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Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince On DVD (which means, Dark Video Dark)

Updated on December 14, 2009


I’m not embarrassed to say that I read all of the Harry Potter books. What started out as a quick read while on business trips quickly began a thirst as I’ve never had before (well, not since the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew). Although the later books became much too large to take on quick business trips (I read the final one in one weekend with nothing by my side but some water and a box of thin mint Girl Scout cookies). I’ve also seen all of the Harry Potter movies and what I discovered was that the same way I felt about the books (Loved book one, didn’t care for book two, etc.) is the same way I felt about the movies. But when the Half-Blood Prince came out on DVD although I didn’t really care for the book as it felt like it was just one big setup for the final book, I decided I should get it because although I went to the theatre to see it, I really didn’t remember much about the movie version. Only after watching at home did I discover why I didn’t remember much about it, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on DVD (which means, dark video dark) – Don’t Get Me Started!

I’m not talking about the storyline when I talk about the movie being “dark.” I’m talking about the actual film. As I sat in front of my television first squinting and finally just giving up and making pretend I lived during the heyday of radio, because it was like watching a radio show, I realized the reason I couldn’t remember much about the movie from the theatre was that I couldn’t see all of it there either due to the dark lighting/cinematography. You could hear something going on but there was nothing but a black screen on my television. I get being artistic but this just seems like artistic masturbation (you know, where no one but the person who creates it is getting anything out of it). What amazes me is that studios let films like this out of their hands before correcting what seems to be a fundamental flaw.

What is the point of the set and costume designers busting their butt when their work won’t be seen? If you think I’m exaggerating I suggest you rent a copy of this movie (don’t buy it unless you want to be as frustrated as I am at owning something I’ll never try to watch again and trying to figure out how to re-shrink wrap it to give it to someone else for the holildays). I’m not talking a little dark I’m talking sometimes more than two minutes of black screen with voices. Perhaps it’s a new cinema style that is allowing us to imagine what is going on but I doubt it.

The thing that filmmakers need to remember is that unless someone can actually see their vision, it’s  a bit like a tree falling in a forest when no one’s there, who the fuck cares if it makes a noise or not? That’s exactly how I feel about this movie, the many dark sections tainted the rest of the movie for me as well because just as I was getting into what was going on, the screen would go black and I’d roll my eyes waiting for a scene that was outside in the snow hoping that the whiteness of the snow would reflect enough light for me to see the scene. When you pay $10.50 for the movie at the theatre and $19.99 for the home version I don’t think it’s asking too much to be able to actually see the movie, do you? Well, obviously the gang responsible for the latest Harry Potter don’t feel the same way. And financially speaking, I guess they don’t care since they got my money both in the theatre and on the DVD so they’ve made their money but come on, wouldn’t it be nice to actually let someone see something? Oh I’ll see the other two movies when they come out but if they’re as dark as this current one, they can count me out on buying the DVD. Maybe they should just save their money and release the audio book instead of going to the expense of filming a movie so dark that no one can see it? Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on DVD (which means, dark video dark) – Don’t Get Me Started!

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      Sue 6 years ago

      Totally agree I made the mistake of watching the Deathly Hallows Part One on Sky Box Office, and I ended up squinting at the TV Screen trying to watch what was going on.

      It only seems to have been like this since David Yates started Directing the Films.