No spoilers - beyond the trailers.
So this is what I had been doing for the last four days - each day I watched one Harry Potter movie, from the first to the last one, in preparation for Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.
I have a bad record for the Harry Potter movies. I never watched the first one before I had seen the second one - and when I did - it was a late night show. I fell asleep in between the movie. The third movie I enjoyed the most. The fourth movie was again a late night show. And once more, I fell asleep.
So this time I promised myself I would go to an early show - but first, here's a small recap of the four previous ones.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - good intro to the series, good movie and lots of entertaining parts.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - the best thinking movie of the series. I really, really enjoyed it as it has a lot of secrets and clues and mysteries that fall into place by the end.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - the best action movie of the series. This was my favourite movie of the series up until two nights ago, but still remains a very, very good film. Has a fast pace, lots of action, bits of mystery, and my favourite - time travel.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - garbage movie. The worst movie, a total bore, complete lack of coherence where the only significant part is the return of You-Know-Who.
So, what do I make of Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix?
I am ... somewhat ... disappointed in the movie. It wasn't as bad as the Goblet of Fire, but that isn't saying much. First, the pros.
It wasn't boring. I never felt the need to yawn or check my watch - the pace was kept throughout the movie as the story unfolded and never got bogged down. The acting was superb (especially of the character Dolores Umbridge). You felt for the characters when the "good" side fought amongst themselves. There were some great visuals (like the Thames fly-by). The confrontation scenes (be it with You-Know-Who or with Dolores Umbridge) were great, both for their visuals and for their impact.
Now for the cons. First, there was NO MYSTERY in the movie! Like, in the Chamber of Secrets, you had the puzzle as to who the Heir was, or what or where the Chamber was. In the third movie you had the identity of the Prisoner, the mystery of the Dementors and so on. At least in the fourth movie you had the puzzle of the challenges. This movie? It can be summarized by "a bunch of stuff happens".
Next, Harry's story doesn't "grow" by much. You don't find out more about his parents, or anything. I was very, very disappointed with that aspect. I thought they would reveal more stuff about Harry Potter's history.
Next, the over hyped "kiss" scene. There is absolutely ZERO chemistry between Harry Potter and Cho Chang. And if I was the Chosen One who has fought off You-Know-Who, my choice would have been a bit better than Cho Chang! That Patel girl was much better.
All in all, this is probably tied with the Philosopher's Stone due to the presence of some great scenes, and a whole class apart than the magnificent second and third installments of the series, but overall far better than the garbage fourth movie.