June 6, 2004, 8:37 p.m. CST
by supreme nothing
Towelie looooved it!
June 6, 2004, 8:45 p.m. CST
by I Hate Movies
www.goats.com. They create quite a buzz in the theater line.
June 6, 2004, 8:48 p.m. CST
I'm told this was explained in the book. This movie absolutely needed to be 20 minutes longer (with another 20 minutes of stuff edited out) which would have lent 40 more minutes to explain all the gaping plot holes. The only people I've talked to whose heads didn't almost explode have read the book. By far the worst adaption so far.
June 6, 2004, 8:52 p.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric
...hurry up you glorious bastard, hurry up.
June 6, 2004, 8:56 p.m. CST
by I Dunno
Not everything that works in a goofy children's book works in a film that appears to at least try to be somewhat coherant and not juvinile. And what did the "sellout" comment mean?
June 6, 2004, 9:05 p.m. CST
Azkaban is my fave book of the series, and the movie I saw last night was nothing short of pure magic.Moriarty, from reading your review it seems you saw the same movie I did.That said, you really should take the time out of your busy schedule and read the series.It would be interesting to see how you'd view the remaining films to come having read the books.You won't be disappointed.
June 6, 2004, 9:15 p.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... I have read the books. And I think the episodic nature of the stories is less problematic on the page, where you can always set the book down and walk away, then come back to it. And to the talkbacker you called me a "sellout" because I didn't like Harry's constant passive fainting... I know it's in the books. It's a problem there, too. It's a cheap way out of a situation, and absolves her from having to actually deal with some of the situations she sets up. Overall, I don't think she's a bad writer... but I think the details of her world are more interesting than the stories she tells in that world.
June 6, 2004, 9:44 p.m. CST
Moriarty, you're a Buffy fan right? Well, you could make the same complaint about everything being wrapped up right at the end of the school year about every season of Buffy (which also almost always had one long story being told from September till the big conclusion in May), or any other tv series actually. That's just the form it takes. And hell, in the movie of Prisoner of Azkaban, while it's clearly spring when the movie ends, they never specifically say it's the very end of the school year as the story concludes. In fact, class seems to clearly still be in session. As for the fainting, that is not just a plot device, it's a plot point! The Dementors cause Harry to faint and he wants to know why and he wants to stop it. And you act like he then misses huge plot points that have to be explained to him as a result. Except for the destruction of his broom, what does he not see for himself in the movie that you are talking about? The fainting is an obstacle he's trying to overcome, and we see him struggle with this several times before finally achieving his goal. If the Dementors only made him faint once or twice and then he suddenly was able to stand up to him, they would be an empty threat.
June 6, 2004, 10:33 p.m. CST
Thanks for setting Mori straight, I was about to type the same thing. The only time I didn't like the iris-out, passive fainting thing was at the end of the Quidditch match, and it wasn't even that big of a deal. Again, the Dementor fainting thing could have been cleared up for the audience with a line from Lupin (like the Marauder's Map, and Prongs, etc. should have been), but that doesn't nick my positivity for the film much at all. It seems Mori will never truly love an HP film. He reads the books and finds the stories lacking. The movies won't ever veer far from the source material, so...Mori is destined to be unhappy with them. I do have a question for him, though -- which has a better story..."XXX" or "Azkaban"?
June 6, 2004, 10:33 p.m. CST
Not that I'm a huge potter fan or anything, but I think the movie did a disservice to the fainting. It doesn't work in the movie because we are never really presented with why he faints -- in the book when the dementors come along he starts heading his mother screaming right before his death, and so he is very vividly transported back to the moment they were killed, and hence, the faint. In the movie, we get a very slight scream in the background, not a big deal. In the book, it's as though he goes through his mother's death every time a dementor goes by. Anyway, the movie was good, much better than Colombus.
June 6, 2004, 10:41 p.m. CST
by I Dunno
I agree with you about Elfman but Williams? Last Crusade, Hook, Jurrassic Park, Nixon, Saving Private Ryan, the new Star Wars, all in the last 20 years and they're all better than most other composers. I'd like to hear your opinion on who's better. And if you say Howard Shore...
