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Half-Blood Prince Review Roundup

HBP Film
Posted by: sue
July 14, 2009, 07:04 PM

Earlier this morning Joe from UK Rottentomatoes.com emailed about the collection of reviews they have on their website for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Hours later and a slew of reviews are still pouring in, with the movie "98% Fresh on the Tomatometer which makes it the freshest film of the franchise to date! Azkaban is in second place with 89%." The consensus: "Dark, thrilling, and occasionally quite funny, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is also visually stunning and emotionally satisfying."

While many are preparing to head off to a special midnight showing here in the States others have just seen the film, we do have a collection of recent reviews to pass along.

Entertainment Weekly:" Half-Blood Prince encompasses important plot developments involving both love and death. But the story is, still and all, only a pause, deferring an intensely anticipated conclusion. And it's in that exquisite place of action and waiting that this elegantly balanced production emerges as a model adaptation. By now, as played with utmost loyalty to the cause by some of Britain's most illustrious actors, the supporting characters are as familiar as the population of Homer Simpson's neighborhood (and that's a great compliment). Yet with a big assist from cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel — a Potter newbie who memorably shot Amélie and Across the Universe — the filmmakers have found a way to refresh our eyes and enhance our appreciation for this rich, amazing creation. A-
Salon: "By the series' completion, Yates will have directed half of the "Harry Potter" movies, and that mutes the surprise element a bit. But "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" at least ensures that the franchise's remaining movies are in good hands. Yates understands the bond, and the continuity, that's so essential between the old and the young. In one of the movie's loveliest scenes, Broadbent's professor Slughorn, slightly sozzled, describes to Harry a piece of magic worked by one of his former students. He describes this wonderful, delicate feat so vividly that his words are more effective than visuals would be. And, as it turns out, this bit of magic had been worked by Harry's long-dead mother, Lily. It was, Slughorn tells Harry, peering at him as if through mist, "the most beautiful magic." That's a measure of how subtle a spectacle Yates has given us with "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." The most beautiful magic in it is left unseen. And still, it emerges with absolute clarity."
New York Times
"[Voldemort]in his early embodied form as Tom Riddle, by the excellent young actors Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Frank Dillane. There must be a factory where the British mint their acting royalty: Hero, who plays the dark lord as a spectrally pale, creepy child of 11, is Ralph Fiennes’s nephew, and Frank is the son of the terrific actor Stephen Dillane. The younger Mr. Dillane, who plays Voldemort at 16, conveys the seductiveness of evil with small, silky smiles he bestows like dangerous gifts on Jim Broadbent's Horace Slughorn, a professor whose trembling jowls suggest a deeper tremulousness. When Slughorn, the fear almost visibly leaking from his body, shares the secret of immortality with Voldemort, you feel, much as when Ralph Fiennes raged through "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" in 2005, that something vital is at stake."
USA Today "Captivating from the first frame, this Potter feels more epic than previous films, which had a less mature, more madcap quality. Yates finds an artful way to meld the teenage romance and inherent humor with a sense of impending doom."
Roger Ebert "I admired this Harry Potter. It opens and closes well, and has wondrous art design and cinematography as always, only more so. "I'm just beginning to realize how beautiful this place is," Harry sighs from a high turret. The middle passages spin their wheels somewhat, hurrying about to establish events and places not absolutely essential. But those scenes may be especially valued by devoted students of the Potter saga. They may also be the only ones who fully understand them; ordinary viewers may be excused for feeling baffled some of the time."
LA Times:"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is being described as an excursion into the dark side for this venerable series, but don't let the chatter fool you. Now in its sixth episode shot over an eight-year span, with two more features still to come, this one-of-a-kind film cycle has become as comfortable and reliable as an old shoe, providing a degree of dependability that's becoming increasingly rare."
CBC : "As always, the terrific adult cast is relegated to the background. But even in small parts, they shine, particularly Carter as the unhinged Bellatrix, Broadbent as the shallow but ultimately sympathetic Slughorn and Alan Rickman, who speaks volumes with his pauses as the brooding Severus Snape. It's Gambon's Dumbledore, though, who steals the movie."
CNN: "A trio of evenly spaced set-pieces do generate enough excitement to make this an iffy proposition for parents with younger kids; in particular Dumbledore and Harry's climactic cave expedition is an intense, nightmarish standout."
Associated Press: "Previous installments played out in a supernatural bubble bearing little connection to our ordinary little Muggle world. Half-Blood Prince brims with authentic people and honest interaction -- hormonal teens bonding with great humor, heartache that will resonate with anyone who remembers the pangs of first love."
Rolling Stone: "I'll never tell why, except to say that it's a pleasure to watch the mesmerizing Felton take the role to the next level, discovering a vulnerable humanity in Draco. And Rickman is a dynamo, lacing the Severus sneer with glimmers of conscience and moral doubt."
The Age: "Diehard Potter fans may be willing to forgive and endure a boring film for the sake of a legacy they love — as did Star Wars fans with Phantom Menace — but those eager for entertainment will find Half-Blood Prince only marginally more watchable than that."

