Sunday, August 2, 2009

Like some of its shadowy characters, this latest Harry Potter instalment is a deceptive beast. After thundering towards an action packed conclusion with Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince switches to a slower pace. This doesn't mean events are any less interesting, in fact the further defining of our heroes and villains provide additional textures to those preparing for the last chapter's ultimate battle. Mixed with the maturing confidence of the actors, this sixth spellbinding adventure reaches new heights in production excellence. Entering his sixth year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) feels dark forces enveloping him. With the return of the evil Lord Voldemort, the Death Eaters gain new strength threatening Harry's existence. Knowing this, Hogwart's headmaster Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) enlists Harry’s help in finding the secret that will help defeat the dark lord's army. Asked to befriend new potions master Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), who has vital information, Harry's new year is shaping to be the most tumultuous for the now almost adult wizard. Watching this series has been a fascinating experience. As the main young leads grow into their abilities, this latest effort finally sees them on the same acting level as their more established co-stars. Possibly knowing this, director David Yates has crafted a tale utilising their skills benefiting the more dramatic story. Dealing with themes of accepting one's destiny, love, loss and sacrifice, Half-Blood Prince cleverly interweaves these strands amongst the very human feelings of teenage angst. This is perhaps J.K. Rowling's masterstroke as her writing has made these characters readily accessible even with the magical fantasy surrounding them. At this point in the series' life, the story is squarely aimed at longer term fans. Those diving into proceedings with this may be lost, although the basic plot is reasonably simple. Unlike other long running series, the Potter films have ensured each instalment has its own identity whilst further adding to the overall tapestry. The special effects are still first rate, although even better are the performances with Gambon, Broadbent and Radcliffe commandingly leading a fine cast. Happily the series' embrace of classical film-making is intact without any pandering to modern audiences spoiling its general atmosphere. It's this very fact that should see these films become as timeless as other well known classics. Still managing to surprise and full of the 'wonder' uniquely its own, Half-Blood Prince plays to the series strengths and does so with style. Graced with a booming orchestral score and maintaining its consistent high quality, the appetite for the final piece of the cinematic puzzle should prove a worthwhile wait for its legion of fans. Movie Review Rating 8 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
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