I have now seen Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince twice and have plans to see it one more time next week. If you have not yet seen the movie, I recommend not going any further.
Seriously, stop reading now.
Alright, don't say I didn't warn you!
After the first viewing, I was not sure how I felt about the movie. Usually when I see a movie that has been based on a book that I've read, I need to see it more than once because the first time I am comparing it to the book the whole time. I understand that they have to leave things out from the book, but my biggest pet peeve is when they leave out a needed scene and replace it with an unnecessary scene.
Here are my major issues:
1. There was way too much teen angst. I know the relationships with Harry and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione are important in this movie, but did Dumbledore really have to ask Harry about his relationship with Hermione?! And was it necessary for Harry to be hitting on the girl in the coffee shop at the beginning?
2. I love Helena Bonham Carter as an actress, but there was absolutely no reason for the scene of her and Fenrir Greyback attacking the Burrow at Christmas. Nothing was accomplished, the storyline was not enhanced, except now they've burned down the Weasley's house.
3. I also felt like they needed to explain the horcruxes better. I understand having to cut out all of the memories of Tom Riddle throughout his life, it just would have taken too long for all those scenes, but couldn't Dumbledore have explained at some point to Harry what else he was looking for? We do know that there are a total of seven horcruxes but they are really only looking for six because one part of the soul remains in Voldemort's body. It is never explained how Tom Riddle wanted to become the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and the position has been cursed ever since Dumbledore turned him down. It is also never explained that because Hogwarts was the only real home Tom Riddle ever knew, Dumbledore suspects that Riddle used artifacts belonging to the original Heads of Houses to make several of the horcruxes. The locket they found belonged to Slytherin, there was a cup belonging to Hufflepuff and something belonging to Ravenclaw. The only known Gryffindor artifact is the sword and Dumbledore has that in his office, which is also important for the next movie.
4. There was definitely not enough about Snape being the Half-Blood Prince. This annoyed me the least only because the main plot of the movie did not depend on this story-line and it's not that important for the next book. However, it is in the title of the movie so I think they should have at least explained it a little better.
I feel that I need to note that my issues with the film have absolutely nothing to do with the acting performances. That aspect of every Harry Potter movie is always FABulous. I think Tom Felton is brilliant as Draco Malfoy. I have liked him since the first movie and I especially liked the black suits in this one, very spiffy. I also really like James and Oliver Phelps as Fred and George Weasley and Devon Murray as Seamus Finnegan - they always make me laugh. I was however disappointed in the lack of Neville (played by Matthew Lewis) in this movie and the complete disappearance of Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney. Also, Cho Chang (Katie Leung) was listed in the credits, but I don't remember seeing her at all.
Don't get me wrong, I did like the movie. I just feel that, along with the third movie (Prisoner of Azkaban) there were important details left out and unimportant things added. Like I said, I know these books are incredibly detailed and it would be impossible to put everything in the movies but shouldn't we at least not confuse the people who haven't read the books?!