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So there was a Chicago test screening of HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE on Saturday!! Wanna hear about it? UPDATED!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. I knew most of last week that there was going to be a test screening of HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE this past Saturday, and I fought with myself about whether I should try to get in. For whatever reason, they test every HARRY POTTER film months in advance in Chicago; I've been to two of them in the past. And since this sixth film's release date has been pushed to July 2009, this is technically the earliest they've ever test screened an HP films. In the end, I knew that if I'd been spotted by the wrong people trying to get in, the consequences would have far outweighed the reward. I also knew an army of folks that were going and who were likely to send in reviews; I wasn't wrong about that. Here's the first from a frequent attenedee of many of the screenings I do in the Windy City. He calls himself Jimbo Wage, and he has faithfully submitted a Spoiler-ific review. You've been warned. The main problem I've heard about is pacing, but this was a test screening, so presumably pacing issues will be largely worked out come July of next year. Here's Jimbo Wage...

Hi. I saw Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince this past Saturday in Chicago. It was presented on the flyers as a mystery screening, and right before it started, a man with a microphone said we were the first people to see it. Maybe 75% of the special effects were complete. Also, some pieces of music from Batman Begins were on the soundtrack, indicating the score had yet to be totally completed. The runtime of this version was about 145 minutes. I read the books once, maybe twice for a couple of them, but I’m definitely not what I’d call a fanatic. I’ve seen the movies, but started to lose interest in them after the fourth, which I felt they could have done a much better job with. I read Half-Blood Prince about three years ago and don’t remember all of the details, so please bear with me. And there are spoilers, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. The film opens with an assault on a bridge in London by Death Eaters. The fly around it in corkscrew-like formations, causing the bridge to collapse into the water below. They make their way into Diagon Alley, put a bag over some guy’s head, and take him away. It was a pretty spectacular opening, and I understand after talking to a couple of people that the filmmakers decided to show some of the Death Eaters’ assaults on muggles instead of having two guys in a room talking about it as it was portrayed in the book, but in regards to the rest of the film, I couldn’t understand really why it was there. Whoever gets kidnapped doesn’t reappear for the rest of the movie, and the money spent on that opening sequence (which isn’t in the book) could have been diverted to something that happens later on, the absence of which should leave fans of the book disappointed. (The person getting kidnapped might be Ollivander, and the person getting bagged might have been a stand-in for him – all of the effects weren’t finished. Why they would do that digitally, though, makes no sense to me.) We’re introduced to Horace Slughorn, who is played by Jim Broadbent. When I first heard he wouldn’t be fat and he wouldn’t have a mustache, I was irritated, but Broadbent’s character is easily the most enjoyable in the film. There’s two scenes where he’s drunk that are great. He takes over as the Potions teacher, and Harry finds a book that once belonged to the Half-Blood Prince. In one scene, Harry follows the book’s modified potion-making instructions and gets proper results as the rest of his classmates fail around him. This leads me to another problem I had with the film – the mystery as to who the Half-Blood Prince is takes a backseat to all the dating stuff. Some of it’s pleasant and funny, but it should have been background comic relief to help balance the drama in the forefront. There’s a part where Harry fights Malfoy in a bathroom and he uses some violent spell, causing Malfoy’s chest to bleed, but the fact that Harry got the spell from the potions book was lost on me. I might have missed something, but regardless, whatever scene or line of dialogue was supposed to emphasize that fact definitely needs more attention. Also, there’s a scene during Christmas that wasn’t in the book where some Death Eaters attack the Weasley household, drawing first Harry and Ginny into a field of wheat (or something), then Lupin and someone else, I forget who. The scene feels totally unnecessary –tacked on to give the audience a jolt of action at around the halfway point of the film. I had the most problems with the film’s final third. Harry and Dumbledore’s trip to the caves seemed to come out of nowhere, as did Dumbledore’s declaration that he had to drink the water from the podium in which the locket they were after was held. I don’t remember if that’s how it happened in the book, but I remember arriving at that location & conclusion in a way that at least felt more natural. After that, they make their way to the tower and instead of using a charm to immobilize Harry and cover him with the invisibility cloak like in the book, Dumbledore just sends Harry away, and Harry goes downstairs, stops & watches the following scene through cracks in the floor above him. Malfoy tries to kill Dumbledore but realizes he can’t. Snape arrives on the floor below & signals Harry to be quiet, which he uncharacteristically does. Snape then goes upstairs & sends Dumbledore to his death. The modifications made to this scene from book to film are terrible, and they partially blow what may be the biggest surprise of the entire franchise. Afterwards, there is no enormous battle. The Death Eaters stroll out silently. I remember the fight in the book being fantastic, and I personally would rather have had a short scene in the beginning with two guys talking about the horrible things the Death Eaters are doing than eliminate the battle at the end. Harry runs after them and confronts Snape, who quietly tells him he’s the Half-Blood Prince. Again, due to lack of attention paid to this plotline, I didn’t really care. In the book, he screams his response. The book has Snape screaming and the film has him using his indoor voice. What a disappointment. And as if this weren’t enough, there is no funeral for Dumbledore. It’s been cut. They have almost a year before this film is released, so there’s plenty of time for editing, which is good news because this cut was quite underwhelming. A woman in our post-screening discussion of about 20-25 people said she usually cries at movies, but didn’t react at all when Dumbledore died. Hopefully, the filmmakers will ease up on the relationship stuff and emphasize more of the potions book/Half-Blood Prince plot. I’d like to think they’d shoot that missing end battle and also shoot the funeral, but I doubt the studio would be willing to spend any more money, especially because of how elaborate the battle was in the book. Jimbo Wage

Hey, Capone again. Here are a few words from an unhappy customer from the same screening. And he has even more spoilers than the last guy.

Hello. I saw an incredibly early test screening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Saturday in Chicago. It was an event shrouded in secrecy, the audience only being told what film they had come to see seconds before the lights went down, and I was honestly excited. Like, five-year old boy excited. My disappointment with what followed is endless. Warning: this review contains many, many spoilers. First, let's go with what was good if for no other reason than it will take less time. The opening, far different from the novel, was very strong. We see a bridge destroyed by Death Eaters, Diagon Alley blown to bits, Harry and Dumbledore mourning before an onslaught of Magical Press, and Snape making a very ominous, very Unbreakable Vow. I got a real sense of urgency, of darkly engrossing things to come. And they did. Just not in the sense that I had expected. There was also the inspiring performance by Jim Broadbent as Prof. Horace Slughorn. Easily the most enjoyable character in the film, I found myself lolling away the scenes he was absent from anticipating the next one he was in. In fact, there was a lot of good humor, not only from Broadbent. There is a lot of teen drama in this film, most notably a love triangle between Harry, Ginnie Weasley, and Dean Thomas. A love potion gone awry adds a bit of welcomed lightness for Ron Weasley (who finally gets a crack at Quidditch, one of many points of anticipation hacked out of the last film). And, well, that's about it. The problem with all of this romance is All of This Romance. It dominates the movie, drawing our focus away not only from major plot points – which fall disastrously through the cracks – but also deters the mood, which, in a (nearly) penultimate film, should be at the forefront. The title of this film is Harry Potter and the HALF-BLOOD PRINCE but the title character gets next to no screen time and even less explanation, save for a few asides that, if you haven't read the book, may as well have been cut. Better to call the movie Harry Potter and the Hormones from Hedes and save us our disillusionment. Most of my issues with this film deal with deletions and alterations from the book, which would be okay if they were for the betterment of the movie-going experience, except that they're not. Gone are notable characters such as Rufus Schrimgouer, Fleur Delacour, and Bill and Charlie Weasley. Series regulars such as Maggie Smith and Robbie Coltrane are reduced two line cameos. For a book based on Harry and Dumbledore's quest to find out more about Voldemort, and how to stop him, via his memories, all but three memories have been cut from the film. Why is it that the filmmakers decided it was more important to focus on teen-age love rather than what are inarguably critical plot points? It is aneurysm inducing logic that will surely leave me dead in my bathtub. And the ending. Good God, the ending. Not only is the fight between the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix completely removed, but so is Dumbledore's funeral. The last third of this movie is so incredibly mishandled that Dumbledore's death feels more like an unfortunate accident than genuine tragedy. No one in the film seems even remotely upset that he's gone and the Death Eaters who murdered him, including would-be-good-guy Severus Snape (Alan Rickman, the title-character in cameo form), walk out of Hogwarts unmolested. Anyone who has read the book (an incredible sum of folk who Warner Bros. seem to have forgotten are the target audience – either that or they have some personal vendetta against them) will be severely, SEVERELY disappointed with this film. Let's just hope that in the ten intervening months between now and the film's release, Warner's will take the time and the money to fix this incredible mess. Sadly, I'm not holding my breath. Michael Bravo

-- Capone

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST


    by Jason B. Swaim

    You rule, sir. That is all.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST

    I liked prisoner of azkaban the best

    by eoneon

    i know i prob spelled it wrong... sorry i'm not a virgin. you know Gary Oldman owns! let's see hermoine's bush and i'll be there!

