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Friday, August 03, 2007


Yesterday, Lisa and I had a fun lil' trip to Raleigh, where we went to the IMAX Theater at the Exploris Museum to catch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in IMAX. This was the second time that we'd seen the movie and the third time that I've seen a feature film in IMAX: click here for my report from seeing Superman Returns at the same theater a year ago.

The first time that I saw the movie of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I said that I had liked it but that I hadn't been completely satisfied with the movie. At the time I was right in the middle of the book, trying to finish re-reading the entire series before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out. This is still the densest novel in the entire series and there's no way that a 2-hour movie can be done that adequately reflects everything in the book. I've no doubt that my reading it just then, on top of this being my favorite book of the series, affected my take on the movie. But, I was willing to give it another shot.

So what do I think of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix now, having seen it twice and this latest time in IMAX?

It's definitely starting to grow on me. I think that director David Yates and his crew have done a remarkable job in faithfully portraying the spirit of the book, given the time constraint they had to work within. The last time I saw the movie, I think that down on some level I was preparing to be disappointed 'cuz like I said, this is my favorite "regular" book in the saga (Deathly Hallows stands on its own as much as the Book of John stands apart from the "synoptic" gospels in the Bible). This time, I was a lot more relaxed going and willing to forgive any reasonable inconsistencies with the book.

The unforeseen consequence of that is that this time, I noticed much more detail from the book that made its way into the movie. The one that I can't stop thinking about is how this time, I did happen to notice that Percy Weasley was working as an underling to Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge. If you've read the books you know how this is a big deal. Granted it wasn't given any verbal mention but seeing how that was Percy who was holding Harry in custody in Dumbledore's office, made me respect the movie much more. No one needed to actually say anything more after that. We know he's in tight with the Minister's office. It's already a perfect setup for what we know is going to happen later. I don't know how I missed seeing him before but maybe since this go-round we watched the movie on an IMAX screen, there really was no excuse to miss him this time.

There's not much more than I can say about the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie that I could say that wasn't already articulated in my initial review. But there is one thing that seeing it this time had that watching the movie in a regular theater doesn't have: the amazing thrill of watching the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in full IMAX 3D! Everything from the moment Harry and his team leave Hogwarts, to when they return to the school is given the 3D treatment. I thought it looked even more beautiful and jaw-dropping than when we saw Superman Returns in IMAX 3D last year. It's only about 20 minute toward the end of the movie, but it's astounding enough to warrant the few extra bucks to see the movie in IMAX.

I'm glad that we did this. I feel like I can finally appreciate and enjoy this movie, and it was a really great experience made all the more fun by listening to the reactions from the kids in the audience, many of whom it was obvious had never seen an IMAX movie before at all. And I'm still chuckling at the little girl who said aloud "that woman's creepy!" during the scene where Dolores Umbridge is making Harry serve detention.

Go see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in IMAX if you can. It's an absolutely amazing spectacle for the eyes.


Anonymous said...

I've seen it three times on the IMAX. Definitely cool and worth the money. Though, after seeing it several times, I do believe more of the movie was set-up for possible 3D treatment (i.e, Voldemort's face in the snow, the fireworks, and certain other camera angles). Hopefully they'll offer a high-def 3D dvd experience.

Suz said...

Cool, but why can't we get Transformers in Imax? I've read its in Imax overseas. Time for another petition?


Malsy (THE Moe of DMOE) said...

WOW! we saw the last HP in IMAX and both my hubby and I HATED it! The durmstrang ship coming out of the water and the Hogwarts castle were the most impressive things- but seeing HArry's nose pores in an 8 foot diameter was TOOOOOOO much!!
BUt I am sooo glad that you two enjoyed it! I thought Umbridge was deliciously evil in the sickliest sweet way possible! the use of kittens was AWESOME! and I noticed Percy too! "Prat!" "humongus Big Head" (as Fred(sob!) and George would say)