Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
After a shocking death at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, things start to get scary for the students at the school and residents of the wizarding world in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (HPOotP). In this fifth installment, a secret order of powerful wizards led by Albus Dumbledore begins to make plans to take down Lord Voldemort. Unfortunately, our favorite trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione are unable to participate due to the fact that they are having their own battles inside the castle against the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Dolores Umbridge is the new appointed teacher by the Ministry of Magic and is determined to squash any rumors that Lord Voldemort has really returned. The students have to team up and teach themselves new skills in order to survive what is on the horizon.
The fifth film in the Harry Potter franchise is where things really start to get interesting and the films start flowing together in a more fluid way thanks to director David Yates. The first two films were targeting the younger audience, Alfonso Cuarón took too many liberties with the third film and it was almost unrecognizable to fans of the series, and the fourth film was filled with so many irritating holes, that watching it is just a means to get to this movie. Things got dark and more adult at the end of HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, but in HPOotP we start to dive into the dark themes which is what makes this series span so many generations.
HPOotP introduces the audience to some of the best characters in the series, a couple of my favorites being Luna Lovegood (played by Evanna Lynch) and Nymphadora Tonks (played by Natalia Tena). The wizarding world expands greatly in this film and we get to see so many different types of wizards and witches that were cast so well that one can’t re-read the books without picturing their faces immediately. In this installment, we see the ones who fought Voldemort before all of it was put on Harry’s head and we see the new recruits who are inheriting the task of defeating the Dark Lord. Director David Yates does a fantastic job of not only highlighting each of the characters, but melds it so well with the world J.K. Rowling created that it’s easy for fans to forget what they saw on screen versus what they saw in their minds eye.
Due to the fact that they encompass one of the greatest fictional worlds ever created, all of the Harry Potter films will hold a special place in my heart, but I won’t lie and readily admit that it’s a bit of a chore for me to get through the first four movies each time I binge these films. HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX is where J.K. Rowling’s world really starts to shine and makes me really care about the characters, and I credit that all to David Yates. The mixture of tension and humor, light and darkness is what sets this one apart from the previous four and makes me so happy that he finished out the series and will be continuing on with FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX is another good-but-not-great 4K transfer, but this one is a little different considering how bad the Blu-ray looked. Director David Yates came into the series with an obvious eye towards turning the series darker, both in themes and in color palette and the Blu-ray didn’t do the darker scenes any favors. The 4K fixes some of those issues and the HDR makes the darker scenes easier to see. But most of the improvements are thanks to the HDR as the actual 4K resulted in only moderate upgrades. This is not a perfect transfer by any means, but it’s definitely an improvement over the Blu-ray.
Audio: The film has the same quality DTS-X track found on all of the 4K Harry Potter films and it’s once again a nice addition to the film.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but each of the 4K UHD Harry Potter films contain two Blu-ray discs, the first containing the movie and the second disc of special features “Creating the World of Harry Potter”. Both discs were found in the previously released Special Edition Blu-rays.