Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Why the Half-Blood Prince?

Yesterday I went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

I liked the movie, I definitely thought it was much better done then The Order of the Phoenix which was the last Harry Potter Book and my least favourite adaptation. This had a good mix of humour, action, and special effects and I thought was well acted.

Now, as is my habit, I went to IMDB and had a look at others' comments. Some, like me, loved it, others, mainly Potter junkies, hated it, and made catalogues of what had been cut or changed in the film. Mainly what had been cut (usually prefacing by saying they knew a movie had to cut a little but did it have to cut this much?)

In my opinion, well, the Potter books are long so if you want to cut it to a reasonable length, and still have detail in effects in some scenes, you're going to have to sometimes cut whole plot sequences or themes out. And characters. Other possibilities are to make a longer film or series or to have superficial treatment of every part of the film.

Whether you agree with how it's cut up is subjective.

To me, it wasn't badly done, I didn't mind the hacking, but then I'm not a Potter junkie even though I enjoyed the books and movies.

Just one thing I did find a bit annoying.

The Half-Blood Prince is revealed in the movie (not surprisingly, towards the end ... whoops did I spoil that for anyone?) ... but the moment is brief and it's never explained WHY that person is called the Half-Blood Prince. In the book it's explained better. I mean, the title of the freaking movie is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as well as figuring out who that person is, you'd figure they'd explain why 'Half-Blood' or what or power or meaning or whatever 'Half-Blood' has. Nope, nada. They might as well have called the person the Blodgybooga Prince.

I think that is one point the movie people should have fixed up, more important than the other stuff that people go on about missing because they thought it was cool or they would have loved to see it or they were personally attached to it, or they thought it was important for the next part of the movie. Even though it is not very exciting and is probably considered minor by many HP lovers. It would have only taken a couple of minutes. Heck, I left thinking if I didn't read the book, I'd be completely confused about the title of the movie!



Lad Litter said...

I'm disinclined to judge a film by how close it is to the book on which it's based. If anyone's that hung up on the book, don't see the film at all.

Maria said...

Made that mistake with books I was close to, too often. Read the book and watched the movie ... worse still, knowing it was a 'cheap production'. Bleerrrgh.

JahTeh said...

I only had two peeves (I wish they'd put Peeves in the films) one, was not having Dumbledore tell Harry to confide everything in Ron and Hermione and two, not explaining how many horcruxes had been made.
Another thing I liked was Dumbledore's reaction to the ring when Harry touched it, realizing that Harry could be a horcrux. The other was Dumbledore's death and the light from the upraised wands dispersing the dark mark over the castle.
I haven't been able to write about it on my blog as there are some who haven't seen it yet.
I always see the films twice, the first time I'll always aware of how much was left out but the next time I just enjoy the film as a film.
But if Neville's big scene is cut from the Deathly Hallows, someone will pay!

nailpolishblues said...

Oh no, I will be devastated if they cut the Neville-as-hero bits.

I'd love someone to explain why half a dozen wizards can't put out a house fire. wtf?

Maria said...

I wonder if they will try to make Tales of Beedle the Bard into a film?

Nails, wizards and witches can't put out fires but they can fight off death. Only when it works for the story though. It's like Harry is an excellent flyer but he'll fall stupidly off his broomstick if that works to make everyone go "ooooh".

It's a bit like all those action hero movies where a guy can take a baseball bat on the head, dodge bullets, will survive several bullets in his abdomen and keep running, a house will fall on his head etc, then they stitch him up good as new later and suddenly in the final scene the hero will come up and say a cool line and bash him in the face and he is gone from a single punch.

I think it works like this in the action films - it is the combination of confrontation with good guy plus cockily delivered smart ass line that does the baddie in.

I'm really not quite sure what it is about wizards and fires though. I'll have to do more research on that one.

JahTeh said...

Was I the only one in the theatre silently yelling "Aguamenti"?

Maria said...

I don't know.

But I do know someone's annoying mobile ringtone went off not so silently in the cinema during the film (NOT the credits or the trailers) and what's more she answered it.

I wished I knew the spell for blow-up-that-mobile-right-there-and-then-and-its-owner-with-it. I can't remember if Rowling mentioned that one.

JahTeh said...

I was half way through the film when I remembered I hadn't turned mine off but then only my sister and the emergency service for my mother have the number. Equally annoying is not hearing the ring but having them check calls with the glowing light.

James Drax said...

Further proof that it was a crappy book to begin with! Jo raped my childhood!

Maria said...

When did the Half-Blood Prince (book) come out?

Oh yes, Drax, you were always a child (pat pat your head).

Maria said...

If the phone does go off in the cinema because you have forgotten I think the politest thing to do is to quickly cut the call off and switch it off immediately, and if you see from caller ID that it was someone quite important then you can walk out of the cinema and just call them back and sorry you miss a bit of the movie.

What I really do find rude is those people who not only answer during the film but answer enthusiastically, not even a short, "Sorry, can't talk, call you back", and natter for a bit then say apologetically later "ooops, i'm in the cinema, I'll call you back later, ok?"

I am pretty sure they would defend the decision by saying that to do anything else would be rude to X who called them (and what's more they didn't want to leave the cinema and waste $16 on a ticket) but what about everyone else in the cinema who paid for a ticket and how you're ruining it for them, and really the reason it's politest to cut someone off is because they owuldn't have been able to reach you if you'd remembered to turn your phone off in the first place so they're getting the same result anyhow. You can always call them back and explain later.

A real peeve!