Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) - 2-Disc Special Edition

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Fantasy
Warner Brothers || PG - 153 minutes - $34.99 || December 8, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-12-31


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: David Yates
Writer(s): J.K. Rowling (novel); Steve Kloves (screenplay)
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Alan Rickman


Theatrical Release Date: July 15, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 5 Featurettes
  • Additional Scenes
  • Sneak Peek
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Surround 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Surround 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

The next installment into the popular franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, isnít any different from what youíve come to expect from the famed wizard: story-telling, action, and a few characters that may perish along the way.

I honestly am not sure if you want me to even explain this film, as there is so much going on and odds are youíve already read the books or had the flick spoiled for you by some jerk friend of yours. For the sake of doing my job though, Iím just going to briefly touch on the filmís plot and then explore some other things going on that I either liked or hated in the fifth of the long-running series.

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts yet again with his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) to yet again field some trouble at the school. Potter ends up finding a book with various spells in it, known as ďthe Half-Blood Princeís,Ē which if youíve read the series or know anything about the books then you know who the prince actually is. If you donít, then donít be afraid I wonít spoil it for you. Anyways, the spells inside the book are incredibly powerful and Potter begins to wonder who the prince is and just why he was given the book instead of another person in his class.

Snape (Alan Rickman) is causing trouble inside the mansion again, and newcomer Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) is brought in by Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) for various reasons that arenít made clear until the ending of the flick. Slughorn is the new potions teacher since the other potion teachers keep getting expelled or other things happen to them, and he makes his return to the school with Dumbledoreís persistence and Potters as well. Draco (Tom Felton) is also back as Potterís arch rival, and has a more dominate role as his character continues to clash more and more with Potter in this installment. Can Potter figure out who the prince is before itís too late, and what of the rest of the items needed to banish the evil being from the land?

I honestly didnít enjoy this flick as much as the past Harry Potter films, and hereís why: action. This film didnít have as much action in it as compared to the previous installments, as it seemed to me there was way too much dialogue that could have easily been trimmed down just a smidge to keep pacing a little bit better. I miss the days of the game they played with the broomsticks and the constant battles that went on at the school. Instead, this flick turned out to be just more talk than anything else, and even the two or three action sequences, all of which were towards the end of the movie, didnít amount to that much. They did however provide the plot twist of the year 2009 with the ending, but most probably know what happens at the end anyways.

Speaking of dialogue, the acting in this movie is the best out of all the flicks in the series. I give major credit to Felton for his role as Draco, as he honestly has become that role over the years that heís played him. I have been slightly amiss as to why his character has always seemed to have played a back-role to Snape and others, but Draco is truly a great villain in the big scheme of things. Radcliffe and Rickman also provide some top-notch acting, as does the rest of the cast, so on that big scale of things the acting here is one of the best Iíve seen in movies this year.

Despite the lack of action in this flick, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a fine addition to the spectrum of the soon to be ending series in a few years. Iím sad to see it go, but Iím glad that the movies are getting stronger as they progress. Hereís to the Half-Blood Prince and his spells, as they made this a must-see in 2009.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

First Footage from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (2 minutes): This isnít really two minutes long, but instead a brief trailer for the new movie slated to hit theaters in 2010. Itís a great trailer that has me excited for the movie but I feel disappointed as odds are this will be available on the net to make this not a really great exclusive.

Close-Up with the Cast of Harry Potter (29 minutes): The second biggest extra of the disc, as this pertains to those who want an in-depth interview or interviews with their favorite cast member or members. Thereís an incredible amount of detail to burn through here, so you may want to dedicate thirty or so minutes of free time to watch all of these since they are pretty interesting.

J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life (49 minutes): Be forewarned before watching this extra, as it does reveal things that deal with the next movie/book. For discussion sake, I watched this entire thing and wasnít that amused by it, so unless you are a diehard fan you may want to skip this. Newcomers though to the series will get more of a kick out of it though as odds are they know less about the film then the people who read these every day.

One-Minute Drills (7 minutes): In this cute little extra, the cast tries to describe the series up until this movie in less than a minute. They go through the characters progressions as they mature and the pranks they pull throughout the flicks. Wright is probably the best storyteller out of the group, but the rest have their fair share of entertaining scenes to recall upon.

Whatís On Your Mind (7 minutes): The cast are given questions in a supposed to be funny but fails to be segment. Thereís not a lot of entertainment found here, so this is the one feature that can be skipped.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ė Sneak Peak (12 minutes): This takes an interesting look at the soon-to-be constructed or near finished ride at Universal Studios. Itís a cool look as to how they are planning the ride, so anyone heading to Florida soon will probably be in line for this one.

Finally, a Digital Copy is available that works with iTunes!



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

This is an outstanding transfer for a DVD copy, as even I was surprised by the surprisingly great quality bestowed upon me with this one. Colors are absolutely gorgeous the entire flick, detail is superb, and there werenít any signs of any over blowing of any particular color at any point either. The problem I found was that most of the dark scenes did have some noise and grain that was bothersome for me, so thatís why I took off a star for the review of the transfer. Itís only a problem if you are really looking for it though, but I wasnít trying to and still managed to find it at various times when I thought my screen was moving. Thatís never a good sign when you think your screen is moving due to grain. This is still a great transfer and kudos to Warner for it.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is just as good as the transfer itself, as it sports an amazing surround sound usage along with loud audio to boot. Dialogue it loud and rather engaging for the flick, and I never once had to tweak the audio to hear or turn it down for certain scenes or characters in that regard. Surround sound was also used perfectly throughout the two-plus hour flick, so once again major compliments go out to whoever did the work on this. The problem I found was the fact that this movie didnít have as many ďboomĒ scenes as past titles, as there really were only two of them and they were both at the end of the flick which was disappointing. Thatís why I took off a star, as though this isnít demo material as the past releases really were.



.::OVERALL::.

Iím not the biggest fan of the Harry Potter films, but this one is slightly better than the past few that have hit theaters and later DVD releases. The plot does start off a tad slow and coupled in the incredibly long runtime I have a feeling that it may be slightly sluggish for some people to get through. It is worth it in the end though, as the movie sports some terrific audio and video qualities and a decent special features package. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is well-worth a purchase for this princely package.