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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 storytelling...it'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 disc...watch 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 Work....to 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 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 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 christmas...you wont be dissapointed!
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VINE VOICEon 10 September 2007
'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' is the fifth film in the series based on magical books by JK Rowling. Following straight on from the events at the end of The Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger begin their next year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Most of the wizarding community doesn't believe Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore's news that Lord Volemort has returned and has been restored to full power along with his army of Death Eaters. The news is seen as a lie due to The Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge who doesn't want to believe that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back. Fudge feeds false information about Harry and Dumbledore to the Daily Prophet, the main newspaper that is read by most wizarding folk, which makes them believe that Harry and Dumbledore are liars and their stories cannot be trusted.

Fudge also appoints a new Hogwarts Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher, Delores Umbridge, who steadily begins to take over Hogwarts through the support of the Ministry. Harry, Ron and Hermione immediately dislike Umbridge as she refuses to allow them to discuss the return of Lord Voldemort, and teaches them with no practical lessons. In rebellion of this, and for personal safety against Lord Voldermort and his Death Eaters, Harry begins his own, secret Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons with other Hogwarts students, calling themselves Dumbledore's Army.

The film is an extremely good attempt at capturing the story from the book...for the first half at least. Up until the point where the Room of Requirement is discovered nearly everything is spot-on to the book, then the scriptwriter has seemingly gone off on his own storylines, missing out important plot pieces and characters that are essential to the next book(s). There are way too many differences to list here.

If, like me, you are a big fan of the Harry Potter books and know the "real" storyline well, this film may come of a bit of a let-down and it will have you commenting "why did they cut that out?" and "why did they change that?" for pretty much the whole second half of the film. Don't get me wrong, this is a very, very good film, maybe the best in the series even and a fantastic addition to the movie saga with some top quality acting, action, sets, comedy and special effects but there is just way too many changes to be able to say it is as good as the book but still a very good attempt at fitting a massive book into two and a half hours. For anyone who has seen the other Harry Potter films and not read the books, this film will probably seem like the best yet.
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on 29 July 2012
Customers must be informed that this edition does not include the bonuses on Blu-ray, only on low def DVD.
There's only one Blu-ray included, and it is the movie. As the movies aren't new edits, the bonuses are the only reason to upgrade your collection.

I counted at least four "ultimate" editions, three with almost the same cover.

- French ultimate Blu-ray (film 1; film 2) identical to US ultimate Blu-ray (2 blu-rays, 1 DVD of old bonuses).
- French ultimate DVD (film 1; film 2) identical to US ultimate DVD, almost the same cover as the Blu-ray edition
- French (false) ultimate Blu-ray metal edition (the following films) not identical to US ultimate Blu-ray.
- UK (false) ultimate Blu-ray in which "double play" means "without bonuses on a Blu-ray disc as they were f.

This is misleading the buyers.

If you want to complete your ultimate collection in HD, do not buy this edition, only the US ultimate 2 Blu-ray.
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on 14 November 2007
The film is a decent addition to the franchise but my main issue is with the awful dvd transfer. The picture is flickery and grainy and looks like a VHS copy
It's funny how the first trailer on the front of the disc is for HD-DVD and Blu-ray, the more cynical of us would say that Warners are down grading the picture quality of their dvd's to force more people down the HD route......

Also, why do UK users have to cycle through 4 language choice screens to get to the UK?

Sort it out Warners!
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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 January 2008
Longest Book but Shortest Film, or How To Turn a 766 page Phoenix into a 128 minute Turkey.

Yes, the film, including credits, actually runs 138 minutes. But the book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is 766 wonderful pages long, from perhaps the best, certainly the most popular writer to bridge the gap between children's writing and adult writing, J.K. Rowling,
A pity that the same cannot be said for the poor wretch Michael Goldenberg who took this wonderful book, cut out almost all the supporting characterisation, and turned in a script which concentrates exclusively on Harry Potter in the least satisfying of the films so far. Where was Steve Cloves, who did such a fine job with the first four screenplays? One wonders why J.K. Rowling let this script pass. Perhaps she gave up the right of script approval. Perhaps she no longer cares, now that the series of books is finished, and she is wealthier than the Queen.
Brilliant, flashing, but hokey special effects dazzle the viewer, but waste so much of the film's running time, that all the supporting characters get short shrift. Hagrid is almost absent. The little brat Malfoy has almost disappeared. Hogwarts itself doesn't look the same as it has in most previous films. Even the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix don't live up to the book: the screaming portrait is gone, and Kreatcher, the Black house elf gets so little screen time he might as well not be there. Tonks has about two lines.
The Ministry of Magic scenes which feature so prominently in the book are minimal in the film.
The whole film has also been printed so dark that one needs to turn up the brightness control to see any of the details of the sets. Maybe Warners couldn't afford to build sets with enough detail to be seen with proper lighting. Maybe Warners doesn't care any more, as long as the money keeps rolling in.
Director David Yates did the best he could with a sorry travesty of a screenplay, but even he couldn't pull this one out of a hat. One hopes for better results with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince which he is directing for release later this year, 2008. Good news though, Steve Cloves has written the screenplay.
Too bad that Chris Columbus has bowed out of the production. Too bad that Director of Photography Roger Pratt, who so brilliantly photographed the second and fourth films didn't do this one.
The bottom line: rent this one, don't waste your money buying it. Read the book, if you haven't already.
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on 21 February 2013
This Harry Potter Ultimate Edition is a very good product, but with a fragile sleeve and if compared to USA version, no lenticular cards and extras in BD like the American one. I am not disappointed, but I expect for sure a better treatment for UK fans here.
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on 11 January 2017
As an avid HP reader and fan since childhood, I saw this film back in the cinema as a young teen and it was wonderful as always to see Hogwarts and its students come to life onscreen. It's darker, with some light comic relief in a few places and gets the gist of the story across. But this is also the problem, as such a large book (the largest of the HPs) I feel the film captures less than 10% of the HP magic embedded within the pages. As a result it's probably quite difficult for someone who hasn't read the books to properly to know exactly what's going on in certain places as things don't get fully explained or elaborated on. It seems to jump the gun a bit and, whilst having cut out so many smaller storylines and characters, the scenes it does explore are often very rushed as if it's crammed in far too much even after cutting so much out! I won't go on, partly because to go on would mean elaborating on the specifics of the plot but also because you didn't come here to read my opinion on what they should or should not have included, but probably just to see if it's worth a watch. If you haven't already seen the film, it's probably safe to say you aren't a HP fan. In which case, you might find some bits of this film confusing and unfortunately therefore boring. My advice would be to read the books first if you really want to knowledge yourself with the story and explanations (film 5 has always, at least in my circle, been regarded as the worst film but book 5 is also very often regarded as the best of the books!). Otherwise, by all means go ahead and enjoy the film - just make sure you've at least watched the others first!
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