HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE Review - Mania.com



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  • Movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 2 hrs. 33 min.
  • Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Jim Broadbent, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis, Julie Walters, David Bradley, Jessie Cave, Frank Dillane, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, Helen McCrory, Natalia Tena, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Bonnie Wright
  • Written By: Steven Kloves
  • Directed By: David Yates
  • Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Series: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE Review

Harry Potter's Prince Royally Delivers

By Liana Aghajanian     July 15, 2009


Mania gives the thumbs up to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince(2009).
© Robert Trate

 

Following the unfortunate return of ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’ in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” Harry(Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), Ron (Rupert Grint) and a slew of delightful characters return to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the sixth installment of the series to study magic, potions and spells. Beyond the lessons, tests, never ending corridors and ever-present battle between good and evil however, love is definitely brewing quite thickly in the air.
 
The tale begins with Voldemort’s minions, Death Eaters wreaking havoc in both the wizard and Muggle worlds. While Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) takes extra precautions to protect Hogwarts, Harry’s premonition leads him to suspect that the danger is coming from within the school, in the form of another nemesis, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). Dumbledore enlists Harry to help uncover a mysterious memory, known only to former Hogwarts potions professor, Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) that will reveal vital information on Voldemort. Since his time at Hogwarts, Slughorn has tried his best to block out the memories from his teaching days, but Dumbledore manages to coax him back into the classroom with the promise of a raise and the opportunity to teach the famed Harry Potter.
 
Things, as usual, rev up when Harry accidentally falls into the possession of the Half-Blood Prince’s potion book, containing highly sophisticated spells, tips and tricks during one of Slughorn’s classes. This new discovery only leads to the long list of questions stirring in Harry’s mind: Who is cursing Hogwarts students? How can the Death Eaters be defeated?   Does Ginny like me? Who exactly is the Half-Blood Prince?
 
Truly a compelling adventure from beginning to end, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” strikes the perfect balance between a thrilling experience chockfull of shocking revelations and frightening moments and a humorous, coming of age story of one extraordinary, courageous kid and his friends who take on evil, but are just as ordinary as their Muggle counterparts when it comes to romance. The laugh out loud moments juxtaposed with teeth gritting scenes make this the funniest Harry Potter film, while maintaining genuine sense of terrifyingly exciting moments.
 
Our heroic trio, once baby faced and awkward have grown up to tackle the most difficult time of their lives: adolescence. With hormones raging and feelings emerging, evil seems to have nothing on young love. Harry soon comes to the realization that Ginny Weasely means more to him than just a friend, while Ron, somewhat reluctantly, deals with Lavender Brown’s (Jessie Cave) smothering affections.  Ms. Granger is also bitten by the love bug in this installation,  but her ginger haired Ron, remains oblivious.
 
With seasoned Harry potter costume designer Jany Temime and Tim Burke and Tim Alexander as visual effects supervisors, the details are breathtaking, from the bronze owl statue that comes to life, to the intricate designs on Dumbledore’s cloak and the snow covered Quiddage arena where Ron hopes to showcase his skills. The darkness of the film extends beyond the subject matter to the overall look of the film, with subdued, dark and dreary tones that fit right in with the London scenery. Directed by David Yates and produced by David Heyman and David Barron, the Half-Blood Prince also allows for long awaited glimpses into the Dark Lord’s world when he was just a troubled boy named Tom Riddle at a London orphanage. 
 
The supporting cast is well-rounded with delectable and strong performances from Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn, Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood and Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange. Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Frank Dillane who portray Voldemort in his early stages are more than convincing and add dimension to what we’ve known up to this point as just ‘evil.’ The lessons of the Half-Blood Prince aren’t anything new – that good should always trump evil, that love is meant to overtake hate, that few posses the admirable traits of being courageous and brave, that standing up for what you believe in is always in the right – but presented in the context of a now mature Harry, they take on new meanings, laced within the magical world a Muggle could only dream of.
 
The devotion surrounding Harry Potter’s tumultuous story has lasted five films thus far, and only looks to improve with the sixth. Although the Half-Blood Prince does have a number of changes from the book, literary fans will no doubt gobble up their hero’s plight to fight the forces of evil. Originally slated for release in November 2008, the eight month delay is definitely worth the wait, even if it clocks in at 153 minutes long.
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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lazerman 7/15/2009 9:47:47 AM

Saw it last night at the midnight screenings, and though it is missing a LOT of plot points from the book, it was so well acted by all, so thrilling, so funny, that I can't wait to see it again this weekend!

 

I am FASTER than the speed of light

I am more powerful than a NUCLEAR Explosion

I can leap large planets in a single bound

I am . . .

