Review: Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (the non cynical version)


One of my greatest joys as a parent is having a 6 year old who loves the movies as much as I do.
Today we had a ‘date’ to see the new Harry Potter movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Dinner would be a large bucket of sweet popcorn between us and talk was of Dementors, spells and ‘why was there snogging in the adverts for the film?’

In another life I was a film reviewer. And by far my biggest irritation is when someone reviews a movie that they clearly don’t ‘get’.
Why ask a male film critic who is obviously into his sci fi and action movies to review Sex and the City? Seriously, I saw that happen.
And why ask a middle aged reviewer who waxes lyrical about the merits of political dramas and fact-based thrillers to review the latest Pixar offering?
It makes no sense to me.

And so, for all you Harry Potter fans out there, I bring you the perfect reviewer for this movie: My 6 year old son.

A huge fan of the films (we’re planning on reading the books together soon), a film buff (his favourite film ever is Iron Giant – and if you haven’t seen that movie, dear lord why ever not?) and a young man who thinks Harry Potter is so cool he even dressed up as him for World Book Day at school.

To make it easy for him, I broke it down into 2 areas: cool things about the film. Rubbish things about the film (come on, he’s only 6!)

WARNING: There may be some plot spoilers!

Over to you Dan:

The magic was good and am I allowed to say about the shock at the end? No? Oh.
I liked Ron’s brother’s magic things shop and the Quidditch game with Ron in goal. That made me laugh.

And when Ron was in love and hugging everyone that was so funny.

Oh and the memory thing, when they go into memories and see what happened in the past, that was good too.


Nothing was really rubbish. It was too long. I really loved it but I wish it had been shorter. All the popcorn had run out and my bum was getting numb and mummy kept telling me not to fidget. But if they had made it shorter they may have cut the cool bits out. They could have cut the kissing out. There was no need for that.

The creatures in the water really made me jump. They were a bit scary, but I loved it. I don’t think I’ll be dreaming about them, but maybe Dumbledore’s black hand. That was gross!

I should just like to add that the special effects were fabulous and the filmmakers have really managed to bring the pages of the book to life.
And boy have the characters all grown up. Is it wrong to fancy Harry Potter a little bit?

It is long, but it feels like the characters have the chance to breathe more. However, at nearly 3 hours I did worry about how Dan would make it through.

Also I would say it’s a film for fans – it’s not really something you can dip into if you haven’t seen any of the others.
It’s not ‘wow, this was brilliant’ but it certainly passes my patented Movie Meter – if I’d got back and see it again tomorrow, it’s a winner.

And I would. Except maybe I’d take in more popcorn.

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31 Responses to Review: Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (the non cynical version)

  1. Kat says:

    I can't wait to see it! Shhh I fancy Harry Potter a bit myself.

  2. Turf Dad says:

    Hey, that popcorn will go straight to your …Also, for a middle aged "man", I think I'm pretty liberal with my movie recommendations.

  3. Meredith @ thinkthin says:

    Love the "They could have cut the kissing out. There was no need for that." Brilliant. We are taking our 8 y.o. son and 11 y.o. daughter next week. Son will probably agree about the kissing, don't think daughter will mind.

  4. Reluctant Housewife says:

    I can't wait to see this even though I didn't love the last one…And I'm pretty sure everyone already knows about the surprise at the end… I'm not sure you can have spoilers with a Harry Potter movie.

  5. Tammy Howard says:

    I loved the Weasley twins shop, too! And he's right – the inferi were very scary. I knew it was coming and it still skeered me.

  6. I loved it too Dan, my only complaint being it was a tad bit too long. Otherwise, superb acting, gorgeous scenery, excellent special effects and brilliant story telling. That's it, I've run out of superlatives. (Ask your Mom what that means.)

  7. A Lawyer Mom's says:

    "They could have cut the kissing out. There was no need for that."Ah. A boy after my own boy's heart. Because kissing is just . . . well . . . totally unnecessary!

  8. Vered - MomGrind says:

    What an awesome review by a highly qualified reviewer!

  9. Single Parent Dad says:

    I can't get into it at all. Read the first book, and watched the first film, totally underwhelmed. Mind, I screwed up yesterday, went to squeeze a viewing of Bruno in before nursery finished, to be caught in a queue of wannabe wizards with Orange phones. Glad you and the mini-critic liked it. You can take Max.

  10. @ Kat: Hands off, I saw him first. @ Smittenbybritain: I have seen a couple of reviews since being really sniffy about it and one said: "The film is simply a bore, a frustrating, yawn-inducing, 2½-hour teaser with no pay-off" – did they see the same movie as us?@ Turf Dad: Don't worry I jogged all the way home then did 2 straight hours of weights …@ Meredith/A Lawyer Mom's Musings: He wasn't keen on the kissing at all. His was the one voice that carried over the sloppy music saying "not again!"@ Reluctant Housewife: I don't like to give spoilers just incase people forget. It's been a while since the book. But you're right, everyone who goes probably knows how it ends. Still bloody sad though.@ Tammy Howard: How cool would a shop like the Weasley twins' one be if it opened in town? I would so buy that blackout powder! @Vered: Thanks Vered. @ Single Parent Dad: I might guess you'd be the heathen of the bunch. Tut. And Bruno? Deary deary me.

  11. That Girl says:

    Dan would kick Michael Parkinsons arse! And fancying Harry Potter? I think its all part of being 40 – lately I find myself veering between Dawson and Pacey! What is wrong with me… it was always Pacey! I mean….Dawson? I blame the hormones!

  12. dulwich divorcee says:

    Move over Harry Potter, I actually found myself looking at Rupert Grint in a bit of a new light …rather nice muscular arms, I thought ….gah, I need to get out more

  13. Home Office Mum says:

    Brilliant review by your son. Am desperate to see the film. Amazed that a six year old wasn't more scared by the creatures in the water. I found the book scary enough (does that make me a complete wuss?)

