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Now or Then – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince or Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince or Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?” width=”560″/>

Now: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)Then: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a new Harry Potter movie in town. True to the increasingly dark nature of J.K. Rowling’s epic novel series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the darkest of the films yet, its plot packed with sinister boy assassins and shocking revelations of evil, not to mention a climactic tragedy. The last movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, wasn’t exactly chopped liver either. So how do these latest two entries in the beloved boy wizard series stack up against each other?

Harry as Rebel
Half-Blood Prince: For his Potions class, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) procures a used textbook with valuable notes and revisions from a mysterious former student known as “the Half-Blood Prince.” But the book is risky business: Some of its spells can cause grievous bodily harm, and his friends are convinced the book can cause great evil.
Order of the Phoenix: When Harry uses a “Patronus” charm on two Dementors, he gets in serious hot water for underage wizardry, almost winding up expelled from Hogwarts in the process. Careful, Harry…
Winner: Half-Blood Prince. The genuinely unpredictable mystery of the “Half-Blood Prince” (it may not be who you think) is way creepier than the weird political infighting that dominated the last movie.

The Love Interest Who Isn’t Hermione
Half-Blood Prince: Harry’s starting to get feelings for kind and supportive Ginny Weasley, even though she already has a boyfriend.
Order of the Phoenix: Harry shares his first kiss with Cho Chang (Katie Leung). Alas, she winds up betraying Harry and his secret army of wizards.
Winner: Neither. We prefer our Harry Potter movies as un-John-Hughes-like as possible. More action, please!

A New Teacher with a Dark Side
Half-Blood Prince:
Oddball Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) is a recently-unretired teacher
of potions and holds a secret memory involving a former student who
would become Lord Voldemort.
Order of the Phoenix: Initially
appointed to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, sadistic Dolores
Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) soon becomes Headmistress and ruthlessly
punishes anyone who dares oppose her.
Winner: Half-Blood Prince. Dolores Umbridge makes for a great villain, but Horace Slughorn’s troubled memories send chills up our spines.

The Verdict
Winner: Half-Blood Prince is the way Harry Potter movies should be: Creepy, understated, and artfully mysterious. Do we really have to wait ’til 2010 to see what happens next?

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