Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I saw Harry Potter’s fifth instalment, the Order of the Phoenix today. I actually went over to the west coast to see it with Jace and Grant. This has become our tradition of sorts. Enjoyable time with Jace and Grant. We started with some fine dining at Perkins — well, it’s not fine dining but it’s better than Denny’s, that’s for sure.

We met at 9:30am in North Fort Myers, Florida at the Perkins on Cleveland. Finished eating and arrived at the AMC on Cleveland around 10:30am and picked up our tickets. The theatre wasn’t as clean as it should be, but it began relatively uncrowded but filled up as show-time drew closer. Saw the previews and a few looked good, one of which is the Summer 2008 release of Get Smart — the Rock is in it, so it might suck.

The movie was about 2-1/4 hours long and it mostly flew by, though it really seemed like nothing happened. There was no magic or joy in the film at all. And they played havoc with the book, relegating the last 100+ pages to a few headlines in the newspaper, The Daily Prophet. This isn’t the Harry Potter you’ve come to know and love.

What is interesting is what they did and didn’t approve. Since Rowling knows what must be in the film because it will be important for the seventh film and what isn’t, we can learn a lot about what to expect for the last book by viewing this movie. They downplayed the angst in this book between Harry and his friends which I didn’t mind so much because it seemed a bit forced in the book. I’ve always thought Daniel Radcliffe made a great Potter, and Emma Watson is the least changed in her role. Rupert Grint gets better as he gets older, and mercifully Tom Felton barely appears at all. Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge tears up the scenery and is a bright spot. Many of the other characters have bit appearances, though the modernized Dudley at the beginning is interesting it seemed very out of place for some reason I can’t place. And I had no idea Warwick Davis was even in the film until I saw the IMDB credits list when I created this review.

I didn’t notice any serious errors other than his scar was missing through much of the film. And in one scene they overdubbed “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Christmas” (at the school where it was noticeably out of place) yet left the dialogue in at the Weasley’s home. Not sure why they bothered considering they left in several references to “pudding” which is probably fare more puzzling to American audiences who probably think the English have a pudding fetish. (Note to blog readers: Pudding isn’t the same word in US English vs UK English)

All-in-all I have to say, save your money and don’t see it in the theatre. It pains me to say it because I wanted to like it, find some redeeming quality, say how much I was entertained despite it being shallow. But I even liked Michael Bay’s vision of Transformers better than I liked Potter. That hurts. All in all, I had a great time with the company but the movie just didn’t cut it.

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