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Sunday, July 10, 2011
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - 2009
Harry Potter and the rest of our heroes are entering their sixth year at Hogwart school, but with a new teacher, one who taught years ago, Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent). Though what Harry does not know is Dumbledore only asked Horace to come for Harry to become close friends with him, so that Harry can receive certain memories that happened between Horace and young Tom Riddle, learning more and more of Voldemort's past. Meanwhile, Harry finds a book of spells that supposedly belongs to "the Half-Blood Prince", who none of the students can find out any information on. Yet again, one final time, Harry is sent on an adventure at Hogwarts, getting all the more closer to his face off with the great wizard Voldemort.
Many people have said that David Yates ruined the Harry Potter films, and I agree that the Order of the Phoenix was a rough movie to get through, but in my opinion here he has done a fine job with the direction of the Half-Blood Prince. For the less demanding viewers, though, I will confidently say will find this film terribly dull and boring. But for the viewers who are already a fan of the films, they will find Half-Blood Prince one of the finest Harry Potter movies yet. And to be honest, that's all that really matters, if you don't care for the series at all just don't watch. Artistically David Yates does a fine job crafting this film, his direction is a tad uneven at times, mainly the beginning, but overall a succesful piece of work.
The visuals were beautiful, at the time the finest of any of the films, grabbing a darker and more intense visual feeling than ever before. I wouldn't call the Half-Blood Prince a visual delight, more of an awe-inspiring achievement in cinematography and special effects. Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel never ceases to amaze me in his works, and it is a shame that the Half-Bloode Prince was the first and last Harry Potter film he worked for.
The performances were absolute pleasure to watch, especially if you have taken part in watching these three kids, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint grow in their acting talents, and go from young struggling performances to what they are today. Fine actors better than anyone else their age today. In the more intense scenes Radcliffe has improved an unbelievable amount, he is passionate and handles the emotions perfectly. Rupert Grint always knows how to make me laugh, that obviously does not change here, and Emma Watson has become quite the exceptional young actress. Michael Gambon has also impressed me as well, and I now have the opinion that he is Richard Harris' equal, I prefer neither of them as actors.
Overall, the Half-Blood Prince is one of my favorite Harry Potter films yet. It works emotionally and visually. For the people who don't like this film or the series, don't hate, just quit watching and live your life. The acting is solid, and the story sets up the set up, Deathly Hallows Part 1, where we prepare for the final installment, as "it all ends".