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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (+ BD-Live + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] by Directed by David Yates
Review by Charles Mohapel
Warner Home Video Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B000ZELISO
Date: 30 December 2009 List Price $35.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: IMDB.com / Full Product Description of This Version / Show Official Info /

Having read the book and enjoyed the film in the theater, I was eager to see what fantastic bonuses were waiting for me on the 2-disc version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Blu-ray.

Directed by:
David Yates

Writing credits (WGA):
Steve Kloves (screenplay)
J.K. Rowling (novel)

Cast (Cast overview, first billed only):
Daniel Radcliffe ... Harry Potter
Rupert Grint ... Ron Weasley
Emma Watson ... Hermione Granger
Jim Broadbent ... Professor Horace Slughorn
Robbie Coltrane ... Rubeus Hagrid
Michael Gambon ... Professor Albus Dumbledore
Maggie Smith ... Professor Minerva McGonagall
Alan Rickman ... Professor Severus Snape
Bonnie Wright ... Ginny Weasley
James Phelps ... Fred Weasley
Oliver Phelps ... George Weasley
Julie Walters ... Molly Weasley
Mark Williams ... Arthur Weasley
David Thewlis ... Remus Lupin

While watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (+ BD-Live + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] a number of times in quick succession, as dramatic as the death of Professor Dumbledore was at the hands of Professor Snape was on the screen, it somehow paled against my memories of reading it in the book. That said, Director David Yates executed it very well.

In "Maximum Movie Mode", the "Focus Points" offered insights into the making of the movie, some of them a lot more interesting than others. One of my favorites was "The Millennium Bridge" which was very cool because of the photographic equipment used as well as the combination of techniques utilized to create the final shot. Another one I liked was "Wool's Orphanage" where Stuart Craig (Production Designer) talks about the front of the orphanage being an homage to David Lean's Oliver Twist (1948). Given that David Lean also directed The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984), this homage is a nice sign of respect. It was interesting watching "Aragog Returns" with Nick Dudman (Make-up & Creature Effects Designer) talking about constructing the massive body of Aragog and how this version differed from the one made for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

While "Close Up with the Cast of Harry Potter" is enjoyable, there is no single featurette that stands out from the others.

Watching the preview of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with David Heyman (Producer) and David Yates (Director), due in theaters, Part 1: November 2010 and Part 2: July 2011, it was an all too short and tantalizing sneak peek of good things to come.

"JK Rowling: A Year In The Life" by James Runcie (Writer / Filmmaker) was a truly fascinating view into the past of Joanne Rowling and her life now with second husband Dr. Neil Murray.

Viewing "The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Orlando Resort" was one of the featurettes that got me really excited. In the behind-the-scenes tour of some parts of the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Orlando Resort, you can see the painstaking but loving attention that everyone involved pays to the smallest detail. From the scale models used before construction, to walkthroughs of the various buildings inside Hogwarts and in the village of Hogsmeade, everything looked so exquisite, I wanted to go there right now (just to escape Winter), even though I know that it doesn't open until Spring 2010. I don't know who performed the narration but it was superb.

From Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Blu-ray to the wealth of bonus features and the WB Digital Copy, this is one Blu-ray set to buy even if you're not a diehard Harry Potter fan.

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