Saturday, December 18, 2010

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Warning: this review contains SPOILERS from the sixth Harry Potter movie.

Severus Snape is the Half-Blood Prince. Not that I know what significance that has, other than him being the owner of the book of potions with all the notes in it. It's funny, all the way back in The Philosopher's Stone, when it turned out that Snape wasn't the bad guy, I didn't want to believe it. Now, I don't want to believe that he is the bad guy. Maybe it's true that Dumbledore can make mistakes, but the question remains: how did Snape convince Dumbledore that he was trustworthy? It's a humongous mistake to make. And though Snape is mean, and I described him in The Philosopher's Stone as having perfect "bad guy" mannerisms, I almost like him now. He's not evil enough, not angry enough, to truly be a bad guy. He's too cool, and collected. I want to believe that Snape's killing of Dumbledore was expected - and planned - by the both of them. That Snape still has some trick up his sleeve to use against the Dark Lord, and that if Dumbledore really is dead, then it was a necessary sacrifice that they had agreed upon...

The romance in this movie annoyed the hell out of me. Largely because much of it was Ron being an asshole and making Hermione cry. She deserves so much better than Ron, but it really seems like the story is gearing up for them to be together. I don't think I'll ever accept it. I think another part of my annoyance is that it all seems too fast. And I'm not sure if that's because I'm watching these movies so quickly one after the other, or because the movies themselves are condensing the events from the books (or both) - but it seems like these characters are jumping so quickly from one love interest to the next. Not that I have any problem with sampling the wares before you buy, but it just seems like there isn't enough time to enjoy the romance before it's on to the next one.

I remember Ginny having a crush on Harry back in the Chamber of Secrets, and I thought it was cute then. But Harry didn't seem interested and later he started going after the Asian chick. That was going well, and then it seemed to end so abruptly. (I know, she "ratted out" Dumbledore's Army, but it's only because they used the truth serum on there no room for forgiveness?). And anyway, I thought Neville and Ginny were really cute together, and there was no mention at all of how they split up. But damn, the thing that annoys me the most is that Hermione is wasting tears on a real jerkwad like Ron. Maybe she wouldn't want to be treated like a goddess (though I would gladly do it), but at the very least, if I was in Ron's position, I'd know how to make Hermione feel loved and appreciated.

Gotta admit, I was thrown off a bit about those teleportation pods. I thought Draco was preparing them as a failsafe, so that he could escape when the Death Eaters showed up to torture him for failing his mission. But then at the last moment I realized he was using them as a door to let the Death Eaters in to Hogwarts. The whole scene with Dumbledore and Harry going after the Horcrux was very exciting. Especially the climax with Dumbledore's impressive fire magic. Really cool. Or hot. A lot of dread in this movie, even without Voldemort showing up. And also because I was anticipating Gandal--er, Dumbledore's fate - unfortunately, that was one spoiler that really couldn't have been avoided. But it went down so much calmer than I imagined it would.

If I have one thing to say to Harry for the last installment of the series, it's this: you can forget Ron if you want, he's pretty useless anyway, but you damn well better have Hermione by your side at all times, because she's a powerful witch, and very intelligent to boot. You need her help, so stop trying to do everything alone. That's one of the things I liked most about The Prisoner of Azkaban - Hermione, for once, had a really proactive role throughout the climax of the episode. She's great for support, but I want to see her in action some more.

Emma Rating: Gorgeous & Glamorous


  1. ack, I had a comment all completed but it got lost in electronic red tape.

    How in-depth did the movie go in explaining Voldemort's history? I thought that stuff was really interesting -- not empathizing, but humanizing him a bit none the less. Plus I always felt the Order should call him Tom Riddle, not Lord Voldemort. Can you imagine that people are being brave and defiant towards Voldemort by calling him LORD? He doesn't even let his followers call him by his FAKE name anymore, he's just "The Dark Lord" to them.

    I like Ginny 'cause she was a starstruck fangirl, who rose to the highest level. MiranCoz delusions aside, I'm more attracted to that concept from Harry's point of view. Humility is great and all but... it's nice to be appreciated, too. A lot of stars choose to get with somebody either who isn't a fan of their work, because they think it's more genuine and stuff. But I think the dream would be to find a fan who is also formidable and genuine. Somebody who admires you with the pure, penetrating love of a fanatic, but who loves and understands the "real" you at the same time. That's clearly what Harry has in Ginny.

    Also, did they include the scene at Slughorn's Christmas Party? It wasn't necessarily a notable scene, although Harry follows Malfoy and finds him talking to Snape. So they might have included it but I doubt it. Anyway, Harry takes Luna to the party. And it's the most adorable thing in the world. Kind of bittersweet because he's a goon about it being "just as friends" and she's all "Oh yes! That's wonderful! My dream has always been for someone to ask me to a dance as just friends!" Which is a comment I'm certain exists in some sick limbo between biting sarcasm and utter sincerity.

  2. Yes, the Christmas party scene was included, complete with Snape's exchange with Malfoy. Luna's dress was suitably wacky, but it was really cute. She spent a lot of time wearing a lion costume, that seemed to have no explanation whatsoever, but it was cute too.

    As for Voldemort's history, we saw Dumbledore's memory of first meeting Tom in what appeared to be a mental hopsital, when he first learned that the weird things he could do was magic. And then there was the memory that Harry had to force out of Slughorn, about the professor telling Tom about the Horcrux.

    Do the good guys ever call him "Lord"? I know they call him Voldemort, but it would definitely be weird to hear them refer to him as lord. Although they might at times refer to him as "the dark lord", merely as a descriptor, and less an act of reverence. I think Dumbledore has on occasion called him Tom, but that might be him referring to the past Tom versus the present Voldemort, or influenced by the fact that he actually knew the guy when he was still just Tom Riddle. I think it's a good idea for the Order to call him that though - make him more human, just a dark wizard, not a lord of darkness.

    On a related note, I like how Harry, and some of the others, has never really been afraid (except perhaps at the very beginning) of mentioning the name that should not be mentioned. I think it was in Chamber of Secrets, at the beginning Harry says the name in front of Lucius in one of the shops, and he says "how brave, or foolish", and Hermione chimes in saying something to the effect of, "fear of the name only encourages fear of the thing". And then in this movie, I think it was Slughorn who was afraid when Harry said the name, and Harry's all like, "I'm not afraid of that name." Right on.