Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Widescreen Edition)
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Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix (DVD) (WS)
A summer has passed since Harry's encounter with the Dark Lord, andHarry returns to learn that the wizarding community remains in denialabout Voldemort's return; the minister of magic believes that HeadmasterDumbledore is lying; and a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher hasbeen assigned. Now, with the entire wizard community in peril, thefuture of magic may depend on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.When the new professor, Dolores Umbridge's (Imelda Staunton--NannyMcPhee, Vera Drake), Ministry-approved course of defensive magic leavesthe young wizards woefully unprepared to protect themselves against thedark forces threatening them and the entire wizarding community,Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) urge Harry (DanielRadcliffe) to act. Meeting secretly with a small group of students whoname themselves "Dumbledore's Army," Harry teaches them how to defendthemselves against the Dark Arts.]]>
Alas! The fifth Harry Potter film has arrived. The time is long past that this can be considered a simple "children's" series--though children and adults alike will enjoy it immensely. Starting off from the dark and tragic ending of the fourth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix begins in a somber and angst-filled tone that carries through the entire 138 minutes (the shortest of any HP movie despite being adapted from the longest book). Hopes of winning the Quidditch Cup have been replaced by woes like government corruption, distorted media spin, and the casualties of war. As the themes have matured, so have the primary characters' acting abilities. Ron (Rupert Grint), Hermione (Emma Watson), and especially Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) are more convincing than ever--in roles that are more demanding.
Harry is deeply traumatized from having witnessed Cedric Diggory's murder, but he will soon find that this was just another chapter in the continuing loss he will endure. Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has returned and, in an attempt to conceal this catastrophe from the wizarding public, the Ministry of Magic has teamed up with the wizard newspaper The Daily Prophet to smear young Potter and wise Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)--seemingly the only two people in the public eye who believe the Dark Lord has returned. With no one else to stand against the wicked Death Eaters, the Hogwarts headmaster is forced to revive his secret anti-Voldemort society, the Order of the Phoenix. This welcomes back characters like Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), kind Remus Lupin (David Thewlis), fatherly Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), and insidious Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), and introduces a short list of intriguing new faces. In the meantime, a semi-psychotic bureaucrat from the Ministry (brilliantly portrayed by Imelda Staunton) has seized power at Hogwarts, and Harry is forced to form a secret society of his own--lest the other young wizards at his school be left ill-equipped to defend themselves in the looming war between good and evil. In addition, Harry is filled with an inexplicable rage that only his Godfather Sirius seems to be able to understand.
This film, though not as frightening as its predecessor, earns its PG-13 rating mostly because of the ever-darkening tone. As always, the loyal fans of J.K. Rowling's books will suffer huge cuts from the original plot and character developments, but make no mistake: this is a good movie. --Jordan Thompson
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Top customer reviews
My view is that you have to look at the movie as if it's a movie - not the book come to life. A movie cannot possibly contain all that is in a massive book and the viewer shouldn't expect that. As a stand-alone movie, it's wonderful! My husband and one of my best friends have never read a HP book and still thoroughly enjoyed the movie. My daughter and I are avid HP fans reading all the books multiple times and we love the movie -- that's pretty high praise in my book. Once you view the movie after reading all seven books, you can see where there are subtle hints of what is to come but those would be almost impossible to notice if you haven't completed the series.
The books get darker as the series progresses and that is reflected in the movies. There is more violence and tension in this movie which makes it one that shouldn't be watched by small children. Nothing gorry, but still pretty intense for young kids.
Regarding the movie, as a movie (!), I found it to be one of the most entertaining of the series. As an adaptation, however, I'll say its sorely lacking, which brings me to a slight feeling of disappointment regarding its length. It could've been a better adaptation. This isn't to say its a bad adaptation, but to say it could've definitely been better, which brings me to something I feel should be addressed: the notion of an Extended Cut of the film.
The Extended Cut doesn't exist, folks, or at least not the one you're looking for. I've read the screenplay (The Shooting Script), and with the exception of a scene in Professor Trelawney's classroom, which was filmed and is included as a Deleted Scene here, and Professor McGonagall's Stunning Spell scenes (which, as written, were completely over the top and might've killed the overall tone of the film), there is nothing else to add save for a bunch of scenes that would be remarkably hindering of the film's pacing (like Harry skipping stones or the Threstrals scene with Hagrid). The film is actually better than the script, as Director David Yates, together with Mark Day, improved on the film's pacing by shortening some scenes, jump cutting (like during the climax and during Harry's dreams/premonitions) and using newspaper montages. That supposed 40 minutes of cut-footage? Outside of maybe 20 minutes of Deleted Scenes which wouldn't add anything, it was cut FOOTAGE. Alternate takes, unused coverage, and cut lines- the stuff that proves useless in making a movie better, and can in fact make a movie worse (The Director's Cut of The Chronicles of Riddick). Its like that one famous unused shot from The Dark Knight showing Heath Ledger as The Joker cackling on the school bus while the Hospital blows up outside of the bus windows = completely unnecessary.
The Extended Cuts that certain people are looking for in the series couldn't exist, anyways. After all, Rowling's books were still being released when the films were, and she famously refused to cue in Steve Kloves and the directors on where the series was headed, given her fear that they may spoil important plot points of later books before their release. The only films in the series that could've had proper Extended Cuts are The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows, and rather than do that, David Yates set about finishing the series as its own separate being from the books (including things like Flying Death Eaters, the burning Weasley home, and the like). There still could be solid Extended Cuts of those films, but those probably wouldn't improve the films as better adaptations.
Sorry I spent so much time on that aspect, but it needed to be addressed, and badly, seeing the many comments and reviews trashing The Ultimate Editions of the films over the lack of Extended Cuts. If you're a complete Potter Movie nut, this is the set to buy. Your Blu Ray player will thank you.