June 6, 2004, 10:43 p.m. CST
by PBJ Street Gang
The adults have piggishly hijacked the series. Not a fan of Columbus, mind you. Bit of a hack, really. But this rendition was far more cold, dark, and psychological than the book. The kids will turn their backs on this in droves. Not all kids. But the Potter kids will. You see, the Potter kids are not Cure fans with black eyeliner. You and you and YOU will disagree with me because YOU liked it. This is irrelevant. It's not YOUR character. You are to old. Fine enough that adults and kids love the HP books--but it must always be a kids story that adults enjoy, not the other way around.
June 6, 2004, 10:43 p.m. CST
There are an awful lot of people pissing me off with their rants the last few days. Its a MOVIE, why cant people accept that some stuff had to be edited out???? I dont think Lupin was suprised when he turned, he was suprised to see the full moon I think. I think its easier to understand if you read the book and I think that making the audience think was awesome. If you want everything spelled out for you, go fins Finding Nemo or Home on the Range or some Lindsey Lohan crap. Is it so bad that a kids movie have a brain? I dont think so. I loved this movie, far better than Shrek 2 or Van Helsing or Day After Tommorrow. Best summer flick so far. I loved everything about it, and since the cut stuff and it was fast paced....it was fun to watch. Chamber of Secrets was so slow moving, as it was a cliff notes of a movie. Sure it was like 90% from the book, but it moved like a slug on an uphill slant on ice. TO the people that want GOblet of Fire to be 2 movies........shut up! I thought we were fanboys here? You let Miramax rape you out of your money, not only with theatre but with the dvds too, and now you want Warner Bros to rape us? Dumb....Im not a huge Potter book fan, bigger Grisham fan, and Ive seen huge changes in Grisham movies. Firm's ending was all different, Pelican Brief added a suspense ending chase scene, Runaway Jury changed its plot case..........but that has to happen. A book is one thing, a movie another. As for the writers post on the fanting........I dont remember much of the book, but I do remember that being huge in it. It was like a huge storyline for Harry to stand up to his fear. WHy cut it from the movie? The fall from his broom needed to be there to show how evil the Dementors were.........they were told to stay away from people, but did anyways. Anywho........trailer alert, Hillary Duff's new flick got a huge response, while Wround World in 80 Days and Polar Express looked retarded. Finally saw Spidey 2 trailer and that is gonna rock!
June 6, 2004, 10:52 p.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... if xXx or any action film ran nearly 2 1/2 hours, I'd expect it to have a pretty darn good story, or at least enough story to fill that full 2 1/2 hours. And I love how POTTER fans seize on the negative comments, paying no attention to the fact that the review is largely positive. Like any subcult of fandom, you tolerate no criticism of any kind. It's possible to like something without loving it.
June 6, 2004, 10:58 p.m. CST
by Captain Katanga
you think that was cuaron making a masturbation joke? all in your head moriarty; youre reading something into the film that simply isnt there. reminds me of a film festival screening of punchdrunk love where Paul thomas anderson did a Q&A, and some film student asked "the scene where the camera followed adam sandler around his apartment felt TOTALLY INVASIVE, was that a deliberate device?" PTA: "er...no. we just wanted the camera to follow him round the room"
June 6, 2004, 11:07 p.m. CST
I thought Harry under the sheets was a bit of a reference too. Even if its not meant to read directly as "this is a masturbation joke" it definitely makes you chuckle a little bit, comes across as "Harry is being naughty." Re: the problem of everything wrapping up within one year at school... I don't think this is nearly as much of a problem with the books (especially books 3, 4, 5), because Rowling makes it increasingly clear starting with book 3 that there are far larger stories being unearhed as the kids go digging each year. The end of book 5 was tied to the end of the school year, but it felt like the events occuring before during and after the end of the year all ran together, and will continue to run into the beginning of book 6. It's the fault of the film for dropping the storyline of Harry's dad and his three friends that you don't get the "there's a bigger, lurking, A story with lots of backstory" feeling from the third movie - by removing that subplot they've dropped it back to the Scooby Doo level of books 1 and 2. Truly frustrating.
June 6, 2004, 11:08 p.m. CST
Yeah, but dude..."XXX" didn't have a good enough story to warrant a 90 minute running time. I never alluded that you hated "Azkaban," it's obvious that you found merit in the technical and performance aspects of it. My only gripe is that you say your reaction is "wildly split," and one of your main gripes turns out to be Harry fainting (and it's not even as garrish a distraction as in "Sleepy Hollow"). I tolerate criticism fine, man. I pretty much agree with your assesment of Rowling's spotty plotting. It just felt like your "Harry faints too much" argument was thrown into your review to add a negative.
