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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Emboldened by the return of Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), the Death Eaters are wreaking havoc in both the muggle and wizard worlds, and Hogwart's is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) suspects that new dangers may lie within the castle, but Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. He needs Harry to help him uncover a vital key to unlocking Voldemort's defenses—critical information known only to the school's former Professor of Potions, Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent). With that in mind, Dumbledore manipulates his old colleague into returning to his previous post with promises of more money, a bigger office…and the chance to teach the famous Harry Potter.

This is by far the darkest picture yet in the series, and displays will be put to the test in order to resolve the murky but stunning visuals. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is just as impressive with well-placed discrete effects, superior dynamics, and great frequency response.

Death Eaters

  • Chapter 1, 0:01:58
  • Detail, frequency response, surround envelopment
  • Look at the detail in the overhead shot of London as the Death Eaters descend upon the city.
  • Listen for the plethora of discrete effects as the three Death Eaters race through the city and blast into Diagon Alley in search of their target.

Malfoy

  • Chapter 20, 01:33:45
  • Dynamics, surround envelopment
  • As Malfoy (Tom Felton) walks up the stairs, listen as his footsteps move about the room while the camera changes perspective. This scene isn't bombastic in nature, but it shows how much attention was paid to the finer details in the sound design.

Inferi

  • Chapter 26, 02:05:59
  • Shadow detail
  • In this sequence, look at the dimly lit backgrounds and the shadows cast across Harry's face as he helps Dumbledore unravel the mystery of the Horcrux.

Release Date: December 15, 2009
Studio: Warner

Movie: 8/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 9/10

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