Posted by: erinmelissa | August 4, 2009

My Thoughts on Harry Potter (and the half blood prince)

**Spoiler alert!  Don’t read this if you haven’t read the book!  Tim, that means you!**

Let me begin by saying I haven’t read the book in awhile.  I took a hiatus from reading the HP series, because I didn’t want to lose the wonder of it by reading it constantly.  (I have read the first ones probably at least 5 times, the later ones not quite as much just cause there hasn’t been as much time.)

I have also been consistently dissatisfied with the movies.  I felt that:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone – could have been made for PBS.  Harsh, I know, but I felt that the CG Centaur was this decades equivalent of PBS’s The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe’s cartoon villains.  It doesn’t pass for real, especially compared with the fictional characters in LOTR and the new Lion, Witch Wardrobe movies, where they had real actors playing fauns/centaurs/etc with the help of a green screen.  Seeing as how these movies came out about the same time, it’s not like they didn’t have the technology.  Otherwise, the movie was entertaining, but clearly aimed at children.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – I think I have seen this once, maybe twice, so I can’t say much about this one, except that it doesn’t make me want to watch it again.

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban – I liked this one.  I’ve heard people say they didn’t like the were wolf cause he didn’t look like a typical one, but that didn’t bother me.  I felt like most of the story was represented in this movie, the only thing I didn’t like was the dementors.  They were much more swoopy than glidey as I’d pictured them from  the book’s description.  Also, who knew our soul was a tiny glowing lemondrop?  

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – The thing that frustrated me about this movie, is you knew the bad guy from the start.  In the book you know nothing of Barty Jr. until quite a ways through the book, and even at that point I’d be impressed if you linked him to Moody.  But the movie insists on putting him places he wasn’t (the dream, not invisible at the world cup, etc.) and doing the weird licking thing.  Then Moody does the weird licking thing and all the mystery is gone.  And with another hour of movie left?  And where was Dobby?  And, I do not remember the dragon getting loose and chasing Harry all over England… and where were those adorable skrewts?

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix – I know a lot of people were sad that Umbridge didn’t look like a toad, but I loved her!  I thought she was hilarious and wicked an fluffy all at once.  Let’s see…weird that the Death Eaters can fly.  Does the mask pull them around by their faces?  Wouldn’t that hurt?   How does it make their bodies melt and reappear?  Isn’t this a skill that’s reserved for Voldemort (and Snape?)  I wish that more time had been spent in classes.  I wish there was more Snape (I love Snape in the movies.  Love the growl and the haughty look – I think he’s perfect.)  Oh!  And they left out Sirius giving Harry the mirror.  This is very important to the story, and totally gone.  I don’t get why Harry has a weird neck tick.  Voldemort has it too…I don’t remember reading about this connection.  Also, I felt like Sirius’s death was a bit sudden and underplayed.  It felt incomplete.   And Kreacher lying!  That was big too!  Hmmm.  Maybe the last three books should have all been two movies each.  There’s just so much stuff!

Which leads me to:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  I said earlier I had high expectations for this movie.  And I walked out almost satisfied.  Like I said, I hadn’t read the book in awhile, so some of the things left our slipped my notice until after the movie when discussing it with my dad (who’d finished the book hours before).  I liked the opening (except the Death Eaters flying thing, same reasons as above, and the hitting on cafe girl thing, that was just strange).  I like that Dumbledore was standing in front of a sign for “magic.”  I wish his hand had been more destroyed, I felt that the slight charcoaling effect was too subtle.  I really enjoyed the scene with Professor Slughorn.   I loved all the slapstick comedy through out with Lavender, Cormack, love potions, felix felicius, the birds chasing Ron, and such.   The cave scene was almost perfect.  But I really wished that we had seen more deterioration from Dumbledore.  He went from fine to crying instantly.  I wanted more that feeble “don’t make me…”‘s, I wanted to hear the pain of reliving his memories, the begging for Harry to stop, being reassured by Harry, him telling Harry he knew he was safe because he was with him…I wanted so much more emotion in that scene.  Not saying I didn’t jump out of my seat when the first hand grabbed Harry – I did.  I liked the two Tom Riddle memories they gave us.  I like that Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort) nephew played young Voldemort.  I really really wish that we had seen the memories of his parents.  Seen why Dumbledore had the ring.  I wish that the astronomy tower had been played out the same as in the book.  I wish that Hagrid, Snape, and all the others had bigger parts.  I wish the battle had taken place.  The bad guys were there, why not make it happen?  I wish the event that happens at the end of the book  (being vague because I’m sure someone will read this without reading the book, and I won’t ruin that for them) had actually happened, complete with the Phoenix song.  But – I liked the movie.  As far as HP movies go, I think it was the best. 

Long winded, but there you go.  What did you think?



  1. I agree – this most recent movie was the best. I appreciated that it wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be until the very end – so very humorous to see Ron under the love spell intended for Harry, etc. etc. The only beef I had with the movie was the Harry/Ginny romance and the lack of the BIG moments there. Boo on that! But otherwise, fantatic. That cave scene was almost exactly the way I imagined it in my head…

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