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The Potter Films Finally Come Into Their Own with "The Half-Blood Prince"

  • Jul 17, 2009
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 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 if you haven't read the books like myself.  All in all though, it was very well done through out and the actors have really come a long way.  Sure it's nothing exactly Oscar worthy, but they do have their moments.

In the wake of the return of Voldemort, a much stronger friendship and respect between the now more matured Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) has formed as Harry begins his sixth year at Hogwarts.  While a relationship is strained between Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) as he has his sights set on Lavender Brown, Harry and Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) grow very close as Harry attempts to discover who the Half-Blood Prince is.  While the rest of the students deal with everyday life at Hogwarts, Harry and Dumblerdore delve deep into Voldemort's twisted childhood in an attempt to find the key to destroying the Dark Lord forever.

Despite the fact that I really enjoyed the movie, I felt like there was just too much going on.  I actually found it difficult to write the synopsis as within the 153 minutes of the film, director David Yates tries to squeeze as much detail in as possible.  I mean you have the Malfoy story, the young Voldemort plot, the relationship plots.  I think that's what has to be difficult for readers of the novels, seeing directors choose what to cut and what to keep.  Even from a non-readers perspective, I could tell that aspects of the film were just jammed in wherever they could.  The saving grace of all this though is that it didn't take anything away from the movie being really well done.

I have to give it up for the trio of actors who we have come to know since they were just wee little ones.  Through the years their acting has improved tremendously.  Daniel Radcliffe has really taken the character of Harry and matured along with it.  The same goes for Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright and Rupert Grint.  All of them have matured into wonderful actors who really make their characters believable.  This was definitely the first of the Potter films where I could feel something from all the actors (excluding Radcliffe who gave an amazing acting performance in The Order of the Phoenix).  Michael Gambon as Dumbledor has also been a pleasant treat ever since he took over the role after the death of Richard Harris.  He is truly one of the greatest british actors to date.

As much as I talked about how the story felt so jam packed, I still enjoyed it quite a bit.  Honest to god, I think I enjoyed all the relationship forming plots of the film the best and I'm not just talking about Ron and Hermione or Ginny and Harry.  I'm talking about Harry and Dumbledore, the quiet, double-sided relationship between Malfoy and Snape.  All of these plots were written very well and evenly distributed throughout.  The best has got to be Harry and Dumbledore though.  The way in which they grow so close and in a way, almost separate themselves from Hogwarts as they have the fate of the school literaly in their hands as they search for any way to destroy Voldemort.  Both actors did an amazing job making their relationship come to life.

Not knowing to much about the finer details of what happens in the novels, I can't really say much more other than it was fun.  Since the movies have come out, I have always been a fan and I continue to be to this day.  So, from a non Harry Potter reader, just as someone who LOVES movies, go check this out.  It's a great movie to take the family too and you really are treated to a great adventure and story.  If you have read all the books, I'm sure you'll have some gripes, but that comes with the territory.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince carries the torch as great movies of the summer of '09 go on. 4/5!  

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July 18, 2009
You definitely hit the nail on the head; cramming so much plot and exposition into one movie has to be a monumental task. They're actually planning to split the 7th and final book into two movies, one coming out at the end of next year and the final one premiering in the summer of 2011. It's also interesting that you enjoyed the relationship parts the most; as with any good story, the characters are key.
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review by . December 24, 2010
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review by . July 15, 2009
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review by . November 18, 2009
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Quick Tip by . November 29, 2010
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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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review by . August 21, 2009
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About the reviewer
Julian Brown ()
Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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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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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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