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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [Blu-ray]
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756 of 843 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Since I had to look elsewhere for DVD details (to decide whether to buy the 2-disc or one-disc film), I thought I'd post here:

1-Disc Wide screen and Full Screen DVD

*Includes both a wide screen and full screen version of the film.
*No special features
*RRP $28.98
2-Disc Digital Copy Special Edition DVD

*Widescreen version only
*Additional scenes (6:31)
*Close-Up with the Cast and Crew of Harry Potter special. Matthew Lewis ("Neville Longbottom") and Alfred Enoch ("Dean Thomas") lead us on an entertaining look at the cast of Harry Potter as they explore their interests away from acting and spend a day on set with the production team (28:30)
*J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life: A fascinating and intimate look into the life of J.K. Rowling over the last year of writing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." (49:32)
*One Minute Drills: The cast has 60 seconds to describe their character's personality, history, relationships and other traits before time runs out (6:43)
*What's On Your Mind: Hosted by Tom Felton, the cast is put on the spot when asked a series of rapid-fire questions on their likes and dislikes. (6:41)
*Universal's "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" Sneak Peek: Get an "inside look" at the amazing world of magic and excitement being created at Universal Orlando® Resort in Florida (11:38)
*Digital Copy of the theatrical film (2nd disc)
*RRP $34.99

I can't believe the negative reviews. I read the book and thought the filmmakers did a fantastic job with it. Anyone who wants a film to be an exact replica of any book should do themselves a favor and just read the book again. Am looking forward to enjoying it again (and again) on DVD.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2009
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I bought this for my daughters for Christmas. They are dyed in the wool Harry Potter fans. My older daughter has read the books twice and the younger one finished the last one last May. That being said I will review their reaction to both the movie and the product, since Amazon insists on combining the actual movie content and multiple product format reviews.

BD Live - Blu-ray disc review: I have read the negative product reviews for this disc complaining about the verticle lines running across the screen. We didn't observe any of this in the copy we received. After reading about the problem I went back and played it again to see if I missed something. Our copy is crisp and clear, everything you would expect from Blu-ray. I noted that the originator of one of these negative reviews provided a subsequent comment that Warner Brothers promptly replaced her disc with a good one, so this must have been a batch problem. We were just lucky I guess. I pre-ordered this disc back in early November at a great price of $15.99. It arrived in plenty of time before Chrismas. Well worth the money.

Movie Review: I enjoyed the movie, having never read the books. I thought it was one of the better movies of the series. My daughters also enjoyed it, however they were dissapointed and downright irate at several points when the movie took off on tangents; like substituting the wrong character for certain scenes, leaving out whole sections, and adding entirely new scenes that were not in the book at all. I can sympathize with their frustration. I have never understood why screen writers feel the need to create completely new content scenes for movie adaptations while dropping valid scenes.
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698 of 922 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2009
Verified Purchase
First. please let me say that I adore (nay, worship) the Harry Potter stories. So, being a gen-you-wine "Potter-Head" I was first in line to see Half-Blood Prince.

It was an interesting movie. Nice special effects.
Disjointed enough however that one MUST have seen all the previous movies and/or read the books to follow the plot.

...Most importantly, it bears little resemblance to the Harry Potter books!!!

Really. I can forgive replacing the actions of one character with another character, to save time, I can even forgive eliminating whole chapters for the sake of brevity, but to change scenes, edit whole parts, and invent whole chapters???

Beware, below, there be SPOILERS! Don't read if you haven't watched!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some examples of lost scenes:

-Dumbledore confronting the Dursley's? Gone.
-The invention of a fight at the burrow, including the destruction of the whole house? Really? Where's Bill & Fleur going to get married next movie? (Oh that's right, in the movies, they AREN'T! Heck, they aren't even in -this- movie!)
-The "Meeting of the Ministers" scene? Gone. Heck there's absolutely NO sign of Scrimgeour -anywhere- in the whole movie!
-Tonks rescuing Harry from the train? Nope, now it's Luna, looking for Wrackspurts, and removing Harry's invisibility cloak with her wand. (As A Deathly Hallow, it should be immune to summoning and/or levitation charms.)
-The slow build up leading to the Quiddich victory kiss? Gone. Now just a "close your eyes" peck in the Room of Requirement, and this was done horribly!!
-The two months of Harry & Ginny dating? Gone.
-Harry breaking up with Ginny to protect her? Gone!
-Harry's ownership of Grimmauld Place and Kreacher? (Key for the next movie) Gone.
-The Gaunt house flash-backs? Both gone. And with them any mention of Merope, Voldemort's mother. Gone too the mention of her locket by Caractacus Burke.
-The memories of Hokey the house elf, and of Dumbledore's job interview with Voldemort? (Key for the next movie) Gone. In fact, all references to the valuable heirlooms such as Hufflepuff's cup are gone.
-Crabb & Goyle polyjuiceing into girls to stand watch? (would have been funny, but...) Gone.
-Snapes "Defense Against the Dark Arts" lessons? Gone.
-Apparition lessons and test? Gone.
-Hermione & Ron's Prefect status? (Well, since it wasn't mentioned LAST film, why mention it now?)
-Harry's appointment as Quiddich captain? (Not mentioned, only implied during the tryouts)
-Mundungus stealing Sirius' property? (KEY for the next movie) Gone.
-Snap's betrayal of Trelawney's prophecy to Voldemort? (HUGE!) Gone!!!
-Harry petrified by Dumbledoor to protect him? GONE!
-The Hogwarts battle between Death Eaters and Order members? (and Bill's disfigurement?) GONE!!
-Dumbledore's funeral? GONE!!!!

