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You Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The people have spoken! We have reader reviews in from all over the U.S., and this grown-up HP installment seems to have cast a spell over audiences.

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Tribeca asked, and our readers answered. We put out the call to muggles fans near and far, asking for their accounts of the opening day experience for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the latest installment of the boy-wizard saga (this time out written by Steve Kloves and directed by David Yates), and we are pleased to present the results.

You may have heard about the spell the film cast on the box office in its opening day—taking in a whopping 58.4 million—but what did the audiences think? Tribeca Film readers are here with the answer.

Harry Potter has changed, in the best way possible. I attended a free screening this past Sunday and then also attended the midnight screening in Chicago. Can you tell I'm a fan? I also expect to see the film again on IMAX. And then a few more times after that. Okay, more than a few.
The fan base for Potter is loyal, and we all have a great understanding of the fact that the books cannot become the movie—it's simply not feasible. But does that mean we don't love every minute of these films? No! The fans came out en masse, wearing their Sorting Hats, capes and donning a wand or two. There were people with Potter tattoos (real and fake) and lightning bolt scars drawn on their foreheads. We Potter fans will wait in a line happily—the excitement surrounding the movies just adds to your own personal excitement, and it's thrilling to see how many people are just dying to get through those doors and enter (escape to?) the world of Hogwarts, especially in times like these.
This film was by far the most well-acted, emotional and truly REAL of the series. The look of it was grand, the cinematography was spot-on, and the characters are fully fleshed out. You feel for all of them, from Hermione's pain to seeing Ron with another girl to Harry's desire to figure out the mystery that is his life. Daniel Radcliffe shines in one comedic "lucky potion" scene: literally every line caused the audience to erupt in laughter. His timing was perfection. I love this book, and although some things were left out, including a fight scene and some additional looks into the memories of Professor Slughorn (a wonderful, Oscar-worthy Jim Broadbent), I didn't feel cheated. Director David Yates MORE than covered the Ron/Hermione romance to come, and that is something that I absolutely had to see and I was thrilled to see so much of.
Harry is a stud. Point blank. Come on, he's the "Chosen One." You know you want him. But don't forget Ron—the gingers need some love, too.
SEE THIS MOVIE. It isn't only the best of the HP series, it's truly a beautiful piece of filmmaking. Hey, Oscar board: you're going to nominate TEN FILMS this year for Best Picture? I think you've found one of them!
Emilie Yount, Chicago

I got to the theater around 9:00 pm [Tuesday night] and it was already FULL! They were showing the movie in three or four different theaters, and all of them had extremely long lines. As usual, there were a lot of kids—and some adults, I might add—dressed as their favorite characters. Obviously a lot of little Harry Potters and Hermiones, but it surprised me to see some people wearing what seemed to be Slytherin robes.

The film did not disappoint me, but it didn’t precisely exceed my expectations. I am a true fan: I love Harry Potter, I’ve read all the books etc., but I think they left out major parts. For example, the title of the movie is "The Half Blood Prince" for a reason, [but] they barely touch that subject in the movie. I did feel, however, that it is a tad bit funnier than the rest of the saga, and creepier at the same time. It has scenes—actually two different scenes—that can make you think you are watching a horror movie.

As for Harry Potter, he looks extremely handsome. However, he is still a kid. I think he might look better in 5 or 6 years when he is actually a man. Also, I’m still wondering: Why does Draco wear a suit throughout the whole movie? I mean, what’s the deal? Don’t they have uniforms?

Ambar Rivera, Long Beach, CA

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My friend Ellis and I have been attending the midnight opening of each Harry Potter movie since The Prisoner of Azkaban and for me it is always a gala occasion. When we got to the theater an hour and 15 minutes early the line was around the block and it pretty much stayed that way even as the line began to move forward. But we got in and we got good seats. The anticipation is half the fun.

