June 18, 2004

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by Alfonso Cuarón, 2004

we finally went and saw the film! wow. after waiting for two weeks too. okay, first off here are my thoughts on the first two films in the series -- they sucked. the main reason: Chris Columbus didn't seem like he wanted to direct them so he only shot the script and called it a day. but i did end up picking up the books (thanks to the roommate who's got 'em all) and they're really good. they truly are page-turners. anyway. so last fall i started reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. thing is, i got lazy this year and only picked it back up a few weeks ago and i recently spent more than a few afternoons pick it back up. i never thought i'd get to finish it before seeing the film but it was fun. then last night - the film. at this point i wasn't excited about seeing it but it's the first time i really wanted to catch a Harry Potter film in theaters. why? Alfonso Cuarón. i couldn't wait to see what he would do to the series with his darker, more serious style. and that doesn't disappoint. the kids are more normal, the tone is bleaker, etc. but i only found myself following the film from scene to scene. there was no excitement. but. i found out why towards the end -- i knew what was coming up. there was no excitement. it was all, "ah. nicely done. right. oh yeah, that." that sort of thing. but then came the point where i'd stopped reading the book. and things just picked up and never let off until the very end. so i do believe the whole film is like that; i just knew what was around the corner, is all. so it put the flow of the film off for me. the kids give better performances but you can still see some non-actor moments in Daniel Radcliffe (but he is better than in the first two films. Alfonso just wasn't able to make him a true actor for every single frame). Gary Oldman, with the few scenes he has, somehow makes you care about his dark character. JK Rowling's talent, i believe, is to lay down tracks and scenes that will always have a role in the way the story works out in the end. and you rarely see 'em coming. and the film works like a charm. storylines come in and out, and important info that will play out later on is divulged without your knowledge. and when the film's over, or when things are revealed, you go, "oh... that why (this and that)!" (and the sexual innuendos are pretty clear for adults :) i couldn't believe it when the first one appeared. go Alfonso! :) with this film they've got a chance to turn the sterile series into the exciting series it can be. i would have loved for Warner to give Alfonso the rest of the series. somehow that didn't happen. but thank god Chris Columbus is not doing the next one (Mike Newell is). hopefully they'll keep him on only as a producer and i'll be happy. but no one will make me as excited as i was when i first heard Alfonso Cuarón was directing this. it was a fluke. which he took and ran with. this film is fun. roomie - bring on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! i'm all fired up about reading the next Harry Potter adventures.

ps. the roommate, the big Harry Potter fan, who's favorite book of the series is the third one, gave it a big thumbs up and clapped to herself when the credits rolled :) i couldn't give it a better approval than that.


Posted by Sam | 9:26 AM |