Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban   April 24th, 2010

Originally Written 06/11/04

I finally got to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban tonight. It was definitely my favorite book of the three that I read, and I knew that the movie wasn’t going to give it complete justice, but it did a good job of it. I think it’s probably my favorite of the three, though the first one is up there too.

There were a few pieces that they left out which I’d wish they’d been able to put in. The biggest of these was the full explanation of the four friends from the past, their histories, and their special abilities. This was all alluded too, but they could’ve added some more details. Again, if you haven’t read the book, a lot of the reasons for people’s reactions isn’t as clear, and things don’t mean as much to you. Still, besides a few things I would’ve liked them to have, I didn’t miss too much from the book. They cut some things like the second quidage match, and more of Malfoy’s teasing Harry about the Dementors, but that wasn’t really missed. I did catch two places where they obviously changed things around, but I liked the way they did it. Even one scene which reminded me of proximity detectors from Aliens, which wasn’t in the book, was a clever idea. The foreshadowing of a few things was more obvious than in the book, but that kind of goes with the territory.

At first I felt the style of the movie was a little too whimsical for the darker story of the third book. However, once things started to really get going, it eased off and worked really well. I really appreciated how it gave the setting a feel of a world of magic and the visual flairs and set design really made Hogwarts come alive. There were more shots of the school and the grounds and it really felt like a bigger and more enchanted place. I also liked the little flourishes the director had as sequues between scenes and to show the passing of the seasons. The shots with the whomping willow were very cute.

And the visual effects and creature designs were even better in this movie and more elaborate. Buckbeak the hippogrif was really cool; I love how he was rendered. The dementors were also superbly done.

I liked how the characters are growing up, though that actors did look a little older than I expected them to. The brief bits of “romantic” (if you can really call it that) tension between Ron and Hermione were cute. Hermione’s flashes of attitude were fun as well. The new actor playing Dumbledore did a fine job. Snape was great as usual, though he didn’t have a lot of screen time. Professor Lupin and Sirius Black were well cast too, especially Lupin. He had a real quiet dignity to him. The scenes with him as a father figure to Harry were very nice.

So while I had a couple of nits to pick, and the movie could’ve been a little longer, overall I really enjoyed the film. Now I’ve got to catch up with books four and five soon.

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 24th, 2010 at 5:12 am and is filed under Movies and TV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response

October 17th, 2015 at 2:51 pm
Claudia Says:

I agree with you here! Those lines made me cringe when I heard them, my eyalbles got a few rolls in before those scenes ended. As someone who did not read the books, I’m very grateful they to find out Rowling had not written those awful lines!On a side note I am a bit surprised you have not written on Christopher Hitchins yet (his death I mean).