Hubby and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yesterday. I have been waiting for this with a mix of excitement and fear. I loved the first four movies. Then came the fifth. And I was... disappointed. I wish there could be a do-over. It was just... wrong. It didn't fit with the other ones. So yeah, I was definitely worried about this one.
But thankfully, I left pleased. Yes, I liked it.
Now, that's not to say there isn't room for improvement. I've come to the conclusion that David Yates is far too self-devout (thanks to hubby for that description) for these movies. He doesn't appear to care NEARLY enough about the story. But he didn't screw this one up royally so I guess I can let him continue to exist (even if he's really lame at the whole "existence" thing).
Anyway, I did leave content. The big-scene-that-I-won't-reveal-here-because-I-don't-want-to-spoil-it-for-anyone (which hubby TOTALLY did to someone on a message board last week) totally got me. I cried. And actually, everything leading up to it had me feeling like I wanted to throw up because I knew it was coming and I felt like the actors were THAT GOOD. So well done there (to the actors, NOT to Mr. "I'm-So-Lame" Yates).
For a two-and-a-half hour movie I felt it went really quickly, which is always a good sign. The soundtrack for this one was spot-on (unlike the last one which I deemed "all kinds of wrong"). I was never bored and actually could have sat through another thirty minutes easily.
Issues: after thinking about it, I do wish there were things they hadn't left out. I obviously won't name specific parts of the story right now, but there were scenes that should have made the cut. I will say that the whole "teen-angst-love" theme was funny. But there was a little bit more than necessary. I can think of a couple parts that could have been shortened or left out in order to make room for more story. I think by this point we get that the Hogwarts students are growing up and hormones are coming into play. It's fun to watch and all, but I'm more into the story than extra fluff.
Reading this I realized it sounds like I hated the movie, but I didn't! It's a LOT better than the fifth one in the series, but not up there with the first ones. As a movie that's being viewed just for a good time (as in, not a rabid fan of the books) it earns a solid A. As a movie that's supposed to be an adaptation of a wildly successful series it earns a C. Maybe. So I guess we can average that out to a B. Fans of the books, if you can go in knowing that there's no way we can see ALL of the material on the screen, you should be fine. If you go in ready to pick it apart, don't bother going. Aren't movies supposed to be fun?
BTW, hubby and I just discussed the movies a bit. If Lord of the Rings is allowed to be three hours, WHY can't Harry Potter be longer? And if I hear the lame "kids can't sit through it" excuse, I'll just laugh at you. At this point, we've definitely gone into some dark magic...
PS - I totally got to see a Where The Wild Things Are trailer on the big screen for the first time. I came pretty darn close to tearing up. I cannot WAIT for it.