Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

harrypotter6pic47[1] by you.
Harry, Do These “Horse Fancy” Magazines Belong To You ?

Hello Everyone !
~ Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner ~
Today’s Spellbinding Tale:  Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince

Everybody’s favorite boy wizard is back, working his movie magic once more in
what can only be called a breathtaking extravaganza !!!  Hmmm…  Wait just a
moment.  Can I still call this dude a “boy” wizard ?  That’s like referring to Don
Rickles as a “boy” comedian !  Or calling Joe Biden a “boy” vice president…  At
any rate, “Harry Potter” has returned (albeit a little long in the tooth).

Speaking of long in the tooth… What on Earth has happened to Maggie Smith ?
She again plays the Professor of Transfiguration “Minerva McGonagall”, who we
first met as an old, shaggy pussy of sorts.  (Remember her taking the shape of
 a feline in “The Sorcerer’s Stone”) ?  Now it appears as if she is trying to pass 
some stones after morphing herself into Bette Davis from “Hush… Hush, Sweet
Charlotte”.  This geriatric gal’s a grumpy psycho !!!

When Prof. McGonagall graces appears on the screen in “Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince”, I audibly said “Oh, My GOD !”, as little kids in the audience
started shrieking…  And then, they have the audacity to give this film a “PG”
rating.  Whatever.  LOL !!!  If she would smile once in a blue moon, she would
not look so Hagrid.

Headmaster “Dumbledore” arguably doesn’t look much better.  He kicks off our
flick by flying Harry around the town like the “Ghost of Christmas Past”, telling
the fledgling wizard to hang on to his cloak.  Dumbledore’s hand appears to be
 horribly mangled, and we soon learn why…  He bopped Perez Hilton upside the 
noggin after the gossip queen outed him earlier this year !

Our elderly heroes still manage to totally rock though, and I love ’em for it !
They again join forces with Harry and the gang, and despite their advanced
age, everyone is still filled with adventure.  Watching these child stars grow
up has been a real treat !!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Mickey by you.
Mickey Rooney as “Harry Potter”


Shirley by you.
Shirley Temple as “Hermione Granger”


Danny by you.
Danny Bonaduce as “Ron Weasley”


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


To those of you still untouched by Harry Potter (I was going to put a Michael
Jackson joke in there, but it’s probably too soon) Harry’s a young wizard who
goes to school at an enchanted place called “Hogwarts”.

This campus is a beautiful, whimsical castle where portraits come to life and
fairies dance in the garden !!!  At least that’s what the brochure says.  Truth
be told, I would NEVER let my kids go there…  It’s basically the portal to hell.
But with staff trained in the art of the “liability waiver”, no one really cares !

Samuel L. Jackson did.  Once.  However he was quieted with a “Shuthimupo”
potion.  Sam had burst into a parent/teacher conference screaming, “There
Are Mother F**king Snakes In This Mother F**king School !”  (The teachers
 then drugged him and tossed him on a plane next to a strange package).

With danger (and dead students) around every turn, it’s a small miracle that
Harry Potter hasn’t gone stark raving MAD !!!  If this were real life, the poor
kid would have some heavy issues.  Aside from dressing like Marilyn Manson
and becoming a fan of “Twilight”, he would most likely start smokin’ grass.

 Yep.  Grass !!!  The Devil’s Lettuce !  He’d get high to escape the horrors in 
his life.  We would be treated to flicks such as “Harry Pothead and the Bong
of Bewitchment”, or perhaps “Harry Pothead and the Half-Baked Prince”.  He
would inevitably land in prison.  Then we would have a TV series called “The
Wizard of Oz” !

Anyway, foul deeds are afoot as the dreaded “Voldemort” sends out his scary
minions to supplant Dumbledore and company (with an agenda most sinister).
After killing Harry’s parents years ago, moldy Voldy now wants him dead too !
What a creep…

Villains like to recruit bullies, so Voldemort finds a sucker in vile young “Draco
Malfoy”.  Draco is one of Potter’s schoolmates, and he’s always been jealous
of him.  But jealous of what ?  Potter hangs out with hideous trolls and some
old fellow in a dress (not to mention he’s got a HUGE red scar on his head) !
Maybe he is envious of his sporty wardrobe ?


harrypotter6pic4[1] by you.
Abra…  Abrac…  Abercrombie !!!


