Monday, July 23, 2007

movie review monday: harry potter and the order of the phoenix

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

Young wizard-in-training Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts for his fifth year of studies, only to find that the magical community seems to be in a curious state of denial about his recent encounter with the sinister Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in the fifth installment of the popular fantasy film series based on the best-selling books by author J.K. Rowling. Rumor has it that the dreaded Lord Voldemort has returned, but Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy) isn't so sure what to make of all the hearsay currently floating around the campus of Hogwarts. Suspecting that Headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) may be fueling the rumors regarding Voldemort's return in order to undermine his authority and lay claim to his job, Fudge entrusts newly arrived Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) with the task of tracking Dumbledore and keeping a protective watch over the nervous student body. The young wizards of Hogwarts will need something much more effective than Umbridge's Ministry-approved course in defensive magic if they are to truly succeed in the extraordinary battle that lies ahead, however, and when the administration fails to provide the students with the tools that they will need to defend Hogwarts against the fearsome powers of the Dark Arts, Hermione (Emma Watson), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Harry take it upon themselves to recruit a small group of students to form "Dumbledore's Army" in preparation for the ultimate supernatural showdown. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

This movie was fantastic but I think we're at the point in the series where you won't be able to fully enjoy it if you haven't seen or read at least a few of the preceding stories. There's no real character introductions, characters from past story lines have reappeared, and there is no explanation of the background of the relationship between Harry and Voldemort. With that said, don't let it keep you from enjoying the magical world of Harry Potter. Just go rent a movie or two and THEN go see it. That's what me and K did.

I saw the first Harry Potter movie when it came out because I was enthralled with the idea of a children's movie having such a big budget and looking so well made. The special effects were pretty unusual for being used in a kid's story and I thought it was great how it raised the bar for other children's movies. Ever since the first Harry Potter movie, children's movies look completely different from just a few years before that particular release. Then, because I loved the story so much, I read the book. Harry Potter has been a guilty pleasure ever since. I don't think there is a real Hogwarts hidden someplace and I haven't ever dressed up as my favorite character, but I have enjoyed each book and do have a copy of number 7 in my possession now (thanks to my dad's trip to Costco after I realized my preorder from Amazon wasn't due to arrive until this Wednesday at the earliest).

The book, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix is quite long. There are parts of the book that are not really in the movie at all and other pieces that don't carry the same weight on screen as they do in the book. Nevertheless, I felt it was a good representation of the most important parts of the book and I enjoyed it tremendously. The thing that was cool for me was some of my favorite things that happened, such as the room Dumbledore's Army used to practice in, were done beautifully and right up to my imagination's standard. K hasn't read any of the books and he really enjoyed the movie. I think he'd like to go see it again and maybe in the IMAX presentation. That'd be fine with me!

If you're at all familiar with the series, I must ask, why haven't you seen the movie yet? :)

Rating: three of four stars.

No comments: