Harry Potter
And the Prisoner of Azkaban
Review by Ross Anthony

Harry Potter 3 Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has quite improved as an actor (not that he was ever bad), and certainly he has a quiet screen strength. In fact, this is a very well acted film. Well directed to boot, from the get go to, errr... uhm, almost to the end. The film's pace, acting, composition, cinematography, moody dark lighting and well-integrated score create a magical cinematic experience with greater depth, grit and maturity than the previous two. It's truly enjoyable, and I for one can find nothing wrong with the first two hours.

Potter is feistier this time around, more assertive, less patient, less a spectator in his own film (as I'd previously made mention of in the earlier Potter1 and Potter2 films). Aesthetically composed images role well with the special effects which are no longer spectacle on their own, but rather stimulating by way of idea, invention, and art.

Additionally, the story is fun, curious and somewhat unfettered by a sort of generic formula and those usual assumptions of what is acceptable in a "children's book." This Potter is thirteen and he's up for a little revenge. Although, the prisoner (after which the film is titled) is noticeably absent from most of the production.

Which brings me to, well, the unpleasantry. While viewing, I was hoping to herald this film as one of the best of the year. Unfortunately, as the picture spreads its wings and gallops into a climactic emotional arc, the arc bends, breaks, perhaps. And while some of the events/twists of the "extended ending" are somewhat interesting, they lack the momentum created so artfully earlier. In short, an excellent film, overstays its welcome with an over-evented, under-climactic ending. This shortcoming drops my rating from an A (dare I say, I was even thinking A+ at some points) to an overall A-.

The film is due to be released in IMAX DMR on the same date. (DMR is a process that takes the original 35mm print and digitally "improves" it for the larger IMAX screen.)

  • Harry Potter And the Prisoner of Azkaban. Copyright © 2004. Rated PG. 135 minutes.
  • Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, Richard Griffiths, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis, Emma Thmson, Julie Walters.
  • Directed by Alfonso Cuaron.
  • Screenplay by Steve Kloves.
  • Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling.
  • Produced by David Heyman, Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe at Warner Bros Pictures/HeyDay Fims/1492. (c) 2004.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:08:44 PDT