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) is perfect for the role. He’s got that perfect ‘sweet face’ that pairs nicely with his already ‘evil-ish’ persona.

Draco Malfoy has a lot more screen time in this movie than the past movies. It is great watching his character try and become the ‘Death Eater’ he thinks he is meant to be – but is so obviously isn’t. Tom Felton really plays the role well and is everything that ‘Draco’ should be.

The Quidditch trials scene was awesome and it was hilarious watching Lavender Brown (Jessie Cave) cheer for Ron. They really picked a good girl for the role – she’s beautiful and funny – but plays “nut job” (or in Hermione’s words ‘daft dimbo’) very well.

The scene where Katie Bell (Georgina Leonidas) is cursed is exactly how I pictured it in the book and just as frightening. Perfect!

The scene where Ron and Harry are discussing Ginny and Hermione was hilarious. The whole part about “skin” had the entire theater laughing.

The “Slugclub Dinner” was a really great scene also – Hermione explaining what her parents do for a living was very entertaining. I guess wizards have no use for dentists? Harry and his chivalry were pretty cute also and I was drooling over Cormac in this scene! He totally brings the ‘hot’ here!

Luna the lion? Priceless!!

The Quidditch match? Exciting! Did anyone else notice the phallic symbolism with Ron and his broom? He certainly was the ‘big man’ on the field! Not to mention that kiss between him and Lavender – hot! Poor Hermione!

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The scene following the ‘kiss’ was one of my very favorites in the movie. It was absolutely heart wrenching to watch Hermione react to Ron and Lavender. But the scene really also showed the best friendship that Hermione and Harry share. Harry also admits here that he feels the same way when Ginny is with her boyfriend.

The Slugclub party was as I pictured it in the book although what was up with Neville playing ‘waiter’ and the two creepy twins that reminded me of the twins from “The Shining” – creepy! Also – my husband commented on Hermione’s ‘nice dress’ of course.

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Seriously – has anyone else noticed just how crazy ‘Lav-Lav’ is? I mean – wow!

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The next big scene that wasn’t in the book was when Death Eaters attack the Weasley house. It was a great scene – and it really showed Ginny and Harry in a new (more than friends) light. Another difference that I caught is Tonk’s calling Lupin “sweetheart” and in the book they weren’t together (yet) and Tonk’s was depressed. The movie also never introduces Fleur and Bill’s relationship. How will the 7th and 8th movies work in the “big scene” with Dobby and Shell Cottage?

Ron’s “love potion” scene was just perfect! He was completely befuddled and played the scene brilliantly. I thought I was going to pee myself when he feel off the couch in Slughorn’s office! The poison scene was scary though – but good. Slughorn appears like an absolute ass in this scene – I don’t remember if he was like that in the book.

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Hermione and Ron in the infirmary? Awwwwwwww …….. Completely pissed off Lavender? Fantastic! She definitely looked “put out!”

The fight in the bathroom between Draco and Harry was wonderful. Before the fight Draco really shows how weak he is – makes you feel a little sorry for the ‘ferrit’ … Especially when Harry uses ‘Sectumsempra’ on him! The scene went down differently from the book (where was Myrtle?) but it was still good.

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The next scene was completely different than the book. Ginny accompanies Harry into the Room of Requirement to get rid of the book. The scene was cute – but their ‘first kiss’ was way better in the book. It led to some nice innuendo though “I can stay hidden up here too if you like” says Ginny! Afterwards, Ron asks Harry if he and Ginny had “done it” (meaning – gotten rid of the book). I wonder …? Do you think a little ‘shagging’ went down up in the Room of Requirement?

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Hagrid and his (now deceased) spider had a much smaller scene in the movie – but it was fine. It was a funny scene anyway with Harry all doped up on ‘Felix Felicis’ potion! Hagrid and Slughorn getting drunk was hilarious and Harry’s joking and sarcasm (and “pincers” comment) was also.

Did I mention that the guy playing ‘teenage’ Tom Riddle was perfect also? Talk about CREEPY! It’s not the same guy in this movie as it was in HP – Chamber of Secrets, but I like this guy (Frank Dillane) more. Not sure if he is portrayed as quite so already-evil in the book though; but I think so.

The scene with the Horcrux in the cave was so scary! This is definitely not a scene for younger kids what with Harry forcing Dumbledore to drink the potion (absolutely heartbreaking) to the Inferi in the lake. Great scene – little shorter than the book – but still perfect. Tell me those Inferi didn’t look like “Gollum” from Lord of the Rings! I couldn’t help but say “my precious” to my friend sitting next to me!

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The astronomy tower scene was my absolute least favorite scene in the movie. In fact – I hated it! It was so different from the book and so not for the better. The scene made no sense and I hated how Harry had to keep himself from fighting Draco and the Death Eaters (and Snape) instead of being ‘petrified’ by Dumbledore. The scene was so much more heartbreaking in the book. Plus – there was no Death Eater battle afterwards – just a completely lame “Harry follows Snape et al”scene! I have to say that the following scene where all the Hogwarts teachers and students find Dumbledore dead is so sad – that scene was played well.

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The movie ends with Hermione and Harry talking about the Dumbledore’s death and the fake Horcrux on the Astronomy Tower. Hermione, Harry and Ron watch as Fawkes the Phoenix sings.

All in all I liked the movie a lot. I was very disappointed by the tower scene but it wasn’t enough to hate the movie completely. The first time I saw it though I exited the theater with a bit of a ‘deer in the headlights’ look on my face wondering what the hell had just happened.

Like I said before – separate the movie from the book BEFORE you see the movie. If you are going to see the movie and hope it’s just like the book you will be very disappointed.

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