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Abbreviations Abound, But Potter's Still Pretty Good

  • Dec 20, 2007
No one who has stated that this film feels like a "Cliff's Notes" version of the wonderful J.K. Rowling novel, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is wrong. They are 100% correct. With that said, however, I must admit that I still enjoyed this film. For fans of the books (like myself), this film could be very brutal at times, eliminating the bulk of the tale in order to swiftly move to the primary story. In essence, this film paid lipservice to most of the parts of the book that didn't deal directly with Harry.

As a film, this movie is enjoyable. It moves at a very swift pace and never gets too boring. The action scenes are well done and the acting is, as a whole, very good. The music was also very good, although it isn't too hard to emote "dark and gloomy" when it's all over a film. The special effects were, as expected, brilliant. It was nice to see the Dursleys back on the screen, no matter how brief their moment was.

It's nowhere near five-star quality, but it does progress the film series along fairly well. I have a few gripes that I believe need to be addressed. Firstly, the film seems to be lacking heart, which was central to all of the previous films. As highly developed as these characters were through the other movies, this one seemed to detach the viewer from the players on the screen. Another problem is that key moments that were included were often treated lightly or in a careless fashion. There are also a few editing choices that give the film a disjointed feel. My biggest gripe was the treatment of some of the new characters like Tonks, Luna Lovegood, and Bellatrix Lestrange. These are three of the most imaginative characters that Rowling put on paper and of them only Luna gets decent screentime. Tonks, played by the lovely Natalia Tena, pops up, says a few lines, winks at Harry, and then makes a few funny faces before being brushed by the wayside. Helena Bonham Carter was perfectly cast as the wicked Bellatrix, but she snarls at the camera, does the "deed" she's expected to do in the film, and the sings her way off into the sunset. I completely understand that the director and screenwriter were trying to compound a very big book into a reasonable running time, but I felt as if they just tossed a coin to decide what stayed and what had to go.

Could the movie have been better, yes, but it's still not as bad as a lot of films out there. Like I stated before, a lot of the story was cut from the book to give this film a reasonable time limit. I just feel as if the parts that were excluded were done so rather carelessly. Compared to the other Potter films, it's a three star movie. Compared to other fantasy flicks that have come out lately, it's three-and-a-half stars.

If you're a Potter fan, buy it and enjoy it for what it does have in it. Otherwise I'd just keep it as a rental.

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy-adventure film directed by David Yates and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, and is written by Michael Goldenberg and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. The story followsHarry Potter, a teen wizard in his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as the Ministry of Magic refuses to believe the return of the Dark Lord Voldemort, and so appoints bureaucrat Dolores Umbridgeas a teacher at the magical school. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint andEmma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The supporting cast featuresRalph FiennesMichael GambonImelda StauntonGary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter.

Live-action filming took place in England and Scotland for exterior locations and Leavesden Film Studios inWatford for interior locations from February to November 2006, with a one-month break in June. Post-production on the film continued for several months afterwards to add in visual effects. The film's budget was reportedly between £75 and 100 million ($150–200 million).[2][3] Warner Bros., the distributor of the film, released it in the ...

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