A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The fifth film in the J.K. Rowling series picks up with Harry being put on trial for using magic in front of a civilian. After his acquittal, the head of the ministry begins to fear that Dumbledore is after his position, so he appoints the fascistic Professor Umbridge as the Defenses Against the Dark Arts Teacher. With Umbridge taking control of Hogwarts and Harry seeing visions of Voldemort, whose presence is growing ever so tangible, Potter begins to form an army to combat these elements. I found this entry to be somewhat off. At two hours and twenty minutes, the film still felt cluttered and rushed. I was also disappointed with the special effects, which are usually excellent in these films. Instead of focusing on the countrysides and landscapes we get standard CGI and I suspect that these films were hurt by the fact that they were released in a 3D format. With this film, directing duties again changed hands and here the job goes to David Yates, the only director of the series with no resume to speak of, who will retain this position for the remaining three films of the series. I just hope that those are not handled as haphazardly as this one. That is not to say that there is nothing to appreciate here. Some of the great cinematography is retained and I liked some of the frenetic camera work. The great actors from the previous films returned (it is nice to see Gary Oldman finally have such lengthy screen time) and new addition Imelda Staunton makes a truly detestable villain. The final showdown between Dumbledore and Voldemort is a battle to behold as well.