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Out of Context Reviews (Harry Potter Edition)

a_hotter_potterIt’s only Friday, but it’s already pretty clear what this weekend’s big box office winner is. Okay, it’s very clear. And guess what? We called it — Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This is the film that promises: “Dark Secrets Revealed,” which is probably only half true and only if you haven’t read the book.


If you aren’t one of the people who has already contributed to its record-smashing, one-day worldwide draw of $104  million, should you hop back on the train to Hogwarts? Let’s see what the experts say. Exclamation points, series fatigue and thoughts about a hotter Potter — after the jump!



New York Magazine‘s David Edelstein says that even though “Harry Potter feels so … 2008,” the film is “splendid!” [Ed. note: exclamation point his] Although, he does wish Emma Watson weren’t so pretty.

LA Times critic Kenneth Turan says Potter is like an “old shoe,” so expect more of the same, but in a good way,  even though you’ll have to endure icky teenage romance. He sums up the Potter phenom as “cozy tales told around a cinematic campfire that have managed to reach out to the world.” Whatever that means.

Over at Variety, Todd McCarthy says this time Potter is more medieval than fairy-tale, and that “assessing the romantic entanglements is not nearly as much fun as simply beholding the big physical changes in the young actors.” Hmm…

Hater Manohla Dargis of the New York Times thinks that “gloom … has settled onto this epic endeavor like a damp, enveloping fog and at times threatened to snuff out its joy as terminally as a soul-sucking Dementor,” and disses one young actor: “Mr. Radcliffe in particular proves incapable of the most crucial cinematic magic.” She wonders, “seriously, can we get on with it already.” Patience, dear Manohla. It’s not too long ’til the final Potter flick hits theaters — in 2011.

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