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Two Films of Two Teenagers

1:44 am PHT

Woah. It’s been over three months since I last did a movie reaction so let me rectify that by talking about two not too-recent movies. One is about a teen and his phoenix-core wand, while the other is about another teen and his Camaro/alien-robot.

But before we go there, can I point an observation about the movies that have been released this summer? Have you noticed that most of the blockbuster ones are sequels and most of these sequels are the third one in their franchises? There’s Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Ocean’s 13, Spider-man 3, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Rush Hour 3. I call this movie season “The Sequel” movie season. This is in contrast to the “The Something” movie season late last year when a lot of movies that are titled “The Something” were released around that time. (The Return, The Marine, The Prestige, The Departed, The Covenant, and The Grudge (2).)  :D

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Well, one friend really hated it (he seems to have deleted that blog entry of his). Another friend loved it. The five-minute fool gave it 4.5 out of 5. While another friend thought it was ok, but the least likable among the five so far. Me? I loved it best among all of the films so far. The movie is darker and edgier, and that’s just how I like it. J.K. Rowling herself said that it was “the best yet,” so I guess I’m in good company.  :)

I didn’t like the previous film, The Goblet of Fire. I thought it tried to cram too much into a long film and it ended up not tackling plot lines with the necessary depth. In contrast, Order of the Phoenix slashed practically every unneeded subplot and created a tightly drawn storyline giving us the irony of having the shortest film yet for the longest book in the series.

I didn’t find the plot editing perfect though. The dementor episode at the beginning was dragged out too much and I wished to have seen more Umbridge vs. McGonagall scenes (how I would’ve loved to have witnessed their shouting match over Harry’s auror career ambitions).

Speaking of Umbridge, Imelda Staunton as the cruel Ministry of Magic henchwoman was an absolute delight in this film. Watching this movie again just to see her evilness and to hear that now-iconic laugh is definitely worth it. Staunton’s performance actually overshadowed the excellent portrayals of Maggie Smith (McGonagall), Alan Rickman (Snape), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), and Emma Thompson (Trelawney).

Anyway, a couple more nitpicks. The concluding scenes were kinda anticlimactic. I felt that the change of scene after Voldemort disapparated and the Ministry people saw him could’ve been much, much better instead of the Daily Prophet sequence. Also, they shouldn’t have left out Lily Evans in the Occlumency scene with Snape. In the book, Lily scolds James Potter when he and his friends were ganging up on Snape. If you have read the final book, I’m sure you’ll agree that Lily’s presence there is significant.

But regardless, I still think that the movie is a treat and did the series justice.

Transformers

Expecting that this is a Michael Bay film, the live-action movie adaptation of the Transformers is quite good. Michael Bay is known for his staple CGI special-effected high-speed action sequences like in Pearl Harbor and Armageddon, and he doesn’t disappoint here.

The cartoony robots of the 80’s were prepped up with some CGI goodness from Industrial Light & Magic thus giving us some realistic and bad-ass destructive robots! They’re the star of the show—human actors be damned! Then again, who can forget Bumblebee serenading Mikaela (the chick) with “Baby, come back!”? <chuckles>

Anyway, the seriously gaping plot hole regarding bringing the Allspark cube into the heart of a city is really nothing more than an excuse to give Michael Bay a chance to destroy buildings and cause mayhem (and have lots of extras fleeing around screaming their hearts out). Well, if nothing else, it gives us viewers something to enjoy. Hehehe.

Just remember: Michael Bay = eye-candy film. Enter the theater with that in mind and you’re sure to enjoy one heck of a ride like in Transformers.  :)

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