Loading...

Plot:

Harry Potter is having a tough time with his relatives (yet again). He runs away after using magic to inflate Uncle Vernon’s sister Marge who was being offensive towards Harry’s parents. Initially scared for using magic outside the school, he is pleasantly surprised that he won’t be penalized after all. However, he soon learns that a dangerous criminal and Voldemort’s trusted aide Sirius Black has escaped from the Azkaban prison and wants to kill Harry to avenge the Dark Lord. To worsen the conditions for Harry, vile creatures called Dementors are appointed to guard the school gates and inexplicably happen to have the most horrible effect on him. Little does Harry know that by the end of this year, many holes in his past (whatever he knows of it) will be filled up and he will have a clearer vision of what the future has in store…

Also Known As: Harry Potter y el prisionero de Azkaban, Harry Potter in jetnik iz Azkabana, Гаррi Поттер i в'язень Азкабану, Harry Potter e il prigioniero di Azkaban, Harry Potter og fangen fra Azkaban, Harry Potter y el prisionero de Azkabán, Harry Potter a väzeň z Azkabanu, Harry Potter e o Prisioneiro de Azkaban, Harry Potter dhe i Burgosuri i Azkabanit, Harry Potter en de gevangene van Azkaban, Harry Potter ve Azkaban Tutsagi, Haris Poteris ir Azkabano kalinys, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter i więzień Azkabanu, Harry Potter et le prisonnier d'Azkaban, Harry Potter ja Azkabani vang, Harry Potter si Prizonierul din Azkaban, Harry Potter a vězeň z Azkabanu Czech, Ο Χάρι Πότερ και ο αιχμάλωτος του Αζκαμπάν, Хари Потер и Затвореникот од Азкабан Republic of, Хари Потър и затворникът от Азкабан, Harry Potter i Zatočenik Azkabana, O Harry Potter kai o aihmalotos tou Azkaban, Гарри Поттер и узник Азкабана, Harii Pottâ to Azukaban no shûjin, Harry Potter és az azkabani fogoly, Harry Potter og fanginn frá Azkaban, Harry Potter ja Azkabanin vanki, Harry Potter och fången från Azkaban, Hari Poter i zatvorenik iz Askabana, Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The IMAX Experience, Harry Potter i el pres d'Azkaban

Leave a Reply

26 Comments

  • jana
    Jana

    Gibt es hier auch echte Kommentare oder ist das ALLES nur Werbung ?
    Der Film, so denn überhaupt davon gesprochen werden kann,lädt und lädt und lädt startet aber nicht.

  • jennifer-graves
    jennifer graves

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a “fan film”. By this I mean the makers have made the assumption the majority of viewers, the core audience – are fans of the Potter series. As a stand alone film would leave a viewer confused by a fast moving plot devoid of a lot of detail contained in the original book which the film quite closely follows. To fully appreciate the movie, prior knowledge through reading the book would be most beneficial, it would allow you to fill in the many blanks.Concepts, background, and explanations are skipped in the movie, which gives it a rushed, incomplete feeling, even for a Potter fan. Users have commented the movie is darker, this is somewhat true, it definitely has a different feel from the first two films, much of this can be attributed to the new director. He has changed the sets considerably, to the point where they barely resemble the first tmo films. The fine cast of adult stars is under utilized throughout the film. Maggie Smiths role could be considered a cameo for the limited screen time she got.Overall the rest of the film is acceptable. If I didn’t previously know the plot I would rate this film lower than I did. Though this IS Harry Potter and he still has the midas touch.

  • coralia-puscasu
    coralia puscasu

    You can watch the entire Harry Potter series and skip this pointless borefest entry and yet NOTHING would be lost.Terrible new characters, a convoluted storyline with zero suspense, a beyond anti-climactic ending that will have anyone with an actual brain saying “……that’s it??? where’s the epic 3rd act!?!?”, and the single biggest offender of all: HORRENDOUSLY BAD ACTING across the board, especially from the kids with just one or two lines, who the hell cast these beyond talentless children?!?1/10 (would give a straight ZERO if available)

  • karolina-kumer
    karolina kumer

    This movie is a disgrace to the series. The consistency issues in regards to the book and the first two films are readily apparent. Even to fans who have not read the books, the change in the geography of Hogwarts and how the characters dress are easily recognized as a break in continuity.The screenplay is chunked and leaves many important pieces to the overall storyline unexplained. Needless to say, the scenes do not flow very well and it leaves the non-reader confused in many places.This movie will unfortunately stick out like a sore thumb if the following films stick to the wonderfully developed world of Harry Potter.

  • fru-yvonne-andreasen
    fru yvonne andreasen

    (6/10, out of which 4.5 goes to Buckbeak) How I looked forward to this movie cannot be summarized in a paragraph.. and then when I saw it…hmmm…this looked like a regular movie that had some magic but was in “No way Magical enough” as I quite liked the Chris Columbus presentation and his attention to detail in the previous two.. Don’t get me wrong, Cuaron does a pretty good job but his style is more ‘Artsy’.The first one was just cute.. and curiosity got the better of all of us in ‘How is Harry Potter going to be depicted?’ on screen.. CoS was more mature. Very occasionally it did seem that the movie’s were long (if you have watched the DVD’s enough) but they captured the essence of the books and there was a continuity to the scenes even for the non-Harry folk.I guess the length of the previous two movies must have made some kind of impact on the way PoA has been condensed. The pace of PoA was “too fast” compared to the previous two. From the initial scenes, Harry in his room to Aunt Marge to Harry leaving the Duddleys was < 10 minutes (or so it seemed). Magnolia Crescent and the 'black dog' was a trifle slow and then came the triple decker bus which was pretty brisk. The introduction of Sirius Black was not menacing enough by 'Stan' the conductor on the T.D. bus. Gary Oldman definitely deserved more (+5mins)*The entry into Leaky Cauldron and the inn-keeper 'Tom' (who looked like a character from 'Adams Family') swinging Harry off the street to meet 'Cornileus Fudge' (whose name is not even mentioned) was moderately funny. The re-union of Harry, Ron and Hermione lacks any friendship or bonding strength and 'Mr. Weaselys' warning to Harry isn't any more serious than watching 'Saturday Night Live'. I was particularly disappointed that 'AZKABAN' prison is just left to imagination (more like a passing comment) and the crime that Sirius committed, killing 13 with one curse & Pettigrew losing a pinky is NOT even shown in an abstract fashion (like Voldermot killing Harry's mother in HP1(+5mins)*The trip to Hogwarts with the train stranded and the Dementors/Lupins introduction was kinda neat (especially the fading of Harry - the soul screaming etc) but a gifted actor like David Thewlis could have had two more minutes at that point, especially when he explains what a dementor is (+2mins)* Cut, horseless carriages, cut, 'Choir group – very neat with Something Wicked This Way Comes', cut, 'Welcome Welcome' says DumbleDore, introduces Hagrid and Lupin. THE BEST PART - the Hippogriff and Hagrid's class, Harry's first flight on BUCKBEAK. The special effects team deserves an award for Buckbeak who IMHO was the SAVING GRACE or the HERO of the film, continued to impress me till the very end.Quidditch with the dementors swooping on Harry (very imaginatively handled) who falls and is going to be stopped by Dumbledore (very unimaginative after he starts falling as it fades dark and pop comes the next scene in the Hospital Wing). Divination room was much different than the book without the trap door etc although Emma Thompson was funny. Fat Lady was wasted. Sirius coming to kill Scabbers was cut. The FireBolt and its introduction without Hermione's suspicions looks 'hollow' in the end. Honeydukes (getting there was assumed) and Marauder's Map needed some more time (+5mins)*. Changing 'Three Broomsticks' to 'Hogs Head' was weird. Who is Sirius to Harry (as explained by Mcgonnagal) did not give enough detail (+5mins)*.Lupins class, Harry's scenes with Lupin, his encounter at night with 'Peter Pettigrew' in the courtyard and the last 40 mins with Lupin, Sirius, Snape and the dementors which is the CRUX of the movie was done very well although 'Who exactly is Peter Pettigrew' is not communicated clearly even in the climax. Hermione's Time Turner, which is confusing unless you have read the book could have used additional time (3mins)*All in all this movie would have made a 'magical' impact on me if we could have experienced those extra 30 minutes of detail to bring continuity in the film, but that was not to be. Maybe the DVD will be better.. I sure hope so.

