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Checking in after a crazy week, the ups and downs of which I shall not detail. (Because, really, why would you want to muse over whether Molly had food poisoning or a migraine last night? She's hoping food poisoning actually, because she doesn't want to be one of those people who develops migraines.)

During the more pleasant part of yesterday, Steve and I finally got around to seeing Prisoner of Azkaban. I concur with those who say it was the best of the three so far. It probably helps that I don't remember the book well enough to notice any discrepancies, but it also felt more concisely put together, despite its length. The length, of course, is due in part to the story structure at the end: i.e., the sequence so nice, we'll watch it twice!

The other reason I liked it better was its darkness. The cutesy factor was curtailed compared to films one and two, and the eeeeville factor played up. Things looked a little grimier and more menacing. Comedy was more deadpan and understated. (I loved the Whomping Willow nonchalantly killing birds. I dislike birds.) The Dementors, I thought, were actually creepier than the Ringwraiths--probably because the Dementors look skeletal and sepulchral, which to me is scarier than the rather buff armored Ringwraiths (who nonetheless are not figures I'd like to meet in a dark forest).

Hermione (Emma Watson) has gotten awfully pretty, incidentally. I like to think I looked like that at age 13, but let's not kid ourselves. Ron's new feathered haircut made me grin. Snape's hair, thankfully, looked less greasy this time around. And yeah, darthbeckman, now that you mention it, when the Hogwarts kids were out of uniform, it did rather look like they'd slept in their clothes. :) Shouldn't there be a charm for that? Expellus wrinkleus!

And I'll say about Daniel Radcliffe what I whimsically said about Elijah Wood, when he was 15-ish: he'll sure be a hottie when he turns legal. In fact, there was one shot where he looked a lot like Frolijah. Something about the shadows, the angle, the large blue eyes and the dark hair. I don't remember where the shot was now, but others have mentioned this resemblance.

I did think they possibly cut a little too much from the story in terms of explaining the past generation. They never said, for instance, that Sirius et al. made that map, and that "Moony" was Remus, "Padfoot" was Sirius, etc. A clever audience member who hadn't read the book might have worked it out for themselves, but I'm not sure I would have. Oh well--chances are they were sitting next to someone who'd read the book, so they'd know by the time they left the theater. Anyway, bravo! Let's bring on the next installment, where they actually kill students.
*evil rubbing of hands*



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 13th, 2004 09:01 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine refers to the Whimping Willow as commiting "Avian Carnage".

And the dementors, even though in the book aren't supposed to fly, are -creepy-. I'd prefer if they'd stay on the ground and not suck the life out of me... perhaps that was why I didn't find the Ringwraiths as scary. All they had were pointy objects.

Oh yes... they missed out on Pigwidgeon. Poor little birdy.
Jun. 13th, 2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
I was wondering if they flew in the book. I didn't remember it well enough to say for sure. Does make it scarier, though.

But that one scene, where they're all flying away from the bright-white Patronus light? Looked a lot like Gandalf banishing the Ringwraiths outside Minas Tirith. :)
Jun. 13th, 2004 09:26 pm (UTC)
Very, very like the Gandalf scene. But in the book, in the quidditch game, it says that the Dementors -walked- onto the pitch, and they were merely staring up at Harry.

I think the other scary thing about the Dementors is the whole "Don't really know much about these things" factor. Ringwraiths were once human, but Dementors are something else.
Jun. 13th, 2004 09:15 pm (UTC)
> The Dementors, I thought, were actually creepier than the Ringwraiths--

I agree. It's all about the Relentless Float.
Jun. 13th, 2004 09:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah. The weightless drifting around is quite eerie.
Jun. 13th, 2004 09:50 pm (UTC)
but it also felt more concisely put together, despite its length

Actually, the movie was less than 2.5 hours, making it the shortest of the movies so far, which is odd, considering as a book, PoA was a good bit longer than either of the first two.

Yes, the Dementors creeped me out -- I truly did feel a chill every time they showed up on the screen (perhaps it was clever air control by the theater, but whatever!). With the Ringwraiths, I just knew they were bad guys in my head, not so much my entire body. *shiver*

I also agree that if I had to pick a complaint, it'd be the lack of backstory on the Marauders. But only if I'm forced to complain :P My mom had not read the book, and was not left with any lingering questions, so it passes muster in my house! (Though we *want* her to read it, so we haven't filled her in *g*)

Let's bring on the next installment, where they actually kill students.

Ha! Oh [name of student]. Poor dude. *sniff*
Jun. 15th, 2004 07:31 pm (UTC)
They must have done a good job of condensing the book to the movie, then, since it felt more or less complete, and free of some superfluous stuff that the first two had. But yeah, could have taken a little more backstory and explanation at the end, there.

Goblet of Fire is going to be quite the Gothfest if they're true to the book. I remember being rather disturbed at some of the cemetery scene when I read it. Rowling tapped into Poe there for a spell, or something. :)
Jun. 13th, 2004 09:53 pm (UTC)
I agree with almost all your comments on HP:PoA. Particularly, the surge of dark & evil imagery/themes delighted me to no end. ^_^
Jun. 13th, 2004 11:01 pm (UTC)
PoA definitely kicks more tushie than the first two. I am SO much happier with Michael Gambon as Dumbledore; poor Richard Harris always looked (and sounded) like he'd have been a lot better off with a continuous oxygen feed (which might actually have been true, I fear).

