Turning bad to good
As popular opinion goes, the fifth book to Harry Potter is apparently voted as one of the most boring of them all. Probably slightly tied with book six, but both seem to certainly catch up and make life exciting towards the end. David Yates, director of The Order of the Phoenix certainly knows how to keep a story flowing and bring character development to the screen. His first attempt at the Potter series turns what could have been a dreadfully boring story into an action filled story that has you wanting more towards the end.
The story goes, Harry is still feeling pretty crappy over Cedric’s death in the tournament (see last book/film) and his life isn’t getting any better thanks to everyone turning on him. From his pseudo family (no surprise there) to local newspaper The Daily Prophet to the Minister himself, everyone is against Harry. The main reason? No one wants to believe that He Who Shall Not Be Named has made his return. So, Harry’s life is a bit rough and the fact that he’s becoming a teenager doesn’t help things. Harry pushes on though, trying to figure out a way to get the message across that Voldermort has returned, while not trying to be the loneliest person on earth. With help from Ron and Hermione though, he makes efforts to prepare his friends and other students for the impending fight with the dark lord himself. To add even more to his life, he finds out about The Order of the Phoenix, whom his godfather Sirius Black is a part of. They reveal to Harry that Voldermort is after one thing that might turn the tides in Voldermort’s favor. I’ll say no more about the movie.
Again, Yates takes all of this jumbled storyline and creates something quite beautiful out of it. Case and point,m my sister doesn’t like these movies, has never been interested. When I sat her down to watch this one, which is supposedly the worst book out of the series, she was hooked from beginning until the end.
As for the acting, it’s much better. The most improved actor out of the bunch is Hermione (Emma Watson). She no longer sounds like a know-it-all, she sounds like an actress that has finally gotten her character perfectly. Plus, she no longer speaks with her eyebrows (sorry Emma! It’s true though), which helps a ton. As for the rest of the cast, glad they’re back and it’s nice to see that Daniel Ratcliffe has really sunk into Harry Potter. He doesn’t miss a beat (can’t wait to see December Boys).
In my opinion, this is the best Potter film out of the series. I’m glad that Yates has signed on for the next. Maybe they can keep him until the end. I hope so.
Extras never hurt
The extras in HP are great, and I really mean that. You get so many different views of the film, from a typical Behind the Scenes to a few clues to Harry’s ultimate destiny (if you read book seven, mystery solved). One feature in particular, which I found quite fascinating, was the Harry Potter: The Magic of Editing. If you don’t know much about the art of editing, you should definitely check this out. It’s so darn interesting.
As for the menus on this DVD, they look a helluva a lot better than those the past. You get sort of dark theme with this menu system, but the overall functionality is Batman Begins simple, which is a bit disappointing, but forgivable.
This is by far the best HP movie to date and the DVD certainly doesn’t disappoint one bit. I’m glad that Warner Brothers put some real effort into this franchise, especially this one HP episode. It certainly is the best of the bunch, and it’s nice to see the studio giving the movie the due it deserves.