18 March, 2012

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“The Order of the Phoenix”, a secret organization founded by Dumbledore to combat the Death-Eaters, informs Harry on the Ministry of Magic’s actions and how it is refusing to recognise Voldemort’s return and has used its influence on The Daily Prophet to vilify Harry and Dumbledore.  Upon arriving at Hogwarts, our trio learns that the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, has appointed Hogwarts a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge—a loyal follower of the minister; supposedly a sweet lady, she has some rather unorthodox punishment methods and refuses to teach practical magic because of her belief that Dumbledore is trying to overthrow the minister.  She also recruits some Slytherin students as part of an Inquisitorial Squad—punishment force—to keep an eye on students.  With Umbridge’s not teaching the students how to protect themselves, they turn to Harry to teach them because he is the one person who has practical experience in fighting dark arts.  Thus “Dumbledore’s Army” is formed, a new organization wherein a number of students learn from Harry how to protect themselves.
This is very important book and movie in the series because it seems that JK Rowling was becoming bored with the series and continued writing them only because of a sense of obligation or from just wanting more money or whatever.  From this book on, the series gets more dark and hard to follow as she begins to kill off characters aimlessly and screw what was turning out more or less to be a good series.  Now, this may be what she really did plan but, in my opinion, she just rushes these last books too much and sacrifices too much—especially in books six and seven.
Considering how good the first three movies were it is a real shame how this one turned out.

4 out of 10

09 March, 2012

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” begins with Harry’s having yet another bad dream wherein Voldemort is talking to some of his followers and then kills an investigating groundskeeper; the Quiddich World Cup helps Harry take his his mind of his nightmares, until Voldemort’s followers—known as Death Eaters—attack and burn the spectators’ camp-site after the Cup.
Soon after Harry returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year, Professor Dumbledore announces that Hogwarts will be holding the Tri-Wizard Tournament wherein three schools compete—each with a single champion.  The other combatants are from the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and the Durmstrang Institute.  After the three champions are chosen by the Goblet of Fire, it chooses an unprecedented fourth name—Harry Potter—thus putting his life in danger once again.

Though there are doubts about allowing him to participate Harry is eventually granted permission and he only slowly starts to gain support of his friends and his house.
Since the film is so short, though the book is quite long, we miss a lot of important scenes:  e.g., after the Yule Ball there is a scene wherein Ron and Hermione are arguing as Harry returns from some place; a deleted scene (available on the DVD) helps to explain some things later on, and takes only a minute, so there is no good reason for it to be removed when it is fairly short.  I would have preferred if Voldemort were resurrected by using a snake in the cauldron and giving Voldemort a serpent’s head, as in the book; I understand why the producers didn’t, and that they did give him a sort of snake-like nose withal, but I wish that they had gone the whole hog.
As a mere movie it’s a good with plenty of replay value; but, as a Harry Potter movie, in my opinion, it doesn’t match the other films in the series and especially departs too much from the book. 

4 out of 10