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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince might possibly be one of the
better Harry Potter films released thus far. Director David Yates and
screenwriter Steve Kloves took the novel and perfectly translated the
spirit and integrity of the story into moving images. Like the book it
is more of a character piece than an adventure film, but the greater
emphasis on character makes the emotional climax have a great deal of
I see no real need in simply rehashing the story because my words couldn't do it justice. David Yates has improved a great deal since the previous film. He brings out the very being of these characters in a way that none of the other directors in the series have done. He draws the focus on the characters so perfectly that you very often forget all that is going on in the world. Yates has scaled the story down to its very essence. Probably any other director would try and make the film feel as epic as they can, but Yates takes a more subtle approach that serves the story beautifully.
The acting within the film might possibly be the best work from the Potter ensemble yet. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have all grown as actors since the last film and they are truly transforming into very fine actors with promising careers ahead of them. Michael Gambon turns in a performance that could rival Richard Harris's Dumbledore, being a deeply affecting performance that genuinely comes through in the cave scene. Jim Broadbent is superb as the new Potions Professor Horace Slughorn; Broadbent plays the character with the right amounts of wit, charm, and tragedy. Though the actor that surprised me the most within this film was Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy. Tom hasn't had much to do in the previous Potter films, so we've never really been able to tell if he could pull off more than just the bully role, but he manages to achieve success and he plays the conflicted part so well.
I think it is safe to say that this is probably the prettiest Harry Potter film to date. Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel does a superb job here giving back a sense of fantasy to this world in which these characters inhabit. The film looks very much like a painting and every image within is a genuine work of art. As well the special effects are taken up a notch this time around. ILM has done a wonderful job with the effects work, but it's how Yates utilizes the effects to service the story that truly makes them pop. Never does Yates do an in your face effects shot, to where you clearly know that you aren't looking at a real thing. Yates weaves the effects seamlessly within this world and you never truly think about them while watching, and that's the magic of cinema.
Though the biggest props on the film should go to Steve Kloves. After taking the fifth film off, Kloves returns to pen this installment of the franchise and what a welcome return it was. He has come back it seems with a new energy that genuinely comes through in the script. He has trimmed much material from the 600 page book, but he has left in tact all of the major points to the story, weaving them together and connecting the dots into a film that flows very fluidly from scene to scene. But Kloves does not forsake the characters. He infused each character with wit and charm and brought a rich feeling to each and every character.
Half-Blood Prince is the most human installment of Harry Potter to date. Some casual moviegoers may be disappointed to learn that this is not an action film, it's a character piece that just happens to have a few thrilling sequences within, but those few sequences are electrifying. The Quidditch match is brutal and exciting, the attack on the Burrow is a fast-paced chase scene, the bathroom blow out is exquisitely realized, and the cave sequence is tense and frightening.
There are many moments of simple awe and wonder within this film, such as the scene where Dumbledore creates the ring of fire to fend off the inferi, or some of the sweeping shots of Hogwarts. Course it's the emotional scenes that steal the show, such as the one between Harry and Hermione on the stairs or the scene in Hagrid's Hut near the end. There are just too many great moments to mention them all.
When it is all said and done Half-Blood Prince is one of the more satisfying filmgoing experiences I've had in a while. It's a beautiful film that is actually quite funny, but is also moving at the same time. It's definitely on my list of favorite films for this year. I can't wait for Deathly Hallows. I'm extremely glad the duo of Yates and Kloves are returning to finish out the series.
I give Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince an excellent 10 out of 10!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It stayed more true to the book then any other Harry Potter. Some of the others watching the movie, who hadn't read the series but seen all the movies was shocked when Dumbledore died. But we just told them you haven't seen the last of Dumbledore yet and they were happy. I really can't say a bad thing about the movie. I loved it. If I had to pick one thing they forgot to put in the movie would be would the funeral of Dumbledore when the white tomb was created and there was no Krum or Cho. But those are only small tiny things for those who want to be picky. I was extremely happy that the scene from the book where Hermione created the birds and attacks Ron with them when she is upset that he kissed the other girl. Overall AWESOME MOVIE, I plan to go re-watch it soon!!!! It's a must see movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This has got to be one of the best in the series. David Yates does an
unbelievably great job of bringing this story to the silver screen. And
he brings with a faithfulness to the book plus including Ron's story of
overcoming self doubt in the Quidditch match that was left out of Harry
Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. In fact, Quidditch match in the
light snow shower is one of the better ones in the series. Director
David Yates gives us a darker more realistic world of Hogwarts while
filming it in a way we have not seen the castle before. The
cinematography is gorgeous in this film. But the best part is the
script. Knowles and Yates distills the story down to it's major plot
points and throws out all that was unnecessary in the book. He hits
every single major plot point in the story. He doesn't miss a beat.
