Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – A review from the clueless.

Okay, I’ll admit – I haven’t read the book. I’m not kidding when I say I don’t really enjoy reading novels too often. I realize that this movie is obviously being sold to the book lovers; those tikes have a much greater advantage… like possibly enjoying it to name one. However, there is still a small number of us that quite fancy movies and will view just about anything if invited – and hey, I didn’t mind the first film and this director has some clout behind him – so why not, right? That said, at 4PM today, I sat down to watch the newest Harry Potter flick and folks…. I didn’t like it. Nope. Not at all.

I’m no dummy – I’ll give credit when it’s due, this sucker had some really tight visuals – the acting was great and often humourously exaggerated (Emma Thompson) and various scenes were shot really sharply. Long story short: It looked great if you were watching it in bits. Very small bits. But I wasn’t. It was one long bit. Let me say that with a bit more intent: ONE REALLY F**KINGLY LONG bit. Holy crap.

Once the story was rolling, the scenes were strung together with such abandon, I, who can pride himself on graduating from grade 8 a LOOONG time ago, had no definite clue as to what was going on. Timelines and continuity were blown to bits like yesterday’s spicy food from my butt. Meanwhile the list of character names and references grew and grew until I had no clue who anyone was anymore. I didn’t want to feel like I was over-examining the film, but I would’ve appreciated some clue as to why some situations were being shown to me as there was no lead up to it at all. Repeat this a number of times and you’re left depending on the film’s constant direct dialogue to fill you in… You know what I mean, right? When the movie basically spells out EXACTLY what’s going on?… When a character says something like: “Remember when so-and-so told us that if we were ever in “Situation X” [situation X being whatever’s happening RIGHT NOW], then we were supposed to do [insert some crazy cool looking event that had no previous mention]?” The rest of the scene would surprisingly enough, be a visual of whatever was just “revealed” to you. This got quite annoying — and seemed to be the movie’s acknowledgment that its story was flopping along like an old man’s prowess.

Again, let me compound that had I been a FAN of the books, I understand that it may have made a lot more sense to me, on top of that, I’m not the target audience. However, that only shows me that the book to screen transfer was unsuccessful. And don’t even get me started on the “ending” – which was drawn out more than Da Vinci’s doodles. At parts, I was surprised it held some children’s attention. If you asked me to quickly tell you exactly what the final battle was and who it was between, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

Folks, there’s some good stuff to look at, and even some laughs – I’ll give the film that much. But if these books were based on the films instead of vice versa, there’s no way they would deserve to be as popular as they are.

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