“Swear to it… make the Unbreakable Vow”- Bellatrix Lestrange.
Short Version: While its not the greatest Harry Potter film, “The Half-Blood Prince” is definitely a fun and entertaining film.
Plot Synopsis: While Death Eaters are attacking the Muggle and Wizard worlds, Harry and Dumbledoore continue to find a way to defeat Voldermort. Meanwhile Voldermort himself, has charged Draco Malfoy with a task.
The story in the film is rather dark, but mainly focuses on the romance between the characters. And, while I usually roll my eyes to teen/tween love stories, the film does an amazing job at it. I could actually care for the romance between the characters. The story of the Half-Blood Prince does become nothing more than a sub-plot.
The part that is a problem is that the film builds up to an action scene, but we never get it. Twice the film does that and twice it doesn’t present. For example, when Harry chases Bellatrix into the brush you kind of get the feeling that there will be some cool action, but what you get is nothing. And, the same happened when the Death Eaters entered Hogwarts, you thought you would get a big battle, but you don’t. I’m not saying that more action would have made the film better or worse, but if your gonna build up to an action scene, you might as well have one.
The part that the majority of the fans don’t like is that Dumbledoor’s funeral was omitted from the film, and was replaced with a scene where they raise their wands. Yeah, I can understand why people would complain, but I loved the scene in which they raise their wands. Its almost like a salute to a fallen hero.
There’s not much I can say about the special effects other than they were amazing. The scene in which Bellatrix casts the “Death Mark” above Hogwarts look great.
The acting in this film for the most part was amazing. What was probably my favorite performance was Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange. I don’t know why, but I just love that character. Alan Rickman made Snape as creepy as ever. But, the performance that made the film was Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy. His character comes off as a douchebag the entire series, but in this film you could actually feel sympathy for his character.
The film did get a little dark lit in some scenes, but all I had to was adjust the brightness on my TV, and problem solved.
Audio/Video: The audio with this release was odd because it has the same track as the majority of my Blu-Ray titles, but in this case I had to adjust the volume up when I usually had to adjust it down. However, there wasn’t any major problems with it.
And, the video presentation was solid.
Maximum Movie Mode: If you’ve seen the director’s cut of “Terminator: Salvation” or “Watchmen”, then you already know what this feature is. But, for those who haven’t this feature takes you on “exploration” of the film with star Daniel Radcliffe.
Close-up With The Cast of Harry Potter: This feature goes into detail about the editing, special effects, owl training(really cool BTW), stunts, costume design, art, and make-up with cast members of the film.
One-Minute Drills: This feature is about the cast members go into detail about their characters personalities over the previous films, in one minute. But, probably the best part about this feature was seeing how the cast members and characters have grown since the first film.
J.K. Rowling- A Year In The Life: This feature gives you a look at J.K. Rowling’s life as she was writing “The Deathly Hallows”.
Whats On Your Mind?: This is an Q&A with the cast members of the film.
Additional features include: A sneak peak at “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1”, A sneak peak at the Harry Potter them park, deleted scenes, the Standard DVD version of the film, a digital copy, and a slip case with neat hologram to tops things off.
I give the film a 3.5 out of 5.
I give the Blu-Ray a 5 out of 5.
Overall: “The Half-Blood Prince” is a good film, but definitely not the best of the series(that title IMO still belongs to “The Goblet of Fire”). And, this is a great release, even if you don’t have a Blu-Ray player you still get the Standard DVD version with the film.