Jul 15, 2007

[Movies] Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixAmidst the mad events of New Worlds: Transformed, I managed to find the time to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with some friends at the Power Plant Mall. While the theater in itself had much to be desired in terms of sound quality and efficiency in switching between film reels, it wasn't enough to fully get in the way of our movie-watching experience.

As a book, I always felt that Order of the Phoenix was one of the strongest character pieces in the series given the amount of effort into developing the individual personalities of the series and advancing others. As a movie, it felt more like a functional piece, simply satisfying the requirements of getting the fifth movie out there without really capturing the full spirit of the original book.

In this installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise, the kids are, well, not kids anymore. Heck, Neville (Matthew Lewis) simply looms over Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) now in terms of height. Then again, most of the actors do to, haha.

They continue to do a pretty good job in their respective roles, for the most part, and it's clear that over the years they've gotten very comfortable with how they perceive the characters to be. Kudos to Imelda Staunton for her portrayal of the annoyingly evil Dolores Umbridge and of course to Helena Bonham Carter for her runaway performance as Bellatrix LeStrange. Despite her limited airtime, she certainly made a mark for herself in this film and now I look forward to her reprising her role in the last two movies.

The movie had its fair share of memorable characters given the presence of the Order of the Phoenix - I was most looking forward to Tonks (Natalia Tena) and while she did a tremendous job in the times she was on-screen, I felt her time was sorely lacking. This was the sad case with most of the Order and I felt that too many scenes were dropped from the two-and-a-half hour film. While I know it's always a challenge how to condense J.K. Rowlings books into manageable Hollywood-approved niblets, still there were key sequences that were lost to the cutting room floor (or perhaps were never shot at all).

The effects were quite fanciful and pretty, which is quite at par with the rest of the series at large. I suppose the biggest challenge is that with major special-effects wonders like Transformers, the Harry Potter level of movie magic sadly pales versus what everyone else is pulling off these days. This doesn't mean they did a terribly bad job with the effects - it just means that everyone else is doing so much better.

The bottom line here is that it's a decent movie but clearly short of everyone's expectations. Then again, given the relative hype for this movie built up over the years, it becomes hard to meet those expectations no matter what you do. I still think that the makers of this film could have done more - somehow the passion wasn't quite in it and the movie just did its best to follow the events in the book without truly following the story.


  1. I found it pretty cool when Harry asks, "How are we going to get to London", which Luna responded with "Fly, of course". :)

    I know this is may sound stupid (and offense to some), but I have to say that Daniel is getting uglier.

    Well, I will probably go watch Transformers on Tuesday. So excited!

  2. I forgot to give credit to Luna - she was pretty good in capturing the character.

    I have to agree with you in terms of Daniel - he is definitely not aging gracefully, haha.

    Hope you enjoy Transformers!

  3. i was supposed to watch HP last saturday but something came up. =(

    my sister get to watch the movie and though she didnt say that she was disappointed, the look in her face says otherwise. she said that HP and the goblet of fire was a better one (which i watched at home in hbo last saturday). i guess ill just wait till HP&dofd phoenix comes out in the boob tube. (penny pincher alert here. hahaha)

    i still love daniel though.. something in him looks very homoerotic, and i couldnt get enough of that little man. =)

  4. Ruff,

    Yes, if you're really in a tight spot, it might be worth waiting for it to come out on cable, or you can always download it, haha.

    Daniel has his appeal at times, I suppose, especially within our market. Then again...