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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:52 PM
Original message
Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkahban...
I just watched the HBO "First Look" at the movie -- I have to say, everything I am seeing so far makes me very happy! :)

I heard Emma Watson say in an interview that Cuaron wanted to "strip the polish" off the first two films and present a darker vision. I love the new look -- the steely greys and cool design palette are delicious. I always thought Chris Columbus was a bit of a lightweight director to be handling the series -- especially the 3rd book on -- so I'm glad he's let go of the reins.

Everything I am reading says this is the best of the films yet, more complex and emotional. It's clear from the trailers and shorts Cuaron decided to really play up the fact that these are teenagers now, with all drama/pain/confusion goes with that. And he's really playing with the budding romance between Ron and Hermione. :)

Everytime I think about this cast -- Gambon, Rickman, Smith, Oldman, Thewlis, Thompson -- good heavens, what a boatlaod of talent, and what fun it must've been to be on that set!

I mean really, the men from "Naked" and "Sid and Nancy" in a Potter film! Ya gotta love it. I personally think they were both a stroke of casting genius.

So who else will be hitting the theatre opening weekend?? I heard that they may open on some of the IMAX screens across the country. Lucky me, there is one here in SF.

Can't wait!
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dolo amber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. This has so far been my fave book
I can't wait for the film...I've heard nothing but good things thus far! :bounce:

And a side note...OMG!! You've seen "Naked"?? :o I utterly adore that film, and I know maybe 3 people who've seen it and that's only cos I rented it and made them watch it... :eyes:

:toast:
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. "Naked" was the first film...
I'd ever seen Thewlis in -- and what a first impression he made! From that film I have always carried that image of him in my head, which makes it all the more mind-blowing to see him as Lupin. :) I also liked his work in "Total Eclipse" -- I heard he was annoyed that DiCapprio was behaving like a child by insisting they have a pillow between them for the sex scenes. Gotta love those Brit boys -- totally willing to take it all off at the drop of a hat with no embarrasment whatsoever.

The upcoming Newsweek has an article on HPPA in it -- they rave about it -- you should check it out!

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dolo amber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Cool!
Thanks for the tip...I'll pick that up. :)
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Here it it...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5040564 /

Lightning Strikes
The 'Harry Potter' books have finally gotten the wondrous movie they deserve. 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' boasts a brand-new director and a bold new vision.
By Sean Smith

NewsweekMay 31 issue - The first scene of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" removes any doubt that the famous child wizard is growing up fast. The camera glides toward a light pulsing in the night, then through an open bedroom window, where Harry is hiding under his covers, playing with his wand and hoping to God he doesn't get caught. Wait a minute. Has new director Alfonso Cuaron inserted a sneaky allusion to the private habits of teenage boys into the family-friendly franchise? Cuaron's a warm, chatty guy and not one to dodge controversyhis last film, "Y Tu Mama Tambien," was so graphic that it was released unratedbut there's no way on earth he's going anywhere near this topic. "This is NEWSWEEK, man!" he says, then laughs for a very long time.

Intentional or not, it's a pitch-perfect bit of subtext, and only the first of many reasons "Azkaban" rocks. Sure, there's a werewolf and a hippogriff and a bunch of other magical stuff, but the real reason this third film in the series outshines the others is that it's about something far more frightening than failing your Potions final or facing Lord Voldemort. It's about being 13. "It's such an archetypal agethe bar mitzvah, the communion," says Cuaron, who replaced Chris Columbus, the director of the first two movies. "It's the moment in which fear is no longer the bogeyman under your bed. It resides inside you. In this story, Harry has to come to terms with his male energy."

