DVD Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Everybody’s favorite boy-wizard is back! And this time he is not fucking around.

Everybody’s favorite boy-wizard is back! And this time he is not fucking around.

Based on the fifth book in the ubiquitous series by children’s author J.K. Rowling, Order of the Phoenix shows Harry’s internal struggles from an encounter with Lord Voldemort, as well as his difficulties with the Ministry of Magic. After his new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher (impeccably played by Imelda Staunton) fails to teach the class in usable technique, Harry mounts a secret class of his own. Eventually (read: at the end of the movie) Harry and his friends will face off against the enemies of good-wizardry.

The Order of the Phoenix is not the best film in series (that honor goes to the Alfonso Cuaron directed Prisoner of Azkaban) but it is enjoyable. Just remember that Harry Potter is supposed to be a moody teenager, so that annoying feeling has its place. The special effects are also typically wonderful, and really, it’s a fun movie. Only grumpy assholes don’t like Harry Potter.

DVD features:The special features on the two-disc special edition are atypically interesting, with featurettes and innovative items that will interest both fans of Harry Potter and students of filmmaking.

Highlights include:

? Deleted scenes (really only for the obsessive-fan)? The Hidden Secrets of Harry Potter feature that explores hidden clues contained within the film series.? The Magic of Editing with director David Yates and editor Mark Day. This feature is cool because it has a brief explanation of the editing process, and then an interactive feature that is supposed to let the viewer “edit their own scene.” While it’s a very simple tool, the interactive element is compelling. The only thing holding this feature back from being amazing are the clumsy controls designed with DVD remote in mind. Still, these are the type of value-added elements that were supposed to make the DVD the savior of at-home viewing formats.

In the end, as with most DVDs, if you saw the movie in theaters and found it enjoyable, this edition is a worthy investment. If you’re seeing it for the first time, rent it.