Monday, 1 August 2011
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
The bar had been set.
Lover: Taken from IMDB
“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.”
A good review, very true.
Hater: Taken form IMDB
"I am a devout fan of the Harry Potter series, however, when I saw the Prisoner of Azkaban, needless to say, I was utterly disappointed. I was offended with the way the director decided to portray the Dementor's Kiss. Dementors do NOT suck out the happy thoughts, and so causing the soul to come out of the mouth. This movie was a disgrace to the Harry Potter movies and I hope the director burns in Hell. Secondly, what the hell happened to the Quidditch Final?! Gryffindor winning that match is a major plot point and cannot be cut then filled with some stupid choir singing a rip-off of Shakespeare. Although not a main character, it was indeed a shame to lose Sir Cadogan. I appreciate that certain characters and scenes need to be cut from the final edit, but to totally disregard the main plot and replace it was some cheap imitation is unforgivable. Also, I was disgusted the way the director 'Americanised' this movie by making the students run around in non-uniform. Perhaps it would be a better idea to get someone who knows the British culture and ask him/her to direct instead.This movie is a total disgrace and should be remade by someone a lot better than Alfonso Cuarón.”
A “Disgrace” and the “Director should burn in hell”? Wow, that’s pretty harsh. This Harry Potter fan clearly getting their knickers in a twist over what are negligible changes from the book, the truth is they were never going to like it.
What I thought:
Azkaban as a book is a big step forward from Chamber of Secrets, It prepares the younger audience for the horror's that come. With Warewolves, Mass Murderers, Prisoners on the run and of course the Dementours. All of which had to be handled with the right kind of dread mixed with the magic of the first two. In came Alfonso Cauron and his almost dark fairy tale feel to the third instalment of the Harry Potter franchise. It is a testament to the Directors eye and the rest of the creative team that the style they went for stuck for the rest of saga. Take for instance Hogwarts itself, the entire look and feel of the place changed. The Whomping Willow was moved and a strange gothic stone circle appeared.
Ok so the films got more interested in realism as they went on, slipping more and more into our world to reflect Voldermorts almost omnipresence. Here is where this all started though and sadly in my humble opinion as a Harry Potter fan was never bettered. For me this style works wonderfully, the plot winds through what is effectively a thriller, with Serious Black as the ominous dark cloud over all preceding’s. The children starting to show some real maturity, the effects finally catching up with the likes of Buckbeak, various transformations and the Dementours all complete a great film.
It must be said I’m a little biased towards this book as my favourite character makes his first appearance. The shabby looking but oh so likeable Remus Lupin (I have his wand, no really I do), played to perfection by David Thewlis who gives Lupin just the right amount pathos behind those pale eyes. Of course that brings me to the adult casting which yet again excels, Gary Oldman as Sirius Black and Emma Thompson is Trewlaney is inspired casting!
The first wo Harry Potters were a wonderful joyride for kids but for anyone who’s read the books, Harry’s journey is far from those early days. Azkaban started off a whole new look and feel to the Potter series and set the bar for all subsequent entries.