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Harry Potter is the most successful film franchise in history, and is a series which gets better and better with each installment. In the latest release from Warner Bros. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," we are treated with more darkness as we get closer and closer to the final confrontation between Harry and the evil Lord Voldemort. Director David Yates, who came on board with the fifth Potter film, also delivers fantastic comic relief and romance.
The start of the movie feels fast, with Death Eaters wreaking havoc by attacking both the magical and the Muggle world, collapsing the Millennium Bridge in London. To the Muggles, the Death Eaters look like dark mist spiraling down from the sky.
And suddenly, Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) appears on a railway station platform to get, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), who has just scored a date with a cute waitress. But sadly, Harry never makes the date. Instead, Dumbledore demands that Harry come with him on an urgent mission.
Dumbledore and Harry apparate to the Muggle village and enter a house that looks as it though it was broken into or attacked by Death Eaters. This, we find out, is where retired Potions Professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), has been living.
Dumbledore uses Harry to trick Slughorn into returning to teach Potions at Hogwarts, all in the hopes that Harry will pull a clue about Voldemort â€“ who was once known as the star student Tom Riddle - from the professorâ€™s memories. It is a memory which Slughorn is utterly ashamed of, and therefore one which he would rather pretend never existed.
And then romance gets added to the mix! Harry develops an interest Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), who is currently dating Dean Thomas (Alfie Enoch). Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) shows her true feelings for Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), who has his own issues in dealing with his girlfriend/stalker Lavender Brown (Jessie Cave).
Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) gets a larger and more important role in the sixth film. Malfoy, who has been branded with the Dark Mark, has been charged with a task by Voldemort. Using the Vanishing Cabinet in the Room of Requirement, Draco is able to sneak Death Eaters into Hogwarts castle, which has a fatal effect on Dumbledore at the end of the film. Â
Harry, also known as the "Chosen One" and who it becomes clearer and clearer as the film progresses truly is the only one who can defeat Voldemort, manages to retract the memory of Tom Riddle from Slughornâ€™s mind. Through viewing this memory, Harry and Dumbledore learn that Voldemort has made himself nearly impossible to defeat by splitting his soul through murder and placing the pieces of his soul into objects called Horcruxes, a skill taught to him by a very reluctant Slughorn.
Dumbledore and Harry apparate to a cave deep inside of a dangerous cliff in search of one of these Horcruxes so that they can destroy them, and thus finish off Voldemort. This they manage; however, more danger awaits the two of them during the following confrontation between Dumbledore, Draco and Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). While the Death Eaters sneak into Hogwarts castle through the Vanishing Cabinet, Snape shows his â€œtrueâ€ colors and kills Dumbledore. Harry is now left alone to find the remaining Horcruxes and defeat Voldemort. One thing Harry wasnâ€™t counting on though, was that his best friends Ron and Hermione would never let him go at it alone.
Composer Nicholas Hooper, cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel and designer Stuart Craig help to deliver a beautiful constructed film. David Yates allows the characters and the plot to grow and become more complex with exceptional special effects. And Screenwriter Steve Kloves does a wonderful job in his addition of new scenes such as the attack on London's Millennium Bridge and his use of humor sprinkled perfectly throughout the movie.
Hard-core Potter fans will love to see that the Marauderâ€™s Map, Quidditch, the Hogwarts Express (check), Seamus Finnigan (Devon Murray) exploding potions and Luna Lovegood with her Spectrespecs and Quibbler have all made it into the film!
The Half-Blood Prince is to date the best Harry Potter film in the series. This is a film that millions of fans and newcomers to the series will love!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is released on July 15th in select theaters in 35mm and Imax.