Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Director: David Yates Year: 2009 Run time: 2hrs 33m
“Emboldened by the return of Lord Voldemort, the Death Eaterse are wreaking havoc in both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Meanwhile, teenage hormones rage across the ramparts as Harry’s long friendship with Ginny Weasley is growing into something deeper. Ron’s got romantic entanglements of his own to worry about, leaving Hermione simmering with jealousy. One student, however, remains aloof with far more important matters on his mind. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one.”
3:45 - Harry really has found girls then. 5:43 - “After all these years, I just sort of go with it.” 8:27 - Dumbledore doing his best Mary Poppins impression. 14:41 - How old is Dumbledore? 23:42 - Ron’s life is so simple. “Creepy shop, creepy bloke.” 30:42 - Finally, Snape gets the job he’s been dreaming about forever. 33:11 - Exceeds Expectations sounds like a compliment, but isn’t. 35:18 - So far, I’ve coveted something from each film. Liquid Luck is this one. 37:49 - Poor Hermione doesn’t like to be outdone. 49:10 - They do good snow in these films. Very believable. 54:26 - Potter must know by now that “I just know,” isn’t really good enough. 1:02:06 - I love the giant lion head. Luna’s brilliant. 1:10:51 - Argh, he threw up on Snape! 1:25:57 - “There can be no light without the dark… I strive to live in the light.” 1:36:21 - The romantic drama is very amusing. Dawson’s Creek ratcheted up a notch here. 1:42:17 - Hide and seek in the room of requirement doesn’t seem like fun. 1:48:54 - Francis the fish. 1:57:59 - “Still look the same to me, sir.” Except it’s a different actor. 2:02:29 - You sort of think wizards robes aren’t so good for adventures. 2:16:07 - I still can’t understand why Harry would use spells he doesn’t understand. Surely a recipe for disaster. 2:22:59 - Hogwarts is beautiful, but it did change halfway through. Like Dumbledore.
It’s a cliche now, that these films just keep getting darker and darker, but this one really crosses the line so that we know what to expect from the final two. There are moments of brightness - Ron and his love spells, Hermione helping out with the Quidditch tryouts, and things like that, but mostly it’s angst and drama and bad times.
I think the significance of the book and the Half-Blood Prince was underplayed here, with Snape’s throwaway line that it was all down to him and then it’s forgotten about.
The end sequence, with Dumbledore taking Harry to the cave and then everything that happens after was well done, I thought, but again, probably hard to follow for anyone not up to date with the books. There was no mention of the cave before Dumbledore appeared outside it. I think it ended well, though, as it could have been a particularly depressing wait until the next film but it was left with a hint of optimism.