Now this is just completely ridiculous. I reviewed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last year, what could have possibly changed! This seems pointless. Wait a second … reviewing movies is always pointless so why stop now! And more to the point, Half-Blood Prince had the best visuals in the series since Prisoner of Azkaban.
And the book eviscerations continue. To start there is no meeting of the ministers so we are not introduced to Rufus Scrimgeour. But, of course, he is necessary in the finale so will get to see Bill Nighy next time around. They removed the Dursleys again which wouldn’t have been that bad but this means no mention that Harry inherits Grimmauld Place and also Kreacher. Not that those plot points will play any part in the finale. I could have sworn that Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour become engaged in this one but I could have been imagining that. Although Harry has the only perfect invisibility cloak, Luna can see him because of her wacky glasses. And sadly we don’t get Luna on quidditch commentary. That’s a painful loss. There is no Trelawney so Harry never finds out that Snape overheard the prophecy that lead to his parents' death. And we don’t get Harry’s awesome argument with Dumbledore over this revelation. Now for the significant cuts that make me cry a bit just thinking about them. The majority of Tom Riddle’s back-story is cut and fuck you for that. There is no battle with the death eaters after Dumbledore is killed because they didn’t want to diminish the insane battle coming in the finale. Weak. Worse than that, there is no funeral for Dumbledore and no phoenix song from Fawkes. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince the movie took a lot of damn liberties with the book.
Must move on to a happier topic. Who did they bring into the family this time around? Jim Broadbent portrays a very not fat and not facial haired Horace Slughorn. But he is Jim Broadbent so none of that matters once he appears on the screen. The remaining member of the Malfoy family is cast with Helen McCrory taking on the role of Narcissa Malfoy. Good haughty choice. And that’s that. Sigh there could have been so many fantastic characters to populate in the memories of Tom Riddle. Hopefully that will be my last whine.
Back to the positive side of life, the acting from the student population took a noticeable step forward in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Daniel Radcliffe has been constantly improving in each movie and really shines as Harry stoned on Felix Felicis and when he’s manipulating Slughorn. Emma Watson finally gets to do some emotional work and takes advantage, while also getting a cute moment as buzzed Hermoine. Out of nowhere, Tom Felton is phenomenal as Draco Malfoy. Its not like he was a bad actor in the first five movies, he was just barely used. This time around he puts Draco through the ringer. The adults do their usual work. I love Michael Gambon as Dumbledore and he easily has the most material to work with in Dumbledore’s swan song. There should have been more Rickman as Snape but every little bit counts. Where was Ralph Fiennes? Oh yeah … they cut the stuff he could have appeared in! Damn, I wasn’t supposed to bring that up again.
I mentioned it earlier, but David Yates is definitely more comfortable this time around. His artistic choices are much more striking in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The scenes at Spinners End, the path to Hogsmeade, the memories, and the Cave are all highlights. I'm very intrigued to see what he does with the last book.
Complaining is fun, but once again the movie version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a fine piece of work. I love the story that is told and I love the performers and I love the look, so what more could I want? The damn memories of Tom Riddle ...
9 out of 10