  14. Smitten by Britain says:

    Tara- that's why I normally don't read reviews.

  15. Nota Bene says:

    Much more reliable than the reviews in the newspapers!

  16. Rachel says:

    Aww awesome review! I loved the movie so much and it is totally ok to fancy Harry a little:0) The movie was really long but I expected that I did not expect how uncomfortable the seat were that was rough.

  17. Great review. I haven't seen it, but all the other HPs were too long, so I'd say that's a very fair criticism. Fancying HP? I'd like to see him without the specs…

  18. Lol. That's the best review I've ever read!

  19. Anne aka mum-e says:

    Brilliant review, very clever son. It is so wrong to fancy Harry Potter. Though I understand he was very, erm, impressive in Equus.But Ron's far cooler.

  20. Dancinfairy says:

    Want to see this so much but with baby due tomorrow I don't think I can face the cinema. Will have to wait for DVD :o(

  21. Lisa says:

    I loved the movie. I went to see it opening night here, at the 12:01 a.m. showing on Wednesday morning. You can check out my Wordless Wednesday post to see all the fabulous costumes we had. The only kiss I cared about being a great kiss, was Harry's and Ginny's. It doesn't compare at ALL to the book. So disappointed in the kiss. This movie was really for the fans. It was light-hearted, funny, and brought out most of the best parts of the books. A lot was left out and I wonder how they'll incorporate that into the next movie, but overall, great. Cinematography was PHENOMENAL!

  22. @ That Girl: You're so right. And that Wossy's arse too. @ Dulwich divorcee: Hmm, yes, I can actually see your point. Ron is rather muscular now . . . He was such a nerd. Now he's, well, not.@ Smitten by Britain: Except my son's from now on, of course . . . @ Home Office Mum: He's not scared because he loves SpiderMan and Iron Man and Powerrangers. He doesn't even bat an eye at the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty and that used to TERRIFY me. Still does if I'm honest!@ Nota Bene: I only read review in newspapers for the entertainment value now – they're all cynical and miserable as far as I can tell. Must be an essential personality trait for the job. @ Rachel: Am starting to feel Ok about fancying Harry P now. Hmm, should I confess to dreaming about him yet. . . ?@ Nappy valley girl: Too long, but they do cram in an awful lot of good stuff. Without his specs did you say …: Rebecca: Thanks for the vote of confidence!@ Anne aka mum-e: "It is so wrong to fancy Harry Potter. Though I understand he was very, erm, impressive in Equus" – tee hee@ Dancinfairy: Ah, but if baby is overdue and you got to the stage where you're begging everyone and everything to GET THIS BABY OUT, the scary bits in Harry Potter could just work to your advantage. And your local paper would have a great story: Local mum gives birth in movie theatre. She said the inferi did it!'

  23. Dan will make a great film reviewer! And yes it is wrong to fancy Harry Potter (you, not Dan, 6 year olds can fancy whoever they like!)

  24. Patricia says:

    My kids are all great, great fans – one is in Alaska working an will not see the movie until it comes out on DVD – She is sad. One is hoping her 10 year old friend will go with her and share the adventure and my youngest went for the midnight showing after her first full day on her new job (just graduated from college) I don't think I will be able to go before I leave for the UK but wish I could. Wonder if they will show it on the plane?My youngest loved going with her friends but was extremely disappointed that the movie diverged so far away from the book, which she has read 11 times. Very nice review Dan and I agree I don't want someone into Sci-Fi reviewing Julia and Julia in the fallThank you both for a delightful read.

  25. Hadriana's Trea says:

    Loved the review. We haven't got into them yet (Potter series) but it'll only be a matter of time. Award for you over at mine. 🙂

  26. jennifer says:

    He did a great job reviewing the movie. My daughters enjoyed the movie as well but considering their age, they appreciated the snogging 🙂

  27. Coding Mamma (Tasha) says:

    Am going to try and go to see it this week. Chris and I were discussing whether to introduce Rosemary to the films first or the books. Because all the books are written, it's difficult to do it in the yearly(ish) installments that one generation of children got to experience them in. Hmm. Well, I think we probably have at least a couple of years before we need to decide!

  28. Jo Beaufoix says:

    I can't wait to see it. I have to wait till I can get a baby sitter as my two are too wussy to see it. 😀 Brilliant review Dan, and I reckon the black hand will be yucky too. Brilliant.

  29. Linda says:

    Excellent review from the young Paul Ross (or should that be Jonathan?) there and your comment about it being a 'film for fans' is dead on. Not having watched any of the others, or read the books, I hated it. My daughters thought it was "okay" and my partner said I was a miserable old cow. (I think this was because of my view of the film, but can't be sure.)I found it so slow moving, the beginning was mind-numbingly boring – I thought the acting was pretty wooden in parts and some of the long lingering shots of carshing waves/rolling hills/fog/mist/more mist/people doing something on broomsticks (joke!) could have been cut out and made it a lot more palatable. There were moments of tension and excitement but they were too few. I expected to be knocked out by imaginative and enchanting magic from Hogwarts – what great potential it has.I did manage to have a little sleep though and some wine gums, was trying to just eat the black ones but it was too dark and I ended up eating the green ones, much more boring.Yeah I know I am a miserable old cow, with bad teeth.

  30. Liz@Violet Posy says:

    Oh you are so lucky, DD has only just gotten into movies as she's a bit scared of all things film and TV. But isn't it wonderful when they love something as much as you, I'm hoping to get her into Harry Potter soon 🙂

  31. Linda says:

    And as for Maggie Smith, My God. Why couldn't they have got Liz Smith?

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