  • noah-fogaca
    noah fogaca

    After all these years since it was released, this has become one of my all-time favorite movies. It took a while to grow on me. I appreciate the artistry and detail that Cuaron and Kloves brought to the adaptation of Rowling’s book.The opening of the film establishes the importance of light, a visual theme that carries through the whole film. It’s a metaphor for Harry’s own search for clarity about his past, a search that ends with the ultimate light of the patronus. Harry grows up over the course of the story. He discovers that he must be strong and self-reliant.Another visual theme is the passing of time, which becomes an important plot device. There are repeated shots of the huge clock and its gears in Hogwarts’ castle. There are lots of ticking sounds and the deep ringing of the clock bells, ominously signifying the fleeting hours as they slip through Harry’s grasp.John Williams created one of his most impressive musical scores for Azkaban. Buckbeak’s flight is one of the emotional high points of the film, a soaring exuberant theme that perfectly enhances Harry’s feeling of freedom and release. I also really liked the little harpsichord motif that signaled the presence of Peter Pettigrew, a motif that cleverly sneaks back in at the very end of film’s credits.All of the actors are in top form. Daniel Radcliffe really came into his own and showed a strong command of his character. Emma Watson and Rupert Grint also grew tremendously as actors. Alan Rickman, as always, showed masterful control of Snape. The only actor that I still am ambivalent toward is Michael Gambon. As others have mentioned, Richard Harris really captured that “twinkle in the eye” that Dumbledore needs. Although I appreciated subtle techniques that Gambon incorporated (a slightly stuffed sound to reflect Dumbledore’s broken nose and a slight Irish lilt), I never got that sense of Dumbledore’s mischievous nature. Gambon’s character certainly looked eccentric, with a bow in his beard and sporting a tam. And there were a few nice moments near the end with Harry and Hermione where he seemed more relaxed. But I wish he had taken that further.I also agree with others who say that to fully capture the nuances of the book, the movie would have had to be a mini-series. Rowling writes with such attention to detail, that a single movie could never capture the beauty of her prose. I think Cuaron and Kloves came as close as they could to maintaining the spirit of the book while creating a unique and beautiful two-and-a-half hour movie. It’s one of the few movies I can watch over and over and enjoy even more than the first time I saw it.

  • roy-duncan
    roy duncan

    Like most Harry Potter fans, I found this movie disappointing. I felt that Director Alfonso Cuaron choose style over substance, which is never a good thing in a movie.Some critics say that the previous movies were too stiff in how they stuck close to the book. THAT IS THE POINT!! If I want to see a Harry Potter movie, I want to see the book, the plot, brought to life. I don’t want to see the plot changed.However, I must admit, I loved the darker, more Gothic look of the film. The books are taking a turn for the darker and this movie sets that tone.But there was so many plot holes, so much left out. It was hard for this HP fan to ignore. This book, while the smallest of the 5 out there is crucial. This is my main complaint with the movie.It introduces Lupin, Black, and Pettigrew, all of which are important to Harry, as they fill in the gaps of his past. In this book, you discover why Snape hates Harry, Lupin, Black, and James Potter. This is important later. The relationship between Snape and Harry is important to the Order of the Phoenix. Who is Wormtail, Prongs, Moony, and Padfoot? What is and who created The Marauders map. And why is Black an Animagus? The above are all questions that the movie leaves unanswered (but are in the book). I would have sat through another hour to hear the explanations and see the full story. Instead, plot points replaced by unnecessary (but yet funny) cut scenes. Not a good thing.Buckbeak looked great; the CGI was very well done. The time warp effect was also cool. I was disappointed in how Lupin looked as a Werewolf, I thought they were more hairy.The best part of this movie – the acting. Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson are growing into their roles and as actors. Although Radcliffe could have actually shed some tears during the Hogsmade visit. Tom Felton was great as Draco, who tries to be brash, but is really a coward under it all. He played it excellently.The adults were also fantastic. Maggie Smith was the stern, yet almost motherly Minerva McGonagall. We needed to see more of her; she only had about 2 lines. Robbie Coltrane comes back as Hagrid and he plays the part perfectly. Emma Thompson plays a wonderfully flaky Sybil Trelawney. Michael Gambon had a tough role to fill by following Richard Harris. Gambon brings his own slant to Albus Dumbledore, which in this movie was a bit off-kelter, but I think as we get used to him in this role, it will seem more natural.Alan Rickman…. He is the most underrated actor in this movie. The critics seem to ignore his astounding acting in these films. He is absolutely fantastic in his role as the sharp, harsh, angry, but troubled Severus Snape. Any lesser actor would have made Snape flat, but Rickman gives him life and dimension. Also, he has some of the greatest lines in this movie. “Revenge is very sweet…” Gary Oldman was good as Sirius Black, but we didn’t seen enough of him. His confrontation with Rickman was emotion filled and was one of the best parts of the movie. I wish it had gone on longer. Timothy Spall plays a disgusting and revolting Peter Pettigrew. He looked the part and played it well. Remus Lupin was played by David Thewlis. I was not sure what to think at first; I was hoping Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from Buffy) was going to get the part. But Thewlis was excellent, he made Lupin a character you liked and cared about, a feeling you didn’t get from the book. But Thewlis makes you feel that for the character. He got a fair amount of screen time, but I wanted more. Fantastic acting. I can’t wait to see him come back in the next few films. All in all, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is an good movie, as long as you don’t compare it to the book or other HP movie. The plot holes really damage the film. The acting and the feel of the movie are great, but still don’t quite make up the difference.

  • matthew-fuller-md
    matthew fuller md

    POA was by far the best of the three Harry Potter films. The actors (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint) have gained more confidence in their abilities. They have become more and more like the characters they play in their own life which has shown in the films.Besides the acting, the film was better shoot than the previous two: In the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the parts picked were sometimes less important than the parts left out. A great deal of the stuff from the books was cut in the other two movies, but this was not the case in this one: It appeared that there were only two scenes out of order from which they happened in the books; Harry receiving the Firebolt (at the end of the film, but early in the book,) and Harry’s Patronus (supposed to be a Stag, galloping down the Dementors, but was a dome-shaped shield in film.) Other than those two inconsistencies with the books, the film was virtually flawless; the CG improved a great deal; the Dementors had nearly the same affect as they did in the books – to the reader/viewer.To most fans, the best part of the movie was by far was the scene where Hermione socked Draco in the nose (another very slight deviation from the books, but perfectly acceptable!)

