In this special episode of the /Filmcast, Director Marc Webb joins David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley for their review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. They also praise Paper Heart, Moon, In The Loop, and chat about Futurama’s precious voice actors, as well as the wisdom of a potential Aquaman film. 500 Days of Summer is out in select cities now and will expand wider in the weeks to come.
There will be no /Filmcast next week, but follow everyone on Twitter (Dave, Devindra, and Adam) to keep up with all the happenings at Comic Con this week!
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A Japanese comedy television show, Sanma Akashiya’s “Karakuri Terebi”, held a contest last month in which 10,000 of Japan’s biggest Harry Potter fans competed for a chance to travel to the UK and visit the set of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The show intentionally picked the strangest and most obsessed fan as the winner, a girl named Kana, and surprised her with a chance to meet and interview Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter).
Even though the interviews are only partially subtitled, both of them are still laugh out loud hilarious. You MUST check out the videos, embedded after the jump.
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It’s a slow news night, so I thought I’d post this report from /Film reader Joshua R about seeing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in D-Box seats.
For those who don’t know, a few movie theaters have begun installing these motion seats in select theaters. D-Box programs the seats to move in sync with the action during the film presentation. Many people are quickly writing off the seats as a gimmick — something that belongs in a theme park and not a movie theater.
Is it as distracting as it sounds or does it provide a unique viewing experience worth the extra ticket price? Read Josh’s quick review after the jump.
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[This is part four of a four-part series. You can also read part one, part two, and part three. This article contains SPOILERS for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but NOT for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]
Over the past seven days, I have plowed through 15 hours of Harry Potter movies in an attempt at exploring the cultural phenomenon of this series. Crucial to this adventure has been my complete unfamiliarity with the Harry Potter books. Unencumbered by the expectations and anticipations that accompany Potter-fandom, I tried to evaluate how well these films work as films in their own right.
The process of adapting thousands of pages of novels into a series of movies is undoubtedly daunting. The closest analogue in recent memory is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Taken as films alone, that series had flaws that are occasionally inherent to the adaptation process, especially for books set in a fantasy universe (as opposed to, say, a procedural crime drama by Grisham). For example, characters, whose rich back stories fill the books, were sometimes introduced with very little context, and story elements were occasionally confusing, since they could not be explained at length.
The Rings trilogy, however, had a lot of other things going for them to distract from their flaws as films: Stunning direction and a unifying vision by director Peter Jackson to guide every movie; epic and crowd-pleasing battle scenes that used state-of-the-art (at the time) special effects technology; the simple, underlying story of the bonds of friendship between Frodo and Sam; and the back-to-back-to-back event-style theatrical releases that took place during the holidays three years in a row. The Potter series has to deal with different challenges and after watching all six films in one week, culminating with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I am unfortunately more aware of its flaws than ever. Read More »
After breaking the all-time midnight box office record with $22.2 million on Tuesday night, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince went on to earn an estimated $58.4 million in the first 24 hours. But did it beat Transformers 2‘s huge opening day? And how did it stack up against The Dark Knight? Answers after the jump!
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Update: THR is now saying an estimated $22.2 million total from the 3,003 midnight performances.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince did record-setting business at midnight screenings on Tuesday night. The film made an estimated $20 million, which beats the previous record set by The Dark Knight ($18 million for those wondering). Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen broke the Wednesday night midnight record in June with $16 million.
Half-Blood Prince opens on the same Wednesday that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix had been released on in 2007. And as you might expect — Phoenix grossed far less, $12 million for the midnight shows, but went on to make $139.7 million by Sunday. Some box office analysts are predicting that Potter might have a chance to make close to $190-$200 million in the same time frame.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hits theaters on Wednesday. I got a chance to see the film last night and I think its the best film since Alfanso Cuaron’s Prisoner of Azkaban, which is my favorite of the series. I absolutely loved the cinematography, specially some of the connected/stiched one-shots. The character moments were just so much fun. I was really surprised that the movie was so much fun, especially considering how dark the marketing has been. Yates brought some of the magic and wonder back that was missing from the last couple films. There isn’t a lot of action sequences but you don’t really notice and it doesn’t really matter. This book, and the resulting film is more about the developing relationships and the backstory of Voldemort. I’m surprised they got away with a PG rating considering some of the violence (blood especially).
Discuss: What did you think of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? How does it live up in comparison to the rest of the series? I’d be interested to hear what fans of the book thought from an adaptation standpoint. What were your favorite parts? What didn’t you like? The spoiler doors are open, so feel free to talk about anything!
Want to know when new trailers for Where The Wild Things Are, Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Jennifer’s Body and District 9 are scheduled to hit? We have some updates after the jump.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Warner Bros has released five more international posters for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I mean, its not like the studio hasn’t already released 20 other posters. Oh wait, they have? Check the new one-sheets out after the jump.
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Warner Bros has sent over five new behind the scenes photos from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Check them out after the jump.
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