Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
It might seem like a late review, but since I am currently in Grenada, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is still in theaters here and I just got back from watching it tonight. It’s OK though, I was a very late comer to the series in general, I only started the audio books this summer. This is the 6th movie in a franchise of Harry Potter films since 2001 and the first thing that is easy to notice is the amount of maturity it the visual effects over time. This is most advanced looking Harry Potter film. It helps that most of the film is cloaked in shadows and darkness, but the digital water and fire effects, things that used to be hallmarks in difficult to recreate visual effects were spectacular.
The 6th Harry Potter book along with the final book were my top two favorites from the series. I though they were the most mature and compelling of the bunch. I have not liked the films as much as the audiobooks, but a movie not living up to the original source book isn’t grounds for a bad movie. The movie itself has to be good or bad on its own (not considering the book) or better/worse than the previous movies, in my mind.
Let me just say, if you have not seen any of the preceding Harry Potter movies or books, just skip this film, as a stand alone film, my guess is that it would be extremely confusing since it does not do a great job of introducing a lot of the tertiary characters. Now, for most people, this is not a problem, because they wouldn’t go out to see the 6th film in a series without seeing any of the previous films. In relation to the other films though, I do think that this is the best of the 6 movies. There may still be a plot problem or two, like why does Dumbledore HAVE to drink that liquid, why not just dump it out?… it’s tough though since this was a problem with the source book, but there were certainly enough changes in the story from the book that solving this problem could have been done as well. The film does set up the final two films very well though.
I liked the way this film handled evolving relationship between Ron and Hermione and also that of Harry and Ginny. Oddly enough though, my favorite character throughout the films is Snape, Alan Rickman is great, even if he isn’t nearly as slimy or short tempered as his character from the books. I didn’t like his shushing Harry scene below the tower towards the end of the film (it didn’t feel like it worked) though.
Previous Harry Potter Movie quick reference dvd reviews:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – 2/5 stars
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – 2/5 stars
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – 4/5 stars
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – 4/5 stars
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – 2/5 stars
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