Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

July 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Jim Broadbent, Emma Watson
Directed by: David Yates (“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”)
Written by: Steve Kloves (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”)

The popular boy wizard continues down the mysterious road of sorcery and wonderment that has entertained fans for the last eight years in the sixth installment of the J.K. Rowling’s fantasy franchise, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Who would have guessed that Harry’s most formidable adversary in the new film would be puberty?

Yes, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has developed into a young man, and just in time. In “Half-Blood Prince,” there’s far more to fear than acne breakouts and raging hormones. The Dark Arts flourish as Harry and best friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) continue on their quest to stop the evil Lord Voldemort (seen in this film only as a gothic-looking young student).

The story begins with Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) interfering into Harry’s life outside of Hogwarts as he flirts with a café waitress and sets up an impromptu date. Harry, who now knows he is “the chosen one,” doesn’t have time to enjoy the Muggle world as much as he would like. Dumbledore whisks him off to visit retired professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) so they can try to persuade him to return to Hogwarts. There’s something Slughorn is suppressing in his memory that can help Harry understand how to defeat Voldemort.

Along with Slughorn’s secrets, Harry must contend with a trio of smoky Death Eaters, who are terrorizing both the Muggle and Wizard worlds, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), who is coming into his own and doing so by following orders of the Dark Lord himself, and, of course, the romantic high jinks that seems contagious throughout the entire school.

While romance continues to blossom occasionally between Harry and Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), Ron and Hermione’s ambiguous relationship halts for a moment when another girl (Jessie Cave) begins to show interest in Ron. There’s no need for too many doses of love potion in the high school-like melodrama that plays out in the halls of Hogwarts. With all the heartbreak, jealousy, infatuation, and pitter-patter of youthful hearts, it’s really a treat to see there’s actual blood pumping through these characters as the story continues to unfold.

Directed by David Yates, who was also behind “Order of the Phoenix,” “Half-Blood Prince” is the most dialogue-heavy of the entire series. Yates and his screenwriting team slow down the pace considerably to uncover more of the emotional elements of everyone involved. However, there are still highly entertaining scenes comprised of impressive special effects and sprightly editing (you can’t have a “Harry Potter” movie without a weather-beaten game of Quidditch). “Half-Blood Prince” is also the funniest of the bunch.

While actual magic might be a secondary thought in Rowling’s text, “Half-Blood Prince” is a notable addition to the narrative as a whole. It all leads up nicely to the final installment, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows,” which will be released in two parts in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Congrats to all the ‘Harry Potter’ winners!

July 7, 2009 by  
Filed under CineBlog

Thanks to everyone who participated in the “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” ticket giveaway. I didn’t realize how many people in San Antonio want to be invisible or have a flying broomstick! Well, winners have already been notified. If you didn’t win this time around, participate in the next contest! Here is a list of those who won:

  1. Annabelle Murray
  2. Nelda Garcia
  3. AJ Palacios
  4. James Martinez
  5. Jake Palczewski
  6. Katy Alexander
  7. Deborah Cantu
  8. Melanie Starbuck
  9. Ronny
  10. Daniel Gonzalez
  11. Mia Lopez
  12. Jesse Ochoa
  13. Courtney
  14. Marilyn Litt
  15. Elisa Luna
  16. Brianna Brown
  17. Eric Lopez
  18. Hilary DeBow
  19. Felicia Canto
  20. Roberto Perez

And below is my favorite answer. Remember that creativity counts a lot and if you make me laugh you get bonus points!

Favorite answer (by Jesse Ochoa):
“Perhaps the magical possession I would like to have is Harry Potter’s owl. I love animals, and Potter’s owl is extremely adorable; especialy compared to Ron’s pet (weasel? rat?) Not only would I have the opportunity to take care of such a pet, I have never seen that owl eat a thing. I mean, a pet that doesn’t eat…much less poop…is like a tamagotchi pet with fur. In addition, since Potter’s owl also sends mail for him across distant lands by handling Potter’s mail and flying, it could very well be the demise of text messaging and email as we know it. So on top of having a beautiful white owl that doesn’t eat, whine about wanting a cracker, and provides free unlimited messaging anywhere in the world; there is nothing more magical.”

Other favorites:
“I would like to be able to transform into different animals and items. It would be cool to turn into a peguin so I could just chill in the Sea World enclosure, because its just too hot right now.”

“My most desired magical possession would be a wand – which gives you near unlimited magical power. Mine would be stained purple and I would use it to get the kids to finally clean their room, or the laundry to fold itself and be placed in the proper drawers or closets. It would definitely be with me at work – so I could turn a complaining client into a donkey or a quacking duck! When I return home a flick of the wand would run me a nice, hot bubble bath to relax in and when I’m finished a delicious dinner would (magically) appear on the dinner table! And, if I’m lucky enough – my wand will bring me a ticket for two to the pre-screening of ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.'”

“First gotta have the NIMBUS 2000 to travel to work, avoid traffic, no gas worries, and its green friendly! Second, the MARAUDERS MAP so i’ll see my boss coming and stop surfing the web and get to work. Third, the INVISIBLE CLOAK so i can ease drop on good gossip at work. Fourth would be to use POLYJUICE POTION and change to the CEO of my company and tell my boss to promote me asap. Lastly i would have a huge stock pile of WEASLEY FIREWORKS cause they would rock for 4th of July and New Years!”

Again, congrats to those who won and come back for more contests. Also, read my latest film reviews and celebrity interviews and watch me on Flicker Footnotes at WOAI.com every Friday !

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