new on DVD: ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,’ ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’
• Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [buy it]. From my review:
Oh, there is magic here, but there’s nothing sweet or luminous about it. This is magic as power, as an expression of recognizable human impulses both noble and terrible… Yates… is an artist who makes television dramas about the trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation, and about politically tinged murder. He has not left that bleak ethos behind just because he’s making a “children’s movie” here… and I would hesitate to bring young kids to see this one. Holy shit, but this may be the best straight-up horror movie of the year — I was riveted by the sinister sophistication of it. I forgot to breathe at moments, would suddenly find my mouth dry while watching it because I’d been agape for long minutes at its sheer ghastly — though never graphic — freshness.
• The Bourne Ultimatum [buy it]. From my review:
Ultimatum is a masterpiece of breathless relentlessness, of spectacular yet lean-and-mean setpieces uncluttered by superfluous digressions or tangents — some long sequences rush by before you realize there hasn’t been a stitch of dialogue for twenty minutes — of sheer simplicity that nevertheless swells with urgent political undertones. Part of what makes Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) — brainwashed black-ops professional killer for the CIA — a hero to our eyes is that he knows how to outwit the net of scrutiny that we are all subject to today: public surveillance cameras, intercepted phone calls.
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