June 15, 2004

Movie Quick Takes: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. These films keep getting better. This film introduces a new director to the series, Alfonso Cuaron, who replaces Chris Columbus who directed the first two films. Year three takes a darker turn than the previous two and also introduces a more personal story for our hero. This was the first time I sensed real peril, and it seemed to take a more personal toll. We get a story that involves the death of the Potter parents and the man who betrayed them and who is now after young Harry. He still has Ron and Hermione at his side providing comic relief and level headed leadership and ingenuity to counter balance the at times reckless Potter. We can the characters maturing through the series, I truly hope they keep the same principals in future installments. Alan Rickman returns as Snape the dark good guy, he is so perfect for this role, always a good to see him onscreen. Gary Oldman also joins the cast as the titular prisoner. Cuaron brings a new style and visual flair to the proceedings, more than the steady straight forward style Columbus had. Overall a wonderful film for the family, except for the youngest children. It is really nice to see a family film that doesn't play dumb, nor underestimate the intelligence of its young audience.


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