Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

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Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

MPAA Rating: PG

Director: David Yates

Review Rating: 8

 Harry Potter and his friends are back for the 6th year at Hogwarts, where Harry learns more about Voldemort’s dark past and discovers a book entitled “this book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince”.

So. This HP is actually much better than the previous one, although I could just be completely biased in despising Umbridge and the movie that killed my favorite character Sirius Black. HP 6 seems to delve back into the human (or witch/wizard if you must) side of these characters, the fact that our adorable little heroes are now approaching the opposite sex romantically, and not so much darkness and death. Note that in HP 6, Voldemort at the height of his power in full snake mask is hardly seen – rather, they concentrate on him as he was when younger. There is of course the tragic death of Dumbledore (don’t anyone whine at me, that hasn’t been a spoiler for some time), and that is the one complaint I have about this movie – where the heck is Dumbledore’s wake? If it’s in the next movie, fine and dandy. But they cut off the ending of HP 6 abruptly, almost breathlessly, as though to try and heighten the anticipation of the next movie. Which, lets face it, Harry Potter does not need. Controversy around HP 7, or the last book being split into two movies or whatever, gives the franchise plenty of interest still.

So Harry’s back at school and Snape’s been elected to Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher finally. Horace Slughorn, arrogant and simpering, joins us Potions teacher and pivotal coward that Harry tries to turn at Dumbledore’s request. Remember those memories for Dumbledore’s silvery bowl? He needs just one, a particular one that Slughorn’s trying to hide, and asks Harry to get it for him. And Quidditch! Everyone’s favorite game is finally back in the movies, along with romance between Harry and Ginny (finally), and more rocky fun with Hermione and Ron. Draco actually manages to pass off looking genuinely scared even as he tries all year long to kill Harry Potter. And of course we have the left members of the Order of the Phoenix up against Death Eaters, who, in a memorable opening scene tear up a wire bridge just to get at the Muggles!

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Remember the magic and delight of the first few Harry Potter movies? It’s back in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince!

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