Harry Potter and the Prisoner of
—Too Bad Potter Failed to Deliver
Third Time Around
The Blonde and The Maven
again, we find Harry Potter portrayed for the third time
by Daniel Radcliffe, living with his cruel aunt and
uncle, anxiously awaiting his return to the school of
witchcraft. We haven’t visited with Harry since 2002.
The biggest change was that director Chris Columbus
(Mrs. Doubtfire and Home Alone) was replaced this time
with the controversial Mexican director, Alfonso Cuaron
(Y Tú Marma Tambien).
Harry and his friends Ron, portrayed by
Rupert Grint, and Hermione, played by Emma Watson,
return for their third year at Hogwarts, the infamous
school of witchcraft and wizardry. The threesome, who
have become teenagers, are now forced to face their most
personal and darkest fears. If that’s not hard enough,
they confront a dangerous escaped prisoner, Sirius
Black, played by Gary Oldman (Dracula and The
Professional). In addition, the story has the little
wizards and witch facing the Dementors who are sent
there to protect them. “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh
My!”… You will get another chance as well, to revisit
other beloved Harry Potter characters. For example,
Maggie Smith (Tea with Mussolini), who portrays
Professor McGonagall; Alan Rickman (Dogma) plays
Professor Snape. Returning as well is Robbie Coltrane
(From Hell) who plays Rubeus Hagrid the Giant. One
character that you will definitely miss is the late
Icon, Richard Harris who played the Headmaster Albus
Dumbledore. The Headmaster is now played by Michael
Gambon (Gosford Park and The Insider).
Blonde: This movie was like Harry Potter one and two
meets The Never Ending Story, The Wizard of Oz and The
Lord of the Rings. I don’t want to, in any way, insult
those other brilliant motion pictures as to compare it
to the extremely weak Harry Potter film. I thoroughly
enjoyed the first two Harry Potter movies and felt like
I was suffering through this one. I was bored throughout
the whole movie except for the first ten minutes. The
beginning scene shows Harry cast a spell on the uncle’s
sister (who was totally obnoxious), who swells up until
she’s about to burst like a balloon, starts to fly, and
then blows away into the atmosphere. I simply can’t tell
you how many times I wanted to do the very same thing to
any one of my mothers-in-law.
The Maven: The
third installment of Harry Potter is not so candy-coated
as the previous two. It’s more a coming of age story.
Harry is not so goody-goody. He’s actually dealing with
personal identity issues by means of typical teenage
angst (as typical as a teenage wizard can be) by acting
out. How many parents have dealt with that? Of course,
when your adolescent acted out, he didn’t cause a
relative to blow up and float away.
You have to admit, that kind of acting out would come in
handy! I felt this movie was too dark for younger
children to see. They might become scared and unable to
enjoy this Potter film as they did the other two. In
that case, though, it would be a lucky break for the
parents to get to leave early. Yeah! I did, however, so
enjoy the bird/horse (BuckBeat) character called
Hypocrite. I thought he stole the whole movie. Not that
that was any big deal. The only other nice thing I can
say about Harry Potter is that if you find yourself
having to go to the restroom during the movie, there are
oh so many slow, boring scenes, you can leisurely take
the opportunity to do just that. I am so glad I didn’t
work out today, for that would have been two painful
experiences to endure in one day…
The Maven: I
agree with what you said about younger children. Almost
everyone, it seemed, has dark secrets in this movie.
Eventually there are so many twists and turns that it
was difficult to decipher the good guys from bad
The Blonde: No, it was me doing the twisting
and turning from boredom. Sorry. Ga head.
Maven: As in real life, shifting alliances blur the line
of black and white.
The Blonde: So does Michael
The Maven: Laugh out
loud!! There were serious plot holes. Harry seems to be
in more danger from the guards of Azkaban than the
escaped prisoner. If you didn’t read the book, you won’t
be able to answer these questions. Did Sirius Black kill
dozens of people? Why did he seek Harry Potter? Why did
Professor Lupin show up as a teacher of defense against
the black arts when he did?
The Blonde: Who cares!
The only question I have was why was the movie so bad
that the only thing that kept me awake was sucking all
the white dots off of my Snow Caps Candy? The only
answer I do have is the reason Chris Columbus chose not
to direct this film was to save his career. Am I being
The Maven: Then why did he choose
to produce it instead?
The Blonde: So he can direct
in the future. Producers are forgiven easier…
Maven: One more complaint.
The Blonde: Oh please,
The Maven: Gary Oldman is one of the
finest actors of our time. When he is on screen, there
is no one else to look at. So why was he given so little
screen time? I felt his talent and charisma were
The Blonde: Yadda, Yadda.
Why was the film they filmed this movie on
completely wasted? That is a better question…
Maven: I didn’t mind the dark aspect to the film.
It just made it a little different and unique than the
others. Because the movie left me dangling with so many
unanswered questions, I feel I have to rate it a C. It
was just average at best. Because I was so frustrated, I
ate an entire tub of popcorn and suggest that you do the
The Blonde: I seriously recommend that you
save your hard earned money, stay home, order a pizza
with extra cheese, and rent the previous two Harry
Potter movies instead. I give Harry Potter Prisoner of
Azkaban a disappointing D. It would have been a D-, but
the music written by composer John Williams was great,
as he always writes.
1. Rupert Grint as
Ron Weasley, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger and Daniel
Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Warner Bros. Pictures’
fantasy Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Photo by Murray Close
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