'Half-Blood Prince' a blue blood addition to the Harry Potter franchise
- PHOTO GALLERY / HARRY POTTER / CLICK HERE
- VIDEO / ALL LUNA LOVEGOOD'S SCENES IN "HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX" / CLICK HERE
- STORY / EVANNA LYNCH KEEPS HER FEET ON THE GROUND AMID HARRY POTTER HYPE / CLICK HERE
- STORY / DUMBLEDORE BECOMES A REAL-LIFE FATHER AT 68 / CLICK HERE
In "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood," Prince J.K. Rowling’s magical saga takes a dramatic step closer to its final resolution.
In the latest episode (which opens nationwide today), the evil Lord Voldemort’s power is growing and his followers, the terrifying Death Eaters, have been emboldened by his return.
The new film, directed by David Yates, starts out a little bumpily, jumping suddenly between real-life London and the secret magical world of witches and wizards, but as soon as Ireland’s Michael Gambon appears in the role of Hogwarts' kindly schoolmaster Dumbledore, the film hits its stride.
“I expect you’re wondering why I called on you tonight,” Dumbledore says to Harry after he appears out of thin air at a train station in London. “Actually sir, after all these years I’ve learned to just go with it,” Harry replies. Like Harry, we have also learned to just go with it too, and what a wild ride this latest installment turns out to be.
If the choices we make eventually define us, then this latest summer blockbuster is the darkest examination to date of what can happen when we make the wrong ones. For the first time, Harry Potter is not the only “chosen one.” His rival, the evil young Draco Malfoy, has been selected by Lord Voldemort to assassinate Dumbledore. It’s a dangerous task that Malfoy may not have the will to pursue, but the set-up powers the drama from beginning to end.
Parents might want to take note that as the Potter series matures, it becomes more adult in its action and themes: "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" contains moments that could unnerve younger viewers. To offset all the darkness, the filmmakers have decided to play up the budding romances between the main characters — but shocking confrontations are never far away.
Reprising her role as the lion-hearted Luna Lovegood, Ireland’s Evanna Lynch, 17, is once again pitch-perfect as the teenage eccentric. Lynch, who still lives in Drogheda when not filming, made her acting debut in "Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix" and was a dedicated fan of the books before she was selected from over 15,000 other young hopefuls through an open casting call in 2006.
This time out, we get to see Harry’s growing affection for Luna, the otherworldly girl who wears shoes to bed because she frequently sleepwalks. And when he’s stuck for a date to bring to Professor Slughorn’s Christmas party, he straightaway thinks of his oddball friend.
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