Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I did not like The Half Blood Prince;
I did not like it then or since.

n.b. In case I am not the last person to see this movie, I have tried not to put any spoilers in this post.

Today's Beat the Heat technique was to head for an air-conditioned cinema to see the latest Harry Potter film. I looked longingly at the start times for "The Time Traveler's Wife", but I have also been wanting to see the HP, and my husband was much more likely to enjoy that than TTW. So, in we went. After the obligatory half hour of previews, the movie began. It was slow and dark, except for some nauseating special effects and some rather charming teen romance moments.

First, the special effects: It occurred to me that these movies are aimed at children and young adults. In fact, when we walked into the theatre, Dr. David Suzuki was on screen, giving advice to students on how to minimize their impact on the environment (use both sides of notebook paper - turn off your computer when you aren't using it). The stomach-turning scene in this movie made me wonder about the popularity of nauseating special effects among the young. Could that be an important part of our development? Perhaps it's like a baby discovering his toes and becoming obsessed with them for a while. Maybe at some point it's important to kids to say Oh, cool! I have a stomach - feel it churn! If that's the case, I suffer from arrested development. I have never enjoyed being sick.

Then, there was the teen love stuff. It really was charming. I have no complaints about it, except that it's disconcerting, the way these children have morphed, virtually overnight, into hormone-soaked teenagers. And I know that the suddenness is more a function of my age than theirs. It's not their fault.

Hormones and nausea aside, though, my primary problem with The Half Blood Prince is that it seems like a series of vignettes, rather than one coherent story. Also, it lost me several times - If I had been watching it at home, I suspect I would have left the room, looking for a book to read. Furthermore, if I were reading a book, and I found my attention wandering the way it did during this movie, I would toss the book aside and check out another author.

p.s. My husband agrees with me on all these points. Maybe I should have dragged him to The Time Traveler's Wife.


Poetikat said...

I like the "Beat the Heat" technique, but I'm afraid the Harry Potter series would not be on my list. As much as I love the British actors (and I'm familiar with many of them) I just could not get into the whole phenomenon. I haven't read any of the books and I fear now if I were to try they would be hampered by what I know of the roles in the movies. I watched the first HP film with my husband and we could not get through it. I can't explain that; we are usually so open-minded and embrace animated films as well as quirky independent stuff and we LOVE foreign films, BUT HP just did not grab us. What's the secret? What are is eluding us that has grabbed so many others?


Sandra Leigh said...

I haven't read any of the books, either, but I have seen the films. I loved the first one - I'm a sucker for magic, I guess.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I agree - with the horror-moans and the disconnect and the feeling something wasn't completed at the end, wasn't resolved as they had been with the other ones I"ve seen.

John Hayes said...

Thanks for the warning! I must say that I saw a few pretty bad movies when I lived in Virginia because I just had to be somewhere with air conditioning for a while!

Sandra Leigh said...

Yes, Kathryn, the ending was very weak - but by that time, I was just happy to be released.

Well, John, in case I didn't convince you with my post, Kathryn has pretty well polished off that movie!

Megan said...

Well, I thought it was the best one so far! :)

But I am a Potter fan. Helps to have a kid that has grown up with them, I guess!

Sandra Leigh said...

There you go, Megan. The thing is, I am also a Potter fan - but I'm a fan of the movies. I've never read the books - shameful, I know. This particular movie just didn't do it for me.

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