Sunday, July 19, 2009
Movie Reviews: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE
Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information.
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman
Director: David Yates
Opened ..July 15, 2009..
Runtime: 2 hr. 33 min.
Rated PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality
Genres: Children's Fantasy, Fantasy Adventure, Fantasy, Children's/Family
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince continues the maturation process that started in earnest in The Order of the ....Phoenix..... David Yates crafts an elegant and pensive film that doesn’t shoot for big trills and focuses more the characters and the evolution from children to adulthood. Hormones rage at Hogwarts and the scenes dealing with the trios budding feeling are mostly handled well and delicately. That being said it’s hard to watch this entry into the series and not feel like it’s all set up for the final 2 entries; The Death Hallows is being split into 2 to be released over the next two years. The plot is fairly straight forward if you’ve been following the series and none of the twist or turns are thoroughly shocking or surprising, mainly because they are telegraphed in a fairly obvious manner. Yates still manages to make the events here engaging and manages to put some beautiful imagery on screen. Hogwarts, much like the previous entry, doesn’t carry that fancy and wonder it possessed in the early films. Instead Yates bathes this film in grey and sepia tones throughout, rarely showing any sunlight. The actors also bring more gravitas to the proceeding. Daniel Radcliff brings more confidence to Harry while still maintaining that wide eyed innocence of the early films. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have both grown into their roles and can now add more subtle character work than before. Grint in particular shows fairly good comedic timing. Michael Gambon as Dumbledore continues to be appropriately fatherly and sagely but is strangely one note in this particularly important entry for his character arch. Alan Rickman once again delivers strong character work in limited screen time. Newcomer to the series Jim Broadbent shines and he uses his vast talent to make his character the most memorable of this entry. Helena Bonham Carter is devilish fun as Bellatrix Lestrange but she gets painfully little screen time to truly shine. As the events in the film come to an end you are left pining for the finale and Yates makes no secret of the fact that this entry is mostly set up as he ends this tales with a sense of meandering melancholy and unresolved issues.