Apparently (judging from the reaction of my DH, who has not read the books), the omission of the Mauraders' history isn't problematic to the unread. It just annoys those of us who know better. :-)

It bugged me that the dementors could fly. I actually find the eerie, relentless, slow glide described in the books to be creepier. It's kind of like Michael-the-maniac in the old Halloween movies; he's scary as hell because he just Keeps Coming, slowly but unstoppably.

Ringwraiths make scarier noises, and their horses are TERRIFYING (those bloodied hoofs still give me the willies). But it's hard to show, cinematically, something inducing mind-numbing fear; it's easier to show something (a dementor, specifically) sucking something away. If somebody had taken me to see PoA when I was a child, I would have been really and truly traumatized. (I was a sensitive kid.)

Supposedly they've started production on GoF. I cannot even begin to wrap my head around how they're going to convert that monstrosity into a working script.

And re Daniel Radcliffe: A friend of mine posted a pic of him to her journal recently. He had this incredible come-hither look that NO 14-y-o boy should have mastered. Eeep! The many of us on her friends list who are quite old enough to be his mother climbed into the Handbasket to Hell to be ported away in a wash of pedophilic angst. I'll email you the pic if you want. ;-)

Jun. 15th, 2004 07:33 pm (UTC)
Hehehe. Well, of COURSE I want to see the jailbait picture. :D Send it on over.

I would have been freaked out by the Dementors as a kid, too. Same way the Ghost of Christmas Future freaked me out, and for most of the same reasons.
Jun. 14th, 2004 08:42 am (UTC)

I hope that this week is less crazy for you!

And girlie, I enjoyed reading your thoughts about PoA immensely. :-) Ditto that about Daniel Radcliffe, by the way! He does have a real Elijah-ness about him. LOL

Jun. 15th, 2004 07:35 pm (UTC)
Aww, pretty icon!

Yeah, a lot of us seem to be finding ourselves making cradle-robbing comments lately on his behalf, don't we? How awful. :) He's more bookish than Elijah, I suppose--though it's probably just the glasses--but I like that about him. Hurrah for geeks!
Jun. 18th, 2004 12:19 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was created by teh_indy. :-) Isn't it sweet?

LOL! Indeed, indeed. :-D Huzzah for geeks!
Jun. 14th, 2004 06:04 pm (UTC)
My Opinion
For some reason, perhaps just because I am an experienced actress, I have different thoughts about the movie Harry Potter. First off, I'd like to comment that the "special effects" are pretty cheesy compared to things like LotR. I would also like to say that I have always found Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint's acting skills well... unimpressive. They always just seemed like lucky [insert word here] who got a break in the acting business; none with real talent. I also felt that the movies totally ruined the books.... I don't know how J.K. Rowling submitted to the movies.

I was rather displeased with Gary Oldman as Sirius. As far as I can tell, Sirius was supposed to be handsome, but with features worn out from Azkaban. In my eyes Mr. Oldman didn't exactly fit this description.

For the kudos, I agree with everyone else for the most part.

~Faramir fangirl...pro-choice...lotr lover...cat lover... the list goes on........
Jun. 15th, 2004 07:37 pm (UTC)
Re: My Opinion
*flashes Thespian card right back at you*

I must say that when I said it was "the best of the three," I almost added, "which isn't saying a whole lot," since there was much to be improved upon in the first two. And this still isn't something I'd want to watch over and over, unlike LOTR. But it was fun entertainment, which is still more than I can say about a lot of other movies these days. (*cough*Matrix*cough*)
Jun. 16th, 2004 07:42 pm (UTC)
Re: My Opinion
Haha! My thoughts exactly. You probably think I'm just another one of those people who think you rock, but you definitely took the words right out of my mouth.

~Faramir fangirl...pro-choice...lotr lover...cat lover... the list goes on........

Jul. 4th, 2004 10:43 am (UTC)
What about Specters in His Dark Materials? That's my favorite fantasy of all time, have you read it? (I object to the statement that all good fantasies are rip-offs of Tolkien!) It's a really beautiful story, no cheesy fantasy covers and gratuitious obviously-fake naming going on like 'Drizzt' and 'Acorna'.

I was a bit dissappointed too over Emma Watson's absence of giant hair and buckteeth, but it was way more artistic as a movie than the last two, which went the way of Hollywood family film cheese. I continue to be appalled at Harry's awful acting though. That weepy scene- what was that??! ::whimper, whimper, ROAR!:: I was really relieved when he started the shouting. It was kind of a Anakin-crying-badly-over-dead-mum moment. He's too well-fed looking and cocky for that role.
Jul. 5th, 2004 06:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Buria
Heh, yeah, he could've done the crying scene a lot better. Take lessons from the hobbits there, boy. ;)

And yes! I've read 'His Dark Materials,' and loved it. (Though I think I liked the first book the best, and the second one second-best, and the third only third-best, but still they were all quite good as a whole.) A great genre-breaker, that one--hard to classify as merely "fantasy" when it does so many other cool things. Will have to re-read sometime soon.
Jul. 4th, 2004 10:45 am (UTC)
It's by Phillip Pullman, by the way!
Jul. 8th, 2004 09:20 am (UTC)
[responding to Hair Agonizing]
wow, you're kinda like me. You look a totally different age in each picture. Reminds me, i ought to post up my pictures in South America. I look a lot nicer in those, maybe it's the fresh air, or maybe the happy llamas trotting about through misty rainbows. Most of the time, though, I look (and sound like) like Huey in the Boondocks.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )