Aug. 4, 2004, 11:49 p.m. CST
This is fantastic.
Aug. 4, 2004, 11:49 p.m. CST
Aug. 5, 2004, 12:03 a.m. CST
Love the choice of actor but... whats this BS about replacing the #3 crewmembers??? Thats ridiculous! Why not bring in Joel Schumacer(sp?) while they are at it! Give Voldemort some big nipples! They had a really good thing going there and now... *sigh*, I hope this doesn't take a big step backwards and become the "really bad sequal".
Aug. 5, 2004, 12:05 a.m. CST
Ralph Fiennes will be wonderful. His face is so deceptive. It can hide such evil beneath, which makes him perfect for this role. I'm happy. :)
Aug. 5, 2004, 12:16 a.m. CST
Anal retentive speller in me bubbling up for a sec - it's spelled "cauldron," Quinty-poo. ^_^
Aug. 5, 2004, 12:18 a.m. CST
Fiennes sounds like a great choice, but Newell is a total dipshit. What does Moriarty mean Newell can be good sometimes? Is he referring to Mona Lisa Smile or the time when Newell gave him a BJ. With this wonderman behind the director's chair rest assured this movie will certainly suck.
Aug. 5, 2004, 1:02 a.m. CST
Fiennes works visually, but we have to realize that he'll probably still need quite a bit of make up. As for acting, he's great
Aug. 5, 2004, 1:08 a.m. CST
But Rowling's description really described JEREMY IRONS to a "T."
Aug. 5, 2004, 1:12 a.m. CST
I'm just kidding.
Aug. 5, 2004, 1:27 a.m. CST
that 3rd act is going to RULE.
Aug. 5, 2004, 1:29 a.m. CST
nothing earth shattering, mind you, but it was pretty decent. Just throwing that out there compared to all the PUSHING TIN and MONA LISA SMILE quoting douchebags.
Aug. 5, 2004, 1:31 a.m. CST
by BEARison Ford
Aug. 5, 2004, 1:47 a.m. CST
by Dave Bowman
I'm pretty sure you mean "wary", unless you're already tired of the next Potter film. Isn't there any such thing as an editor anymore?
Aug. 5, 2004, 3:09 a.m. CST
With the description's of Voldemort, his face is almost flat, his skin is gray and scaly, and his eyes are like a snake. Here's to hoping they get a good make-up crew. Hell, let's hope they make this film look as amazing as it should. The games, the dragons, the underwater sequence, the Battle between Harry and Voldemort...don't screw this up, Newill. On a second note...I do hope that Cuaron returns for Order of the Phoenix.
Aug. 5, 2004, 4:21 a.m. CST
Read an article a few months back in an Australian newspaper with Rowan Atkinson and he said he was up for the role. Maybe he was up for it but never confirmed (obviously). Just can't imagine him anyway.
Aug. 5, 2004, 4:41 a.m. CST
... but not very smart. Hugely crafted, wonderful worlds populated by idiots. Those three kids solve mysteries about as effectively as Scooby and Shaggy - running around 'meddling' until the plot reveals itself to them, usually in the form of an overheard conversation or an adult just flat out telling them what's what. The obviousness of the expository dialogue lacks but one 'zoinks' and two 'jeepers' to make the picture complete. But I hear the books are decent.
Aug. 5, 2004, 4:49 a.m. CST
And about time too! http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/08/05/1091557967028.html
Aug. 5, 2004, 4:56 a.m. CST
by TheGinger Twit
What a big fat waste of my time. All three of them. Why do I keep going and trying to like them? They're mediocre even for TV films.
Aug. 5, 2004, 5:07 a.m. CST
a second rate lord of the rings if you ask me. dumbledore is so blatantly supposed to be gandalf, dobby is a gay gollum need i go on? im sick to death of harry fuckhead potter and the sooner he dies a painful death the better. the movies are terrible, and the part in prisoner of marzipan or wotever its called, after the white moose saves harry and gary oldman (who is WASTED) from those ringwraiths...sorry, dementors and then harry and the girl whose name is too fucking hard to pronounce without sounding like a nerdy twat travel back in time and then you see harry save himself as the moose, and you can understand it perfectly (well as perfectly as u can in these pieces of shit) and then the director felt the need to have harry, riding a broomstick and enjoying it just a liiittle too much saying "it wasnt my dad....it was ME" causing me to slap my forehead and thrust my arms out going "no, DUUUUHHH" and causing my gf to slap me is just so blatantly bad i wanted to throw up. come on new line, get the hobbit started and show that bastard how its done!!!
Aug. 5, 2004, 5:14 a.m. CST
by Lance Turk
All they needed was a big name. It's not like Ralph Fiennes is going to be noticeable after the make-up job they do on him. All he is really going to do acting-wise, is the voice. And that'll probably go through some post-production manipulation to make it sound more evil and less human-like.
Aug. 5, 2004, 5:56 a.m. CST
Why switch back to the people who did the first films? Maybe because those films did better than this last Cliff Note's version of the book which changed too much stuff around, both visually and tonally, and looked like it was from a different series of films, hey, the first 2 were huge hits, why try and court a different fan base? the box office obviously told them they made a mistake.
Aug. 5, 2004, 6:18 a.m. CST
Names such as "Valdemar" or "the Gobbling Fire" mean nothing to anyone not soiled in anything that is J. K. "I steal plots" Growling. However, a clear "it's about Pothead" warning tells us to stay away and not get dirty.
Aug. 5, 2004, 7:06 a.m. CST
... just as he should have played Wormtongue in 'The Lord of the Rings' films. Not that Brad Dourif wasn't fucking PERFECT in the role, I just always thought Atkinson looked the part in my mind when I first read the books years ago. Plus he would be playing against type, which is always interesting to watch an actor pull off.
Aug. 5, 2004, 9:01 a.m. CST
Fiennes embodies all that Voldemort should be - reptilian evil, cold violence, and majestic arrogance. Excellent.
Aug. 5, 2004, 9:31 a.m. CST
I have to find my cool news elsewhere these days. That's a drag.
Aug. 5, 2004, 10:23 a.m. CST
by Atticus Finch
I bet his gf (or should that be bf?) made him go. Right. Go watch Hackson's Lord of the Anal Rings again...the slow, plodding ruined adaptations they are...if you hate HP so much.
Aug. 5, 2004, 10:43 a.m. CST
I haven't read Goblet of Fire, but I've seen or read the previous stories. I thought he was scary as hell as well as sympathetic in Red Dragon. So long as the they don't drop the ball with the HP series, i.e. lose interest and give us a mediocre movie like The Prisoner of Azkaban (let's face it). I'll be happy
Aug. 5, 2004, 11:10 a.m. CST
Aug. 5, 2004, 11:12 a.m. CST
and so was Miranda Richardson and Gabriel Byrne. that's a neat little disturbing psycho flick with high-level acting chops for ya. I'm sure both Fiennes and Richardson will be excellent in HP4.
Aug. 5, 2004, 12:18 p.m. CST
But hey, you can't always get what you want. And I don't know if Rowling would want an Australian in her movie -- so, okay. We'll assume they've done their homework on this one.
Aug. 5, 2004, 1:20 p.m. CST
At least in my opinion. When I heard the Rowan Atkinson rumours I thought they were going to turn Voldemort into some sort of comedic over-the-top villian, but this shows they're going in exactly the right direction.
Aug. 5, 2004, 2:01 p.m. CST
Hello? Harry? Shouldn't this be on the main page?
Aug. 5, 2004, 3:34 p.m. CST
Hankamania, apparently Jeremy Irons is just a nightmare. He reportedly drove Louis Malle into an early grave. Irons on-screen may put over a nicely frigid psychosis, but on set he's said to be a horror. Personally, I'd have loved to see Jim Dale as Voldemort. His audiobook readings of the Harry Potter series are spellbinding. Besides, I always pictured Voldemort as kind of a toff, and Dale seems a heartier pick than Irons, with his stylized-tuberculosis brand of acting.
Aug. 5, 2004, 5:58 p.m. CST
by Bart of Darkness
Damn right. And to all you illiterate saddo geeks who STILL haven't read the books and don't know what we're talking about, guess what? The world at large doesn't care what you think. It loves Harry Potter and anything related to him. How does it feel to be so thoroughly out in the cold, losers!
Aug. 5, 2004, 7:17 p.m. CST
Eh? Eh? I'm not really sure what they're thinking either. Although everyone involved called 'Prisoner of Azkaban' "special," it made the least greenbacks out of all three Potter films. These hires might have been made long before that was even apparent, but who knows? I'd like the technical crew from PoA to stay onboard as well, but Newell's a more mature storyteller than Columbus anyway, so maybe it won't make much of a difference. I'm still really concerned with how they're going to make a 720 plus-page book into one movie when installments half its size have been upwards of two hours. It's either going to be long (not a bad thing) or chopped to death. But these casting decisions have me excited. Ralph Fiennes is certainly a good choice that I didn't see coming.
Aug. 5, 2004, 8:33 p.m. CST
This won't be the bad Potter flick, because Azkaban already has that title. Who the hell ever thought HP was high art? They fucking tried to make it into an art-house flick ... and it SUCKED. I can't even begin to point out the badness of that movie ... 2 hours of my life I'll never get back. Although pumpkins come to mind .... what was the deal with pumpkins all over Hagrid's yard in the spring???? I mean, c'mon.
Aug. 5, 2004, 8:47 p.m. CST
FX were the best, looked great and was well directed. But it was killed by a shitty screenplay. The third book blows away the first two, but the movie makes it obvious that Kloves simply doesn't get it. There are tons of great details that make the book so wonderful that are completely left out, only about half the story from the book makes it in. And there's no reason for it, the longest book of the three ended up with the shortest film. I'd be fine with bringing back Cuaron and the FX people, but Kloves needs to be replaced by someone who actually cares about the books. Big disappointment, made me lose hope for future movies. And if the movies have seemed shallow and one dimensional, read the books, that's where all the detail and characterization is.
Aug. 5, 2004, 10:15 p.m. CST
When someone says "Azkaban" is the worst of the HP movies, they always use the "Why didn't they explain the 'Marauder's Map' backstory?!" as the sole reason. I always picture these people with a big fat vein bursting from their forehead, arms flailing wildly in the air. But that's all they really got. I agree "Azkaban" could have been longer (and Cuaron has stated that they will use the Prongs, Padfoot, et al. backstory in a future film), but that misstep is miniscule when considering the creative contribution that Cuaron and etc. brought to the table. The people who hated "Azkaban" are going to loathe "Goblet." It's going to be even shorter than the third movie, and is being helmed by one of the most flat visualists in modern film.
Aug. 5, 2004, 11:08 p.m. CST
drat, i was hoping for Joseph Fiennes. i like Ralph okay, though the only movie of his i like is Quiz Show, but his high nasaly voice kinda irritates me, and i would rather not hear Ralph when Voldemort speaks. granted he can play a good villain, but i'd rather have a bonafide actor, not a celebrity on the screen. get somebody like Rufus Sewell, who i hear is going to be the (surprise) bad guy in MI:3. all he ever seems to play is villians, and i think he could be decent as Riddle. sad that Jason Isaacs plays Lucius Malfoy, he'd be perfect as voldy. well, enough for now. take 'er easy. and if she's easy, take 'er twice.
Aug. 6, 2004, 1:28 a.m. CST
Prisoner of Azkhaban looked horrible and way too depressing. It simply had far too many washed out grays, browns, and silvers. The first two films were absolutely glowing with light and color, and magic just seemed to radiate out of everything in that world. Then Cuaron came along and dulled it all down to the point of terminal depression. Sure, the third story is suppose to be darker than the earlier ones, but Cuaron went way over the top and made the HP world practically unwatchable. It was like he was channeling Tim Burton's "Batman Returns", or something. Ok, how can I make this movie so depressing and bleak that people will want to out and commit suicide afterwards to stop the pain? Like I said at the begininng, thank good Cuaron and his crew are gone. Now, bring on those honey golden hues and vivacious color tones.
Aug. 6, 2004, 1:32 a.m. CST
by Uncle Stan
Aug. 6, 2004, 1:42 a.m. CST
Not halfway up the side of a friggin mountain. Ralph Fiennes is going to be an awesome Lord Voldemort. He projects just the right combination of evil genius and power lusting psycho. Too bad he'll have to be CGI for most of the movie until the graveyard scene.
Aug. 6, 2004, 1:49 a.m. CST
Instead of messing up another Harry Potter film. Uh huh, thought so.
