June 06, 2004

Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban

Tonight, I went and caught Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban. Having seen both the first and second installments of the series -- as well as being a fan of the director, I was looking fowards to this movie.

Perhaps I made a mistake in having read the book. Because of that, I was very aware of all the abridging that was occurring. The movie was already a bit on the long side, but adding some minor details (who the originators of the Marauder's Map were and the relationship between Harry's father and Professor Snape, for instance) would have greatly fleshed out the film without taking up too much time.

What was in the story was told in a visually arresting style, but with a journeyman's pacing. Animatronic animals abounded all over the place -- distractingly so. And there was one scene (Harry walks through the halls of Hogwarts at night using a light at the end of his wand to show the way); it was shot in such a manner to almost appear completely computer generated ( la Final Fantasy). I have no reason to think that it did, but it appeared that way when I saw it.

The acting was, okay, with a few exceptions. Gary Oldman was convincing and commanded attention everytime he was on screen. Emma Thompson was a treat, portraying the not-quite-all-there divination professor. And I have quite a bit of sympathy for Micharl Gambon, who had to try and fill Richard Harris' quite large shoes.

All in all, this was a passable summer movie. I think I would have preferred a bit more fidelity to the books, but that's just me. Watch time 1:07.

Posted by Casper at June 6, 2004 11:32 PM