Saturday, 15 November 2014

Film Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Part 1

I started watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince weeks and weeks ago, then too a break an hour from the end because it was getting late and I had more important things to be doing so it feels weird to be writing that post after all that time.

This is my not-really-live live blog of the film. As usual I’ve divided it into five parts, one for each Saturday over the coming weeks.


In this part we meet Professor Slughorn, head back to the Burrow and Snape makes some kind of promise to Draco’s Mum. Oh and Draco is up to something, something dark and sinister. Wooo!

1. I should’ve watching this film a week ago but wanted to finish the book first. It’s all fresh in my mind now and I’ve been reminded of just how much I love this film.

2. We start with a kind of PREVIOUSLY ON HARRY POTTER and flashbacks (literal ones from all the cameras) to the Ministry of Magic before heading to London where things look decidedly stormy. Right before this we were watching The Day After Tomorrow and I’m noticing similarities, y’know without the giant skull made of clouds and death eaters and stuff.

3. I like how we go through London and into Diagon Alley. I spy Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes in the background!

4. Then they destroy a bridge that technically wasn’t built when the sixth book takes place.

5. Harry’s sitting in a café reading the Daily Prophet. How does the paper know not to move when it’s around Muggles? The girl in the café has apparently noticed it moving before so whatever the reason for it being still now it doesn’t always work.

6. I always think of this book as The One Where They All Get Hormonal, it’s all about the love! Harry’s already chatting someone up and we’re barely five minutes in.

7. Wonder if that advertisement for the perfume was already there or if they deliberately came up with something with ‘Magic’ on it.

8. Ooh look, it’s Dumbledore! And he’s got a manky looking hand.

9. Hehe, Harry’s like “I just go with it” when Dumbledore asks if he’s wondering why he’s brought him here.

10. Here is a bit of a dilapidated house. It’s all dark which means I’m mostly looking at a reflection of my orange juice and lemonade but we do catch a glimpse of blood dripping onto a copy of the Daily Prophet. Dumbledore knows what’s going on though.

11. The armchair disguise is fantastic. I love how his arm doesn’t quite transfigure back right away. Slughorn’s been avoiding the death eaters and apparently they’ve never thought of looking underneath the chair cushions.

12. I love the little displays of magic, like the room going back to normal. The little bit of the chandelier that gets stuck under Harry’s foot is kind of cute.

13. Harry’s reminded, once again, that he’s got his mother’s eyes. Just in case we’d forgotten. Speaking of which Slughorn was a big fan of Lily.

14. In case we’d forgotten about Sirius, he’s dead too. Up to speed yet?

15. Hehe, Dumbledore taking the knitting magazine. I don’t blame him. He uses a wee bit of reverse psychology in order to get Slughorn to agree to come back to Hogwarts. Dumbledore helps to explain his reasoning behind this.

16. Dumbledore is kind of brilliant, literally dropping Harry off at The Burrow… in the middle of a duck pond. And he’s sent his stuff ahead, tipping Ginny off to his arrival.

17. I love the scene looking up through The Burrow. Their house is fantastic.

18. Oh Ron and Hermione, just kiss already.

19. And now the trio are sitting in Ron’s room with a little portable fire burning up some newspaper, catching up with Harry. The gist of this is that these are dangerous times we’re living in.

20. And then we’re skipping back to Chapter 2 of the book, which reminds me how much I miss the bit with the Prime Minister, even though it wouldn’t really work in this film setting.

21. Narcissa Malfoy has shown up at Snape’s place. “Put it down Bella, we mustn’t touch what isn’t ours” Alan Rickman really is Snape.

22. While they’re all talking about Draco’s task that he’s been set by Voldemort, I’m completely distracted by the fantastic bookshelves behind Snape. I want a house with a room like that. Though maybe one with a bit of lighting in it, you’d get eye strain trying to read in there.

23. They’re making an Unbreakable Vow now, so Snape will have to look out for Draco and help him succeed in his task regardless of what happens. I like the little pause where you can kind of see Snape considering what this means he’ll have to do.

24. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes looks brilliant. I like the Umbridge tightrope toy.

25. And once again we’re reminded that they’re all growing up. Ginny’s got a boyfriend and both Ron and Hermione have their admirers.

26. It’s really sad to see Diagon Alley all empty and dark. It’s a real contrast with how it all looked back in the first film.

27. Brief excursion to Knockturn Alley. All in the dark again so it’s creepy and hard to see exactly what’s going on. We get a look at Draco examining a big triangular cupboard before big, creepy Fenrir Greyback pulls down the blind.

28. Ginny has a Pigmy Puff on her shoulder. I’d quite like one but for now I’ll make do with fuzzy ratties for my shoulders.

29. Harry’s decided that Draco is a death eater and is trying to convince Hermione and Ron of this too. The others are sceptical so Harry wanders off in search of friends who might believe him. Then he gets the opportunity to eavesdrop on Malfoy and with a little help of some Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder and his invisibility cloak he’s able to listen in to Draco’s conversation.

30. The guy he’s sitting opposite is Blaise Zabini. I remember when there was massive debate on Harry Potter forums about whether Blaise was a boy or a girl, hehe.

31. Unfortunately for Harry Draco’s onto him. Draco’s kind of losing it a bit which says a lot for Tom Felton’s acting chops. It looks like he’s a little bit mad and desperate, it’s brilliant.
And we’ll leave Draco there being all mean and worried, while Harry is stuck on the train and no one knows he’s there.

Next week Luna is Luna and therefore generally wonderful, Harry gets some (sort of) field trips with Dumbledore, bad things happen in the school. Oh and Draco is up to something sinister. Woooo!


  1. I love Half Blood Prince, I just started re-reading the books from the beginning and I love that I've got all this to come :)

    1. I've just finished rereading the entire series. I actually felt a bit choked up in places towards the end of Deathly Hallows this time which doesn't normally happen. I wish I could go back and read them all over again for the first time.


Let me know what you think. :-)