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4.1 out of 5 stars62
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on August 9, 2004
Having read the book before seeing the movie in theatres, this third instalment in the Harry Potter movie series didn't quite live up to its predecessors that followed the books quite closely and lived up to the magic the literature offers. This movie adaptation of the Prisoner of Azkaban seemed to be more slapped together, taking some elements from the book, but changing around all the important events and forgetting why things are the way they are in the books, such as the importance of the Quidditch Cup.
I didn't quite like the casting for the new Albus Dumbledore either after being exposed to and enjoying the performance of the late Richard Harris as headmaster at Hogwarts. Michael Gambon's take as Dumbledore didn't have the right feel to it. He brought a more grumpier and stern Albus Dumbledore to the screen as opposed to a kind-hearted, bright blue-eyed, old wizard that one would respect as a friend. In my opinion, John Hurt, who portrayed a father figure to Hellboy in the Hellboy movie, would have brought back the Dumbledore we have come to love after the late Richard Harris.
In whole, considering the Prisoner of Azkaban is highly regarded as the best book in the series so far, it just wasn't what it could have been, maybe because the Prisoner of Azkaban book is a lot darker and deals with even darker issues than the first two parts of the series, and this movie was compelled to be more of a family film that parents would let their kids see.
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on March 31, 2005
Of *course* it isn't as good as the book. Movie adaptations almost never are. Things have to be changed in order to work, and some things are inevitably lost in the transition.
That said, it's the best one yet. The first two movies were mediocre partly because they tried to follow the books too closely and brought nothing to the story- why would you watch a second-rate edited version of events when you can read the brilliant original?
Azkaban was darker, funnier, and more believable. The changes made to the storyline didn't feel forced or unnatural. What won me over were the details; seeing the characters out of uniform or goofing off with magic animal crackers...they're kids at a magic school, but they're still kids. The acting was excellent all-round.
I can't see Phoenix making the jump to the big screen successfully: they'd have to cut it down a lot or make two films. But if they do make another, hopefully Alfonso Cuarón remains the director.
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on December 25, 2004
ok: this movie is magical but not without its faults: apparantly the geography of the Hogwarts grounds has changed (for the better, IMO), it strays from the book SLIGHTLY but nothing major. When it does, it makes sense. a great example is Harry's Firebolt. Once you see the film you'll understand why it was a good move. My only complaint is that they didn't dwell on the Prongs, Padfoot, Moody and Wormtail story. Bottom line: best Potter film, however, to get the full expereince read the book AS WELL. Reading the first two books wasn't neccessary to 'get' the movies. I'm anxious for "HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE" due Nov. 18, 2005. I just hope that #4 follows the book, as it is BIG...
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on December 3, 2004
As a huge Harry Potter fan, and having really enjoyed the first two movies, I was very eager to see 'The Prisoner of Azkaban', and now I wish I had rented it and saved my money. There is almost no character development, and Hogwarts now looks as if it is a ruin. But perhaps worst of all it is a poorly constructed movie. My husband, who has not read the books, but thoroughly enjoyed the first two movies, was completely lost in this one. Scenes change quickly, frequently with no explanation, and while this is not a serious problem if you have read the book, for others it makes for a choppy, disjointed mess. Let's hope that if they make the fourth movie, they'll change directors.
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on December 4, 2004
This movie is fantastic! It is ten times better than the previous two Potter films, with more action, humor, and thrills. The special effects are excellent, the acting is better, and the story is better. Although quite a bit is left out, shuffled, or changed from the original material it is truly an amazing cinematic experience. If you didn't love the first two then try this one out, because I can guarentee you'll love it. Knowing that JK Rowling's books get better as they go, The Goblet of Fire will likely do what The Prisoner of Azkaban did- thrill and chill to the extreme.
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on November 27, 2004
It has been quite some time since I had read this HP book and I have read all the HP books, and I had not seen the movie before watching the DVD. I thought as a stand alone movie it was excellent. However as the series of books moves along the movies are forced to abbreviate the increasingly complex plots. I would advise all HP movie buffs to also read the books. The stories, films and characters are all maturing and I hope the pattern is able to continue at such a high level. The cinematography in this DVD is out of this world. I missed Richard Harris as Dumbledore though.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2004
I felt that this movie was by far the best of the three to date. The others annoyed me at times because they were simply TOO faithful to the books...word for word at times. Cuaron managed to maintain the spirit of the book without making a carbon copy. I realize that some key elements were left out, but, remember, they are planning on putting those in the next movie where they thought that they would fit better.
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on April 21, 2006
I liked all the Harry Potter movies. They weren't the books but they were good. The best one was probably the second. The only thing that really got me was the scenery. Was there something wrong with it?! Did anyone notice how suddenly the land scape, the location of the womping willow, and the whole caslte were different than the first and second? All I can say is: "What was wrong with the old way?!"
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on June 12, 2003
If you liked the two previous movies you will love this one.(if Cuadron keeps close to the book) The new characters: Sirius Black and Remus Lupin are great. You will learn that the Nimbus series are just "toys" compared with the profesional stuff. Wonderfull new scenarios like the "wizards town", more quidditch action and new terrible creatures. Without doubt, the megablockbuster of the next year summer!!
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on September 23, 2004
Harry Potter number three is thought to be a little too dark by many. I disagree this is a new era, kids don't play with barbies and hotwheeles as long as they us to. This movie is something that will engage and entertain childeren as well as adults. It's a great addition to any dvd library. Is has the right amounts of suspense and drama to keep the most skeptic harry fan's entertained.
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