Sunday, September 20, 2009

Book to Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


I know I am probably very, very late to participate in praising of the newest Harry Potter installment. The reason is that the biggest cinemas in my town had closed down about a year ago, due to renovation. Needless to say, I was completely depressed this summer when Half-Blood Prince came out, since I had nowhere to watch it. Yesterday, my mom (who by the way is another Potterhead) tells me that a small art cinema is playing the movie. It is totally unlike them to play such a commercial flick, but hey, it was good enough for me!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a complete triumph from start to finish. I am now certain that a Harry Potter movie can't miss the mark - sure, they've experimented with different visual styles and direction, but every single one of these movies I've loved. With the sixth, based on probably the most depressing book in the series, they have taken most liberty with. Scenes are added, certain things are omitted, but it works thanks to the talented people involved. For example, a lot of the movie revolves around Ron and Hermione's flirtatious behavior, and those scenes really showcase the talents of the young actors, who are obviously having a lot of fun in the roles, but never fall into farce. The same goes for the adults, most notably Michael Gambon in the role of Dumbledore. He completely understands this character and plays him in a detailed and controlled manner.

Finally, the direction is perfect. David Yates, the director of both Order and Prince seems to really understand that what holds these movies together and ensures their popularity is the human factor. Special effects, magical monsters and enchanted locations look wonderful, but are not a challenge. And in the very first shot of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Harry is being photographed by paparazzi, Yates is smart enough to subtly focus on Dumbledore's hand on Harry's shoulder. If this isn't a great movie, I don't know what is.

12 comments:

Amanda said...

I agree that this is the best of the HP movies to date. The first four weren't the best (especially 3 and 4) but the 5th and 6th have made marvelous improvements. The director is amazing.

Nikola said...

See, the third one is one my favorites... I loved the pacing and the atmosphere! :)

Jenn-ay said...

I loved this movie and I'm ashamed to say I never really watched the other ones. Okay, I did watch the first 2, but they were in Spanish for school. I still need to finish reading the books. Hopefully I can get to them before this year ends, if not I have a new years book resolution!

btw...come & pick up an award I left for you on my blog

Nina said...

I thought this movie was so good! I loved it. :)

Teddyree said...

Don't worry I havent seen the last 2 HP movies and I do really want to but will have to catch up on DVD now lol

Melissa (My World) said...

Oh yes! I went and saw this movie with my son and we both just absolutely loved it. I did do a short review on it, I think it may have been one of my first reviews when I started blogging.

I was so taken by this movie I NEED to see it again. There are so many details in the movie you miss since you don't read it. So I would love to make another stop at the theater and watch this on the big screen again.

Padfoot and Prongs - Good Books Inc. said...

Glad to see a good review of this movie! I heard such mixed opinions of this after its release, and that made me so sad. I thought by far this was 200% the best HP movie to date. While the last 20 minutes wasn't exactly what I had in mind, the rest of the movie still left me pining for more.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I loved the movie - but I am also such a Potter head that it would have to be just horrible to make me now like it! :) I love everything about the Harry Potter books, and how they came to be. J K Rowling is truly an amazing author...

Oh - I am ranting... LOL

Nice post!

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

We had mixed emotions on this one. If we didn't compare it to the book, we liked it and gave it an 8.

But when we compared it to the book we barely gave it a 2. All the actors were superb as usual but...

It didn't follow the book well, it pulled out the more boring parts of the book and left out the more exciting stuff. And the ending was a total let down.

What was the beginning scene with Harry in the diner about to ask out some waitress? What happened to the epic battle scene at the end? And Ron's brother getting bit by a the nasty werewolf?

We actually went home after the movie and went through the book again to see if we were wrong (okay, we're a little obsessive but we take our love of movies seriously) But no. They had missed much of what we loved about the book.

We adore HP books and movies but we felt this one missed the mark when up against the book.

We're really looking forward to the next two, although I'm hoping they cut out the ages of the stint in the forest.

Okay, now I'm ranting. Sorry. Glad you enjoyed the movie. There was a lot to like, we were just disappointed. I guess we're part of the group that made it get mixed reviews.

Elena said...

Glad to hear you finally got to watch it :)

I personally prefer the director of the Prisoner of Azkaban's style, and HBP didn't quite hit the mark for me, but I loved Draco's character in this one.

And I do enjoy Michael Gambon as Dumbledore, AND Ron just gets hotter and more loveable :P

Stephanie said...

I just wanted to stop by and tell you that you won a book from me from BBAW!! If you could send me your mailing address, I can get it posted for you!

lizzy J said...

I have not read or seen the movie yet but I have not read any of the books.

I gave you an award because you so deserve it:
http://historicallyobsessed.blogspot.com/