The last time there was a new Harry Potter film out, there was also the release of the last of the books which I was devouring. I also remember going to see The Order of the Phoenix post-interview in Didcot, driving on down the M4 to Maidenhead to see it with my then girlfriend.

Two years on, and tonight I went to see the film with Emma, now my wife, in Oxford with Lucy and David and some other people I hadn’t met before.

It was good. In fact actually I think this film was better than the last – less of the whizz-bang reliance on the set piece special effects scenes, and more gentle, building, characterization with some wonderful cinematography.

Where this film fails, is that as a film I am not convinced that it works without prior knowledge of the books. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this (the last film also suffered from the same problem in a way that the first four did not) but this The Half Blood Prince more than anyone just adds colour to what you already have read in the books. Also this film doesn’t really go anywhere (other than the next film). The story just builds and builds, all very nice, but then suddenly it climaxes and is ending; none of the three act setup here.

Still good fun though! 🙂