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Nick

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HP 5 [Jul. 12th, 2007|11:13 pm]
Nick
I hadn't meant to go and see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on the opening night. However, I'd also forgotten that Hilary was having her lab-mates round for dinner tonight, and I'd promised I'd go out. So, Harry Potter it was....

Since I was disorganised, and booked this morning, I ended up having to go to the Odeon (the Phoenix had long since sold out). This meant I had to endure the usual poor seating, gradually increasing heat, the odd high-pitched buzzing, and far too many adverts. As I was seeing it on the opening night, I also had the bonus of clapping, whooping and cheering from all the 14 year olds in the audience (i.e. about half the cinema). Next time, must think further ahead!

The film started well, with a good playground show-down, and a pretty good dementor attack. Then we met Mrs Figg, who really wasn't well cast, and ruined the mood. The scenes Dursleys just felt wrong, their actions and emotions both odd and out of keeping with the book. I'm not quite sure what they were going for, but it really didn't work. Then it found its feet, and became good again :)

With such a large book, they were going to have to cut a fair bit out. What was interesting was the bits they ended up having to invent, so as to get across the plot points from the bits they missed out. Some worked really well; others, less so. When it did work, it flowed well, but otherwise you couldn't help but think of the book.

Their portrayal of Doles Umbridge was one part I really liked. Always in fluffy pink, and the moving cats on the plates on the wall worked stunningly well. Watching Harry in pain with the pen, whilst fluffy kittens wander about on the wall in the background was an inspired juxtaposition. The other new characters did seem to work, but in most cases were cut down too short for you to really get the feel. Hopefully we'll get to see more of the rest of the order in the next film, as there was much promise.

Finally, one must mention the special effects. Flying over London features in the trailers, and did look good on the big screen. Zipping down the Thames does have some great views. The DA training looked good but fitted in, and the hall of prophecies was great. I was less of a fan of gawp and some of the duels, but then you can't have everything.

Overall, I'd say it was pretty good, but not quite as good as the last one. I'm sure we'll end up getting it on DVD, but I don't think I'll be heading out to see it again until then. Oh, and apparently the director (David Yates) lives in Charlbury - it's a small world!
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