‘azkaban’ is by far the best harry potter film yet. it is visually striking, well acted and well told, especially considering how much had to be left out or condensed.


all of the kids perfomed much better than before…i don’t know how i feel about draco becoming so much more of a weenie, but i haven’t read that book so i don’t know if that’s really how his character develops. daniel radcliffe is getting so hot, it’s wrong and he shows a lot of anger and darkness in this film (angst!) which everyone by now should know i find irresistable.

as for the adults, gary oldman and david thewlis were wonderful, emma thompson was completely unrecognizable as the very eccentric professor trelawney and robbie coltrane really seemed to fill out hagrid. however, i sort of felt that alan rickman was just cashing it in.

the hippogriff was stunning. i want to ride one so badly. the scenes with buckbeak were positively wonderful. a way better digital character than stupid dobby.


this film looked amazing. cuarĂ³n, seresin and craig somehow managed to make ‘azkaban’ look both more real and less real at the same time. high contrast and grain, delicate but ultra-real colors give the film a markedly different look from the first two installments of the ‘harry potter’ series. the little scenes used to show the passage of time were great and the werewolf effects were neat (but not that original in light of ‘van helsing’).

granted, a lot of exposition was left out (so i’m told). many things are left unexplained (what exactly is up with the potters and snape and black and lupin? why did mcgonagall give hermione the time turner? what exactly happened the night the potters were killed? i know that black lent hagrid his motorcycle to take harry to the dursleys but…???) but as a person who has not read the book, i didn’t think the movie was hard to understand at all. things got a bit hairy when black and lupin meet, but ultimately the movie was so good i didn’t care what exactly motivated the characters, i could make inferences.

production design-wise, hogwarts looks different and the location of hagrid’s hut has changed from the first two movies which sort of threw me, but i like the layout better in this movie. the wardrobe is much more updated and everyone looks pretty hip – actually…maybe too hip? too homogenous? hm.

In summary…

you must see this film. even if you haven’t heard of the books or movies before you’ll enjoy this film. this is the first ‘harry potter’ movie that i actually felt moved by and i hope that mike newell does as good a job with ‘goblet of fire.’