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Review: Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
7 10

Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for another year. This time around heís on the verge of being expelled from school for using unauthorized magic in the real world. But wait, thereís more! The Ministry of Magic is announcing that the return of Lord Voldemort is completely rubbish and is a fabrication made up by Harry Potter and Dumbledore. As a result, the Ministry is putting one of their own into Hogwarts to re-evaluate the school curriculum. Needless to say, hell breaks out at the school and Harry learns about the secret society of ďThe Order of the PhoenixĒ. More witches, more wizards, cool magic showdowns, Ralph Fiennes dressed to the nines with a snake face, quite a few creepy moments and characters (especially that little blond chick and Dolores Umbridge) all ensue.

I've never read any of the Potter books, but I have been following all of the movies since the beginning and I think it's safe to say that they are the next generationís STAR WARS. Iíll say this much, Harry just got off the ďpottyĒ. I find with each new installment, the story and the characters just get better and better. This installment totally took me by surprise as it was much darker (like creepy/eerie darker) and a lot more mature with its storyline and characters. I donít even know if this is a "kidís movie" anymore...thatís how dark and creepy it was. But thatís what I liked about it. I suppose itís the perfect transition from being more of kidís movie to a young teen flick as it touches issues that a lot of teenagers could relate to, but with magic thrown into it. The development of each installment is genius as the young fans are growing up with the series.

All the principles return for this one, plus a few more who make interesting additions. Daniel Radcliffe returns as Harry Potter and he really takes the character leaps and bounds beyond the other installments this time around. We really get the sense of his isolation and how emotionally tortured he was. I hate to say this because Radcliffe is great at playing Potter, but Iím worried that this kid will be on the SURREAL LIFE series in a couple of years. Maybe itís just me, but when I see him, I'm pretty sure heíll always be Harry Potter to me. Hopefully Iíll be wrong!

As for the rest of the cast, well Hermione, played by Emma Watson, is looking cuter and cuter with every installment. Sheís still as serious as ever with the character, but she plays it well! On the other hand, Ron Weasleyís character seemed underused. He was there, but he didnít say much and he always looked stunned or perturbed in every scene. The one character that really stood out was newcomer Dolores Umbridge played superbly by Imelda Staunton. Iíll say this much: she really creeped me out. She reminded me of Kathy Bates in MISERY. Most importantly, I canít forget to mention Gary Oldman as Sirius Black. This man can turn any character into gold and with the Potter series, he certainly leaves his mark!

This installment is the darkest of the series. The storyline was very engaging with the character arcs and it explored their emotions which elevated the sophistication of the storyline. However, that might also be one of the reasons that I had a problem with the editing. I found they jumped around a lot and as a result, it was a little hard to follow at times. Plus, it seemed like they cut out certain scenes that would have explained other key scenarios. Iím referring to the Azkaban scene and the Severus Snape and Harry memory-shielding sequences. Other than that though, it was fun ride!

I think that Potter fans are going to love this! Like I said, with each new installment, it just gets better and better and in this particular instance, it also gets a lot darker. Hopefully with the last episodes to come (I think there are two left) they wonít change any of the actors. Whatís great about this series is that you donít have to wait a number of years for the next one to come out. I already canít wait for the next installment; then again, I guess I could always read the book... ;)

300 (10/10)
Blades of Glory (8/10)
Black Snake Moan (8/10)
Catch and Release (5/10)
Deja Vu (6/10)
Eragon (4/10)
Factory Girl (7/10)
Grindhouse (9/10)
Premonition (3/10)
Reign Over Me (8/10)
Shooter (6/10)
The Astronaut Farmer (8/10)
Norbit (6/10)
The Departed (9/10)
The Lookout (7/10)
TMNT (8/10)
Wild Hogs (5/10)
Zodiac (7/10)

-- by Tim Goernert





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