a public service announcement from Captain Obvious

I am not 21 anymore.

Heck, I’m not 39 anymore, forget Jack Benny.

We went to the midnight show of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It was worth it–no regrets. But man, I am dragging my butt this morning, and there will be no relief until late tonight because not only am I at work and already taught an 8 am class, today is the day I teach in the evening as well.

I suppose I can pick up a little bottle of Visine at the drugstore during lunch. I wonder if I can close my door and camp out under my desk instead of wolfing down a sandwich?

Remind me of why I thought this was a good idea.

Oh yeah, it’s HARRY POTTER! What’s wrong with you–doesn’t everybody live, breath, and eat Harry Potter? Well, no, as a matter of fact, I don’t, but I do love the series and have enjoyed the movies except for that weird departure in #3.  Also, I want John Williams back, but that’s another story.

Still, it was a great film. I’ve read the books several times, but still look forward to the interpretation on the screen, and I was not disappointed with this one. Part of the reason I went last night is to avoid getting spoiled, so I’ll be careful here. At least for a week or so.

I loved the way the camera moved from point to point. It was particulary cool when the Weasleys were introduced at home, but the unusual angles and long, encompasing shots were equally lovely in other scenes. I was especially taken with the way that cad, Malfoy, was filmed. His isolation was captured nicely. I really felt sorry for him in the film, although the book captures his mother’s desperation much better.  If I’m going to be critical of anything in the film, it’s that the book carries much more pathos than the film–perhaps because there is just so much to convey and not everything can be covered on the big screen. Too bad, because the places where it was executed well, it was great.

Somehow, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anyone, Dumbledore’s death could have been played to devastate the audience but it didn’t, except for one woman in the audience who was openly (and rather loudly) sobbing, that death scene could have had a greater emotional impact, and for me, fell somewhat short. Perhaps it’s just that I had expended all my grief in the book.

However, that very scene had a BRILLIANT use of light to symbolize how the Light can banish the Darkness. Read that as you will — it will make sense when you see it.

It also makes me impatient to see the rest of the story. Overall, I give it both thumbs up. At this point, they’d really have to do something really stupid to screw this up. Enjoy it. It doesn’t have the flashy special effects of the last movie–this one has a somewhat deeper, somber feel, but it works and is appropriate. It also has a great deal of comic relief to balance it.

Incidentally, the best casting in the history of the world: Helena Bonham Carter. Closely followed by Alan Rickman.