What he couldn't film or changed for dramatic purposes, he replaced
with thoroughly satisfying substitutions that carried the same message
in the book. Like for instance, instead of telling us that Deatheaters
are attacking Muggles and kidnapping people, he shows it to us. He
takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride to an ending that packs a
stunning emotional punch. As the wands rise to defeat the darkness with
light. He also packs a couple of good scares in the cave scene as a
monster drags Harry into the water. My only problem with the story is
that it drags a little in small parts, It doesn't fully explain the
meaning of the term "Half Blood Prince" and doesn't properly set up the
love potion poisoned box of chocolates intended for Harry that Ron
eats. But truly, the story doesn't slow down as much as the trolls have
been claiming. So don't listen to them. It fairly and evenly well
The acting is excellent. particularly Broadbent and Felton. You literally feel sorry for these two as they struggle with their consciences. From the first moment of Harry and Dumbledore standing up for the press photo right after defeating Voldemort in Phoenix to Ron, Harry and Hermione meeting in the tower at the end, This is one film that is sure to please.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First off I'd like to say that I have read the book twice and obviously
loved it, so I am perfectly aware of what was differences, however it's
a filmmakers perspective on the book, things work on the page that
don't necessarily work on screen, like no end battle was a big one,
yeah I missed it, but it would have been extremely repetitive judging
on what takes place in the last book. Certain characters or scenes that
played out in your head may be different in the movie, because
obviously the director, cinematographer and screenplay writer have
different heads then you do.
The film opens up with the ever so faint Harry Potter theme over the Warner Brothers sign and quickly turns to what is perhaps, the best opening scenes in a Harry Potter film. Harry and Dumbledore in the Ministry of Magic as the press take photos of them after the huge battle with Voldemort. As the press overwhelms Harry, and Dumbledore puts his arm around him. So simple but so well done. And then to an even more perfect opening, the bridge/Diagon Alley scene with the Death Eaters was great! As the film continued it slowly brought back some familiar faces.
Daniel, Rupert and Emma, all three of them especially Emma Watson grew as actors terrifically from the last film, Emma really has you feeling for her in a particular scene where she is crying in Harry's arms. Rupert Grint was the comedic star of the film; his timing was brilliant, very funny and worked well with new comer Jessie Cave who was brilliant as Lavender Brown, Ron's annoyingly clingy and slightly horny love interest. As much as I'd like to stay on Rupert, I have to say that Jessie is great! Rupert also was good with Emma, I really started to feel the Hermione/Ron relationship again, not really since Goblet of Fire did we see this. It's really sweet and kodos to Ron as he has two hot girls chasing him around, even if one of them is a bit crazy. Daniel Radcliffe is always the same, he's good. He is reliable to always be our hero, he was very funny to in his comedic scene when he takes the liquid luck.