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST

    I still have to read this book.

    by DerLanghaarige

    I'm stuck since two years on page 218.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST


    by One Nation Under Zod

    They better not fuck this up.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Sounds like they've ruined the best part of the book

    by zacdilone

    Harry's not on the roof under the cloak? Sad. No funeral for Dumbledore? Pathetic.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:37 p.m. CST


    by grainy

    Like this movie is omg!!!

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST



    Obviously they have to change certain things to make a film work, but it absolutely bugs the shit out of me when they change things for no reason at all. Especially when the new version is worse than the old. To change Snape's lines, and the delivery of them, to something which is not as good as the book makes no sense to me at all. It is no cheaper, so why do it? Don't even get me started on Gambon's Dumbledore.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST

    I find it hard to believe . . .

    by gruntybear

    . . . that plot changes of that magnitude would escape the notice of J.K., herself. When you say "test" screening, Capone, what were they in fact testing? A "version" of the film that think might play better to the cheap seats or the final "final" version of the film? Dumbeldore's death has to resonate hugely in this film or this franchise stumbles massively.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Ugh, jeez, sounds terrible.

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    How could they take the best parts of the movie and wussy them down like this??? Fight, my friends, Fight with me! Fight with me! Fight for a good Harry Potter movie considering how damn good the last two books were!

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Seen by the wrong people?

    by Heckles

    What, the Lord Of The Rings crowd going to beat you up for going to a Potter movie?

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    The ending

    by obidawsn

    When I read the Half-Blood Prince, I ended up reading the last few hundred pages in one sitting one night (and I'm not one that enjoys reading) because I was so enthralled. I remember finishing it, after reading the funeral scene, and couldn't wait to see that portrayed in movie form. I really thought this was the book to pull out all the drama and make a very moving film. But if they are cutting all that out, then they just dropped the ball big time. They're already making us wait another 8 months more just so they can make more money (or so they think). The least they could do is give us the ending this book deserves -- the ending Dumbledore deserves (at least on this side of the living). And dumbing down the climax of the book? Well, that's just...umm...dumb. If they screw this up, it doesn't matter when they release it, it will not make as much money as they are hoping. It may even be the least of the franchise. WB is finally getting something right with Batman, and they keep screwing this franchise up more and more, making all the fans upset, and a lot of that comes just from their decisions on this one movie. *Sigh*

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:46 p.m. CST

    LMAO! wow....

    by RKO2285

    I had a chance to go to this... had no idea it would be harry potter.. thought it was going to be for eagle eye or something...

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Wow. A shitty adaptation of an HP movie!

    by spud mcspud

    Let's be honest, although they're still very watchable, the adaptations got worse after GOBLET OF FIRE. Not filming the Quidditch World Cup - at least for inclusion in some future 3 or 4 disc release, FFS! - was a major mistake. Cutting short the final task in the Triwizard Tournament was another. They've steadily gotten worse, and it's a damn shame. They could have milked this franchise to kingdom come with ever-expanding multi-disc releases, but hey! Why do the fans a favour? Let's just go for the immediate buck, and fuck the future of the franchise - including much-longer cuts for the really-fanatical Potterphiles.<P> As much as I fucking hate George Lucas, at least the bastard gives good value on the extras. This series should have been the next LOTR, MATRIX or STAR WARS franchise on DVD: instead, it's the next BLADE series. Damn shame.<P> And no funeral for that main character who dies? FUCK THAT!!!

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Remind me again why David Yates is directing the last one?

    by brokentusk

    I thought ORDER OF THE PHOENIX was quite good in parts, but ultimately amounted to a satisfactory entry in the franchise, nothing too memorable. When you compare it to Cuarón’s film, it looks like a BBC special. Why are they giving the last (and most epic) chapter of the series to Yates? When names like Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón are bandied about, Yates seems like a lame, easy choice. No matter how you feel about Harry Potter in general, I think a series of this size needs a grand ending. Just to clarify, I realize that none of those directors would actually accept the offer to direct, but you get the idea.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:51 p.m. CST

    HBP Always Seemed the Least of the HP Books To Me

    by DKT

    Voldermort's back and we get...lots of relationship stuff?!?! <br><br>Although, the last bit with Dumbledore and Harry was good. I'm really surprised they cut the battle at Hogwarts -- and Dumbledore's funeral (although I could see them starting the final movie(s) with Dumbledore's funeral...

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Will end not with a bang but a whimper

    by spud mcspud

    WB have finally given up with POTTER. Probably because of their new new BFF, THE DARK KNIGHT! Though the stupid fuckers haven't yet figured out that the best thing about TDK isn't coming back for the sequel.<P> WB sucks donkey balls. In real terms, they're right down there with 20th CENTURY FUCKS UP.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Ah, Mr Saxon.

    by spud mcspud

    Just wait til you see what happens to.....

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:57 p.m. CST

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO...dont say it.

    by vic twenty

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:57 p.m. CST

    So is the series worth watching?

    by Joker Gordon Levitt

    I've only seen the first, thinking I would watch them all on dvd in one big, magical night. But so far I hear a lot of disappointment in the series. Is it worth it to watch? (Never read the books, don't plan on it. I liked Enders Game too much to read another kid hero book.)

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:57 p.m. CST

    OK, say it.

    by vic twenty

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST

    I thought Dumbledore already died.

    by vic twenty

    That is how we ended up with Gambon. Will Smith for Dumbledore!

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5 p.m. CST

    They'd better get that ending NOTE PERFECT

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Sorry, but that sounds like crapola. Don't do some jazzy interpretation....STICK TO THE SHEET MUSIC!

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:01 p.m. CST


    by Darth Sticky


  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Really? Really?

    by mercuryx23

    Wow. I can't say that I'm totally stunned, but the final battle scene is so tied up with so many other plot lines in the book that for them just to blow it off would be like Peter Jackson deciding that the battle at Helm's Deep or the last march of the Ents could have been cut from the Two Towers. Seriously, who cuts or rewrites the climax of a book for a film? Who edits out the NAMED plot line of a book? I mostly liked HPatOotP. It saddens me that I'll most likely hate this one.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Seriously? This is a bastardization....

    by Nortimus

    ...of the book with arguably some of the coolest/most emotional parts of the franchise. To make minor changes or leave things out is one thing, but if what this spoiler screener says is true, this is ridiculous. It's a total debacle of everything that book did right, it makes no sense, and it will lead to easily the worst Potter-on-film adaptation yet.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:11 p.m. CST


    by mercuryx23

    That's like saying you liked Star Wars too much to ever watch another "space" themed movie. HP and EG are only similar in that they involve young people at school. EG is a superior book and the Ender-centric sequels are superior to HP, but the HP books are superior to the Bean-centric "Enderverse" books.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:15 p.m. CST


    by mercuryx23

    And when Voldemort shows up, he does a slo-mo spin turn and says, "Ah, hell no!" before pulling out a gun, shooting the dark lord down and smirking when he says, "Avada Kedevra that, Mo-fo." And then, the Harry Potter rap.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    This Sucks!!

    by Lloyd Bonafide the Korean War Veteran

    More of the plothole shit, like in OOTP when they just show up and somehow walk into the secure of the ministry? LAME.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Director didn't write the screenplay, did he?

    by Heckles

    Doubt it.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Remember who's writing this people

    by Evil Hobbit

    That's right fucking Kloves. I thought the script of part 5 was excellent, sure still to fast and skipping to my taste, but it did actually feel like a good rounded movie. And I give Yates a lot of credit for the Dumbledore vs Voldemort battle. That was spectacular. Yates also brought a lot of simple harmony to the trio's relationship. Lot's of true friendship and better acting all around. He's a good director. I can see him apply that style in great effect to the new installments ... BUT, you shouldn't bring back the Kloves. Notorious for leaving out the Maruauders in Azkaban (which was still fantastic because of Cuaron's magical directing) and simply butchering Goblet of Fire. At least Goldenberg wrote a coherent script in the time frame the producers want him to work with. Why they went back to Kloves is beyond me. I just hope Warner at least remembers that John Williams said he wanted to come back for the final movie(s)... But this review was terrifying. I can't believe there's no funeral, and I can't believe they way they handle Harry during the deathscene. He simply stands and watches??? EVEN WHEN SNAPE WALKS PAST? Sigh...

