I must say that I am slightly put off. Having seen Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix I must admit that I am surprised to see that the first official reviews to appear for the film are somewhat mixed.
What did I think? Well, since I am not allowed to give an official review until closer to the film's release date, know that I think it is really, really, really, really good. Yes, I found the film to be one of the most faithful Potter adaptations to date.
But Hollywood Reporter and Variety don't necessarily disagree. Did reading the novel (multiple times) and knowing the content/story help me to enjoy the film much more than non-readers?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Official Reviews
Below are snippets from the first two official reviews to go up for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I would love to put mine up, but it will have to wait.
The students at Hogwarts leave youthful hijinks behind once and for all in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." Considerably grimmer and grittier than the previous pictures in the phenomenally successful series, new entry finds the young charges' head-on collision with adolescence taking a backseat to their sober confrontation with unvarnished evil. Pottermania will reach a peak in July with the nearly simultaneous release of the fifth film and the seventh and final book, and only commercial concern for Warner Bros. may be that, after the second or third week, curiosity about the concluding tome could overshadow interest in the film.
This is the fifth -- and longest at 800 pages -- book on which a "Harry Potter" film has been based. Consequently, this is a movie that feels like a reunion in a train station, in which even more characters get introduced and old friends revisited, making for a bewildering array of personages to keep track of even for those paying close attention. Then there is the fact that this book -- and movie -- is a watershed of backstory, revelations and plot clarifications before heading into the two remaining chapters. So while "Phoenix" is a necessary film, it's quite possibly the least enjoyable of the lot so far.
Check out both reviews for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by clicking the bold links above.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix opens to theaters on July 11th.