June 7, 2004, midnight CST
The review actually begins on word 778. It's hard work.
June 7, 2004, 12:08 a.m. CST
You're wrong. Cuaron talked about the scene in Newsweek. Moriarty is dead on. Sorry. Love, HardcoreRocker
June 7, 2004, 12:17 a.m. CST
I hate to stand in the way of the flood thats heading your way pal.Good review otherwise.
June 7, 2004, 12:26 a.m. CST
by Johnny Anarchy
I find it funny how people can go to see a Harry Potter movie and then refer to the source material as a "goofy children's book". Why even go see a movie if you think its source is goofy? If you are lactose intolerant don't drink the fraggin' milk and then complain when it doesn't agree with your sphincter. I think the books are far from goofy and I sure as hell don't think Rowling has faulty plotting. The fainting is indeed in the book and books can pull of these things in spades. Primarily, in the scope of plot DEVICES such as cliffhangers leading into the next chapter and the like. Granted, the constant fainting doesn't really lend itself well to cinema since in books we automatically visualize what we read when we are TOLD what happens. In movies we need to be shown. Tolkien had his hobbits fainting left and right (Bilbo at the end of The Hobbit; Pippin at the battle at the Black Gate, etc.) but the filmmakers chose to actually SHOW us what occurred which I felt was a wise decision. While I can see the constant fainting as removing someone from some enjoyment of the film it did not affect me at all. Of course, I also had the benefit of READING the actual book itself so in that sense my opinion is a bit biased. In the end, my point is, don't blame JK Rowling for being a bad plotter based on the decisions made by people who essentially made a cliff notes version of a much larger, more intricate book. But, thats just my opinion.
June 7, 2004, 12:29 a.m. CST
If Moriarty's reaching with the masturbation joke, he's not the only one. I've heard a few reviews that mentioned that.
June 7, 2004, 12:29 a.m. CST
I think all the actors and the direction and FX in this one was top freakin notch. My problem with the flick is the same problem I had when I put the book down - nothing really happens of consequence in the book. Think about it, Book / films 1 & 2 were kind of self-contained. #3 is all setup for GOBLET. And #5 is, once again, all set up and no pay off. That makes books 3 and 5 the weakest of the series. Its really a testament on the director that he took one of the weakest books and made the best movie out of it. My fav is GOBLET and I wish they had given Curon that one to do instead. I dunno if "Four Weddings and a Funeral" guy will make it with the same pizzaz as this one did. Still yeah, for a somewhat muddled book, they got a really awesome flick out of it.
June 7, 2004, 12:35 a.m. CST
simple fact is how old were the characters on 90210 and Saved by the Bell who were still in High school? Or Tobey McGuire playing a high school senior when he's pushing the otherside of 25? Keep the kids, give them as much cash as they want. If they lost the cast, they'd lose something that's really making these movies so special.
June 7, 2004, 12:42 a.m. CST
June 7, 2004, 1:08 a.m. CST
I've seen every single big movie of the last 10 years there, including all the LotR films. And I've just realized: you've RUINED it! Now yahoos from all over LA will be making pilgrimages there, and I'll never get to see anything with only 35 people in the audience anymore. Rats. And as for Harry fainting all the time -- well, this is rather like the complaints that there were 3 endings in RotK. He faints because he faints all those times in the book, guy.
June 7, 2004, 1:23 a.m. CST
June 7, 2004, 1:31 a.m. CST
Harry fainting is discussed in the movie, in a scene Lupin tells Harry that dementors cause one's worse memories to surface. I only wished they had emphasized that this memory was the death of his parents. My main issue with the film was they took out a few scenes which in my opinion would have shown the danger of Voldemort. In the book the first introduction of Black is on a muggle newscast. The second scene is that during the telling of Black's reveal it is revealed that his killing of Pettigrew took place in a crowded alley and that several muggles were killed. These scenes in my opinion would have shown that Voldemort's danger goes beyond the wizarding world, especially with His follower's KKK treatment of muggles in book 4.