LAZERMAN!

Knightsong 7/15/2009 10:52:37 AM

We are officially a nation of retards. This film leaves out major plot points, and for those of you who forgot, PLOT is what this series is about. It is not a Tweeny love story, that is what Hollywood has made it because that's what sells. JK Rowling has allowed them to walk over her principles and I think less of her for it. This movie should be a major setup for the final film, but it's not. This movie is two hours of high school hallway giggle gossip with about a half an hour of story crammed in. Anyone that considers themselves a fan of the series, should not embrace this movie. Embracing the movie only continues to allow Studio Execs to shred movies based on books. This movie is 95% Fresh over at Rotten Tomatoes and got an A here, and this officially confirms that our nation is a mass of  mindless idiots. We'll take "Who's kissing who?" over prophecy, history, and suspense. Our nation and the world at large embraced these books, so why do we accept this? It's for the same reasons that we accept buy new iPhones every year, because the newest one has a video camera or a compass; or why we pay $1.50 for a 16oz Coke at the store, but sitting next to it is a 2 liter for $1. It's because we don't pay attention; we are mindless drones that let ourselves be led and fed every piece of crap corporate America wants us to so they can make a fast buck. You know if we let Harry Potter bomb at the box office then maybe they'd think twice about shredding the books. Maybe if we did that more often we could turn things around. But it won't happen, becuase it's easier to just bend over and take it, than to stand up and fight for something better. If you want to see a movie, that is supposed to be a comedy, but I call it a frightful glimpse of our future, go out and rent Idiocracy. It's where we are heading if we don't change our ways.

spiderhero 7/15/2009 11:29:51 AM

Knightsong: Don't hold back so much. Tell us what you really feel...

hanso 7/15/2009 11:44:56 AM

Knightsong, blame Transformers 2 & GI JOE while you are at it.

Riddick316 7/15/2009 11:47:03 AM

I heard it surpassed TDK at the midnight opening. It doesn't surprise me,but I'm glad it was HP and not Transformers 2 that is surpassing it in box office. Hey, sorry Hanso it was bound to happen sooner or later. I love TDK also!!!........                I'd rather see this than 2.0 hours of robots smashing one another,and of the 7 wonders of the world.

TheMovieGuy28 7/15/2009 11:56:44 AM

Hanso, come on now. Give GI JOE a chance to suck before we say it sucks....

 

....but it is starting to look like it could be the total guilty pleasure movie of the end of summer...

hanso 7/15/2009 12:06:11 PM

No thanks, I will not be paying for that shit. I've learned my lesson with Transformers.

Guilty pleasure is code for suckage. I read the AICN reader reviews and they were all basically "It sucks but it doesn't suck that bad". Like that's supposed to get people to see it.

On HP though, I read the final battle sequence was left out. How the hell can that be!!?

DarthDuck 7/15/2009 1:06:04 PM

...can't believe I'm saying this....

I agree with Hanso. The ending was a total and complete let down. After five movies, I've gotten used to missing plot points and going away from the book. (If you're still shocked but the omissions at this point - go kiss a dementor) But the ending was quick, easy, and awful. Dumbledore's death was rendered almost pointless, Snape reveal as a 'bad guy' was horrible. Only you forget how horrible it was because the whole Snape/Harry confrontation (my favorite moment in the entire series) is reduced to a few lines, flashes of a spell or two, and a total throw-away line that might as well have been - "oh yeah, by the way, the title of the movie, and your fancy book, that's me: Professor Snape."  And then he left.

WHAT.  THE.  HELL.

However, overall, I really did enjoy it. Until the end. I don't know if it ruined the whole movie for me or not, but it was anti-climactic and hugely dissapointing.

jdnx01 7/15/2009 1:19:16 PM

The ending was pretty much just going throught the motions.  Yes they cut out the final battle at the school, but that is something everybody has pretty much known about for the past six months.  According to the director, they held off on the battle so they can really cut loose in the last films.  They felt like the battle itself would lose some of its sting if it happened twice.

Overall, I was still satisfied with the film.  It was one of the best of the franchise, and at least Yates was able to improve over Phoenix.

kwsupes 7/15/2009 1:26:34 PM

Wow talk about back lash. I would like to see the film since I have read the books, but if the final part of the book is that botched, I don't know if I will even like it at all. The more of GI Joe I see the more I do think it will probably suck, but I may give it a chance. I still haven't forgiven Sommers for Van Helsing yet, talk about a crappy movie. So we'll see. On the whole I have liked the Harry Potter movies, not near as much as the books, but I have enjoyed them, but if it pulled an Eragon in this movie, I may stay away and just rent it for $1 in a few months from Redbox.

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