Gandalf Dumbledore and his protege have to embark on some sort of journey
that will involve finding a piece of cheap jewelry, in hopes of using it to stop
the dark forces plotting their demise.  After hittin’ all of the pawn shops and
several garage sales, the guys are about to give up empty-handed…

Luck does eventually shine down on our pals, when a parched Dumbledore
sucks all of the water out of an ornate birdbath.  He almost pukes, but the
tawdry bauble they have been hunting for is at the bottom !!!  Next time, I
would suggest “eBay” !

In addition to finding this treasure, Potter has to stay on his guard with an
odd educator who came out of retirement recently…  He wants to “Collect”
Harry.  (So that’s what they’re calling it now) !

To make matters worse, Harry is falling for Ron’s little sister “Ginny”.  And
Hermione is starting to fall in love with Ron !  (Ginny states that it’s about
  time, and I’m inclined to agree)…  They hit puberty back in 1942, so things 
are loooong overdue.  

 Rounding out our colorful cauldron of characters, we have “Luna Lovegood” 
(a rather quirky breath of fresh air) and the mysterious “Severus Snape” !
The cracked-out Stevie Nicks wannabe “Bellatrix Lestrange” also returns for
 good measure, played yet again with fiendish glee by Helena Bonham Carter.

Truly a joy to behold, J.K. Rowling’s imagination is brought to vivid life once
 more in glorious fashion…  “Harry Potter” done with an art house sensibility.
(Sometimes awash with vibrant hues, and at other times reflecting a silent
film with grainy sepia tones) !

Credit must be given not only to director David Yates, but to his brilliantly
evolved cast.  The only fault this movie has is that it’s nothing more than
a bridge (connecting books five and seven).  Aesthetically very appealing
but lacking clear resolutions…  However, there is hope hidden deep within
the shadows, promising to one day answer all of our questions.

I did love “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, Hogwarts and all !!!


Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “8.5” out of “10”




Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

 megan-fox-transformers-2[1] by you.
I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up !

~ Hello Everyone ~
Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
Today’s Autobotography:  Transformers: Revenge
of the Fallen

  The sizzilin’ summer of 2009 continues to plow full speed ahead with  
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” tearing up the theaters !!!  It
 is “Indiana Jones” meets “The Fast and the Furious” !  And (in some
  places) it is rather along the lines of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” meets 
the “Paris Hilton Sex Tape” !

Shocking but true.  Yes, here at “Critical Corner” that sort of thing
qualifies as quality entertainment !  For some odd reason, this new
“Transformers” installment features not one, but TWO dog humping
 scenes !  Oh, Michael Bay.  How you can delight and horrify at the
same time amazes me.

 I haven’t seen anything quite like this since the DVD of “Underdog:
 Unrated and Unleashed” came out !!!  Even before that, there was
  “Cujo: The Caligula Cut”.  These pooches really need to get a room.
  May I suggest “Hotel for Dogs” ?

 A sequel to 2007’s hugely successful “Transformers”, “ROTF” brings
 back all of our favorite robots !  Hmmm…  Let me see…  I dig these
 movies but I can’t remember every single name.  Heck, let’s give it
  a try !  There’s Dynamo and Megabot.  Um…  We have Supertramp 
 and Doppelganger…  Also Nickleback !!!  Isn’t there a Lion-O !?  My
 favorite is Star Search.  LOL ! 

   Once again, these characters (more or less) join forces with Megan 
   Fox and Shila Boof (or whatever his name is) in yet another grand 
   adventure.  This time around, our heroes have to battle an ancient 
  evil !!!  It just so happens that the Decepticons (bad robots) have
  been hiding out on Earth for centuries, waiting to wreak havoc on 
   the unsuspecting planet… 

 Sneaky buggers.  No wonder they are called “Decepticons”.  They
 even beat up on some innocent cave-dudes…  It almost made me
 feel bad for bashing “10,000 B. C.” !!!  Anyway…  These malicious
 machines are running amok, and there’s only one power that can
 stop them…  The Autobots !!!  To the uninitiated, the “Autobots”
  are good robots that transform into cars and other vehicles.


 ironhide[1] by you.

