Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix UltraHD Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
Summary: Lord Voldemort has returned, but few want to believe it. In fact, the Ministry of Magic is doing everything it can to keep the wizarding world from knowing the truth—including appointing Ministry official Dolores Umbridge as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts.
When Professor Umbridge refuses to train her students in practical defensive magic, a select group of students decides to learn on their own. With Harry Potter as their leader, these students (who call themselves “Dumbledore’s Army”) meet secretly in a hidden room at Hogwarts to hone their wizarding skills in preparation for battle with the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters.
New adventure—more dangerous, more thrilling than ever—is yours in this enthralling film version of the fifth novel in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. A terrifying showdown between good and evil awaits. Prepare for battle!Movie Review: Order of the Phoenix is one of my favorite films in the Harry Potter series. It is easier to follow than some of the films, as the later books are so large it can be hard to condense them down into a manageable length. Harry begins to come into himself as a leader with the founding of Dumbledore’s Army and you see him as someone that will have the ability to take on Voldemort in the future instead of as a child.
The ending sets you up for the coming films, as everyone is now ready to prepare for a coming battle against Voldemort instead of being unsure if it will happen. Overall Order of the Phoenix is one of the highlights of the series, and one that I did enjoy getting to watch again.
Technical Review: Harry Potter was shot on 35mm film and uses a 2K DI. The differences between the Blu-ray and the UltraHD Blu-ray discs can be highlighted in the battle at the Ministry of Magic. The largest differences are seen from the wider selection of colors that UHD allows and the far improved HDR highlights. Decorations of gold are a much more realistic color, with greater sparkle and highlights. Spells cast by Voldemort and Dumbledore look far superior on UHD. On the Blu-ray version the highlights are mostly white, as you run out of dynamic range for the colors, while UHD allows you to have brighter blues, oranges, and reds that still have color.
We don’t see a large improvement in fine details on the UHD version, but it is a bit sharper with less noise. During a pan across the sand on the ground, you see shimmering and other artifacts from the TV or Oppo doing the 1080p to UHD scaling. The same issue happens with Dumbledore’s beard, as you see some artifacts in the hairs. With the UHD version there is no scaling here as it was done at the studio. You don’t get a huge bump up in resolution, but you do avoid artifacts.
The soundtrack is much improved by going to DTS:X. The final segment in the Ministry of Magic really shows this off, as sounds move all around you including in the vertical plane. Moving back to the Blu-ray disc the soundtrack is still excellent but the absence of the vertical sounds is noticeable.
Special Features: Featurettes are included on the Blu-ray disc.
Review System: Vizio P65-C1 display, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver.
Improvements in color and dynamic range from the move to UltraHD, fewer artifacts on fine details with UHD, DTS:X soundtrack.
No big improvement in fine detail with a 2K digital intermediate as the source.
Order of the Phoenix is a good Harry Potter film, and it looks better than before on the UltraHD Blu-ray disc. The updated soundtrack adds a lot of extra information and immersion, while the expanded gamut and dynamic range offered by HDR are easy to see on-screen.