  • nicole-dixon
    nicole dixon

    If there is a scene that sums up my feelings about this film, it would probably be where Harry is forced to ride Buckbeak the hippogriff (“Don’t pull out his feathers,” warns Hagrid, “cause he won’t thank yer for that!”). Initially, Harry hangs on for dear life, but as the flight progresses over Hogwarts and its nearby lake, Harry suddenly feels a sense of complete exhilaration.This scene is not only terrifically executed, but makes a great statement about the “Harry Potter” franchise in general. Under Columbus, the series was keen on observing its wondrous world, but not much else. But under Alfonso Cuaron, the series does more than observe. It flies and sails through all of the possibilities. Add to that an improved script from Steven Kloves, better performances from the main trio, and some welcome musical themes from John Williams, and you have what is, to date, the best “Potter” film yet.The “Prisoner of Azkaban” is Sirius Black, a mass murderer who has escaped. A former supporter of Lord Voldemort, Black is reportedly going after Harry to finish off the Dark Lord’s work. Harry, of course, would much rather live out his third year at Hogwarts without unpredictable distractions. But more than Sirius Black is concerning Harry now. The guards of Azkaban, the dementors, are snooping around Hogwarts and forcing Harry to rehear his worst memories. The new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Remus Lupin, is revealing that he had connections with Harry’s father. And for all of the security around Hogwarts, how is Black breaching the castle walls and attacking portraits?Steven Kloves has written a far better script this time around, thanks in large part to a greater emotional heft he puts on the story. Harry’s parents take on a greater importance this time, and they are the source for some of his motivations in dealing with the Dementors, Remus Lupin, and Sirius Black. In fact, speaking of Lupin, I was quite impressed with how well Kloves wrote all of the interactions between Harry and Lupin. His manner reminded me of some of my favorite teachers from high school, and how they would sometimes care about more than just their students’ academia, but their personal lives too.And not only is the script better, but so is the acting. Reportedly, director Cuaron had Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson all had to write essays on their characters before filming began. Smart move. Racliffe, Grint, and Watson all interact with each other like there’s real history between them, and don’t just look like they’re trying to hold their own while reciting lines. Several new casting choices are inspired as well. David Thewlis plays Professor Lupin, and he brings humanity and compassion to the role. Gary Oldman is Sirius Black, and his interactions with Harry are not only credible, but you get a sense that he has truly cared for him for many years now. Emma Thompson is a hoot as Professor Trelawney, Harry’s eccentric Divination teacher. Several have criticized Michael Gambon taking over for Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore, but I think he’s fine for the role. He may not be the Albus Dumbledore of the book, but I bought into his more stern, yet still sensible portrayal of the revered Headmaster.I missed John Williams’ film score in “Chamber of Secrets” because I rarely heard it. Here however, Cuaron lets him come back in full force. Time and time again, Williams comes up with other memorable theme, including “Aunt Marge’s Waltz,” “Buckbeak’s Flight,” and “Double Trouble” (the song the Hogwarts choir sings). This marked the last time Williams worked with “Harry Potter,” so it’s good he went out on a high note.I don’t know what I can add to the appraisal of Alfonso Cuaron’s direction, but I’m going to try anyway. The guy nailed it. For the first thirty minutes, I had this big grin on my face as he took great fun in blowing up Aunt Marge, making Harry’s ride on the Knight Bus as wild and face-flattening as possible, and having students eat candies that made them act like monkeys and lions (or in Harry’s case, blow steam out of his ears). He employs several clever camera tricks, including gazing into a mirror and having the reflection become the dominant shot, and having the Whomping Willow shake snow off its branches and having the snow hit the camera lens. And he’s not afraid to exploit Hogwarts darker side, from the sinister, soul- sucking dementors to Lupin’s tense transformation. There are too many “little touches” he adds on for me to mention, but I think my favorite was that when Harry and Hermione travel back in time and attempt to save Buckbeak, Hermione sees herself, and questions, “Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?” You won’t find that comment in the book. Not only does that line add humor, but it also shows how Cuaron was willing to separate this film from the book and make it its own entity.Does “The Prisoner of Azkaban” deserve the 10 I bestow on it? Maybe, maybe not; I will not deny, I am a little biased when it comes to “Harry Potter.” But I do believe it to be great filmmaking, and great entertainment. Practically all elements from the previous “Potter” pictures have been improved upon. The result is a film that can hold it’s own against the best of fantasy entertainment, and it’s also one of the rare strong 3rd installments of any given film series.(And one last note: I believe this film gets the award for “weirdest ending to any ‘Harry Potter’ movie”)

  • prof-tilo-wiek
    prof tilo wiek

    This work is beautifully dark and lovingly done, but it does leave gaping holes in J. K. Rowling’s magical world. The close relationship between Harry and Dumbledore is obliterated, as is Hermione’s almost conspiratorial relationship with McGonagal. You are never told who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are (a necessary element). They completely avoid the fact that Snape has knowledge of Harry’s Invisibility Cloak, and Harry received the Firebolt at the beginning of this work rather than the end. The whole incident at the Shrieking Shack was changed and lost too much in the translation. Crookshanks was calumniated from a beloved kneazle to a noisome feline who’d be more likely to pee in your shoes than help you, aside of course from his determination to eat Scabbers.Columbus’s epic style is notably missing, as is the awe-inspiring score, and the magical feeling inspired by the first two. Hagrid’s hut was reinvisioned (more a gripe with Columbus for not having read ahead and determining what was needed to begin with, than a grip with this movie), there is a pumpkin patch which wasn’t there last year, and Hogwarts grounds seemed to have sprouted mountains and rocky hills which weren’t previously there. And Dumbledore no longer bears the traits of a beloved, serenely all-knowing Headmaster who commands respect from all (the ONLY Wizard of whom He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is afraid), he is now a lesser man who barely commands notice much less great respect. It aggravated me that Columbus never felt it necessary to research his resource materials by reading ahead in order to make a solid determination as to where things were and how they were laid out. Negligance is never a desirable trait among any professional trade, and this single act of laziness could have cost the franchise dearly. Indeed, this attempt took a beating on DVD sales due to the lack of contentment with the finished product over the changes. Lapses in sales like this could adversely affect the studio’s decision to make further films!However. Cuarón’s style is superior in his use of light and color, and the lack of these elements. He is not afraid to approach the darkness of this work, and shows it as he rivals the power of the script, rifling through each line and page for ways to illuminate the scene through means other than mere lighting. Much has been said concerning the “darker” script, etc. While this work IS darker, so was the literary work from which this was adapted. Even with all the changes (some of them barely noticeable and some of them contemptible) this attempt is the first Harry Potter film which, in my opinion, captured the true spirit and feeling of the novel which it attempts to document.I, for one, am happy to see Chris Columbus move from the director’s chair to that of producer. I’ve wondered though, why he was not Executive Producer of this work, as he was the previous two and the upcoming GOF? Ah well. I must have missed something. His sweeping epic style is beautiful but his works never achieved the level of awe, mystery, and joy present in the first two novels. This third attempt, as I’ve said, succeeded in capturing all the necessary elements.Hagrid’s hut is beautifully done and the audience has a much better feel for the grounds of Hogwarts due to Cuarón’s talents. As much as I detested the fact that things had to be changed, I am very satisfied with how things looked and felt on the grounds. It felt much more magical, even with a lack of epic filming (of which I am a huge fan). Cuarón handled the maturing of our three protagonists quite well in that he had just finished a near-porn and, indeed, a nod is given to that work in this movie. If you’ve seen them both, then you know what I mean. Hermione’s Emma Watson is maturing well so far, as are our other favorite Hogwarts students. They do not appear to be maturing so quickly as to warrant their replacement in this series; a situation about which much speculation has been made.This work was incredible in that the characters, creatures, and effects were all impeccably conceived and executed. The legendary hippogryph was incredibly realistic. Some critics have charged J. K. Rowling with making up these animals by “taking one half of one animal and just sticking it onto another.” This is laughable, as the hippogryph is a mystical animal of legend, and not a Rowling creation. According to legend, the hippogryph, living far beyond the seas in the Rhiphaean Mountains, is the result of the rare breeding of a male gryphon and a filly. It has the head, wings and front legs of a gryphon, and the back and hind legs of a horse. It is a large powerful creature that can move through the air more swiftly than lightning. It figured in several of the legends of Charlemagne as a mount for some of the knights. And since many types of gryphons exist, including a variation involving an eagle head and forepaws, this rendition of this legendary creature is really quite realistic. I do wish people would research before criticizing.While this movie is far from Oscar-worthy, it is quite entertaining and does its best to follow the main theme of the literary work. While I was a bit put off by the changes, I must acquiesce that Cuarón did a most excellent job in adapting the largest and longest Harry Potter literary alteration so far with the lowest running time of any Harry Potter film yet. Thus far, this is my favorite for film style and maintaining the appropriate atmosphere in accordance with the novel, though I do hope Gambon can pull off the rigors of the next two attempts. A lot will ride on his ability to BE Dumbledore.It rates an 8.4/10 from…the Fiend :.