June 7, 2004, 1:43 a.m. CST
by Who Dini
I don't have as big of a problem with Harry's fainting as some other people have, because I think the book explains the reasoning perfectly well. This brings up a bigger issue though... A lot of "little" bits in the books that are being left out entirely in the movie seem to point to bigger things for future books. It seems like they're going to have trouble explaining certain events. (This also robs the movie(s) of some of it's (their) magic.. on the page, the world seems far larger and more complex than it does on the screen. Peter Jackson's efforts with THotR's had the same issues. (Brilliant as it was.) Still... I'm not sure I believe that J.K. Rowling has a handle on all the plot thread's she's introduced. I gave her the benefit of the doubt until the last book, which I think could have used some editing. I really liked it, but... I'm just not convinced that she's going to be able to tie everything together believably. (I would guess that her editor's are being allowed to change less and less as she becomes more and more in demand. For example, I also bet that the first book was originally MUCH longer, and that her editor's cut out extraneous crap, and are not now allowed to do this... resulting in (possibly) needlessly longer books.) Also, snape (in the book) had the marauders's map, and SHOULD have seen two sets of Harry's and hermione's on the map when they were watchting themselves enter the tree and snape saw them on the map. Also, what's with (in the fifth book) ignoring that Harry and Sirius could have spent the entire book conversing at leisure with the present Sirius gave harry? Why introduce this possibility and ignore it. Surely, Sirius would not have forgotten that he GAVE Harry a safe device for secret communication? J.K. seems to be slipping, and I'm hoping to be really wowed by the way she wraps up the story. (I also think her "cliffhanger" style of writing is somewhat frustrating. More and more I believe she's just not capable of presenting believable character's. A bully like Snape being allowed to teach? Malfoy (elder and son) getting away with the things they say and do? She writes a lot of unlikely situations. Unfortunately, I also read every word and enjoy the trip immensely. I just hope that I don't feel like it isn't wrapped up poorly. I'm rooting for success. I also think this is the best movie of the 3 so far, and really hope that they continue to get better. I fear that much of the small things that were left out are planned for a "special for the fans" dvd release. This is starting to be too obvious of a ploy to rip more money from our addicted hands.
June 7, 2004, 1:47 a.m. CST
by Who Dini
Hrm.. I just read my last post and.. I apologize. I'm pretty drunk.
June 7, 2004, 2:14 a.m. CST
by Johnny Anarchy
The irony is, this post has nothing to do about the fainting. I just wanted to agree with what a previous poster said about Azkaban being essentially a set-up for Goblet of Fire (which is my favorite out of them). In the terms of "nothing happening of consequence" though, thats a load of hooey kablooie (I hate not being able to cuss excessively...or can I?). For something to set another thing up, things HAVE to happen and what it all boils down to is that Azkaban is just Chapter 3 in what is supposed to be a 7 chapter tale. When you think about it, 3 is really the first book to actually have a continuity into the next two books whereas 1 and 2 are more self-contained and you only get a few weighty tidbits that one needs to know for later books. Azkaban IS a set-up book but then what book in a series isn't? They all set up the ending.
June 7, 2004, 2:50 a.m. CST
All in all, a pretty good movie. The intricate and imaginative set design and expansive views of Scotland were worth the price of admission alone, in my opinion. I expect a lot of people to lavish a lot of time on examining various rooms and environments on the DVD. I totally agree with Moriarity's enthusiasm about the work done on the hippogriff and the Marauder's Map, the latter concept making the end credits worth sitting through. And yes, the film was handicapped by having to cut out quite a bit of plot. It wouldn't have taken more than a couple of minutes to work in the source of the map and who the four mapmakers actually were, for example. Me and my kids agreed that this was the oddest werewolf we've ever seen. Now, if you wanted a were-mole rat, maybe.
June 7, 2004, 2:52 a.m. CST
This movie was awesome. From the altered WB logo to the last part of the credits. Loved it, gonna be seeing it again.
June 7, 2004, 2:53 a.m. CST
Please man, I think a sexual reference to Harry reading his book under his covers is reaching a bit far...the Dursley's didn't allow him to read his books, so he had to sneak it at night. The dude had to use his wand for light. "Playing with his wand" indeed. Sheesh.
