Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince review

expectations: rock bottom
expectations met?: pleasantly surprised

holy crap, they made a harry potter movie that i actually kind of liked? harry potter and the half blood prince has all the same shortcomings as the previous five films in the series, they're just not as bad here. in condensing the events of the book, the half blood prince is still rushed, leaving out numerous plot points and criminally reducing many key characters' roles to mere cameos. perhaps i've just gotten used to this by now but i can appreciate a certain conciseness to the story - you don't have to have read the books to enjoy this movie, you just need to have seen the previous ones. editing the story down also had a much more important benefit in that it allowed certain events to play out at a better pace. none of the previous films has ever elicited any emotional response from me besides disappointment and boredom, but in the half blood prince there are some genuinely tense moments and building that kind of tension takes time, which the filmmakers would not have had if they were trying to cram every fan pleasing instance from the book into a 2 and a half hour film. seriously, i actually got chills a couple of times. the acting from the main three cast members has also improved. there are still some awkward deliveries but overall i'm pleased that someone stopped encouraging these obviously matured young adults to keep acting like children. i feel like the romantic overtones were handled very nicely as well, seeming more...realistic? at the least, they are at least less forced. perhaps because the actors themselves are getting older and more experienced in life. i've loved these characters in books since the beginning of the series but this is the first time i gave two shits about them within the context of the films. the cinematography is exceedingly beautiful and i'm disappointed to see that cinematographer, bruno delbonnel, is not listed as returning for the last two films. This was also the first time in the series that i noticed enjoying the soundtrack, but the composer is also not yet listed as returning. i've never had any desire to re-watch the first five harry potter all, but i may check this one out again when it hits blu-ray. and i am wearily optimistic for the last two, since director david yates is returning. by the way, i caught hp6 at an early sunday morning screening and it was packed full. this movie is going to make a bajillion dollars.


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