  • robert-diaz
    robert diaz

    Prisoner of Azkaban is the only installment of the Harry Potter series to stray from the formula “Voldemort is trying to kill Harry”. That’s one of the reasons I liked this movie so much. It lacks the sense of impending peril present in “Sorceror’s Stone” and “Chamber of Secrets” and the lack of oppressive atmosphere allows for the most complete (as of movie 4) character exploration of the entire series.I think Alfonso Cuarón is the perfect director for this type of material: this movie is so well-handled it makes Chris Columbus’ and Mike Newell’s efforts look like amateur productions. It is really a shame that he didn’t sign on for the fourth movie.This movie also contains some of the finest performances from child actors I have ever seen. I must have watched this movie thirty times by now, and not only because it’s picturesque, with wonderfully shot scenes and seamlessly integrated effects; not only because of the enchanting music chosen, which adds tremendously to the sense of immersion in the movie. No, I watch this movie over and over because of the master performances put in by Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe. They’re very likable people, and they’re charming in every scene, whether they’re trying to dodge unfair punishment from Snape or saving themselves from Dementors. They’re so charming, you actually feel like you’re there with them.

  • speranta-ardelean
    speranta ardelean

    Wow. I love the new direction. The style fits the movie perfectly. I also think the kids acted much better in this one. I really hope they don’t get rid of Daniel Radcliff, even if he does get too broad in the shoulders. You can’t swap horses mid-stream. Also, did anyone recognize the kid who played Neville at first? The biggest problem that I had was that there were a lot of things the movie didn’t explain, such as “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs.” I think that it may have been hard for those who hadn’t read the book to understand. It also didn’t show that Harry’s Patronus was a stag, which I thought was important. And Harry’s eyes aren’t green (which is mentioned at least once in each book), but that’s a minor thing. I felt that the style fits the book well. I go back and read the first book and think “Wow, how young they all are, how naive.” The books age, and I think that comes out in this movie. I hope they continue to follow the same path.All in all, I loved the new direction and the movie itself. I can’t wait ’till the next one comes out.

  • luis-branch
    luis branch

    .. and near perfect film making.Why does every major fictional story that starts off so light end up so dark? Sorry, rhetorical question. The answer is that we live a polar world, light and dark, night and day, positive and negative.So this may well be the last episode in the series which is both exhilarating and innocent.Especially if you compare it to the last two in the series, which I suggest you do not do because you will lose your lunch.The cinematography does not get better. In the winter scenes you can feel the chill and in the flying scenes you get airsick.And the story includes a “time loop” twist which is handled so perfectly that you want to see the film a second or third time to make sure you got it all.Wow.

  • quarto-esposito
    quarto esposito

    Well, once more we have another journey into the struggle for the future of Hogwarts. This time, the quest involves the saga of Sirius Black. Who is he? Why is he on the prowl for young Harry? And what, ultimately, is the truth behind the murder of James and Lilly Potter, Harry’s parents? The tale opens with yet another killer title sequence, this time bringing the familiar Warner Bros. shield to light in spurts before focusing on Harry’s ‘homework assignment,’ if you will — the Lumos Maxima spell. After this, we come to the first segment of the story proper. Now aged 13, Harry is angrier, and more unsure of his destiny than in his previous adventures at Hogwarts. His rage against one of the Dursleys’ relatives intensifies when he finally decides it’s not worth it to remain there (“Anywhere’s better than here,” he complains to Uncle Vernon).A few moments later — the Night Bus. What a ride, especially with British veteran comic Lenny Henry contributing the voice of the manic Shrunken Head! The film reaches its most beautiful moment, however, as Hagrid — newly installed as Professor in Charge of the Care of Magical Creatures — introduces his class, and us, to Buckbeak the Hippogriff. The haunting flight of Buckbeak, with Harry on his back, is complimented by a new theme from John Williams; and yes, Harry does the ‘king-of-the-world’ thing a la Leonardo DiCaprio (but that, of course, we can forgive).Director Alfonso Cuaron, who makes here a return to making films from family stories, provides us with as unexpected an ability to play mind games with the Potter legend’s staunchest supporters (us, the audience) than even Chris Columbus did, when we discover at last what is really going on. That Sirius Black is Harry Potter’s godfather, and would willingly sacrifice himself for Harry’s honor, brings more sorrow than joy to our hero’s emotional psyche, setting the stage for the major payoff sequence.How horrifying it is to learn that the rat you have loved and cared for for all of 12 years is no less than the traitor who brought Voldemort the means to slay James and Lilly! One can imagine what’s going through Ron Weasley’s mind as he, Harry, and Hermoine witness these bitter revelations.And finally, we have the theme of expressing freedom, as Harry sees himself, changed into a glowing stag, giving the evil Dementors what for, thus freeing both Sirius and Buckbeak — two innocents who, like Hagrid himself, have been falsely accused and condemned. Alas, Sirius’ destiny, as we know all too well, is to be a short-lived one.So, what did you love about the movie? I hear you asking. Well, aside from the usual smokin’ performances from our regulars (and a jolly toast to Michael Gambon who, one hopes, will be given a bigger, cooler beard once Order of the Phoenix goes into principal photography), there is also the delightful spectre of darkness surrounding the story, and a ferocious bid for battling against revenge. And, for the first time, the inclusion of the Marauders’ Map is not only emphasized, it also serves as the inspiration — and literal setting — for the movie’s end-credit sequence.All in all, Prisoner of Azkaban brings the darker Potter power to light in ways one would not dare expect out of screenwriter Steve Kloves. Alas, they’re saying that Steve will be leaving the production team after having completed the Goblet of Fire script; if another writer does Order of the Phoenix proper justice, they’ll be hard-pressed to take on the search for one. That being the case, I sincerely hope our legions of fans will enjoy our film. Who knows? I may have to do this again three years from now when Half-Blood Prince gets the movie treatment! (Heh-heh!) Faithfully, Albus Dumbledore

