Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Movie Review: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

We went to the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie last night; it looks like it's going to be pretty popular. There were 5 (!) sold-out midnight showings at my local suburban theater, and something like 17 showings over in Boise last night. The audience for my particular showing seemed to attract all the screeching teenage girls in the Valley, but I only missed a few lines of dialogue, so it wasn't that bad. (SubBasket, on the other hand, had a hard time dealing with the concept of the giggling girls flirting with her sons.)

Without putting out too many spoilers, I can say I really liked the movie. After the horrible disappointment that was the last HP movie, this one moved back towards the style of the superior third installment. Since they took an 800+ page book and crammed it into a 2 1/4 hour movie, they obviously had to cut a lot of good stuff out; some of the more frustrating cuts were getting rid of any Quidditch and the "Ron and Hermione become prefects" plotlines. Still, I thought that they included most of the vital parts of the book -- the use of newspaper headlines to advance the story worked pretty well.

I was especially interested to see how they were going to handle the "battle royale" at the end; I figured they'd have a hard time showing on film the internal struggle Harry had to go through to defeat Voldemort's attempted "possession" of him. They ended up doing a pretty good job, and even someone who hadn't read the book will probably be able to understand what's going on. I especially liked how they handled the magical duels between the adult wizards and witches -- there wasn't any "stand back, I'm going to do magic" feeling, they just went at it full bore (like you'd expect them to do in "real life").

They handled the funnier parts well, and the actress who played Luna Lovegood stole every scene she was in. One kind of disconcerting sequence came in the scene where the three principles were discussing Harry's first kiss -- it looked like the actress playing Hermione dropped out of character and started cracking up, but they decided to keep it in the film for some reason. It almost had the feeling of a mid-film blooper reel.

Overall, it was well worth staying up late for. While I still haven't decided whether or not it's better than Prisoner of Azkaban, it's definitely one of the top two HP films. I give it four screeching teenage female film-goers out of five.

4 Comments:

Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

I saw it about seven hours before you did (1900 East Coast time), and I'd give it at least 4.5 out of 5 (or 9 out of 10 if you can't abide the thought of half of a screeching teenage female film-goer).

I quite agree on Luna Lovegood; I wish they'd included a little more of her. The actress playing Dolores Umbridge was also outstanding. I didn't miss the quidditch at all, but my favourite bits of the book (the empty picture frame that kept sniggering at Harry) were also left out.

ZUI my comments at http://theoldcoot.blogspot.com/2007/07/harry-potter-and-order-of-phoenix.html.

7/11/2007 3:57 PM

 
Blogger Oz said...

I suppose that half a teenage film-goer would be screaming quite loudly, depending on the half, I guess.

7/11/2007 5:28 PM

 
Blogger Pig Boat said...

Saw it yesterday with my oldest son.

some of the more frustrating cuts were getting rid of any Quidditch and the "Ron and Hermione become prefects" plotlines.

Agreed. However, the son, who is significantly more sharpeyed than I, swears he at least saw a prefect badge on Ron and Hermy's robes.

I thought that they included most of the vital parts of the book -- the use of newspaper headlines to advance the story worked pretty well.

Again, agree. The quick cuts and use of Daily Prophet montages was necessary to get the required elements in.

the actress who played Luna Lovegood stole every scene she was in.

Yup. I was prepared to have her be a disappointment, but she completely owned the role.

It almost had the feeling of a mid-film blooper reel.

The wife thought so too. She thinks they just left it in there for the "internal struggle" bit at the end.

Overall, great flick, esp. considering they condensed it down from ~800 pages.

7/13/2007 12:36 PM

 
Anonymous Angela said...

Fun read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts ~ I appreciated the screeching teenage female film-goer rating. I smacked, or tapped, the girl next to me to shut off her cell phone. It looked like she was texting so I told her it was rude and to shut it. She responded, "I was turning it off..." Yeah right, I say. It doesn't take 3 flips to turn a phone off! :)

7/17/2007 11:32 PM

 

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