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Test Screening Reviews

Negative Reactions

Jimbo Wage (Ain't it Cool News):
The problem with all of this romance is All of This Romance. It dominates the movie, drawing our focus away not only from major plot points – which fall disastrously through the cracks – but also deters the mood, which, in a (nearly) penultimate film, should be at the forefront.

The title of this film is Harry Potter and the HALF-BLOOD PRINCE but the title character gets next to no screen time and even less explanation, save for a few asides that, if you haven't read the book, may as well have been cut. Better to call the movie Harry Potter and the Hormones from Hedes and save us our disillusionment.

For a book based on Harry and Dumbledore's quest to find out more about Voldemort, and how to stop him, via his memories, all but three memories have been cut from the film. Why is it that the filmmakers decided it was more important to focus on teen-age love rather than what are inarguably critical plot points? It is aneurysm inducing logic that will surely leave me dead in my bathtub.

Anyone who has read the book (an incredible sum of folk who Warner Bros. seem to have forgotten are the target audience – either that or they have some personal vendetta against them) will be severely, SEVERELY disappointed with this film. Let's just hope that in the ten intervening months between now and the film's release, Warner's will take the time and the money to fix this incredible mess.

Sadly, I'm not holding my breath.

Michael Bravo (Ain’t it Cool News):
This leads me to another problem I had with the film – the mystery as to who the Half-Blood Prince is takes a backseat to all the dating stuff. Some of it’s pleasant and funny, but it should have been background comic relief to help balance the drama in the forefront.

They have almost a year before this film is released, so there’s plenty of time for editing, which is good news because this cut was quite underwhelming. A woman in our post-screening discussion of about 20-25 people said she usually cries at movies, but didn’t react at all when Dumbledore died. Hopefully, the filmmakers will ease up on the relationship stuff and emphasize more of the potions book/Half-Blood Prince plot.

trax_attacks (IMDB):
Overall, I found the movie to be .. rather odd. Where as the book gave me a "one last hoorah" feel, the movie just seemed out of place. They did a poor job balancing the main plot into the movie, and seemed to add much more romance than needed. It just didn't give me a "Harry Potter" feel at all. More like an "Inspired by Harry Potter and the HBP". Scenes were either cut or changed too much, and while the things that happened in the book are still there, some things are just completely altered. Characterization being one of the largest things. I accepted OotP, because I knew the book would be impossible to translate completely, and what they did include, they included perfectly. In this movie, I thought the book could be easily adapted. Instead they changed too much, and I could not understand the reasoning behind it. I was really excited to see this movie, seeing as it is my favorite book. The movie .. it just didn't do it for me. I'm a little less appreciative of Yates now, and I'm worried about DH. I'm praying justice is given to that book, as it ought to be.

I was so fed up with all the romance it just got annoying at some point. When I said "too much romance" ... I mean that almost every scene has an added bit of romance to it. It’s like I couldn't escape from it. It really just took over, and the seriousness of the plot just seemed to be drowned in this sea of romantic puns and subtleties. its not that I'm completely against the Romance, but there seemed to be so much. And since HBP really builds the plot bridge for DH, I was surprised they didn't focus so much on the very important plot, seeing as it is … well … important.

Positive Reactions

Eric (Mugglenet):
A lot of the things people seemed to dislike about the fifth HP film, such as vast amounts of time passing in visually appealing yet otherwise disappointing montages, does not happen in this. The film maintains its director’s neat visuals, however. Right from the initial Burrow scene, it is clear that Mr. Yates has not lost his creative edge and rather moved on to do different and wonderful things with the camera.

The entire movie seems to keep its pace, and I think one of the things that has helped the filmmakers is a clear-cut set of events spread almost evenly throughout the year in the book. There’s not too much stuff going on, rather just enough things at significant enough times of year so that they can document the full year without it feeling rushed. Again I mention the closeness of the movie to the book particularly. Some scenes are almost verbatim, but the ones that aren’t serve to really enhance the movie’s impact and its ability to stand alone as a film.

Book Six has either too much snogging or too much Voldemort – neither of which I complained about and both which I rather enjoyed – but this movie completely balances the two quite nicely. It seems effortless almost. But there are really dark scenes and then there are very fun scenes. If you know the characters from having read the books, I think you’ll get more out of the movie than those who haven’t and that’s surprising to me. For the first time, it seems, the filmmakers have made a movie which is REALLY true to the characters of the book and almost not afraid to leave newcomers with the shorter stick.

Also important to mention is that this movie is in NO way, at all, in any shape or form, a children’s movie. … and it makes me so happy that they could make such an intense movie, because it gives me real hope for the adaptations of the seventh book. But I think you should think twice before bringing your kid brother to see it.

Such effort is spent on the characters of the trio throughout the course of the movie.

Rachezee (LeakyLounge):
It is by far the most beautiful view of Hogwarts I have ever seen and completely different than previous movies. The views of the mountains are new and most of the outside landscape has been made far more majestic and beautiful. Though some of it was blue screened. Enough was left the same for continuity sake but many of the scenes we are used to in the movies now look far closer to what I imagined while reading than the way they have in the past few movies. … Whoever was in charge of the lighting for this film did a beyond superb job. I was not prepared for the beauty of this movie.

I was really pleasantly surprised by this movie. Many of the changes were actually entertaining and Gambon has improved enough to be tolerable. It was so much better than Order of the Phoenix. Overall I really enjoyed this movie and can not wait to see it again.

beni555 (IMDB):
I wasn't really impressed with the Order of the Phoenix and was kinda skeptical about what David Yates would do with the 'Half Blood Prince' but I’m just blown away... it was so well put together and the re-introduction and growth of the characters was v.v.v.v.v impressive...!

They hit the nail bang on the head for the whole look and feel of the movie, the color scheme, the sets and cinematography was absolutely refreshing!!! It was a lil different from the previous movies and it WORKED!!!!

Get ready to see some noticeable changes in the sets, art production and general look of the movie ... they have been tweaked a bit, but in a very, very good way!! You will NOT be disappointed…

It was very refreshing and the cinematography and color scheme worked so well … it really drew you in ... reminiscent of how Azkaban plunged into such a different theme, compared to the first two movies..

The settings were eerily beautiful … it was so other-worldly … man, I wish I was living in it!!!

trax_attacks (IMDB):
The cinematography is beautiful, really beautiful. I wouldn't call it a drastic change from OotP though. Think of it this way. As much as OotP was blue, HBP is yellow. It has a very yellow color wash, and it fit well with the overall tone of the film. It seemed to be a lot darker as well. Low brightness and high contrasts, which is a combo I personally love (photo major), and it just looked great in my opinion. Best of the HP series by far.

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