Thursday, July 16, 2009

Movie Review (WITH SPOILERS) and Preview Rave

Wednesday night, Backbencher and I went to see "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." It's my favorite so far, despite several reviews calling it a "placeholder." I really liked the changes they made to the story in the film, and even things that I wouldn't have thought would work did. For example (SPOILER ALERT), in the scene where Dumbledore is killed, Draco, the Carrow siblings, Bellatrix and Greyback are all on the tower with Dumbledore, with Harry watching silently below. As Bellatrix and the others goad Draco into doing the deed, Snape suddenly appears below, where Harry is. He presses his fingers to his lips - and for some reason Harry obeys him! Then, of course, he swoops up and kills Dumbledore.

Now, if you had read the books and heard about this scene from the movie, you would think there is no way this could possibly work. Harry HATES Snape with a passion; there is just next to no chance that Harry would collude with Snape for any purpose. Except.... except that in the movie version, the changes made to this scene make it very obvious that Harry fully expects Snape to shut down the Death Eaters, and that this is the reason he goes along with Snape's plan. The one time Harry trusts Snape makes Snape's betrayal more acutely painful than anything the book ever describes. I predict that this will come back to haunt Harry in the final installments of the movie .... and this little scene helps me anticipate the ways I will appreciate Harry's ultimate understanding/forgiveness/redemption of Snape.  Until now, I always thought Harry's forgiveness of Snape, demonstrated by the fact he names one of his kids after him, to be pretty weak.  It appeared to be based on Snape's memories and his love for Lily.  Mind you, it didn't stop me from crying uncontrollably when I read the words, "Albus Severus" in the book!

But, as much as I loved this most recent movie, quite possibly I was more captivated by one of the previews. Yes, it is the return of "Stuff White People Like" and in particular, this gem about Where the Wild Things Are. When the preview for this film began, I gasped and grabbed Backbencher. "Max!" I whispered gleefully.  This movie looks so perfectly delightful! The costumes are lifted almost directly from the pages of the book, I suspect there's a lot more "back story" or (real life) we will see, and oh! I just can't wait! (It would also make a great play, I noted....I'll check on whether or not one currently exists.)

The only odd thing about the whole experience was that, just before the previews began, where you get the reminders to turn off your cell phones, keep quiet, and keep your feet off seats, an ominous voice continued, "Remember, we are always watching and will remove loud or unruly patrons." I swear, it was almost as if we had heard, "Big Brother is always watching you, we are nearby, and we will make you 'disappear' if you don't conform." Dude, WTH?

In summary: go see Harry Potter, clear some time on your calendar for when WTWTA opens, and beware the movie-theater staff-stalkers.

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