...oh sure, we'll probably get to see a few of the minor bits I've mentioned in the "deleted scenes" portion of the "Deluxe" version of the DVD, but for this screen version, We get such useless add-on scenes as:
-All the trees around the burrow (HP 2/the flying car shot) have been cut down and replaced by a marsh?
-Harry wandering the underground, and chatting up a waitress??
-The aforementioned Burrow fight and subsequent burning??

Not to mention, Harry NOT petrified, but willingly hiding and watching Dumbledore's assassination? (Does anyone besides me see how that fundamentally would change Harry's view of himself?) Yeash!

And WHAT the heck was up with Jessie Cave/Lavender Brown? Worst acting since Brother Sun/Sister Moon! They tested 7000 girls, and they picked a 2nd rate ham? In fact, they tested using the hospital scene, which was single-handedly the worst scene she did in the film!

Ok, ok, on the positive side, the Quidditch tryouts and match were well done, and Dumbledore and Harry's apparition is depicted quite well.

All in all, I am happy they are making Harry Potter movies, but they are -nothing- compared to the books, and THIS one should be prefaced with "Loosely based on the novel by J. K. Rowling"!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I have purchased each Harry Potter film on Blu Ray and up until this one was very pleased with both the movies themselves and the hi def renderings and PCM and/or Dolby TrueHD sound. I am sad to say that you CAN believe the negative reviews as far as the absolutely ABYSMAL lighting in this film. It is not a bad transfer, it was due to some pretty dubious choices made by both the director and the Director of Photography and I am sure the production designer had some say in it also. Almost every scene is just way too dark, many times very hard to even SEE what is going on and many other times the images become devoid of color as well.

I watch on a calibrated Pioneer Kuro 50inch plasma display with an Oppo BD player, so I am pretty sure it is not my equipment causing the perceived picture problems. Even after readjusting both the contrast and brightness controls to try and brighten things up, it was pretty useless. The picture information just wasn't there to brighten and only caused it to just basically 'white out'. Phooey!

As for the movie, I am a completest and will risk purchasing the next episode too, but this film was depressing. I really wanted to like it, and about the only things I could find that redeemed this movie for me were the budding romances between some of the main characters. Even the apparent death of Dumbledore seemed anticlimactic to me and Hogwarts itself has never looked a more bleak place.

I know the screenwriter had to try and stick to the story in the book, but many things were left out from the book that would have been INTERESTING and might have explained the story a bit better. Oh well, it is what it is. If I could have one wish for the Harry Potter series, it would be to rehire Chris Columbus to direct and John Williams to score the film. Even adding Williams alone would greatly enhance the production value and my ultimate enjoyment which is why I collect these things to begin with.
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161 of 215 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Warner Brothers is trying to fool us again - calling this an "Ultimate Edition" when it is NOT the extended version of the film. It comes with behind the scenes extras and commentaries, but the movie itself is the same! I expect this is because they decided after the first 2 Ultimate Editions that they would wait and re-release all 8 movies at once in another Ultimate Edition, but this time a Box Set with extended versions of all films - to entice everyone to buy all the movies yet again. Hold off for now and watch your DVD copies - next year we can all buy the REAL Ultimate Editions!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2010
Format: DVD
This should be called "A very loose translation of a story associated with the book Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"

I really enjoyed the Harry Potter books, and the audio books(with Jim Dale Narrating) even more. This movie, as well as the previous ones, are simply an attempt by some screenwriter to get his name up in shining lights. The story is quite different from the books. I realize that much has to be cut from the books in order to make it into a reasonable length movie, but there are many parts in the movie that were changed, as if for no other reason but that the screenwriter could get away with it.
For instance:

The beginning of this movie has Harry in a local shop, (not in the book) and has cut out any reference to #4 Privit Dr. This opening could have been done much better in the time allotted. Quite frankly the beginning of the book is the funniest part in the the whole book.

