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Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. When I ran one spy’s reaction to this film last week, I got all sorts of angry, pissy letters from HARRY POTTER fans. And it was a largely positive review. So since I haven’t been called a “stupid fucko” in a week or so, I thought I’d run a few more early reviews for the film. Keep in mind, this is still being put together, and any opinion right now has to do with a work in progress, not the end result you’ll see in theaters this summer. Here’s the first report:

Hey there. Saw a free screening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was a while ago, but I've had crazy deadlines at work this week so this is a delayed review. Sorry. There's some spoilers. I have to say, this series keeps getting better and better with every installment! How many times do we see other big franchises (Stars Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc.) start off with a bang and then blow out like a candle? It's nice to see the opposite happen with Potter: it started off slow and tiny with Chris Columbus's so-so kiddy friendly approach and has really exploded into a series that I think will end up being far more prolific than all of those combined. Yeah that's right, I went there. I can't believe I'm saying this, but this new one makes Lord of the Rings look like a fucking cartoon. And it was only a rough cut! So basically the story is this: Last year Voldemort came back and this year the Ministry of Magic is saying he didn't in order to maintain their political power. They place a Ministry official in the school--Umbridge, a psychotic stepford bitch in pink--to enforce new regulations that will keep the students from learning how to defend themselves against dark arts and to prevent Harry from proving that Voldemort is in fact back in action. So Harry leads an underground group of students where they train to become badass fighters before facing off with Voldemort and his death eaters. Throughout the movie everyone keeps ignoring Harry for his own safety and the only one he can turn to is his uncle, Sirius Black, who is willing to fight by his side. For once the story is actually easy to follow. Usually I have to bug my friends with all kinds of stupid questions but this time I got it and somehow actually managed to remember most of the names. The cinematography was PHENOMENAL. Very classy old school approach that really takes advantage of widescreen. Think Dr Zivango, Lawrence of Arabia, etc. Very epic feel. It starts off with Harry and his stupid fat ghetto-wannabe cousin getting chased by Dementors (creepier and more decaying than the ones in Prisoner of Askaban) who show up with a huge rainstorm out of nowhere. This was pretty cool and it was nice to finally see a Potter movie start off with an intense action sequence. Also veryy refreshing was seeing epic wide shots of the characters flying through London at night. I couldn't figure out why I found this so cool and exciting, but now that I think back on it, I guess it's actually somewhat of a cinematic first. In movies we usually only get wild helicopter night shots of places like New York when Spider-Man is slinging around. The special effects with the creatures weren't done so they all had a cheap Nintendo 64-ish look to them. But a lot of the other stuff seemed complete. There were a lot of cool scenes in this one: Dumbledore escaping the Ministry in a burst of flames, Helena Bonhamcarter escaping Askaban prison, Harry doing detention by writing lines with his own blood, flying through London--TWICE, Snape breaking into Harry Potter's mind and vice versa, Umbridge getting chased by animal shaped fireworks, Redhead girl smashing a library full of crystal balls, Gary Oldman fighting with Helena BonhamCarter, and the best for last: Dumbledore fighting Voldemort one on one. That last scene wasn't finished but boy does it fucking deliver! What's cool about it is that you're not just watching special effects but you're also getting kickass dramatic performances from Fiennes and the other guy. The boy does an amazing job too when acting like he's possessed by Voldemort. This time all the actors are at the head of their game. Even the kids. Umbridge was a pretty interesting villain to watch. Very unlike what you'd expect. She's even scarier than Voldemort by the end of it. Although maybe that's a bad thing, because I actually didn't find Voldemort too threatening in comparison to her. There's this blond girl too, Luna, who's really funny and teaches Harry about getting over the loss of loved ones. Sadly we don't get to see too much of Alan Rickman. But for the little screen time he IS given, he's sucking brilliant. His scenes where he's entering Harry's mind are pretty cool too, the way they're edited in a real fast paced choppy kind of way. In fact I really liked a lot of the camera work and editing in this. The editing style is choppy in a really artistic sort of way which helps move the story along at a good pace. What's also nice is that there's a lot of, um dunno how to say this… chorepgraphy? Scenography? With the actors. The way they move around the locations helps dramatise the scenes even more. Emma Thompson is back from the Askaban movie too, and she gets fired by Umbridge for being a phony and that scene was done really well. Robbie Coltrane also isn't in this much, and his time there feels a little too much like a plot gimmick. His role is to just introduce his long lost brother, who's a giant, who then ends up doing something later. That part felt a little too detached, even though it has its purpose in the plot. The movie was kinda long. 2 and ½ hours, but it feels more like two hours. Still, there were some parts with Umbridge that maybe could have been cut down only because they felt redundant. And at this point I think I'm spoiling it too much and I'm not good at writing reviews anyways. Point is, I think this movie will end up being a pleasant surprise to a lot of people and I'm definitely going to see it again once it's finished. This movie is insane. If you're looking for a big action film that actually has some emotional depth and epic performances for a change, then don't miss this. Er, call me Mr Twit

