Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
In the sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, and in both wizard and muggle worlds Lord Voldemort and his henchmen are increasingly active. With vacancies to fill at Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore persuades Horace Slughorn, back from retirement to become the potions teacher, while Professor Snape receives long awaited news. Harry Potter, together with Dumbledore, must face treacherous tasks to defeat his evil nemesis. Written by
Although the books take place in the mid-1990s, no such chronology is given in the movies, allowing the Millennium Bridge in London (built 1998-2000) to appear. On a similar note, the movies' biographical or age information about certain characters may vary from the books, but is not an internal goof. See more »
After witnessing the disaster also known as "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" two years ago, I had pretty much written David Yates off. "Half-Blood Prince" is not only a more challenging novel to adapt to the big screen, but it also remains my favorite book in the series. Initially I had low expectations for "Half-Blood Prince", but after watching a couple of movie trailers and several clips online, I was thoroughly impressed and steadfastly awaiting the release of the film. The scourges of positive reviews calling it the "best one yet" only heightened my anticipation. I walked into the theater with lofty expectations, but in the back of my mind I feared for the worst.
All things considered, "Half-Blood Prince" is the best in the series. When you're adapting a 600+ page book into a two-and-a-half hour film, it's inevitable that certain things will get cut. Over the years we have come to expect that. Creatively speaking, I do not agree with nor do I like many of the decisions that the producers of the film and Yates made. But then again, what they did works! "Order of the Phoenix" was a plot less, awkward, jumbled up mess. There was absolutely no effort on the part of the director to link the scenes together. We jumped from one place to another, from one event to another occasion without ever so much as a hint as to WHY we were doing this or HOW we were doing that. Now in "Half-Blood Prince", this "scene skipping" still occurs, but to a much lesser extent than in the previous film. There is actually a plot. Though it is buried underneath numerous love triangles, there is a plot.
The cinematography in this film is simply breathtaking. Bruno Delbonnel (of the French film "A Very Long Engagement") does an outstanding job. When Oscar Nomination time comes around, I fully expect him to receive a nod.
The strength of this film lies in its cinematography and its acting. Compared to all previously films, the acting in "Half-Blood Prince" is top-notch. I was initially very worried about what Michael Gambon would do to Dumbledore this time around. I much preferred Richard Harris, and so far Gambon had been nothing but a huge disappointment. This time around Gambon is much, much, much better than before, but I still do not think that he gives an accurate portrayal of Dumbledore as the readers of the books know him. In certain scenes I thought that I was even seeing Gandalf. Not Dumbledore through and through.
The trio was good as usual. Daniel Radcliffe is much improved, coming off of his stage debut as Alan Strang in "Equus". His delivery in the comedy scenes is brilliant, while his acting in the more emotional scenes has improved a lot from a certain rather cheesy scene in "Prisoner of Azkaban". I've always found Emma Watson to be rather over the top with everything that she does, but she definitely drew the back the reigns a little bit in this one and pulls off the role nicely. Rupert Grint was brilliant and hilarious all throughout, though his character seemed to be forced into the role of comic relief.
Jim Broadbent does a marvelous portraying Slughorn with just the right balance of ambition, arrogance, and fondness. He isn't given too much room to shine, but he makes the most of every scene that he's in.
Alan Rickman is once again wonderful as Snape. Rickman's Snape does differ slightly from J.K. Rowling's Snape in that the Snape in the movies is more calm and in control than the Snape in the books. It's not a bad thing; it's just a different interpretation which works out beautifully.
Now the real gem in the cast is Tom Felton. He picks up Draco Malfoy's expanded role in the film with incredible ease and truly delivers. He steals every single scene that he's in. It is astonishing how he has managed to pack so much feeling and so much emotion into a mere glance. Felton has really taken Draco as far from the arrogant snob that he was in the first five film as he can. The Draco that we see in this film has lost that air of arrogance and is instead thirsting to prove himself, to show that he can be Harry's equal. There is an aura of vulnerability as the wall that Draco has built around himself finally comes crashing down.
"Half-Blood Prince" is infinitesimally better than "Order of the Phoenix", and if Yates can continue this rate of improvement, then we are all sure to be in for a treat when "Deathly Hallows" comes out, for "Half-Blood Prince" is most definitely the best so far.
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