film review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

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film review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

It’s been said before but I’ll say it again, Harry Potter is a phenomenon, both literary and cinematic. In terms of Irish box office, all of the films so far have been in the top 5 of their year… and this is a country where The Hangover is currently #1 for the year.

I actually don’t know if I’ve seen all the films but I do know that I read 5.5 of the books. I only got about half way through this particular book. I had enjoyed them but after the behemoth that was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix I just couldn’t face another one. I really just thought that HPATOOTP was crying out for a good editor and I couldn’t read another one thinking the same thing. That said, I did know what happens in the end of Half-Blood Prince, a wikipedia vandal spoiled that one for me!

Personally, while I do think it’s a brillant story, I haven’t been that pushed on going to the films. They have been so close to the books that you don’t really need to see them, they are pretty much exactly as you imagine them so what’s the point. I’ll probably go along and see the next two though, just because I never got around to reading the last book. So it was with a certain lack of anticipation that I went along to the Savoy to see it at the Irish première…

… and about 3 hours later (there was a delay) I walked out thinking ok, that was how I imagined it. Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it but it seem a bit like… ok.

I really did enjoy it though, I thought it looked brillant and I really like how it was that bit darker. It was well balanced but if I had to criticise I’d say that it almost swept over things too quick… I’m not sure how, since it was 2 and a half hours long… but it did.

My word of warning would be that it is not a stand alone film. Harry Potter is absolutely a series and if you haven’t read the books or seen all the other films, then there really is no point in going. It will not make sense. I think that’s fair enough but I do wonder now if film really was the way to go… given how rushed some part of this one felt, and how they are splitting the last book into two films, perhaps they should have just made it a TV series spanning a few seasons?

Anyway I don’t have that much to say by way of critque to be honest! It was exactly what it said on the tin, the actors were the same as they’ve always been (ok, not amazing), as were the effects (excellent), and the score (suitably dramatic) so as it was a good story well told, I gave it an 8/10 on twitter. On further reflection I’m going to downgrade that to a 7.5, I’m taking that half a point off as it felt a bit like a placeholder film really…


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