Sunday, July 15, 2007


Order of the Phoenix

So I don't usually do movie reviews here, mostly because I don't see nearly enough movies. And this isn't exactly a movie review, because it's not terribly critical. But we went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on Friday night, and though Beloved and I have rehashed it to death, I still want to talk about it.

(Lots of people are talking about it, and it tickles me to no end that when you google "Harry Potter invisible horses" my blog is the first search return that pops up. The traffic spike has been pretty funny to watch.)

So, have you seen it? What did you think? (mild spoiler alert - consider yourself warned)

I have to say I loved it. LOVED it. The "fidget factor", the means by which I measure my own engagement in a film by the number of times I shift, stretch, check my watch and look around the theatre, was a perfect score. I think I shifted from one cheek to the other once, that was it. I was completely engaged through the whole movie. And I have to say, the theatre was packed and kids between the ages of 8 and 16 comprised about 1/3 of the audience - and yet, with the exception of one annoying giggler in the front row, the theatre was largely silent and glued to the screen throughout. (It really was cute seeing kids showing up dressed in robes.)

It's rare, so rare, when you can love the book and love the movie. The only example that comes even close for me was Carl Sagan's Contact, one of my top-ten fave books of all time. The movie did the book justice, but wasn't nearly as wonderful as the book.

Now, as I may have mention once or ten times, I've been re-reading the books for the last couple of months, and I just finished Order of the Phoenix the night before we left for Bar Harbor so all the details were fresh in my mind. There were quite a few points where the book and movie diverged, but I imagine a movie true to a 600 page book's every detail would probably run somewhere around 26 hours, so I get the shortcuts they took. I realized after the movie that there was not a single reference to quiddich in the whole movie. Not that I missed it; I always kind of found the whole quiddich thing kind of tiresome.

It was too bad we didn't see more from some of the supporting cast, but again I can see why they had to trim things down to size. Even Ron and Hermione probably had about three pages each of dialogue in the whole movie. I didn't find Dolores Umbridge nearly toady enough, but that was my only quibble with the casting. They did a fantastic job with the special effects and a great job with the Ministry of Magic. I loved the final battle scene, especially the one brief bit where Harry and Sirius were fighting Death Eaters side-by-side. Probably my favourite scene in the whole movie - very stirring, especially for a hormonal pregnant woman.

As we were walking out of the theatre, I told Beloved that I'd happily turn around and go watch the whole thing again. It was that good. And then I went home and read the last four chapters of Half-Blood Prince.

Six days and counting. I'm stoked.