S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Harry Potter

I went to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with a large horde last night, almost repeating our annual tradition, except that it wasn't opening night this time. I was impressed. It's the best of the three movies, in large part because of the way secondary plots were effectively cut out. It hung together well. I only missed two brief scenes which would have added to its internal completeness, but which were by no means necessary: the signing of the permission form, and an ultimate explanation of the newspaper clipping. I loved the details, even when they were as stupid as the baby fox sitting by the pathside while the children come down the stairs. I especially liked the various uses of the whomping willow. And Buckbeak! He wasn't at all as I imagined him, but he was perfect.

I thought it was a little too heavy-handed on the uses of clock-like devices, and was particularly disturbed by the enormous pendulum which swung back and forth over the entrance they kept using. I also thought the werewolf looked a little cgi-stupid, particularly when compared to Sirius' variant. Much as I loved what Emma Thompson did with Professor Trewlawney, I'm not sure any of the Divination class scenes were actually necessary for the movie; but more world detail is good.

Also - the entire animagus reporter plot was cut from the movie. In general, it's extraneous material but, as C. has observed, it does add a crucial extra element which isn't really in the book otherwise: the way events at Hogwarts can have major effects on the entire wizarding world. It's a gentle introduction for the increasing level of politics in the subsequent books.

My favorite job from the credits: Creature Hairstylist.

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