It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.
After a lonely summer on Privet Drive, Harry returns to a Hogwarts full of ill-fortune. Few of students and parents believe him or Dumbledore that Voldemort is really back. The ministry had decided to step in by appointing a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher that proves to be the nastiest person Harry has ever encountered. Harry also can't help stealing glances with the beautiful Cho Chang. To top it off are dreams that Harry can't explain, and a mystery behind something Voldemort is searching for. With these many things Harry begins one of his toughest years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Written by
The spell Levicorpus is used in this film, although it was first mentioned in the sixth book. See more »
I don't know about you, it's just too hot today, isn't it? And it's going to get even worse. Temperatures up in the mid 30's Celsius, that's the mid 90's Fahrenheit, tomorrow maybe even hitting 100. So please, remember to cover up and stay cool with the hottest hits on your FM dial.
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The ending credits are presented in the same typeface as Professor Umbridge's numerous educational decrees. See more »
Becoming the new "Harry Potter" director is something like becoming the next James Bond. The new talent is scrutinized by die-hard fans brutally; their career assessed and judge, their talents called out, and there's of course the inevitable comparison to their successor. And each of the directors (like the Bonds) have always brought something new to the film adaptations of quite possibly the most popular book saga of all time. Christopher Columbus (hack though he was) first brought the wonderful and stellar cast together, and started the series the way it should be started; as an almost wondrous introduction and view of Harry's magical world. Alfonso Cuaron transformed the liter-minded series into a dark, cinematic wonderland; more like a film than a reading, and he imbued it with his own technical prowess and paved the way for coming directors to add their own ideas to Rowling's mixing bowl. Mike Newell of the fourth film gave it a very British feel; a much sharper sense of humor and an even more adult-oriented (and action film) mindset (note the PG-13 rating).
And now we have David Yates; the young prospective blockbuster king who hasn't made a movie for the big-screen yet (but he's got some TV-movies to his credit). And what does he bring to the table? He brings all the knowledge of his forbearer's and his own print of style to create the best "Harry Potter" film yet; likely as close to potter perfection as we'll ever come.
For as we all prepare for the grand finale to Harry's war with sinister Voldemort on the 21st, in the film franchise, that conflict is merely brewing. Harry is still an angered adolescent; preparing for his darkest year ever as new devilries threaten his once escapist world. For one thing, the Ministry of Magic for which all wizard-folk hope to trust, is doing all that it can to discredit our hero and his benevolent mentor, Dumbledore; seeing as how they don't want the general public to go into uproar over He-who-must-not-be-named's return. And they've dispatched a repressive government representative, sneering and overly-girlish Dolores Umbridge, to make sure that reforms are brought to Harry's once fun and enjoyable school; to turn it into an extension of their control. And all while this is happening, Dumbledore's secret organization, the Order of the Phoenix, prepares to counter-attack the growing forces of Voldemort.
Yates has a great deal of help in making "Order of the Phoenix" as good as it is. As the other great new talent not in front of the camera, much credit is due to the new screenwriter Michael Goldenberg. He compresses, he cuts out (probably to the annoyance and hatred of most purist potter fans, but you know what? I love Harry Potter books. But I love movies too. And I understand the difference between them. I want to see something different in the two translations. I want to see the director add his own brand of inventiveness) there is a great deal of wondrous detail from the book missing here. So what? The screenplay is tight and focused; some of Rowling's best dialogue is kept, some of Goldenberg's sharper writing is thrown in. The movie flows absolutely smoothly; what took pages is compressed into neat cinematic form (like Snape's memory), some events are rearranged chronologically to better effect (like Sirius' conversation about his family tree), and the whole end result is a fluent, enjoyable, epic and coherent film narrative.
The new director's stamp is also very important. Yates keeps the attention of the viewers by not over-whelming with unnecessary detail. His visual look is wondrous; the sets look great, the effects are astounding, the camera-work is phenomenal, and the action is as first-rates as anything John McLane, Michael Bay, Spiderman or those freakin' Pirates threw at us this summer (especially that final duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort). Among Yates greatest creations besides the engaging final duels, is the new scene with Harry and Luna Lovegood when they discuss Thestrals (dead-looking, flying horses), the better revealed relationship between Harry and godfather Sirius Black and the more defined camaraderie between Harry and his best friends, the newspaper headlines and scenes of the minister which reveal a lot in a condensed amount of time, Neville Longbottom's more developed character and the montages of Harry's nightmares. But what really makes me think Yates was the man who finally made the Harry Potter film that as a fan I have long awaited, is that he finally brings continuance to the franchise; by using footage from the previous films he has single-handedly threaded them together. For the first time on film, these adventures are one.
And let us not forget the all-star cast. Every single person continues to be a perfect choice for their respective role: Daniel Radcliffe admirably embodies the title hero, perfectly presenting his growing angst and conflicting emotions; Emma Watson (Hermione) is no longer annoying or obnoxious in the slightest; Rupert Grint has surpassed merely being comic relief as Ron; Alan Rickman reaches new levels of dourness and sinister perfection as Snape; Richard Gambon's lack of Richard Harris's warm twinkle now befits his part, as Dumbledore is more cold towards Harry; Ralph Fiennes upstages his silly look (which somehow does look better) by providing true menace as Voldemort; Gary Oldman is charismatic as Sirius Black; and Robbie Coltrane is no longer the dumb oaf he was in film #4, but again the big-hearted, lovable giant. And the newcomers: Evanna Lynch plays Lovegood to quirky precision; Helena Bonham Carter (my the big-names just pile up) is a superbly nasty discovery as Bellatrix; and Imelda Staunton chews the scenery to bits as calmly maniacal Umbridge. Even the small characters sparkle with personality; Mr. Weasley's fascination with muggle artifacts, Mad-Eye Moody's gruff attitude, Lupin's dreary appearance I haven't even mentioned Gleason, Thewlis, or the superb Jason Issaacs!!!!
At last, the 1st near-perfect potter-film. 10/10
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