June 7, 2004, 3:33 a.m. CST
is everyone talking about? This movie is awful. Chris Columbus' shit was better than this. Alfonso is a brilliant director and I like everyone else, love his work in A Little Princess and Y Tu Mama Tambien and no doubt his darker style and handheld camera movement were noticed and appreciated but that's where it ends. He doesn't bring anything NEW to these already crap-ass movies. I mean, is any fucking reviewer going to admit that Daniel Radcliffe can't act his way out of a paper bag? You want a for instance: the crying scene. It's one of those bad sitcom cries where the person whimpers but has no tears then looks up and says something incredibly stupid that supposed to be emotionally flooring. Unfortunately, Daniel can't pull off emotional. Anything that doesn't involve him giving a "what's coming next" looks appears to be far out of his range. I've read the books once and don't even own all of them, so I'm not a huge fan of the books but the problem lies in the fact that they are too fuckin long to be put into 3 hour movies. They cut the backstory behind the Maurder's Map (one of the most emotionally satisfying things about the book) for another movie because it was WB's decision to "wait". Yeah, Uh-huh. This movie never takes a damn break for the characters to interact or learn anything about each other. The only scene that I can remember that slowed down enough for us to care about a character is when Harry talks to Lupin on the bridge. Every scene is one phrophetic warning to another dramatic revelation and since there is so much story, the characters take a backseat. Why the hell are people raving about Michael Gambon? He's on screen for a total of 10-15 minutes, scattered throughout the film. Alfonso's biggest mistake, however, is convincing the Goblet's director to not split it up into two movies. Unlike some, I'd rather see two parts of a good movie than one shitty ass one that can't tell a damn story.
June 7, 2004, 4:57 a.m. CST
I'm glad I wasn't waiting to see the film when Mori and his 39 boozed-&-karaoke'd up pals trooped in to the theatre.
June 7, 2004, 7:40 a.m. CST
by Cpt Kirks 2pay
I know you can do it better by slingshotting round the Sun, but does anyone actually 100% understand that time travel bit? Spock - waddayou think? HOW! - can they first have travelled BACK! - in time - where in order to be at THAT! - point in the medical room, (Bones personally coulda done an ace job on Rupert Grints' leg) they would have to have their ORIGINAL! - reality changed by time travel already? ALSO! - if you have fears about the cast growing UP! - to quickly for their roles, why don't you just shoot the damn things back to back man, at LEAST! - from now on, have you lost your mind? I know what I'd do, another quick slingshot round the sun, that way we can also erase mistakes from earlier films and reshoot them too. While I'm AT IT! - redo the Farty Menace and kick my boldy replacement out of my chair, so the Star Trek enterprise can run and run MISTER! ALSO! - who wants to start a petition up to get that annoying 'friggin' sweet' Napolean Dynamite ad off this site? I don't CARE! - how much you keep it up there Harry, we ain't gonna click on it, let alone see it. Oh, and Harry? - Love the Server!
June 7, 2004, 9:42 a.m. CST
by Captain Katanga
I read that interview in Newsweek... Cuaron didnt talk about the scene, the interviewer did, and when he suggested this was a masturbation reference Cuaron just laughed. I doubt very much that was cuaron's, or steve kloves, intention. Ever since Cuaron was announced as director, various unimaginative people have been desperately trying to find evidence that the director of y tu mama tambien was sexing up the harry potter films... like i said the evidence isnt there, he is just a talented director capable of making different kinds of films. I'm not wrong, sorry, love Captain Katanga
June 7, 2004, 11:24 a.m. CST
by Captain Katanga
reading under the covers by torchlight when they are meant to be asleep is something children do, its been in many films. Harry, being a wizard, uses his wand. Its charming, and it really is that simple.
June 8, 2004, 3:26 a.m. CST
Little known fact: Then unknown rap group Creacha Feacha was comissioned to do a hip-hop song for the original Potter film that was later rejected by Warner Bros. It is up on their site as an MP3 - the song is called "Magic." http://www.creachafeacha.com
June 8, 2004, 8:56 a.m. CST
Yeah, that's an ass load of credentials...a bunch of notches in his directorial belt. Still... HE DOES NOT HAVE HALF THE EYE THAT CUARON DOES. Hell, he has less of an idea how to move his camera than Columbus. I mean, I don't want "Goblet" to suck (or Newell to fail), but if his past work is indicative of anything, we're in for a rigid "Potter" movie. There'll be some good performances, maybe, but little flair.
