Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban  -
Adapted from JK Rowling's third novel, this installment of the family fantasy adventure story finds trainee wizard Harry Potter (played by Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), facing the dangerous convict Sirius Black (played by Gary Oldman). Black has escaped from Azkaban Prison and is on his way to Hogwarts, so the school calls in supernatural assistance in the form of Dementors -- but will they turn out to be a great help or a further threat?
The first of the Harry Potter films to be directed by acclaimed Mexican film director Alfonso Cuarón, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban is generally regarded as the most stylised and darkest entry in the series thus far. It stars the actors from the preceding films in the series, except for the role of Albus Dumbledore, which sees Michael Gambon take over from the late Richard Harris. Much of the original crew also returned, including screenwriter Steve Kloves.
The film broke several opening records around the world upon its release, including the top opening film in UK film history, and made approximately £20m in its first three days, totaling £90.3m in ten days.
Customer reviews (av rating: 3.5):
And here's where it all starts to go wrong... : This was the start of the slippery slope for me when it came to the HP films. If I'm rating it as a stand alone film I would maybe stretch to four stars but it's not for younger children (despite me telling my mum not to let my then five year old watch it, she let him anyway and he had nightmares about the werewolf for weeks).
If I'm to compare it to how well it's been adapted from book to screen - for me there are things that needed to be touched on; The house elves at Hogwarts for instance who show up in the last book; Harry's patronous and why it's the form it is. These are just two of the things I can think of because I think they're really important to the WHOLE story but I'm sure there are more.
It disappoints me as a major fan of the books how the films have turned out from this point onwards and it's not that I don't appreciate they can only put in so much - but it wouldn't have taken a lot of time to add these two things in.
The best of the first three movies : This movie is the best of the first three movies. This book is the best of the first three books aswell and the movie is not even half as good as the book.
The three main actors are still not great but they have improved. The script is still really bad and the charcters are completely intense.
I reccomend this movie if you have not read the book but if you have you will almost definitely be dissapointed.
Harry Potter grows up : One of the best aspects of this film is how it no longer pandered to kiddies like the previous two films did. There was a darker, moodier edge to the story and the characters. The wizarding world no longer seemed like a perfect haven and the characters had grown beyond being innocent children; this reflected the book itself since many feel PoA was a turning point in the series where it finally felt like Harry Potter- boy and book- were growing up. The Hogwarts' setting differed from the previous films yet not only was it definitely more faithful to the books but finally it felt as if the castle was in Scotland rather than perpetually sunny Disney Land and this enhanced the mood being set in the film. The clock was a nice touch, linking to the theme of time in the actual storyline, as was the bridge in being a place for Harry to mull over his problems. Also, in many ways, this film could have ended up a muddled mess in regards to the ending but Cuaron handled the Time Turner scenes well.
However, there were flaws to the film, which let it down. The characters of Hermione and Draco were poorly scripted so they seemed like two completely different characters from the ones we know and love in the books. Although Watson as an actress has improved since CoS, the main problem with the script is that Hermione is being portrayed as being too cool and cocky compared to the bookworm who has no interest in fashion that we know Hermione to be in the books. Steve Kloves, the scriptwriter who admits he's responsible for the change, really needs to learn heroines don't need to be cool Buffy types to be admired; part of why Hermione is so popular as a character in the books is that she appeals to girls who are bookish themselves and easily identify with her. And as for Draco, he comes across as too much of a cowardly, weak girlie-boy rather than an insidious, vicious brat who can be a threat to Harry when he chooses to.
ENJOY : I really enjoyed this Harry Potter movie. It was very exciting and fun. And guess what Serious Black is Harry's uncle. Isn't that cool! I also liked the dementors. Thay are so evil looking. They almost look as evil as uncle Vernon! This is a great movie. I highly recommend it. 4 out of 5.
Ok, not great : This is film was kind of disapointing. The book was by far the best in the Harry Potter saga, and the film lacks the excitement. The scenes in this movie are darker then the first two, which may be appealing to certain people. But if you are a BIG harry potter fan, i would suggest having this movie as part of your collection. Word of warning is that the film is not better then the book and can be improved.
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