Monday, July 16, 2007
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
So, I finally got to see the movie on Sunday. I went to the 10 am matinee. Get this: the theater was crowded! Not packed, but more crowded than I would have expected for a Sunday morning matinee.

Honestly, I have to say that this was my favorite HP movie so far. Granted, the first one is a classic and you can't beat it, but this is largely due to the fact that it was supremely faithful to the text. Fans of the books had no reason to dislike the first movie. The second movie was also pretty faithful, but it was my least favorite book, so it just sort of falls flat with me. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a really good book. I really like the story. The movie sucked, however. I know the critics just love Alfonso Cuaron's take on HP, but I thought it sucked. I didn't like the way "Moony" was so CGI or the way he so strongly resembled the CGI Scooby Doo. And, another complaint that I had was the way that the entire movie seems to take place in a single day, or less than a week anyway. I just didn't feel time passing like I should have and it distressed me. The Fourth, or Goblet, is easily one of my favorite books. To me, this is where the story really begins to get interesting. Goblet the movie was good. Definitely better than Azkaban, but it still fell short of making me completely happy and I believe that this is due to how much was left out of the story.

Phoenix, the movie, was exceptional. Yes, there were things left out of the movie that I would have liked to see included, but the movie didn't suffer for it. I would have liked to see more menacing by the Inquisitorial Squad, and more of Draco abusing his power. I would have liked to have seen Fred & George's swamp. I really missed the whole return of Rita Skeeter and her writing the exclusive interview with Harry Potter for the Quibbler. But, all in all, it was an excellent adaptation.

Now for the mechanics...

It was great to see the Dudders again. I thought it was funny to see him dressed like a hip-hop gangsta guy. Mrs. Figg was good, but I expected her to be a bit less fearful and a bit more batty. Kreacher was sufficiently nasty, though I would have liked to see Mother Black and him interact a bit. Jason Isaacs was again deliciously evil as Lucious Malfoy. I can't wait to see him get him comeuppance, though we may not get to see that. The end of this movie sort of left that part out. Imelda Staunton brought Delores Umbridge to life, right down to the little attention-getting cough. She was nasty, to be sure, but it was done a little more playfully than I would have chosen. She reads a little nastier, but she was a delight on screen and I loved seeing her getting into trouble with the Centaurs. The young actress who portrayed Luna Lovegood was excellent, really excellent. She managed to nail the dreamy/flighty/oddly serious and insightful Luna to perfection. Much screen time was given to her, so I suspect that we'll be seeing Luna again in Book 7. Alan Rickman was again amazing as Snape, and honestly, he is Snape to me. When I read the books, I see Rickman's face as Snape in my mind.

Helena Bonham Carter. Helena Bonham Carter. I think she's better as Belletrix Lestrange than Ralph Fiennes is as Voldemort. She is creepy, sick, twisted, ugly, sinister, malevolent. I think she's Belletrix the way Rickman is Snape for me. Perfect. She leaps off the screen and is flat out wicked, check the safety of your kids-wicked. Top Drawer performance, that.

Daniel Radcliffe has become a much better actor. I actually believed him this time when he portrayed Harry's anger. This may have something to do with the screenplay again, or the fact that Radcliffe is now old enough to acurately portray the emotion. I'm not sure. He only fell flat for me a couple of times. Rupert Grint is going to be an actor who survives these movies, I think. He is charming on screen and you can tell he loves the comedy. Every scene with him is a joy to watch. Emma Watson personifies Hermione Granger for me the way Rickman and Bonham Carter do with their characters. She is spot on perfect. In this movie in particular, we see a side of Hermione that is not quite so by-the-book and it is absolutely refreshing to see Watson never miss a step.

Frankly, I loved every minute of it and can't wait to see it again.


posted by Phoenix | 11:13 AM


At 9:23 PM, Blogger amelie said...

a bit sad, but, like ron, i was really hoping to see umbridge inspect mcgonagall's class ... ^_-

did i ever tell you that i had umbridge incarnate during high school as a student teacher -- fit every description in the book *perfectly*, and will forever be umbridge to me, no matter how good staunton was at it.

also, almost time for SEVEN! i'm not sleeping too well these nights...


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