HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
HTS Overall Score:82
With “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” coming out on Blu-ray we were BOUND to get a few reissues of the Harry Potter franchise in 4K UHD as well. Interestingly enough there seems to be only the LAST 4 films (ironically also directed by David Yates) instead of releasing all 8, or at least starting in order. My SUSPICION (and this is just conjecture) is that the older masters for the first 4 may need some touch up work, as the masters for the final 4 were done rather recently. Not to mention the fact that Ultimate editions with extended cuts were made of the several as well, meaning something needs to be worked on to bring them to market. Still, I’ve very happy to bring some of the best of the Potter Universe to the giant 2160p arena and with some very sweet artwork as well.
"The Order of the Phoenix" was one of the strangest films in the franchise. It pretty much acted as the hump in the series and after the incredible action in "The Goblet of Fire" it seemed like it was time to keep the intensity up, not drop to a low murmur. I will have to say that I disagree with my esteemed colleague Wayde when he gave the film a 2/5 rating (I'd say a much more middle of the 3.5/5 is more my opinion), but it was a distinct let down from the 4 that came before it.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=94690[/img]As with "The Deathly Hallows", I’m not going to rehash the storyline as Wayde had reviewed both the film back in 2008, so for his opinions on the movie itself I will link to his words HERE.
Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=94698[/img]Once again I'm going to repeat myself by saying that "The Order of the Phoenix" was filmed/directed by David Yates, and Yates has a very distinct visual style to his "Harry Potter" films that is undeniably "unique". He loves darkness and using grim desaturated colors, interspersed with bright primary splashes than stand out against the background blue/grey tones that just envelop the film. "Order of the Phoenix" was one of those films that looked a bit soft in the Blu-ray presentation. Overly soft in my personal opinion, but the 4K UHD helps clear up some of those issues. The thing is, the upgrade is not that giant leaps and bounds increase that I would have liked. The majority of the first 2/3 of the film look decently better than the Blu-ray. the artifacting is no longer as prevalent, compression is better and the general clarity is distinctly more visible. However the HDR colors don't really pop that much and there is still a little bit of softness around the edges of physical structures. However, the final battle really looks a LOT better, as the increased skill in compression and the bright colors of the battle give a goodly amount of pop and pizazz. Honestly I had a really hard time rating this one. I wanted to rate it a 3.5/5 at first, but I don't think that a 3.5/5 is completely fair to the film. At the same time I gave a solid 4/5 to both the "Deathly Hallows" films and I don't want to give the impression that "Order of the Phoenix" is every bit as great as those two. Here's right about where I wish I could give 3.75 or 4.25 ratings, so with full disclosure I'm giving it a 4/5 but just BARELY, while the "Deathly Hallows" films were almost 4.5/5 on the 4/5 scale.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=94706[/img]Like the other "Harry Potter" UHD films I reviewed this last week, the biggest increase comes in the form of a DTS:X track that is a rather nice jump up from the old 5.1 TrueHD track that was on the 2007 Blu-ray (wow, has it really been 10 years)? The 5.1 track was a fantastic track back in the day, but it has gotten a kick in the pants with a much more immersive and directionaly based DTS:X track that had me grinning from ear to ear. "Order of the Phoenix" has a sound design that shifts from quiet moments of dialog in an empty hallway to loud moments of explosive energy that reverberate throughout the channels. The use of overheads and surround channels is impeccable, allowing for the little echoes and "tinks" from Hogwarts to emanate from any position in the sound stage with eerie clarity. The energy blasts and more explosive moments throb with a heavy dose of LFE and the dialog is above reproach. If I have to highlight one feature of this new edition, its the fact that the audio track shines above all else.
• In movie experience - Explore the people, places, creatures and moviemaking magic behind them while you watch the movie
• Focus Points (28 Segments Totaling 66 Minutes)
• Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 5: Evolution - 57 minute documentary
• 9 Deleted Scenes
"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is probably my least liked "Harry Potter" film in the franchise. It introduces the highly annoying Dolores Umbridge and features one of the most dull plotlines in the entire franchise. However, even weak harry potter is still pretty good storytelling, and the increase in visual and auditory clarity is a welcome addition for Potter fans. The visual uptick is a bit weaker than expected, but the upgrade to DTS:X for the audio mix is a VERY welcome addition indeed. Whether you upgrade or not will probably depend on your love of audio and whether you want the best video quality available, even if it's only an incremental upgrade over the 1080p disc. Still recommended as a solid set.
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emily Watson, Rupert Grint
Directed by: David Yates
Written by: Michael Goldenberg (Screenplay), J.K. Rowling
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 HEVC
Audio: English: DTS:X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 Core), Spanish DD 5.1
Runtime: 139 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 28th 2017
Buy Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix On 4K Blu-ray at Amazon
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