And remember, there be spoilers ahead!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007). After Voldemort’s return in the last movie, the world doesn’t believe it, but a small group of witches and wizards band together to stand against the Lord and his Death Eaters. They call themselves the Order of the Phoenix.
It adds to the cast Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood, Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge, Natalia Tena as Nymphadora Tonks, Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange, and George Harris as Kingsley Shacklebolt.
The DA (short for Dumbledore’s Army), a group of students being taught defensive magic by the Trio, is started in this film. It’s essentially a group of rebels. They aren’t being taught properly in class by the new, Ministry appointed Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Umbridge. Umbridge is a grade-A bitch, and refuses to teach them actual magic.
The final battle at the Ministry is epic. The clash between the Order and the Death Eaters is spectacular, as they move about in clouds of smoke and light. It’s a dramatic, though slightly cliché, way of demonstrating the whole Good vs Evil dynamic.
Sirius Black: I want you to listen to me very carefully, Harry. You’re not a bad person. You’re a very good person, who bad things have happened to. Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.
Harry Potter: [to the D.A. members] Working hard is important, but there’s something that matters even more. Believing in yourself. Think of it this way: Every great wizard in history has started out as nothing more than we are now. Students. If they can do it, why not us?
Kingsley Shacklebolt: You may not like him, Minister, but you can’t deny: Dumbledore’s got style.
Dolores Umbridge: Please, tell them I mean no harm.
Harry Potter: Sorry, Professor, but I must not tell lies.
Harry Potter: The prophecy said neither one can live while the other one survives. It means one of us is going to have to kill the other, in the end.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). This follows Harry’s sixth year in Hogwarts, during which he discovers an old potions book belonging to the ‘Half-Blood Prince’, and many secrets and twists in Lord Voldemort’s past. It also makes his future path and mission a bit clearer.
It adds to the cast Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn, Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown, Helen McCrory as Narcissa Malfoy, David Legeno as Fenrir Greyback, Freddie Stroma as Cormack McLaggen, Louis Cordice as Blaise Zabini, and Scarlett Byrne as Pansy Parkinson.
Dumbledore divulges to Harry Potter a lot more about his plans for Lord Voldemort’s defeat, eventually explaining a little about the concept for Horcruxes. A Horcrux is an object imbued with a piece of somebody’s soul. Voldemort made seven, and they must each be destroyed before Voldemort can be killed.
There are some seriously funny moments in this film. In particular, the scenes where Harry has taken the luck potion, Felix Felicis. He becomes extremely exuberant and happy, and so gives many funny responses to conversation. It’s a light spot in the middle of an increasingly darker series.
Albus Dumbledore: You must be wondering why I brought you here.
Harry Potter: Actually sir, after all these years I just sort of go with it.
Professor McGonagall: Potter, take Weasley with you. He looks far too happy over there.
Professor McGonagall: [to Harry, Ron, & Hermione] Why is it, when something happens, it is always you three?
Ron Weasley: Believe me, Professor. I’ve been asking myself the same question for six years.
Rubeus Hagrid: Seriously misunderstood creatures, spiders are. It’s the eyes, I reckon, they unnerve some folk.
Harry Potter: Not to mention the pincers… [clicks his tongue while miming pincers biting]
Horace Slughorn: What about you, Miss Granger? What do your parents do in the muggle world?
Hermione Granger: Ah, my parents are dentists.
Horace Slughorn: And is that considered a dangerous profession?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010). This starts the EPIC finale of Harry Potter’s story, with the search for the final few horcruxes, which once destroyed will enable the death of Lord Voldemort. The Trio don’t head back to school in this instalment, which makes you miss Hoqwarts a bit. Or at least I miss it (and it’s my blog).
There are many funny and poignant moments in this film, intertwined with the dark and scary moments. They quite often sneak around in disguise, which leads to confusion, and speedy escapes. Hermione even disguises herself as Bellatrix Lestrange in order to break into Lestrange’s Gringott’s vault, where the Trio find a horcrux.
To be honest there are parts of this movie which make you wish it was happening faster. Okay, I think we all know it’s the camping, and the movie cuts a lot of it out. Thank God. Though the film makes it more exciting with the gorgeous scenery.
Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody: [handing out Polyjuice Potion] Fair warning, it tastes like goblin piss.
Fred Weasley: Have lots of experience with that, do you, Mad-Eye? [Moody glares] Just trying to diffuse the tension.
Harry Potter: No one else is going to die. Not for me.
Ron Weasley: For you? You think Mad-Eye died for you? You think George took that curse for you? You may be the Chosen One, mate, but this is a whole lot bigger than that.
Kingsley Shacklebolt: [through his Patronus] The Ministry has fallen. The Minister of Magic is dead. They are coming.
[Harry, Ron and Hermione infiltrate the Ministry of Magic disguised as Ministry employees]
Yaxley: Cattermole! It’s still raining inside my office!
Ron Weasley: [trying to disguise his voice] Uh… have you tried an umbrella?
Bellatrix Lestrange: You stupid elf! You could have killed me!
Dobby the House Elf: Dobby never meant to kill! Dobby only meant to maim, or seriously injure!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). It’s tagline is ‘It All Ends’. And it does. The final and lethal showdown between Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Lord Voldemort.
As it’s the continuation of the previous film, it doesn’t really add any new major characters. It does however include Miriam Margoyles as Professor Sprout, and Gemma Jones as Madame Pomfrey, as with most of the previous films.
The movie is considerably epic. There are some incredible special effects, and magical spells. Everyone at Hogwarts shows their mettle, and Neville proves he’s a serious badass. Love the sweater too.
There are a few things I didn’t like in the movie, which were better done in the book, such as how Voldemort dies. The whole point of his death in the book, like a regular human being, is to show that he was indeed just a person (though a rather deranged one). They lay his body away from all of the other fallen, but it’s proof he’s really gone. In the film, he disintegrates, and suddenly it’s like he was a mythical being who didn’t really exist. While the scene is dramatic, it doesn’t hold the same level of meaning as it does in the book. I also wasn’t a fan of how the Malfoy’s just sneak away at the end of the battle. In the book they redeem themselves so much more.
Flitwick: You do realize we can’t keep out You-Know-Who indefinitely.
Minerva McGonagall: That doesn’t mean we can’t delay him. And his name is Voldemort, so you might as well use it, he’s going to try and kill you either way.
Minerva McGonagall: [to Neville] Why don’t you confer with Mr. Finnigan? As I recall, he has a particular proclivity for pyrotechnics.
Seamus Finnigan: I can bring it down!
Minerva McGonagall: That’s the spirit, now away you go.
Argus Filch: Students out of bed! Students in the corridor!
Minerva McGonagall: They are supposed to be out of bed you blithering idiot.
Remus Lupin: It is the quality of ones convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.
Kingsley Shacklebolt: Who said that?
Remus Lupin: Me.
Harry Potter: Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?
Professor Albus Dumbledore: Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?
Done! Whew, that took a while. Next Friday I’m thinking a movie based on a true story. Those are usually good. See you then.