updated:**SPOILER WARNING** HBP test screening

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updated:**SPOILER WARNING** HBP test screening

Post  That's Arka on Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:01 am

SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE
SPOILERS FOR HBP MOVIE


Today I got to see the test screening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It took place in Chicago at the AMC River East. It was a secret screening, no one in the audience was supposed to know before hand what they were seeing. I was one of only a small handful who already knew what we would be seeing, but I was sworn to secrecy. It was truly the hardest secret I ever had to keep.

It was not entirely complete, however aside from a few blue screens in the background, and one or two special effects missing, it was barely noticeable.

I am a huge fan of Ginny and Harry so I will start with them. There is a lot more Ginny than ever before. She nearly equaled Ron for screen time. We first see her at the Burrow when Harry arrives outside and the first thing he sees is her reading through the window. Harry Just stands there for a moment, gazing up at her. Although she is dating Dean Thomas she never looks happy with him, except when she is snogging him at The Three Broomsticks. She was on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. But the only game we saw was from the Felix Felicis chapter when Ron believes Harry has slipped him the potion. During Christmas at the Burrow, Ginny and Harry wind up on the stairs alone and start to lean into each other to kiss, when the attack on the Burrow interrupts them.

The Burrow does not burn down, but it is surrounded by a ring of fire conjured by Bellatrix. Harry, seeing Bellatrix, runs after her, and Ginny runs after him, right into Greyback. But Harry comes to the rescue and the two of them stand in a very high growing cornfield fending off attacks from the deatheaters. Lupin and Tonks come to the rescue, but that is I believe the last we see of them. There is no Tonks and Lupin relationship and although Tonks’ hair is brown there is no notice taken or any explanation given.

Tom Felton did a fantastic job in this film. Draco character remains true to the book, he even stamps on Harry’s nose. But, sadly, we never get the pleasure of seeing Crabb and Goyle disguised as girls. In fact, they are hardly in this movie. The Sectumsempra scene was really good, even without moaning Myrtle. As Harry and Draco throw spells at each other poor Nigel sits frozen on one of the toilets. Snape runs in shortly and McGonagall is in the doorway after Harry cast the spell (Draco never yells Crucio) and he does do a cure his wounds with a spell that sounds almost like song. But he does not use legilimency on Harry, who runs straight out of the bathroom to McGonagall. In the next scene Hermione and Ginny band together and tell Harry to hide the potions book so not even Harry can find it. Ginny takes Harry to the room of Requirement, and makes him close his eyes while she hides the book. Then she kisses him briefly. By the time he opens his eyes she has vanished.

There was definitely tension between Ron and Hermione. In the very beginning at the Burrow, Ron cleans off a bit of toothpaste from Hermione’s cheek. Later in Slughorn’s class she describes what she smells in the love potion and trails off with “spearmint toothpaste…” Lavender is quite nauseating and although she never gives Ron a necklace she does something equally as vomit worthy, steaming up a window on the Hogwarts Express with her breath and drawing a heart with “R + L” inside it. His relationship ends when he is unconscious and moaning Hermione’s name after being poisoned. He remains confused about why it ended but very relieved.

The kid who played young Tom Riddle was Brilliant. His voice and demeanor raised the hairs on the back of my neck. There is no mention of the Gaunts, but the scene in Slughorn’s office is there. Dumbledore however is truly surprised to learn that Riddle made 7 Horcruxes. It is in that scene that he realizes the ring is a Horcrux. He realizes what it was because when harry handles it briefly he moved his head like Voldemort.

We do get to hear Hagrid and Slughorn singing about Odo the Hero, and Harry is funny and a few lines where true to the book while under the influence of Felix Felicis. There is no Professor Trelawney, or the Dursleys. No Kreacher (no mention of inheriting Grimmauld Place whatsoever) or Dobby, or Bill and Fleur. There are no scenes with the Minister of Magic, and I don’t believe they even mentioned Fudge was sacked (though I may have missed it).

Oh and most sadly of all, no description from Luna about the dangers of the Rotfang Conspiracy. Nor does she commentate the Quidditch match. Luna’s role was very small, but she does have the lion hat and she is the one to find Harry on the train under the invisibility cloak with the help of her Spectrespecs.

