Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Poster #2

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is now available in stores.

It’s very difficult to successfully translate the contents of a book to film. It’s much more difficult when you have to adapt a book as long as Order of the Phoenix. However, writer Michael Goldenberg took the material and tidily condensed it to the second shortest Harry Potter film. That’s no easy feat. Not only that but Order of the Phoenix marked the beginning of the franchise’s mature tone. The script is chock full of sinister characters and adult machinations.

Phoenix also marks the first film for long-time Potter director David Yates. Here he brings a lot of energy to this fast-paced film. Yates doesn’t linger too long on a scene before going onto the next one. On the other hand, he doesn’t build any tension which makes some key scenes less impactful. He also doesn’t put his identity on the film at all. As nice as it was to see someone like Cuaron put his stamp on a Harry Potter film, Yates services to the material instead.

As noted, Order of the Phoenix marks the beginning of a mature turn for the franchise. In turn, Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson provide their most mature performance yet. Harry Potter has been through a lot so it’s only fitting for Radcliffe to be intense here. He delivers such an angry and impassioned performance. Rupert Grint gives a more caring performance here than in previous iterations. Gone are the days where Ron Weasley is the butt of all jokes. Like Ron, Hermoine is a stronger character as well. Watson gives an empowering and rebellious performance which is different from her past iterations.

Imelda Staunton is also solid as the dastardly Dolores Umbridge. Staunton delivers such a unique and evil performance that seemingly everyone dislikes her character. Behind her every smile is a feeling of utter madness. All of this is because of Staunton’s performance.

Due to a short runtime and large cast, some of the actors doesn’t get that big of a spotlight. Essentially some of them will pop up and then disappear a moment later. It’s a bit disruptive with the way that they appear and quickly vanish like that.

Overall, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a solid entry into the franchise. It’s a bit magnetic to see Harry and company come to grips with their bleak situation. It’s just a shame that the rest of Dumbledore’s army gets put to the side like that.

Movie Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hits Ultra HD with an HDR 2160p transfer and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Unlike the Fantastic Beasts Ultra HD release, there is only a marginal improvement over the 1080p version of the film. For one thing, the HDR provides the biggest improvement over the regular 1080p release. There are a lot of dark scenes in Phoenix and the HDR makes these scenes easier to see. The rest of the Ultra HD visual upgrades are limited by comparison. Phoenix isn’t a colorful film by any means but the spectrum of hues comes through with the Ultra HD’s wider color gamut. The skin colors are natural looking and smooth, and there weren’t any visible banding or noise either.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Katie Leung, Tom Felton, and Imelda Staunton

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hits Ultra HD with a DTS:X and DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio track. The review will reflect Phoenix‘s core DTS-HD 7.1 track. This 7.1 upgrade improves upon the already impressive 5.1 mix and expands it further. The sound effects envelopes the entire sound stage and sweep through the channel array effortlessly. They just seem to blast through the speakers from all directions and add another dimension to the scenes. None of the loud environmental effects seem to affect the dialogue intelligibility, though. The dialogue comes in crystal clear through the front and center channels. Overall, this energetic mix gets high marks.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Ralph Fiennes

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix‘s Ultra HD disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, the regular Blu-ray contains the following special features:

  • In-Movie Experience
  • Focus Points
  • Creating the World of Harry Potter
  • Additional Scenes
  • Building the Magic: Behind the Sets of Harry Potter
  • The Rebellion Begins
  • Fulfilling a Prophecy
  • Behind the Magic
  • Trailing Tonks
  • The Magic of Editing
  • Theatrical Trailers

If these special features look familiar, that’s because it should. These special features are the same ones found in the Ultimate Edition of Order of the Phoenix. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The special features found in the Ultimate Edition contains the most extensive look into the making of the film. The most notable feature is the PIP featurette which delivers a wonderful overview of the film while watching it. Overall, there is a lot to go through so be sure to free up some time before delving into these featurettes.

Special Features Rating: 5/5 atoms

Overall, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix may not be the best Harry Potter film but it’s still a solid entry. Phoenix marks the beginning of the end thus it opens the door to a more mature version of the titular character. The video transfer is adequate but the audio mix is loud and lively. The special features may be repeats from the Ultimate Edition but it’s definitive enough to warrant a pass.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Warner Bros Home Entertainment.

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