I am a huge fan of Harry Potter. If this makes me a nerd, so be it. The hardest part of being a fan of J.K. Rowling's books is avoiding the media before actually reading one of the books or seeing one of the movies. Don't get me wrong, they are deserved of every minute of press, but I hate spoilers. Once again, I'll do my best to keep my review spoiler-free.
After avoiding as many trailers as I could, and not reading a single review, I finally headed out to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night. I laughed, I cried, and my heart raced throughout.
There was not as much action as I had anticipated, with director David Yates leaving out one spectacularly written fight sequence from the book. What lacked in action, though, was certainly made up for in drama. I mean that in a good way. The acting was spot-on, and grown-up, without being heavy or cheesy. Ok, maybe there was some cheese, but it was a comedic break from the dark, dark world of Voldemort's childhood. Half-Blood Prince is a transitional chapter in the series, and the movie relied heavily on the characters and the plot instead of the crazy CGI effects we saw in Goblet of Fire and Prisoner of Azkaban. I am happy to say that the actors were more than ready for such a challenge.
My 7 year-old has seen the first two movies in the Harry Potter series, and he wanted to come with me to see this one as well. I'm glad I left him home. The readers followed Harry from Years 1 through 7, as he got older, more mature, and the story line grew more serious, more scary, and really dark. The movies, obviously, follow suit. There were quite a few teenagers in the movie theater last night, which surprised me at first, thinking that they would have rather seen the latest Transformers movie. Then I realized, these teenagers were the perfect age when the Harry Potter books were released, and are the perfect audience for the HBP now. Sure enough, I heard comments like, "Harry's hiding up there," "the Phoenix song!" and "That's the cave where Tom took the kids and scared them!" -- things only a reader of the books could know and appreciate.
Most book-to-movie attempts fail miserably, but the Harry Potter movies have yet to disappoint me.
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