The train ride to Hogwarts is changed considerably, with no real apparent reason to do so. This whole section has been reduced to garbage.

The book has Tonks finding Harry on the train, but the movie has Luna Lovegood doing it. Since Tonks is not cut entirely from the movie, this really doesn't make any sense.

The Burrow is burned to the ground in the movie, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the book. Stupid.

All of the battle at Hogwarts has been cut.

The part in the tower bothers me the most I would say. The book has Harry immobilized through this whole part, unable to do or say anything. The movie however, has Harry just standing there, while Snape and Draco do their thing. Absolutely stupid. It really goes against what Harry's character is all about.

It seems that none of the students are now required to wear robes. They are all running around in either suits, or jeans and a tee shirt.

None of these changes needed to be made, really. It wouldn't make one bit of difference as far as time or money. It is a dreadful shredding of what is one of the better books in the series, and the changes really just serve to deaden the story line, and set up another two dreadful movies to come. I will not be paying to see those in the theater for sure.

Foolish screenwriters. What a waste. The movies keep getting worse and worse.

The acting has gotten, if anything, worse in Radcliff's case. He always has a stupid grin on his face, as if he finds the whole thing very funny. As he is supposed to be in some very dire circumstances in this movie, it really just ruins the effect completely.

I did like Rupert Grint's handling of Ron's character. I thought he nailed it.

What bothers me the most, is that all the young fans that made Rowling rich, are expecting a decent representation of the the books put into film. They are all so excited to see these films. Instead what they get is a great disappointment.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2008
Verified Purchase
"The Half Blood Prince" should be called "The Half Cocked Film." Books aside, the film leaps, jumps and bounces about from darkness to glee in artistic, engaging and dramatically potent form, but in the end may leave the viewer scratching their heads.

Fans of the books KNOW what's going on, moviegoers may be a bit confused as the why things happen. For one, the film opens with Ginny and Harry madly in unspoken love as Ginny snogs Dean Thomas anyway, and Hermione is suddenly infatuated with Ron - sure, there has been tension between hem since puberty, but jealousy seems a bit of a stretch all of a sudden (in the books it's more of a slow brewing issue.)

Without too many spoilers, ask yourself: how and why does Harry know what and for what use a Beazor is and why does his potions master (not Snape now) sit and watch a student die when the solution should be clear to him? Why is there no defenses at the Weasely house if they are in dire danger, why no Order members standing guard, no spells around the property and why do the Death Eaters attack? (hint, it's not in the book at all!!! so there's no answer.) Why does Dumbledore take Harry to the Burrow at the beginning of the film (it makes sense in the book, here, no reason.) Why does Harry take orders from Snape at the end without question? Why does no one challenge four Death Eaters running amok in Hogwarts and setting Hagrid's hut ablaze?

The movie is fast, humorous, entertaining and a wonder to watch, both emotionally and visually. I buy the characters, the motivations, the special effects, everything almost... just not the logical flaws that made me scratch my head all the way home.

I do hope they shot a lot of scenes that will someday make up an extended DVD / Blu-Ray version. The film is so close to being the perfect Potter film, but forgets the audience isn't stupid.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This is far and away the worst video transfer of a movie to DVD that I have ever seen. I own over 1600 DVDs. I've never seen a more poorly executed video transfer. What does that mean? The dark (and moody) scenes that appear shadowed and contrasted on a 30 foot screen show up as a black, blank screen, extremely low-definition as if my 32" high-resolution television screen had just been turned off. No, I don't have to change the contrast setting on my television for my other 1600 odd DVDs, and I am not about to change those settings for this one movie!

I am only glad that Walmart started their price war for one singular reason. I only ended up paying $10 for this all but unwatchable (in parts) DVD. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. doesn't really care, but you should! When you pay good money for a DVD movie, you should expect some quality. You won't find that here.

I am a great fan of the Harry Potter series, both the books and the movies. But this DVD is a great disappointment! Buyer Beware!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
One quick thing I love about it, the cover...I saw the DVD from the right side and I see Malfoy and Snape. Odd I thought, but cool. So I picked it up and from the left side, it looks like Harry and Dumbledore. I know it's trivial but its the little things I try to smile about.

If you've read the book you probably spent a good majority of the movie going "where did that scene go?" and yes there is a lot missing. The Half-Blood prince was simply too dense of a book to fit into a 2 hour movie. A lot of the book is building up to what happens and unfolds in the final book, I would have rather seen this film in two parts then leave out scenes (or add scenes like they did). I think for this movie to be fully enjoyed and understood, you would definitely need to read the book.

