We saw the 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' yesterday. Only the opening scenes are in 3D Imax while the rest is just 2D Imax. Why didn't they made the whole film in full 3D Imax straight ? Was it costly to make it in full 3D ?
Anyways, this 6th Harry Potter movie is slowly becoming a Lord of the Rings-esque setting which also brought up 'Star Wars' in mind. For instance, in the cave scenes, I felt I was seeing Dumbledore as Gandalf/Obi-wan and Harry Potter as Frodo/Luke Skywalker in reference with the other fantasy films LOTR & Star Wars. Also, a multitude of Gollum-esque creatures came out of the dark waters and I was waiting the creatures to blurt out 'my preciousss'.
It's also the Harry Potter movie without Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and Dudly Dursley thus lessening the light-hearted humor reinforcing the film with a gloomy, somber feel. This is the darkest and more mature Harry Potter film to date and it should be dark in relevance to the inevitable demise of a main character.
Draco Malfoy is meaner, badder and more problematic in this film and is given more screen time which plays a vital point in the story, kudos to the talented Tom Felton. Ron Weasly still looks like Alfred E. Newman of Mad Magazine in my opinion but he's funny. Hermioni Granger looks captivatingly gorgeous as ever, she gave a touching performance in this film.
The addition of Professor Slughorn makes way for the reintroduction of the Horcrux which was first introduced in 'Chamber of Secrets'. Horcrux is one of the vital focus of the story and in the upcoming Deathly Hallows.
Charming magical spells as seen in earlier Harry Potter films is missing. Cho Chang, the original student in which Harry has a crush on, is missing.
Harry's infatuation with Ron's sister Ginny Weasley seems 'forced' because it wasn't established in earlier Harry Potter films. The Quidditch scenes are visually stunning and Dumbledore's casting of a fire spell in the cave is visually exhilirating.
Upon exiting the theater, I overheard some movie-goers saying that the movie is 'bitin' (cliffhanging) and 'panget' (lackluster). Well, the way I see it, it was 'bitin' but not lackluster. Same 'bitin' feeling I got when I saw 'Empire Strikes Back' in 1980. This 'bitin' feeling is a good thing because the film isn't the main course, it's just a prelude or a preparation to the climactic battle in the next HP film Deathly Hallows (in two parts). Just like in 'Empire Strikes Back' which is also 'bitin' but its sequel 'Return of the Jedi' made the Star Wars saga a grandiose trilogy as a whole (excluding the prequels). With striking similarity, recall the ending scene in 'Star Wars: Episode V - Empire Strikes Back' and you'll see Luke and Leia with R2D2 /C3PO looking out the distance of space for an uncertain future, compare the end scene in 'Half-Blood Prince' you can see Harry, Hermoine and Ron looking out the distance of the horizon for an uncertain future.
My Rating: 5 out of 5