blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007, David Yates)

Daniel Radcliffe stars in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF PHOENIX, directed by David Yates for Warner Bros.

I’m out of touch. I realized I saw three blockbusters this summer, something I hadn’t done since 1999 or so. When the opportunity to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix presented itself, I leapt at it. I figured I could get a good sense of the state of the Hollywood blockbuster. Amusingly, I found myself in a situation where I couldn’t get up and walk out when Phoenix got too bad… which was immediately following the stylized Warner Bros. logo. Oh, my God… it wasn’t shot on DV. It was shot on film. Wow. Now, I’m not sure. Did they film everything against green screens and insert the backgrounds or is Slawomir Idziak really the worst working cinematographer today? Wow. I mean, Phoenix is ugly looking, but I figured they had a technical excuse. Obviously, director David Yates wasn’t going to fix it, because he’s terrible, but wow.

What else… I mean, there’s no point in talking about something so absurdly god-awful, but these big budget movies and the effects are on par with The Last Starfighter for CG and Superman IV for flying effects. Where’s the money go?

I only saw the first half of the first Harry Potter movie, back when Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson were kids and had be judged by kid-level acting. They’re not kids anymore and they’re both awful. It’s a toss-up who’s worse. Rupert Grint’s fine, so’s Evanna Lynch (except her direction probably consisted of “act weird”), most of the adults are terrible–except Alan Rickman. Gary Oldman’s performance suggests a pirate movie, which makes him amusing I suppose, but certainly not worthwhile. Imelda Staunton’s particularly terrible as the villain, but the role’s so bad, what what she going to do? I imagine Yates as bad a director of actors as he is of cinematographers.

I hear from Harry Potter fans, or from one anyway, the adaptation is particularly bad in this case. Michael Goldenberg’s script is heinous (I don’t remember having any serious adverse reaction to Steve Kloves’s script for the first one, or the half I saw).

It’s unbelievable. I reminded of a certain line from Aliens and I’m actually to type it but, I imagine, someone familiar with that film would know the line of which I am thinking. Ripley with the company suits. That line.

Wow, what an ugly movie. It’s so poorly lighted, it’s like a poorly lighted Peter Hyams movie. But four blockbusters in one summer? I think, given the note I’m ending on, it’ll be another eight years.



Directed by David Yates; written by Michael Goldenberg, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling; director of photography, Slawomir Idziak; edited by Mark Day; music by Nicholas Hooper; production designer, Stuart Craig; produced by David Heyman and David Barron; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), Warwick Davis (Filius Flitwick), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall), Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), David Thewlis (Remus Lupin), Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney), Julie Walters (Mrs. Weasley), Robert Hardy (Cornelius Fudge), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Katie Leung (Cho Chang) and Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley).


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