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4.2 out of 5 stars361
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 24 November 2007
This film carries on the traditions of the previous installments. This review isn't here to criticise the film as a piece of's one of my favourites so far.

The problem I have is with the DVD itself, this is by far the worst quality DVD picture I have seen in a very long time. Since Warner Bros have produced consistently high quality DVD discs (all the previous Harry Potter films for example) I can only assume the worst possible reason...that the disc quality has been deliberately down-graded so people might convert to an HD format.

This isn't necessary, HD formats are very high quality and everyone knows it.

There is severe artifacting around edges, pixelization in areas of contrast (such as highlights on faces etc) and some heavy moire on parallel lines. Add to this the constant sharp/smooth shifting on the picture and you have a very poor viewing experience.

This is not me being an AV-Phile...these faults are blatent and you will be seriously disappointed with the disc. If you think this is nonsense, buy the it and compare it to another of the 'darker' Harry Potter films such as Azkaban or Goblet of Fire. It's quality doesn't even stand up next to the very first DVD release of the Philosopher's Stone.

To the film's storytellers - Great Warner Bros for allowing such a poor quality transfer - Bad Form and not at all professional. Do you really think that by lowering the product quality of the current-generation format you can convince everyone to switch over to an HD format you support?
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on 13 December 2007
Book 5 of the Potter series is rather gloomy. Harry is feeling alienated, nightmarish and insecure, and Voldemort is rising in power. However, what worked extremely well for the book, works a bit against the film. A film is a different means of communication from a book and to strive to follow the book too closely is to do an injustice to both.

In this case the gloom drips off the screen and almost takes over everything else. Aside from the end there is little suspense, the much needed comic relief is scarce and even the characters seem only to be partly present. The film focuses a lot on Harry, but does not always reflect his feelings very well. Hermione and especially Ron are reduced to minor characters with little to say, and other minor characters, such as Ginny Weasley and newcomer Nymphodora Tonks seem to be merely window dressing.

In my opinion, this is still a good enough film, but because it has tried too hard to incorporate as much of the 800 pages of the book as possible, in events, and not in depth, quality has had to make room for quantity. Better to have extended the film to add some depth, or trimmed down some of the events and the amount of characters, than to have a somewhat watered down and rushed story, where an important event (the death of someone very dear to Harry) almost seems inconsequential.

The positive aspects of the film are of course the story, but also the excellent typecasting of the characters Luna Lovegood, Dolores Umbridge and Bellatrix Lestrange. There are still a few funny moments, and if you can get used the gloom, this is a beautiful film, though I believe the previous two were a tad better.
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on 27 October 2007
Having seen this film at the cinema, which just made it all the more enjoyable, I understood why the reviewers had said....much darker than the others....yes it was, not so much scary, although for younger viewers it may have had its moments but on the whole it took Harry and friends to a different level...a more adult level, with lots of enjoyable sarcasm between characters. The effects are amazing and really make you get 'into' the film with the characters and leave you clinging to the edges of your seat, wondering whats going to happen next.
I will buy this on dvd, as I have all the others and still find them amazing to watch over and over...this will definitely be my favourite!
Roll on numbers six and seven......If you've got kids or are yourself a very big kid like me, buy it for wont be dissapointed!
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on 12 May 2008
This review is more about the blu ray transfer than the film itself.

The film is actually my second favourite after the prisoner of Azkhaban. Certainly gloomy but never dull, the secret training of Dumbledore's Army is great fun, and a climactic battle with Dumbledore himself is staggering.

The picture quality of this blu ray film is outstanding. Watched on a 40 inch sony with PS3 at 1080/24 it is brilliant. I did not notice any juddering mentioned in other reviews. The only quibble I have is that the picture quality is so good you notice some of the blue screen sfx, especially the flying on broomsticks through London, that was pretty sub par to be honest.

The visual display of the battle that Dumbledore has is absolutely amazing on Blu Ray. This film has some of the best visual quality scenes I have seen on Blu Ray.

The sound is only 5.1, I did not see any other options like DTS which is a disappointment, though the sound was still very good.

There are loads of extras, the walk through the set with Tonks is great fun, she is a talented singer ;) and I am frankly a bit smitten with her.

Overall an excellent blu ray disc, that I would frankly recommend buying or at least renting it even if you already have it on DVD.
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on 25 October 2007
Rather than just add yet another review of the film (like we haven't had enuff of those already!), I thought I'd actually talk about this particular product, the DVD set itself!
So here's a list of the special features included in this 2-disc set that you can look forward to:

Additional Scenes - 17 minutes of never-before-seen footage.

Trailing Tonks - Spend a day with Actress Nat Tena and receive a very personal and often wacky tour of the Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix stages.

Harry Potter: The Magic of Editing - Director David Yates and Editor Mark Day show what a difference a good edit makes to allow the viewers to edit a scene.

A&E Documentary: The Hidden Secrets of Harry Potter - Viewers take a thrilling look back at the past Harry Potter films in search of clues to the mysteries of the upcoming Harry Potter saga.

ROM - Includes a timeline, a link to sneaks of HP6, along with other materials.
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on 21 January 2010
The fifth Potter movie has garnered plaudits from some for being the best Blu-Ray of the series. It is certainly very, very good in A/V terms, even though the soundtrack is a little better in "Half-Blood Prince", and, despite the overwhelming darkness, I felt that the 3-D feeling generated by depth and plasticity was also a touch better in Part VI. Try comparing Snape's or Draco's clothes in close-up for Part VI with Umbridge's in Part V: for me, that feeling that you could really get hold of the fabric is more apparent in Part VI. That aside "Order of the Phoenix" offers a very sharp picture, with superb colours and contrasts. Depth and plasticity are very good without necessarily being absolute reference level.
And the PCM 5.1 soundtrack is the best of the first five movies, but not quite as forceful as "Half-Blood" Prince.

