Movies: When Harry Potter Met Sirius

The Potter franchise has a new director, a zestier spirit--and a bunch of kids entering puberty

Seems ages ago--but it was less than 2 1/2 years--that folks were seriously debating whether The Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter films would make the more enthralling adaptation of fantasy literature. That competition was over--declared a forfeit, really--as soon as the respective first installments appeared: the Gandalf wizard movie vanquished the Harry wizard movie in thrills and technical splendor, artistry and maturity. But in the values Hollywood understands, worldwide box-office income, the first two films from the J.K. Rowling books outperformed the first two Tolkien films, $1.84 billion to $1.78 billion. Reason enough to continue with the education...

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