Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.
Reeltime Harry Potter continues with Year 6 on 30 September 2017 at 8pm BST.
Welcome back for Year 6 everyone. Running about 1 minute behind for those watching along.
A cold open. That’s new.
Although with a title few seconds later it hardly seems worth it.
Continuing with the darker tone, our colour palette seems to have dropped to Gears of War greys and browns.
Is this an alternate universe where we never fixed the resonance issues with the Millennium Bridge?
“Divine Magic”. Like Dumbledore doesn’t have enough of a god complex already…
Ah yes, the taste test. Obviously that’s what one does when blood drips on you.
What’s this?! A Hogwarts teacher who genuinely cares about his students? No wonder he’s in hiding.
So we’re supposed to take Ginny more seriously this year. Is love in the air?
“This is Hogwarts we’re talking about. It’s Dumbledore. What could be safer?” Literally anything. You guys do remember the last five years, right?
Snape is keeping considerably worse company.
What on earth has he just sworn to do? This can’t be good.
Subtle transition to a shopping trip.
“Draco and mummy” taking traditional early Suspicious-Looking Lucius role.
Ginger and stealth evidently don’t mix.
Luna’s back! Does she get a proper role or is this just a holdover from last year?
This seems to be a much longer, more involved journey than before.
“Hogwarts. What a pathetic excuse for a school.” I don’t disagree though probably for very different reasons than Draco. It’s still not passing Ofsted any time soon.
Is someone on LSD? Oh no, just on being Luna.
So the great Boy Wizard barely even made it off the train this year.
Incidentally, readers have been sending me a lot of Harry Potter-related stuff. This one from Nick certainly fits my view.
Is this class required under the curriculum or not?! I still don’t get how lesson choices work, but one would expect students to know by the day of their first lesson…
“Living Death” is on page 10 of their textbook? What on earth comes at the end?!
Interesting. Harry does have a great record with books from former students.
Harry’s won one free re-roll. Luck is his most important trait after all…
This is the weirdest shrine I’ve seen.
Oh wow, young Dumbledore is still way older than Tom. I’d kind of assumed he and Voldemort were contemporaries, given his power and everyone’s fear of him.
An invisible shell around the Hogwarts. They’ve finally beefed up security around the school in a way that doesn’t involved mixing Dementors and students.
You’re still not a leader, Harry. Just let Ginny take the reins.
I assume this is representative of everyone’s interest in Quidditch by this point, right?
Hermione’s soulful looks notwithstanding.
“The binding is fragile.” Worst possible excuse.
Well if they’re having Butterbeer, don’t mind if I do. Flat Tire IPA for those drinking along at home.
“They’re just holding hands… and snogging.” Awkward.
Got milk? What is it with Hermione smearing white stuff around her mouth in front of Ron…
“I just know.” Terribly convincing, Harry. Maybe follow it up with a, “Don’t you know who I am?” That always wins people over.
What could be more normal than two boys in bed talking about girls’ skin? Are they taking Serial Killer 101?
“I’m just saying it could be a contributing factor.” Wow, this teenage dialogue is incredibly realistic.
Wizards don’t know whether (muggle) dentistry is a dangerous profession?!
“Did Voldemort make the shelf?” I like the directness if you want to make him uncomfortable but this isn’t exactly the way to gather information, Harry.
Okay, Luna might actually be straight up my favourite character.
I’m assuming Harry didn’t just drug Ron and he only claimed to have put Liquid Luck in there to boost his confidence on the pitch?
Now Ron, let’s be smart about this. More Hermione, less groupies.
I love this tender scene. But Hermione doesn’t win any points for passively not saying how she feels even if Ron is being an idiot.
“She’s only interested in you because she thinks your the Chosen One.”
“But I am the Chosen One.”
Snow White… hair.
Why does Malfoy want to gatecrash this party anyway?
“It’s just, you can’t break an unbreakable vow.” Ron’s smarter than people give him credit for.
Oh, you can break an unbreakable vow. You just die.
Aww, daddy Weasley beating a diplomatic retreat to leave the lovebirds alone.
No such respect from Ron.
These two are sweet. I wish we got to see more of their relationship.
“I need to go and vomit.” So do we all, Hermione.
Wait, Dumbledore is collecting other people’s memories? This suddenly took an extremely fascist turn.
Much as I may be curious about what Tom was exploring.
Oh yes, just quote Tom verbatim. Master of subtlety as always, Potter.
