Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is entering his sixth year at Hogwart’s Academy for Witchcraft and Wizardy, and new plans are set in motion as the Dark Lord, Voldemort sends the newest Deatheater, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton of The Borrowers), to get rid of the biggest obstacle that keeps him from taking down Harry. The obstacle is Professor Albus Dumbledore (Micheal Gambon). One night, at a trainstop cafe in Little Winging, Harry makes a date with a lovely dark and exotic young lady, but is taken away by Dumbledore to meet up with a former instructor from Hogwarts, Professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent of The Borrowers). With some searching, they find Slughorn hiding out in a trashed muggle home disguised as a recliner. The Deatheaters are looking for Slughorn because he has information that might be Voldemort’s undoing. Dumbledore promises him the protection of Hogwarts, and Slughorn is taken on as the new potions instructor.

Over in Diagon Alley, many of the stores have closed due to the dark times and the threats of the coming war with the Deatheaters. The Deatheaters are making no secrets about their intentions. The war has even spilled out into the Muggle world, and the U.K.’s government has taken protection from the Ministry of Magic. The only shop that seems to be flourishing on Diagon Alley is Weasleys Wizard Wheezes. The twins took their winnings from the Quidditch World Cup pool and have created a business filled with magickal potions and pranks. One can find everything from exploding candy to love potions, which many of the teen witches have taken an interest in. Meanwhile, on Nockturne Alley, Narcissa (Helen McCrory) and Draco Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), and Fenrir Greyback (Dave Legeno) are looking to set their plan in motion through the use of a cabin that is currently on display at Borgin & Burkes.

Back at Hogwarts, we learn that Snape has finally gotten his dream job as Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor. MacGonagall (Maggie Smith) makes sure that Harry and Ron (Rupert Gint) takes a Slughorn potions class, and this lead to Harry finding a old advanced potions textbook with notes all over it. Clearly, the authors of the text did not know what they were writing about, but the student, known only as “The Half-Blood Prince”, did, and these notes lead Harry on to becoming a top student in potions. The first day, he succeeds at making a potion perfectly and wins a vial of “liquid luck”, which he supposedly uses later on Ron to help him get over the jitters of being a new Quidditch seeker. Another Griffondor Quidditch player, Cormac McLaggen (Freddie Stroma) has taken a liking to Hermione (Emma Watson), who is pining over Ron, because Ron has a new girlfriend, Lavender Brown (Jessie Cave). Add all the angst that comes with being a normal teen, let alone as magickal one whom is a target of a deadly dark wizard, one can see how crazy life at Hogwarts could be for any student going there. Slughorn has developed a little clique of his own, in which he invites top students to social functions, such as dinner parties and holiday gatherings. Harry develops a tight friendship with Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch), who always seems to give her support, even when Ron and Hermione can’t. He also has to deal with the relationship between Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) and Dean Thomas (Alfie Enoch), as he has a crush on Ginny. He and Hermione are pretty much in the same boat, but unrequited love is the least of their worries when it comes to Dark Lords and Deatheaters.

The movie is fast-paced, and features all the characters we love and love to hate, and keeps you guessing what might happen next, even if you have read the books. All of the Harry Potter movies are ones you can watch over and over again and never get tired of, and this one is no exception.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★★