Aug. 6, 2004, 1:51 a.m. CST
Sorry for the mix up.
Aug. 6, 2004, 2:04 a.m. CST
I am very worried that it is in his hands. Mona Lisa Smile caused my ovaries to shrivel up and die.
Aug. 6, 2004, 2:15 a.m. CST
...before you watch "Requiem," though, can you try and remember not to multi-post so much? All that shit could have fit into one post simply titled "Wah! JK Rowling is gospel, and Columbus's Hogwarts had the correct longitude/latitude, and oh yeah -- fuck Cuaron for deviating with his superior creativity! Wah!"
Aug. 6, 2004, 6:05 a.m. CST
The books are the books. Leave them on the page. The books are not the movies. SOME CHANGE MUST OCCUR IN TRANSLATION. Your reasoning behind Newell being a good choice simply because he's British is ridiculous. The guy couldn't make a full-out lezzie sex scene between Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek visually interesting. It pains me to say this, but I'd rather have Columbus shoot "Goblet." Newell's version is just going to be so damn stately. As for moving Hagrid's hut and the rest of Hogwarts's geography -- it's already been moved! You can't just move it back. Get over it. It's done! Real estate has been rearranged -- for good! As much as you, and the rest of your HP-diehard/Rowling-is-Gospel brethren would like to forget Cuaron's "Azkaban" ever happened, IT DID. I consider myself "a true HP fan," having enojyed each book released thus far (some read and re-read). I like the books for what they are, and I like the movies for what they are -- two separate mediums. If I want the book, I'll fuckin' read it.
Aug. 6, 2004, 9:30 a.m. CST
I didn't mean suicide literally. It was just the best way of describing my impression of Cuaron's look for the last film.
Aug. 6, 2004, 9:37 a.m. CST
Besides, now at least 3 of the 4 HP movies will be consistant in style.
Aug. 6, 2004, 9:39 a.m. CST
Made you look. (Just messing with you.)
Aug. 6, 2004, 10:32 a.m. CST
by TV CASUALTY
You, sir, are the reason people loathe the British. Elitist, pretentious, jackass.
Aug. 6, 2004, 11:06 a.m. CST
....the Azkaban geek backlash must be a new record in nerd reversal speed. I would have thought they'd wait at least another six months or so before they started their rants, or at least until the DVD release.
Aug. 6, 2004, 12:27 p.m. CST
Dear dear me so Azkaban while still a major success is not doing as well as the two Chis Columbus movies. Surprise!surprise! The public loved the first two movies so what does the Brothers Warner do but give them a re-imagined third movie. What is wrong with a sequel that actually looks like it belongs to the same universe as the previous movies? My thoughts on Azkaban the movie. Well the beginning was fine with Harry and the Dursleys and Aunt Marge. Unfortunately after that it went down hill. Here I was looking forward to seeing the Knight Bus and having streetlights jumping out of the way and then back again, what I got was one good scene when the bus squeezes between two London Double-deckers and a really stupid an unfunny talking shrunken head. What a missed opportunity. Then behold the Leaky Cauldron shows up with yet another Cuaron re-imagining, the ancient Inn has just now decided to get itself a new sign and Tom the Innkeeper looks like a victim of a very bad Wand backfiring accident. I kept on expecting him to say
Aug. 6, 2004, 12:41 p.m. CST
TV CASUALTY Subject: Voicebox5... Comment: Back Home You, sir, are the reason people loathe the British. Elitist, pretentious, jackass. Well I am British, TV CASUALTY and loathe your rather racist comments about us Brits, you should never generalise. Personally I loved the (American) Chris Columbus Harry Potter movies and was all for giving the (Mexican) Alfonso Cuaron the benefit of the doubt until I realized he had changed the uniforms and decided to go for a more modernist look with the clothing, then I hated his guts. I warned people that if he was changing these things this would lead to him and other directors doing even bigger changes. But even I was shocked by the scale of the re-imagining that he done. If (British)Mike Newell makes a mess of Goblet of Fire like getting rid of the dress robes for the Yule Ball and replacing them with muggle dress clothing I will be the first to complain about him. It is hardly being a nerd to simply wish a movie series to actually respect continuity is it just commonsense?