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes was awesome!!! I only wish it were a real store. Unfortunately no U-No-Poo sign, but it was still a sight to see.

The scene with Harry and Snape at the end was the least finished of the movie; the background was mostly screens and lights and occasionally a sound persons head. It was very close to the book, though I thought Snape could have been stronger and angrier, when Harry called him a coward. His some of his last words to Harry are “You may have your mother’s eyes but you are as dim as your father!”

As a huge fan of the books I have found myself getting more and more disappointed by all the changes in the movies and especially in Michael Gambon’s portrayal of Dumbledore who is my favorite character. That being said I was really pleasantly surprised by this movie. Many of the changes were actually entertaining and Gambon has improved enough to be tolerable. It was so much better than Order of the Phoenix. Overall I really enjoyed this movie and can not wait to see it again.


Last edited by arka on Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:02 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Re: updated:**SPOILER WARNING** HBP test screening

Post  hey.pass.it.on on Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:18 am

Just finished reading it. I wish I could get into a surprise HBP screening!! I'm glad to hear that its not as disappointing as OOTP.
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Re: updated:**SPOILER WARNING** HBP test screening

Post  That's Arka on Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:51 pm

UPDATE:
I am so sorry everyone, in my haste to write my review I completely forgot the cave scene! So here it is-

Dumbledore meets Harry at the top of the Astronomy tower and they apparate to outside the cave. As they are leaving Harry is surprised that that they can apparate from within the Hogwarts grounds, and Dumbledore says something along the lines of “That’s the beauty of being headmaster.”

The scene they apparate to, despite being slightly unfinished was nonetheless absolutely breathtaking. Cliffs and huge waves dominate the scene. Dumbledore finds their way to the anti-chamber and slits his hand (for you star trek fans – he does it in a Klingon way – straight across the inside of his hand). The wall crumbles away and Dumbledore explains to Harry that Voldemort would have set up defenses around the Horcrux.

The cave is very different than what I had pictured and than all the fan art I have seen, but still a chilling and amazing sight. It reminded me a bit of a normal cave mixed with the ice crystal place Superman goes to in one of his movies. The whole cave is a vast formation of huge crystals, jagged and rough, jutting out from the ceiling walls and floor.

They make their way to the water and Dumbledore cautions Harry not to touch it and he starts to raise the boat with magic. Then he has Harry reel it in with a very heavy long chain.

The island is a formation of crystals as is the basin. Now the only really cheesy and unspectacular thing about this whole scene is that they use a large white clam shell partially imbedded in a small rock to scoop up the potion. In my opinion it looked rather silly. Dumbledore tell Harry to force him to drink the potion and Gambon once again does a slightly better than usual job being forced to drink the potion.

At one point towards the end you can very softly hear Dumbledore mumble something like “please don’t hurt them, it’s all my fault.” But it was almost inaudible and I doubt anyone who has not read the book caught the line at all. Then after the last scoop is drunk, Gambon kind of goes back to his rather poor, unresearched acting and says with far too much strength. “Harry, Water.”

But first Harry goes back to the Basin and recovers the locket and in the background we can hear Dumbledore saying “Harry, water” getting slightly weaker each time he says it. Harry attempts to fill the basin with water the aguamenti charm, but can not get the scoop the water up with that silly shell. After trying several times and Dumbledore starting to collapse he goes to the lake to fill it there.

Suddenly the light that was emanating from the island with the basin goes out, and Harry lights his wand (most unfortunately with the non-existent spell luminous-maximus, or whatever it was he used in the beginning of the third movie), and slowly reaches down to scoop up the lake water. The moment he touches it a hand reaches out and grabs Harry’s wrist. The whole audience jumped in fear. Harry tries to fend off the inferi with all the spells we hear him try in the books. But in the end he is pulled down into the water.

Before I go on I must say the Inferi scene was one of the most spectacular of this movie. They looked a bit like the newer version of the Dementor, but much more human shaped and brownish. I fear I am not describing them well, because they were truly a scary site to see. The camera angles captured the scene of Harry trying hopelessly to defend himself and Dumbledore from them as they clambered onto the island from all different angles and the sheer number of them eventually overwhelms Harry and he is pulled down deep into the lake.

