Sunday, July 26, 2009

Random bits about Harry Potter/Half-Blood Prince

The 6th movie gets the following grades =
Acting: A-
Story execution: C
Direction: B-
Casting: A

Maybe I'm being more critical about this sixth installment in the Potter movie franchise because I happened to see it in a theater that had a malfunctioning HVAC system; so it was fucking hot and stuffy and I was really feeling every one of the 240 minutes of this film, and not in a good way.
[tangent rant] It has been bloody hot in Seattle for the last few days. So imagine my excitement at the thought of escaping the unbearable afternoon heat by enjoying a movie in a nice chilled theater. To be hit by that wall of stuffy heat as we walked into theater #4 was so damn annoying and disappointing I almost screamed in frustration. This is a brand new cinema that we were in; it's only been open a couple of months and there's no excuse for the AC to not be working. I almost demanded my money back, except that my friend Robert had bought the tickets. I left the movie hotter and more uncomfortable than when I walked in![/tangent rant]

While the acting was very well done by all concerned, "Half-Blood Prince" was the most fragmented film I've seen in a very long time. What the hell David Yates? Or should I be blaming Steve Kloves for his screenplay? Listen I get it. Rowling's books are long as crap and hard to adapt to fit into a 2-3 hour format. But for crissakes, what the hell?! I've read the books; I even recently did a cursory read through "Prince" a few weeks ago to refresh my memory a bit; and this movie still had me scratching my head and having to think way too much.
For one thing they spent way too much time on the teen "raging hormone" love interest stuff. Time they could've spent explaining things like the Horcruxes, which felt unecessarily rushed and jumbled in this film. The importance of the Potions textbook and Snape's connection to it were also totally downplayed. The "I'M the Half-Blood Prince" reveal at the end was tacked on so clumsily it was stupid and confusing.
As far as the good stuff? The cast was great. From the big roles (Alan Rickman and Emma Watson continue to rock every minute they're on screen) to the small roles (where did they find this David Legeno guy to play Fenrir Greyback? So scary.), the acting was well done.
Everyone at this point knows they're splitting the 7th book into two movies which is a good idea, and going into "Prince" I thought that 2 1/2 hours was plenty of time for the 6th book, but now I'm thinking the splitting "Prince" into a couple of movies might not have been a bad idea.
I hope the powers that be get it together for these last installments.

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