10 July 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

My wife lost her military ID a while back, so this afternoon we went on base to get her a new one. PSD is right across from the Dealey Centre, and on the way in we noticed people queueing up outside the cinema entrance. Then we saw the sign: Sneak preview of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix tonight! People were already queued up at 1500 for the 1900 show, but we decided it was worth coming back at 1800, after doing other necessary things, to see if we could get in. Not a problem.

My 11-year-old, who has read all six books at least five times each, was feeling a bit under the weather today, but we were really surprised when she said she didn't want to go. So it was just my wife, our 9-year-old daughter (who hasn't read any of the books) and myself. Eighteen bucks for geedunk, but the show was free, so it came to considerably less than it would have elsewhere.

I suppose I should warn that Here Be Spoilers, for those who read this but haven't either read the book or seen the show themselves....

Good: My wife and I agree that this movie was much better done than Goblet of Fire, both in doing the editing necessary in converting the book to film and also the overall flavour of it.

I thought Evanna Lynch was excellent as Luna Lovegood. Very nicely flaky; I just wish we'd seen more of her (though she at least got considerably more screen time than Tonks did). The SFX folks did a nice job on her patronus rabbit, too.

My first reaction on seeing Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the trailers was that she didn't look the part. She turned out to be another outstanding choice, though, practically dripping evil sweetness.

Grawp was also nicely done, though he was nowhere near as rough as he was in the book.

And, of course, good performances by the regulars, especially the Phelps twins as Fred and George Weasley, making their escape from Hogwarts.

Not good: My daughter, as I said, hasn't read the books, so she was very upset when Sirius died.

Natalia Tena may or may not have been good as Nymphadora Tonks. I don't know; we didn't get to see more than a few seconds of her, when rescuing Harry at the beginning of the film ("Don't call me Nymphadora!") and then later at one of the dinners at the Black townhouse.

Michael Gambon is no doubt a very good Dumbledore, and if he'd had the role from the beginning I would probably like him. The problem, of course, is that Richard Harris did the first two films, and nobody can replace Richard Harris....

And I have to admit that my favourite parts of the book were the bits with Phineas Black's empty picture frame, which were all left out of the film. (At least they did include my favourite scene from Goblet of Fire, Malfoy the Bouncing Ferret, when they filmed it.)

Overall: Outstanding. Maybe the best film in the series so far. Definitely worth going to see, even if you have to pay full price.


Mega Munch said...


Slic Nic said...

I can't wait to see it. I found out it's in 3-D at the I-Max so, Sam and I are waiting until after my drill weekend and our vacation. I've read all the book, but just once. I can't wait for the seventh one. BTW, if my cousin was bothered by the death of Black...wait 'til she sees the Half Blood Prince.