Originally posted at Youthpad.
My rating of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: A- (Almost perfect)
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman
Directed by: David Yates
Studio: Warner Bros
After being delayed for one whole year by fat cats in the top echelons of Warner Bros who wanted to rake in more money with a big summer blockbuster. What, in your opinion, is the best way to thank fans for the wait?
- Free popcorn and drinks, sponsored by Warner Bros.
- Money back guarantee.
- Spend own money to upgrade ALL theatres to IMAX so that audience can have a better viewing experience.
- Promote the movie with the gayest movie poster ever.
If you chose option 4, then congratulations! You’re on your way to becoming a much despised movie studio executive. Just because JK Rowling revealed Dumbledore was gay doesn’t mean you have to use that, you know.
David Yates who directed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (my review here) is back at the helm. Story-wise the fifth movie was the weakest in the franchise so far; watching Order of the Phoenix felt like watching cricket match highlights. Technical aspects were great – the cinematography especially was brilliant. Yates continues with same tradition with superb cinematography in the sixth movie, although not quite the same use of flybys all the time. Special effects are good too.
Half-Blood Prince truly shines through with its story / screenplay. Distilling down hundreds of pages of a book and bringing it alive on-screen is admittedly an uphill task. This movie is able to strike a fine balance between what should’ve been left and out and what shouldn’t. It is very true to the essence of the book even if at had to throw out some sub-plots / scenes. I would go as far to say that Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy – which is the pinnacle of faithful book-to-movie adaptations so far – Half-Blood Prince sets an example for what filmmakers should try to achieve when making adaptations. Steve Kloves (screenplay) and David Yates deserve a round of applause.
Once again, Darrell Alexander Nicholas Hooper disappoints with the musical score. Ever since he took over this part in the last movie, he has messed up the score. That guy has absolutely no frikkin’ idea what kind of music goes with what scene. He’ll happily plod down Super Mario-ish soundtrack for an intense battle-scene.
Daniel Radcliffe has finally taken some acting lessons. He’s still quite terrible, but less so compared to earlier editions. Harry becomes Neo in this movie as he is the ‘Chosen One’. Rupert Grint doesn’t get much to play in this movie – whatever time he does get is spent snogging. As usual Alan Rickman and Emma Watson (whose new hobby seems to be beating up people with books / papers) deliver the best performances out of all the cast members with realistic acting, with the surprise addition of Tom Felton to the list too this time. He’s been one of the better actors in the series and does a good job this time. I wonder how good the next movie installment (it is to be released in two parts) would be without Alan Rickman. Michael Gambon fulfills his role of a paedophile by taking keen interest in Potter’s love life. Just like the kiss with Cho Chang in the last movie, the scene in this one with Ginny Weasley and Potter seems very wooden and forced.
One thing that this movie sorely lacks is pace. While the adaptation is faithful to the essence of the book it is equally slowed paced as the LOTR movies. David Yates seems to have been inspired by LOTR in his direction style. Nobody will deny the movie is good, but at 2.5 hours run-time the movie drags its feet along in some scenes. Nevertheless, a good movie, a notch up from the old one; still not good enough to dethrone Alfonso Cuaron’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as the best in the series so far.
PPS – Don’t miss this video – Hitler reacts to the delay in launch of the Half-Blood Prince movie.