PCR past banners
Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR # 381  (Vol. 8, No. 28)  This edition is for the week of July 9--15, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"  by Mike Smith
Proud Pop .... What??? (Top 10 Horror Films) ....Get In Line Now .... Break A Leg .... Doesn't She Watch The News? ... Speaking of Weird Couples .... Whatever Happened To -- ? Chapter 24: Roy Scheider  by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2007
Archives 2006
Archives 2005
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR

Warner Brothers     
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Imelda Staunton and Gary Oldman
Directed by: David Yates
Rated:PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 18 mins

You have to give credit to the filmmakers entrusted with the world of Harry Potter. They could have continued making their million's of dollars and kept Harry and his pals young forever, flying around on broomsticks and waving their wands until they were thirty. Instead, like the novels that proceed them, the films have grown more mature as the characters have aged. The last film, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," introduced Harry, Ron, Hermione and their fellow Hogwart students to the realities of life, including death. They also had their first meeting with He Who Shall Not Be Named. "Phoenix" continues on a dark path that may in fact be too scary for younger fans of the books. But it is a path that must be taken.

On summer break, our youthful wizard Harry Potter (Radcliffe) is in a local park watching other families with great envy. He is startled out of his day dream by his mean cousin Dudley (Harry Melling), who can't resist reminding Harry that his parents are dead. Before he can beat the tar out of Dudley, the boys are attacked by Dementors. Realizing they mean to kill him and Dudley, Harry summons a spell which destroys the Dementors. Unfortunately, using magic outside of Hogwarts is a serious offense and Harry is notified (by owl, of course) that he has been expelled from the school pending a hearing with the Ministry of Magic. Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) helps Harry win his appeal but at a great price. The ministry assigns Dolores Umbridge (Staunton) as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and she goes about undermining Dumbledore whenever possible. Harry is still having trouble convincing most of the students and faculty about his battle with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), or that it was Voldemort that killed fellow student Cedric. It doesn't help that Harry shares a mutual attraction to Cho Chang (Katie Leung), the late Cedric's girlfriend. However, when things begin to go bad for Harry and his friends, romance is the least of his problems.

A film that's much darker then it's predecessors, "Order of the Phoenix" helps bridge the narrow span between child and young adult with, what else, magic. The young cast is outstanding, with young Radcliffe leading the way. No longer is Harry a child and Radcliffe conveys this fact with just the movements of his body. His Harry is finally beginning to accept the destiny mapped out for him. He is ably assisted by Sirius Black (Oldman) as well as some of the lesser known professors. The film concludes with a battle unlike any other seen or hinted at on film. The special effects are incredible and seamless. "Look at me!," Harry screams in anger early in the film. A command I highly recommend.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"  Three and a half stars.

This week's movie review of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.