The Harry Potter movies have always made money, but they haven’t mattered for years. Certainly not to people like me. They’re just big-budget cult movies that spin round and round inside their own CG-pumped fishbowl. I got off the boat five years ago (i.e., after Alfonso Cuaron ‘s Azkaban) and I’ll never get back on. Ever. I might feel differently if the producers were to venture out into the world and leave Hogwarts behind, but that’s never been in the cards.

Variety‘s Todd McCarthy, in any event, has reviewed the latest — Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Warner Bros. 7.15):

“Kids’ stuff is a thing of the past in [this entry],” he writes. “Suddenly looking quite grown up, the students at Hogwarts are forced to grapple with heavy issues of mortality, memory and loss in this sixth installment in the series of bigscreen adaptations of J.K. Rowling‘s Potter tales. Dazzlingly well made and perhaps deliberately less fanciful than the previous entries, this one is played in a mode closer to palpable life-or-death drama than any of the others and is quite effective as such.”

And yet Half-Blood Prince is rated PG rather than PG-13, he notes, and is the third-longest feature in the series at 153 minutes….good God!