Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Never fear, dear readers, I am not skipping ahead, and am still working my way through Goblet of Fire. We did, however, just return from seeing “Order of the Phoenix,” so I am reporting on it.

First of all, people in movie theatres talk way too much. I rather wish that they would not, because it makes it very difficult for me to enjoy movies. The same goes for rustling, chewing in my ear, and dropping loud things on the ground and then giggling.

At any rate, I went with a large mixed group. The reception was for the most part positive, although Baxt did not like the movie very much at all, making some very valid points about the film. Of course, we had to stand outside the theatre for half an hour after we got out, viciously dissecting every scene of the movie and complaining about things that got left out. Brendan, who reads the books after he sees the movies, seemed thoroughly confused by much of our animated conversation outside.

My opinion was that the film was reasonably good, although there were some definite weak points. As in the past, my major criticism of the movie was that it cut out all the plot points not directly related to Harry, even if it weakened the overall plot and feel of the movie. I also felt like they set up some awkwardness for themselves later on by leaving bits out.

In true nerd fashion, here are some scenes I wanted to see that weren’t in the movie:

  • McGonagall’s class getting inspected, and a great number of scenes with her in general. I thought she stood up to Umbridge well in the book, and that was important. Also, she’s a great actress and a great character.
  • St. Mungo’s at Christmas, which was a really great scene…with some interesting information, too.
  • Marietta Edgecombe and the “sneak” episode.
  • More of the Department of Mysteries. We saw the Hall of Prophecy and the weird room with the veil, and that was it.
  • The whole plot with Harry coming out to The Quibbler, and the return of Rita Skeeter. Where was that? Hello?
  • The locket, and other scenes in and around the Black household.
  • Hagrid being taken away, and McGonagall being injured.

I did not like the timing of certain scenes at all. I did not agree with the Weasley brothers escaping during the OWLs, since in the book they make a big point of respecting academics and they ruined that in the movies. I also really didn’t like Neville telling Harry about his parents, because I thought it was far more powerful for the trio to stumble on the parents in the hospital. Snape whisking Harry away for Occlumency didn’t work for me either, and I didn’t like the abridgment of Dumbledore’s great escape. And what was up with the centaur scene? In the book, Hermione shows her weakness by trying to manipulate the centaurs, and that didn’t happen in the movie at all. In fact, many of the scenes which cast the characters in a bad light were cut, and I thought that was a poor choice.

And will they please stop changing things? The continuity issues are driving me absolutely batty.

However, there were some things I liked. I liked Umbridge a great deal, and I loved her office with the horrible kitten plates. I also enjoyed the showy battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort, although I think they could have spent the film’s budget on some more interesting things. I absolutely loved Luna, I thought she was an excellent actress and a very good fit for the role. And the thestrals were excellent. I enjoyed the fact that the movie was more dark, and slimy, slippery, not as sunny and friendly as the last ones were. It was far more mature, for certain, especially the scene of Harry’s detention.

I’m not sure what my rating is yet. I need to digest the movie a bit more. But I think it is certainly worth seeing.

[Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix]