My husband Ben got me Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on DVD for Christmas. We watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for a recap and then watched our new movie this past weekend.
Lord Voldemort had returned at the end of Goblet of Fire and in this movie there is a persistent fear of him. The Order of the Phoenix is a secret order of wizards that have banded together to fight the dark lord and include such luminaries as Lupin, Sirius, Snape, Mad-Eye Moody, the Weasleys, etc. At Hogwarts, Harry starts his own band of warriors after the Ministry of Magic decides to smear Harry and Dumbledore and ignore the return of Voldemort. To this end, the Ministry of Magic plans Dolores Umbridge on campus as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher who takes away student rights and does not teach any sort of defense. Harry and his friends secretly teach each other defense techniques to be ready for the return of the dark lord.
First of all, I love the Harry Potter books, but haven't always liked the movies. I think the movie was okay, but not as good as it could have been. I must admit that I didn't like the first Harry Potter movie that much and it has put me to sleep twice before. Chris Columbus took the book too literaly and really needed to chop some stuff out to make the movie more interesting. This movie went to the opposite end and really chopped out too much information. If like Ben, you haven't read the books (or like me its been a few years since you've read the book), you can get really confused on what is going on. A movie should be able to stand on its own without having read the book. The books get darker in tone as they progress through the series, but this movie seemed to take all of the darkness out of the book, and none of the lighter fun moments. I missed them! The movie was pretty good, but could have stood to be longer. Number 3 is still my favorite movie. Does anyone thing I'm being overly critical?