  • klavins-kristaps
    klavins kristaps

    Although this film isn’t all that I’d hoped it would be, I believe that it was the best of the three ‘Harry Potter’ films so far, thanks largely due to director Alfonso Cuaron. In ‘Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban’, the trio are now thirteen and beginning their Third Year at Hogwarts, under the fear of an escaped criminal who played a part in the deaths of Harry’s parents and seems to be stalking the school, preying on Harry.The child acting in this film has improved slightly with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint probably faring the best in comparison to their young co-stars. Although he is lumbered with a Ron who has once again been reduced to a comic character, it’s a sign of Grint’s abilities that he does well without looking embarrassed or too clownish. Dan Radcliffe was still very poor, obviously struggling to portray Harry’s darker emotions in a manner that isn’t wooden and awkward and and this was very apparent in the scene where he makes an atrocious effort to cry when he finds out his godfather had betrayed his parents to their deaths. while Tom Felton was let down by poor scripting of Draco.The adult cast were excellent. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black were perfectly cast. Lupin was soft yet stern when needed and you could feel there was a parental rapport between him and Harry, and I couldn’t imagine anyone other than David Thewlis in the role. And Gary Oldman was great in depicting Black’s determination, mingled with an hysterical madness due to his incarceration in the hellish wizarding prison Azkaban. As for Michael Gambon, who was recast in the role of Dumbledore, I felt he was an improvement. Richard Harris was a gifted actor but his Dumbledore had a cold, aloofness to him whereas Gambon was able to portray the warm, eccentricity of the character without diminishing the power and wisdom of Dumbledore. And the rest of the regular cast, such as Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith, were perfect although we expect no better from them now!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. Also, there was no telling of what Black did to Snape in school that left him so bitter in his hatred and I wished they’d included the scene where he let slip what Lupin was, especially as this animosity between him, Black and Lupin plays a larger role as the books go on. And speaking of Lupin, the werewolf CGI was atrocious. He looked like an emaciated rat rather than the wolf-like creature who leaves even the more powerful wizards quivering in fear. I wished there was more in the ending too as I would have loved to see Vernon’s face when he found out who Black was. Kloves needs to learn how to round the Harry Potter films off properly as this was also a sticking point in CoS.At the end of the day, there were scenes left out, some of which we didn’t mind skipping but others (an explanation to Harry of James Potter’s friendship to Black and Lupin) were sorely missed. It was a great film but it could have done with being made longer or skipping on non-essential scenes (less of the Knight Bus and Hermione punching Malfoy in a manner that makes her out to be a thug) to make way for scenes which are more important. I think I was disappointed because I was expecting something along the lines of RotK but it’s still great viewing. I’d give it a seven-and-a-half out of ten with the hopes Cuaron will return to the helm again although preferably not with Kloves as the scriptwriter. I think Cuaron would be excellent working with a script produced by someone who has a better handle on the darker aspects of the books and a deeper understanding of the HP characters.

  • bailey-robinson
    bailey robinson

    I wish Alfonso Cuaron would come back to the franchise. I know that he probably won’t, but I still hope. After all, as we float through this empty, depressing world, sometimes all we have is hope. He detached this film franchise from its safe-as-a-CIA-file roots and allowed it to grow wings and fly into a silver ether. To anyone who thinks franchise films cannot be art… check out LOTR. But once you are done, check out this film. It is both ironic and darkly appropriate that this is both the lowest grossing Harry Potter film and the one that many film critic types, such as myself, say is the greatest of the octology.The film starts off like do all Harry Potter books and most Harry Potter movies. Potter is at the house of his over-the-top, abusive, Muggle adopted family, getting tormented like he always does. Yes, I know it is explained in detail why he needs to stay with them, but such doesn’t make it any less of a poor writing choice. But, when and if I do a full review of the Potter series, I’ll go over those kinds of decisions. I only bring this up because it is a base line for these movies and such something I can use to show why this is the best one. In the Columbus films, it is played with a cheerful exaggeration that reminds me of many of his eighties movies. This is not a bad thing, but it is not brimming with greatness either. In the Yates films, it is downplayed as just a backdrop, a facade, if you will, to more serious matters. Cuaron manages to combine these approaches, which is expected, as both this and GOF are the ‘transition movies’, while adding both sophistication and a level of charged rawness, which is not expected.We get to see Harry’s emotional landscape. Fragile but potent, unstable but unyielding, it is a sight to behold, one that belies the simpler character that we got in both the earlier and later movies. If Harry Potter developed along these lines, he might have actually been a great character instead of the flattest one among a crowd of interesting people.The scenes are magical, but not in the try-hard way of the first two films. Around the time that I first saw them, I declared myself a true blue of the series. I haven’t looked back since. The shots are magical in a way that is both wispy and intense. This is the tone that these movies should have taken, and if they reboot them, something of I am not in favor but something that is a conceivable possibility in today’s Hollywood climate, this is the tone I would like them to try to take. Just the thought of that sends chills down my spine. It might even be able to challenge LOTR for the crown of best fantasy series of all time. After that virtuoso opening, I kept waiting to be let down. I never was. Every new character introduced was interesting and every old character they excluded was not missed. The pacing is the best out of the movies; the first two were too slow and the other five were too fast. The plot was more personal to me than the other movies; this is the one movie in which Voldemort does not appear in some form or another. There is no direct end boss and so the plot has to be more creative. And so it is.Of course, more of the credit for this has to go Mrs. Rowling for writing the book on which this film was based. But the cinematography is all the work of Cuaron’s team. And it is the best in the series by far. Not to say that the other movies are poorly shot; this is Britain, after all: things may be bad, but they are never badly done. But while the cinematography of the first few movies would perfectly fit a kid’s fantasies, the cinematography of the fourth movie would perfectly fit a high class ball or gala, and the cinematography of the last four movies would perfectly fit a nature doc, the cinematography of this film perfectly fits the franchise. It is artful and well-done, but it is not show like an Oscarbaity period piece. The camera feels alive and coated with magic powder. It is exactly how I imagine the heartbeat of a troubled magic society to feel like. The music helps it out. If you listen to Window to the Past and are not sucked into the world Cuaron made for this film, then you just don’t have a soul. It is introspective, ambient, immersive, and coated with the kind of cerebral wonder that I think makes life worth living. It is the best tune in the franchise. But do not think it is the only good tune in the movie. Buckbeak’s Flight is a good second.While the characters in the series may never be willing/able to turn back time after this movie for reasons cheap and nonsensical and borderline nonexistent, I hope that you will be wiser. Come back in time with me to 2004. And let the emotional waves of this picture overtake you.

  • derek-jones
    derek jones

    This third Harry Potter film is the best one yet. Director Alphonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien, A Little Princess) has taken over from Chris Columbus and has stuck less slavishly to the original JK Rowling Books.Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are back as Harry, Ron and Hermoine, with Hermoine in particular getting to do a lot more. There are less Quidditch matches, and more menace, in keeping with the improved complexity of Rowling’s third novel. Hogwarts is not safe, Draco Malfoy is no longer a menace, but just a pain in the ass. And the new CGI-scripted character Buckbeak the Hippogriff (half eagle, half horse) looks fantastic and has personality.The kids are all supposed to be thirteen but look older – hey we’ll forgive them. Neville Longbottom has lost so much weight he’s almost unrecognisable.Great performances from Emma Thompson hamming it up as the ditsy professor of foretelling, Prof Trelawny, Michael Gambon as the new Professor Dumbledore (not as magical but good), David Thewliss as Prof Lupin, and Gary Oldman as the Prisoner of Azkhaban.Thrilling, complex, menacing, ****/***** stars.

