Harry Potter and the half blood prince – Movie Review

harry potter and the half blood prince wall high definitionI was quite adamant to see this movie on IMAX and in 3D and not in some ordinary theatre. What surprised me was that the booking of the movie opened last month on the 15th. Yes, you read it right! That is when the enormity of the mania hit me. And to make things worse, the seats of the first week’s shows were filled within seven days! Yeah! Harry Potter is Britain’s Rajnikant.

*I don’t know why but I just imagined Harry wearing his glasses in Rajni’s style. Uff! That’s dizzying!*

Anyways, back to topic. So, how did I manage to get the tickets, you may ask. Well, none of my flatmates are remotely interested in Harry Potter series. Yeah! I know! Just don’t get me started on this. Its as if they have just been freshly transported from Mars. And, then I decided to go alone. Believe me searching for a single ticket is much simpler because there are always one or two single seats left here and there. And, so, I booked my sole ticket on the 1st of July.

I haven’t read the books. Now wait a second before you raise your eyebrows and widen your eyes. Its always better this way. A movie can rarely compete with a book. So its always good to watch the movie and then read the books. That way the movie won’t disappoint you. And that is why this movie was not at all disappointing.

The first 15-20 minutes of the movie are in 3D. So, if you have a 3D theatre near your house, its worth watching the movie there. Its amazing! Although frankly speaking, I don’t understand why the whole movie was not in 3D? Atleast the climax should have been.

Now, coming to how the movie was.

The trailer of the movie might have given you an impression that its a very fast paced and dark movie. Apparently, itsharry potter and the half blood prince wallpaper not. Infact, this might be the only movie of the series which was devoid of an over-doze of wizardry and action. It was more like a prelude of the sharp twists and turns which are about to come in the last two movies. I had a feeling that the director deliberately played it down. The climax was subtle, not rising to the chilling crescendo it reached in the previous installments. It was like the lull before the actual storm begins.

There was more romance in the movie. The kids acted well! The sets were beautiful. I loved the scene where Ron is kissed by Lavender Brown, much to Hermione’s distress. She walks away and sits in a stairway and Harry comes and sit with her. She had birds fluttering over her head whom she throw towards Ron as darts. Then, there was this scene where Harry gets a smack on the head for saying – “But I am the chosen one!”. There was definitely a substantial amount of humor, love potions and weird coloured glasses.

No. The movie was not boring. It had its own pace and you start enjoying it after some time. The story dwells into Voldemort’s past when he was a student at Hogwarts, the creation of the Horcruxes, Draco’s secret plans and Ginny’s and Harry’s love story(which started sooner than that in the book, they say) and the death of you-know-who. And yes, the tussle between Ron and Hermione continues with Lavender playing the third angle.

Not the most brilliant of them all, but worth watching none the less. And, oh yes, I missed the animated creatures. There were none except for a huge dead spider!

Rating – 3.5/5

Directed by – David Yates

Official Website – http://harrypotter.warnerbros.com/harrypotterandthehalf-bloodprince/

Best Hollywood Movie Series

I have not done any filmy post from a long time now and I am having a headache in my stomach because of that. I saw “The Mummy” and “Singh is Kinnnnnng” but didn’t feel like writing a review for either of them. Both of them gave me a terrible headache. I have been watching a lot of Hollywood Movies lately and as the sequel fever is catching up with Bollywood movies too, I wonder if we will ever get a “Maine Phir pyar kiya” of a “Dilwale Dulhaniya phir le jayenge” ? I would really do anything to see what happened to Raj and Simran.

Putting an end to all the wishful thinking, here is the list of my all time favourite Hollywood Series. Its a very personal list and don’t be disheartened if I have not included one of your favourites. 🙂

10. Back to the Future

Back to the future was released in 1985 and it went ahead to become the highest grosser that year. It was followed by its sequel in 1989 and the last movie of the trilogy released in 1990. The Sequels were not as successful as the first movie, but I enjoyed all the three movies thoroughly.

The movie revolves around the concept of time travel. In a time machine invented by Dr. Brown, Marty travels back to 1955 where he meets his parents when they were teenagers. He interferes with their first meeting. Now he has to make sure that his parents fall in love so that he is born otherwise he would be erased from the future.

The movie was funny and engrossing. In the sequel, Marty goes to the future to deal with his children who are grown up and directionless.

The movie has a 95% tomatometer rating and is at the 10th position in AFI’s Top ten Science Fiction movies of all times.

9. X Men

This series consisted of three superhero movies based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name. Each movie outgrossed the last movie and each sequel was more expensive than the previous. Hugh Jackman was a relatively unknown actor when the series changed his fortunes overnight. He plays the lead character of Wolverine who is drawn into the conflict between two groups of mutants. One group is headed by Professor Xavier who runs a school for mutants where they are coached to understand and control their powers. The other group is headed by Magneto, the evil mutant who wants to destroy mankind before they destroy him.

And all those who are thinking that the fun is over, hold your bad breath, because X Men Origins series are on their way starting with Wolverine and Magneto next year.

8. Pirates of the Caribbean

The first part of this trilogy was first released in 2003 and its success was completely unexpected. Walt Disney revealed after its unexpected success that a trilogy was on the way. The second movie in the series – Dead Man’s Chest, was an instant success and broke box office records all over the world.

The first movie was based on a theme park ride in Disneyland and people were expecting it to be a big flop but Johnny Depp(who played Captain Jack Sparrow) completely turned the tables. The name of Captain Sparrow will always remain synonymous with the movie. The movie follows the journey of Captain Jack Sparrow and a blacksmith Will Turner(played by Orlando Bloom) as they rescue Elizabeth ( played by Keira Knightley) who is kidnapped by the cursed crew of the ghost ship named Black Pearl.

