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Enchanting and Exciting (Unlike the Movie with the Rock-Em/Sock-Em Robots)

  • Jul 15, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4

Now THIS is what I’m talking about! No, I’m not referring to the faithfulness of the novel, nor am I talking about how the movie version of “Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince” is a cut above the previous adaptations in pleasing the fans. There are still changes in the movie and if fans complain about them (and they will) they should be brushed off for their ignorance in the craft of film making. No, when I watch this movie I think back to the earlier summer film “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” a movie where special effects dominated and the film was nothing more then noise. People who liked the film described that the film was a summer movie, and that those movies shouldn’t be held to high standards because they are simply meant to be entertaining. “Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince” takes that argument and chokes it until it’s dead and no longer breathing.

No, here is a movie that is filled with special effects. Rather then using those effects to blow things up (though there is some of that), the effects are meant to enhance a world that is filled with imagination and surprises. Some will claim that we’ve seen this world before, and we may have, but now that David Yates has slowed down on the destruction of Hogwarts, maybe audiences and rediscover the beauty of a place we’ve actually gotten used to over the last eight years. Who knows, maybe the place is enchanting once more because Harry and his friends seem to actually be having fun again. Though instead of discovering Quittich or wild toys they are busy discovering the opposite sex. Now that Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is a year away from man-hood (and quite possibly death), can we blame him that he finds pleasure in the company of Ginny (Bonnie Wright), the younger sister of his best mate Ron (Rupert Grint)?

Likewise, after spending the remainder of this series hanging around the boys and being “The Smart One,” is it a shock to discover Hermione (Emma Watson) finding herself attracted to Ron, who by all means is so goofy he doesn’t deserve someone that smart? Here is a movie that is much like the Transformer sequel in the sense that it’s filled with special effects, it’s epic, and nothing really happens. But the “nothing” that I mention couldn’t be more different between the two films. Though in Transformers nothing happens and everything is noisy, “Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince” takes the lack of major events to develop the characters in such a way that we care for them more then ever. So while nothing major happens in the movie it’s rich with enough texture that it hardly matters.

That said, Harry is tasked with by Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) to make friends with new Slytherin teacher Horace Slughorn (Academy Award-winner Jim Broadbent). The reasoning being that Slughorn holds a memory that could be the key to killing the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, and he’s so ashamed of it that he will do anything to keep it hidden. This while Harry keeps an eye on fellow student Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), who he feels are up to no good but who Dumbledore trusts completely. Considering the restraints this movie has for it, it’s amazing the film is accessible as it is. In particular Gambon, Broadbent, and Rickman all give Oscar worthy performances.

If one of these actors walks away with a nod though expect it to be Alan Rickman for playing Snape, who in this movie walks around with the presence that he is conflicted beyond belief and torn up inside. He also delivers the final blow to a climax that won’t surprise readers of the book much but still give them reason to break down in tears. Though intentionally a film that is meant to build up to the (now) two part finale, “Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince” is easily the best film of the series and gives us hope that the ending won’t simply be flash and no substance. Yes, Transformers could learn a thing from Harry Potter.

P.S. Ironically, due to a contract agreement with Paramount, people who want to see this film on IMAX will have to wait several weeks for Transformers to pick up and leave before doing so. Funny how that all works out, huh?


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July 15, 2009
Great Review! I have high hopes for this one and am glad that you and the other critics I have read liked it. In a sense, this book sets up the next one, so I did wonder about the lack of action. Thanks
 
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review by . December 24, 2010
Out of all the Harry Potter films so far, this one is definitely the funniest. Not to say that it isn't dark or doesn't have any action, but there's more comedy in this than in the other films. This is also my fourth favourite film in the new wave and my fifth favourite all together. Like the other five films, this installment introduces some new characters while still keeping the old ones intact, and that's definitely one of the main things that I love about this series.   …
review by . November 18, 2009
The business end of the series starts to ramp it up a notch.
   I've read every book J.K.Rowling has penned in the Hogwarts Saga.   Initiially, upon seeing the first movie out of curiosity, and being suitably impressed, I decided to buy the books as well, to see what all the hype was about.   And I was unashamedly, unabashedly, sucked into Rowlings world.      What is remarkable with each consequent installment, is the way that Rowling's stories have grown and matured with her …
Quick Tip by . November 29, 2010
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Might i add that unless you buy the blu-ray disk the special features are practically nonexistant!
review by . July 17, 2009
HPHBP
 As one of the very few people who have not read the Harry Potter books, my review is solely based on the film and not how it compares with the books. Having said that, as being a fan of the movies since their creation, I feel like they have just gotten better over time.  While I thought that The Goblet of Firewas a little slow, The Order of the Phoenix was a big boost after that film and The Half Blood Prince is a very nice continuation, if not just a little confusing at the beginning …
review by . August 18, 2009
Professor Minerva McGonagall: [to Harry, Ron, & Hermione] Why is it, that whenever anything happens, it's always you three?    Ron Weasley: Believe me, Professor. I've been asking myself that same question for the past six years.          Short attention span summary (SASS):       1. Dark times are at hand for both wizards and muggles, as the Death Eaters wreak a destructive path across both worlds.    2. Draco has a special …
review by . January 23, 2010
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If you want this movie, buy the blu-ray version. It's both cheaper and has a better quality movie.
review by . July 17, 2009
Movie poster
As Harry (Daniel Radcliffe)  begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, the forces of the Dark Lord are wreaking havoc on Londoners, both wizards and Muggles alike.  Headmaster Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) asks Harry to do a mysterious job for him, while Voldemort has apparently given Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) a rather unsavory task.  Amid all this gloom and doom, young love has struck at Hogwarts and Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all under its spell.      …
review by . December 10, 2009
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Pros: Acting for the most part      Cons: Story, it seems to have been missing along with decent special effects      The Bottom Line: I watched it a second time, hoping that I was mistaken.  I hated the fifth book, so there is a precedence for me not recommending the important Harry Potter stuff.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Two years ago, I struggled to write a review of …
Quick Tip by . November 18, 2009
A magical experience with a touch of tragedy.
review by . August 21, 2009
Pros: Worth the money the first time.     Cons: Starts out very slow but not to worry it will pick up.     The Bottom Line: If you enjoy Harry Potter then you will not want to miss this movie.     If you are like me it sometimes takes a while to get me to read a book. My wife has gotten me to read all of the Harry Potter books and that is how I got interested in going to the show and paying the money to see it on the big screen. I did notice …
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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Wiki

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a 2009 fantasy-adventure film directed by David Yates and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the sixth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, and is written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman and David Barron.[5] The film stars Daniel Radcliffeas Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley andHermione Granger. The supporting cast features Michael GambonJim BroadbentAlan RickmanTom Feltonand Helena Bonham Carter.

Filming began on 24 September 2007, with the film being released in cinemas worldwide on 15 July 2009, one day short of the fourth anniversary of the corresponding novel's release. In everywhere but the United States, the sixth film was simultaneously released in regular cinemas and IMAX 3-D in all countries. Due to North American theaters having a several week commitment by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,[6] the IMAX 3D release of the film occurred on 29 July, two weeks after its original release.[7]

Half-Blood Prince opened to critical acclaim along with instant commercial success, breaking the record for the biggest single-day worldwide gross of all time. In five days the film made $394 million, breaking the record for biggest five-day worldwide gross in ...

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Details

Director: David Yates
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: July 15, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 153 Minutes
Studio: HeyDay, Warner Bros Pictures
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