Note: If you haven't read the book and want to be surprised at the movie, don't read any further!!!
My husband and I went on a date Saturday night for the first time since February. We went to see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." We also thought that was pretty exciting because the last movie that we saw in a theatre was "Revenge of the Sith" when The Potentate was five months old and he nursed himself to sleep through the first hour of the film.
We went at 6:45 and the theatre wasn't nearly as packed as we thought it would be.
Order of the Phoenix was very well done. It was kept short, which is important. The books, especially this one, are very long and extremely detailed. So much of that is Harry's angst and thoughts, which obviously can't be expressed in film. Of course, the movie-only Potter fan will miss a lot. There is no way that all of the details can be captured in the movie so my theory is, why try? Just read the books! Although I really enjoyed the last four films, they went on so long that I was hoping someone would die and it would be over. This version didn't have that problem and so it is possible to keep your attention span the entire time. The story was altered considerably more than in the other films due to the brevity of the film. Always my favorite, Alan Rickman as Professor Snape was fabulous. There definitely wasn't enough of Professor McGonagall. I am learning to tolerate the new Dumbledore. This movie was definitely a better fit for him as he grows more distant and eccentric. I don't think Dolores Umbridge was evil enough, but perhaps that was for the best. The best new and anticipated character, Bellatrix LeStrange, played by Helena Bonham Carter didn't disappoint. She was just as creepy and demented as I had hoped she would be. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort was very good, but give him a nose already. He is the most powerful dark wizard ever, he grew an arm back for Wormtail; he can't give himself a nose? C'mon. I think the future filmmakers are going to have a difficult time explaining the storyline with Dudley, Uncle Vernon, and Aunt Petunia since it was skimped over in such great detail. There is a very strong foreshadowing in the 5th book that Aunt Petunia is a squib or a closet witch, and J.K. Rowling herself has said that there is more to Aunt Petunia than meets the eye. We'll see. The death of Sirius Black was unemotional and distant, almost exactly like the book. I was sad in the book and the movie when Cedric died. Once again, not when Sirius Black died, which leads me to believe that he will be the character that gets a reprieve in the 7th book. He was killed with a red stunning curse, not a green death curse. We'll see. Harry won't be left without any family, mark my words. Ron and Hermione rocked as always. Evanna Lynch's performance as Luna Lovegood was pure genius. The whole theatre roared with laughter when, before the infamous kiss, Harry exclaimed that the mistletoe must be filled with nargiles. It was the perfect icebreaker before a first kiss that everyone dreams about. All and all, despite the fact that the 5th book is commonly people's least favorite, the film was very entertaining and fulfilling. It is definitely worth seeing!