I blame my bad memory on many things, and rightly so.
But this latest Harry Potter flick, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is apparently actually benefiting from my bad memory.
See, Iíve forgotten much of the book, and so, I canít really compare the movie to the book. And as a stand alone movie, I say it works nicely.
Order of the Phoenix is the darkest of the series thus far, and it earns itís PG-13 rating. The movie doesnít ever show itís happy, fun magic side like the previous movies. Some people might have a problem with that, but itís for the greater good, as they just foreshadow whatís coming up for young Mr Potter and his brave, true friends.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson are back as Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and I think theyíre getting better and better. Truthfully, Ron and Hermione donít get as much screen time as they should, but again, I feel like the movie stands alone from the book, and while all three characters get a lot of time to shine in the book, the movie just canít be that long.
Also back are Gary Oldman as Sirius Black, Brendan Gleeson as Mad Eye Moody, and of course, Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore.
New to the mix this time are Natalia Tena as Tonks (she hates her real name!), but she has very little screen time, the great Helena Bonham Carter as the wicked Bellatrix LeStrange, and Imelda Staunton as the really, really annoying Dolores Umbridge.
My favorite new character to the movie is one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter books, Luna Lovegood. Sheís played by Evanna Lynch, and I think she did a really great job. Lovegoodís a great, spacey character, but somehow, sheís also very wise, too.
Order of the Phoenix was directed by David Yates, and I believe heíll be doing the next film as well. I think he did a good job with the look and feel of the movie. Michael Goldenberg had the unenviable task of adapting the book, and while it would have been nice for some of the stuff he left in the book to find itís way to the screen, I still think he did a good job.
So as I write this, mere days away from receiving my copy of the new bookÖthe final Harry Potter book, I say that the Potter movie series is still going strong.