While Harry is underwater the view we have is from below him looking up and we can see the whole island from below as well. Suddenly the Inferi holding Harry releases him and he swims up to a surface covered in ferocious flame. The “ring of fire” Dumbledore conjures is an unbelievable sight, far more than I think anyone pictured in the books, but incredibly spectacular. Harry and Dumbledore climb back in the boat and the scene then cuts to Harry helping Dumbledore through the cave.

The every so anticipated lines of (I am paraphrasing) “Don’t worry sir, I’ll get us back” and Dumbledore replying “I am not worried, I am with you” are said. Executed very well by Radcliffe though rather poorly in my opinion by Gambon who clearly does not know the significant emotional value we fans know those lines have.

They then apparate back to the top of the astronomy tower. There is no dark mark in the sky. But as Dumbledore says he needs Severus not Madame Pomfrey they hear a commotion and Dumbledore orders Harry to go and hide and not come out or interfere. A command the book Harry would never have followed, but that the movie Harry would obey. Harry goes underneath the wooden floor of the tower where Dumbledore is standing where he can see everything through large gaps between the wood slates. Draco arrives and Tom does a brilliant job as a boy trying to be fierce and terrified at the same time. Some lines from the book are rather butchered by Dumbledore saying things like “Draco, you are not an assassin.” Then the Death Eaters arrive all in masks except Bellatrix and Greyback. Bellatrix urges Draco to do it though his wand lowers slightly.

Meanwhile under the floor Harry who is watching terrified with his wand at the ready is sneaked up on by Snape, whose wand is also out and puts his finger to his lips to make sure Harry stays quiet. My description does not quite capture that scene well enough, but I was surprised to find my heart ripping, perhaps because I knew what was going to happen when Snape appeared there. Snape quietly appears above, and Dumbledore, with far too much strength says “Severus Please.”

And Snape does the Avada Kadavra, and Bellatrix is ecstatic. The scene with Dumbledore being lifted into the air was unfortunately unfinished because we see him up in the air and then apparently falling down the side of the tower, but there was no motion yet. He is stationary in both scenes. I am sure more special effects will be added later. Then Bellatrix casts the Dark Mark (another amazing updated special effect with a black smoke skull and snake tongue). The Deatheaters all run out, destroying a bit of the castle in a euphoric tantrum along the way. There is no battle inside Hogwarts and the only one to chase them is Harry.

There was no Amycus or Alecto anywhere I could see. Oh, and there is no Rosmerta either. Forgot to mention that before.

Anyway, the Deatheaters set Hagrid’s hut on fire and the scene I already described happens between Harry and Snape. Harry then returns to find the whole school gathered around Dumbledore’s body, McGonagall in the front completely stunned and silent. Harry kneels down at Dumbledore’s side, brushes a hair out of his face and finds the locket, but does not open it. Clutching the locket He starts to cry and Ginny goes and holds him also crying. Then following McGonagall’s lead, everyone lights there wand (I think they all murmur something in unison but I can’t remember what) and slowly raise them as one in the air. Final shot of that scene is from above with all the lighted wands surrounding the tower, Dumbledore, Harry and Ginny.
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Re: updated:**SPOILER WARNING** HBP test screening

Post  hey.pass.it.on on Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:44 pm

Hell ya! thats probably going to be the best scene in the movie!! I was wondering though, I read that in that scene with Harry and Draco in the bathroom was filmed but I didn't catch if they show Draco crying. Does anyone know if they shot that scene?
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Re: updated:**SPOILER WARNING** HBP test screening

Post  jescaru on Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:22 am

I should have felt bad about reading this post since it had so many spoilers for the movie, but I didn't. It is not like we haven't read the books. I am worried about the fact that there are so many characters left out. My heart breaks to even consider that there will be no Dobby in the seventh movie (s). And no Bill and Fleur....how the people who don't read the books have missed out!!!
I can't believe they changed the Harry/Ginny first kiss scene...it would have been perfect on screen.
I am so worried about the next two movies, I honestly don't care that much about this one. The seventh book was so emotional. Oh, I worry.
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Re: updated:**SPOILER WARNING** HBP test screening

Post  tkmillertime on Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:02 am

all i can say is wow what a stun and shock to c it so......um.......whats the word.......real in the world type thing. now i cant wait to c it. too bad i didnt get a chance at this screen thingy im sooooooooooo jelous. lucky u and keep it up.
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