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Harry Potter and the Order of... the... <SNORE>

 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I’ll start off by saying that I can see how a kid can like this series. It’s imaginative and serious enough to intrigue without being so serious that kids can’t connect. That being said, this is Bitter Balcony. Our reviews, if nothing else, have to be honest.

Harry Potter is a creative series that makes the vast majority not totally bash wizards, magic and general mystical poop, which is a feat in itself. For this, props. The movies up to this point have not been amazing, but they have been entertaining.

Harry Potter is just a kid who wants to go to school get good grades, have someone save his ass when things get tough. At least that is how things have been going so far. Voldemort gets a little power, thinks he’s hot shit, goes after Potter which he couldn’t kill as a kid, someone jumps in and he’s off until the next film. Each time he gets more powerful and more whole. In the last film Voldemort was full bodied and his corporeal form has taken that of a noseless, bald, Ralph Fiennes.

This movie opens with Harry getting into some trouble while dealing with a few half-wits then some spooky crap appears and he’s forced to use his magic in front of a Moggle (normal person without access to the force). This is a violation of the schools policy and now Harry might get kicked from school. This is the problem that I have with series. We all know that he’s not going to get kicked, so we blow thirty minutes on useless crap.

This is David Yates first attempt at directing a Potter film. The others that have taken a stab at it have been a little better at showing some vision. The movie seems like it was overshot during some battles and undershot during the more important scenes. Part of it must be what he was given to work with, but the way it is shot is his work (and his Director of Photography, Roger Pratt, I suppose). Shot selection is usually poor, but has a bright spot every now and again. The art direction, by Andrew Ackland-Snow (senior A.D.) amongst others, is mediocre. The other films had a better style overall.

This particular episode seems pretty trivial. There is only a spec of information and the change in two characters that happens which has any consequence to the overall arch. Once again, this is what I hate about series. The central pieces can be so useless, for the most part. There are way to many characters and the pale chic, Luna Lovegood (played by Evanna Lynch), specifically seems like a totally useless character.

As far as performances go, the range from acceptable to as good as you are going to get for this movie, with two exceptions. 1. Gary freaking Oldman. Sure there are times that he comes of looking a little like a pedophile with all the winking and grinning at Potter, but the man is an actor and by far the best that you get in this movie - with the exception of... 2. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort, which was a genius casting choice. He pulls of the evil wizard splendidly and in a way that most other actors would look like they were over-acting. There is other talent speckled throughout the movie, but due to all the characters you never see anyone for more than two minutes. I’m curious to see where Emma Watson goes after the Potter train finally ends. There is a possibility of a good actress there. Hermoine, Emma’s character, needs to chill out a bit. The girl always has the dramatics turned on.

One other thing about the writing is that there is never a sense of consequence for these characters. No matter how bad the situation gets you know that they will get out of it and it will always end up the same way. Yes, it is a kid’s movie, but if you are going to have so many books covering the arch have something happen in each that is compelling. Oh, and the students must not have enough work since they always have time to watch in melodramatic fashion every time Potter farts (or in this film when a teacher gets fired, oh, so dramatically).

SPOILER

Naturally, there is a battle with Dumbledork and Voldemort in the end. This battle is pretty annoying as there are two sections where Dumbledork literally stands and watches as Voldimort chit chats with his magic wand of death over Potter. Are you kidding? The most feared wizard has come back from the dead is planning on killing a kid in front of your face and you are going to stare at him… Wow!

I also noticed the sometimes they need to scream out some crap to get the wand to work and sometimes they don’t.

END SPOILER

All in all, I can see why I skipped this one the first time around and I wouldn't have missed anything if it stayed that way.

Images (What's up with the Harry Potter in Twilight promo art on the right):

David Yates, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Harry Potter, Ralph Fiennes, review, butter balcony David Yates, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Harry Potter, Ralph Fiennes, review, butter balcony David Yates, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Harry Potter, Ralph Fiennes, review, butter balcony David Yates, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Harry Potter, Ralph Fiennes, review, butter balcony

Trailer:

Credits:

Directed by: David Yates
Written by: Michael Goldberg
Based on a Novel by: J.K. Rowling (like you didn't know)





Source of the Bitter: JAS

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
Cinebelle on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 7:03am

OK I just have to say, this is the funniest line I've read in days/weeks:

"I also noticed the sometimes they need to scream out some crap to get the wand to work and sometimes they don’t."

Could have been a great tagline for the series!

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