Aug. 6, 2004, 3:07 p.m. CST
Hmmm...you know, not everyone who disliked Cuaron's approach to 'Prisoner of Azkaban' thinks "Rowling is gospel," which is rapidly becoming the insult du jour of all his advocates on this site. I personally thought PoA was the best of the three, but I understand what Voicebox was saying (although at times it verged on racist). In fact, besides for that, most of the information you used against him was completely fabricated. Where in his post did he say he wanted to pretend that Columbus directed PoA? Where did he say he didn't want to even recognize Cuaron's installment existed. In fact, I'm tempted to accuse you of being ignorant for thinking anyone who thought any element of Book 3 was better than its corresponding element (or was missed) in Movie 3 is a dummyhead. Rowling is not gospel. However, arbitrary changes like location shifts, handheld cameras, and the color of Flitwick's hair are not "necessary" to translate a book into a movie. They're not necessarily bad, either, but stop trying to sell them as the only possible avenues towards making a successful film. Cuaron is not gospel.
Aug. 6, 2004, 7:40 p.m. CST
If you're referring to my comments about your post verging on racist, I hope you realize that I was referring to the insults moreso than the ideas. "Mexican laborer hack," for example.
Aug. 6, 2004, 8:40 p.m. CST
...I never accused Voicebox of saying he wanted to pretend Columbus made "PoA," nor that Cuaron's movie never existed (I hypothesized it in a general manner, but never quoted him as saying such). I think you need to clean your monitor and re-read my post. I also never said Book 3 was better than Movie 3. I appreciate them both for different reasons, as they are separate mediums (just like I can't say a vanilla shake is better than an In-N-Out Double-Double). /// ExcaliburFfolkes and ROBE -- but don't you think just switching back to the Columbus scheme would be more jarring? I mean, now that the Willow and etc have moved, and the kids don't don the robes post-class, I'd kind of like to see it that way for the rest of the series. Yeah, it strays from the source material a bit, but I think the changes work better visually. Now that the continuity has sort of been broken (I prefer "rearranged"), putting a band-aid on it would just be an acknowledgment that the third movie is the sore thumb, which is pretty ridiculous in the scheme of things. /// And finally, Voicebox -- you're entitled to your opinion and your racism. It makes me chuckle that you think "Goblet" has a different DP (the art direction team is pretty much consistent with the other movies) because all the "HP"-print loyalists ousted Cuaron and co. by bitching about it on some message boards. Newell was brought on board after Cuaraon declined to shoot "Goblet." No one at WB is going to hear you scream, Voicebox. Only a few talkbackers and HP-mainliners.
Aug. 6, 2004, 10:16 p.m. CST
I don't need to re-read your post. For starters, I never said that you said Book 3 was better than Movie 3, nor did I say the contrary. But anyone who says the movie should have adhered closer to Rowling in some respects is automatically branded a lemming. As for the "wanting to pretend it didn't exist"...I know you didn't quote him, of course you didn't quote him; there was nothing there to quote. But insinuating ("hypothesizing" without the evidence and with more condescension) that people who share his opinion feel that way about PoA is pretty much the same thing.
Aug. 6, 2004, 10:35 p.m. CST
Although it's true, voicebox, what SmarkJobber says: Cuaron and his production crew are not gone because of message board bitching, they're gone simply because Cuaron declined an invitation to return for the 4th one. SmarkJobber, I think you need to take things less personally. I think Cuaron did a great job with 'Prisoner of Azkaban,' and although it was not perfect, I don't feel like the exclusion of Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs' history made it any less so. I also understand that film and literature are two different mediums, but, as has been expressed before, not every change was necessary. I'm not going to persecute Cuaron for it, but you should retire that argument when it comes to inconsistencies between CoS and PoA. I don't "hear" everything voicebox says and assume it to be true simply because I disagree with you.
Aug. 6, 2004, 10:41 p.m. CST
You didn't get my panties in a twist, realize that I was defending you at the time I recognized your remarks as racist, even if you didn't "really" mean it. The only time I addressed it more explicitly was for your own sake. Whatever. I don't understand people with that sense of humor anyway. Trying to get a rise out of people simply so that you can laugh at them seems pretty, to borrow a page from your book, elitist to me. Not to mention the fact that it's not really all that funny to begin with.
