Tag Archives: English

Movie Review: ‘The Half Blood Prince’ is a worthy succesor

23 Jul

2vs56s9

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (PG) 153 min.

 

cinemagrade A-Okay, I’ve been sitting on this one awhile. Being incredibly busy and having a ton of films to write-up, I haven’t gotten much chance to post lately and wanted to be able to hit several at once. So, consider this the first of a flood of new reviews rolling out over the course of today and tomorrow. And there is no better place to start than with David Yates’ newest inclusion in the Harry Potter series.

I saw HP6 last Thursday and it took me a few days to parse exactly how I felt about it. Admittedly, it took me a little while to warm up to this new Harry. I have enjoyed all of the Potter movies, including the two that jump-started the series, and I’ve read all of the books. In particular, I remember devouring Half-Blood Prince shortly after returning from my honeymoon; sitting curled up next to my wife in our small but cozy apartment, caught up in this tale of the ‘Boy Who Lived’ and his growing battle with ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’. Continue reading

Advertisements

Movie Review: Biel, Firth and Thomas make ‘Virtue’ easy to like

8 Jun

easy_virtue

Easy Virtue (2009) PG-13. 93 min. Directed by: Stephan Elliot. Written by: Stephan Elliot and Sheridan Jobbins. Starring: Colin Firth, Kristen Scott Thomas, Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes. Cinematography:Martin Kenzie. Original music by: Marius Devries.

cinemagrade b

Stephan Elliot’s adaptation of Noel Coward’s  Easy Virtue is the epitome of summer art-house; light, frothy, frequently bombastic and as enduring as a popsicle in August. And for most of its running time it’s a perfectly refreshing bit of blockbuster counter-programming. Elliot, the director of the quirky Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (and not much else really) takes all the best satirical bits from Coward’s 1924 play and adds a few new wrinkles to update the plot. He also manages to nab an eclectic cast that include pros like Kristen Scott Thomas and Colin Firth (not slumming it for a change) and the luminous Jessica Biel, who while slightly miscast, shows acting chops not previously seen. With the help of  cinematographer Martin Kenzie, who captures the idylls of posh British manor life in bright, lush details, Elliot crafts a fast-moving, witty comedy that maximizes its cast but ends up minimizing the strength of Coward’s observations by dilluting the tale’s substantial edge. Continue reading