It’s so hard to believe that it was only eight years ago that we were introduced to the world of Harry Potter. J. K. Rowling produce a series of books about a young boy who realizes that his destiny was to become a wizard. So, we followed Harry Potter to a school of magic known as Hogwarts. He has finally found a place to find it and expand his horizons. With the help of his best friends, Hermione Granger & Ronald Weasley, Harry has battled Draco Malfoy, dragons, basilisks, and adolescent through five movies to date. Now, Harry and his gang must battle his latest enemy to date.
In the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series, the Death Eaters have begun to wreck havoc in both the Muggle and Wizard worlds. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), who has recently recovered from the sudden loss of Sirius Black, was called upon by Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) who needed his help once more. This time, he needed Harry to uncover a important key to stopping Voldemort once and for all. The only way to do this is to win the attention of former Potions Professor, Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent). At first, Slughorn refused to go back into teaching but once he figured that he has a chance to teach the famous Potter, he decided to come back to Hogwarts..
The Half-Blood Prince was divided into two movies. First, we are exposed to the finding out how did Voldemort came to be. With the help of the Pensieve, we seen the memory from Dumbledore of how we met Tom Riddle at an orphange. He discovered that not only he was “special”, but he can also talk to snakes. In addition, we discover while Harry was trying to butter up to Slughorn, he stumbled upon an Advanced Potions Book that belong to “The Half-Blood Prince.” On the other end of the spectrum, we finally see a film where the actors are growing up.
We see Harry hitting on a waitress in the opening scene and yet has eyes for Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright). He wants to take the relationship to the next step but standing in his way is her new boyfriend on campus and big brother Ron. While Ron (Rupert Grint) has become part of the Griffyndor Quidditch team, won the hearts of his house and new classmate Lavender Brown. Lavender, who has the hots for him throughout the film, done nothing but snogging him every chance she could creating a fit of jealously for Hermione (Emma Watson) who has started to have feelings for Ron. Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) may not have a very strong presence in this film however he became less of a bully and more mysterious than ever. Malfoy was carrying the shame of his family when his father failed to carry out Voldemort’s evil plan. Draco, now the newest member of the Death Eaters, must carry out a mission that could alter the course of the wizard world.
The Potter Trio of Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson have grown into wonderful actors through these six films. Radcliffe plays a Potter who was becoming a man and realizing this he must own up to his reputation as “The Boy Who Lived”. Grint got to show his comedic chops as the lovable best friend Ron. Grint has also grown from the best friend who had a fear of spiders to being a man with a plan. The Quidditch scene and how he handle Lavender must have done a number on him. He handled it brilliantly. Watson has shown that she may be a teen idol loved by millions but she has grown up with her craft. We all remember Granger from the beginning as a “know-it-all”. In this film, we actually see that not only Granger will do anything to help out Potter and Weasley in a jam but also that she is intune with her emotions as a person who has love and lost it. Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) has really blew me away with his surreal, creepy performance. In the last few films in the series, it seemed like Snape was pushed back into the background and was the comedy relief. This film turned it around when we finally got to see how evil Snape can be.
Director David Yates has made a good Potter film for the second time around. The special effects were mind-blowing. Yates captured the dramatic experience of the Harry Potter world since this storyline was dark and gloomy instead of usual “everything is okay” scenario.
A couple of a quibbles that bothered me was the trailer showed a darker look into the world of Harry Potter, but the movie was more about relationships and of course, love. The ending was a bit anti-climatic leaving you wanting for more. My last quibble involves the rating of PG. With the last two movies getting PG-13 and this a PG, what gives. Something tells that some things in the book were left out to get this rating and could have made this movie better. With the seventh film, The Deathly Hallows, split up into two films for 2010 & 2011, I have a feeling that Harry Potter will leave us with the best fantasy film series in our current time.
FINAL GRADE: B+
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is humorous, thrilling, and dark. A lot happens in this installment and the 2 1/2 hours fly by.
GRADE = "A-"
Thanks, Michelle, for sponsoring this event. I think that I saw someone with an "EM" t-shirt taking photos…
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