View Full Version : Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum

Pages : [1] 2 3

June 2nd, 2004, 09:24 AM
I was looking forward to seeing this being a fan of the books and interested in finding out what Alfonso Cuaron could do with the material. Now that I've seen it, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. Although, the final section was good and the acting of the kids is solid, Radcliffe is easily at his best in this one, I thought the first half of the movie was too incoherent and messy.

What are everybody else's thoughts?

June 2nd, 2004, 01:21 PM
Haven't seen it yet but am looking forward to it. I read the book last summer and loved it. The previews I've seen look good. It'll be interesting to see what you are talking about with the first part of the movie being "messy". I'll see it this weekend and let you know what I think!

Evil Agent
June 2nd, 2004, 11:16 PM
It doesn't come out in North America for another 3 days. But all the reviews I've read are positive, saying it's one of the best ones of all. But I'll take your review into consideration as well, so that I don't ge tmy hopes TOO high. That way I'm sure to enjoy it.

How was Gary Oldman as Sirius, and how did you find the new and different Dumbledore?

June 3rd, 2004, 02:17 AM

This might help...

June 3rd, 2004, 09:10 AM
If I didn't know this movie was directed by Alfonso Cuaron I would have guessed that Tim Burton had directed it since the look and feel of certain parts reminds me of something like The Adventures of Baron Munchausen but thankfully a bit more grounded. If you like an early Burtonesque kind of movie this will probably be appealing with its dark visual flair. The drawback, however, is a certain abruptness to certain scenes. Perhaps messy isn't the precise word but the early part of the movie does end up a little garbled. I can easily imagine someone unfamiliar with the third book wondering to him/herself "what was that all about?" in response to quite a few scenes.

Morever, despite the warnings of the escaped convict being after Harry, it never quite sunk in during the movie that Harry was in any danger from the escapee. All the warnings about the jailbreak came off flat. Instead what sense of danger there was was monopolized by the dementors. I think that was a basic conceptual error in the movie. The threat Black posed should have been built up to be just as menacing as that posed by the dementors if not moreso. Because I felt it wasn't, the first half of the movie seemed rather lifeless and stilted.

Say what you will of Columbus's direction, he kept the storytelling and suspense the main focus. With Cuaron there is more visual movement and I do believe he is better at getting the kids to act naturally. Radcliffe as I said comes into his own and Emma continues to be great although Rupert seems to take a bit of a backseat. Nonetheless, many of the scenes have a feel of being just a scene devised to connect you to the next scene which wouldn't be bad if they actually made the next scene more effective, but they don't. Nor do they succeed in functioning independently like some of Columbus's digressions. Flitwick's Wingardium Leviosa class I think revealed more about what it's like being at Hogwart's than either Trelawney's or Lupin's classes as depicted by Cuaron although I'd say these scenes Cuaron had would have more potential to work with. Thankfully when there is more action driving the plot in the later stages of the movie, it becomes interesting.

About Dumbledore: Gambon's is less a presence than Harris's but that may have to do with Dumbledore not having that much one-on-one time with the kids. In any case I personally felt Harris's Dumbledore had too wispy a voice and seemed to lack the energy I expected of Dumbledore although he played the father figure aspect well. It should also be noted that the connection of the kids with the adults in this movie I think suffers a lot in comparison with the previous movies. The one relationship focused on between Lupin and Harry didn't do nearly enough as it should have. Maybe it is as it should be since the kids are getting older and becoming more independent, but I'm not convinced.

June 3rd, 2004, 01:20 PM
I agree with Bond's comments.

I was kinda disaapointed with the movie also, especially when having seen the trailers and reviews it looked awesome.

My reasons are, that a person who has not read the book would really have no clue what was going on, important aspects which explain many bits e.g Snapes hatred of Sirius, the qudditch matche of slytherin versus gryfinddor (this covered about 3 chapters in the book), and many many other aspects that would have made the movie smoother and more easily to be able to understand were not included. The sequence of events were changed and very messy, and the emotional aspect that harry is supposed to go through was not concentrated enough on either. I think if they had made the film 20-30 minutes longer they could have added more scenes which are quite vital to the plot and would help the viewer understand the reason behind the actions etc. There were scenes that were in the film that could have been cut out and were not really vital. Having the Gryfinddor entrance on the staircase didn't look as good. I don't think they should have changed Tom the inn-keeper either. I didn't expect the movie to follow the book word for word, but I did expect it to contain vital elements that were missing.

On the plus side of the movie, the acting has improved greatly, the special effects and scenery was very good, and when it did get to the action sequences it was good. It is a good movie to watch, as long as you don't have too high a expectation and for it to include your every favourite scene in the books. This film did have strengths over the previous two, but also some weaknesses that the other two did not.

I actually need to watch it again to give it a fairer review, as I had to look after my cousins and brother, and ended up missing bits.

June 3rd, 2004, 03:18 PM
I can't wait to see the movie though, I didn't really like the first two that much, so I'm hoping the new direction will be good for the Harry Potter movies.

PS: Terry Gilliam directed The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

June 3rd, 2004, 04:50 PM
I don't like what I'm hearing...I'll see it nonetheless.

June 4th, 2004, 12:06 AM
I can't wait to see the movie though, I didn't really like the first two that much, so I'm hoping the new direction will be good for the Harry Potter movies.

PS: Terry Gilliam directed The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

Thanks for the correction. I keep getting those two confused since they're both British, have first names that start with T, and display a penchant for the dark and fantastically weird. Burton directed Batman right? And one of them did Nightmare Before Christmas? I guess I find Gilliam and Burton nearly interchangeable. Although many people think their more macabre visions would be great for Harry Potter, and Cuaron seems to have adopted that style, I do think something along the lines of the more poignant treatment found in the Babe movies is appropriate too and was lacking in this third installment. Newell directed the Babe movies right? If so I think he is a good choice for that aspect of the story. One only worries that maybe the action won't be dealt with as well.

June 4th, 2004, 12:39 AM
Well, since I know the story from the movies(I haven't read nor do I intend to read any of the books, though you never know..), I find what some of you have been saying pretty distressing. With certain aspects of the story removed and no or very little correlation between actions stunted, I hope that I can enjoy this movie as much as I have enjoyed the other two.