Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince

Don't ask me why I'm still typing at this wee hours. It's the cause and effect from my OT and the frustrated feeling brewing inside because I just lost the file that I've worked on for the freaking 4 hours and have to reconstruct it within 1 hour. Another side effect is Arashi songs wake me up, instead of snoozing me, so most probably I'll wake up tomorrow with a hangover from Arashi. Enough of the ranting and back to the topic.

Yesterday was the opening for Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince in Singapore. One of the most anticipated movie of the year after 2 years of wait from the last installment, at least for me. So with much effort, I've booked the ticket 1 week in advance (and realized that the company is launching the movie night for this too, ouch!) and rather anxious on what should I expect to see from this movie (or rather whether I actually can make it on time to watch it). I did get into my seat just when the opening song starts playing with the 'Harry Potter' embossed on the wide screen. But how the movie totally fare to my expectation?

**WARNING: Spoiler allert, unless you've read the book**

Well, as part of the anticipation process, I've even re-read the book so that I don't get disconnected on the storyline. Mind you, as the book getting thicker, Harry Potter movie installment has the tendency to chop the story here and there to fit into the 2.5 hours screen time.

Let's start with the good part.

Off course as one of the most anticipated movie in 2009, we're all very excited to see Harry back in his Hogwarts uniform and wand. All the familiar characters are there. And they've all grown up. Neville Longbottom, though not having any dialogs in this installment, but made appearances in several scenes and definitely noticeable since he's so HUGE. Draco Malfoy, is as lanky as ever! He's more handsome on the earlier installments, or may be it's just this time his character is very stress and drained. Professor Snape as arrogant as ever, and we all hate him for it. I love the way he scoffed around when he sees Harry. But the best character of all is Luna Lovegood! Her fluffy voice and not in this earth tone really made her presence and she's actually very cool, even with her weird party dress (but hey, the only wearing the normal party dress is Hermione, doo she's a muggle Lol...). Moving on to the main characters. Well, they're all grow up. Hermione is not the cute little girl anymore, she's a hottie now. And Ron, has become a giant (to me), and buffed himself up too so he can fit his tight t-shirt nicely. Harry, well still Harry, but a much cooler and hotter Harry. But got to admit, as annoying as McLaggen is, he's quite handsome too Lol...

The CG, well, not as bombastic as Transformer, but it met Harry Potter's standard, though it's not much, means that no new tricks other than shown before on the previous installments. But this may be due to the after effect of watching Transformer not wearing off yet. The highlights is the lake of inferis. They're really scarry and even lots of audience actually screamed (I jumped and my friend screamed, what a duo) when one of the inferi's hands suddenly grab Harry's. And off course Dumbledore's sea of fire is superb. I've never seen Dumbledore that cool until the scene.

OK I think that's about the good points, not much, literally that I really don't have much good things to say, because now I want to start with my rantings:

First, I'd expect to see love is in the air. As our teenage wizard and his friends entering the age of raging hormones, one should expect to see lots of snogging on the movie, which is overly (in my view) advertised in the reviews. Why? Because you can count by finger (from 1 hand, not 2) the kissing scenes, and it's not even like the passionate kissing scenes as teenage flicks usually have (totally understandable, it's rated PG, but still? Fangirls would like to see more). I didn't even see the kissing scene of Hermione and Ron, which kept been repeating in every newspaper interview report. Off course one would argue that short kissing may mean deeper meaning if conveyed with lots of emotion too. With Harry and Ginny kissing scene, okay, I can sense that argument. But the scene itself is totally wrong! This is my major ranting! What I'd like to see in live action movie from reading the book is the scene where Harry kissing Ginny after the Quidditch match that the Griffindor won and that marks the start of them being a couple in front of the whole House, and it was cut and change to kissing inside the requirement room where nobody see is around! Major disappointment.

Second, lots of unnecessary scenes. You've already know one from previous paragraph (it's so obvious). The longest unnecessary scene detected is Harry's Christmas holiday and the Weasley's house is on fire because the manic Bellatrix is running havoc. And in conjunction with that scene, Harry and Ginny running into the wheat field. My friend kept saying 'I don't remember reading this part.' Yep, you won't remember because it doesn't exist in the first place! It's better to have the scene of having Snape set Harry on detention during the important Quidditch match and the party after that (yes, I'll keep mentioning this). Or, more memories of Tom Riddle pasts is much even better than having Harry flirting in the cafe with some waitress. And better still, having Fleur inside the Weasley's house will be nice, because they supposed to start the next movie with Fleur and George wedding, or (in horror), they'll cut it totally? Another major disappointment on the end of the movie, where's Dumbledore's funeral? Harry will be best putting his act together in this scene. I'd love to see what's Daniel Radcliffe expression in this scene, but nooo, we're not having that. Instead, we just have to settle with Harry and his pals stands at the tower starring at Fawks flying.

My intake from this installment is that, seems that the producer really try to cut the cost to the minimum as having the least possible amount of characters, optimize the use of the main cast (of course it's OK but don't cut the important scenes that definitely fans are dying to see). Those who never read the book may OK this movie, but me? No, I'd say I just watch this for the sake of watching, definitely not worth the weekend price. I'd just better go back and re-read the book, it's much more engaging than the movie.

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