Order of the Phoenix is a very thick book. This movie teases loose three threads and runs with them, leaving behind detail with a ruthless efficiency that reminds me of the first Star Wars movie. Of course, with time we've learned that Lucas had no CLUE what the backstory was, and that he made it up as he went along, but with OtP, the truncations, abbreviations to gesture, and outright omissions are intentional and work for this as a movie. Because if they'd given full credit to the whole storyline, it would've been really, really, really long.
There is nothing in the credits that should entice you to stay except for the names and credits, which I usually enjoy. I was shocked to find that one of the special effects technicians is Stephen Hutchinson, which is precisely how I do NOT spell my last name, and too many people other than me try to do so.
There is a slight change, which works dramatically, in the Legilimens/Occlumens lessons. There is a similar slight change which also works dramatically in the battle between Sirius and Lucius. The final battle is truly spectacular.
Minor annoyances: The theatre was filled with shrieking, screaming teenage girls, except for the swaggering, stereotype-embodying teenage boys. I could laugh, but during the hour standing in line in front of three of these girl air raid sirens, I heard one proclaim in a speaking voice that doubtless could be heard from across the Columbia river, that she felt that Manga should be allowed reading in her English class, and that her teacher was a poopyhead or equivalent for refusing. Then she and the other two (and occasionally her mother) would bray in about some other inane thing, squealing profanely when the short burly Hagrid-dressed fellow came through the line, and generally prattling on at top volume about things so banal that they made my IQ drop several points. I managed to get out my SK3 and start reading erudite websites until my brain recovered.
However, the one thing that puzzled me for several minutes was their occasional invocations of "Yowie!"
Eventually I figured out that was how they thought to pronounce "Yaoi", japanese gay boy porn written for teenage girls.
I restrained myself from turning around at the third over-loud proclamation of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Flaming Turkey" and lambasting them. I was prepared to Snape at them for some time about their complete inability to put together a coherent sentence, and the total banality of their mockery. I had, after all, been doing my own snarky title thing, and I think "Harry Potter and the Ordure of the Phoenix" makes a wonderful lead in for the more obscurely named "Harry Potter and the Flaming Bird Guano" ... and I almost, almost told them what they would have come up with if they had half an ounce of sophistication among them. They did not, remaining as dubiously charming for the entire time in line.
Once I got inside, and settled in Theatre Five, it was close onto 12:05. Things started late, around 12:14. Then they stopped and the slideshow resumed. At 12:40 AM and we still had no movie, I woke up enough to think of going to the front and asking if they planned to wait until morning, when an apologetic worker admitted that they had somehow managed to swap the first and second reel, and it would take 20 minutes to fix. Eventually I went to the concession stand and asked for water. Just water. The idjit tried to sell me a bottle water, and I said "I want water in a cup, just push the button on the soda tap that says WATER."
And he charged me $3.50 for it.
AN HOUR after it was supposed to start, we got trailers, and "The Dark Is Rising" looks as though it might be OK.
And at 3:30 I was pulling out of the parking lot.
I am officially tired. I am annoyed at the theatre, and I intend to write them a letter requesting at least a refund of the $3.50 for the drink.
And I'm also going to report them to THX-land, because their system wasn't properly tuned. The sound check did not sound off on the sides or back like it's supposed to.