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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 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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337 Points

Cool I am 1st

Posted by Mugglejeff on July 14, 2009, 07:22 PM report to moderator
1293 Points

Reviews are very good… OMG, I can’t wait to see it….

Posted by Petra on July 14, 2009, 07:28 PM report to moderator
2976 Points

Sounds like people are loving the film! How exciting! Only about 5 hours until I’m sitting in the theater to watch it myself…:D

Posted by Jade Danielle (WBM) on July 14, 2009, 07:40 PM report to moderator
87 Points

I probably won’t being seeing it until Saturday.

Posted by Pallargast on July 14, 2009, 07:41 PM report to moderator
2105 Points

Sounds like everybody except The Age is loving it – well, if they think it’s boring, chances are they don’t get HP at all! But we’ll know soon – 5 hours where I am!

Posted by Agrippa1 on July 14, 2009, 07:44 PM report to moderator
174 Points

the reviews are good! looks like it’ll be really good, but there are about 4 hours until the midnight showing, and the panic of them ruining the movie is setting in…

Posted by horsepatronus64 on July 14, 2009, 07:46 PM report to moderator
31 Points

I saw it on Saturday and thought it was probably the best Potter film yet. But I felt the press did play up the Harry/Ginny thing to be more than it was in the movie (so be forewarned).

Posted by nicolek77 on July 14, 2009, 07:55 PM report to moderator
404 Points

TIME Magazine’s Richard Corliss also had a great review! IMHO — a stunning film that deserves every accolade it will get. :)

Posted by Hagiographer13 on July 14, 2009, 07:56 PM report to moderator
3703 Points

Oh yay :) I’m so happy. Only a couple more hours away. I’m about to leave in two hours to go wait at the theater =]

Posted by Christine on July 14, 2009, 08:01 PM report to moderator
6921 Points

Yay! I’m so glad it’s getting good reviews.

Posted by badger666 on July 14, 2009, 08:15 PM report to moderator
4630 Points

Hello The Age thinks it’s boring? The only reason I’m not flipping out is bc the rest are good :]

Alright 3 hours 36 mins

Posted by Live Laugh Love Potter ♥ROAR♥ on July 14, 2009, 08:24 PM report to moderator
433 Points

I love how we have to search for a negative review so we don’t sound overly positive. LoL. Pretty cool that so many have enjoyed it. Only a couple hours left…

Posted by mollywobble on July 14, 2009, 08:35 PM report to moderator
16258 Points

I dont need to read the reviews to know its going to be a great movie.

Posted by Gryffindor1991 {ROAR!!!} on July 14, 2009, 08:35 PM report to moderator

I a few hours I will be watching Half-Blood Prince for myself.

Can’t wait then I will review it for myself.

That will be the best review in my eyes!

Same as all of feel.

Posted by OldZeke on July 14, 2009, 08:47 PM report to moderator
145 Points

A little surprising Leaky is including the NY Times review, because the reviewer did not like it very much, with Rotten Tomatoes listing it under Rotten and not Fresh

Posted by zoltan42 on July 14, 2009, 09:01 PM report to moderator
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