Lord Simian once again gives you his opinion on the latest films he's seen, this time HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE!
Hey, Outhousers! The Lord of the Monkeys here again, this time to discuss the new Harry Potter film! Just got back from seeing the movie with a friend, and I have to say, while it's not my favorite of the Potter books, and the story's not as solid as some of the other films...
I think this was my favorite of the films so far, in the fact that it was the best FILM so far. For example, the first half of the movie is full of very bright and warm colors, making you see how happy people can find themselves, even in the midst of great danger. But ever so slowly, the color scheme goes colder, and the film gets more and more contrasted, until all of a sudden in the last battle scene, I found myself surprised to notice that the film was barely more than black and white! I thought it was a great touch.
Also, I could be wrong, but I think this was the first film in which we get real characterization on characters NOT named Harry or Voldemort. In each of the previous films, Ron and Hermione seemed more like tools and props for Harry to rely on, whereas in this film, they really start to come into their own. I mean, for possibly the first time, they have a STORY ARC that last more than two scenes and a throwaway wrapup line!
That's not to say there aren't flaws. There are big ones. One, which the Lord of the Monkeys' friend was more angry about than I was, was that in the book, there's a huge battle scene, as opposed to the small scale showdown that ends the film. Yeah, I know, it's a big change, but I think it was a necessary one: First, a huge battle with many casualties SEVERELY would take away from the One Big Death that ends the film. Also, it would weaken the impact of the NEXT film's end, which is ALSO a huge battle in the same location. It'd be like in Return of the Jedi, were any of you scared for the Rebels who were attacking the Death Star? No, why the hell would you be? They've already blown that shit up once, they know what the sam hell they're doing!
The biggest flaw, perhaps, that I found with the movie... the only one which is even still eating away at me... is the title of the book and film. It's a major thrust of the novel: "Who is The Half Blood Prince"? It's important throughout the book, mainly because Harry fears that the Half Blood Prince whose lessons he's been following might have been Tom Riddle, who as we all know, is not a guy Harry wants to grow up to be like. And when you find out in the book who the HBP was, it's a relief, but it's also a big twist that begins solidfying some characterization (there's that word that the films fear again!) for possibly one of the most important characters in the series. But does any of that happen in the movie? NOPE! It's literally:
"Did you try to find out who the HBP is?"
"No, slipped my mind!"
"Well, I tried, and I couldn't find anything!"
And then forgotten, until the very end, where the HBP reveals himself in a throwaway line, and then walks away, not explaining a damn thing. Seriously, at that point, if you're THAT disinterested in the storyline that gives you the title, why not just rename it? I hear Peter Griffin had some sucess with his book, "Harry Potter and the Half Black Chick", published by Peterotica Press.
And finally, we've discovered the way to heal the rift between Potter and the Religious Right: We include MOSES. During one of the climactic scenes, Dumbledore is holding off huge hordes of bad guys by himself by bringing fire from the sky into a lake. My friend leaned over and asked me if I thought he looked like Moses, too. I told her, "sure, look, he's even using the fire to part the water!" This was a joke, based on the many fireballs flashing into the water. But not two seconds after I said that, what happens? He parts the FIRE on top of the water, and it looks like a scene out of the Ten Commandments. Subtle....
So yeah, there were some big problems with the film, but still, overall, I have to repeat what I said earlier... Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, so far, is my favorite film in the series.