DVD of the Week: 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'; plus: 'Public Enemies,' 'Julie & Julia,' 'The Cove'

The Harry Potter series continues strong as ever with this sixth installment, which some argued took the title of best Potter movie away from Prisoner of Azkaban thanks to its beautiful cinematography, matured characters and sly humor. This time at Hogwarts the wizards and witches are hooking up, and while he’s dealing with his own crush on Ron’s sister, Harry has to keep an eye on crafty Snape and Draco and extract a secret from a new teacher, Slughorn.

 
Director David Yates deftly weaves big, effects-laden scenes with smaller, more intimate moments, keeping an even pace. And while the magic never takes a back seat per se, it serves as more a backdrop and accent than as the movie's focal point, making the whole thing feel more authentic.
 
Extras: Tom Felton hosts “What’s On Your Mind,” a rapid-fire Q&A with the cast on their likes/dislikes; 6 minutes of extra scenes, digital copy, more. Wanna watch with Harry? Tune in and watch in real time with Daniel Radcliffe and director Yates via a BD Live Community Screening at 12 p.m. PST Dec. 12. Register via Warner Bros. BD Live website.
 
Also new:
 
Julie & Julia Meryl Streep takes on the role of iconic chef Julia Child.
 
Public Enemies Christian Bale is an FBI lawman in hot pursuit of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) in Michael Mann’s intriguing, if cold, digitally shot film about the 1930s legendary criminal.
 
The Cove Heartbreaking look at a massive annual dolphin slaughter by Japanese fishermen. Have the Kleenex handy.
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