Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince moves along at a decent pace, without too many unnecessary distractions. There's not really anything "magical" about it, but it advances the plot, and it's better than the previous two Harry Potter movies.

I accidentally watched Harry Potter #7 before #6, but now that I've seen this one, I realize I really didn't miss much, even though it felt like I did when I watched #7. I probably should read a synopsis of "the story so far" before I watch the last one, though. I don't remember any of the Tom Riddle business, and apparently I should. I also don't remember what happened with Draco's father, but I guess something did.

I'm not sure the "dating" subplots are really necessary. Ron certainly got off the hook easily with that one girl. I wish I hadn't already known who was going to end up with whom, but I guess that's what happens when you watch a movie five years after it comes out. Harry's haircut looked a little weird to me. Maybe it was just a little more "a la mode" when the movie was made. 

Helena Bonham Carter doesn't have many scenes, but she really stood out for me. She's such a good actress. I think she must have a lot of fun playing the characters; maybe that's why she's so good. It seems like she really gets into the role.

Overall, the movie looked great as always, although I don't think I'd give any awards to the wardrobe department. I can understand why that one professor felt so bad. He was basically responsible for giving Voldemort his immortality. Although he shouldn't be too hard on himself; if he hadn't told him, someone else would have. Maybe the fault lies with whoever didn't do a better job of locking up that book.

The Quidditch bits were pretty boring, but at least they didn't go on for long. For some reason, I thought Voldemort was going to be the half-blood prince. It wasn't a very exciting reveal when it turned out to be Snape. Maybe I'm supposed to remember more things about Snape than I do. It was just like, "This kid who, judging from his book, was apparently pretty smart, turns out to have been Snape. Okay." There wasn't a lot of impact to it. Maybe some things get a little lost in translation to the movie; maybe they're more interesting in the book because they can go into more detail there.

I don't know if Snape really had a big enough part to name the whole movie after him, but I guess killing Dumbledore is a fairly significant event. The way he died was pretty sad. I forgot all about the "Snape kills Dumbledore" internet spoiler until the end, when Draco was trying to kill him. I didn't even realize Draco was behind the attempts in the first place. I thought his task was going to be to kill Harry, and/or just to do something with the vanishing closet.

It didn't seem like they really needed to bring the other Death Eaters into the school. They pretty much just smashed a couple windows and left. I guess they were just insurance in case Draco failed. Maybe Voldemort didn't ever expect him to be successful (and I don't know why he would, anyway), and all he really wanted him to do was get the Death Eaters into Hogwarts.

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