Harry Potter Mania

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Ever since the first Harry Potter movie came out years ago, Harry Potter has become part of the holiday season. The movies are played on TV as part of holiday lineups, and generally a Potter movie is released around the holidays in theaters or on DVD. I guess it's all the magic and snow that makes them seem appropriate for the season.

This year, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is new on DVD and Blu-ray, and the studio has incorporated the magic of BD Live. Did anyone else catch the chat with Daniel Radcliff and director David Yates over the weekend? On Saturday afternoon, the two chatted with Blu-ray owning fans during a screening of the movie. Apparently, there was a way to listen to the audio, but we couldn't get that to work, so we just had to read all of the questions and answers as the chat was happening. Daniel and Dave answered questions from fans (via a moderator) about the movie, life on the set, and more. The whole thing was pretty fun, but would have been much better with audio or especially if there had been an ability to see them as they were answering questions. Looking at how studios are starting to use Blu-ray capabilities, though, it's interesting to think what the future of interactive viewing will be like.

In addition to the Live functionality, the sixth Harry Potter DVD also contains a wealth of bonus features, many of which focus on the actors. They talk about everything from the movie to the famous people they've met to sports and more. The most interesting feature to our family, though, is the featurette on a year in the life of J.K. Rowling. Viewers get a glimpse into where she came from and what she is like. How fascinating it is to get such a close-up look at someone so famous and mysterious. She actually seems to be very down to earth and an all around nice person; someone one wouldn't begrudge enjoying all the wealth she has come into thanks to her own impressive imagination and astounding writing skills.

Fans of the Harry Potter series will also be excited by the exclusive new footage from the next Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The movie is set to be released November 19, 2010, just in time for the holidays.

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