 Phew…  I’ve Got Some Bad Gas !


 * Warning:  If you are not enthralled yet, you probably should just 
    stop reading this…  Go watch “The Queen” and sip on some tea !!!    
 (I will admit, Helen Mirren earned the hell out of that Oscar).

  Leading the Autobots is one mean Mother Trucker they call “Optimus
  Prime” (voiced by Peter Cullen) !  He is just a tad worried because his
  arch-enemy “Megatron” has been pulled from his watery grave by the
  deplorable Decepticons and resurrected.  While doing so, they had to
  remove an octopus from his face !  Wait…  Maybe I’m thinking of that
“Paris Hilton” tape again.

    Prime starts to sweat diesel when he discovers Megatron is in cahoots
    with “The Fallen”, a metallic monster that wants to devour our sun !
     Talk about heartburn.  All of the “Pepto” in the universe couldn’t even 
begin to touch that.

     Meanwhile, back in the human’s world, Shila Boof plays Sam Witwickey
      (no, that is not a “Harry Potter” character).  He is way bummed to find 
      his brand new life at college interrupted by villains taking the shape of 
      assorted appliances and modes of transportation.  Sam’s also feeling a 
     little blue due to the fact that his girlfriend Mikaela (foxy Fox) is miles

      So what’s a guy to do ?  Experiment of course !  He hooks up with a 
      random chick packing “more than meets the eye” !!!  Yep.  Sam acts 
      shocked when the truth comes out…  “She” is actually an evil robot 
    with a long snakelike tongue (or something) that chases him around
     the campus.  Guess that’s what you call a “Transgender” !!!  “Rocky
    Horror” in disguise !!!  Surprisingly, no one throws up.


     Don’t Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was A Bot Like Me ?


   Adding to this total insanity are Sam’s parents, crashing the scene “Old
   School” style.  His dad is just a big kid, and his mom accidentally ingests
   some pot and starts hitting on young studs !

     But before these hijinks can continue, our gang is whisked away to Egypt
    (of all places) to fight a giant vacuum cleaner.  Sam’s hand ends up being
      bandaged…  Yet they never really say why.  We are just led to believe he 
      was injured while en route to the Great Pyramids.  I don’t buy it.  In truth,
   he was probably bitten by Christian Bale !

      Against a harsh desert landscape, the Decepticons prepare to unveil their
        dastardly secret weapon.  Fortunately, Sam is packing a “secret weapon”  
      of his own…  A sockful of magic fairy dust !!!  I’m not exactly sure why it 
    works, but it does.  Maybe the Decepticons are allergic to it ?

       Major butt-kicking ensues after Optimus shows up with the Autobots and  
     the US Military.  There is one scene where it appears that Prime is dead…
       Several military guys run frantically towards his now lifeless hull, all whilst 
       someone brandishing a gun is screaming “Cover Optimus!”  (They proceed 
    to throw a blanket over him).  Classic !!!

      Plenty of blood and oil is spilled as gargantuan contraptions smack each
       other down in front of the Sphinx.  The Autobots eventually exhaust most
      of their possibilities, but they plod forward fueled by a vision of justice !!!

       When this film ended, I was just staring off into space, drooling.  Perhaps
       I went to “Robot Heaven”, a place Sam has the honor of visiting.  Let me
        honestly tell you, “ROTF” doesn’t make one lick of sense.  They should’ve 
      called it “ROFL”.  Nonetheless, it still manages to be ten tons of FUN.

        To be fair, movies like “No Country For Old Men” do not make much sense 
        when all is said and done either…  The Coen Brothers forgot to give that 
        little cinematic experiment an ending !  It was lauded as brilliant because 
        everything was left up for “interpretation”.  “Transformers” also leaves a 
       few questions unanswered,  but it somehow managed to get a gruesome
      public drubbing…  Go figure.   
        Despite the poor reception, audiences across the globe seem to be taken
        by the film’s undeniable charm, myself included !  OK.  The plot is nothing
        worth writing home about.  But who cares ?  This flick boasts spellbinding
       special effects, a memorable cast and an abundance of witty dialog…  If
          possible, try not to focus on the junk in the trunk !

          Blemishes aside, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” never falls flat !!!


        Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

          Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “7” out of “10”