Monday, June 7, 2004

Harry Potter Grows Up.

On Saturday I took my younger cousins to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, another film on my summer-to-see-list. Now, I haven't read the books, and I enjoyed the first two; great stories, characters, and effects, and I'm just as excited as the next critic about the new director. I knew that the combination of HP's teen angst and Alfonso Cuaron's (A Little Princess, Y Tu Mama Tambien) visual style would make for an interesting movie. The trailers for the film proved this, and low and behold Azkaban was Great! Again, not knowing the back story and details from the books, I was enthralled in this movie. I was hiding from the Dementors, dodging the Whomping Willow, and flying with Buckbeak along with Harry. The time travel twist was very surprising and played out extremely well all the way through. Even had goosebumps during Harry's final "Expecto Patronum!" That was the best. My only drawback, which is incidentally the same for all 3 films, is that there is always so much to show and explain (and I'm sure so much more left out), that it takes 1 1/2 hours before the film really kicks into high gear. Film 1 never even mentioned the Sorcerer's Stone until the last act. Film 2 took the entire middle hour explaining the Chamber of Secrets, and in Film 3, we don't even meet the Prisoner of Azkaban until the last act as well! Although this time it's worth it, because Gary Oldman is bloody brilliant! Now that I've seen the films, I can't wait to read the books.

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