THE WIZARDING MARATHON OF HARRY POTTER REVIEW: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” stars Daniel Radcliffe (Horns, What If), Michael Gambon (Sleepy Hollow , Gosford Park), Rupert Grint (Moonwalkers, Charlie Countryman), Emma Watson (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah), Jim Broadbent (Gangs of New York, Cloud Atlas), Robbie Coltrane (Brave, GoldenEye), Maggie Smith (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Downton Abbey [TV series]), Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Galaxy Quest), Gary Oldman (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Dark Knight), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech, Fight Club), David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything, Seven Years in Tibet), Timothy Spall (Enchanted, Secrets & Lies), Mark Williams (Father Brown [TV series], Flutter), Julie Walters (Brave, Brooklyn), Bonnie Wright (Before I Sleep, After the Dark), Evanna Lynch (My Name Is Emily, It Don’t Come Easy), Jason Isaacs (The Patriot, Peter Pan ), Warwick Davis (Star Wars: Episode VI- Return of the Jedi, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Oliver Phelps (Danny and the Human Zoo [TV movie], Own Worst Enemy), James Phelps (Ward 3, Patchwork), Tom Felton (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Against the Sun), Matthew Lewis (Bluestone 42 [TV series], Me Before You), and David Bradley (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Strain [TV series]). It is directed by David Yates (The Girl in the Café [TV movie], The Legend of Tarzan) and the screenplay is written by Steve Kloves (Racing with the Moon, Flesh and Bone). It is based on the novel of the same name by J.K. Rowling. Things are shaking up in the wizarding world as Voldemort’s plans are taking shape. He is recruiting more and more followers, and once Harry (Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts for his sixth year, Professor Dumbledore (Gambon) asks of him to warm up to a new teacher at the school for he may have information that will help them in this oncoming war.
Drawing closer to the final movie, the tone of this film is much darker than the ones before it. The editing of this picture boasts that theme, making the colors almost black and white at times. I enjoyed this film. The cinematography was fantastic, and being directed by the same person of “Order of the Phoenix” was shocking. The directing and editing of colors had to be the best part of this release. When combined with the colors and tones, the story has an eerie presence. Voldemort is closing in, the kids have gotten older, and many bad things are on the horizon for everyone. What made me even more surprised in this was the fact that it was similar to “Order of the Phoenix” in story structure, but yet I loved it. The plot of this was basically Harry trying to get on a teacher’s good side in order to gain information on something Tom Riddle told him in the past. That’s about it. The rest is scattered with other little story arcs, and I believe that those are what really pulls this movie together. Of course, this review is spoiler-free, so in case you haven’t seen any of these films, I won’t go into full detail on what these mini-story arcs possess. I will say that Draco Malfoy’s (Felton) build up in this is great, and how it ends is even better. This was a dark release, and I’m not joking. Everything about it was not bright. There were some jokes that I laughed at in order to break the tension, but the overall tone remained the same. I loved the dark tone, because seeing something like “Prisoner of Azkaban” wouldn’t make me very happy. So many inner workings went into this plot because of the separate story arcs, and by the end of it, it was a reward to see all of them crash into each other. There was teen drama in this, much like “The Goblet of Fire,” of course with more relationship conflicts. But, what made me like watching the characters have relationship (boyfriend and girlfriend) problems was that it was funny. It wasn’t that hilarious in “The Goblet of Fire,” but rather distracting. The acting in this has gotten better than the last, with some stellar performances in certain scenes. The last few scenes have to be the best, but also the most sad. Visual effects have grown immensely better. I loved the effects used to bring Dumbledore’s memories to life. What I liked even more was the fact that none of the backdrops felt like green screens. They kept it contained inside or used actual locations. If they did this before, which I’m sure they must have, then it could have been the editing that made the backgrounds look fake, like in “Order of the Phoenix” and “Prisoner of Azkaban.” There weren’t many cons that I found in this. I guess my only one would be that this movie does feel very long. It is a long film, but that doesn’t mean that it has to drag. The last thirty minutes, although containing some of the best scenes, also held one scene with Harry and Dumbledore traveling someplace. It was an awesome scene overall, but in a way, it felt tacked on. Some scenes were like this in the story, and that’s the only con I can come up with. Overall, this is a fantastic release, beating “The Sorcerer’s Stone” in my opinion. They both have opposite tones, but this movie plays its tone greatly. FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: