Kim's Blu-ray Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE ULTIMATE EDITION
Published: June 27, 2011 - 3:13am
The Half-Blood Prince was one of my favorite books in the Harry Potter series and though the film seems weak compared to it's novel counterpart, the film itself is a rich in visuals effects and blending lighthearted and dark themes into one of the better of the Harry Potter films.
Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts begins just as the Voldemort and his Deatheaters begin to leave their mark on the Wizardry and Muggle worlds. This year not only will Harry deal with the aftermaths of the events of The Order of the Phoenix but hormones come into play and Harry, Ron and Hermoine must deal with the pros and cons of romance. Though one of the darker of the Harry Potter films, Half-Blood Prince still continues it's streaks of lightheartedness and it's the final moments of the movie that overall set the tone for the next chapter The Deathly Hallows.
Though the film is a stepping stone leading into The Deathly Hallows; the story seems to focus more on Harry's dealings with pubertus (puberty to the non-Robot Chicken watcher) than Harry's quest to defeat Voldemort. It isn't until the second half of the film we are reminded that this story is ultimately about Harry's inevitable showdown against “He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named” and is also a realization that this s*** just got real.
Half-Blood Prince is not my favorite of the Potter adaptions. One of the things that really bother me is how they lazily approached the Deatheaters invading Hogwarts and how they never revealed that Snape was the Half-Blood Prince. Visually this blu-ray delivers in its colors and contrasts and sharp visual effects. The chemistry between the three main actors (Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson) is undeniable. I enjoy the various scenes they share together and play off one another as well as Radcliffe's scenes with Michael Gambon, who plays Dumbledore.
Maximum Movie Mode - I was a bit disappointed in this. This serves as the commentary for the blu-ray; including the cast and crew members discussing the scenes in the films and the development of the film. What was disappointing was with this being the "Ultimate Edition" I expected close to the same quality as the "Movie Mode" on the Deathly Hallows blu-ray which included history on the various horocruxes and characters, etc. Also it says that actor Daniel Radcliffe is suppose to be leading the Movie Mode but he hardly came up during the feature.
Deleted Scenes - The eight various scenes collected here are in no way a surprise as to why they are dubbed “deleted scenes.” Most consisting of merely a few seconds in which Harry or other characters enter or exit a location and contain no real necessary information pertinent to the film's storyline. There was one extended scene which takes place before the Deatheaters invade Hogwarts which was really enjoyable and though it wasn't important it was a definite tone setter that something big was gonna go down.
Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 6: Magical Effects - Cast and crew discuss the creation and process in creating the various magical scenes throughout the seven Harry Potter films. This is a very interesting feature on the Blu-ray and includes some new behind the scenes footage for the upcoming second part to Deathly Hallows. For those interested in CGI or even animatronics this is the feature for you.
One Minute Drills - A fun little feature where the cast has only sixty seconds to describe their characters and their journey through the various films.
What's On Your Mind? - An extra hosted by actor Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) where he asks his co-stars different questions and they have to answer as fast as they can. The different questions and answers were "meh" overall and delivered nothing noteworthy.
J.K. Rowling: A Day In the Life - A documentary piece focusing on the author of the acclaimed book series. It is a bit slow but does contain some interesting tidbits regarding the author's inspirations for the themes and characters and how they were drawn from real life experiences and her adaption to fame. Also gives fans an interesting inside look at the launching of the final book and the process leading to its release. I learned some new tidbits about various characters and the books watching this. I recommend those who are fans of the series and Rowling give this a watch.
First Footage from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - This is disappointing. This is literally the first footage they released for Deathly Hallows like almost a year ago. You figured they would add some new footage for the second part of the film coming in July.
Close Up with the Cast and Crew of Harry Potter - Another fun behind the scenes extra where the cast visit different department and get an inside look at makeup, costumes, props and more. Basically a fluff piece which in ways repeats what was said about the effects in the other features only throwing in the cast to, my guess, add more humor to it.
The Ultimate Edition comes with a neat "Creating the Magical Effects of Harry Potter" companion booklet with behind-the-scenes photos from all seven films. Fans who love companion books will enjoy this and also will like the collectible Albus Dumbledore and Draco Malfoy trading cards.
Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort's defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn't counted on Romilda Vane's chocolates! And then there's Hermione, simmering with jealousy but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
From Warner Home Video, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and DVD/Blu-ray + Digital Copy Combo Pack.