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PHOTOGRAPHY

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (2-disc edition)

DVD review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 153 minutes (rated PG), deleted scenes, featurettes, digital copy

VIDEO:  2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

 

STUDIO:  Warner Bros. Pictures

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  7-15-2009

DVD RELEASE DATE:  12-08-2009

I was pissed like several Harry Potter fans when the new movie was pushed back to July.  I knew it was for money reasons since Warner Bros. didn’t have a solid moneymaker for summer of 2009.  Still it hurt when the movie was ready to go before Thanksgiving and then it was bumped back.  TWILIGHT moved up three weeks to fill the HARRY POTTER spot.   Finally, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE has been released.  It improves upon the last film.  It is filled with dread, tragedy, and humor. 

 

The trio of Potter, Ron, and Hermione are enjoying moments of fun and being teenagers while they know Voldermort is growing stronger.  People have been vanishing.   Dumbledore continues to instruct Harry as both try to find out about Voldermort’s past and that secret lies in the mind of a professor that Hogwarts has hired back.  Harry is supposed to get close to him and find out what the professor is hiding about Voldermort’s childhood at Hogwarts as Tom Riddle.  Meanwhile, Harry grows closer to Ron’s sister, Ginny while Ron follows for a girl (much to Hermione’s disliking because she is in love with him).    Also Draco Malfoy has been chosen for a mission that Servius Snape has been bound by an unbreakable vow to protect Draco and carry out the mission if Draco fails to do it.

 

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE mixes the good with the bad.   The world is becoming a more dangerous place.  The Hogwarts School is now protected by a barrier from the Death Dealers.   The story continues to build from the previous entries in the series.   The characters continue to grow and develop.   The movie ends on a sad note as the stage is set for the two part conclusion that starts in November 2010 and ends in July 2011.   Michael Gambon really sells Dumbledore as a father figure to Harry potter.  He is willing to sacrifice himself for Harry and others.  He knows the real battle is still ahead for Harry.   This film is like one of the quieter entries in the series as the story is developing to its conclusion.    This movie is more about character building.  A few characters do get little screen time compared to previous entries and I even read some important parts in the book were left out of the movie.  I will miss HARRY POTTER once the final two films are released and I’ve watched them.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The deleted scenes don’t add much, but the scene leading to the climax with a choir backing is moving.  Also the vanishing cabinet and magical tracking map scenes are of fun to watch.  The sneak peak at the two part THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS shows a minute of footage from the upcoming films due in November 2010 and July 2011.

 

J.K. ROWLING: A YEAR IN THE LIFE is a 49 minute documentary that gives fascinating insight into the author of the Harry Potter series up to the midnight release party of THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS.  It is the best extra on disc two besides the sneak peak at the next films and the deleted scenes.

CLOSE UP WITH THE CAST OF HARRY POTTER has the cast visiting the crew of Harry Potter series as they give the viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. 

The cast sum up their characters’ story arcs in a minute or less while WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND features the cast being drilled random questions with their answers.   Also included is a sneak peek at the upcoming THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER which opens at Universal Orlando Resort in 2010.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   I enjoyed HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, and wonder if I should read the books.   I liked the J.K. Rowling documentary, the sneak peek at the next films (the wait is too long), and some of the deleted scenes.

 

The DVD review is (c)12-11-2009 David Blackwell and the  movie review is (c)7-15-2009 David Blackwell, and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmatic@hotmail.com   No muggles or wizards were harmed during the writing of this review or watching the DVD.