I’m back from seeing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Some random thoughts:
1. Umbridge and Lovegood were perfect!
2. The countryside around Hogwarts looked like the Scottish highlands (where I had a bus tour last spring). Well, it probably was!
3. The thestrals looked half-thestral, half-shantak.
4. When Hermione has her hair back she looks like Ivanova.
5. Why does the Ministry of Magic look like a Vegas casino?
6. Not enough Snape!
7. Hermione, Luna, and Ginny are all much more plausible love interests for Harry than the drearily boring and bland Cho Chang. What’s Harry’s problem? (Still, he’s too harsh on her later; Umbridge used truth serum on her, what could she do?)
8. The book explained who sent the dementors to attack Harry. The movie really should have too.
9. The book also showed explicitly that it was Snape who carried Harry’s warning to the Order; this is implicit in the movie, but given the looming importance of Snape’s loyalties it should have been shown.
10. Toward the end of my high school years our original principal, a cool, laid-back man we all loved, was replaced by a micromanaging, rule-oriented woman who talked down to us. No, she wasn’t a millionth as bad as Umbridge – it was just that she’d been transferred in from being middle school principal and didn’t know how to relate to older kids – but that aspect of the film sure gave me déjà vu.
11. One of the trailers before the film was for The Dark is Rising. I was a fan of that series as a kid. But the trailer did not inspire in me a desire to see the movie; nothing in the trailer felt like the books.
12. Switching from Potter movie 5 to Potter book 7 – I preordered it from Amazon but foolishly had it sent to my office address, so I won’t be able to see it until next week. I realise I’ll be more upset if either Ron or Hermione dies than if Harry does ….