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    spud mcspud


    <p>I totally agree. I mean sure, you cannot make films completely true to the book you are adapting (as I have said above) and you are bound to piss off the existing fan base no matter how hard you try not to. But pissing off Harry Potter fans? There are fucking millions upon millions of them in practically every civilised country on the planet. Harry Potter has a massive, rabid fan base who I bet would shell out for every single special edition disk they released. They could release the same fucking movie in a different case and millions of people would pre-order it from Amazon (maybe not millions, but you get my point). They have truly missed a trick by not filming a more complete, true adaptation of each of the movies after number 3 and releasing them as special editions.</p> <p> I also feel that a lot of the people they have making these films have only ever scanned the books. As a film maker you could probably chop and change some of the plot without pissing off the fans, by simple keeping the small details accurate. Throughout the films they use spells that produce the wrong results, they completely introduce new spells when J.K Rowling has already written one that does the exact same thing. They even go as far as having people perform magic with nothing but their bare hands, would it take any more effort do stick a want in their hand and do it right? For fucks sake, pick up the book, hell my 4 year old son could correct them on half of their mistakes.</p> <p>Is Michael Gambon so important that neither the Director or any of the producers dare tell him that he is portraying Dumbledore COMPLETELY wrong? If he has read any of the books I would be very, very shocked. And surely at some point in the series (after film 3) someone would have the stones to tell Emma Watson that moving your eyebrows does not count as acting. They didn't tell her when they were filming 4 or 5, I am hopeful for 6.</p>

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:18 p.m. CST


    by Lloyd Bonafide the Korean War Veteran

    Hey which is the best ender-focued sequel to Ender's game? I want to read it.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:18 p.m. CST


    by mercuryx23

    The mustache and the fact that he's fat. I love Jim Broadbent and I thought he was an excellent choice, but it seems to me from this report that they just didn't give a damn about the book that the movie was "based" on and once they decided that the book was unimportant (in a complete 180 from the first two movies) they decided to throw everything out.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Btw, another review at mugglenet is much more positive

    by Evil Hobbit

    Here's the link:

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST


    by mercuryx23

    You can't really just read one of them. You have to read Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind. They are all part of the same story. Start with Speaker and see if you like where they are going.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST

    What are these

    by Harold-Sherbort

    books you humans speak of?

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Even if the movie sucks

    by Kneprock

    You will only have to wait 15-20 years for the remakes to start.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Slughorn, to me

    by Bloo

    was ALWAYS Brian Blessed, hw they could NOT cast him as Slughorn, I don't know...they better cast him as SOMETHING in the last movie, him and Cox are about the only british Char. actors NOT cast in these movies

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Lloyd Bonafide the Korean War Veteran...

    by brokentusk

    I know I'm answering a question you asked someone else, but SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD is the first Ender-focused sequel, and I'd start with that. The sequels are treated as a trilogy of sorts, so you have to read all of them to get the whole picture. Not that I'm saying they're anywhere NEAR as good as ENDER'S GAME... that book is a masterpiece.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:27 p.m. CST


    by Lloyd Bonafide the Korean War Veteran

    thanks, will do.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    I thought they'd delayed it due to WB not having a proper tent-p

    by Gabba-UK

    Now after that review it seems that they well have fucked it up and want to know how much re-shooting they have to do. Harry not under the cloak? No funeral? And by the sounds of it no scene with the Muggle Prime Minister and Fudge!! This doesn't sound good at all. This is the most important book as it sets up all what must be finished in the seventh and it sounds like a real screwed up job. Oh Dear, Oh Dear.....

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Ah, see Merc already answered. :)

    by brokentusk

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Book 6 is romance

    by Rand92

    A huge portion of book 6 is about romance with Harry and Ron and their love interests. There was not much book time devoted to who the half-blood price was except for Hermione complaining about him. IMO, book 6 was the weakest of the series. Rowling devoted 40 percent of the book to romance, 30 percent to Voldemort's back story and the Horcruxes, 28 percent to Malfoy and about 2 percent to everything else including the identity of the half-blood prince, the funeral and everything else.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Dumbledore's Funeral

    by RenoNevada2000

    Not having read the books, I'm asking would it make cinematic/dramatic sense to move Dumbledore's funeral to the beginning of DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1?

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6 p.m. CST

    WTF? They took out the FIGHT?!

    by James Westfall

    That was the best damn part--! What the HELL! Whose ass do I need to kick?!

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:06 p.m. CST

    David Yates is an entirely inadequate director

    by BEARison Ford

    so i'm not surprised by any of the pacing issues mentioned here. Order of the Phoenix could have been great, but Yates' direction and editing left much to be desired. Hope they can pull this one together.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST


    by PirateEmery

    But apparently not in a way that is as badass as in the books...

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:15 p.m. CST

    This is a HORRIBLE change, and let me tell you why

    by WWBD

    No one has yet pinpointed why this change to the ending is such a travesty. It's because the reason Dumbledore dies is because he uses his final second to protect Harry instead of disarming Malfoy. Had he not frozen Harry, he wouldn't have been disarmed by Malfoy. It's that selflessness that adds nobility to Dumbledore's death. There better be some reshoots, or I sense a fan revolt is in the making. Yates also fumbled the ending of movie 5, when he had Dumbledore look scared in his fight with Voldemort (something that Dumbledore clearly ISNT in the book).

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Half Blood Prince is IMO the best Potter film

    by newc0253

    and the trailer looked like it had the tone right, here's hoping they fix the problems identified so far...

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Evil Hobbit's link - follow it.

    by Zarles

    It's a much more thorough review of the film from somebody who actually seems to know what they're talking about. Yes, it's a more positive review, but it's also a far more informed and knowledgeable one, as well. <p>Here it is again for those who skipped past it so they could yell at somebody on the internet -

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:33 p.m. CST

    David Yates

    by VoldemortWearsPrada

    I can't believe OOTP was so highly regarded - it was like he randomly chose to film every twentieth page of the book. It was a total mistake to put someone with so little experience on something so complex. Bring back Cuaron, or bring on Del Toro, or even Terry Gilliam (don't laugh, he was Rowling's first choice)! Even if his version was a total mess it at least wouldn' be boring.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Attention AICN Reviewers

    by BlueRooster

    I don't understand why the people who post reviews on this site seem to think that a review is a synopsis of the plot...that's not what reviews are. Reviews give a brief description of the plot, followed by why the movie is good or bad. Anyway, just wanted to put that two cents in.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:37 p.m. CST


    by stinkyfingerz

    Let's create a petition to get this hack kicked off the last installment, and let's bring Cuaron back. Even if Cauron's version wasn't like the book, at least it would be a complete joy to watch. Prisoner of Azkaban is one unbelievably well made movie.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST

    You mean the best book. I think they get better with every subs

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    How dare they take out the fight scene with the Death Eaters at the end. How dare they take out the Funeral. How dare they make the love story the central part of the movie. HOW FUCKING DARE THEY TAKE OUT THE FUCKING WEASLEYS AND FLEUR DELACOUR WHO I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO SEE ON SCREEN IF ONLY BECAUSE THE ACTRESS WHO PLAYED HER WAS DAMN FUCKING ATTRACTIVE. AND HOW GODDAMN DARE THEY RAPE THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE AND ALL OF THE FUCKING FLASHBACKS!!! If it really is bad as they say it is, I will have zero faith in WB now, even after TDK.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST

    The movies have been going steadily downhill

    by TimBenzedrine

    since the third one, which is a shame, because I thought the books kept getting better. Gambon has been a lackluster replacement for Dumbledore (They should have begged Harris' pal Peter O'Toole to take the part)it's not like you can just slap a fake beard on anyone and have him take over, they really needed someone with a screen presence. As for the rest of the film, I hope WB is able to fix some of these problems before they release it. I'm going to stay uncharacteristally optimistic...