..snip

Adapting it wasn't easy. "Potter" fans are fanatical about seeing every sentence of the book on the screen, but Cuaron made a bold decision. He scrapped everything that didn't relate to the central theme or didn't keep the plot flying. He ditched the rich, golden tones of the previous films, replacing them with icy silvers and inky blacks. And he re-envisioned Hogwarts as a grittier, less Disney-fied place, so that the magical moments would be even more transporting. In "Azkaban," Cuaron keeps the camera moving, using very few close-ups, which adds to the eerie sense that Harry is being stalked. The result is a film that's really movingand really moves. "Alfonso's a soulful person, and that emanates through every frame of his films," says Heyman. "We realized, frankly, that we needed to develop the franchise, to improve. What's so brilliant is that he changed so much, but in a way he changed nothing. It's still within the spirit of what came before it."

...snip

Of course, all of Cuaron's efforts would have been for naught if the three starsDaniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione) and Rupert Grint (Ron)weren't up to the task. But their performances, Radcliffe's in particular, are far more impressive this time around. They're all 14 or 15 now, and have two films under their belts. During rehearsals, Cuaron had long conversations with them about the pains and fears of being 13, and then had them write essays, connecting the lives of their characters to their own. "The essays were so beautiful, and so personal," Cuaron says.

More on the site...
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Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. My favorite, too
I am more nervous about this film then I was about the first two, because I loved this book so much. I am trying not to have high hopes, but that's difficult with this director.
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cheezus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
23. hey, my favorite too!
tho pheonix was close.

What really bugs me about Harry is that he never goes to Dumbledore. You think by the fifth year he'd figure out that Dumbledore wants to help him, not kick him out of school.

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phaseolus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Goblet of Fire...
There's a scene in that book that, properly filmed, could end up being one of the great cinema moments ever -- I hope that one works out well...
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Gee, you wouldn't be talking about the climax in that graveyard, would ya?
What gives me pause regarding "The Goblet of Fire" is how much of it they'll have to cut for the movie. That hasn't been much of a problem so far, but starting with "GOF," the books have gotten quite a bit longer!
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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. Goblet of Fire I & II
kind of like they did with Kill Bill, make it two movies.
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phaseolus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
21. That, and the scene in the maze leading up to it
Lots of happy, giddy action followed immediately by ... you know how it plays out. Done right, this scene could spin you around and slam you headfirst onto the pavement.

p.s. caught your radio show last Saturday, for the first time. Loved it, I'll be back...
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Mike Newell is directing that one...
right now, as we speak. When I heard he was the choice I was a little hesitant. He's done some good movies like "Dance with a Stranger", "Donnie Brasco", "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Enchanted April, but he's never done anything so special effects ladden -- it can be tricky keeping the characters the center of the film in the midst of all the CGI -- just ask George Lucas these days. ;)

Yes, it COULD be amazing...I hope he has the chops to pull it off. I would hate for the franchise to take an Ewok Dive. :(
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FlashHarry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. Not a fan, but this looks good so far.
I'll see it.
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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'm really looking forward to this film
This one's my favorite, and I agree, I never liked Columbus' hand in the first two.

I'll definitely try to be there for opening weekend. I hope it plays at the IMAX screen here. :D
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Columbus' directing and take...
is just a little too light and "shiny/happy" for me -- I was never really feeling the danger of the troll, Voldermort, or serpent.

I know they were technically films for kids, but if Disney can scare and traumatize the crap out of generations with "Dumbo" and "Bambi" viewers, heck, Columbus could have laid it on a bit heavier. :)
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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Hear, hear
I couldn't agree more! And the witch in Snow White? I couldn't sleep for days after seeing that when I was a kid!

The Harry Potter generation (of which I am a proud member in my mid-30s!) is growing up too - let's scare them a little. These books can be very scary, I think! And this one definitely is - I think I want to reread it, now that I think of it. :-)
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Scary? YES!
Look at what we have coming up in the rest of the books -- the Dementors, and dragons, and murderous snakes, and attempted murder, and succesful murder, and thestrals, and Harry strapped to a tombstone in mortal danger -- good heavens, we're not talking Mary Poppins time!

