Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

August 12, 2007 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, the latest installment of the Harry Potter series was down to a mere two showings per day so I figured if I was gonna see it, this might be the last weekend. I know it is pretty late in the run, so a review is pointless (if you haven’t seen it already, you probably won’t, and if you have, it’s pointless to tell you what I thought) but I thought I’d mention a couple of points.

I thought it was actually pretty weak. It’s definitely the darkest of the movies so far, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but the actual problem with the script is that nothing actually happens in the two hours in the middle of the film. It plods along almost completely bereft of any action, with only the barest hint of what is going on, from pointless scene to pointless scene. Honestly, a few hours later, I can’t think of a single scene in the middle of the movie that was in the least degree memorable.

Perhaps almost as disturbing was the rather odd color balance and focus of the print. I seriously thought that the projector was out of focus, because every scene seemed to have a very odd focus. But I noticed that parts of the scene were in focus: it was obviously intentional. But I found it it really irritating: often the person talking was out of focus, and it was actually stressful to my eyes to watch as they tried to force the image into focus. It was truly bizarre. I haven’t heard anyone else mention this kind of thing, which I think is kind of strange. Perhaps I’m more finely sensitive to this kind of thing since part of my job at Pixar is to stare at frames and deal with issues about focus, but it was truly distracting.

This movie got a lot fairly decent reviews (scoring a B from critics on Yahoo, and a B+ from Yahoo users) but frankly I think it isn’t that good. I’d rank it as a C.

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