  • kiss-eva
    kiss eva

    Director Alfonso Cuarón has taken the images conjured by J.K. Rowling’s magical words and created from her book, ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,’ a film rife with visual symbolism and alive with inventive images beyond those established by the first two films in the series. Cuarón, a native of Mexico City and the acclaimed director of the completely compelling, frequently hilarious and sexually explicit coming-of-age film, ‘Y tu mamá también,’ was seen by many as an odd choice to follow heartland American Chris Columbus into the Harry Potter director’s chair. The selection has resulted in a film darker and more mature than its predecessors, just as was the book, but it is also as approachable for young people as Cuarón’s other internationally heralded work, ‘A Little Princess.’It is late in the summer. Harry (a decidedly more assertive Daniel Radcliffe, making his third appearance in the leading role) is at the Dursleys in Privet Drive, preparing for his third year at Hogwart’s, when an obnoxious relative demeans his father’s memory, causing Harry to lose his temper. As a result, Harry violates the rules of student witches and wizards, causing the offending aunt to inflate as a dirigible and float away into the night sky on an stream of invectives. It is a delightful opening to a film with far more serious issues to explore and frightening obstacles to overcome. Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), imprisoned at Azkaban for complicity in the murder of Harry’s parents, has escaped, and is looking for Harry. The soul-stealing prison guards called ‘Dementors’ (Latin for mind-removers) are searching for Black everywhere, but when he and Harry meet, there are revelations which change everything.The symbolism in the film is fascinating. Rowling is responsible for a lot of it, but Cuarón has used symbolism as a visual tool to alert the audience to impending danger and to keep tensions high. Traditionally, black-feathered birds such as ravens, crows, and vultures all have negative images associated with them; they are usually used to represent carnage, bloodshed and battle; they are thought of in terms of scavengers, messengers of the dead, and evil. Crows abound in this film, but Cuarón has extended their traditional roles, turning them into symbols of the Dementors, which fly around menacingly in black garments with feather-like hems. Even when the Dementors are out of sight (they are not allowed on the grounds of Hogwart’s School) you can feel their presence in the crows.Rowling’s most obvious use of symbolism is in the name she gives the escaped prisoner Sirius Black. Sirius is a star in the constellation Canis Majoris (in mythology, Canis Majoris is one of Orion’s hunting dogs; the Greater Dog), the brightest star in the sky. So, Sirius is also called the Dog Star, and everyone knows that the dog is distinguished above all other inferior animals for intelligence, docility, and attachment to man. Would she give such a name, with all its implications, to a villainous character? Not likely. But she would give it to a wizard who could change into a dog.Among the new visual images are animal ghosts which wander the halls of Hogwart’s Castle and the film’s realization of Buckbeak the Hippogriff, like Sirius, falsely accused and condemned. Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and all of the established characters return. Led by Harry, all the students have matured considerably, as you would expect of 13-year-olds; they are more independent and self assured, more emotionally developed and far less childlike in their reactions and bearing. Michael Gambon is new and effective as Aldus Dumbledore, following the death of Richard Harris. Emma Thompson is wonderfully wacky as Divination Professor Sybil Treelawney; who leaps from the pages of the book and onto the screen as if Rowling had written the character specifically for Thompson. Also new is Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor Remus Lupin (David Thewles), who comes to Harry’s aid in ways that might befit his Latin name. Remus was the brother of the founder of Rome. In mythology, he was nursed by a she-wolf; Lupin means wolf-like (wolf is Canis Lupis).The unheralded thread of creative continuity in this marvelous series, as it moves from Chris Columbus to Alfonso Cuarón to incoming director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, now in production) is Screenwriter Steve Kloves. He and the producers have been true to Rowling’s works and to Harry’s fans, in ways that have always enhanced, not diminished, the author’s incredible achievement.

  • cynthia-campbell
    cynthia campbell

    If you’re anti-Potter you owe it to yourself to see this film. Get past the issues you might have with the immense hype around the franchise and sit down for two hours to be captivated by this creepy, quirky and beautiful film. If you’re a Potter-fan and you’re unhappy with the film, the novel is probably on the table in front of you and you’re better off reading it again. This is a wonderful film despite your expectations or opinions as to how it ‘should have been done’.This review contains spoilers pertaining to the novel version of The Prisoner of Azkaban; if you haven’t read the book, you have been warned.What makes this film work far more than the previous films are three key aspects – the acting, the screenplay, and the production design/cinematography – and all of them I credit directly to Cuaron’s new vision. Suppsedly it was Cuaron’s work on A Little Princess that won him the gig to direct this film, but I would honestly say that Y Tu Mama Tambien is equally if not more to credit. While he doesn’t get the caliber of Tambien’s performances in the young Potter stars, Cuaron does far better than his predecessor Chris Columbus. Most importantly, this film features a far more relaxed performance from Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. His confidence, surely thanks to Cuaron’s demonstrated ability to direct young actors, lets him speak and react in a far more genuine manner than we saw in the previous films and helps the film enormously. Hopefully Dan continues to improve with each film.With the more assured Radcliffe able to hold a scene together, Rupert Grint matches him admirably. Having been relieved of the Culkin Syndrome he was afflicted with in the first two films (the fault of Columbus, no doubt), he brings a more entertaining and believable Ron to the screen; both a joker and a noble soul as he is portrayed in the novels. It’s wonderful to see that Grint has a genuine sense of comedy about him, and has made Ron more than the one-dimensional, face-pulling joke Columbus would have him. Emma Watson holds her own with the boys, giving a fantastic performance, and importantly bringing a lot of needed emotion to the central characters. Hermione now feels like the glue in the trio rather than the outsider.The new Dumbledore is a little uncomfortable, simply for the fact that he has a very small role in the film, and we don’t have enough time to entirely digest this new portrayal. Richard Harris brought a wise kind of grace to the character, but perhaps in his physical state the character did come across as a little too frail. There is nothing wrong with Michael Gambon in this role, and I believe with his increased parts in the next film he will prove to be a satisfying replacement. I was wary of casting for Remus Lupin, one of my favourite characters of the novels, but David Thewlis makes this role his own with a delightful portrayal. Likewise, Oldman is perfectly cast as Black.There are edits and reshuffles with regard to the Azkaban’s story compared to the book, both in terms of how the story fits together, and what information from the overall seven novel arc is in the film. I don’t see how these changes matter much, the identity of the Marauders will undoubtedly be revealed, and potentially in a fashion that has a greater impact than it did in the novels. The reshuffling improves the pace in a huge way compared to the Columbus films which were quite plodding in parts because of their tenacious grip on remaining accurate to the novels. The dialogue is similar to the previous films. The “sudden” ending is satisfying enough; there really isn’t any need for the over-done end of year banquet scenes, and seeing Harry happy at the end of the film is all I think we need.Some have complained that the continuity between the first two films and the third one has been spoiled by changes in the production design. I really can’t see the problem here, the look of Hogwarts is far more immersive and emotive in Azkaban than it was in either The Philosopher’s Stone or The Chamber of Secrets. Cuaron brings a twisted visual style to the screen and draws on his Mexican heritage to add further layers of interest to the look of the film. He could be called overly indulgent, but rather than being distracting, these additions simply bring more life to the screen, making Azkaban a gorgeously vibrant film. The production design is simply oozing with the filmmaker’s obvious delight in creating the creepy magical atmosphere that this darker story requires. If after all that you still can’t accept the changes to the production design, think simply of this; “The stairs like to change”. If the stairs at Hogwarts like to change, why not the rest of it? It is a magical place, after all.The cinematography though, is what makes the film so beautiful. There’s barely a shot in the film which isn’t utterly gorgeous. The scenes of the Dementors floating outside Hogwarts are inspired, the moonlight scene after the return from the Shrieking Shack, the flight scenes with Buckbeak, the first Dementor scene on the train; all are captured beautifully and put Columbus with his squeaky clean vanilla take on everything in first two films to shame.This film was one of the highlights out of Hollywood in the last year. It’s, dare I say it, compelling and well acted in a beautifully realized and shot fantasy world. You owe it to yourself to see it once; and if you’re a fan holding a grudge, maybe you should give it another try.And pray to your Gods that George Lucas never gets his hands on the reigns to a Potter film.

  • jason-mcpherson
    jason mcpherson

    As with previous Potter films, this one is wonderful. The mischievous trio are back in their third year at Hogwarts.Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is a slightly different character in this film as the anger inside of him for what happened to his parents has grown over the years. This made, for me, the film much more enjoyable than the first and second.As one would no doubt assume, Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the character Sirius Black is nothing less than perfect. However, Sirius Black seams an unlikely roll for the talented Oldman. I enjoyed him more in other films, such as ‘The Professional’ and ‘Immortal Beloved’. Let us hope he has had the chance to ‘play it up’ a bit more in the much anticipated ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’.The original music of John Williams is more than I could ever hope to hear. It is absolutely splendid, making the film worth a listen even if you do not watch. Williams has created memorable compositions such as the theme music to ‘Star Wars’, ‘Jaws’ and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’.Overall, any age should enjoy this film. The visual effects are not the most spectacular I’ve seen, but fantastic enough to take your imagination away from the real world for 141 minutes. Even the closing credits are kind of cool.Now, go watch the film. You’ll be glad you did.

