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New DVD Releases for December 8, Including Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Public Enemies, and Julie and Julia

What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday

Want a new movie to curl up with this week? Today's DVD releases offer something for everyone. (And If you've seen a film you love lately, give it a review in the Movie Reviews Group — I may even feature it on the site!)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
With anticipation building for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — did you check out my sneak peek? — I fully intend on watching the most recent chapter one more time. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hasn't been my favorite movie in the series, thus far, but I still enjoyed it due to the special effects and the raging hormones between the main characters, which was fun to watch. This time Harry is coping with his godfather's death and the pressure of Hogwarts, so the themes are decidedly darker (and at times, even scary). If you're a fanatic, check out the two-disc version which includes a peek at Universal's "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park. I've already seen a short preview of the place, but I'm excited for a more in-depth look!

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Two more DVD releases to check out when you read more.

Public Enemies
What better way to spend your weekend than with Johnny Depp? He's the big draw of Public Enemies as a rebellious 1930's gangster in Chicago trying to escape from FBI agents, particularly Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale). While I didn't love some of director Michael Mann's techniques which often felt too Hollywood-slick, Depp (and Marion Cotillard as his love interest) make the film well worth watching. Even as Depp wields his gun and takes lives, you question whether his bad-guy motives aren't so bad after all — the sign of a truly good performance. The 2-disc version includes several behind-the-scenes featurettes.

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Julie & Julia
Director Nora Ephron's Julie & Julia tells the parallel stories of Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and blogger Julie Powell (Amy Adams) who tried to recreate every recipe in Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of a year. It's a cute movie, but the main reason to watch is for Streep. She's completely charming as the larger than life chef, and in my opinion, she turns in one of the best comedic female performances this year. The only downside: Adams's Powell plot gets overshadowed. As for special features, I bet YumSugar will appreciate this: the Blu-ray version includes a tour of Julia's kitchen and cooking lessons!

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