Does Mr Twit have leaves? Let’s see what this other spy has to say:

Hi Harry, I just read "Rosncranz's" review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and I think I should step in here. I too saw the super secret test screening here in Chicago. I was in the "first crowd" to see the movie. There were two screenings on Saturday, a show at 4pm for adults but I was lucky enough to be in the 1pm show with all the kiddies. There is nothing quite like the reaction heard when we were told that we were to see the latest movie in what I believe to be the best (current) series of movies. I think that these movies just keep getting better. I think that Azkaban and Goblet of Fire were amazing and this stands up next to them. The next few paragraphs will be spolier-ish. We open to reports of a severe drought and Harry sitting on a swing at a park where Dudley has just been beating up 10yr olds. "This one deserved it!" Dudley quickly turns his attention to tormenting Harry by mocking his dead mother. Yeesh! Harry gets riled up and goes after Dudley with his wand. All of a sudden, clouds and thunder overhead. It seems like Harry has somehow conjured this up but we soon learn that this is the doing of two Dementors. They chase the boys into an underground passageway. Harry must use magic to save not only himself but Dudley as well. This lands Harry in deep trouble with the Minestry of Magic and he is expelled from Hogwarts!!! The only way to clear his name is an emergency trial...where Dumbledore acts as his lawyer and gets him reinstated at school. Natch. Back at Hogwarts, Harry is plagued by nightmares involving Voldemort and is becoming more and more withdrawn from his mates. This is a much darker Harry than we are used to seeing. The entire cast has grown up but we see the most change in Harry. We learn that the nightmares that Harry is having is actually Voldemort trying to...for lack of a better word...possess him. He wants to use Harry for the location of "the prophecy". This is a "document" containing the exact manner of relationship between Harry and Voldemort. It basically states that one cannot survive while the other does. Or in Harry's words "One of us will have to kill the other before its all done" Talk about great foreshadowing! Throughout the course of the movie we see several training sequences involving "Dumbledore's Army" Harry and the gang have formed an underground club to learn and use magic as a weapon and as a defense. These bits are great as we get to see Harry at his finest. It's also fun to see them getting the better of the HORRIBLE Professor Umbridge. Theres a part where the Weasley twins really get their revenge! All in all, the majority of the second act is the kids getting prepared for the coolest moment in Harry Potter history so far. THE WIZARD WAR!!! This is Team Dumbledore: Harry, Hermoine, Ron, Sirius...etc. VS. Team Voldemort: Malfoy Sr., Bellatrix Lestrange (Sirius' sister???) and a cast of baddies. This reminds me very much of the Jedi battles in ROTS. Lots of effects (due to the nature of the screening, these weren't finished yet) and LOTS of action. I will have to agree with the previous review in that it is getting tough to see Voldemort escape time after time only to set up the next movie. That aside, true Potter fans will not be disappointed. There are stand outs, good and bad...Hagrids brother is meant for comic relief but I don't think it works. Umbridge is hardly bearable. The bright spots are the Weasly twins, Harrys new bad-ass-edness, his intense make out with Cho, and little Luna Lovegood. I would have to say that this movie is another Harry Potter success coming in just below Goblet of Fire on my favorites list. It's great to see these actors mature and truly have ownership of their roles. I give this movie an A- If you use this, call me: The Illegitimate Son of Krypton
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