Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - The 4AM Movie Review

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince = A-
Directed by Derek Yates, Screenplay by Steve Kloves

So even though I'm still wide awake at 4am from still being thrilled at the highs of watching the midnight (oh sorry, 12:01am) screening of the latest Harry Potter adventures, it still is 4 am so if it's a little scatterbrained, forgive me.

At this point, if you're going in to watch the 6th installment of Harry Potter, you're pretty much a fan who has seen all the movies and most of you have read all the books. So it really doesn't matter what anybody says, you'll be going anyways. And like me, at this point, the latest movie is just another awesome chapter in the larger series of Harry Potter as a whole.

Well, at least rest assured that Derek Yates has done another wonderful job here and while it still doesn't top my favorite of the series, The Half-Blood Prince safely continues into the darkening journey leading towards the final ultimate showdown between good and evil.

BTW, I still think the fourth movie, The Goblet of Fire ranks as the best of the series, since it worked just as well as a movie on its own. The Prisoner of Azkaban was second, Order of the Phoenix third. I'd probably fit in The Half-Blood Prince into second or third place at this point.

And while it mostly lacks an actual ending since it feels more like a prelude to the final installment, JK Rowling's source book felt that way too, more an elaborate set up for the final book. A part 1 really to the end.

But in cinematic terms, The Half-Blood Prince works wonderfully, as it takes its time to go deeper and darker all while it interplays the spirited hormonal happenings of the teens caught in the ever growing crisis. The movie feels more grounded and more real than ever before, despite the magical things happening in the background, or the looming sense of doom that has overcome the world.

There's a slower pacing to this 6th movie but it helps establish a nice balance between the overall fight between good and evil, and Harry's own world directly surrounding him. While the plot skips over a LOT from the book (as always), I didn't miss as much that was cut and the movie on the whole had a nice rhythm to it.

Kudos also to cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel who really adds some flair and heightens the reality of Potter's world even with the chapter of the story that probably relies least on big action sequences.

Add back its regular cast of adults, an esteemed company of the best British actors, with Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, David Thewlis, Helena Bonham Carter, and Julie Walters. It's always a pleasure to see them dressed in this wizardly world, even if many have now been reduced to mere cameos for continuity sake. Jim Broadbent joins the Harry Potter world as Horace Slughorn and makes it worth the wait for his arrival here as he does wonders here with the character.

The young cast continues to be a joy to watch and grow, with a luminous Emma Watson becoming quite the terrific young actress. Rupert Grint is simply a joy to watch as Ron, while Daniel Radcliffe continues to charm as Harry. Evanna Lynch is still a brilliant find for Luna.

Meanwhile, both Hero Fiennes-Tiffin and Frank Dillane are PERFECTLY cherubic yet creepy as young versions of Tom Riddle at various ages in life. And yes, Hero is Ralph's nephew.

As always, the movie left me only wanting more, as I now rewind the anticipation timer once again for November 2010 for Part 1 of The Deathly Hallows (The final installment Part 2 will be released exactly 2 years from today on July 15th 2011).

At least we can thank Kloves and Yates for another satisfying chapter in the Harry Potter series.

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

1 comment:

ddadmin said...

David Yates (director) did a superb job just magnificent to watch, may be Alfonso Cuarón would have made them ROCK. I am a great fan of Harry Potter series. My favorite still remains HP3: Prisoner of Azkaban. But Half Blood was simply outstanding on levels. I'll be seeing it again Saturday on IMAX which will be even better as it's one of the original IMAX screens that loom up and over the audience as opposed to newer screens that are just big.
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