Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is an important chapter in the story; it sets a darker tone for the final leg of Harry’s journey. Voldemort is back, the world doesn’t believe it yet, and Harry along with his friends has to keep the fight going. The young actors truly start to shine in this film as well. We see much more nuanced performances from all three of them, truly embodying the spirit of the characters. The supporting characters, in fact the entire mythical world of Harry Potter, all click together by this point, adding a believable edge to this fictional universe. You hate Umbridge, sympathize with Lupin, are conflicted about Snape, and generally want to see the good guys win despite all odds.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a terrific film and one that ends with a true turning point for Harry as he faces a shattering loss. The growth of the characters in their pursuit of magic and in their relationships together was well represented and helps make this one of the better films in the series.
It should come as no surprise that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Ultimate Edition looks fantastic on Blu-ray. Presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio with a VC-1 encoding the look and feel of this Blu-ray transfer is nothing short of brilliant. Textures are detailed enough to touch, colors are bright, and vibrant and small details stand out in nearly every scene. This is a CGI heavy film and the effects are convincing and are seamlessly integrated into the look of the movie.
The true star of this transfer is how well blacks are reproduced. There is a key scene late in the film where Harry and his friends are in a black room with only the lights from their wands and the scene is nearly flawless. The inky black darkness is pervasive feeling and the light form the wands is convincing in the shadow detail and glow radius. Other more mundane scenes at night or in dark areas look suitably stunning as well. This is a fantastic looking film that is reproduced flawlessly on this Blu-ray release.
The Order of the Phoenix sounds as good as it looks with this 16-bit PCM 5.1 soundtrack. The mix is nearly perfect with excellent use of the surround fields to bring an immersive feel to many scenes. Conversations are always clear and crisp with the center channel being used effectively. Bass is present in many key scenes and it makes your subwoofer work without being obnoxious. A soundtrack like this is further proof that a great audio experience enhances the overall experience of a film.