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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
DVD disk
01.04.2008 By: Sturdy
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix order
Director:
David Yates

Actors:
Daniel Radcliffe
Emma Watson
Rupert Grint

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The gang is back for year five at Hogwarts and this time things have gotten a little darker. Voldermort is lurking and the Ministry of Defense is up to no good. Harry and his friends join forces to create an army to prepare for the eventual battle against the ultimate evil.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Although I’ve refrained from reading the books, I have to admit that I really enjoy the Harry Potter movies. I think it’s amazing that they’ve been able to keep the cast together for so many movies and its fun to watch each of the three main stars grow as people and as actors. The issue I have with the first, second and fourth movies is that they seem very formulaic. I understand that they want to stay true to the books, but those movies seem bland to the point they were a little boring. So I was excited to find out if the fifth movie would hark back to the creative flow that Alfonso Cuaron started with the third movie, or if it would continue with the poor effort that Mike Newell gave with the fourth one.

I’m very pleased to announce that the fifth movie feels more like the third and less like the fourth. David Yates has done a fine job of keeping J.K. Rowling happy and still adding in enough style to make it a really good movie. The plot is straightforward and refrains from being convoluted or jumbled like some of its predecessors. We know what’s going on from the beginning and we’re interested to find out what’s going to happen next. I’m happy David Yates didn’t try to add anything more into the movie. The worst case scenario for him is to try and add too much and the film end up being a mess, or over three hours.

This is also the first time in a Harry Potter movie that young Daniel Radcliffe has been challenged as an actor. He was asked to do more than act surprised and/or intense. He was surprisingly good with the expanded range of emotions and I look forward to seeing him expand further in the sixth and seventh films as I’m told they’re even darker. The other students were pretty much relegated to supporting roles, but that’s ok. The story didn’t seem to need them and I’m sure they’ll get their share of screen time in the next couple of films.

I realize that being creative with a Potter movie is a tough task because Rowling is so protective of her franchise but Alfonso Cuaron and David Yates have proven it can be done. The settings in Phoenix were beautiful and there were a lot of cool little things to keep the audience on their toes. It did have a much darker tone, but I liked it and thought it worked really well. THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX hit on all notes and was a fun ride. It’s nice to see the Potter franchise back on track and this makes me look forward to the next two installments.
THE EXTRAS
Additional Scenes (10:29): These are a lot of pacing scenes that didn’t add or subtract anything from the film. Most of them are more extended scenes than deleted. I’m not sure if there was anything from the book, although I doubt it since they were pretty short.

Hidden Secrets of Harry Potter (43:49): This doesn’t focus as much on the fifth film as it does the entire franchise and the “secrets” within the films. It shows how everything has been leading to the fifth movie and then talks about what happened in the film. It was a little long and didn’t provide enough insight to make it worth the time.

Harry Potter and the Magic of Editing (5:20): Mark Day and David Yates talk about the editing in the film. It’s pretty brief and more educational for the youngin’s out there. It’s pretty simple, so I wouldn’t bother with this one.

Trailing Tonks (19:20): This was a pretty cool featurette that follwed Natalia Tena (Tonks) around the Harry Potter set. She seems cool as hell in real life and I enjoyed watching her lead the camera around. The featurette is geared more for kids, but it was still pretty fun.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Overall, I was very impressed with THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. I was so disappointed with the fourth film that I wasn’t looking forward to this one at all. Rest assured that this is a good film and belongs in any movie collection. I liked it so much that my Potter-fever is high again, so much so that I might actually read the books…naaaahhhh.
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