December 9, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II, III & IV • Page 19 Harry Potter fans to find bonanza among new releases by Dennis Seuling The big release this week is “Harry Potter and the HalfBlood Prince” (Warner Home Video). In this installment of the enormously popular series, Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) mysteriously appears to enlist Harry’s assistance in convincing reclusive Professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), once a teacher at Hogwarts, to return. His memories about a former student, Tom Riddle -- who grew up to become the dreaded Voldemort -- are needed to help determine how to defend against and banish the evil entity once and for all. A lot of screen time is spent on flirtations between Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), and Harry and Ron’s sister, Ginny (Bonnie Wright). Fellow Hogwarts student Lavender Brown (Jessie Cave) also has eyes for Ron. These tepid romances do not really go anywhere, and are tossed in out of deference to the novel and the fact that the Hogwarts trio are beginning to look pretty old not to have an interest in romance. As with the previous Potter films, this one is visually stunning, even though director David Yates has gone for a more somber palette. With its combination of spectacular vistas and dazzling computer graphics, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is a beautiful-looking film. Though Radcliffe does not shine as brightly as in previous Potter movies, and Watson has been relegated to practically an extra, Broadbent is a welcome addition. This is an actor who effortlessly conveys the essence of whatever character he is portraying. His Professor Slughorn is intelligent, absentminded, guarded, mysterious, troubled, and fearful, as required. He commands attention whenever he is on screen. The major problem with “Half-Blood Price” is that it’s a Ron (Rupert Grint, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) in ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.’ transitional film, promising but not yet delivering the good stuff. It is often ponderously talky in an attempt to keep the viewer up to speed, but memories are short. The script assumes a lot of knowledge on the part of the viewer, and only a devoted reader of the books will easily recognize nuances and foreshadowing. The three-disc combo pack contains Blu-ray, DVD, and digital versions of the film. Extras include additional scenes, a mini-bio of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter Books; 60-second descriptions by the actors of their characters; an interview with the actors; and a documentary covering one day on the set. Also available from Warner Home Video are two ultimate editions, in Blu-ray or DVD, of the first two Potter features: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” Both are fourdisc box sets containing theatrical and extended versions, 48-page photo books with never-before-seen images, character cards, and a collection of extras that should make the most devoted Harry Potter fan happy. “Dog Eat Dog” (IFC Films) is an exciting tale about low-level employees who try to move too quickly up the “corporate” ladder. The brutal crime boss El Orejon (Blas Jaramillo) rarely leaves his luxury high-rise apartment in Colombia’s notorious drug cartel capital of Cali, preferring to keep an eye on the city streets via the many telescopes that line his walls. When fed-up, underpaid street soldiers Victor (Marlon Moreno) and Eusebio (Oscar Borda) decide to double-cross the boss on a cash collection shakedown and gun down his beloved godson, the crime lord dispatches every murderous gangster and merciless thug in the city, and even a voodoo priestess, to eliminate the desperate pair. This raw, violent film directed by Carlos Moreno pulls presents a grim, cold-blooded world in which money is king and lives are expendable. There are elements here of Quentin Tarentino’s films “Scarface” and “No Country for Old Men,” particularly in the icy way those in power dispatch those who cross them. (continued on Crossword page) Your Affairs are your Business ...we just want to cater them. 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