I have to commend your fanedit on a technical stand point in terms of video and audio quality. The cuts have been smoothed out and the integration of the deleted scenes is unnoticeable, tremendous effort on the cutting of the “choir” scene. The colour correction for the most part looks good, with some scenes looking absolutely fantastic. The “start-of-term feast” and “Quidditch tryouts” scenes come to mind improving on the variety of colours but maintaining a dark overall mood. The removal of the green-haze which plagued the original is gone for the most part, however this has affected the colour of the slytherin robes in some scenes (potions class, start-of-term feast) appearing blue rather than the standard dark green. Although this in my opinion can be completely overlooked as the footage looks stunning.
Unfortunately, (and this is due to a lack of available footage) the film suffers from being quite slow and tedious at times. This is not a fault with your edit it is a problem I have even with the originals portrayal of “story”. I even find it hard to sit through my own edit, in which I was much harsher in cutting and re-ordering scenes and dialogue. However I have to say that your edit does add more weight to Dumbledore’s demise (cutting allusions to Snape) and strengthening the overall narrative. Any Potter Fan looking for a complete and more enjoyable experience over the original will find pleasure here. This film will always been the black sheep for me; short, anti-climatic action scenes, dodgy attempts at humour, unrealistic and out-of-character love scenes (which you nicely did away with.) My experience with “The Half-Blood Prince” is boredom in simple terms, my passion for the books and earlier entries into the film franchise were the only things that held my interest when I first saw the theatrical cut. It weakened my interest for “Potter” for a long time and shied me away from the series in general. But your technically sound cut of the movie and the experience of helping you along the way has re-kindled my enthusiasm for “Harry Potter” and I thank you deeply.
This edit does not seem drastically different from the original film but this is mostly on account of the fact that Threepkiller has executed each change with care and precision. The cuts and modifications are seamless with very little noticeable audio or video transitions where there shouldn't be. The removal of the Burrow on fire is well done and while the scene remains anticlimactic the whole sequences now plays much better in the context of the film.
Where this edit really shines is the inclusion of several essential deleted scenes, again seamlessly integrated. Another nice touch is a complete re-grading of the films color scheme to remove green tint. In some cases the color skews too far to the red (such as in the opening action scene with the collapsing bridge) but the majority of the time it enhances the film's Oscar-nominated cinematography. This edit has now become my go-to version of the film to watch, over my DVD Copy.
I was initially worried that attempts to cut the teen drama would fail. I was wrong. The edit flows naturally and seamlessly improves this film by quickening the pace and removing awkward lines and stares. The addition of deleted scenes was marvelous; the choir cuts were excellent. The only thing that stuck out was an overly-loud word spoken by young Tom Riddle in the first flashback. Additionally, Threepkiller's removal of the awful green tint makes a few scenes almost black and white; however, this is not a problem unless the viewer is overly attached to the official cut. Otherwise, this edit is superior to the theatrical. I would recommend this version over the original: it's not too different and yet enhances the source material immeasurably.
Coming into this film after my favorite in the series, The Order of the Phoenix, I was massively disappointed when I first watched it in the cinema. Re-watching after having seen the whole series, it fares better, though it’s still disappointing. I’d attribute this to two main factors: that OotP was the sole HP film written by Michael Goldenbaum, and also that several of the performances in this film get very campy at times, which is completely at odds with the overall darkening tone and serious plot of the movie.
This edit blessedly cuts many of those lines and moments, though there’s still far too much Lavender for me. The film would be much stronger with her simply as a footnote, a catalyst to bring Ron and Hermione together. Her and the girls gawking over the love potion could be trimmed, her train scene could be cut, shots of her at lunch after the breakup could be cut, etc. Ron’s dopiness after the love potion could also be trimmed. Thankfully, most of the cringingly awkward scenes between Harry and Ginny are cut. On the other hand, all the great deleted scenes are added back in. So overall, the narrative flow of the film is made clearer, although I would’ve liked the further hints at the cabinet to have been included, as well as Harry and Snape on the Astronomy stairway.
The edit looks great, as the reverse-engineering of the godawful green color-correction of the film has allowed otherwise gorgeous cinematography to really shine here. The video editing flows very well, and audio has been patched in nicely. It’s technically a marvelous edit, it just comes down to narrative choices. As well as what I mentioned above, I also missed the waitress intro, for example. I know some fans don’t like that it was added after the book, but I thought it was a great glimpse of the normal world serving as a friendlier place for Harry, where he was starting to come into his own and could get his mind off the wizarding world. And it also sets you up to wonder if Harry is truly safe in the muggle world, and who might seek to find him there. This works well when paired with the Deatheater attack on the Weasley house, and it's burning (cut from this edit) which shows their vulnerability.
It's actually an improvement on the book, where we only heard about things like this happening to wizards but none of the main characters were directly affected. So these omissions didn’t serve any purpose for me. So in the end, while this improves on the theatrical version of the film, it’s not quite a perfect edit, yet. Maybe a version 2.0?