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Yates = zzzz

    by fastcars

    How was Order of Phoenix (the film) good enough to warrant THREE MORE Yates directed Potter movies? Del Toro, Gilliam or the return of Cauron would have been exciting. Anyway, I retain hope that J.K. won't allow an egregious HP film to be released.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Evil Hobbit and Zarles

    by Bloo

    if that review on mugglenet was posted here every other Talkback would be PLANT. Seriously, comeon now, you REALLY can't believe that review was legit, I mean nothing negative, everything was perfect

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:52 p.m. CST

    It's becoming increasingly more clear,

    by jae683

    that no one at WB has any clue as to what the Harry Potter series is all about. As someone said above, these movies have been going steadily downhill.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST


    by Bloo

    I THINK OotP was the most profitable of the HP movies, I doubt, as much as critics and casual fans loved PotA, most of the hardcore/outspoken Potter fans hated it I say Gilliam or and this may seem like a long shot, Joe Johnston...I'd also be curious how the Russian from Night/Daywatch and Wanted would do with Harry Potter

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7 p.m. CST


    by Evil Hobbit

    the review is written by a staffer of the mugglenet site, so you can consider him legit in his loyalty towards the Potter material. I personally think he has a little to much faith in the 10 month tweaking to come, but he wrote a great review.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Mini Series

    by veritasses

    There's really too much story in each book to make a really good movie. I've said this before but a multi episode mini-series (per book) is the way to go. Sure it'll have to be scaled down by a factor of ten or so but it can be done.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7:15 p.m. CST


    by Zarles

    Right, because people that write into AICN aren't unnecessarily negative 90% of the time.<p>Regardless, the Mugglenet review is much better written, and while it does seem a bit overly positive, it at least knows what it's talking about throughout.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Hobbit and Zarles

    by Bloo

    Hobbit: I didn't know it was a mugglenet staff member it was just overly praising for me, reminds me of Capone's talk on the At The Movies story about embargo's on early reviews, but that's just me<P>Zarles, it was a better written review, but I still don't trust it

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Goblet Of Fire (the fourth one) was the best movie.

    by Amy Chasing

    All the films have a definite beginning, middle & end but it was Goblet Of Fire that had an interesting beginning (death eaters at the world cup & the signs of Voldemorts return), kept its middle as a coherent story (the triwizard tournament), and had a climactic end (Voldemort's return). <P> The previous three films all had muddled middles not being sure whether to show more of Harry at school or whether to keep the story narrative going. Much like the books, but what might work in a book doesn't always as a film. <P> Also the films are aimed more at children, while the books are tounge-in-cheek enough to keep adults interested. Might have been nicer if the British Film Industry had done the films, and kept them away from the Hollywood studio system who obviously see Harry Potter as something that should be marketed to and made for kids. <P> Prizoner Of Azkaban had the best score though.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7:25 p.m. CST

    oh well

    by jon pertwee

    sooner or later they were going to find a director to totally fuck up the books.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7:44 p.m. CST


    by DiverseNerd

    I hope everyone at the after movie discussion was able to get across any dissapointment they may have felt. It appears the studio is looking to target the mid-teen audience(16-17) with the film. In my humble opinion that would be incorrect since the audience that has grown up with the books is now likely in the 17-18 age range. Yes, that does make a big difference. Let's not forget the other major audience for this film being the adult demo. We're not looking for teen romance. We want mood and a sense of impending danger like the book gave us. Dear jebus I hope they're paying attention.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7:52 p.m. CST

    I can't believe Cuaron isn't directing Deathly Hallows

    by performingmonkey

    Prisoner of Azkaban is the only fantastic movie of this series, followed by Goblet of Fire. This is such a huge franchise and yet they hired someone for Order who had only ever directed TVMs and then gave him the 6th and then two-part 7th movies to boot! Methinks WB did this because they can order the guy around due to him not being a big name director. So they can tell him to do short running times and focussing on romance over actual plot etc. Kloves has written great HP screenplays before so it isn't his fault. I hope these reviewers are just too fussy about what was cut from the books and that the movies works well within itself.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7:57 p.m. CST


    by just pillow talk

    Granted, all the movies have screwed over Snape to begin with, but what the hell...<p>Everyone is right from above, why the hell cut the dramatic fight at the end and the helplessness that Harry felt watching Dumbledore die????

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 7:58 p.m. CST

    might as well have Will Smith appear as Cap

    by just pillow talk

    in this as well. A "re-imaging" if you will.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Order of Phoenix- worst of the series

    by Rubiks Doob

    Surprised they signed this guy up for more. I guess he was easily bossed around. Hope they course correct before letting him ruin the final movies but it looks like not...

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Goblet of Fire was my fav book but

    by Charlie_Allnut

    Prisoner of Azkaban was my fav movie, they need another talet like Cuaron on these movie - the last one was a little underwhelming.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 8:45 p.m. CST

    How Can U Fuck Up This Movie!

    by What The Duck

    It's a short ass book. It's all flashback. THIS FUCKN SUCKS!

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 8:48 p.m. CST

    didnt hollywood learn for LOTR?!?!?!?

    by j2talk

    damn it..memo to Hollywood, there is nothing wrong with making a movie that lasts more than 88min!!!!!!!! sure, a movie is an ADAPTATION of the book, but you shouldn't leave out key parts of it! LOTR proved, that when done right,with respect to the source material, the audience will sit through-and not even notice-a longer film....

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Man, it sounds like they really fucked up this movie

    by NivekJ

    Step by step. Ooh baby. Flick by flick. First book (Stone) was a short book, so the movie was a pretty healthy adaptation, though Columbus was a bit limp. Ditto Chamber. Cuaron did great with Prisoner but the ending was too truncated; left out too much good shit. First sign of trouble. Goblet loses John Williams' score, first major fuck-up. Phoenix was good, but too rushed. Again, no John Williams score. Only thing going for it was 3-D sequences, and a forbiddenly hot Hermione. Now, Phoenix sounds like a damn masterpiece compared to what they did with Half-Blood Prince. The movies are PG-13 now. The audience worldwide has grown up a tad. Ditch the Saved by the Bell bullshit, and stick to the meat of the matter: Voldemort's rise and Snape's betrayal. The teen demographic is won over; you got them. C'mon, Warner Bros., you're really gonna spend $170 million plus $150 million on young wizarding love instead of action, intrigue, and murder? I believe you have a giant duology to set-up, and these reviews don't sound encouraging. Delaying this movie is the smartest thing WB has done since reversing their decision to make D.C. Cab 2. Where the fuck is Avatar when I need it?

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 9:13 p.m. CST


    by fastcars

    Every Harry Potter movie will make more than than the previous one. It was like that for Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and it is like that for Harry Potter. It has nothing to do with the quality of the film, so long as there isn't a complete dud. I agree with whoever said the suits liked Yates because he's easy to boss around. Also, for some reason Rowling likes him. Because he's British? I don't get it.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 9:19 p.m. CST

    as i remember it, the final battle

    by Novaman5000

    is kind of hazy as Harry is totally numbed by what he just saw. I don't remember it being super epic but i haven't read the book in years. I was REALLY looking forward to the funeral sequence, though, and if it's not in the movie, that is a huge fucking mistake on their part.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    @ NivekJ re: Avatar

    by Amy Chasing

    if you're talking about Aang, totally agree. I infinitely prefer Last Airbender over Harry Potter anyday. Just hope Shyamalanadingdong is back in Unbreakable form if he's making the movie.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Will Smith plays a Death Eater

    by Loosejerk

    Awww, Hell Chommmmmmmmmp!

