Year Six: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009), Running Time: 2:33
5:12pm: Yates is back and the movie opens as dark as the London sky it portrays. "HBP" was, if I recall, the first of the series to use post 9/11 fear of terrorism as a theme and allegorize it with the Death Eaters. It was the one-and-only time it appeared that the real 21st Century world played a part in Rowling's plot.
5:19pm: Another year, another defense against the dark arts teacher. Introducing Horace Slughorn. Mercifully, "HBP" doesn't open with another painfully gratuitous Privet Drive escapade.
5:25pm: Hair check. Harry still short, Hermione still light, Grint longer than last time. Also noteable: Ginny's hair has turned a darker shade of brown and is much less red. Maybe she was adopted.
5:28pm: Narcissa Malfoy and Snape discuss Draco's "assignment" from the Dark Lord. True story: When "HBP" first came out in hardcover, someone ruined it for me by posting a comment about who kills who at the end on a totally unrelated blog. At first I had that "huh" moment, since it was so out of context. But then it clicked in my head and I was about as mad as a barrel full of bogarts.
5:30pm: I apologize for the "barrel of bogarts" metaphor.
5:37pm: Despite Harry's use of the invisibility cloak, Malfoy uncovers his spying attempt and casts a petrifying spell just in time for Harry to get stuck on the train as it prepares to return to London. Luna's batty awareness saves him. Also, Malfoy looks SHARP. Being evil must come with a wardrobe, or some kind of per diem.
5:40pm: Luna fixes Harry's broken nose. Personally, I would have waited for Hermione to do it.
5:41pm: As Harry arrives, Ginny asks "He's covered in blood again. Why is he always covered in blood?" No one else is surprised. Ginny, I have a wonderful series of books for you to read.
5:43pm: Oh I've made a factual error. Slughorn is potions master and Snape moves over to dark arts. I'm so ashamed. Go easy on me, people.
5:45pm: Harry snags an old potions book from the classroom cupboard, which is where the "Half-Blood Prince" title comes from (if I have to explain more than that, I can't imagine why you're reading this). True story: In similar fashion, when I was in the eighth or ninth grade, I was accidentally issued the teacher's edition of our French textbook. It had all the answers in it, which was awesome for about a week until the girl in the next seat turned me in and I had to play dumb like I didn't know what she was talking about. Possibly not my finest hour.
5:48pm: Slughorn gets the line of the hour. "It's perfect! So perfect I daresay one drop would kill us all." Seriously, Hogwarts has tons of legal exposure here for gross negligence. They need a good attorney, and a really excellent waste-disposal team.
5:51pm: We're in the Pensieve (aka magic sink) again, back to the memory of Dumbledore meeting Tom Riddle. I wonder if they sent out a casting call for "brooding, evil looking little boy." Because they certainly got one.
5:56pm: Ron tries out for Quidditch and new character Lavender Brown watches amorously from the sideline. So does the more restrained Hermione, setting up another Ron/Hermione/someone else love triangle.
6:00pm: First reference to Sectumsempra which I actually used on Movies Blog editor Josh Wigler the other day in an email. You'll be pleased to know that Madame Pomfrey says that he'll be OK in a few days.
6:01pm: Butterbeers! Is that the first time they've actually said "Butterbeer?" It can't be, but I don't remember it prior.
6:02pm: I could use a Butterbeer myself right about now. Siriusly.
6:03pm: Katie Bell gets hella hexed by touching a cursed necklace. McGonagall says what everyone is thinking. "Why is it, whenever something happens it's you three." Ron's comeback? "I've been asking myself the same thing for the past six years."
6:10pm: As Slughorn shows Harry his shelf of famous students, I can't help but wonder how that would go over in the real world. Creepy, at best. Right?
6:12pm: Lavender Brown breathes heavy all over Ron, wishing him luck in the Quidditch match. Which, of course, is against Slytherin. It's almost comical. Why are there even any other houses? I don't think I've heard the word "Hufflepuff" in about nine hours.
6:15pm: Great big congratulatory snog from Lavender, driving Hermione, crying, out of the room. On a related note, I have to go to the other room to tend to my chicken.
6:23pm: I definitely missed some stuff there as it's now suddenly Slughorn's Christmas party. Being a culinary giant is not conducive to epic cinematic journalism.
6:29pm: Awkwardly intimate scene between Ginny (in her bathrobe!) and Harry. Before they can kiss, they're interrupted by a Death Eater attack. Isn't that always the way? You're about to finally go for it and then a magical terrorism organization ruins everything.
6:32pm: The Burrow burns. Shades of that terrorism theme again.
6:34pm: Pensieve flashback. 16-year-old Tom still has that creepy, evil look. I really think it's the haircut.
6:40pm: Ron, under a love potion, is hilariously giddy. He tenderly hugs Slughorn and I may just have laughed aloud. I can neither confirm nor deny this rumor.
6:45pm: Apparent, if temporary, resolution to the Ron & Hermione triangle as Lavender Brown storms off crying. Ginny says what we've been thinking. "It's about time." Yes it is, Ginny. But you really should have read ahead.
6:50pm: Harry & Draco have it out in the washroom, destroying yet another perfectly good lavatory. Hogwarts must be running out of functioning loos at this point. Harry uses the Sectumsempra curse on Malfoy, not realizing how badly it will mangle him. Luckily Snape, who is familiar with the hex, sorts it all out.
6:52pm: Ginny, who knows something about found (and evil) books herself, forces Harry to dispose of the Half-Blood Prince's book. In exchange, he gets a nice, slow kiss. Now that's a room of requirement indeed!
6:57pm: AHHH giant dead spider! Why does this horrible thing keep coming back? Aragog, you will be in my nightmares tonight. If I ever get to sleep.
7:01pm: Slughorn and Hagrid get totally sloshed in a weird twisted tribute to the departed Aragog. Because there aren't any real people who die in this series that deserve tribute. Stay classy, Slughorn. On the plus side he gives up the key Tom Riddle memory. So the plot's back on track!
7:04pm: First use of the word "Horcrux." That seems important.
7:13pm: Dumbledore and Harry embark on Horcrux Hunt 2011! Reading this book when it first came out, I had this nutter theory that somehow Harry himself was one of the Horcruxes, owing to his confrontation with Voldemort as a child, and that the lightning scar was Rowling's "clue". And (spoiler warning) it turns out, I was right!
7:18pm: In all the enchanted excitement, I lost track of time and now have no idea when to take my chicken out of the oven. No good can come of this. And not to get all "Top Chef" on you, but I think my sauce is broken. But like Harry himself, I'll push through!
7:22pm: Smoke alarm in the house goes off with a piercing shriek. That sure ruined the drama. In other news, Malfoy's ready to try and kill Dumbledore.
7:24pm: Halfway "Star Wars" reference, as Dumbledore describes the vanishing cabinet as "A twin. A sister." The force is strong with that one. Too bad he won't be around much longer.
7:26pm: Dumbledore's last words are "Severus, please." Which at the time I interpreted as a plea to do the necessary thing and kill him. I was never sold on Snape one way or the other (two ambiguous). But you know what, I was totally right on that one too!
7:28pm: Harry learns that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince as he retreats along with the Death-Eaters. Simultaneously, I learn that I made way too much food. This raises an interesting question. How to eat messy food with my hands while still watching a movie and typing. Hmmm. Must figure it out as it's on to Year Seven!>>