HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE

FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009

Every now and then, a movie comes into a legacy of film which redefines the way that series is looked at for a generation to come. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is sadly one of those movies. I use the expression sadly because of what the movie evoked from me and those around me… which was many yawns, and a feeling of buyer’s remorse. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was without a doubt a terrible waste of time. My 13 year old surrogate daughter assures me that the book is vastly different from the movie, and my response is curtly, “it better damn well be.” When you watch a Potter film, you come expecting a certain array of fantastically lush environments and special effects. Pictures on the wall interact with passersby, elaborate new sets and tricks show off the decidedly exclusive world of Hogwarts and distinct characters make you feel as if your watching Harry Potter’s stay at the fantastically branded Walt Disney Land Resort, where everywhere you look you see familiar faces and locales and ideas are familiar through and through. However, The Half Blood Prince was more akin to a visit to your locale Walt Disney Store at the mall, than Disney Land. We find familiar faces sprinkled throughout the movie, but aside from The Head Master, they have few lines if any. This is a true shame, given that the interaction between minor and major characters has always driven the realism of the mythology of Hogwart’s and given a sense of focus to the life of Harry. Characters which have come to be beloved, such as the ground’s keeper, Hagrid, were a seeming afterthought in the editing room. Relationships that had carried weight in previous episodes of Potter’s stay at the school of Majicks were pushed to the side for underdeveloped pubescent musing’s on love and relationships. I dare say that the heroes quest which has come to be associated as much with Harry Potter as it is with Link and the princess Zelda is merely a side quest in a side quest, with little to no journey, peril, or gain involved in the process. The title is misleading, stringing us along with a red hearing that points to the Half Blood Prince, as if he is an integral part of the story line… and perhaps in the book he is, but in the movie, we find the moment of revelation of the identity of the so called ominous sounding Half Blood Prince to be a one liner, free floating, contextual negated statement, of…. by the way…I’m the Half Blood Prince. With this revelation comes a decided moment of confusion, and betrayal as you realize a stark point which I emphatically stated aloud in the half empty theatre…. “who the fuck cares?”

The movie is a failure. The story takes brilliant, veteran actors and relegates them to the position of animatronic robots who’s only job is to look like the characters that we have come to know and love and feign a sense of life like movement and voice that is more creepy than charming. The writer of the screenplay was apparently working out his own relationship issues while writing Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, because the part about the Half Blood Prince… yeah… that’s just basically non-existent, and the one other plot development… sad to say that although it involved a death of a major character… I find myself asking why I should care? Instead I find myself watching an episode of Gilmore Girls… a poorly written one at that. The movie was a piece of junk wrapped in the packaging of something you know and love… like the Batman toys you get at your local Big Lots. It may say Harry Potter, but really its just some half assed imitation, and I for one am not fooled or impressed. Waste.

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