So I saw the new Harry Potter movie last week.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)

I’ve got mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand, the movie went by really fast for me, and losing track of time like that usually means I was entertained.

But I had a bigger problem in that I read the book prior to watching the movie.  It’s like Lord of the Rings all over again.  I couldn’t help but be annoyed when I saw scenes that weren’t exactly like how I pictured them in my head when I initially read the books.  Likewise, I was irked when certain portions of the book were left out or shortened.  Intellectually, I know why they did what they did (otherwise the moview woul’ve been 5 hours long).  But I still felt cheated, much like when the Barrow Wight encounter was left out in Peter Jackson’s LotR movie.

Also, for those that weren’t expecting it, this particular book might seem a bit out of character from the rest of the Harry Potter books.  It dealt more with interpersonal relationships and teenage hormones than the previous movies.  The mystery of the Half Blood Prince mitigated that somewhat in the books, but it was given short shrift in the movie.  When the identity of the half blood prince was revealed, you sorta got the impression of “oh yeah, we were supposed to care about that weren’t we?”

The movie felt very much like a transitional piece, laying the groundwork for a much bigger story in the future.  That’s fine I guess, but I was sorta anticipating more fireworks and special effects and was a tad disappointed that I didn’t get more of it. 

So bottomline:  I liked it, but not as much as the previous Harry Potter movies.

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Discussion (3) ¬

  1. Tony

    The Potter novels kept getting bigger — the last couple were like phone books — so it shouldn’t be a surprise that something has to be cut if you’re making a movie rather than a miniseries. (I think I read that the last book will actually be split into two movies.) I haven’t seen the last one yet so I can’t really comment further on it, but I will share my feelings about the Lord of the Rings.

    As much fun as, say, the barrow wight and Tom Bombadil chapters were in the book, they weren’t essential to the main narrative, so I can accept their absence in the film. The things that really irk me, though, are the things that actually change the story. The Scouring of the Shire is an essential part of the story — Tolkien specifically said so in his foreward to the Ballentine edition of the book. The hobbits go home after the great events of the war of the ring only to find that their supposedly safe home has been deeply affected by the war. Then, they demonstrate their growth by dealing with the situation themselves without he help of Gandalf or Aragorn or the others — the hobbits have become capable heroes themselves.

    Granted, this would have needed a lot of screen time *after* the primary climax of the film. BUT — there’s enough material in the chapter and a nice plot arc that I think it could have been made into an entire film itself, (thereby extending the LotR movie franchise.) Instead, we have a few seconds of the hobbits toodling off to their nice, safe Shire and an integral part of the story has been lost.

    • Cedric

      I agree with most of what you’ve said. A year ago I would’ve disagreed about the Tom Bombadil part. I would’ve wanted to see that on screen.

      Then I played Lord of the Rings Online. That quest line that takes your character to the Old Forest made me hate the little prancing man. Wouldn’t stand still. Always dancing and singing. All the while I just want to have a conversation and turn in my quest objective, but he would just gambol off singing his stupid songs.

      So frustrating.

  2. Absafraginlootly

    Never read the book again before seeing the movie. ALWAYS a bad idea because you remember all the details that got cut and you end up compareing it to the book to much where as if you don’t read it its easier to see it as an indivigial movie. Besides if you read the book afterwoods its like your moving up :)

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