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47 Comments

4pchrmb_thumb
459 Points

Now I want to see it…

Posted by lupinwandcaster on July 14, 2009, 09:17 PM report to moderator
Hp_ravenclaw_thumb
765 Points

An hour and a half and I’ll be watching it too!!!!!

Posted by Verity Weasley on July 14, 2009, 09:30 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
179 Points

I can’t wait to see it tomorrow at 2! I hope that people who are going to midnight showings have fun!

Posted by Ravenclaw65 {WBM} on July 14, 2009, 09:53 PM report to moderator
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7239 Points

I am impressed that Leaky is NOT being biased by only printing the “good stuff”…every film or play or piece of art has those who did not care for it
or found it to have flaws….these are opinions. Based on the reviewers vision.
Thank you, Leaky, for showing BOTH sides! These reviews [ALL of them} are to be commended! Can’t wait until 9:00am, tomorrow, when I will be able to see for myself!

Posted by Confederate Lady [CL, Rawwrrrr] on July 14, 2009, 10:06 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb

A big thanks to Leaky for keeping us so well informed and entertained!

98% fresh! Woo hoo!!

Posted by Jillxoxo on July 14, 2009, 10:20 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
118 Points

The Philadelphia reviewer liked it, but put too much emphasis on “high school romance” and “raging hormones.” There’s so much more to the story than that.

Posted by SybilT on July 14, 2009, 10:27 PM report to moderator
Harry___harry_potter_by_estudiozoo_thumb
177 Points

I have to wait until the 22nd to see the movie
no matter what the reviews say, i will probably see it about three times in the cinema.

Posted by Splinter[ROAR] on July 14, 2009, 11:29 PM report to moderator
Raven_avatar_thumb
80450 Points

Not as good as I had hoped…

Posted by Won_Two on July 14, 2009, 11:47 PM report to moderator
Harry_potter_and_the_prisoner_of_azkaban_thumb
121 Points

Have just seen Half Blood Prince, undoubtedly awesome, fantastic everything! There wasn’t a dry eye in the place when the final credits rolled. Don’t forget the Kleenex :(

Posted by CrazyHouse ~Roar~ on July 15, 2009, 01:16 AM report to moderator
Me_thumb
428 Points

yey!,.. i’m excited…

Posted by alegria35 on July 15, 2009, 03:31 AM report to moderator
Thecave_thumb
433 Points

Saw it about 4 hours ago, and loved it. I can’t believe how good Emma Watson was in this film. Yes, I did say Emma. It’s as if something clicked in her brain and said, “Wait, you mean I don’t have to be over-the-top?”

Posted by mollywobble on July 15, 2009, 07:35 AM report to moderator
Ronhermione_thumb
4452 Points

cant WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Safe_image_thumb
209 Points

I am glad i am hearing good reviews so far!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Picazo on July 15, 2009, 08:38 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
606 Points

Saw the midnight show…was very good. A few big deviations from the book…not sure why, especially the Burrow scene. But very good and a lot funnier than most of the other movies. I can’t wait to see it again!

Posted by Dawna on July 15, 2009, 08:52 AM report to moderator
I-quote_hogwarts0144_thumb
3987 Points

IT was GREAT, no matter what the reviews say. I’m seeing it again tonight! :D

Posted by BewareoftheNargles {WBM} on July 15, 2009, 09:07 AM report to moderator
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