Saturday, December 8, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Fifth Potter DVD Finds Harry Ostracized at Hogwarts

This go-round, we find Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) wrestling not only with his usual demons but with his raging hormones. The object of his affection is Cho Chang (Katie Leung), a cute classmate he has a crush on. But that budding love relationship remains merely a sidebar to the primary plot which revolves around whether Harry lied about having an encounter with the late Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).
As the film begins, we find him winding down another uninspiring summer spent at the home of his unsupportive Uncle Vernon (Richard Griffiths) and Aunt Petunia (Fiona Shaw). Upon his arrival back on campus for the Fall semester, he learns that most of the students and faculty have come to believe a vicious rumor that he and Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) had made up the story about the reincarnation of the evil Voldemort.
As a result, Harry is ostracized, while the disgraced Dumbledore is deposed as head of Hogwarts. The latter’s responsibilities are assumed by the ambitious Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), an imperious bureaucrat whose unreasonable rules serve to stifle the student body at every turn.
Exhibiting the demeanor of a strict Catholic school nun, this no-nonsense disciplinarian orders a new defensive approach to magic likely to leave the young wizards vulnerable to an attack from the Dark Arts, especially if Voldemort has really somehow been revived and returned to power. Of course, this means that Harry, along with his best friends and loyal classmates, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Ruert Grint), might just have to save the day by taking matters into their own wands.
This installment is the most palatable of J.K. Rowling’s screen adaptations because it can be appreciated by audiences unfamiliar with either the source material’s plot or confounding jargon. Harry Potter simplified as just a generic superhero.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for frightening images and fantasy violence.
Running time: 139 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
2- Disc DVD Extras: Additional scenes, a couple of featurettes, and an interactive feature which allows you to edit a scene.

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