July 17, 2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Studio: Warner Bros. Rating: PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.
Beginning his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter's world is coming apart. His trusted mentor, Professor Dumbledore, is showing his age. His arch nemesis Lord Voldemort is doing evil deeds and Harry has a crush on his best friend's sister.
That's a lot for a young wizard to deal with.
When Dumbledore once again must enlist Harry's help to stop Voldemort, he shows him an old memory from the first time Dumbledore encountered the young villain.
As Harry learns more about the Voldemort's beginnings, the Death Eaters are wreaking havoc. They attack anyone who might stand in the Dark Lord's way. The muggle (our world) and the magic world collide, with London suffering the mystical wrath of the bad guys.
There is a lot to like about this Harry Potter. The acting by leads Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson keeps getting better. Newcomer Jim Broadbent and series veterans Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman and Tom Felton are very good with bigger roles. The romantic subplots are realistic and show the pain of growing up. It's beautifully shot and whenever the action kicks into high gear its a pretty good ride.
But I liked the parts of this movie better than the film as a whole. It's too talky, there is questionable editing, major plot points are unexplained and the entire Half-Blood Prince angle is minimized and overlooked.
With the series conclusion just ahead, I don't mind that there are things which are unresolved, but the movie ends with a whimper instead of a bang.
There is the loss of a major character, which pushes our heroes to make a life-changing choice, but it just doesn't have the impact it should.
This is a good movie, but it could have been so much better. I hope Harry gets his mojo back for part 7.
On my rating scale, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" earns a DOUBLE.
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Charlie rushes to get a half-naked woman out of his bedroom before Chelsea (Jennifer Taylor) arrives