HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: Rage and Hormones

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: Rage and Hormones

Are we there yet? Well, not quite. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,the big-screen adaption of the international phenomenon, is simply the sixth chapter in a now eight-part saga that, much like its young hero, portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe, has started to show signs of stress around the edges, a bit of fatigue, or perhaps that’s simply my gnawing impatience. Not that the director, David Yates, doesn’t keep things moving and flying and soaring, his cameras slashing…

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Building up to the final battle between good and evil

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Building up to the final battle between good and evil

Darker, more hormonal, more teenage-angsty and sadly more boring, the Potter franchise is back. Half-Blood Prince is the penultimate book, but antepenultimate movie. The seventh and final volume, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is reportedly going to be divided into two films. But who knows? Maybe that second half will be split, and then the second half of that very second half will separate, and like characters in a lost paradox by the pre-Socratic thinker Zeno,…

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Terrifically Entertaining

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Terrifically Entertaining

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, an adaption from JK Rowling’s book, is horrific entertainment in its own right, claims Sukhdev Sandhu in the 2009 review. The first film adapted from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as the three leading characters, was released in 2001. The fifth installment in the saga, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was released in July…

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HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE REVIEW: AN ADMIRABLE SEQUEL IN THE POTTER SAGA

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE REVIEW: AN ADMIRABLE SEQUEL IN THE POTTER SAGA

The climactic scene in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” takes place in one of those underground caverns with a lake and an ominous gondola as the means of transportation, popularized by “The Phantom of the Opera.” At first I thought – no gondola! But then, one appeared, dripping and hulking. In another movie I might have grinned, but you know what? By that point, I actually cared. Yes, this sixth chapter is a darker,…

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Harry’s on the back of a fire-breathing dragon

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Harry’s on the back of a fire-breathing dragon

Who doesn’t love a good dragon and the one Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has to deal with this time around is a ripper. With two nozzles in its throat shooting out twin jets of fire – talk about attention to detail – the fight starts in a rocky pit and ends atop a castle tower. As Harry hangs on for dear life the dragon gingerly feels for purchase across the unstable tiles of a severely sloping…

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Concise, rousing and utterly moving

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Concise, rousing and utterly moving

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the final film in the series adapted from the books by JK Rowling, is concise, rousing and frequently moving. The end of the Harry Potter saga, like getting kids out of a swimming pool or troops out of Afghanistan, has been an exhausting business. With JK Rowling’s final volume having been sliced in two, the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was long, sombre and often…

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HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX: Threats are unraveling upon Hogwarts

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX: Threats are unraveling upon Hogwarts

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the fifth movie in the series, begins, as most of the others have, with a spot of unpleasantness at the Dursleys, and ends with Harry facing down Lord Voldemort. The climactic duel between the young brave wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) and the Dark Lord (Ralph Fiennes) foreshadows the final, perhaps fatal battle we all suspect is coming in Book Seven. Anticipation of that event may be stealing some thunder…

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Review: Purely Entertaining

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Review: Purely Entertaining

When Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire comes to films based upon popular literary events – and let’s be honest, the Harry Potter books have become events in and of themselves – it’s often hard to separate the one from the other. Even though Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire film is a completely different medium when a movie has been extracted from a hugely popular book, the fans of the latter are going to…

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: A Fine End To A Beloved Franchise

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: A Fine End To A Beloved Franchise

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson finish a 10-year journey with The Deathly Hallows Part 2 directed by David Yates. It ends well. After eight films in 10 years and a cumulative global box-office take of more than $6.3 billion, the most successful franchise in the history of movies comes to an obligatory – and quite satisfying – conclusion in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Fully justifying the decision, once thought purely mercenary,…

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HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 AND ITS PROBLEMS

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 AND ITS PROBLEMS

Before this, Harry Potter made an effort to include casual fans in the fun, but now at the end, it seems clear these last two movies are going to be made almost exclusively for serious Potter lovers. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, that philosophy hasn’t yet resulted in great moviemaking. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 has a problem, and it’s a problem which most of the diehard Harry Potter fans who see it…

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Fantastic Beasts 2: Revealed the cast and story details

Fantastic Beasts 2: Revealed the cast and story details

Fantastic Beasts 2 – The Harry Potter spin-off is set months after the first movie in London and Paris Warner Bros. has sparked some hot and spicy new details for the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is titled Fantastic Beasts 2 for the moment. Just like we thought, the studio has confirmed that Eddie Redmayne,  Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, and Dan Fogler — who play magical creatures’ keeper Newt Scamander, Auror Tina…

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Completely different from the first four entries

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Completely different from the first four entries

Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix is a dark, twisty, serious movie, with just little touches of the joy or whimsy that animated the first four Harry Potter films. You have to feel at least some sympathy for any filmmaker who would tackle Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Not only is it the longest of the Harry Potter books, and thus one of the most difficult to compress to a single movie,…

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HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX IS A SOLID PIECE OF MOVIE

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX IS A SOLID PIECE OF MOVIE

For the first time ever, we have a Harry Potter movie that isn’t an ensemble piece. Unlike any of the films before it, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is focused squarely on Harry. In building up the movie, David Yates claimed his goal was to focus primarily on Harry’s state of mind. He does that, but takes it so far that he does so to the movie’s detriment. HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX…

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Harry’s world has gone darker and more twisted

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Harry’s world has gone darker  and more twisted

The bleak film of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix smothers the final embers of the series’s childish wonder, ushering in a climate of repressed sexuality, paranoia, Fascism, madness, death, and acne. (That last is not by design but comes with the territory.) This is not a family movie. It’s not even a borderline gothic horror movie, in the manner of the third and fourth (scary) Potter installments. Directed by David Yates, Order of the Phoenix is…

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HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX: Harry has lost his joy

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX: Harry has lost his joy

Whatever happened to the joy and, forgive me to use the term, the magic in the Harry Potter saga? As the characters grow up, the stories grow, too, leaving the innocence behind and confusing us with plots so labyrinthine that it takes a Ph.D from Hogwarts to figure them out. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix still has much of the enchantment of the earlier films, but Harry no longer has as much…

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