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 9:45 p.m. CST

    @ Amy Chasing re: Avatar

    by NivekJ

    Actually, I was referring to James Cameron's Avatar, but you do have a point. Avatar: Last Airbender as a show has given me more enjoyment than anything from Harry Potter. But even then, you're talking about a 60-episode show being condensed to three 2-hour movies, IF the first one does well. The Aang movies won't even cover Bloodbending.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Not really surprised

    by clockpolitiks

    Yates' last harry potter movie was my least favorite out of all of them. When I hear he was directing the rest, I had a feeling it would not be good. Sounds like the same problems as the last movie. When Sirius Black died in the film it was completely emotionless. Actually, most of the movie was. Seems like that trend continues here. I want to see Harry running after Snape pissed as all hell. I'm guessing they give away the secret about Draco having the master wand or whatever.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 10:16 p.m. CST

    If they cut out

    by Turd Furgeson

    Fleur and Bill, how the fuck are they going to set up the plot for 7? The whole thing gets going at (SPOILER) their wedding. This is really depressing news. The only movie I didn't like was Goblet and I thought OOTP was done very well. They need to get the kids out there, film the damn battle scene, and put the funeral back in. How the fuck can they kill off Dumbledore and not show us his funeral? How are they going to deal with Harry declaring he's not going back to school, or breaking up with Ginny? What the fuck are they doing? You guys can't ruin this one. Everything sets us up for Hallows.. If you don't give us a reason to love this movie, we won't go back for the next one because these 2 books are really like one large book.. Damn this is bad news.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 10:19 p.m. CST


    by the1980mutant

    The bastards have done it again. Why, oh why, can NO ONE in Hollywood get source material correct?

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Its a big crap-sandwich, boys,

    by Lloyd Bonafide the Korean War Veteran

    and we all have to take a bite. It really takes the jelly out of my doughnut.

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 10:40 p.m. CST

    They better not short change Ron's death in the next one

    by c4andmore

    boo hoo bitches

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 10:54 p.m. CST


    by BlackBauer0320

    Definitely upset to hear about how the ending sounds. The whole tension in that scene came from the fact that Harry was completely helpless and unable to do anything about the situation. You're going to tell me he stands and watches what happens to Dumbledore while his two most HATED people are alone with him? And then no battle scene at all? Sure the scene was quick but it was still filled with action. But most of all, how can they screw over Snape like it sounds as if they have. The guy is absolutely critical to the final book, not to mention the fucking man revealed to be the Half Blood Prince and he still can't get any screen time. Are we just supposed to randomly give a shit about him once the last movie comes out?

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Too bad Ron doesn't die.

    by mefrog

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 11:29 p.m. CST

    And now, I'm gonna stick my thumb up the Pot-heads bums.

    by Lashlarue

    This really pisses them off!-David Yates

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 11:54 p.m. CST

    I just read the "Mugglenet" review....

    by conspiracy

    I think I understand all of this now. J.K, Yates and Co. don't give a damn about depth, storyline, or the grand scheme of things in regards to the original story because their core fan base doesn't seem to give a shit about these things either. Give them the "Big Three" acting like the characters in the book, make the costumes look as described, and make sure the props are represented (Quidditch, pensieves,English wizard slag..i.e "Snogging") and they are reasonably sated enough to load up J.K's pockets with yet another boat load of cash. Really...from the "Plant" review over seems like this is a simple movie, based upon a not so simple book, made for very simple people..and it evidently succeeds on this level. Any movie that eliminates key passages from the book in favor of squeezing in Tween Pandering romance, and squanders the talent of Alan Rickman in a role that has been reduced from a main plot point to a cameo isn't going to interest me.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Any reviews from someone who HASN'T read the books?

    by DarthCorleone

    That baggage does not apply to me. The book nitpickers annoy me. I have seen and enjoyed all the movies.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:25 a.m. CST


    by onezeroone

    In this case it's other way around. Book nitpickers seem to be happy [mugglenet] for reasons mentioned by conspiracy. HBP is the only book other than Prisoner of Azkaban I've read twice. It's dark tone sets up things GREATLY for finale [which I felt, was a disappointment as compared to promise of HBP]<p> It's like making Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep into a movie that has nothing to do with Deckard hunting replicants. But I think it could be a delibrate move, coz after you read Book7, you realise HBP stuff doesn't matter that much. HBP character is GREAT when you're reading HBP, but final book makes it somewhat irrelevant.<p> I loved PoA [not as much as book, yet, best of the movies] even though it deviated greatly from book's look and events, but it kept to the dark tone of the book. HBP is almost like a dark mystery thriller, hunting clues across time... not a teeny bopper romance.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Well, it can't be as bad as GOF

    by disfigurehead

    Goblet of fire is one of the worst pieces of filth I have ever seen. This one sounds pretty crappy too. I'll stick to watching POA again.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Fuck. Well teen girls will like it.

    by DOGSOUP


  • Sept. 9, 2008, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Talk about fucking the dog.

    by PotSmokinAlien

    They fucked up the most dramatic plot point of the entire series. You don't make masterpieces by worrying about what the audience is going to think, WB.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Who the fuck cares when AVATAR is fucking our eyeballs in 2009 ?

    by Motoko Kusanagi


  • Sept. 9, 2008, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Sorry, fastcars... but every HP film has not...

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    made more than the previous one.<p> Here are the estimated grosses of the films from IMDB.<p> HP1: $317,575,550 (USA), $976,475,550 (Worldwide)<p> HP2: $261,988,482 (USA), $876,688,482 (Worldwide)<p> HP3: $249,358,727 (USA), $761,300,818 (Worldwide) <p> HP4: $290,013,036 (USA), $896,013,036 (Worldwide)<p> HP5: $292,004,738 (USA), $938,468,864 (Worldwide)<p> As you can see, the first film made more than the second film, which made more than the third film (the lowest-grossing film in the series.<p>The last two films have made more than all but the first, with HP5 just edging out HP4 in total gross.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 3:08 a.m. CST

    ALL of the Harry Potter films SUCK!!!

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    They take out half the plot, MOST of the action/violence and slap what's left over into a haphazard jumble barely recognizable to those who read the books. The ONLY decent film of the bunch was Prisoner of Azkaban... the rest were a waste of time and money.<p>And from reading the above reviews, there's little, if any hope we'll be getting any "meat" in the final — and most bloody and dramatic — few films. They'll probably have everyone wo dies in the last book "fall asleep," so's not to upset the li'l kiddies and their parents.<p>Idiots. >:(

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 3:36 a.m. CST

    The final battle


    Has probably been cut so as to not look as though they are retracing their steps in The Battle For Hogwarts. We will have never seen a battle inside the school before then which will probably make it more exciting. I agree though, they should leave it in there. They butchered the Order V Death Eaters in 5, looks as though they have completely missed the rematch from 6. <p>Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna will also have never really had a fight scene before the Battle For Hogwarts. They were basically ROBBED in 5, the book had them fighting to protect Harry and the unknown prophecy for no other real reason except bravery and love for their friend. The film had them as USELESS hostages.</p>

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 3:45 a.m. CST

    No wonder

    by GBRob08

    They pushed this film back to 09. Hope it ends up being better than the early screening.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 3:45 a.m. CST

    No wonder

    by GBRob08

    They pushed this film back to 09. Hope it ends up being better than the early screening.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 4:37 a.m. CST

    The movies are mediocre

    by lord_zedd

    Littered with exposition, special effects and not much else. All the acting is pretty stiff as well. Sigh. Here's to the remakes in fifty years!

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 5:14 a.m. CST

    this is what I expected

    by ranma627

    Warner has ruined what could have been an absolutely phenomenal series. Stick to the fucking books. They sell for a reason.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 5:39 a.m. CST


    by Sparhawk38

    Why change major plot points a movie based on an extremely popular book? I don't get it.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 5:45 a.m. CST

    It really doesn't surprise me, sadly.

    by jae683

    They've all but cut Harry's and Dumbledore's father-son relationship from the movies as it is. I guess the suits at WB didn't think think that was 'necessary.' Idiots.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Hey! WB Execs!

    by spud mcspud

    Here's a fucking clue: if the creators of the HARRY POTTER movies don't tell you how to count money, don't fucking tell them how to make movies! How 'bout we try that?!? Talentlesas motherfuckers.<P> And don't think I've forgiven you for killing GLOBAL FREQUENCY either. Fucking morons...

