Overall:

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This movie never felt TOO rushed, although some moments felt a bit too prolonged and in need of a scene edit – Order of the Phoenix had this problem as well. Visually, the best so far. The colors were moody and suitable, but not moody for the sake of being artsy (I’m looking at YOU, POA). There was a lot of Quidditch, which was great! The musical callbacks to Order were ok for the most part (admittedly some of it felt lazy), and there are some standout and memorable music tracks.

The look and feel of the film was delightful, and very much a dark comedy. Standouts include Alan Rickman, who has been mildly guilty of phoning it in a bit in the past but when he picks up and delivers as he does here, well wow, he just rocked that boat. Jim Broadbent was a master choice for Slughorn, carrying scenes right and left – very solid and perfect. Tom Felton was outstanding and tortured.

Bonnie Wright was also fantastic, and no one does unhinged quite like Bonham Carter.

Also, hated Tonks here. Lupin didn’t fare much better. Some of the additions fell completely flat, and the treatment of the first part of the book was actually benefited by the “show not tell” approach of film. The sets were wonderfully designed.

The twins’ joke shop: Aces! I want to shop there. Good set.

The extra addition of twins in the Slug Club: Yawn. Visual gag. Yay let’s have yet another set of twins so we can dress them alike.

Young/teen Voldemort: Creepy! Well cast.

The horcruxes: Properly explained if you like it in the completely abbreviated, mission accomplished way.

Some specifics:

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Ron and Lavender
The movie: It was squeamish, but entirely fitting with how I expected it.
The book: Lavender is meant to exist to push Ron and Hermione together. Mission accomplished.
Winner: Tie. Did its job accurately, but the movie kicked it up a whole notch on the creepy cling wrap scale.

Ron and Hermione
The movie: I have to say this felt the most unnatural and over the top acting I have ever possibly seen. Ick.

Harry and Ginny
The movie: Cute, but some of the added scenes felt kinda wonky. I liked the book treatment better, but I was entirely charmed enough by the natural chemistry radiating from these two to not mind so much, and just buying what they were selling. Also, way better than Ron and Hermione. You take what you can get here.

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The Trio (and Ginny)
Ron
It was nice to see Grint get a wide variety of things to do, and do them fairly well. He’s grown as an actor, but still reeks a bit of underplaying things with an entire lack of off camera self confidence. Additionally, he should look into comedy. His scenes with Slughorn were quite simply, hysterical.

Hermione
Hermione bugged me during Half-Blood Prince anyway, and the movie was no exception. Weakest character of the trio here, in both the book and film.

Harry
Excellent, excellent, excellent. Radcliffe continues to improve and Harry was entirely well written, and a welcome light touch at that.

In Sum: I’d go see it again in the theater. I liked it. I think where the book left me flat and blah, this outing was lighter and fun, even despite the darker and more serious tone to it. It did its job well enough – it set up Deathly Hallows. That’s all book six was about, anyway. Not perfect, no, but pretty decent.

So go see it too.

Spoiler Review, Half-Blood Prince Movie

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