The supporting cast: Bonnie Wright stepped up! She has presence, beauty, and is a good actress, perfect as Ginny. Though some of the scenes between Harry and Ginny were a bit corny but you had to love it anyway. She was sweet and very likable. Michael Gambon, what a legend. As much as I will be burned for saying this, I've always like him better as Dumbledore then the late great Richard Harris, who was awesome, but I love Gambon, and now others can see why. I can't say much more other then he was perfect. I really enjoyed his presence especially in the cave scene. Our newcomer teacher, Horace Slughorn, the talented Jim Broadbent, STOLE THE FREAKING SHOW! He was so funny, and so entertaining. I enjoyed the Slug Club scenes, which he truly shined in, as well as the scene with Hagrid. Alan Rickman had his time to shine. His perfect pauses are what make Severus Snape one of the best characters in the series. He is so entertaining and so powerful especially in the Astronomy tower scene at the end. He also has great chemistry with another great. Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps my favorite casting choice, since Order of the Phoenix, Bellatrix Lestrange has always and always will be my favorite character. She is so sadistically malicious, cruel and absolutely pure evil. She didn't have huge amounts of screen time but way more then expected. She gets to blow up a lot of things, laugh like a mad women and shot some nasty spells at Radcliffe. My favorite scene she stole, the Unbreakable Vow scene in which she taunts Alan Rickman into making a deadly deal with her sister Narcissa Malfoy, Helen McCroy was really good. She brought a little bit of heart to the bad guys, which she isn't all that evil, well compared to her sister that is. Draco, Narcissa's son, Tom Felton, also had his chance to shine and he was really dark and really good. Fenrir Greyback (Dave Legeno) was underused, one line, but multiple close ups. Then to name off a few of the rest, Maggie Smith had much more screen time then Order or Goblet but still not enough, she is always amazing, Robbie Coltrane as the lovable Hagrid was still underused but I liked what he did have. Julie Walters and Mark Williams had decent sized parts and are always lovable. Timothy Spall had nothing of a part and I missed him. Evanna lynch as Luna had a good sized role, very funny! Warwick Davis and David Bradley were good. And finally David Thewlis and Natalia Tena had small but likable parts as normal.
What I didn't like was the under use of Greyback, Timothy Spall, not explaining the inferi, Harry randomly starting to like Ginny, Ginny and Dean's break up sort of not clarified. Bellatrix needed more screen time and I thought that the attack on the Burrow was a little out of character and probably should have been longer though I enjoyed it.
The score is brilliant, Hooper even brings back some of the music from Order. The cinematography of Delbonnel was outstanding! David Yates is an awesome director and you could see how much fun he was letting his cast have with their characters. The balance between comedy, and darkness is incredible and so hard to pull off but they did it beautifully.
And that's it, you will enjoy this movie, just go in with an open mind!
Like all Harry Potter fans I have read all of the books and seen every
film so far. I would have to say that this film is not my favourite so
far and leaves you feeling that some vital parts of the book are
missing. However this is worth watching and I feel this will only
disappoint the most hardcore Harry fans!
With all of the films you can notice that the acting is improving with the maturity of the characters. You can tell that there is a close bond between the actors of which all pull of their roles well. The directing and visual effects, like all of the films to date does not disappoint.
In all a great family film, a pleasure to watch and I would recommend this film to most people. I am glad that the final film will be split into two parts, to be honest they could have done it with this film!
*** For people who have never seen any of the films or read the books I took my friend with me who has not seen or read any of the books and he was completely lost throughout the film (Although he still enjoyed it!). If you wish to see this I would recommend you need to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix first. Otherwise you may find this film a little confusing.
Trust me, if you choose to not see the movie because of the negative
comments you will truly lose something. i am not saying that others
reviews are bad, but giving the movie 1 star or 2 stars i simply
stupid. If you truly are a harry potter fan you will enjoy the movie,
not off course love it, because the movies and the books will always be
different, and thats the point!. many people are complaining about how
different it was from the book and so on, well, a movie cant be exactly
similar to the book, thats why it is callers "the Movie", if you want
the book then you should read the book. one should think of what the
movie contains, not that its not the book.
to begin with, i must say that i think this is the best Harry potter movie, it combines darkness,teenage love(witch by the way was not as cheesy as i though at the first time), and off course magic not to mention Humor. The humor in this film is one of the greatest, its hard to explain, but its something most people find funny,the love witch i at first found stupid(because i have never like love in books) was in fact enjoyable to watch, not many people think this, but i found this movie to be closest to the book of all the movies.
When Hermione gets angry over Ron being with Another girl, we get to see that she might have feelings for Ron, Emma Watson(Hermione) does an sweet and mature acting witch i felt was great. While Rupert Grint(Ron) Is simply an Comedy king and i really believe he will continue acting. The Draco part was true to the movie, and we get to see who Draco really is, Tom Felton does an amazing job as the New death eater Draco Malfoy. When it comes to the darkness scenes, i have to say that Michael Gambon(Dumbledore) shows the greatest Albus of all time, and his acting is simply touching and beautiful to watch. The memories that belongs to Tom riddle was simply simply amazing, and Jim Broadbent was the perfect choice for Slughorn whom harry tries to get a memory from.
The trios acting had become better, and off course the always amazing Alan Rickman(Snape) shows himself in his true colors.
