Sunday, July 22, 2007

July 22nd Log

2007, David Yates, United Kingdom / United States
1st Viewing, Theater

To me, the Harry Potter series may have reached at cinematic peak with the third film (Prisoner of Azkaban). However, the series continued to be interesting in the fourth installment Goblet of Fire, as many critical changes emerged (including their growth into adolescence). As the series goes each film grows darker, and such is the case with the fifth film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix directed by David Yates. This does not have the imagination of the third film (Prisoner of Azkaban), but like the fourth film, Order of the Phoenix observes us growing up with Harry, Hermione, and Ron. We are not taken into their world as quickly with this film but it eventually picks up through the outstanding production design. Much of the special effects and magic wizardry is put aside here as the Hogwarts School is taken over by a new instructor (played by Imelda Staunton). As such we are taken into a darker side of Harry’s mind, as Lord Voldemort’s haunting presence reigns. The cast of veterans (including Maggie Smith, Emma Thompson, and Brendan Gleeson) are given much less to work with here, but everyone does a fine job. Ultimately Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix does not quite stand out as memorable as the previous two films of the series, yet it continues to intrigue as Harry’s growth and loss of childhood emerges.


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