I was really wondering about how Ginny Weasley would shape up as Harry's girlfriend. She has been quietly in the background in all the films and always seemed sort of pale and withdrawn, so I was wondering what she would be like as a romantic interest. She didn't disappoint. She didn't become suddenly glamorous, which would have been a turnoff, but she was surprisingly strong and attractive. A likable character.

I just love the ensemble playing. By now the whole cast is so clearly bonded to one anotherand the audiences to themthat they can evoke laughter and delight with the tiniest indications. When Professor McGonagall asks, "Why is it that whenever there is a disaster you three show up?" we all laugh even before Ron says, "I've been wondering the same thing myself." We all know what they are thinking. It's like family. The hospital bedside scene with Ron's "girlfriend" and Hermione's triumph over her is hilarious. The funeral  for Aragog the giant spider is totally engaging, in part because we all know Hagrid's propensity for playing mother to scary monsters.

The scenes in the Half-Blood Prince are longer, the dialogue more coherent. The once-child actors are more seasoned, the already seasoned players more brilliant than ever. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I didn't grow up with Harry Potter, but I have dearly loved watching him and his friends grow.

—Suzy, New York

I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. People were quite calm in the lines, surprisingly. When inside the theater, however, people quickly started to get restless. When the movie hadn't started at 12:03, grumbles and yells quickly filled the room. People (my three friends and I) started angrily chanting, "We want Potter, we want Potter!" but were quickly quelled by the fact that the lights had dimmed. Greyish clouds around the Warner Brothers logo appeared on the screen. Everyone hushed at this great event.

The film exceeded all expectations by far. I am a Harry Potter hardcore fan. I know who is the Head of the Improper Use of Magic, what numbers are to be pressed to get into the visitor's entrance of the Ministry of Magic, and many other things that are simply too complicated for the simple muggle to understand. (The answers to those are, of course, Mafalda Hopkirk and 64224.) The humor was impeccable, there was more romance than in any other of the movies (as well as more tears), and even the scenes that were altered in the movie were stupendous. I had been looking forward to this for an extremely long time, and my hopes were not quashed at all. In fact, the movie just made me love the series more.

What was left out? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is Bill (one of Ron's older brothers) and Fleur Delacour's romance. This plus not having the end battle of Hogwarts? All of these things were simply disastrous!!! But, oh well, they'll just have to be added in the seventh movie.

Oh, Harry is very handsome. I think every girl says that she's in love with Ron (which is also VERY understandable), but I'm not afraid to admit that I'm mainstream and think Harry is more attractive than his ginger friend. Also, who doesn't love a British accent?

Also, there was a very strange lady about two rows behind me. She kept on meowing and groaning and saying, "Oh dayum!" whenever Harry was in trouble. It was quite disconcerting. Just thought you should know.

—M. C., New York

You Review Harry

I saw the movie at the AMC theatre in Rockaway, NJ. wand in hand. It was a late showing10:45 pmso there was less pandemonium than in previous years. Being a diehard fan, I got there at 9:15 and was the first in line behind the roped division where expectant fans stood awaiting to be seated. I loved the filmunderstanding that all the details in the book cannot possibly be included in the movie, and I simply could not complain about a movie event I have been waiting years for. It exceeded my expecations, with great humor throughout and excellent cinematography and costumes and makeup as usual.

There was a melancholy tone to the movie, reflecting the tragic event of Dumbledore's death, especially by his own prophetic gazes and shriveled hand. The funeral was one event I could say should have been included, although the raising of the illuminated wands amongst solemn tears as everyone stood looking at the treasured headmaster's lifeless body was to me respectful and appropriate.

Harry is so handsome that even at 36, I have a crush on him! Bring tissues, sit back and enjoycan't wait for the next one!

—Roxana Vega, Montville, NJ

Note: We hope to make You Review a regular feature on, and we want to thank all who participated. Budding reviewers, please be on the lookout for future requests!

In the meantime, get your tickets now for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


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