Saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at 9:30 yesterday morning — the old person’s midnight screening, let’s call it — and enjoyed it fine, except for the three moments that drove me absolutely batty because I made the mistake of re-reading the book this weekend and I’m apparently way more anal than originally suspected.
I’m gonna file this under SPOILER ALERT! and encourage those of you who’ve already read the book and seen the film (that’s at least $22 millions-worth of you, if I understand the math) to join me after the jump, read about my quibbles, and contribute your own in the comments…
1. The Burning Burrow Nonsense Can somebody explain to me what on earth that was except a gratuitous chance to show Tonks prematurely referring to Lupin as “sweetheart” in public, after she was already swapped out in favor of Luna Lovegood on the Hogwarts Express? Or perhaps it was a contractual thing regarding Helena Bonham Carter’s screen time? Either way, it was pointless and did nothing but irritate me, and also remind me of the first X-Files movie for some reason.
2. The Room of Requirement Did Not Fulfill Its Requirement Yes, we know the R.O.R.’s main function in Half-Blood Prince is to give Draco a way to let Death Eaters into Hogwarts, but in all the soul-deadening “romance” between Ginny and Harry while they were up there hiding the Prince’s potions book, one very crucial detail got completely glossed over: If Harry doesn’t put the diadem of Ravenclaw on top of the cabinet where he hides the book, how does he know the diadem of Ravenclaw is in the Room of Requirement when it comes time for collecting Horcruxes? This is a dopey mistake and/or decision (assuming it was conscious) that could have been easily avoided if they’d only…
3. Let Harry and Ginny Kiss How They’re Supposed To! I hate to be that girl, but the first Potter-on-Weasley action, as Rowling wrote it, qualifies as one of the best literary kisses of all time: He’s been stuck in detention and misses the final Quidditch match; she subs in as Seeker and grabs the snitch, giving Gryffindor the win and the cup; he enters the victory party and sees nothing but her; cue the tonsil hockey. Is it so wrong that I was looking forward to this moment in the movie? Instead, we get one slow, awkward, mumbled scene in the R.O.R. with a lot of blank staring that also serves to undermine future plot points and make the sexual tension between Luke and Leia in Star Wars look almost porny. Snore.
I’ve got other gripes — why hasn’t anyone bothered to write a melody for “Weasley is Our King” yet? — but I’d rather hear from you in the comments, PopWatchers. Bring the noise, bring the funk.
The Movie Critics: EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum and Owen Gleiberman talk pop-culture touchstones in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: