"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood
Directed by David Yates.
Written by Steve Kloves. Based on the book by J.K.
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Alan
Release Year: 2009
Review Date: 7/22/09
still haven't read ANY of the books!!]
Here's how bad it's getting for me and the
"Potter" movies--I literally had to re-read the other reviews I have
done this morning in order to remember a) how many other movies
there were, and b) what happened in those movies. The current
Potter flick, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", actually had
me dozing about an hour into it because so little was happening and
I knew that the film had a 153-minute running time. That
doesn't mean it was bad...but, it does mean that not much happens
and for a non-book fan like myself, this was an exercise.
But, boy, do the three stars look older!!
Basically, in this film, I still don't know how old the kids are,
what grade they are supposed to be in, or why they continue to come
to a school where someone or someone(s) have died literally every
year. If your magician child told you that each year around
May, somebody died in a fatal magic battle or Triwizard Tournament,
would you let your kid go back? Six times???? Anyway,
the kids are all having relationship issues, quidditch issues,
Voldemort issues, etc. Eventually, Harry gets hold of a spell
book with notes scribbled in the margins by someone calling himself
"The Half-Blood Prince." As someone else even says during the
film, it's odd that Harry doesn't really pursue the truth behind who
the Prince really is; in the meantime, Harry and headmaster
Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) are still hunting down
Voldemort and his minions, led in this film by Bellatrix Lestrange
(Helena Bonham Carter). By the end, some people are dead.
(Quick Helena Bonham Carter commentary:
If you play the same character...or maybe, portray the same
caricatures...in 30 consecutive films, can we really call that
"acting"? Carter reprises not only her Lestrange role here
"Order of the Phoenix", but every movie she has been in since
"Fight Club." It helps that some of these films, like
are Tim Burton films...but, seriously? Michael Cera has
already proven that you can essentially play THE EXACT SAME
PERSONALITY in all of your films and people will still love you, but
really? Wouldn't it be cool to see Carter play, say, an
American mother of two who regrets some of her life choices, like
Kate Winslet's part in
Anyway, here's my problem with Potter movies,
particularly the last two--they simply are not any fun on the whole.
Sure, there are a few light moments here as Ron (Rupert Grint)
discovers his confidence and both Harry and Ron fight off the
ladies, but for me, the fun of magical discovery and hammy evil is
gone. I still loved the one (forgive me, I don't remember if
it was the first or second film) where we got to see the map that
showed where everyone in Hogwarts was at any given time; that map
was so cool that it is given a cameo in "Half-Blood Prince" but
there really aren't any cool magic toys to replace it. I'm
tired of watching people fly around on broomsticks; ho-hum, a
sort-of teleportation cabinet; blah, a spell or a rock or a cloak
that makes you invisible. I haven't read them, but didn't the
book have some cool shit in there?
And, hammy evil. Sorry, I liked Draco
Malfoy (Tom Felton) when he and his band of other nasty boys walked
around spouting trouble for Harry & Co. "Inner Demons" Draco
didn't really do it for me. Neither did "Inner Demons" Severus
Snape (Alan Rickman). And, Carter is more comedy than evil at
this point in her career...no one does weird better, but that
doesn't make her good.
So little actually happens in this film that
I'm not even sure I would have seen it had Meg not wanted to go;
seriously, is the story progressing at all here? If the sixth
book was this hollow, I would have been sending J.K. Rowling hate
mail. I'm okay with milking innocent bystanders for mad
cash--come on, I did go see both "Transformers" films--but you've
got to give me a little action, or a little surprise, or some cool
magic shit for a 150-minute run!!! Ugh. Now I learn that
they are making two movies out of the last book, and I'm even more
angry. The power of mad millions!
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard