Monday, July 13, 2009

If you normally read these in e-mail format, switch it up and read via. the blog-site
You may not be able to see some of the post components if you settle for the e-mail version and you will want to see everything.
Because today is different.  Today is special. 

7/13-They're calling it the best yet.

Right now, The Half Blood Prince is at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. 97%. For those of you unfamiliar with RT ratings, 97% is damn good.  Oscar winners have gotten less.  Until now, Alfonso Curon's direction of the third Potter film (the Prisoner of Azkaban) has been considered the "best" of the franchise and it only received 89%.  

Point: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is fucking awesome.

Proof: Let's begin with the trailer. 

Amazing.  No one does sets or special effects like HP.  If you like films, you should go see it for this reason alone.

But for those of you who are still not convinced, here is why you really should shelve your disinterest and go to the theater.

"The Half Blood Prince" is the sixth Potter book and, it is (in my opinion) the best story for adult audiences.  It is by far the most philosophical and cerebral, since it deals with questions of identity, memory, and in a round about way, sex.  

In the book, Harry is 16.  His godfather Sirius has just been murdered and the War is now well underway.  Because of this, Prof. Dumbledore takes Harry under his wing to teach him, not advanced magic tricks, but about the character and person of Voldemort.  He uses "memories" to show Harry elements of Voldemort's past and hopes that, by understanding his enemy, Harry can defeat him.  

Meanwhile Harry is struggling to accept the terms and conditions of the prophecy "Neither can live while the other survives" and that he is the one who has to kill Voldemort.  The theme of identity is a big one in the Harry Potter series and is on full display in the 6th book.  Over and over again Harry and his foil Draco Malfoy are both struggling to understand the difference between "choice" and "fate" and how both shape who you are.  The Draco story line is my favorite.  

 In the midst of everything, all the kids (especially Ron and Hermione) are dealing with their own sexualities.  Love, hate, and fighting all ensue.  Finally, everything comes to a head when Harry uncovers a potions/spell book that belonged to someone called the "half blood prince" that begins to, in a way, "poison" his mind.  

Another reason to see it:  the actors.  You can NOT find another film with this many dames, knights, and general bad-ass actors in it.  Sir Michael Gambon, Dame Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Jim Broadbent (he's playing Slughorn!).  These are the gods and goddesses of stage and screen.  They are legends.

And the kids! They are sooo good.  They can act.  Especially Daniel Radcliffe.  And they're adorable.  I mean, just look at Emma Watson's new Vogue photo shoot.  I want to be there, wearing those clothes. Now.

The final clarion call:
Book 6 is one of the best.  David Yates (the film's director) understands the books and understands cinematography. And although "The Half Blood Prince" is still a pretty dark story, Yates is trying to make this one the most accessible Potter film yet.  It's a good plan.  Draw in as many lost sheep as you can before the finale.

Bottom line...Harry Potter is a great story.  JK Rowling makes it human and real.  Apart from the premise which is extraordinary, it is a very very ordinary tale about the struggle for the good in one's own soul in the face of the option which is infinitely more easy: evil.

1 comment: