Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (2007)

If you want a good villain that everyone will hate… Introducing Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton). She truly is a character for everyone to dislike. Her high-pitched giggles become iconic for the audience. Her obsession with the colour pink and kittens is creepy. Her essence is mean and controlling. She controls everything, turning Hogwarts into a ‘Ministry-approved’ version, which is a version full of strict rules and only focus on the OWLs examinations. She becomes the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher where she follows a “carefully structured ministry approved course”, ie. meaning they can’t actually use magic. She flaws her way through Hogwarts creating havoc everywhere, changing the once beloved Hogwarts as we know it. And when things go wrong for her, we laugh and we clap joyfully. She should be taken away by the centaurs and have a magical fire-cracker dragon eating her. She should. Sadly, my hatred of this new teacher means that I don’t enjoy the film as much as the others. She truly is a great villain, but just a bit too irritating for me. Perhaps people view this differently however.

Order of Phoenix - Umbridge

Despite this, there is the introduction of another character, Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch), or “Loony Lovegood”. A character who becomes a part of the Harry Potter crew, one Harry is able to connect with on a level he can’t with his other friends; the connection being that Harry and Luna have both seen death. Luna’s misunderstood character is then in all the other films so is key to being introduced here. She’s extremely weird and have beliefs that many don’t understand, she has an interest in magical creatures, many that people don’t believe are real. She is definitely a different character to all the others, to say the least. There is also the introduction of some new places, including the Ministry of Magic and Headquarters.

Order of Phoenix - Luna

As you can guess, things get pretty hectic in Hogwarts during this film. This leads to the invention of Dumbledore’s Army, where the students take it upon themselves to learn how to defend themselves in the outer world of Hogwarts. Their teacher? Harry Potter of course! Although, including this, Harry is getting into the wrath of everything as well. People label him a liar as he claims The Dark Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has once again risen, which of course we know is true as this happened in the end of ‘The Goblet of Fire’. Additionally, Harry becomes more moody in this film, perhaps it’s him going through his moody teenager stage, or perhaps it’s portraying his connections to Voldemort; something which is extremely significant to the Harry Potter films in order to create the depth of Daniel Radcliffe’s character.

Order of Phoenix - Harry, Ron and Hermione

I really like how this film extends some relationships. There is an emphasis on Harry and Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), especially that he’s the only family he’s got left. Sirius becomes more of a fatherly figure for Harry and the audience witnesses this on an emotional level repeatedly throughout the film. Also a romance starts to grow between Ron and Hermione, which is the sweetest thing for the audience to witness.

Even though this isn’t my favourite Harry Potter film, it is still a good one, it has to be; all of them are! Fred and George (James and Oliver Phelps) are great with their many joke and trick sweets. And my favourite character, Ron, is hilarious in this film. This film is definitely key in creating many things that are important to the finale of Harry Potter. It’s the fifth year at Hogwarts, you have to join them. Even if there is the bitch Umbridge!

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

The second Harry Potter film, ‘the Chamber of Secrets’, starts with a self-punishing house elf and a flying car, which leads to chaos. Straight away from the start of the film, you know something bad is going to happen at Hogwarts. Yet no matter the punishments and persuasions, Harry Potter finds himself in second year at Hogwarts, his “home”. It is a very good beginning, persuading the audience to want to know the secrets of Hogwarts and what is going to conclude this year.

Harry Potter 2 - Dobby

After multiple students are “petrified” and threats conquer Hogwarts, Harry, Ron and Hermione, take it upon themselves, once again, to discover the secrets and sort the problems in hand; even though Harry was advised not to attend the School from the beginning. Throughout the film, there is an effort and personal aim towards Harry, this repetitiveness adds excitement to the film and makes the audience wonder what is happening. Along with this, the plot in this film is misleading for the audience, we are told to believe certain aspects whether they are true or not; however, this is not done in a confusing way.

This is a film most based upon the differences between Harry and others, he finds himself constantly in trouble, misunderstood, yet he doesn’t understand why either. It is the foundation of the understanding of Harry’s past and present and things he never wanted to know, although needs to know. ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ is also a film where enemies become more clear for the audience to understand, most predominantly the harsh comments from Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). Additionally, it is a film based upon magical creatures, ones that are key to the plot, from the simple Mrs Norris, Filch’s cat, to spiders in the Dark Forest, so if you like a film that explores “monsters”, unknown to what they are, this film has that indefinitely; keep in mind that some younger ages may find the scenes with the creatures slightly tense.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This film is different from the first as it introduces new characters, for example Dobby, a favourite character for many, and Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs); additionally, a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh), a self-absorbed author. But also the introduction of Floo Powder, Howlers and many more magical aspects. The Harry Potter films are very good at creating more things for the audience to learn about this unknown world of Hogwarts in each film, this means they don’t get boring and repetitive. However, alike ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, this film is appropriate for younger ages. This is shown how everything is fully explained and there are no left questions unanswered, this makes it less frightening for children.

‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ is the longest Harry Potter film. But it is understandably long as there is a lot to the plot that needs to be understood. This means there isn’t many occasions in the film where nothing is happening; something is constantly happening, most things not in Harry’s favour.

Harry Potter 2 - Moaning Myrtle

The second film of Harry Potter is an excellent one, one rather different to the others and puts perspective on different characters than the other films do. So I would recommend this film. As a child, this was definitely my favourite Harry Potter film, I can’t even suggest how many times I’ve watched it. Always remember Harry is always there to “save the day” or so he promises.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

The first Harry Potter film, the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’; is the introducing of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the houses, the classes, the teachers, and of course, the secrets. It’s a film involving a talking hat, a “pea-brain” troll, and Platform 9¾; a gripping and excellent film. The film delves into the imagination of children to understand this fantasy of a magical world, brilliantly created by J K Rowling, but most importantly believed by thousands of children.

Harry Potter 1 - Letters

Just like all the other Harry Potter films, there are the main three protagonists. In ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, the curious eleven year olds, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), find themselves uncovering the secrets of magical Hogwarts and take it upon themselves to fix the problems no matter how “forbidden” they were. At the beginning, they find that they are unlikely friends, but as the friendship grows, they realise they need each other; each one having their own individual talent.

There are a variety of characters to love in this film and also ones to feel unsure about. The loveable Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), the strict Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith), the understanding Dumbledore (Richard Harris), the suspicious Professor Snape (Alan Rickman), the bully Uncle Vernon (Richard Griffiths), the mothering Mrs Weasley (Julie Walters), and many more well-known actors and actresses to recognise.

Harry Potter 1 - Hogwarts

Harry goes from a boy unwanted in his home, living a lie but unknowingly, to a completely different life, one where he is famous but doesn’t even know why. Yet he finds himself more connected to this unknown world than to his previous Aunt and Uncle’s. Although, Harry occasionally struggles between the “Muggle” (human) and Witchcraft and Wizardry world. Well he is probably the only child who didn’t know he had magical powers until he was eleven where a strange man told him “you’re a wizard Harry”. It’s clever that Harry is not understanding to this unfamiliar world, one so different to his previous life, because it allows the audience to learn with him, so when Harry is unfamiliar the audience is too, therefore it is more relatable, even if it is a film based on magic. 

This film is appropriate for children, the film reflects comical comments to lighten the mood, and it is not serious all throughout the film. The lighting is most predominantly bright as they are not many dark scenes, only a few out in the Dark Forest or on the Third Floor Corridor, however, these are expected for the audience, as Dumbledore explains that they are “out of bounds” in his first announcement. Compared to the older films, these ones are much more suitable for younger ages.

MSDHAPO EC037

Just because this film is the first Harry Potter film, doesn’t simply mean it is the introduction to all the others and the characters involved, because it still has its own significant story line full of tension and secrecy waiting to be uncovered. In my opinion, I think this story line is one of the best out of all the Harry Potter’s. This film has to be good, more than good, explained by the hype of all the other films. No one is going to see a second film of a series with a rubbish first film. So it is definitely worth a watch. As the trailer says, it’s where the “magic begins”.

Harry Potter Introduction

I’m assuming that everyone has either seen at least one, or at minimum heard of the infamous Harry Potter movies or books. To be truthful, I am a Harry Potter fan and have read all the books and seen all of the films more than once, to say the least. But even I can say some are just better than the others.

As the films proceed and Harry gets older, the films become darker. Even the classification changes from PG to 12, understandably. So keep in mind, if children are watching, they might find the later films a bit too scary. Another thing to understand, is that the director of the films change. This means that each film has a different approach to J.K. Rowling’s novels. The first two films are directed by the same person, Chris Columbus. The third is by someone completely different; and alike the third, the forth film’s director is his only Harry Potter film. The last four films are all directed by David Yates, so these are not so different from each other. However, I’m not being naïve to think that the director has all the control of how a film pans out, obviously the producer and other key positions have some influence, also most predominantly the novel it is based upon, therefore J. K. Rowling’s works, for all eight films.

I would always recommend watching all of the Harry Potter series, they do reach their expectations. Although, I would say that even though the films are directed and portrayed brilliantly, still read the books, as some aspects aren’t in the films, which is understandable as you can’t fit everything into a two and a half hour film. Also, if you haven’t watched the films, do yourself a favour by making it better and watching them in order. Why not even try a Harry Potter marathon? If you can sit still and watch films for about 20 hours…

I know these films have been released for a while, but I still think that they are worth a mention and a review.

 

The amazing films are:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

 

Just click on the links and you’ll be taken to my film review on each film!