July 15, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Opens TODAY!
The wait is FINALLY over! The release of the new movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, had been set for November 21, 2008, but then on August 14, 2008, Warner Brothers released a statement saying that HBP would not open until July 2009. What a major disappointment. People everywhere were forced to see Twilight instead, which was not an even trade. But after nearly 8 long months of extra anticipation, we can finally rush out and see the film.
I was one of those people who stood in the long lines at a bookstore to get the books at exactly midnight; no way was I going to wait until the stores opened at 10:00AM! I would then proceed to read non-stop until I was finished with the book. What better way is there to experience Harry Potter? Once you start reading those books, you have a hard time putting them down. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a little tough to go back and re-read the first or second book after you have completed the series, considering how much darker and more interesting they get as they progress; but isn’t it still just as fun to look back and find things that you may have missed in the beginning that are all tied up in a neat little bow by the end of book 7?
The movies, too, have had an interesting development. The first two films—Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets—were directed by Chris Columbus (who is best known for directing the first two Home Alone movies) and stay fairly true to the books, but they were long. The third film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was extremely different from the first two. It was shot much darker, and had a gloomier feel to it. It was also one of the less true-to-the-book films of the series.
For some reason, people seemed to love the third movie the best, even to this day. Director Alfonso Cuarón didn’t waste time with subtlety, and wished to put more age on Harry Potter. For most people, it worked. For me, it was a little too unfaithful. Don’t get me wrong, I have really liked all of the films to date, and The Prisoner of Azkaban was one of the first movies I ever saw on IMAX (which I highly recommend, by the way). The fourth installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, got yet another new director, Mike Newell. He changed the look of the film again to make it a little brighter, a little less blue-tinted. It wasn’t as well received as Cuarón’s, but still pulled in $290 million in the United States alone.
Then David Yates came onto the scene for the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The book was the longest in the series at 896 pages. It was rumored that the final three films, the Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows would all be split into two films each, for a total of 6 more films. But, only Deathly Hallows will be split into two. So David Yates had to fit 896 pages of material into about 2.5 hours of film. It was an extremely difficult task, but I thought it was executed successfully. The graphics alone were amazing enough to get a passing grade. But, the material was well-done and ended up being my favorite film of the franchise so far.
David Yates returns as the director of the film, which is the sixth installment in the Harry Potter stories, and my personal favorite of the books. I won’t give away the plotline, but it is filled with so many twists and turns of excitement that are unmatchable in the other books. Harry is summoned to partake in numerous lessons and adventures with Professor Dumbledore himself: they are on a mission to find a way to finally put an end to Lord Voldemort’s reign of terror on the magical world.
So far, the Harry Potter film franchise has raked in a worldwide total of $4.5 billion dollars. With the release of Half Blood Prince, I’m sure the numbers will surpass the $5 billion mark. The books may have ended, but the movies haven’t, and I’m going to enjoy seeing what Yates can do! Will you put in your $10 to see the film? I know I will!
Posted by Shaane at 6:00 am