It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
After a lonely summer on Privet Drive, Harry returns to a Hogwarts full of ill-fortune. Few of students and parents believe him or Dumbledore that Voldemort is really back. The ministry had decided to step in by appointing a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher that proves to be the nastiest person Harry has ever encountered. Harry also can't help stealing glances with the beautiful Cho Chang. To top it off are dreams that Harry can't explain, and a mystery behind something Voldemort is searching for. With these many things Harry begins one of his toughest years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Written by
Professor Umbridge, though she teaches in a classroom that has appeared in films two through four, inhabits an office vastly different from those of her predecessors. The set was redressed with "fluffy, pink filigree," including a carpet that cost £50,000 to make, and a number of plates upon which moving kittens were animated in post-production. A 24-hour photo shoot was held to photograph and film the kittens for use on these plates. Even the elegant quill which Umbridge gives Harry to write lines using his own blood was designed by the set designers. See more »
When Dumbledore says 'Don't you all have studying to do!?', the door alternates between being wide open and closed, several times through the scene. See more »
I don't know about you, it's just too hot today, isn't it? And it's going to get even worse. Temperatures up in the mid 30's Celsius, that's the mid 90's Fahrenheit, tomorrow maybe even hitting 100. So please, remember to cover up and stay cool with the hottest hits on your FM dial.
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The ending credits are presented in the same typeface as Professor Umbridge's numerous educational decrees. See more »
JK's biggest book to the screen, mission impossible? Mission accomplished!!!
For the avid Harry Potter reader the whole suspense leading up to HP Order of the Phoenix can be summed up in the word "how". How are they going to translate a nearly 900 page book to the screen, how are they going to tie together a storyline that in the 5th book breaks into dozens of streams like a mighty river coming to its delta.
This seemingly impossible task is well accomplished by astute summation of plot and concentration of action. Also, the heart and soul of the book, i.e. the thematic spirit of the story and Rowling's shining gift for characterization are given the fullest support in this film more so than in any previous HP movie.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix basically involves Harry being persecuted by the government for telling a truth they refuse to believe all while dealing with the same feelings of teen angst and emerging love that any ordinary teen finds stressful and consuming. Only through the love and dedication of family and especially friends does Harry come across the means to fight back against the government, elude his enemies and make some sense of his emotional turmoil.
Most reader's will come out of the theater saying "I wish they had shown this or that." However, all will leave satisfied that they have been treated to a faithful rendering brilliantly acted and directed. All the HP movies are a "good watch" but in this one we get a great movie.
We have the advantage of going to our HP movies with a non-reader and she was, to say the least, blown away and pronounced it a near classic. My daughter and myself have read and reread the books many times over and came out limp from exhilaration, our keen anticipation very much fulfilled.
A few highlights: The acting is best ever. The three principles push themselves to a new level. My favorite new characters were Imelda Staunton as Delores Umbridge, excellent (you'll love to hate her) and Natalia Tena as Tonks. Natalia is sheer delight. She is the penultimate punk rock witch girl(think Dead Milkmen here). And Helena Bonham Carter is in her medium (she played the witch Morganna in the movie Merlin) as the dangerous and demented Bellatrix LeStrange.
Battle scenes: breathtaking. Commraderie: The only HP that actually caused me to get teary so heartfelt are the portrayals of friendship and family.
See the film knowing that unless you want a 10hour movie some things are going to have to go. Leave having enjoyed a film that takes the beans and water and instead of a nice large coffee treats one to a perfectly concentrated, most artfully brewed and extremely tasty espresso. It has been said before but truth is truth: BEST YET!
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