Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort's defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn't counted on Romilda Vane's chocolates! And then there's Hermione, simmering with jealously but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
Movies Review: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" the best one yet
By Robert W. Butler
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is the best Potter film yet. It is better directed, better designed and better acted than any of its predecessors.
And while it suffers from the narrative constraints of the serial format — each film is only a chapter, never a self-contained story — "Prince" is packed with memorable moments of humor and drama. Moreover, every few minutes director David Yates and his talented team deliver a tour de force scene of visual wonderment.
Of all these assets the most important is the acting. Having watched parts of the earlier "Potter" films last weekend on cable, I was impressed at how far these young actors have come.
Let's be honest … Daniel Radcliffe is a great-looking Harry Potter, but in the first few movies his range was limited. However, on the eve of his 20th birthday Radcliffe exhibits genuine acting chops, especially a sly humor that informs many of his scenes with a whimsy not dreamed of in earlier efforts.
But there's plenty of praise to go around. As Harry's gal pal Hermione, Emma Watson from the start suggested depth and desire beneath the smart-girl stuffiness. Here we see some of that stuff uncorked.
And The greatest pleasures offered by Steve Kloves' screenplay involve these familiar characters enduring the unexceptional pangs of adolescence. Silently and miserably loving someone who thinks of you only as a friend, savoring the first kiss with that girl you've been thinking about — "Prince" takes these coming-of-age feelings and makes them fresh and funny.
Of course, there's a good deal more to the movie than teen love.
Though nasty, noiseless Voldemort isn't seen this time around — except in flashbacks as a schoolboy — his minions are everywhere.With his slimy father imprisoned, white-haired Draco Malfoy has signed on to do a singularly nasty deed for Voldemort — though not without trepidation.
Tom Felton digs into the role to find a character driven by revenge yet terrified of its implications. You actually feel sort of sorry for the kid.
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