June 8, 2004, 12:52 p.m. CST
The little girl sitting next to me was curled up in a little ball, peaking over her knees the whole movie, AND YOU WANT TO SHOW HARRY'S MOTHER MURDERED IN FRONT OF MILLIONS OF CHILDREN?! Maybe Cuaron should have shown us the whole bloody mess, Krueger-style! WOULD THAT ENHANCE YOUR CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE, DREW?! I thought Cuaron handled Harry's fainting VERY responsibly, and I think he's crafted, hands-down, the finest Potter film to date. I don't have NEARLY as much faith in Mike ("In the words of David Cassidy, I think I love you.") Newell!
June 8, 2004, 2:52 p.m. CST
Mori, you hit the nail on the head. You have come to realize what I realized while I READ the Harry Potter books....the story structure is the weakest link. I tell anyone who hasn't read any of the books NOT to read them back to back. That is how I read the first three and by midway through the second, I had Rowlings writing and story patterns down pat. Now I know these books are for kids, but basically Rowling uses the same set up for each book, thus the movies are set up the same....Harry has trouble at the Dursleys' and flees to Hogwarts. Some big mystery arrises at school and is conveniently settled by the end of the year. It leaves very little room for suspense when you know that the term is ending, thus the mystery must be resolved. I think that is why GOBLET OF FIRE is so well liked. A large chunk of the story takes place away from the formula of the Dursleys' and Hogwarts by sending Harry to the Quiddich world cup and then having the students from the other schools at Hogwarts. AZKABAN is definitely the best crafted of the movies made from the books...not just because Cuaron strayed a bit from the storylines, but because he made it all feel real whereas Columbus played too much into the fantasy which made it all seem so fantastical. The cool thing about Harry Potter is that the magic world is as everyday to the witches and wizards living it as the modern world is to the Muggles. Cuaron gets that and made it alive on the screen, regardless of Rowling's weak plot structure.
June 8, 2004, 3:19 p.m. CST
I loved this darker tone. The opening sequence with Harry under the covers was written by Rowling. He had to do his homework in the dark because the Dursleys don't allow him to do anything connected to Hogwarts in their house. Also, he faints (like in the book) because he hears his parents' murders everytime a dementor is near. I guess it's a self-protection mechanism. I wish they had emphasized this a bit more. I also missed the Quidditch Cup Final and felt they needed to lengthen the Shrieking Shack scene to include information about the foursome: Lupin, Black, Pettigrew and Potter. This would've explained the Marauder's Map and Harry's Patronus charm taking the shape of the stag. Overall, I enjoyed it and will see again!
June 8, 2004, 3:39 p.m. CST
Has anyone seen the trailer for DreamWorks' CGI film, A Shark Tale yet? I bet this movie flops big time because, unlike Finding Nemo, in which the fish and other assorted animals have human voices, yet still essentially act like animals, the creatures in A Sharks Tale remind me of oddly drawn humans. I admit to having only seen the trailer (without sound, which was probably a blessing), but I find few things more than a little nausating (and a tad disturbing) as animals with characteristics so human (anthropomorphism) that they might as well be human. This doesn't apply to Bugs Bunny by the way, who was so subversive (as was often the case with the earlier Warner Brothers' cartoons) that it worked. I don't know how many millions it took to make (probably at least 50-70 million) but the characters seem to be lacking the expression of the Finding Nemo characters. I guess the moral of this story is: don't try to out-Pixar Pixar. Either find a niche where they will not kick your ass or create your own, something A Shark Tale does not seem to do.
June 9, 2004, 1:11 a.m. CST
by nolan bautista
"Harry Potter and the Mystery of Pubic Hair".."Harry Potter and the Moist River" (where he discovers the wetness between Hermoines legs)..more to come..
June 11, 2004, 1:15 a.m. CST
There are a couple of clues that Lupin, James, Sirius, etc., had a hand in the Marauder's Map. For one, Lupin knew what it was. Secondly, he knew how to make it go blank ("Mischief Managed"), impying that he had dealt with it before. Although how Fred and George figured out how to use it I'll never know...
June 11, 2004, 1:20 a.m. CST
Those are the words of Richard Curtis, not Mike Newell. Rebel yell! Nonconformity! Nyeh! Cuaron's a good director and all, but you don't need to give Newell the shrift. Any director in film school would shiv their mom for 1/2 the talent Newell has, but don't blame the director for the writer's work.