Order of the Phoenix

Let me start by saying that the opening night was a magical experience! The setting was wonderful, we had to walk through the woods to the open air theatre where we were welcomed with drinks and snacks. For the kids (although the movie is rated 12+ here) there were tables stacked with candy. Towers of chocolate cookies, buildings made of tea biscuits, chandeliers draped with liquorice strings and lots more. Many people were dressed as wizards, we even saw someone who resembled Dumbledore.

The auditorium had benches, and there were goodies for everyone. A HP cushion to sit on (sore butt after app. 2,5 hours!), a blanket to keep us warm and a plastic raincoat in a HP bag in case it would rain. They did put a 30 mtrs wide ‘umbrella’ over the seats, but the weather was perfect! Everyone got a small basket with buns and pesto and a bottle of water, as there was no intermission.

For those of you who want to see the movie without knowing any details: stop reading now!

The movie started too early in my opinion. It wasn’t completely dark yet, so the scenes at the beginning were a bit blurred. I was happy that I saw the opening scene (dementors in the alley) on TV as that was hardly visible. The screen was HUGE 12 x 5 mtrs (app. 40 x 16 feet) and the sound was Dolby Surround, so it felt like you were right in the middle of things.

My head is still spinning of all the impressions, so it’s hard to give a sensible review, I’m just going to jot down what comes to mind.

Star of the evening – for me – is Luna Lovegood. Not sure if Evanna Lynch has a future movie career (as she’s so different, typical type-casted), but she IS Luna. The voice, the looks, the movement, she’s just perfect.

Another star, Oscar worthy, is Umbridge – gawd how I hate that woman! Daniel said in an interview on Dutch TV that it was frightening to see Imelda Staunton act, as she is such a sweet person in real life.
I loved her office with all the moving pictures of cats at plates on the wall. Priceless! There weren’t enough “ahem” moments, IMHO.

Loved the scenes of Dumbledore’s Army practising their spells – some really funny moments. Neville is great. Even Filch has his moments of glory as his scenes are quite comical!

What disappointed me was the scene where Umbridge punishes Harry, when he has to write “I wil not break rules“. I visioned it differently when I read the book, more painful, bigger wounds, not sure how to describe it.

Another disappointment was the looks of Malfoy. I don’t know what they’ve done to his wig, but I liked him better in the previous movies. Having said that, Jason Isaacs is as gorgeous as ever :p

I’m no Emma fan, so I won’t add comments about her – Rupert was his comical self, he’s the right guy to play Ron.

Oh and I must mention Bellatrix!! Totally wicked, totally insane, what a woman! Can’t wait to see more of her. Another thing I liked was how they showed the dark mark, on the arms of the Death Eaters, coming to life!

The kiss was great – Harry and Cho’s moment received an applause from the audience 🙂 I felt for Ginny though as it’s obvious she notices the two falling in love and it hurts. Poor thing – just be patient girl, you’ll get your chance!

Where was the shouting painting in Grimmauld Place?? I was looking forward to seeing it on screen, but it was left out. Kreacher was there, but such a tiny part, that storyline was left out completely.

Not a big part for Trelawney this time, but Emma Thompson made the most of the short scenes she has. My heart went out to her!

Snape…. ahhhh! I’d like to use a quote by Variety about Alan Rickman: “he may have outdone himself; seldom has an actor done more with less than he does here”. And I couldn’t agree more.
One of my favorite scenes was seeing the YOUNG Snape, when Harry enters Snape’s memories in one of the Occlumency lessons!

The set of the Ministry is impressive! The fight, between the Death Eaters and Dumbledore’s army, at the end not quite as much. What seemed liked an endless time in the book (with all the changing doors etc) was stuffed in a small amount of time. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t think the movie explained enough about the prophecy.

Sirius’s death… what can I say… I bawled when I read the book, in the movie it’s over before you know it. I’m sure that many people in the audience – not having read the book – missed the moment, missed the meaning of what really happened. When Bellatrix shouts the Avada curse, Sirius looks hurt and evaporates in the mist (supposedly the veil, but it looked more like mist to me). GREAT disappointment. I didn’t shed a tear.

Edit: Wait a minute, did Bellatrix say the deadly spell in the book??? Don’t think so!

Voldemort gets more detailed with every movie – I loved the scene to the end where Voldemort tries to take over Harry’s body. You hear a swoosh and it’s like Harry’s body changes, he speaks like Voldemort and has the exact same eyes (great job of the make-up department). Daniel is brilliant in that scene.

Over all – I agree with the Dutch newspaper reviews – the movie must be hard to understand for someone who goes to see it blank, without any HP knowledge. Lots of things aren’t explained. Yes, Tonks and the other Order members are there, but who are they? The works of the Order are explained briefly, but not a word about who they are in person (other than Harry’s and Neville’s parents).

Prominent in the movie are Harry’s feelings. His anger, his frustration. Very well acted by Daniel, he’s grown a lot. Not only physically but as an actor as well.

It never bothered me before that so much of the books was left out in the movies. But this time it does. It feels like so many important things are missing. Some unimportant scenes were lengthy, where they could’ve added that time to the scenes that really add to the storyline.

The movie received a big applause from the audience and then it was time for Champagne 😀

Walking back to the entrance we had to go through the woods again, which was now lit with spooky lights, laser beams, lots of mist and sounds of wind and creepy creatures – great fun!

Along the way there were HUGE posters, some 3D, of the cast and it was a pity that we weren’t allowed to take our cameras!

Looking back I can honestly say that I had a great evening. It definitely isn’t the best HP movie though!

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4 Comments so far

  1. What an awesome experience! I’m so jealous & happy for you too.
    I seriously can’t wait for you to put your HP freebie up. I’m stalking you. and If you’d like more Harry Potter pictures to scrap….I can share some of mine…I have a couple hundred pictures from the OOP book release and expect to have even more from the Midnight release party I am hosting on the 20th for the book store I work at.

  2. cynthia on July 13th, 2007 at 00:46
  3. It does sound like an awesome experience! For the most part, I agree with your review, especially:

    “It feels like so many important things are missing. Some unimportant scenes were lengthy, where they could’ve added that time to the scenes that really add to the storyline.”

    That’s exactly what we thought. The film was way, way, way too short and not enough was explained. It should have been the longest! I will have to see it again!

  4. Lady Jane on July 13th, 2007 at 22:44
  5. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful experience that was!! I can’t even imagine! And I totally agree with everything you said about the movie. I adore Luna!! And too much was left out. I missed the shouting painting too – I had thought that would be a great scene! And Serius’s death – yes, over way to fast. That whole scene was too fast. But I did love the movie anyhow!

  6. Robin on July 14th, 2007 at 18:50
  7. i was disapointed in the movie..someof the stuff in the movie was not like in the book..overall though it was good..i love who they got to be tonks,.

  8. jamieb on December 9th, 2007 at 01:17

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