Furthermore, i will say to you that this movie is something i cannot understand why other people hate it. to me, it is simply an masterpiece,even if you are an harry potter fan or not you should see it. and remember this is not the "figthing movie" that is the last movie, this is about finding answers and HOW to defeat the dark lord in the end.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have to say, after I watched OOTP, my initial reaction was "I MUST WATCH THIS AGAIN RIGHT NOW!" I was extremely confident that the following films are in good hands. HOWEVER, HBP was fast paced- but moved so quickly that I felt like I was being rushed from one scene to this next. Additionally, although the scenery was quite beautiful, there were many parts when the CGI just seemed too fake. On another note, I will get down on my knees if I have to in order to beg Yates and Heyman to put ROBES on the trio! Please! You wear robes at Hogwarts- not Muggle clothing! You wear robes in the Wizarding world! I beg you. This isn't a very difficult thing to accomplish. As for the score, I must say I am slightly disappointed. I loved Nicholas Hooper on OOTP. Unfortunately, is it just me or did I hear the same thing at Fred and George's joke shop? I head some beautiful tracks on the trailer that I'm not sure I heard in the movie. (But I could be wrong.) On the other hand, the acting was superb- with the exception of the despicable, ignorant Michael Gambon and Jim Broadbent. The trio's acting has improved immensely, and I am grateful for that. Alan Rickman's interpretation of Snape and Helena Bonham Carter's Bellatrix are both incredibly amazing. They have nailed their characters. Regrettably, I must say even though Broadbent was not a complete failure like Gambon, I wish he played Slughorn better by really obsessing over Harry and people with famous relatives. (SPOILER) I especially was disturbed at the part when Ron was poisoned, and Slughorn just stood shocked by the side and did NOTHING.! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Harry saved Ron! WTF! While Harry did yell, "Professor, DO SOMETHING," in the novel, Slughorn did react! Now, onto Gambon. I never quite got over Richard Harris' death, but that's because Gambon is an EPIC FAILURE. (SPOILER) Once again, he showed the "angry" Dumbledore, which is non existent in the books, when he yelled at the students "Get to bed!" Dumbledore would NEVER say something like that! Alright, now onto the events... (SPOILER for the rest of the paragraph) I am so disappointed by the stuff they cut out. First, I must state that, obviously, I'm always disappointed by stuff cut out in the films. However, I could understand most of the stuff the previous films cut out. As for HBP, I have never been so appalled. I fail to see how burning down the Burrows helped "advance" the plot. It was an unnecessary addition, which the timing could have been used to better the non-existent climax. The ending was appalling as well. Why wasn't Snape angry when Harry called him COWARD! Instead of having so much romance, film makers should have focused more on the Half-Blood Prince. Have Hermione yell at Harry a bit more for using the Prince's book! And why is the invisible cloak non existent except for on the train in the entire movie! You need it for Deathly Hallows! Plus, Harry's character would have never stood by if Dumbledore's disarmed and Bellatrix and Greyback were in the same room! Speaking of Dumbledore, HOW THE HELL CAN HE APPARATE IN HOGWARTS! WHAT A LOAD OF BS! They didn't even explain Greyback as well! Plus, Tonks and Lupin's relationship were never explained so why did Tonks call him sweetheart! If you're going to leave Tonks and Lupin's relationship out, FINE! But don' have her do something random like that! Next, Harry and Ginny's kiss There's only one word to describe that. PATHETIC. Simply pathetic! Oh, and why was Harry's Quidditch captain position not explained?! Why was he lacking in leadership during tryouts! Harry always shows leadership! The DA for example! Why was Ginny standing by his side! She needs to try out as well! Oh, and the Horcruxes Remember that! Was that, what, only briefly mentioned?! How can they advance the plot in DH if Harry doesn't know SH** about the Hufflepuff cup, the Slytherin ring, etc.!!!! And Sirius's will!!! What the hell was the point of including bloody Kreacher, who had one line, in OOTP if he wasn't mentioned to be inherited by Harry. Sorry, that all of these events are not in chronological order. But back to Dumbledore Why am I not surprised that Dumbledore's death was not depressing? Oh hmm maybe because the actor who played Dumbledore said he wasn't sad when filming the scene!!! Fine, if you don't want to include the bloody funeral. But PLEASE, make the death sad!!! And since you didn't include nothing about Dumbledore's wand, please remember it in DH. And why didn't I hate Snape at all like I did after reading HBP! Another comment on the romance, Ron and Hermione's wasn't awkward enough. There just wasn't the right transition. And WHY did Lavender Brown sit at another table with other GRYFFINDORES in the Great Hall after her and Ron broke up? There four tables in the great hall and they are seated by the order of the four Houses! Why are there Gryffindores on two separate tables? What the heck? And Neville! Why did he only have one line! I would like to see less of that dimwit Lavender Brown! And how did Lupin know about Draco's mission?! Speaking of which, I finally have one good thing to say about the film. Tom Felton was amazing. They did Draco justice- although I would have hoped Sectumsempra (Sorry, if I didn't spell it correctly) was a little bit more dramatic. After all, it is of the Dark Arts. It would have been better if we could have seen gashes on Malfoy and blood spilling out as Harry waved his wand wildly like he was supposed to though the battle was not bad. But speaking of battles, taking out the ending battle was the worst idea Yates ever had.
