Monday, July 27, 2009

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Let me start off by saying that I am a definite Harry Potter fan. No, I don't dress up as a witch and go to the movies and yes, I once accidentally ended up in the midst of a Harry Potter party at Barnes and Noble - we stopped after a movie for a dessert and got caught up in the insanity. But I did love the books. I vaguely recall Mike steering me through the Honolulu airport after I'd begun one of the books and I didn't look up till I finished and we were back in SFO.

So, did I enjoy the movie - yes I did. I'd really forgotten the plot given that I'd read the book several years ago. This made the movie entertaining and occasionally surprising - how could I have forgotten horcruxes. I'm such a muggle.

I won't summarize the plot since if you're a fan you know it and if you're not it will be rather meaningless. Suffice it to say it's quite entertaining to see Harry and his friends deal with Death Eaters, assorted evil doers and snogging. And yes there is quite a bit of snogging in this movie. Rupert Grint provides outstanding comic relief - and foreshadowing of his career for the next 20 years. Daniel Radcliffe is always excellent as Harry - especially when he is under a luck spell.

I must reserve some special praise of Alan Rickman - what a delight the man is. He makes a single sentence drip with loathing so vividly he really never needs to say more. I shall miss his Snape more than anyone I think once the movies conclude.

My only complaint is that when the movie comes to an end you get that slight I've been left hanging feeling. Somewhat like the end of Empire Strikes Back - you realize everyone is simply waiting for the next movie - as are we all.

As a marketing aside - kudos to the studio for deciding to split the final book into two movies. With a 400 million dollar take in the first five days world wide I think that the last two movies are a guaranteed revenue stream for 2010 and 2011. Given that few of us could sit through a 5 hour movie and there are so many pieces people would object to omitting I can understand it. But 2011 is a long time to wait for closure.

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