Yes, as Potter fans and the characters age, I think is it appropriate the film content mature as well.

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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
9. #3 is also my favorite
We finally get to meet Sirius! I love Lupin. I think he's the greatest of the Dark Arts teachers. And of course, the new weapon in Harry's arsenal (besides the cloak of invisibility) is the map. He's showing a lot more wisdom as well. The Dursleys just bother the hell out of me. If I were Harry, I would have punched Dudley a few more times for equal measure. :evilgrin:

The kids are growing well. And they all seem so "normal" outside of the roles--I suppose it's the British influence!

I can't wait. :)
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Yes, Lupin is a big favorite of mine too...
I'm just sorry that he's not featured as prominantly in the other books. :(

I haven't seen any clip that features the Marauder's Map yet, so I'm not sure what they are going to do with that visually. I think it will be fun to see Hogsmeade finally, with the sweets and joke shops. I wonder what they will be presenting as butterbeer? Maybe something like a foamy cream soda...

I love the kids, they do seem so very normal when they are interviewed.

But, I have to say, I do worry terribly about them and their futures. As much as I love them in the films and greedily want every film to be shot with those very actors, I wonder if it might not be better if they walk away soon.

Child actors have always had a terrible time making the jump to adult features, let alone children who have been SO identified with a particular character. For an entire generation of filmgoers, Daniel Radcliff IS "Harry Potter" and always will be. If those kids have any hopes of continuing with an acting career, being "Harry" or "Ron" or "Hermione" many more times may kill their chances at it before they've had a chance to prove themselves beyond the Potter films. The public has a very hasty habit of rejecting such actors when they attempt to move beyond their defining roles.

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Catch22Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
11. My daughter and I are really excited about this one
We read the book together and we were on pins and needles the whole time. We loved how it ended, and can't wait to see it on the screen.
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. My Mom and I see the movies together...
and have a date for this one.

Of course, I am (ahem...cough) 43 and Mom is 72...but it's still Mom and daughter bonding. :)

So, which one does your daughter have a crush on??
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. we can''t wait to see it!
the book was so good. Her books just get more and more complex amd dark, so the buzz sounds good. We have enjoyed reading all of them several times ourselves and to our son. I love Lupin and I really like Sirius. It is interesting that the director is the guy who made Yu mama - that was really something - very graphic and Marxist... when I saw it, I thought wow, a Marxist-inflected, highly erotic tale from Mexico. Pretty wild. It will be neat to see how he does the Potter story.
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. I had also seen....
"Y Tu Mama Tambien" when I heard Cuaron has been picked to direct HPPA. To say I was stunned is an understatement. I absolutely loved the film, but what a leap for a director! Then I remembered he had also done "The Little Princess", and it made much more sense.

From interviews I've read/seen he is infusing it with a whole subtext that should add tremendously to the depth of the characters and the film.

Can't wait!
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Unperson 309 Donating Member (836 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
20. Hairy Dubya
and the Prisoners of Abu Ghraib?

Oh, dear!

309
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Lavender Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
24. The hippogriff scene looks really cool
from what I've seen. The Columbus movies had a more cartoonish look, but I did enjoy them.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
25. I Just Hope It Doesn't Get Tiresome Like the Last One
I spent the last 1/2 of "Chamber" hoping it would end. Soon.

Only thing that's bringing me back to the theatre for this one is the thought of a Gary Oldman / Alan Rickman scenery-chewing contest.
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Yes, I thought....
Edited on Wed May-26-04 11:43 AM by Hell Hath No Fury
COS ran much too slowly - it needed serious tightening, which is why I am not unhappy at all Columbus is not directing the films further.

Ah yes, Alan and Oldman, together at last!

What a treat!

