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Early Reviews and a 12-Minute 'Harry Potter' Preview

Now that Transformers, Public Enemies, Wolverine and Terminator have all come through the summer blockbuster meat grinder, it's time to focus all of our attention on the long-awaited return of our favorite boy wizard, Harry Potter. For those of you out there simply dying to see more of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince prior to its July 15th release date, the good news is the recent 12-minute HBO First Look is now online for you to watch, love and obsess over.

Split into two parts (and available on YouTube here and here), the First Look features tons of clips from the upcoming movie, as well as interviews with the cast and filmmakers. Half-Blood Prince just started screening for the press, and the buzz is extremely high – to the point where some are saying that this Potter film could be the first nominated for a best picture Academy Award. I know it's crazy to even think of such a thing, but with the new Oscar rules allowing ten nominees, and with Potter nearing the end of his cinematic journey (resulting in larger, darker, more adult films), I wouldn't be surprised if this one found its way to Oscar's doorstep – especially since this is the last solo Potter film before the two-part Deathly Hallows finale.

Here are a few quotes from some early reviews:

"David Yates has learned from his mistakes and here he turns in the most confident, stylish, individual, warm-hearted and witty Harry Potter yet." – The Sun

"I was blown away like a Quidditch player on a supercharged broomstick. Not only that, halfway through, I'm thinking the unthinkable: Ten academy awards are available this year ... hmm, I wonder ...." Paul Dergarabedian, Hollywood.com

"Dazzlingly well made and perhaps deliberately less fanciful than the previous entries, this one is played in a mode closer to palpable life-or-death drama than any of the others and is quite effective as such." -- Variety

"The more human side of the story covering the interplay of burgeoning romances doesn't interfere with what is essentially an action extravaganza, making it a great all round viewing experience." - Pink News

So, who's excited about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince now?

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