Celebration North Theatre #13, 2:40pm
The forecast is dark. Continued dark and getting darker.
Things are getting more serious and more dire in Harry Potter 6 for Harry & Co. Many of the things I could say here, I also said about the DVD of Harry Potter 5 from yesterday's pre-lab, especially about the editing down of the novel to the film. The characters we love are all there, even if only shown in quick cameos. The kids are hitting puberty with a vengeance and pairing off with varying degrees of success. We get no introductions as to why Harry is sent to the Weasley house -- at this point there is no time, you are just supposed to know. As in HP5, this is not necessarily a problem for the intended audience.
The visuals of the Pensieve memories is nicely done. I'm sure the engineers who built the Millennium Bridge in London would sit through the opening and say, "Our bridge cannot bloody well oscillate like that!", but it does look cool. The movie bounces back and forth through okay and great bits like this, but we were particularly struck by the cuts. Kreacher and the house that Harry inherits from Sirius Black is completely gone. The eldest Weasley boy and his fiancee -- gone -- though the twins have a rip-roaring scene with their new joke shop. Quidditch, which was missing from HP5, is back and looking pretty damned good.
One surprising omission -- I don't think anyone actually uttered the names of the four houses at Hogwarts once. Oh sure, the colors and banners were there. The student seated at meals at the right tables. Everyone wearing appropriate T-shirts and sweatshirts. But the names, absent. Also MIA is the whole business of points and the House Cup. And passwords into the dormitories. All those things are just part of the lore you are supposed to know and assume is going on in the background. And to be fair, you don't miss these details in the movie itself, but only in the postmortem afterwards, which SF/F fans will do endlessly to any movie, TV show or book. (grin)
At 158 minutes, HP6 is about the right length and twenty minutes longer that HP5. But we did miss the ending of the book version.
In one sense, HP5 and HP6 are still transitional pieces, leading into the Ultimate Battle of the finale in HP7. Frankly, given what necessary editing had to be done for HP5 and HP6, I think splitting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into HP7.1 and 7.2 may be what is needed, to include what needs to be included and show it all in grand style. Lots of commenters assume that the split is done to make more money, and I don't doubt that this justified the decision. But considering what was cut in this movie and the last, do you really want a 2½ hour version of chopped-down HP7? I surely don't. I strongly suspect that some items cut from HP6 will show up in HP7.1.
Also of interest is that the IMAX version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince won't come out in the U.S. until Wednesday 29 July, because of exclusive deals with that silly Transformers sequel. We've found that the IMAX versions have been pretty damned impressive -- and we have a local IMAX theatre. (double-wide-grin)
In short, a good show and making us want for more! Recommended