July 21, 2009

Review: 'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince'

The wife and I decided to go to the very first matinee on Sunday thinking that we would beat the crowds. Boy, were we in for a surprise. The Cinemark Vista Ridge 15 had their first show at 10:05 that morning for only five dollars and a lot of people knew about it. Fortunately, we always arrive with plenty of time to spare and were able to get drinks and find seats. I knew we were going to have a great time when the couple with the two young boys wedged themselves in behind us and Dad promptly showered the back of my neck with popcorn. At least it wasn’t the drink in the other hand, but hey, the movie hadn’t started yet and there was plenty of time. About two hours and forty-five minutes to be exact.

I’d heard from the beginning about how you’ll never get everything from the book into the movie. I don’t expect that to happen. As long as I’m not sitting after watching a scene and wondering what the heck just happened then I’m pretty sure they did a good job. Well, in this movie they did a great job! With the addition of two scenes blessed by J.K. Rowling and the repositioning of a scene or two, the movie moved along at a nice pace allowing everything to soak in to my brain. It’s been awhile since I had last read the book and so there were parts that I couldn’t remember. My wife said that it was a little slow, but I think that the reason it seemed that way is because the book was more plot-driven. If it weren’t for the addition of a new scene there would be very little action. With a story like this, though, I didn’t require the action to move it along. Seeing the kids growing up and the romances blooming between them made me feel as if they were my own children and I almost got a little misty-eyed thinking about it. The one thing that I thought would tear me up was the death of Dumbledore, but the scene came across as a little anti-climatic. I cried for an hour just reading it in the book.

All in all, I loved the movie and will probably watch it again. Some of the shining moments were Ron’s quidditch match, Lavender’s fawning over him, and Professor Slughorn’s facial expressions in certain scenes. I don’t know if I would rank it as the best of them all, but I do not think that it fell short in any way.

Have you seen it yet? What did you think? Let me know.

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