On an odd note, I noticed that Alan finally got his teeth fixed! I noticed it in "Love, Actually" but thought it was something perhaps done temporarily for the film, like Ben Affleck in "Armageddon". But the HPPA preview last night made it clear he had it done for real. What the heck took him so long?!?!? Strangly, his terrible dental work actually added to the creepy appearance of Snape -- his new teeth are a bit glaring now.
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Reciprocity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
27. Harry crosses all age lines.
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm 45. Some of you may find this review helpful as it comes from a fan . This is on the Jason Isaacs ( Lucius Malfoy) fan site that I'm a member of.
http://p198.ezboard.com/ftheunofficialjasonisaacspagefr...
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
28. A few early reviews...
over on Rotten Tomatoes

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/HarryPotterandthePrison...


Ain't It Cool News:

...snip

Thats my way of leading into the first genuinely great Summer 2004 film.

Alfonso Cuarons HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN.

In a magic world of real magic, its the little things that could be done that terrify, dazzle and enchant. Combining the magic of the really real, the nearly real and power of pixels, Cuaron brings to life J. K. Rowlings Harry Potter in a way we have yet to see fully before.

...snip

This opening creates a genuine tone shift from the absurd, to the oh so real. This is an element that is continued with regular clothing and more honest emotional moments. Theres a scene between David Thewlis Professor Lupin and Harry on this gabled bridge at Hogwarts, that really touched me. It wasnt played broadly, but sweetly. In Thewlis face you saw such affection for Harrys parents, while Potter had his back to Lupin, we could see the sadness upon his Hearing about his parents, hearing how loved they were is so wonderful, yet painful at the same time. He can only know them through the words of others cryptic descriptions about eyes and faces of natures and laughs. Hes truly an orphan in this world where everyone knows his story, but him. Theres such a haunt about Harry I love it. Daniel Radcliffe is fantastic in this edition!

...snip

Cuaron really has such a light touch to this story, in the end it all feels so easy, so elegant and so effortless that I was left with a goofy smile and a dream as I heard the final incantation before the light last left the projector and I was returned to my theater. He understands magic more purely than anyone Im watching make films today. The misdirection, the naughty nature of it and finally the pure joy of magic its all here, thanks to the greatest wizard to help Harry along his quest for whatever it may eventually be.



From The Hot Button:


I am not a Harry Potter fan. I haven't read the books. I couldn't stand the first movie. I didn't much like the second one.

So why am I so taken with Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban? There is one central reason Alfonso Cuaron. He makes this episode of the ongoing series into an actual movie, not just another children's toy in shiny cellophane.

...snip

And Hogwarts itself has gone through a remarkable transformation. For the first time, it feels like a boarding school and not just like a series of remarkable sets, one after another. Cuaron's Hogwarts has dirt it has hillsides that students use as apparent shortcuts it has more realistic encounters between students. But best of all, it has context for the first time. Michael Gambon, who has no trouble handling the bittersweet task of filling Richard Harris' robes, is no longer just a wise old man who runs a school. He is a hippie with a kofi, newly purple robes and little rubber bands in his beard, running a commune for other freaks like himself. He is joined in this reflectivity by Emma Thompson's Professor Trelawney, a master of fortune telling whose classroom dcor may well come out of her VW van each semester.

...snip

But it is Gary Oldman who makes the greatest impression, in two different ways. First, he manages to steal a couple of scenes before he even gets in a word of dialogue. And then, when he starts to speak, he is almost unrecognizable. For whatever reasons, he decided not to rely on any of the magical tricks that we all know as Oldman's and instead voices his Sirius Black without being showy, but without any Oldman landmarks. Not many people will appreciate how much Oldman becomes an actor in this role (he's always brilliant, no matter the role) and not a movie star. I'm sure that it was Oldman's idea for the character, but again, the choice is part of Cuaron's signature on this film.

...snip

Not only is this the best Harry Potter movie, it is the first Harry Potter movie that actually qualifies as cinema. I'll be going to see it again before it opens not because the kids will drag me, but because I want to.
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