The film itself is brilliant even though the urge to throw bricks at the screen when Umbridge does that fake, little laugh could prove costly in a world of Full HDTVs! Great plot, great acting, no annoying sub-plots (unless you count Grawpy) and a fantastic grandstand conclusion.

Extras are OK with making-of featurettes and a guided tour from 'Tonks', although the deleted scenes all deserve to stay cut, in my book, meaning that the only reasons to wait for an Ultimate Edition would be a tweaked soundtrack and any packaged memorabilia. Highly recommended.
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on 12 November 2007
From day 1 I have loved Harry Potter and can honestly say that I have found that films 1-4 were spectacularly converted from book to cinema - this is not to say that the films can replace the books in fact anything from it.

JK's books are involving and intriguing from the outset and the pace of the books make you want more to the very last page - sections have been omitted from the first 4 books to films however this is not particularly obvious initially and those films are works of art in their own right.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said to the same degree of film 5, whilst fast paced and still full of action, so much of the original story has been lost or altered that though the film was good it is not great like its predecessors. As has been noted on countless occassions I am still baffled as to why the longest of the books has been translated into the shortest film. Furthermore, the director, story writers and producers, in my humble opinion, have lost the opportunity to bring back characters (which appeared in the book) e.g. Dobie, Firenze, Ronan and Bane (to name a few) who do play parts of varying significance in the last 2 books - I can only hope that films 6 and 7 stick more closely to the books I truly believe that I would rather spend an extra 20 or 30 minutes (or however long) in the cinema than to loose parts of the story.
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on 5 December 2007
This film was great (first time) on the big cinema screen, but loses so much in the size & sound reduction that I found it boring on our TV.

The problem with this film is that it misses out to many things that may be subtle, but are quite important later on (like the locket). I also hate the Harry writhing around on the floor posessed by Voldemort bit - talk about overacting.

The part of the film I was really looking forward too (Fred & Georges swamp & fireworks) was a complete wash out. No swamp & pathetic fireworks - with todays technology could they not have managed a few more of the fireworks as described in the book?

If this is a picture of what films 6 and 7 will be like I won't bother & just keep re-reading the books. Like too many sequals its going off the success of the first films and the success of the books. Even my kids don't want to re-watch it, whereas they watch no 1 & 2 all the time.
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on 25 August 2010
'HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHEONIX' is sadly not as good as i had hoped. You can tell by the length of the film. 136 mins and the adult version of the book is 966 pages long! They missed out half the story and the OWL's were'nt shown and that is what school was about! Its stupid! Although the acting was amazing and the action scene at the end was great! Helenah Bonham Carter was brilliant as Bellatrix Lestrange!
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on 24 October 2010
This entry in the Harry Potter franchise surprised me for many reasons, one of which was the directing. Director David Yates' style, while still suitable for the genre, has a harder, colder edge to it in the beginning, backing up all the press claims about this being a 'darker, more grown up' film that I'd dismissed as press blurb. Our first view of Harry is as an angry, conflicted normal teenager in a suburban park, hanging out aimlessly by himself on the swings. Its from this starkly shot opening that Yates breaks into an unexpected (and unexpectedly threatening) chase sequence and near-death battle. The film hangs onto this astoundingly dramatic tone throughout, with Harry experiencing threatening and disturbing nightmares and suffering with his anger issues. Don't worry - it's not all doom and gloom, but there's no doubt that the film-makers are trying to hammer home the message - Harry's growing up, and the fan's are growing up with him so the material's got to get harsher. In amongst it to lighten things, we have almost every imaginable friendly face from the previous films showing up as either friend or foe, including the entire Weasley clan who play a larger than usual role. Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) have grown up a little but are still bickering (and their acting is improving noticeably). We also get Gary Oldman returning as Sirius Black, bringing familial warmth. It's something Harry needs, as the Ministry of Magic can't face the truth of Voldmort's return, and set about making him and Dumbledore pariahs, dispatching Imelda Staunton's gloriously prim Dolores Umbridge to whip the school back into shape. We get disappearing training rooms, strange beasts in the forests, and (thankfully) Evanna Lynch's wonderful Luna Lovegood. While she may be quirky to the point of annoyance for some, she has a big role in this film and helps add heart to the less dramatic sequences, which all too often previously fell back on boarding school cliches in the previous films. Of those moments, there are far fewer in this new installment - there's a great deal of story, and it's revolution infused stuff with secret societies and censorship, burgeoning relationships and painful histories. The effects are tremendous in blu-ray, with a firework sequence standing out as incredible. The whole film shines in hi-def, with the glazed-tile corridors of the Ministry of Magic looking astonishing in shimmering sheens of dark green or black. Wild green flames dance in fireplaces, and even up close, the Dementors in the film's opening attack are breathtaking. But they're nothing compared to the ending. It's the strongest Potter film ending I've ever seen. Threatening, frightening, violent, and involving magical combat that seems both real in it's impact (shards of stone flying, sparks and flashes lancing like bullets amidst smoke and debris) and stupendously beautiful. One climactic battle, for me, rivalled that classic Luke vs Darth Vader fight from the Empire Strikes Back for sheer colour and dramatic impact.
Astounding, breathtaking stuff that finally feels like the adults are being taken seriously as an audience as well as the kids. And the best thing is the ending. Whereas previous films had developed the bad habit of dragging on longer and longer at the end of each subsequent movie after the main plot had finished, tying up loose plot threads with long assemblies in the dining hall and people going home etc, Yates cuts it off almost instantly. 5 minutes, give or take later, and the film is over. It's the way it should be: it was exciting, it was impressive, you've got your breath back. Now go on home. Fantastic.
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