Magic wand in hand, Peter Travers takes on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in this week’s At the Movies. Rolling Stone‘s movie critic is a fan of the sixth film in the Potter series, which again stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. But it’s the bad wizards that have captivated Travers: the wondrously sneering Alan Rickman as Snape, whose role is increasing in importance; and Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy, the bully with a crisis of conscience. The film is shot spectacularly, and Travers is hopeful that Potter may knock Transformers 2 out of Number One at the box office and become the summer’s most successful movie.
Also out this weekend (and worth a trip to the theater) is (500) Days of Summer, a romantic film that really works. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a greeting card writer who falls in love with his boss’ assistant, Zooey Deschanel, and their break-up is traced over a period of time that comes in spurts — each scene is a random day.
While Tranformers 2 will remain in the Scum Bucket as long as fans continue to flock to the theater to see the blockbuster bomb, it gets some new company in the Bucket this week: the trailer for The Ugly Truth starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. The preview alone reveals a desperate attempt at cuteness. Travers vows to visit the theater to see the flick and review it for real — but be forewarned, this looks like a dog.
Travers wraps this week’s video with a letter from a Transformers fan who wrote in proclaiming the robot sequel the best movie of the summer. Travers’ response: “I don’t regret hating it at all.”