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06/06/2004 Archived Entry: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"

WENT TO THE BIG CITY TODAY TO SEE HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN Did the whole mall and eight-plex thing, which I never do unless a movie sounds exceptionally good. This one was. It was far and away the best of the three HP movies to date. The first two were fun, but pedestrian, films about magic. This one has magic.

I'm sure any review you read will use the word "dark." And that's so. Not only is the theme darker than the earlier two films, but visually it's darker and softer -- with rain, snow, mist, dark lochs, and much more evocative lighting than before. Hogwarts has been transformed. (Literally; the new director Alfonso Cuaron has moved the famous school of witchcraft and wizardry into much more dramatic Scottish terrain). Although the ending(s) do go on and on and on, the whole film is a treat. Even the credits. They're lovingly done -- and if you stick around to watch them, look for the very distinctive footprints of one professor walking around the names at one point. I only wish the earlier two movies were a better match for this one; it would make the inevitable Harry Potter marathon much more fun, once all seven films are out on DVD.

Oh, and dark or not, it's got the funniest Dursley sequence so far. Rebellious adolescent Harry isn't taking much guff any more, and his temper tantrum has hilarous results.

Posted by Claire @ 08:13 PM CST

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