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Dear Mrs. Rowling...

    by Clavain

    ... you spent so much of your life toiling over every detail of these beloved books. You made sure that the first movie re-crafted much of the same detail and seeing things like Hogwarts for the first time or the Scarlet Engine or Diagon Alley were inspired in their detail. You are the first billionaire author in the world's history. Why... why... would you disappoint the dedicated fans of your books by allowing Hollywood to run roughshod over your life's work? You clearly have the money, power, and influence to intervene in the creative moviemaking process... do so. Stop Hollywood from destroying more books they attempt to make into movies (usually but not always with crappy results) Thank you.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 6:47 a.m. CST

    Potted Potter...

    by I AM ROCKO

    I've very much enjoyed every Potter film to a certain extent, I think the third one is best directed and very enjoyable, and as clunky certain parts of one and two are they stand out to me as the most meaty and textured AS THEY ARE NOT FUCKING RUSHED to get from moment to moment. I thought Fire and Pheonix had some great parts, but sometimes scens barely had time to breath and friends of mine who have not read the books admit that at the end of the day they really don't have much of a clue as to what is going on. It looks like that they have done that even more with the Prince- I re read it the other day and although the love stuff is rom com funny and in film should be enjoyable these are just light moments to take a breather from the fucking dark flashbacks and the last couple of chapters which go from creepy, scary, exciting, emotional and then very sad..all amazing. It is a shame that the grosses started to increase from Fire..had it performed less well than Azkabhan they would have changed they way did OOTP, hell had OOTP not outgrossed Fire they may have redone Prince. I am hoping that WB will think about the results from the screening and in the 8 months that they have left is to edit in stuff they may have cut, or shoot an extra- what half an hour of extra footage to make it more full.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 6:58 a.m. CST

    TheGhostWhoLurks - Not as well as your mum does!

    by NeilF

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 7:20 a.m. CST


    by couP

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 7:35 a.m. CST

    I knew this would happen

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I just read the first review, and don't even need to read the others. There was so much meat in the novel I knew the movie would not be able to do it justice, just as Order of the Phoenix just grazed the soul of the book. To get the story into the movie and have it intact you need at least three hours, if not two parts. But, to leave out big chunks like Jimbo mentioned? No final battle, no funeral? What kind of garbage is that. No wonder I haven't seen a Potter movie on the big screen since Azkaban.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Different Directors

    by RosebudsTheSled

    You know, I always thought what was great about this series was the fact that the suits hired different directors pretty consistantly for each flick. It allowed each person to add their own spin on the material- hell Chris Columbus fucked up the actual geography of the school, then Cauron had to fix it. The issue I can see coming up with Yates coming back not only for this one, but also for the big two parter ending, is that the whole ending of the Harry Potter series is going to slip into one mold.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST

    SUPERJIM, I think you're right

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    I think that's exactly why they are brushing over a major fight in Hogwarts: to make sure it doesn't feel like retread in the final movie(s). <p> I recall a lot of people complaining (complaining, mind you!) that there were too many battles in LOTR and they kept rehashing things already seen. <p> It's a questionable call since it does affect the ending somewhat, but I think it's a valid concern that the power that be MAY have actually had.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Just a thought

    by Luscious.868

    Perhaps they are deliberately keeping things out of the end of of this movie in order to split up the last book into an additional two movies so they can milk this franchise a little more than they already have.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Actually they are splitting the last book into two movies

    by Luscious.868

    <p>I remember reading about that now. A quick search of Google reveals several articles about it:</p>,0,7162166.story <p>So perhaps the next movie opens with some of scenes you guys were expecting to see in this movie so they have enough meaty material to split the final book into two movies. When you start splitting books into multiple movies sometimes they screw with the order of events</p>.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Weird, most reviews say its good

    by Photobooth11

    There are a lot of other reviews online that say this film is pretty good. And these are from individuals who are a huge part of the fandom, not just some bums off the street. It sounds like those who are upset are the fans who want every little bit of the book in the movie. We've known that Dumbledore's funeral was cut MONTHS ago. Is it really necessary to have th funeral? No. We don't need a Harry/Ginny Spiderman moment either. So that shouldn't have been a shock. As for the battle, there really isn't much of a battle in HBP. Besides, if you have a big battle in this film, the battle of hogwarts in the last movie will feel redundant. As for the subplots, well there are a lot of subplots in this book. If the romance really is over the top, maybe they'll recut it to make the potions book stand out. But really, do you want to watch a movie about a potions book?

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Fix the ending, needs payoff not limb dick

    by Stormwatcher

    Had to be said. Oh and Radcliffe wants more eye shadow

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 9:20 a.m. CST


    by Photobooth11

    By the way, I'm not suggesting those that posted reviews here are "bums off the street." I can see how my post may come off like that. My bad.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 9:30 a.m. CST


    by bradlm

    Well, I for one am extremely disappointed based on the first 2 reviews. Perhaps the problems with the film are the true reason behind the delay. One can hope they fix it. While Warner has spent a fortune on filming, the difference between a $140 million box office and $300 million might open some wallets.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Somebody called them to the carpet

    by RogueWarrior65

    Sounds to me like somebody called them to the carpet on this and is making them redo half the movie. One JK Rowling comes to mind. Given that she or rather her bloodsucking lawyers shutdown the third-party book market I'd say she saw the rough cut and bitched.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 10:05 a.m. CST

    'There better be some reshoots, or I sense a fan revolt.'

    by Mr Gorilla

    Don't make me laugh. The 'fans' on these pages have been bitching about David Yates for nearly 2 years now, but in the real world I notice that audiences - many of whom surely must have been fans of the book - went to Order of the Phoenix in droves. It was the most successful one since the first episode.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Further more...

    by Mr Gorilla

    The one thing we HP fans can agree on is... that we DISAGREE on which films we like. A huge number of hardcore fans prefer the first 2 films to the others - and who am I to argue with their opinion. Personally, I love Azkaban, but also found Goblet to be amazingly enjoyable - funny, scary, well-paced. However, many people on this Talkback LOATHED that film. I was so amped up after parts 3&4 that 5 was inevitably a bit of a let-down, though I still think it's a good film. The point is, every reviewer should qualify their review by saying which previous episodes they loved or hated. Then we'd know what this new one is really like...

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST

    The more I think about it...

    by I AM ROCKO

    ...they could make the main ending, not being a battle but a chase, Harry pursuing Snape in the gardens after Dumbledore is killed and the dialogue between is killer..well in the book it is, so less of flash band wallop bunch of dules as opposed to OOTP- I read the fight at the end read much more different to me than the fight in OOTP- YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE FILM FINISHING AT THE FUNERAL. No subplot about Greyback and Bill Weasley getting completely fucked over, Helena Bonham Carter back as BL? Does she have a big scene at the start like in the book? Ah, Warner Bros don't give a fuck what we say. Like some talkback said, they may nail the whole romance, comedy thing, have some decent action and effects and this thing will make a fortune anyhow.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 10:28 a.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla

    All this slagging off about the producers 'going for the easy buck' is just insane. If you disagree with the decisions they make, that's fine. But I absolutely think they are trying to steer a careful course with these final episodes.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 10:40 a.m. CST

    & stop holding LOTR up as if it's the best adaptation ever

    by Mr Gorilla

    It's TOTALLY not faithful. What the hell happened with Saruman in the theatrical releases? And what the hell happened with the scouring of the shire at the end of ROTK? Why was Shelob put into Part 3 - when it would have made a brilliant climax and cliffhanger to part 2? They departed from the books in HUGE ways - especially in books 2 & 3. So to the talkbacker who says that those film adaptations prove that all you have to do is be faithful to the books: I call bullshit on you. Plenty of people who love those books DO NOT like the films.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Some good, some bad

    by Freakemovie

    Reviews on this site that are published months in advance of a film's opening usually contain complaints that have little bearing on what the praises and complaints of the finished film actually turn out to be. So let's bear that in mind.<br><br>The first reviewer also said he grew disinterested with the films after the fourth; I thought the fourth was the best. In fact, I wish Mike Newell had stayed on, because I think he hit the tone perfectly, but I don't dislike Yates.<br><br>A lot of the complaints in these reviews are, let's be honest, complaints that should be directed toward the book, not the movie. There's an inordinate amount of time in the book devoted to all the romantic subplots, which is tonally a little weird. It's called the Half-Blood Prince, but throughout the book that's a minor subplot at best. There's zero action in the book until the end. And Dumbledore and Harry's trip to the cave didn't have any build-up in the book, either. As I recall, Dumbledore just kind of announced that they were going to a cave, and that was that.<br><br>The lack of a big fight at the end, and of a Dumbledore funeral, is indeed a little troubling, I'll admit. Considering how little action there is, it seems kind of absurd not to have a big fight at the end, not to mention the plausibility issues: how could Snape et al just walk out of Hogwarts without a fight? Remember the scene where Harry was chasing after Snape in the book? He was furious, and Snape's announcement that he was the Half-Blood Prince felt like a sucker-punch.<br><Br>Anyway, I'm still excited by this movie. Anyone who changes their opinion after reading test screening reviews is jumping the gun to an absurd degree. It's just interesting to know where the progress stands at this point.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 10:41 a.m. CST

