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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Unlike the Phoenix, the latest installment of the Harry Potter Films burns itself on a funeral pyre but never fully rises from its ashes. All of the characters are back, many of whom have and still are battling puberty and there's plenty of magic, action, and dementors...scary dementors. I enjoyed the film, but director David Yates left me unsatisfied. Mr. Yates enjoys placing flying aerial shots of the landscapes and of Hogwarts, but doesn't offer much beyond that. All of the sets are spectacular, my favorite being the Room of Requirement. One of the set issues that greatly bothered me was the Hall of Prophecy. It looks ridiculously fake because it was shot against a green screen and is "the first-ever completely computer-generated set in a Harry Potter film".

In addition to some great sets and special effects, the actors are what make the movie. Imelda Staunton is brilliant as Professor Dolores Umbridge. I liked the movie much more because of her performance. Gary Oldman, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, Alan Rickman...they all give their usual outstanding performances. Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood, makes her acting debut. She attended an open casting call for this role and was chosen out of 15,000 girls, to play this role. I just want to know if that's her real voice. I hope so.

I also must mention that I really miss John Williams in the last two films. His music brought much more character and feeling to these movies. Come back John, we miss you.

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