Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

So I went to the 6:15 AM IMAX 3-D showing at the Irvine Spectrum with my dad and some of his friends and there were roughly 80 people in the theatre. Niiiice!

I’m probably the most satisfied with this book’s adaptation because it’s the one I remember the least. When I first jumped into Harry Potter, books 1-3 were already out and by the time I had finished book 3, book 4 was available and I readily devoured it. But after that, it was a long wait for this one, and I was even slower in reading it. So bits and pieces of it flashed back to me while watching the film, but not as much as, say, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (see my movie review)

The flame communication special effect was different this time around and I’m not sure why….

Didn’t the Thestrals (the invisible horses attached to the chariots that carry students from the Hogwarts Express train station to Hogwarts proper) look a lot like hippogriffs? But, you know, like dead emaciated hippogriffs? Eh, no quibbles really, just curious.

I loved seeing the stag much more clearly in Harry’s Patronus charm. I’m glad they were able to include it.

The beginning of the movie threw me off a bit as I couldn’t remember exactly that we weren’t in one of Harry’s dreams and that it was Dudley standing there in silver chains.

Speaking of dreams, I really enjoyed the way Harry’s nightmare’s were pulled off, but some of the transitions into those dreams were awkward. The only one I can think of now is where Ron, Hermione and Harry are all laughing at Ron’s lack of emotional depth and then it kind of cuts to black and we’re in Harry’s nightmare. A lot of the transitions in the first hour/hour-and-a-half felt really awkward like that.

I loved the final battle…it felt really kinetic and was an awesome illustration of what was happening in the book. My only quibble is…

Spoiler Alert! (place and hold your mouse over the bar to see)

Bellatrix Lestrange used the Stupefy curse to knock Sirius into the mysterious archway (a jet of red light signifies either Stupefy or Rennervate according to Wikipedia). I guess the filmmakers made it the Avada Kedavra curse to simplify the plot – can’t muck about with Harry wondering, "Where did Sirius go?" and such. I was also really sad when Sirius is showing Harry the family tree and starts saying things like, "When this is all over, we can be a proper family". DAMN YOU J.K.!

And of course, I can’t talk about the film without screaming about the pink, cat lady: Dolores Umbridge. A fantastic villain that demonstrates the dangers of politics and fear mongering, I was so happy when her character gets…oops! Almost gave it away! Don’t worry, she gets hers in the end.

The only musical pieces I can really remember are when the Weasley twin’s tear up Hogwarts with their fireworks and some of the credit music (really fun guitar licks), but I really enjoyed the underscoring – it was all well done.

Oh. And I’m frustrated because I have to see the movie again because half of the dialogue was imperceptible. No it wasn’t noisy in the theatre…it was just too damned early for understanding a think British accent.

I don’t like 3-D movies very much unless it’s a battle scene because my eyes must be all screwed up or something. Unless my eyes are constantly bouncing around the screen, I start to see through the 3-D illusion, which is very frustrating. Also, I just think it’s hilariously cheesy how they have to cue the audience into using the glasses with flashing symbols on the screen. Hilarious.

Every time I looked at Maggie Smith (Professor McGonnagol), I whispered a silent hope that she doesn’t die before the films are finished. We already lost Richard Harris…don’t make us replace another lead actor (even if her parts are very small).

All in all, a very enjoyable film.

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