I haven’t done a Thursday Thirteen for a long while (haven’t really done much blogging at all, what with this dissertation prospectus grinding away at me), but I thought this might be a good one to do before I dive back in. In no particular order of importance, here are
THIRTEEN (BRIEF) COMMENTS ON HARRY POTTER & THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
- Umbridge—“hem, hem!”—scarier in the movie than in the book.
- Nowhere near enough Tonks, not enough Bellatrix (perfect actors for both roles).
- Luna is perfect.
- Grawp: better character in the movie than in the book.
- Where in the heck is the teacher revolt? Just one covert “yes!” gesture?
- And though the fireworks display is truly great, where is the Weasley hallway lake?
- Legilimens scenes are very well done.
- Key missing parts of Headquarters: no screaming portraits and no housecleaning!
- The DA war at the Ministry: way, way too brief, way, way too harmless; nobody but Harry experiences any injury—where’s Neville’s broken leg? where’s Ron’s brain attack? Where’s the time-damaged Death Eater? Heck, where’s any room other than the gateway and the hall of prophecies?
- I realize it was a needed cut for the movie, but alas no St. Mungo’s visit.
- Another “I know they cut it for space in the movie”: they show them riding the Thestrals, but what of the four who couldn’t see what they were riding? Some explanation of their weird experience, or showing the ride briefly from their perspective (like Wonder Woman in her invisible Jet) might have been good. It is a little disconcerting in that it implies some contradiction when nobody sees them at the beginning of the film, and then suddenly they’re riding them to London by the end with no explanation.
- Shacklebolt is way perfect—better than I imagined him.
- The ministry’s great entrance. WOW!
I have other thoughts—but mostly I understand why things were cut back so far—it was like Cliff’s Notes on film, so a lot of my thoughts have to do with scenes being so truncated. I think they might have extended the film another half hour and people wouldn’t have minded. They really needed to expand the OWLs testing (only Umbridge presiding? How are they supposed to get their decent grades the following year?), extend the Ministry battle scene, and show more of the rebellion at Hogwarts, especially the teacher’s revolt. Even just a comment or two (like they did with her teacher evaluation montage) would suffice.
Finally—beautiful shots of London in this film. Lovely, lovely, lovely.