“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” gets a new release date and a PG rating


Last night Warner Brothers released the last trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which finally hits theaters on July 15. Yes, July 15. WB moved up the release to a Wednesday. You know, to make up for pushing the movie back eight months, and to get a two-day jump on the one billion dollars these films usually earn.

There are a couple of fresh scenes in the latest trailer, including a particularly chilling one of Professor Snape breathing, “It’s over.” There’s also one of Hermione hammering Ron with a text book in the Great Hall. (You deserve worse, Won-Won!)

Each time a new Potter trailer is released, I am reminded of the extraordinary accomplishment of this franchise. They’ve not only been able to recruit (and keep) some of Britain’s finest adult theater performers, they have secured the same kid actors for all eight movies.

Only, I guess they’re not kids anymore.

That, itself, is a key to the magic of J.K. Rowling’s colossally popular books: Unlike the Pevensies in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, Rowling’s characters grow up. Part of the fun — actually, the only fun — in this go-round at Hogwarts comes from watching the romantic missteps of the hormonal teenagers at Hogwarts. The rest of the story is all doom and destruction and time travel via Pensive — and, of course, Quidditch.

Half-Blood Prince has earned itself a docile PG rating, a bit of a surprise when you consider the intensity of the trailer and the maturity of the book’s subject. (Even Muggle stuff is getting blasted to smithereens!)>

Of course, it doesn’t matter to me what the MPAA thinks about it. I’ll be beating up little kids at midnight to get a seat in the center of the theater. Will you be joining me? I’ll be the one in the “Marry Me, Hermione” T-shirt with crimson and gold trim.

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