    They don't need reshoots

    by Photobooth11

    I agree Mr. Gorilla. Also, the pushback was because WB didn't have any decent movies come out next summer. You really think the new Terminator will make $500M? No way. So they needed a big film for that fiscal quarter. They didn't need it for this fall/winter. Besides, nothing these reviews said pointed to reshoots. They're upset about things getting cut from the book and the pacing. That's it. They don't say the acting is bad, or the sets, or the plot. They just don't like the way it was edited. Does that sound like a bad blockbuster that needs to be pushed back for reshoots? No. It sounds like a typical Potter film, and HP fans complaining about the movie being different from the book.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 10:43 a.m. CST

    & excuse me but:

    by Mr Gorilla

    If the books are so amazingly brilliant, could SOMEONE explain the whole prophesy thing: how it relates to Neville Longbottom and how that pays off in the final book? It made no sense to me at all. No wonder they dropped it.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Order Of The Pheonix

    by HermesTrismestigus

    Ya know people jizzed all over OOTP, but that film was pure shit, not cinematic at all, it was a poor made for sci-fi channel version of harry potter, it looked cheap and was all talk. OOTP was my fav book to be made into a movie cuz it was the perfect excuse to make an action oriented harry potter movie instead I had to sit through some,woody allen/kevin smith diahrea of the mouth fest. This new flick sounds like more of the same. Its inexcusable how they screwed up that wizards battle in OOTP but the true test was my nieces who watched and loved every harry potter film get bored and asked to leave OOTP half way through. David Yates is a patsy.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Harry does chase Snape

    by Photobooth11

    Freakemovie, other reviews have mentioned Harry chasing down snape and a couple of those famous lines. So it does happen. I guess we just won't see Order members fighting of death eaters, which we really don't see in the books anyway.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 11:34 a.m. CST

    I can write as well as Rowling...

    by RandySavage

    "Epilogue: Dumbledorf bought Harry the biggest chocolate the proprietor of Pigglesnot's had in his storerooms, and Harry gobbled it up faster than he ever had in his life. 'That looks wonderful, Harry,' said Hermione. "Oh, it is, Hermione,' Harry smiled back. The End." These books are simple and dumb, and the films based on them are simple and dumb and cast with two charmless leads (Harry and Hermione). What does it say about us that Harry Potter is the pinnacle of children's literature?

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST

    There will never be enough time to fix this thing...

    by subtlety

    if they really cut out all the Voldemort back story. The back story essentially makes the entire plotline of the book, with everything else being pleasant diversions from Voldemort's past, which is actually just about the closest thing to perfection in the entire series. From the inbred psychopathic grandparents to his cold, (possibly abusive) youth to his slow methodical revenge on the world.... its one of the best villian back stories I have heard, as it both fleshes Voldemort out and keeps him terrifying and unknowable (maybe even more so). It's brilliant, in a word. So of course, they figure they can loose the whole thing and play up the insipid romance angle. Which pretty much means book 7 is right out.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST

    D Vader, Huh?

    by Photobooth11

    D. Vader, are you serious? How does Bill's removal from the film hurt the plot? We've never met Bill in the films. He doesn't exist in the movie world, so how would you explain to the audience who he is? "Oh, here's another Weasley, and that girl form the 4th movie is back too. Yay!" Greyback's attack on Bill has little impact on the plot as a whole anyway. Plus both he and Fluer's only signifigance in that las book is that they own Shell Cottage and they get married. How to correct this problem: show lupin and tonks's wedding and have them live in shell cottage. Mischief managed. As for Dobby and Kreacher, we'll see kreacher again at #12 in movie 7. Losing Dobby for the past 3 films, stinks, but if they were going to reintroduce him, they should have done it last movie. That will be tough for them to fix.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Maybe Dobby wasn't re-introduced because

    by Mr Gorilla

    he was annoying.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:15 p.m. CST

    D.Vader or the short answer to your question

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    It just is because those were two of the most pivottal points of the book if not the series. Come on JK. We know you have total creative control, show them who's boss.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla

    I concur with you both. A lot of people are confusing the question 'Is the film any good?' with the question 'Is the film a word-for-word translation of the book to screen?' Those people should move along to a Harry Potter fansite.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    And the guy who took his nieces, who got bored?

    by Mr Gorilla

    I don't know how to break this, but the Harry Potter films stopped being kids' films round about GOBLET OF FIRE. I don't know how old your nieces are, so I may be way off here (apologies if so) but I can't see anyone under the age of 8-10 really enjoying Order of the Phoenix. Kind of makes sense for the films to grow up as Harry does.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Flashbacks are a bit naughty naughty...

    by Mr Gorilla

    ...from a screenwriters' point of view. I thought.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST


    by Photobooth11

    I'm bummed that some of the flashbacks were cut too, but they break up the flow of a film. You can't have a successful film with 5 flashbacks lasting 10 minutes or more (the Gaunt scene for example). If you do a decent job explaining about the horcruxes, then we don't need to see the Gaunts or Hezilbah Smith. We get to see young riddle and the flashbacks with Slughorn. So at least we'll get the jist of Tom's past.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by just pillow talk

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    In case you "J.K. to the rescue" types have not...

    by conspiracy

    figured it out yet....J.K. Rowling gives a flip about this movie series, or the books, anymore. Her actions speak volumes as to this being the case. Look, she knows that the movie series basically butchered the story and has been a cluster fuck of mediocrity...but she has had nothing but praise for it so long as she gets her cut; yet some poor shmuck makes what by all accounts is a lovingly done guide to her world, an homage to J.K. Rowling...and instead of working a deal to get a percentage, or simply letting it go without comment...she sets loose the hounds to stop its printing. Look people...J.K. Rowling would not care if WB put Hermione riding the pointy end of her broom with a ball gag in her mouth so long as her pockets get lined...the woman is a control freak only when the control in question concerns the money. This film isn't getting rewritten, nor reworked...J.K. got paid and will get massive points on its release....what ya see is what you are getting.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Snape under the tower

    by Kizeesh

    I can understanding them altering this scene as filming it with Harry immobilized by a silently performed spell while under an invisibility cloak was going to be IMPOSSIBLE to film. <p> But making Snape tell him to be quiet. Why not just have dumbledore wink at him in a pantomime fashion before he shoots, I mean it'll have the same mystery-breaking effect. <p> How did the raping of the the ends of each story manage to get past first draft stages on every film since 3? I mean isn't Rowling supposed to have some sort of creative control?

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 1:32 p.m. CST


    by Photobooth11

    No she doesn't have creative control. She'll say "this will be important later" but that's it. Conspiracy, I guess you didn't read the actual judge's decision about the Lexicon? If you had, you would have seen it failed to meet the fair use guidelines. It was not transformative, and therefore, infringed on copyright. Obviously if she didn't have a case, she wouldn't have won, right? There are a lot of other HP guides out there (some of which she actually said she enjoys). So how about you get your facts straight before spewing garbage.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST


    by lagomorph

    I've watched this one several times and it gets better with subsequent viewings and now with the book a distant road map in my memory, it's even better. I can see Half Blood Prince flopping though. It's definitely the most book-inclined of the Potter series.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 3:33 p.m. CST


    by conspiracy

    Of course she had a case..that is not my point. My point is that J.K. only cares about the money. The reason she let these other "fan" created HP endevours exist is simply because she is getting a slice of the pie...they went and paid tribute to the Don. She didn't even open that for consideration here...she never offered the guy a chance to right his wrong...she just wanted to make an example. She is well known for her draconian business ways...reportedly going so far as to restrict her HP franchise from being used for free even by charities. As for creative control of the movies, yes...she does have creative control over her properties be it in writing or not. She has the weight and business muscle that if she cared about the movie product you'd know about it. When Jackson was screwing too much with LOTR you damned well heard the Tolkein estate voicing their obections even if they truely ARE powerless, having sold the rights many years ago. This is unlike J.K who could raise Holy Hell if she so desired, as she still owns the HP name and likenesses...but the fact is as long as they make her money, so long as the points roll into her bank faster than the US national debt, she cares not a bit about whether they are good or not...she knows her pavlovian fans will shell out the bucks for crap without her doing anything or caring past what she will have for dinner that night..and she is quite happy about it.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Sounds terrible!

    by Zardoz

    I hope the add the battle at the end back in the film. (and have Harry trying to kill Snape with one of his HBP spells: "You're trying to use one of my OWN spells against me?!") If we don't think Snape murders Dumbledore in HBP, then the revelation that he's actually a double agent in DH is anti-climactic and boring. You have Snape go from villain to tragic hero. Stupid suits!