  • ian-lewis
    ian lewis

    I thought this was excellent….better than the first two Harry Potter movies combined and better than what has followed.. That’s my feeling, and I’m still sticking to it.This was just great fun, right from the opening. In fact, the early bus scene is the best in the film. Overall, the movie didn’t have as mean an edge to it as the others, although it has a number of scary moments (which might have warranted a PG-13 rating). That was fine with me. I got tired of the dark, nasty and/or annoying characters of the first two films, and especially the irritating blonde wise-guy kid. I give this major points for cutting his role down. Even Alan Rickman’s character softens.In other words, there is no despicable villain to hate throughout the film, which I thought was refreshing. Instead, we just go through one adventure after another until the final surprise ending.Along the way are a lot of fun special effects and scenery, some humor (Emma Thompson is a hoot as an eccentric tea-leaf reader) and some fantastic 5.1 surround sound. I wish all the Harry Potter films were like this one.

  • dragutin-vojkovic
    dragutin vojkovic

    Harry Potter is growing up! The voice is deepening, the shoulders are broadening and…hurray! You no longer feel like a creep for having a little crush on Daniel Radcliffe…whoops, did I say that out loud? Say what you will, I see him making the jump from child star to adult actor in a way that Haley Joel Osment only dreams of.Appropriately, this third film in the Harry Potter series has matured along with it’s young stars. At first glance the storyline itself is relatively simple – Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban Prison and young Harry is on his hit list. But the reality is that this movie is about being a teenager and all the trials and tribulations that go with it. On one level, Harry is like any other kid at school – he puts up with torment from bullies, gets into scrapes with his teachers and hangs out with his friends. But this is not just any school. This is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Harry has a whole OTHER set of problems. Like an escaped madman who may just want to kill him, for example.The plot contains the requisite amounts of twists and turns. The focus is on Harry’s past – Sirius Black was his godfather but just may have been in league with he who’s name cannot be mentioned. There is the usual game of ‘are they or aren’t they?’ when it comes to deciding which characters are really the baddies. Alan Rickman continues to walk the finest of lines between good and bad with his marvelous performance as Professor Snape. Has there ever been a better match of actor and character? Snape shows again that, while he may take occasional delight in making his students’ lives difficult, he does have their best interests at heart – like any good teacher. Other plot quirks worked well – I enjoyed the way the time travel angle was worked in and the map showing the location of everyone in Hogwarts was a delight.Visually, this is a much darker film and it is a sumptuous treat for the eyes. There is so much incredible detail in the sets that it’s impossible to absorb it all in one sitting. All the staples from the other films are there – the paintings talk, the staircases move, ghosts roam the halls – watch out for the knights on horseback crashing through windows! The special effects are all top notch. A word of caution for any parents – there are some genuine scares here. The Dementors are particularly nasty, and I would certainly think twice about letting very young children watch this film. This is without even considering it’s running time – two and a half hours – which is a very long time to expect some children to sit still.One of the most impressive things about this film is the way that the young cast are more sure of themselves. As Hermione, Emma Watson grated in the first film with her occasional woodenness. Pleasingly, she has grown into herself as an actor and her performance here is much more mature. A leading lady of the future, perhaps? Hermione is growing up and is tired of being taken for an irritating goody-two shoes know it all. Rupert Grint provides comic relief and Daniel Radcliffe gives an outstanding performance, considering the whole film rests on his shoulders. Harry is the hero – the audience needs to identify with him. By the end of this film teenage girls will want to take him home to mother, while their mothers will just want to take him home and adopt him!New cast members acquit themselves well. The role of Sirius Black was tailor made for Gary Oldman – he has a requisite creepiness with just a dose of humanity to bring the character to life. Daniel Thewlis is good as Professor Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts master who takes Harry under his wing. Emma Thompson is amusing as a Divinination professor with bad eyesight. She can see into the future but can’t tell which students are falling asleep in her class! Many have criticised Michael Gambon’s performance as Dumbledore. While it’s true that he is no Richard Harris, I personally was pleased that he didn’t attempt to imitate his predecessor. Gambon is accomplished enough a performer to stay true to the character while at the same time putting his own stamp on it.Take away the magic and monsters, and what you have is a coming of age movie. Harry is forced to grow up and confront both his past and his future, and come to terms with the reality that he is no ordinary wizard. With the spectra of ‘you know who’ continuing to loom on the horizon, roll on film four!

  • tamara-hrovat
    tamara hrovat

    Alfonso Cuarón’s masterful adaptation does the source material immeasurable justice by exploring its underlying concepts in an intelligent manner. Of course, it certainly helps that the aesthetics of the film are incredible, the acting remains stellar (and the trio of young actors handle their roles admirably), and John Williams offers an amazing (and eclectic) score. Character development is superb – Steve Kloves penned a great script.First-time and young viewers will likely enjoy the film for its merits based on plot and ‘adventure’ alone, but it takes multiple viewings and a critical eye to enjoy the abstract ideas and nuances. Cuarón himself credited the source material as being laden with real-world issues: oppression, racism, loneliness, power, friendship, justice and so forth.This is the Harry Potter film that stands on its own and as a tremendous cinematic achievement. It challenges viewers and yet doesn’t patronize them or attempt to offer answers to all of the questions presented. For instance, the ending is bittersweet at best and retains a healthy amount of ambiguity.If you’ve never read the books or understood the acclaim of the series as a whole, watch Cuarón’s ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ and you’ll understand why this entry is clearly the zenith of the seven.

  • dr-gal-molnar-irma
    dr gal molnar irma

    (Credit IMDb) Harry Potter is having a tough time with his relatives (yet again). He runs away after using magic to inflate Uncle Vernon’s sister Marge who was being offensive towards Harry’s parents. Initially scared for using magic outside the school, he is pleasantly surprised that he won’t be penalized after all. However, he soon learns that a dangerous criminal and Voldemort’s trusted aide Sirius Black has escaped from the Azkaban prison and wants to kill Harry to avenge the Dark Lord. To worsen the conditions for Harry, vile shape-shifters called Dementors are appointed to guard the school gates and inexplicably happen to have the most horrible effect on him. Little does Harry know that by the end of this year, many holes in his past (whatever he knows of it) will be filled up and he will have a clearer vision of what the future has in store?Azkaban is quite possibly the best Potter entry I’ve seen so far. As an avid fan of the films, but not a follower of the books (Yet, anyway) It’s in serious consideration to the best as far as I’m concerned. Usually with films that are 140 minutes long, I start to get Ancy in my seat due to my ADHD condition. I actually yearned for more after it was over, as the excitement was top-notch. The finale is without a doubt one of the most breathtaking one’s I’ve seen in my entire lifetime. It was just beautifully told, and wonderfully set-up. Azkaban also provides us with three wonderful leads once again, in Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson. Azkaban is quite the ride, and may just be my favorite so far. Performances. Daniel Radcliffe continues to mature as Potter, and gives a wonderful show here. He balances anger, confusion, and vulnerability perfectly, and I was on his side the whole way. Rupert Grint is as funny and charming as ever as Ron. I found myself cracking up half the time he was on screen. Emma Watson is bubbly and easy on the eyes, but credible once again as well. She is also maturing, and Hermione is quickly becoming one of my favorite Potter characters. Gary Oldman is surprisingly effective as Sirius, considering he only did it for the Money. David Thewlis is interesting in his role, and wise, if nothing else. Michael Gambon is classy as ever as Dumbledore. Alan Rickman is sinister once more as Snape, while Maggie Smith is great once again in her role. Robbie Coltrane is pretty good as Hagrid. Tom Felton continues to emerge as a great threat to Potter’s fortune, while Emma Thompson is fittingly kooky. Bottom line. This is top-notch excitement at its finest. It’s definitely one of the best, if not THE best Potter film in the series. Potter fanatics should be thrilled with the fine quality of this movie. A must see!9 ½ /10

