July 17, 2009

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince

A brilliant adaptation of a overlong, boring, and clunky book, HBP the Movie one of the best Potter movies, and loads better than HBP the Book. Our young actors performances are getting better with each passing year: Tom Felton is a special revelation as Draco Malfoy, finally given something worthwhile to do in the movies besides sneering. Jim Broadbent is ideally suited, perhaps a little twitchy, to play the professor with a secret.
Over the course of the school year, Dumbledore instructs Harry on Voldemort 101, Harry suspects Draco Malfoy is a newly-branded Death Eater who's hatching a murderous plot, and, on a lighter note, romance is in full bloom as the hormone-soaked teenagers of Hogwarts suck face all year long.
In the book, the History Of Voldemort classes are supremely satisfying, but Harry's yearlong Malfoy conspiracy theory is not dramatically satisfying. Screenwriter Steve Kloves fixes this problem so by the end of the movie, we understand what Malfoy's been up to all year, and we actually care what happens to him when he meets his final confrontation with Dumbledore at the end of the movie.
The romantic storylines are very entertaining and silly, especially scene-stealer Jessie Cave as the love-struck Lavender Brown.
There was a lot of heavy lifting to do in the second half of this movie, in order to set up Harry's mission to destroy Voldemort in the last year of J.K. Rowling's saga. I don't know if Voldemort's Horcrux plot device is going to make sense to the uninitiated, but Kloves made a valiant effort to explain the concept to us.
NOTE: This movie is rated PG, even though it's full of bloody curses, the murder of a principal character, and undead zombies dragging Harry to a watery grave in a terrifying underground cave. This movie will give small children nightmares. (At the AMC Framingham Premium Cinema)