Warning…as most of you didn’t go to the midnight screening, I suggest not reading this post until you’ve seen The Half-Blood Prince. If you continue reading, you cannot be angry with me for what I write because you have been fairly warned.
Seriously, not one ounce of bitching.
I mean it. I’ll give you a mad wedgie.
I’m getting pretty buff. I could probably take you.
This is your last chance. There is no turning back from here.
Okay, so I secured a space in line at 8:40 last night – 3 hours and 19 minutes before the movie started. There were only a handful of people in front of me, and most of them were going to a different auditorium, so it was cool. I had so much anxiety about going in alone, but I didn’t want to wait and end up further back in the line. I know, it’s not a big deal to be the 30th person in line, but I’m very particular about where I sit in a theater (middle middle, yo) and I wasn’t going to let this night be ruined by mediocre seats.
So my mom, sister, her friend Heather and my BFF Ms. B all arrive and we sit. I brought games, so we played Disney Princess Uno. Entertaining enough to pass some time. What was even more entertaining, however, was the eye-feast of people watching. Yes, I was wearing my Gryffindor tshirt, but that was nothing compared to some of the shit I saw. I guess I don’t get dressing up like characters to watch a movie. I mean, the actors CAN’T SEE YOU. They don’t know you’re dressed up. And you kinda look like a moron. I supported the themed scarves and ties (just cute), but the annoying kid in line next to me in full HP costuming, who did charades the whole time, was more than I could take. I mean, there was a girl who was MAYBE 16 wearing a slutty Hermione costume. Whore. And even worse? The people who dressed up in costumes that in no way reflected the HP design. I said at one point, “Hmm, I don’t remember the evil hooker scene in the book…” I think that girl was going for the Bellatrix look, but she accomplished something more along the lines of Emo Tinkerbell…
The homemade tshirts were interesting, too. Most had horrid spelling or grammar mistakes that made me want to punch the wearers in the spleen, but one stood out and I give mad props to the girl wearing it. It said, “Edward – Avada Kedavra. – Harry”. Freaking brilliant.
A couple hours later, they begin letting lines into their respective auditoriums. At this point, the peeps in front of us start screaming some chick’s name and said chick runs up with 4 other miscreant middle schoolers and they proceed to join the group in line. Oh.Hell.No. We’ve been standing here for HOURS, and you just got here and think you can cut? Not with my group. We’re very vocal. When Ms.B’s yelling didn’t work, my sister grabbed an usher and the jumpers were escorted to the back of the line. Don’t fuck with us. We may be adults, but this midnight premeire shit is serious. I also reminded a 10 year old girl that, though she was sitting on our side of the divider at the moment, she was not getting in front of us. She tried to stare me down. Yeah, like you’re gonna win that one. I’m not mature enough to refrain from taunting children. She stepped off, though, so I didn’t have to kick her parents in the shins.
So we get seated about an hour before the show starts, and time just slowed down. I felt like the last hour was a decade. But then the previews started. No New Moon, which is what I figured, but then I read today that some showings will have that preview, so I hope I see it on one of my returning visits. I digress.
And in case you need another warning, the real spoilers start here.
Stop reading if you don’t want to know more or haven’t read the books.
I’m not kidding.
Okay. We get through the trailers and the opening credits begin. That’s when I almost committed murder. Some fucking ass nut from the back of the theater stands up and yells, “Spoiler alert! Dumbledore dies!” Um, fuck you, you fucking fucktard. My mom and sister, who have been waiting for over three hours to see this movie with me, have not read the books and had no clue about Dumbledore. He ruined the movie before it even began. He is so lucky no one could identify him, because I would have at least had him thrown out.
So I was seriously pissed when the first scene began, which didn’t help because the first scene is a complete departure from the book. Not really a big deal, but since I was already aggravated, I cussed at the screen a little bit. I quickly got over it, though. I didn’t love the first chapter in the book about the ministers anyway, and I think this was a good cut and helped show how the wizard war was spilling over into the Muggle world.
I noticed quickly how well the humor was done in this film. For such a dark book, the screen adaptation did a fantastic job of balancing funny and serious – and Rupert Grint is going to have a long career, given his knack for comedy. I really liked how they ramped up the connection between Ginny and Harry, and Hermione and Ron. It added a nice depth to the whole film and made Ron’s relationship with Lavender even more laughable (and frustrating).
I also really appreciated how many of the scene directly mirrored the book, or had just minor changes. The one scene that came from left field was the Death Eaters’ attack on the Burrow. I understand what the scene accomplished and I liked it, but it was a huge surprise.
I was disappointed by the lack of emphasis on Fenrir Greyback. The guy playing him was so perfect – so creepy – and I wanted more of that story to come out. I also missed the Tonks-Lupin drama and the Fleur-Bill storyline. The wedding is such a great part of the last book and I don’t see how it can be incorporated at this point. Even if it is in the film, it won’t be the same because the final battle didn’t involved anyone but the Death Eaters, Dumbledore and Harry. There were no Order members injured, and Fenrir did not attack Bill, so he won’t be scarred (again, unless they make it a tiny aside).
One thing that REALLY bothered me was the deletion of the funeral at the end. It seemed to take away from the tragic death of one of the most beloved characters in the series. Granted, I never liked the new actor (Michael Gambon) playing Dumbledore as much as the original (Richard Harris), so I didn’t have the bond with his character in the movies like I did in the books, but it was still desperately sad and his character deserved to have the funeral scene. Perhaps they are planning on opening the first of the final two movies on this scene? If they do that AND delete the wedding, it’s going to be a very depressing start.
Another thing this film did well was creep me the hell out. When Katie got cursed, I had chills. It was such a frightening thing to watch. When Hagrid, Slughonr and Harry were in front of the dead Aragog, I couldn’t look at the screen – that fucking spider was insanely disturbing. And the scene with the Inferi? Intense. Suffice it to say I screamed and got laughed at by 6 year olds and the gay squad sitting in front of us (who, by the way, entertained the shit out of us during the hour leading up to the movie – loved them). It was like a herd of Gollum-but-creepier creatures. Not at all what I envisioned, but far more scary than my brain would let me imagine.
One more thing that really bothers me about the movies in general – Snape is far too likeable. Not saying that you feel warm fuzzies about him, but he has funny moments and he’s not nearly evil enough to Harry in my opinion. Not even at the end did I hate him the way I did in the book. I think I tend to have a much stronger reaction to the books in general, but I still think Snape’s character ever quite generated the animosity on screen that he did on the page. Alan Rickman is insanely talented, so I’m not implying he can’t act…I just think the character wasn’t adapted to the big screen as well as he could have been.
Overall, I loved this movie. It was such an intense experience. If you’re a reader of the books and have a vested interest in the series, it is undoubtedly a very emotional experience. I think it was an amazing representation of an incredible book. I can’t wait to see it again and again, although I should buy stock in Kleenex. I had to try so hard not to bawl like a baby at the end. There was a lot of sniffling in the theater when the credits began to roll. Even the 50 year old dude next to me wiped his eyes at one point. Awesome.
Oh, and I am SO glad Quidditch was included this time. It’s so exciting to watch! And I love Luna. She’s too great. Okay, I’m forcing myself to stop. I could go on forever, but I do have work to get done today.
And seriously. Hermione is hot.