When I walked into Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I expected a
terrible adaptation of quite possibly one of the weaker books in the
series. When I walked out of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I
was pleasantly surprised with a well-crafted adaptation that bursted
with life and vitality, and restored my faith in the Potter franchise.
As a film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince succeeds on many levels. From the cinematography to the set-design, from the acting to the direction, this is by far the strongest Harry Potter film to date. However, to fan boys, the film will be seen as terrible, and one of the worst adaptations ever created.
The fan boys aren't entirely incorrect. As an adaptation, it is incredibly unfaithful. Entire subplots, main plots, and themes are changed. Vital characters are ignored, and minor ones are given more prominent roles.
Yet, this all works to its advantage. Screenwriter Steve Kloves augments the romance and downplays the action, while director David Yates directs his actors (especially Emma Watson and Alan Rickman) to quietly powerful performances. This pairing creates a film that is much more slowly-paced that previous Potter films, but it allows the actors and the audience to explore the characters in more depth than we've been previously allowed. The ending is particularly effective in this sense, as the grandiose battle sequences of the novel have been traded off for two quieter scenes in which startling revelations are made, and loyalties are questioned.
For fan boys, the film acts as a stepping stone to what will most likely be another book- ruining adaptation. For us regular film goers, the film acts as a stepping stone to what will be most likely the strongest Potter adaptation of the weakest novel. Harry Potter is no Godfather or Dark Knight, but in Half-Blood Prince, he comes mighty close.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So many people want this movie to be loyal to the book. It is. There are way too many people out there who are obsessed with putting everything in the book, and they don't like the film. You have to understand that if they put everything from the book into the movie it would just make the movie worse and in that case the movie would be 5-6 hrs. long and THAT'S why this movie would suck. It definitely deserves better than an 8.1, it deserves and 8.5 or something good like that. People must also understand that the fight at the end of the film and Dumbledore's funeral were cut out because the fight was too similar to the way the 7th one ends (and one of the producers also said that they didn't put it in because the Battle of Hogwarts would be close to 40 minutes long), and they cut out the funeral because they thought it didn't fit in with the tone of the movie. Obsessed book fans also complain that the two scenes added were a waste. They were not a waste. It gave the movie more action, and the movie was NOT boring!!! I don't understand the hate. Those people who are obsessed with having everything in the book have got to learn that not everything fits. I've read the books and have seen every movie, and sometimes I wonder "Oh, that wasn't in the movie" but I just learn to deal with it because it's just a movie, and True fans, like me, will understand that and give this movie a good rating like me. Fans obsessed with putting everything from the books into the movies, deal with it and go drown yourself because true fans are sick of your complaining. It's just a movie deal with it.
By far and away, this venture into the Potterverse was the best to
date. Our kids have grown into the skin of their characters, and the
new younger characters now are populated by folks that have skills to
match the roles. And no question that we finally are getting to see the
professors, headmaster, and supporting adults at the absolute top of
It was easily the movie that stayed truest to the source material, and that proved to be a blessing. We may not get every scene and every word that Rowling wrote, but this was definitely the closest we have come. The movie is better for it, as well.
We have two movies left in the series, and seeing HP&HBP shows that we have hope to see the book well interpreted, directed, and acted. Looking forward to re-watching the HBP, and eagerly awaiting the coming Deathly Hallows.
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