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 4:15 p.m. CST

    The attack on Burrow


    I can fully appreciate why this has been added. Someone months ago justified the scene, it is there to show us the dangers that the wizaring world face. In HPB a lot of the Death Eaters' actions were still covert, they were slowly regaining power and spreading fear without actually mounting a full assault on the country. Harry etc only learns about a lot of their actions through newspaper articles and word of mouth. It wouldn't have worked in the movie to show them talking about how bad the Death Eaters had become or having them read about it. I suspect there is very little sense of danger towards the characters we know before this scene.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    I really need to see all these movies

    by rogueleader66

    I have only seen the first two, and I liked them. I even have the other ones on DVD, mainly for my kids, but still, I really have no excuse not to watch them. I am sure they look great on the big screen. Check out my Blog-

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Bob Hoskins IS Slughorn!!!

    by Six Demon Bag

    I will be sorely disppointed if the ending varies eve.n the slightest...the emotional wallop that occurs due to Dumbledore's demise is the perfect segue to HP7. Just as Cedric did for HP4 and Sirius did for HP5. Sorry bout the spoilers, there should be a time limit geeks!

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Fucking. Fix. This. Shit. Right. Now.

    by Rowsdower.ZabRowsdower

    Anyone get the feeling that the Warners' execs took a look at the completed effort and decided to push back from November for a reason? I fucking hope the July 09 release is to set this shit straight and not only about a bigger box office. Worst re-tooling of ideas since Greedo shot first.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 4:37 p.m. CST

    This just in...!!!

    by Rowsdower.ZabRowsdower

    Warner Bros. has optioned Confederacy of Dunces, cast Judy Dench in the lead, set it in Barbados, and ends in an all-out machine gun fight in the badguy's secret underground lair.

  • Sept. 9, 2008, 10:39 p.m. CST


    by NivekJ

    Seriously. Each Lord of the Rings movie got three hours. King Kong? Three hours. Superman Returns? Revenge of the Sith? Almost three hours. Shit, even Speed Racer was almost three hours long! If the final book is getting two whole movies a la Kill Bill and Matrix 2/3, Half-Blood Prince can get three whole hours. Audiences will spend the time in a theatre, even an IMAX theatre. Stop rushing the films, stop leaving out cool stuff, and give the audience what they want. Your creative team was industrious enough to divert from the book to embellish the beginning attack, right? So, embellish the stuff that's actually there. Swallow the pride. Buy the plane tickets. Dust off the sets. Pay the bonuses. Reshoot the scenes. Make a whole lotta money. Simple. I'll be there when you do. Weasley is our king.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 3:39 a.m. CST

    Each new Potter movie get worse

    by Ecto-1

    I'm a big fan of the Harry Potter books and out of the movies only the first two are really good adaptations of the books. With each movie since, they've become worse and worse, taking ever more liberties with the source material. Sure, Alfonso Cuaron brought a great style to Azkaban, but it in no way made up for a piss poor adaptation.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Ecto-1: you fit the profile!

    by Mr Gorilla

    Exactly: loads of people who love the Harry Potter books only really like the first 2 films. Most other people, myself included, think the first two films are embarrassing bores, with a lame sense of humour, and a clueless (dare I say it American?) attitude to what school life in Britain might be like. We are each entitled to our opinion. But the point it, is makes discussing the merits of any new Harry Potter film almost impossible to do.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 8:32 a.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla

    Wow - so JK Rowling only cares about money, does she? And she doesn't care about whether the films are good or not, as long as they make money? You are amazingly well-informed on her thoughts - thank you for sharing them with us. Unless I missed the TIME interview in which she declared, on the record, 'I only care about money'. Or unless - but this can't, be true, can it? - that you're just spouting your own opinions.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla

    That was a genius post. You come on to a Harry Potter movie talkback, declare that you've only seen the first two, thereby making you probably the least-informed writer on this page - and then you ask us to come and visit your blog! What insightful opinions can we look forward to there? Thoughts on THE LORD OF THE RINGS? 'The trailer looked good, I must check it out one day.' Thoughts on STAR WARS? 'My friend's friend loves these movies, I'll have to watch them some time.' Etc etc.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Mr Gorilla-LOTR

    by j2talk

    Stop holding LOTR up as if it's the best adaptation ever-Are you FUCKING kidding? Sure it wasn't note perfect,but it sure as hell was better than anyone thought it would be, it was better than any other genre adaptation ,and better than 99% of ANY of the films that Hollywood puts out. Then you got the directors editions- the only problem there is changing disks-which are superior to the theatrical versions....

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 10:09 a.m. CST

    The here and now

    by Itblowstherobot

    I've enjoyed the other films, but I was bothered by the fight scene between Dumbledore and Voldemort in OotP. That's an important scene because it SHOWS rather than TELLS Voldemort's fear of Dumbledore. I understand emphasizing the romance in HBP, the younger audience is now older and it snags them. But I had hoped they were going to concentrate on the horcrux chase. The two biggest missteps, in my opinion, are the end. The first battle of Hogwarts and the funeral of Dmbledore should be similar to the ending of Empire Strikes Back. Dumbledore freezes Harry under his cloak with the battle going on below them and Snape should kill Dumbledore and Harry should roar after him. And I thought JK Rowling had a bit more veto power over these movies? Or was at least consulted?

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST

    oh god no

    by etantao

    i liked this director's work on movie 5 but this sounds like a disaster! i get that parts need to be trimmed and eliminated but you gotta know what's important. no funeral? come on!

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Rowling and money


    <p>Whenever I see her on TV (as in the documentary she filmed for a TV channel over here last year) she seems very humble and not very attracted to money at all. I know it could have all been set up for the cameras, but it didn't seem that way. She lived a way more humble life than I would expect from anyone with the amount of cash she has. She lives in Edinburgh instead of somewhere more exotic. She bakes cakes for her kids' birthdays. She takes her kids to the local shops for milk etc.</p> <p>I suspect she has very little say in what goes on in the movies and only makes suggestions etc.</p>

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla

    I really do mean it. I LOVE the first film, but I think the other 2 made changes to the books and really suffered. Case in point: the characters of Legolas and Gimli were beautifully drawn in the first film. Sure, they were funny, but they also had dignity, even mystery. But in the second and third films, they were pretty-much relegated to comic sidekicks: jokes about beards, counting up how many orcs they'd killed, and - worse of all -skidding down stairs/oliphant trunks. Ugh.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 1:05 p.m. CST

    I hope they fix this...

    by rotabilis

    Let me preface this by saying that I am not at all a stickler for total faithfulness to the source material in movie adaptations. I disliked the first two Harry Potter films because I felt they were too slavishly faithful to the *letter* of the books and failed to capture their *spirit*. By contrast, the third film, Prisoner of Azkaban, was my *favorite* film thus far; it took liberties with the story, but they were *good* changes, producing a result that felt fresh, with a warmth, charm and *magic* that the other films lacked. That includes Michael Gambon as Dumbledore; I much prefer him to Richard Harris. These changes, though, sound quite wrong. No battle at the end? The Death Eaters just walk out? No funeral for Dumbledore? That's crazy. Dumbledore's death is supposed to have IMPACT. And Harry is supposed to be beyond infuriated - first with being helpless to save Dumbledore, then with the desire for revenge. And besides all that, a simple rule of sequels is that the climax should top that of its predecessor. Well, Rowling did that in the book, so it's not like they have to invent anything. I can't believe they'd spend all this money to make a film without a climax. And no, the scene in the cave is not the climax. Also, I thought the scene between Scrimjour and the Prime Minister at the start of the book was great and well worth inclusion, but that's far less important than the ending.

  • July 5, 2009, 9 p.m. CST

    Your Kidding Me

    by Marshy82

    As a HUGE Harry Potter fan, I'm upset. This is going to be the first HP movie where I've actually read the book. And I'm seriously upset that there will be no funeral. How could they do that? There are some plot points during it. Yes, I'm refraining from giving out spoilers.

  • July 6, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    wee bit late to the party, aren't we?

    by just pillow talk

  • July 7, 2009, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Hey, that's Orcus' line :)

    by orcus

  • July 7, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    your royalty check is in the mail...

    by just pillow talk