  • osvalds-purins
    osvalds purins

    If there’s anything this movie proves, it is the difficulty in separating the series from the demands of fans. This is clear just from hearing some of the comments. “Why didn’t they identify the names on the Marauder’s Map?” “Why wasn’t the second Quidditch game shown?” “Why wasn’t there more of Crookshanks the Cat?” By focusing on what the film didn’t have, fans fail to look at the film on its own terms. I think this is by far the best Harry Potter movie yet.The only way to satisfy fans would be to include everything from the book, which would require a miniseries. Since that isn’t what these films are, the story has to be abridged. The first two films tried to fit everything they could within a reasonable slot of time. The result was a set of films that felt cluttered yet incomplete. Had they continued with this strategy for this movie, based on a much longer book, it would surely have been over three hours long.The virtue of the latest film is that it makes a real attempt to adapt the story, not just marching in lockstep with the book’s events. The screenplay is sparing, leaving out or simplifying loads of details not directly relevant to the plot. But it captures much of the book’s delight and humor. The first two films fell short in this regard, because they lacked the guts to tinker with the details, even though that was the key to condensing the story while staying true to its spirit.The movie is still faithful to the book, of course. Many of the scenes are exactly as I had imagined them. When it deviates, it does so based on an understanding of the story and characters. This is evident in the way they show, for example, the Knight Bus; Hermione’s overstuffed schedule; and the introduction of the Marauder’s Map, a scene that captures the twins’ mischievous personalities. The changes are clever and funny, and they help compensate for the movie’s loss in other areas.Certainly this has something to do with the new director. Columbus’s approach was to stick to the books as literally as possible, often draining them of their subtlety. For instance, where the books only hint that Dumbledore can see through the invisibility cloak, the earlier movies make it unmistakable. The new director never condescends to the audience in that way. This is a children’s movie, but it is also a fantasy-thriller that we can take seriously, because not everything is spelled out for us. We’re given a chance to think.But part of what makes the movie work is the book itself. The story is gripping from start to finish, because the threat looming over the school is established early on. Harry’s personal life is sharply intertwined with the plot. We feel for him as we watch his disastrous (but hilarious) attempts to escape his uncle and aunt, and his humiliating reaction to the dementors. The story avoids common devices such as the talking killer or deus ex machina, which the other books have in abundance. The ending is nicely bittersweet and ambiguous. The plot is so complicated, however, that the book spends several chapters explaining it all. The movie wisely includes only very little of this, allowing the plot twists to become understood as the story progresses. I was surprised to see certain events that were in the movie but not the book lend support to an important theory some fans have had about what is to be revealed at the end of the series. Of course, it is well-hidden and won’t give anything away for those who aren’t looking for the clues.I was so satisfied with the film that it almost seems trivial to mention the flaws, but there are some. The portrayal of Fudge’s assistant as the standard hunchbacked dimwit is out of place here, as it would be in anything other than a cartoon or spoof. The most serious misstep, though, is the casting of Michael Gambon as Dumbledore. Gambon’s face seems frozen in a perpetual nonexpression, and his voice lacks resonance. He compares poorly to the late Richard Harris, whose line readings had gravity, and who played the character with a twinkle in his eyes. It is a pure mystery to me why this actor was chosen as a replacement, especially considering the fine performances from other members of the cast. Even the children are in top form here.Those complaints aside, this is the movie I was hoping they would make when the series began. If it doesn’t live up to the book, so what? What’s important is that it lives up to its potential as a movie. Fans who want a carbon-copy of the book are looking in the wrong place, because they’re never going to get it here. This is probably the best example of a Harry Potter movie that we’re ever likely to see.

  • lic-rebeca-granados
    lic rebeca granados

    The third film about the young wizard is the most controversial, for it was he who split the fans of the novels about Potter into two warring parties: conservatives and innovators.The first group of fans absolutely condemned and condemned the actions of the director Cuaron, altered “Harry Potter” in his own way. Say, they did not like the strange werewolf, all sorts of jokes-jokes, interspersed by the director in addition to the script, and in addition to all the claims they discovered the disappearance of the atmosphere of magic, because of which the popular expression of “Quaron in the furnace” was born.The second group, on the contrary, furiously began to praise Cuaron, extolling him to the unprecedented pedestal of fame, thus creating almost a cult of personality. They liked everything that only they could like in the third film.Only now it became clear that both sides are not right in their convictions. So it should be, movies must be different in essence. The error crept in from the very beginning: Chris Columbus took the first two films, and this put the old debate on what kind of movies Harry Potter should be about. Columbus did not have to give the right to shoot two films, and one would suffice. Spectators are used to the atmosphere of the first two films, because most of the audience took the innovative approach of Quaron to the screen version of the third novel with bayonets. Now the producers make a mistake again – they give the right to shoot two films (The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince) to the new director David Yates. This should not be done in any case. It is necessary to preserve the diversity of director’s visions. Hogwarts is not accidentally depicted in different ways in films, like Hogsmeade. Everything in novels is seen differently every time, because all the reader and viewer sees through the eyes of Harry Potter, and in films through the prism of the director’s vision, the viewer must perceive the magical world through the eyes of a young wizard. Alfonso Cuaron still hit the spot with his timely vision of the plot of “The Prisoner of Azkaban.”He created a sparkling tragicomedy for the growing up of a young wizard.In general, Cuaron’s film reminds me of our old Soviet films. For the reason that the whole film can be easily taken away on the shots, quotes, fragments, heroes, soundtracks, etc., etc. Despite everything, this film is much kinder than the previous two, differing in their gloomy Gothic style. It’s more fun, crazy, and it should be, because it’s Sirius Black himself on the scene!For the whole of Rowling’s novel, like the film of Quaron, is a tribute to the memory of the crazy, hooliganistic and such lonely Sirius Black … Black, whose heart is beating violently, hot blood flows in his veins, and in the soul is truly dog devotion. The third film, as well as the film, is dedicated to the looters – James Potter (= Harry Potter), Peter Pettigrew, Rimus Lupine and Sirius Black – a group of friends who used to be friends a long time ago …The film ruthlessly shows how easy it is to lose friendship and how difficult it is to acquire a friend …Thanks to Alfonso Cuaron, who did a talented work, showing in one stroke all the huge gallery of the characters of the magical world and their essence: the Minister of Magic plunges into a puddle; the soothsayer with big glasses on her nose stumbles on her own table; The evil teacher Severus Snape closes the children from the werewolf; eccentric Dumbledore slams his hand over Ron’s gnarled leg; Remus Lupine, at the lesson, takes a snack with an apple; portraits of Hogwarts, it turns out, also like to sleep; Stan Shanpike with his brave words is not very strong in dragging student suitcases; Hagrid and ties are incompatible things; Tom from the Leaky Cauldron has a nehyl auto; Ernie, wearing spectacles with large lenses, is led by the “Night Knight”; Sirius Black finally began to talk moral nonsense … Also it is necessary to thank the new actors, so successfully merged into the old line-up:Emma Thompson (Sibyl Trelawney); Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore); David Thulis (Remus Lupine); Julie Christie (Madame Rosmerta); Gary Oldman (Sirius Black); Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew) and many others. By the way, if my memory does not change me, then the two actors from the third film (cleaning woman in the bar “Leaky Cauldron” and Aunt Marge) Quaron quietly consigned to his other project – “Child of Man”, but that’s another story …Let me love the fourth film about Harry Potter (director – Mike Newell), but I always revise the Curaron part – it is the brightest of all existing.In a word, long live Rowling and Cuaron!”Potter, come back!” (Severus Snape, potions teacher).