Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixt installment in the series. This time, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has to go back to Hogwarts to extract some important information from the new potions professor, Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent). That information is key to stop Voldemort from rising once again, and put an end to the paranoia that is surrounding the wizarding world.

Just like the book, this Potter movie is the best of the series in its medium. This is a true adaptation of the book, as some scenes that seemed important were taken out, others were taken in, and the director made it his own movie, not the complete novel told in film. This installment of the series is the best directed. Sure, Alfonso Cuaron took the series to a bold new place with Prisoner of Azkaban, but not until this did the series stood apart from the other fantasy movies that have been playing since the first Potter and Lord of the Rings movies came out. Although it is rated PG, it is much darker than the previous installments and deals with serious issues that we also deal with in our world. David Yates is person responsible for this. Under the direction of another person it might have just been another fantasy movie.

Yates also made this movie the best performed movie of the series. Many critics have called the character of Harry “boring”, that is what he is supposed to be. He is supposed to be a hero, but who knows if he wanted to be one. It was not until six years ago that he learned that he was a wizard, and Daniel Radcliffe plays the character to perfection. Ruper Grint continues to get better as the comedic relief, and Emma Wattson has moved on from showing emotion just by moving her eye brows and using her entire body to show it. Tom Felton Finally gets a chance to shine as Draco Malfoy has become the evil wizard’s chosen one. Michael Gambon finally gives the character of Dumbledore the treatment it deserves, and he deserves to be considered for a best supporting actor Academy Awards for it. Then there’s Broadbent, who is a riot as Horace Slughorn; he’s an exaple of perfect casting.

Technically speaking, the movie is also the most fully realized. Bruno Delbonnel’s continues to do impressive work as cinematographer by making one of the most beautiful-looking movies of the decade. It is simply breath taking. The special effects are impressive, especially those of the inferii in the cave. And the score, although not as great as John Williams’ score for Azkaban, which is a perfect score, is effective and will remain one of the best movies of the year.

With that said, it is not perfect. The script has some problems that cannot be ignored. The biggest one of the all is the fact that the mystery of the Half-blood prince is barely talked about. By the time the secret is revealed I felt like it didn’t matter, meanwhile when I read it I gasped loudly. Sure, the Malfoy plot is fleshed out more, but the HBP story was also important.

Flaws and all, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a nice stepping stone towards to two part finale. Great cinematography, direction, and peformances making a leading  candidate to be in the 10 best movies of the year.


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