Spoilers Ahead (actually if you read the book these aren't spoilers, just things you might have noticed are missing): These are just some of the more important scenes that are left out: The final Hogwarts battle, Dumbledore's funeral, Sirius' property being stolen, Harry and Ginny's relationship and its ending, where are the older Weasley boys?. There are other parts that are gone, other reviewers have already touched on them.

I did give this movie four stars because I feel it did deserve it. One star because its a Harry Potter film, I enjoy the series. Another star for the chemistry between everyone. It was great, especially now since they are coming of age, hormones are running wild and love is blossoming, its a normal part of growing up. It also provided a great balance to the darkness that overtook the movie. Another star for the emotional conflict of Malfoy, it was excellent. He was able to get more screen time and we see his internal battle. And the last star for, the acting. I think everyone did a great job portraying the emotion or lack there of in the film. Except the ending, I felt more emotional reading the book than what came across on the screen. After a slight let down of this movie, now the wait begins for Nov 2010 for part 1 of the Deathly Hallows (or maybe not since it's the same director).
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26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2009
Format: DVD
*References to spoilers in book!*

It is difficult for me to give less than 5-stars for what I believe is a 6 out of 5 stars book. HBP, in my humble opinion, is one of the greatest of the Rowling series, as it gives a specific insight into the workings of the Dark Lord, and everything in Harry's life starts to make sense. I agree with previous reviewers that this is the darkest book yet, and I think that's one of the drawcards to reading this book. Dumbledore is Harry's protector, mentor, and in the end, the greatest sorcerer of all time; on the other hand, Snape's character is further developed and we are now finally forced to make the decision: is he, or isn't he??

-Good Things-
1) Jim Broadbent is an excellent selection for Slughorn, and his character is as jovial and unique as out of Rowling's novel.

2) I also believe this is the best performance by Michael Gambon as Dumbledore - he appeared too neurotic in the previous films, as Dumbledore is never supposed to be overly-nervous, as he always has an idea of what's going on. The scene in the cave is straight from the book, and we see Dumbledore exactly as Rowling had intended: a vulnerable person, just like everyone else. Plus, the setting was fantastic and very suspenseful.

3) Ron vs. Hermoine! Very enjoyable scenes between these two characters, adding extra humour to a very dark film.

4) Draco Malfoy's character is more prominent in this film, and viewers enjoy seeing a side of the younger Malfoy that perhaps is hinted in the previous films/books - overconfident on the outside, but different on the inside. This scene also shows a side of Harry's character that will further show in the final film.

-Bad Things-
1) For goodness sakes, WHY do they see it as their prerogative to change CRUCIAL sections of the book?? And then add other useless junk?? The waitress - completely unnecessary scene, as we get many glimpses of Harry's developing maturity in other scenes. It made no sense to add it. The fire at the Burrow - this is just plain ridiculous. The Burrow is the place of Harry's salvation, where the Order meet on countless occasions, etc. etc. I don't understand why they chose to burn the place up - where do they propose Ron's family live for the Dealthly Hallows dialogue??!

2) One thing I am really disappointed was removed from the films was the story of Neville's parents. They were NOT killed by Bellatrix Lestrange (as the previous film hinted) - and there was a key scene in this film that gives the background to Neville's determination to prove himself in the final book. Mr. Weasley's attack was removed completely. Moreover, there was what would have been a very funny revival of a glimpse of Lockhart connected with these events - I for one like these references back to earlier books, and am not happy with this exclusion.

3) They also seem to have removed the older Weasley boys from the movies, and this is not acceptible, as Bill, Fleur, and Charley play a key role in battle against the Dark Lord, and Bill's attack by the warewolf gives further credit to their parts to play. The upcoming wedding also sets the scene for the Deathly Hallows and I am sadly thinking perhaps this will be completely removed from the next film.

4) The pensieve scenes, including very interesting flashbacks, were also omitted. They were what makes the Dark Lord's story make sense, and the key flaw in his character. I think more time should have been invested into this story of Tom Riddle, rather than scenes that were not even in the book, and were silly to add.

5) Also, one word: SNAPE! WHY do they cut his role??! Alan Rickman is fantastic, and enjoyable to watch as Snape. They should retain his role, and stop putting his scenes on the cutting room floor.

So, why 4 stars?? Well, it is overall a good enough film, and it is enjoyable to watch. I am nit-picky as someone who has read the books several times, and has really enjoyed the intrigute story behind Harry Potter and Tom Riddle, so perhaps get a bit over-excited about scenes that are not specifically important. It is still a great film to watch, and it will certainly be interesting to see if they retain all the key parts of the final novel - since they're filming the final book in two films, let's hope they're doing this in order to keep all the important content and not simply for revenue raising.
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