June 4th, 2004


Prisoner of Azkaban - No Spoilers

A few quick comments before I have to wake up and work. Is it wrong to fall asleep in class if you're teaching it?
  1. As the books get bigger and the movies stay the same length, more and more material (characters, subplot, details, etc.) get left out. This movie at times seemed more like it was based on the Cliff Notes version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban than on the novel.
  2. Really good effects -- the Dementors were oogy, and Buckbeak was gorgeous. Not so impressive -- the Werewolf Lupin CGI (I've seen better in a few movies recently) and the obviously fake rat Scabbers in a number of scenes
  3. Good performances by the new actors -- not just Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson, et al.; but Dawn French has a great scene as the Fat Lady in the painting on the door of the Gryffindor common room (it was a pleasant surprise seeing her, especially after just hearing Jennifer Saunders in Shrek 2).
  4. New Dumbledore? Not bad, but needs work.
  5. The previous movies were slavishly compliant with the written word -- some things were taken out for time, but very little was changed or added. In this movie (as was obvious even from the trailer) a variety of small things are added or changed from the book. Not a bad thing, overall; but the visual changes in Hogwarts itself and the surrounding area was a little odd.
  6. It is in the book, but </a></b></a>q still didn't enjoy seeing the ferrets being fed to Buckbeak.
  7. Overall, I liked it -- but there are so many little things going on in some parts that I'll really need to see it again.