I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night at SM’s new IMAX Theater at SM City North EDSA, curious about the new cinema and how the movie translated one of the longest novels in the Harry Potter series. My belief is that when watching a movie, enter the cinema without any expectations; if the movie bombed, at least your disappointment will not be that great.
I report with joy that I am not disappointed with the movie. The movie was faithful with the novel without presenting all the details found in the book. Sure, there were scenes in the book that were not in the movie (as expected), and I am sure some of the fans were disappointed with the non-inclusion, like the ending scenes. However, taken on its own, the movie presented the basic plot of the novel.
The movie concentrated on character development. This movie is Michael Gambon’s and Tom Felton’s. Their characters – Albus Dumbledore and Draco Malfoy, respectively – were given the spotlight on this movie, though without taking much limelight from the lead. While they were given emphasis, I think the development was rather short – sure, you could see Draco’s torment, and much question was left in our minds. Is he intrinsically evil, or his hesitation a sign that he is somehow moral? Felton must have relished all those scenes; I know I would, if I were on his shoes.
Rupert Grint’s character Ron Weasley was a scene stealer on several occassions, the most memorable one was the scene when he took a love potion. That scene was hilarious; Grint’s goofy face is enough to make you laugh, the actions of the character more so. Unfortunately, for this movie, that’s all the character was for, comic relief. Grint’s performance here is superb, and has shown great improvement.
Emma Watson is stunningly beautiful, and like Grint’s character, Hermione has some moments in the film, though not that much. She remained in the periphery of the lead, like Ronron, but beside from that, not much. And have I told you that Watson is stunningly beautiful?
I dunno. Tom Riddle is so gay in this movie. What gives?
Daniel Radcliffe. What can I say? Harry Potter has gain confidence, but the scenes where he tried extracting that memory from Professor Horace Slughorn were unconvincing. But Radcliffe did justice to the Felix Felici scenes. It was a riot, but not as riotous as that of Weasley’s love potion scenes. What’s with potions in this movie? Oh, that Potions book, LOL.
The cinematography is mixed. The scenes at the Great Hall could have been shot better, but most are shot well. There were none of those dizzying, zooming-into-giant-watch-tower scenes. And the quidditch game in this movie (plus the Gryffindor practice scenes) is the best in the series. Too bad the scenes were not 3D. And that cowboy scene (where Dumbledore was firewhipping the Smeagols) was awesome.
Speaking of which, I couldn’t help but point out that the Vanishing Cabinet reminded me of Narnia, and the ring-horcrux reminded me of Lord of the Rings. I am sure my seatmate was annoyed when I pointed them out. Sorry, couldn’t help it.
Overall, the movie is enjoyable 2.5 hour (estimated) spectacle. I suggest you watch it.
Should you watch it on IMAX? I think the movie’s worth the Php 400 price of admission, but take note that the 3D scenes are just around 12 minutes, all of them at the beginning (including the trailer). It was my first time, and I was awed by the effects. My seatmates were annoyed because I kept on saying “Whoah!” the entire 12 minutes.
SM City North EDSA’s IMAX Theater is probably the smallest IMAX theater in the world. When news broke out that SM was putting up an IMAX on SM North, I was excited because finally, I don’t have to go to the south just to watch movies in IMAX format. But when they announced the opening last month, I was incredulous because I pass by that mall everyday and I did see any tall building being built. Basically what SM did was convert one of their cinemas into IMAX. Hence the smallest IMAX theater in the world.
At least it does not smell like San Miguel-Coca Cola IMAX Theater in SM Mall of Asia. =P