Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter & the Half-blood Prince

Let me get something out of the way, right off the bat. I’ve never read the books. There, I admit it. I just bring it up because it is important you understand my view of this movie. It is unaffected by a prior knowledge of all the events to take place and constantly being annoyed by the stuff they’re leaving out. Can we move on now?

Okay. I’m glad that’s over.

This movie is badass. I’ve followed all six of the movies so far and Half-blood is probably one of the best to date. Not including Prisoner of Azkaban. Because that one was amazing. This one actually captured the world of Harry Potter and delivered a super-fun, sometimes creepy, often hilarious adventure.

Order of the Phoenix (the last installment) was, honestly, a little confusing. I got the impression that the story line of that book was a culmination of a bunch of sub-plots from previous books that the corresponding movies just decided to leave out. I doubt that the screen-writers/directors ever thought the film series would ever make it this far. So they just put in the easy stuff. But there they were with movie number five, caught with a story that didn’t make sense, so they crammed everything they could into a brief period of time. And it left me confused.

But Half-blood is all caught up now. Ready to deliver some sweet visuals and general entertainment all around. I always enjoy the cameos they slip into these movies. Jim Broadbent (who you guys would know as That Old British Guy Who’s In A Lot Of Movies) was delightful as Horace Slughorn. Being old and British must really put him at an advantage.

Speaking of cameos, Michael Gambon plays Dumbledore now. And by now, I mean that he’s been playing Dumbledore since movie number three. Four freaking movies have gone by and I thought Ian McKellan was playing him the whole time. And now I find out that Ian McKellan has NEVER played Dumbledore! My mind is completely, utterly, and totally blown.

England, stop spitting out old white actors that all look the same. It’s not fair.

But back to the movie. Despite a lack of Ian McKellan, everyone does a fantastic job. The movie as a whole is probably one of the best movies of the summer. Probably the most charming quality of the movie over all is it’s running humor. Unlike say the Transformers movies, where humor is simply made at the expense of women and minorities, and completely out of context with the movie as a whole. Half-blood keeps a steady vein of comical teenage angst and woes that keep the movie fun.

And to top it all off, I went to the midnight showing of this movie. What shocked me more than anything was how many people were there. We are quite literally talking about THOUSANDS of people. When the movie ended, from the time I stood up until the time I unlocked my bike took me a full fifteen minutes! Isn’t that crazy? I had no idea the Harry Potter movies were such a phenomenon. Guess you learn something new every day.

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