Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Today after work I saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I have been looking forward to ever since I finished the book. I loved the book, so I had high hopes for the movie. And I was not disappointed.

Yes, plot elements were cut -- they always are in Potter movies. Kreacher and Grawp and the Centaurs got about a minute of screen time between the three of them. But when someone takes a 900-page book and condenses it to a little over two hours of film, sacrifices must be made. I felt the story was perfectly workable, and probably the best it could have been given the book's length.

One thing that did bother me was Daniel Radcliffe. His acting was really good, as usual, but the kid's turning eighteen in a couple weeks. Hard to believe that little kid from Sorcerer's Stone is going to be able to buy alcohol (in the UK) soon. There's a huge difference between the size of an 18-year-old and that of a 15-year-old, and there were a few times it was painfully obvious. Hopefully they finish the next two movies before he hits 30. And it wasn't just him, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson looked a little old too. Not to mention Maggie Smith.

Aside from the occasional over-sized adolescent, the rest of the movie was spectacular. The acting especially blew me away at times. Whoever decided to cast Helena Bonham Carter as Belatrix LeStrange deserves a medal, as does the genius that picked Imelda Staunton for Delores Umbridge, and Alan Rickman stole every scene he was in (as usual). Gary Oldman didn't blow me away, but I couldn't put my finger on why that was.

And beyond the acting, the special effects were also pretty stunning. The CG was well-done, but I still think it'll be a few years before entirely-CG'ed characters (e.g., Grawp, Kreacher, etc.) don't distract the viewer at least a little. But like I said, they weren't on-screen for very long so it didn't matter much.

The battle at the Department of Mysteries was really well done, but I wish it had lasted longer, and Dumbledore v. Voldemort was just as pulse-pounding as it was in the book, if not moreso.

All-in-all, well worth the price of admission. I passed a theater on the way home and thought about going to see it again, but I thought nah forget it, yo home to Bel-Air! (I don't know where that came from, I apologize)

Great movie, stop reading this and go see it.

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