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Gavin Grades The Movies



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This was the first "Potter" movie I saw where I had the entire book read before I saw the movie.  That makes my enjoyment of the Harry Potter world much more enjoyable but it does make it harder to watch the movies from a critical view.  I really will attempt to review this movie as JUST A MOVIE and not based off of my captivation of the books.  The director of this one (the last one, and the last two also) is David Yates.  I was not a fan of his, but anyone who comes after accomplished director of the 3rd one, Alfonso Cuaron, must understand that it's not easy to improve on his work.  However, he does a wonderful job of directing this one.  It gives me hope for the last two (the last book is split into two movies).  He has really made a worthy effort to keep the angles and shots in this movie complex and dazzling, while also matching the colors and editing with the bleak story and maturity of the characters.  Speaking of the characters, the entire cast returns for this one with the addition of Jim Broadbent, who is brilliant as Prof. Slughorne, and Jessie Cave as the lovestruck, Lavender Brown.  They blend right in with the rest of the cast as if they've been there all along, but both easily steal the show with their brand of humor, which there was plenty of!  This might be the first "Potter" film that made me laugh out loud at genuinely funny performances.  But I wonder if trying to put too much of that into the movie made them take their eye off the ball by focusing on more of the character-driven adolescent nuances than the mystery and adventure surrounding the ending of the film.  That's my only complaint with this movie.  They took out, what I consider to be, key scenes that explain Harry and Dumbledore's quest.  Those scenes would have kept the movie darker and mysterious, while satisfying fans' thirst for glimpses into Voldemort's past.  Damnit!  I couldn't do it.  I tried not to, but I'm reviewing it as a movie from a book instead of JUST A MOVIE.  Ignorance might be bliss when seeing these because if you don't know a scene exists, you'll never miss it when it's taken out.  As a fan of JUST THE MOVIE, it is the best in what is arguably shaping up to be one of the greatest movie series of all time.  As a fan of the movies based on books that I love, it's a wonderful and heartbreaking setup to what I hope will be the climax ending we all hope it should be...it just could've had a little more. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince (Rated PG) Gavin Grade: A

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07/15/2009 6:59PM
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Please Enter Your Comments Below
07/15/2009 8:39PM
Basaku
I just got back from the theater about 10 minutes ago so it is still fresh in my mind. I enjoyed this movie, but when the movie was over, I could not help but feel a little….. I am not sure what… Disappointed maybe. I really liked it, don’t get me wrong but I think it was because I was anticipating more action and when I didn’t get it, You know. Did you feel that way at all? Having not read the books I did not miss the “left out scenes” but overall, I really liked it. I definitely can’t wait for the next two movies. Very well done.
07/16/2009 3:10AM
Gavin
I would imagine you would feel that way if you didn't read the books. It's a lot like how "Empire Strikes Back" made you feel. Remember the first time you saw that and you thought "wait, the bad guys win?" It's like that. You don't know what's comingnext so at the time it's a letdown. The book didn't have much action either. It was more about revelations and getting answers. There's a reason. It'll make sense in the next one.
07/16/2009 5:29AM
Liz
i went to go see the movie at its midnight showing and i LOVED it. it seems that they just keep getting better and better. but the scenes that were left out were 100% missed. the background story was cut short and the 'black hand' is just confusing to some. the action or lack there off was missed but i think its just a work up to the most important one later on. I went with some friends that had not read the series and the part that confused them the most was the reaction Harry had to the ring but i thought it was creative. the very subtle hints the give are great. the very last thing i wanted to say is I thought Tom Felton who plays Draco did an amazing job he brought this time and it helps that he had way more film time. what do you think?
07/16/2009 4:50PM
Basaku
I was talking to my brother, he actually reads. Jk. He told me some of the things in the movie that were left out. Like a big battle at the school and that Dumbledore was already dying and his hand was messed up from the ring. Thought all that would have been great to add in. I do agree that it was very well done and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It did fill in a lot about the story line. I think I will read the book so I can really fill in the blanks about Dumbledore (the hand and him telling Snape to kill him so Draco's soul wouldn't get fractured), Malfoy and especially the Potter/Weasley romance that was scarcely touch upon. I understand why they truncated. It would have been 2 movies or one huge neverending one like the Lord of the Rings, except more interesting. But as I think I heard you say this morning, The Harry Potter movies are well done and keep getting better.
07/17/2009 10:51AM
Javier Benavente
I really enjoyed this movie. It was very funny and it stayed true to the book, for the most part. But i did feel robbed of action. And i believe this movie should have stayed rated as PG-13 instead of PG. But in any case, this was one the best movies in the series so far.
07/18/2009 2:57PM
Jess G
I loved the battle sequence in the book too much to just let it go. I can see how they are trying to not be repetitive, however the epic battle sequence in the seventh Harry Potter book will not even be shown unfortunately until the eighth movie. Adding to some plot holes they forgot to fill in the film due to a majority of the book being cut out. In the beginning of the film it is mentioned that Hogwarts now has security roaming the campus to ensure people's safety however when the Death Eaters arrive and simply march to the astronomy tower, does no one see them? Okay so McGonagall tells all the students to get inside so maybe they didn't see them but the security didn't? That is poor security. I mean that was how in the book they began the battle at the astronomy tower because they were trying to protect Hogwarts and its students. Since that scene was completely thrown out was the security necessary since they were infiltrated anyway where no one did anything, and they literally just marched out the castle before bellatrix left the Great Hall in ruins. However all the students and staff managed to come out in time to see Dumbledore's body. I wish if they were to delete things from the plot that they would be concise atleast.
08/24/2009 5:50AM
Neivionsjains
08/24/2009 8:02AM
watch harry potter online
thanks for sharing these ideas
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