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Review of Harry Potter:

Posted by phduffy on 2004-07-12 12:06:40
Just like Dr. Dre and Eminem, Harry Potter is back. This time he’s got a different director (Alfonso Cuaron) and a different tale.

The title refers to Sirius Black, a man that’s been locked up in Azkaban prison since he revealed the location of Harry’s parents to you know who. He’s escaped, and presumably is looking for Harry and his revenge. Azkaban prison is guarded by Dementors, rejects from the first Lord of the Rings movie that fly around being scary and don’t really have faces. They also eat your soul.

I’ve read some mention that this is the darkest of the film and that it has a Gothic, rather than Victorian, feel to it. While that’s somewhat true, it’s also true that the first two films had their moments of darkness, and the main trio spends less time at Hogwarths in this film than in the first two.

As usual, all the British actors of note are back to play various professors. Alan Rickman is back as professor Snape. And he’s excellent once again, as he still seems to be up to no good, but we’re never quite sure. Emma Thompson is the new choice for comic relief professor, (played by Kenneth Branagh in the previous film. I felt that her character was completely unnecessary and added nothing, and I’m not sure that the series needs a new idiotic professor each time.

As usual, the story starts with Harry in the world of the muggles, living with his terrible aunt, uncle and cousin. Why he still lives with them is never really adequately explained. He once again takes the train to Hogwarth’s, and the hijinks begin. We then see Harry break about every rule in the Wizard book, and not get punished for it. That’s a small quibble though.

This film has a somewhat complex and very interesting plot. There are many moments that don’t appear to make sense when first seen, but which are later explained. (Although I can think of one scene that didn’t get a proper explanation). Unlike the previous films, everything doesn’t work out as Harry might hope.

This is the best of the 3 Harry Potter movies, and one of the best films I’ve seen all year (it’s only competition is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). They are currently filming the much anticipated 4th film, and have announced plans for the 5th film. Unfortunately, JK Rowling is taking her sweet time writing the 6th and 7th books, so it’s not clear if they’ll be able to use the same cast for all 7 films. We can only hope that she gets her act together so that we can see this franchise continue its ascension towards best film franchise of all time.