Friday, July 13, 2007

Lost in Transition

I didn't enjoy Happy Potter: Order of the Phoenix as much as I'd hoped to. While Cuaron's Prisoner of Azkaban and Mike Newell's Goblet of Fire could very well stand on their own, the latest film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's modern classic felt like one big set-up for the final two films. Or, at least, a valiant effort to squeeze a thick volume into two-and-a-quarter hours of popcorn time.

About the only moments I felt my excitement levels shoot up were the appearance of Helena Bonham-Carter and her big hair, and Emma Thompson in her all-too-brief dramatic moment. While the inclusion of top-notch British actors were important during the first two movies (to perhaps offset the inexperience of the young leads), their involvement has become less required. Watching Order of the Phoenix with Gwyn and Lloyd set the tone for a hilarious conversation after, in which we agreed that the Grade A thespians were simply having too much fun with their roles. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's always nice to watch able actors just drop everything and play around while earning their keep.

But I digress...

I had wanted to like this movie, but the pacing was a bit choppy in places, and some of the events felt rushed through for the sake of economy. It's a cramming issue, and cramming ain't good.

Order of the Phoenix is really for serious Potter fans, or for people with more enduring memories. As the film played, I was having thoughts such as, "Oh, yeah! Cedric did die in the last movie!" And Harry's first kiss didn't do much for me--not enough long-term tension to warrant the pay-off. But I guess it's the producers' decision; not only is the original book one of the thicker installments, its film version is the shortest compared to its predecessors.


the philosphical bastard said...

I agree. I liked the previous ones more. And I thought it was because I already had a glimpse of Harry Potter's ass. :p

Anonymous said...

I just watched "harry potter 5" as it is billed here at SM City Iloilo. The cinema house did not do justice to the film. No Dolby theater like sound. The film projection on the screen was blurred. I frankly wanted to ask for a refund had it not been my classmate's treat. I couldn't feel the tension that was supposed to build up like the other harry potter films i've watched on the big screen. One thing for sure, imelda staunton really succeeded in making me hate her in her portrayal of dolores umbridge. The nerve of her smacking daniel radcliffe's face with the palm of her hand!

alLy said...

i watched "the order" already, and like what i've heard from most of my friends who've seen it, too, i was quite disappointed with how it turned out to be... (even my bestfriend who's a very big hp fan felt so!)

as much as i try to think of reasons why the 5th movie didn't have the same appeal as those of its predecessors, i just can't pinpoint what it is. (because maybe, there were more than one reasons why...) well, whatever they may be, i'm still for cuaron's work! ;-) it's still the best for me. =D

maria said...

It was definitely a disappointment. The only thing that stopped me from asking for a refund was the 3D effect thay had for Imax theaters, and the fun that my kids had because it's the first time they watched a movie in one. Spending more than $50 for this film what with popcorn and drinks... I just wished we watched Transformers in Imax instead of this one.


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