You’re about to learn a lesson about why you don’t take sweets from strangers, Ron…
Ron accidentally saving the day. By being greedy. His superpower.
It’s tracheotomy time…
McGonagall is seriously surprised that student intervention was required because a teacher couldn’t keep children safe? She must be used to it by now.
“Oh to be young and feel love’s keen sting.” Sarky Dumbledore doesn’t have time for this.
Hermione is clearly enjoying this. But, by still refusing to say anything, I’m losing sympathy again.
I’ve been struggling to work out why Katie Bell looks familiar. She was one of the kids in The Basil Brush Show!
Was that bird just more Room of Requirement romantic meddling like Cho last year?
I guess that would be a yes. Now, how come it hasn’t intervened with Ron and Hermione? Is it because the Room secretly ships Harry and Hermione like everyone else?
Harry forgot he had a luck potion? The most powerful thing he’s been given this year.
Purely medicinal, of course.
“A dead one.” Keen eye there Harry. All it takes is a luck potion for him to deliver this kind of keen observation.
Oh good, deadly venomous poisons are obviously what have missing from Hogwarts.
Why is lucky Harry an idiot? Is that actually a requirement for luck? I mean, that does make a lot of sense actually.
Why is Harry suddenly super confident that he is the Chosen One. I get that he fits the prophecy but why is he not even questioning it?
Ooh, we’re going to find out about Horcruxes!
“Killing rips the soul apart.” Fine.
“It’s a violation against nature.” Wait, what? Because nature abhors killing. It’s not like most of the food chain does it…
Did Tom pick seven at random? If he has no issue with killing, surely the more the merrier?
This time round Severus is the only one in willing to call out Dumbledore for using people.
“Being me has its privileges.” Being a dick, you mean?
Trying to work out whether he looks more like Saruman or Gandalf standing at the top of his tower.
So now it’s Harry Potter and the Horcrux Collection Orienteering? Are we just forgetting about the Half-Blood Prince?
Yeah, just grab the Horcrux. It’s not like anything bad happened last time someone did that.
Once again wizards seem incapable of understanding that there are multiple kinds of vessels that will hold liquids. Not just Goblets and conveniently placed shells.
Are they getting swarmed by Gollums?
And now Dumbledore is going all bad-ass Gandalf. I know LOTR was done by this point, but still…
I’d feel sorry for Draco if it weren’t for… no, I just don’t. I’ve not seen any redeeming features beyond this half-arsed whimpering.
Well this is problematic. To save Draco(‘s soul), Snape is going to have to kill Dumbledore himself, isn’t he? Is this part of the plan?
“I’m the half-blood prince.” Sorry, what? That’s not an explanation of anything.
Snape is clearly not fighting back against Harry. Was killing Dumbledore necessary to get in with the Death Eaters and take down Voldemort?
Kind of a weird ending after a murdered headmaster.
So a lot to break down there that all seemed to be rather unnecessarily stuffed into the end. I was really into the interpersonal relationships for once, but they mostly felt overtaken by the need to move the plot forward, despite there being very little of actually importance until the final act.
Dumbledore’s death actually came earlier than I’d thought – though I suppose this was the penultimate book even if was the third film from the end. My sympathy for Snape is slightly reserved pending finding out whether everyone was in on his plan to get in with the Malfoys and effectively write a blank cheque with that unbreakable vow.
Given that Dumbledore continued to manipulate people and willingly put them in harm’s way right up to the end (albeit at least acknowledging it eventually), I still don’t get why fans love him so much. Other than conditioning since he’s an Old White Man.
And I really don’t get the titular part of the plot. Harry using Snape’s old textbook was the entirety of that plotline?! No explanation of what on earth “half-blood prince” even means? Is this just more trouble with condensing the longer books?
If so, I guess it’s a good thing the last book has been cut in two. Presumably one film of Horcrux Collection and one of The Final Battle. We’re only at two so far, right? Given that the Death Eaters seem so freely able enter Hogwarts at the end (I’m taking back what I said about beefed up security, incidentally) did they take back the other two?
Oh, and before I wrap up, a quick shout out to Xena Zeit-Geist, whom I met in New Orleans last month. She’s just put on a Potter-themed burlesque play called Harry Potter and the Bedchamber of Secrets. Check out that rhinestoned tie! I suspect that show will be back, but if you find yourself in New Orleans and consider yourself a something of a geek (i.e. if you’re reading this) then do check out her weekly burlesque show Talk Nerdy To Me at The Dragon’s Den.
And with that, I’ll see you next time as we move on to the final year.