7. Spiderman

This three movie series of the Marvel Comic superhero directed by Sam Raimi changed the fortunes of Tobey Maguire. The series was immensely successful and the third movie broke the opening box office records in 29 countries. All the three movies grossed more than 800 million dollars each at the box office.

The rights of the motion picture on Spiderman were purchased in 1985 but the first movie came up in 2002. The rights moved through many hands before they ended up in the lap of Sony Entertainment. How the movie finally saw the light of the day after a wait of 17 years is another interesting story which you can read here.

The bad news is that even after the success of all the three movies, there are no indications of a fourth part.

6. Shrek

This series consist of a total of eight projects out of which three have been already released. The series is based on a picture book of the same name by William Steig. The movie follows the unusual story of an ogre who is sent by Lord Farquaad to rescue princess Fiona who is locked in a tower guarded by a dragon. Shrek rescues the princess with the help of a talking donkey. The most hilarious part of the movie is the love story of the donkey and the dragon(who is a female by the way). And yes, who can forget the adorable puss in boots?

The movie dazzled with brilliant animation and a unique storyline. The third part of the series was panned by the critics saying that it was a normal movie trying to be an animation, but I liked it nevertheless. The movie boasts of so many unforgettable characters like the frog king, Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother and so many fairy tale creatures.

5. Batman

Batman movies have been there since a long time but the series being mentioned here is the reboot series directed by Christopher Nolan which started with Batman Begins in 2005 and exploded the screens with The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight holds the record of the fastest film to reach the 400 million mark. It did that in just 18 days. Christian Bale does full justice to the role of Batman in both the series and infact when the wears the Batsuit, you have a feeling that no one else could have done it better.

In Dark Knight, Heath Ledger as The Joker gave another dimension to the villain in Cinema, which is hard to equal. Its a pity that he passed away without seeing his own success.

And yes, before you ask, there is no sign of a sequel announcement.

4. Star Wars

Star Wars was conceived by George Lucas in 1970 which finally went on to become a six film series. The first three movies came in 1977, 1980 and 1983. The story takes place in a fictional galaxy consisting of super developed planets interacting with each other. “Force” is an energy form which can be harnessed by those who have the ability. The creatures who can harness the force for good are called Jedi and there is an academy to train them. But there is a dark side too which consist of those who misuse the Force. The are called the Sith. The first three movies follow the story of Luke Skywalker who is the son of the Dark Lord called Darth Vader.

The next three movies came in 1999, 2002 and 2005 which followed the story of Anakin Skywalker who is trained to become a Jedi since childhood but finally turns towards the dark Force to become Darth Wader. The series were immensely successful and had spawned a plethora of franchise.

3. Harry Potter

No, its not a series of 7 movies. Its 8. The last book(Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) is been split into two movies. So, three more to go!!! 🙂 Rowling sold the film rights for the first four movies to Warner Bros in 1999 for a reported 1 million pounds. She also insisted for keeping the primary cast as British and allowing casting of Irish actors as well. Steven Spielberg was supposed to direct the first movie but somehow that didn’t worked out. Apparently, Speilberg wanted the movie to be an animated series!!!!

All the five movies of the series released so far have been tremendous success and the next one ( Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) is slated to be released on July 17, 2009. Generally movies based on popular books divide the fans over the faithful creation of the movie adaptations and this series was no different. This is one reason I haven’t read the books yet. I don’t want to fall out of love with the movies.

2. Matrix

This series comprised of three movies in the science-fiction genre which were directed by the Wachowski Brothers. The first movie in the series came out in 1999 and I was verbally abused by my friends for choosing to watch Mann over this movie. I consider it the biggest mistake of my life.

All the three movies were critically acclaimed and successful but there are debates over the last movie of the series. The second movie( The Matrix Reloaded) is the highest grosser out of the three and set benchmarks as far action sequences were concerned. The series also inspired a new religious movement called Matrixism or “The path of one” by a group in 2004.

Personally, I don’t remember the number of times I have seen the movie. For days, I observed everything around me very minutely and was quite sure that we are living in a Matrix. Such was the influence of the movie on me. I used to think that the Matrix is mocking us by showing us this movie about what actually happened to us and still we could not make it out. An absolute favourite and a must watch.

1. The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings Triology consist of three live action fantasy epic films based on the book by the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien. The story is set in Middle Earth where a Hobbit named Frodo comes into possession of the One Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron. Frodo sets on an expedition to destroy the ring with 8 other companions with him.

The movie series is the Highest grossing series of all time right now and has grossed a total of $2.91 billions worldwide. The combined special effects of all the three movies stand at 3,420. The movie took 8 years in the making with a total budget cost of $280 million and was shot in New Zealand. In total, six million feet of film (over 1,100 miles) was edited down to the 11 hours and 23 minutes (683 minutes) of Extended DVD running time(and I am the proud owner of the extended DVD version). It won 17 Oscars out of the 30 it was nominated for.

I have seen all the three parts about 30 times each. So much that I can recite the dialogues while watching the movie and tell you the next scene in advance. My family was very concerned once because every time they used to see me watching a movie, it was LOTR. 🙂 I don’t think any other movie series would be the number one for me.

Those left out

There are many movie series which are not included here for the simple reason that I did not liked them as a package. For e.g. you may not find Indiana Jones here because the movie “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” was the worst one I have ever seen. The way India is portrayed in the movie is nonsensical.

Another popular movie series which is not in the list is Saw. I did not liked the third part. It was too gory. There are numerous more examples like – Hannibal, Home Alone, Scary Movie, Hulk, Resident Evil, Jurassic Park Series, to name a few.

p.s. A lot of information for the post was obtained from Wikipedia.