Aug. 6, 2004, 11:17 p.m. CST
Of course not EVERYONE who dislikes Cuaron's "Azkaban" state so because they are fans of the book and wish it was more strictly adapted. My point is...the diehards like Voicebox and the other HP-chin-droolers that can be found on Message Boards across the net...who bitch about the tiniest of details: the robes changed, there were background characters that weren't properly introduced, Dumbledore's attitude was altered (arguably), Hagrid wasn't his affable self, are not seeing Cuaron's "PoA" as a movie. They are judging it against every paragraph of the book! It's ridiculous. All of their gripes (besides the omitted explanation of the Maurader's Map, which would have added to the actual story) mean very little when considering what had to be crammed into such a short amount of screen time. It would be nice to have every piece of garnish from the book in order, but I'm concerned with them just getting the broad strokes right. In my view, Cuaron and Kloves hit most targets, and their alterations upon Columbus's foundation are improvements. Disagree? Cool. I just happen to think you're confusing two different mediums (print and screen)that have two separate sets of rules. As Bobby Brown so eloquently lamented, "That's my perogative" (just as it's yours to disagree). /// Couple more things in repsonse to Voicebox's last post. 1) He tries to compare "Azkaban" to "Batman and Robin," which is not only absured, but offensive. Schumacher's Batman movies are universally panned -- by critics and moviegoers. "Batman and Robin" is an atrocity on all levels; a turkey so big, WB had to shelve the franchise for the better part of a decade. On the other hand, Cuaron's Harry Potter movie received the best reviews of any HP film thus far. It is mainly looked down upon by the people like Voicebox (Ribbons, please note that I wrote "mainly," so you don't assume I'm making blanket accusations), the hardcore Rowling-is-right-and-that's-it camp. 2) What's wrong with Columbus's direction? It's plodding, is overly "aw-shucks" in nature, and inherently static (whether or not that all boils down to "he's a boring director" or not is up to you and your analysis). I would prefer him to Newell, yes. Because he has a wider visualization range in his director's toolbox. I agree that Newell will be able to translate the English subtlety to the screen. That's all good and fine, but that doesn't make up for the rest that he lacks, especially considering this is a Harry Potter movie, and not some chamber piece.
Aug. 6, 2004, 11:19 p.m. CST
Aug. 6, 2004, 11:22 p.m. CST
...anyway, yeah, if I come across that way, it's only because I'm trying to prove my point. If it sounds like I've been shouting, rest assured that I'm quite calm at the moment and am just out to share my side. No feelings are being affected, just a good ol' spirited conversation.
Aug. 7, 2004, 5:16 a.m. CST
This guy hits the nail on the head. By Andy Dursin The summer movie season has been off to a solid start over the last month, thanks to the financial performances of films like "Shrek 2," "The Day After Tomorrow," and HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN. Speaking of the latter, I was somewhat disappointed by the latest Harry Potter adventure (**1/2 of four), which, despite a strong opening, has tailed off faster at the box-office than most prognosticators predicted. Some attribute the film's lackluster (though still profitable) receipts to non-Potter fans having grown tired of the series, but I actually think it has something to do with the film itself. Director Alfonso Cuaron ("A Little Princess") took the directorial reigns from Chris Columbus for this installment, and many critics who apparently subscribe to the auteur theory instantly bestowed kudos on his work in "The Prisoner of Azkaban." This is, after all, the same filmmaker who made the art-house smash "Y Tu Mama Tambien" -- not the director of mainstream blockbusters like "Home Alone" -- and more than a few critics seemed to go out of their way to praise this movie for doing things right that Columbus's preceding two films didn't. Unfortunately, as much as I admired "A Little Princess," Cuaron's directorial stamp in this film was all too obvious. Sure, the movie may be "darker" and "edgier," but it also lacks the magic of the previous two films. There's a certain warmth and humanity inherent in the earlier Potter adventures that's notably lacking here -- in its place, there's a lot of story, some delightful moments, but a certain dramatic flat-line to the drama. The performances of the now-growing youthful cast are all on the mark, David Thewlis and Gary Oldman are excellent (though I wish Oldman had more screen time), and I certainly was entertained for the most part. When it was all over, though, the film left me cold, as if something was missing from all the fuss about werewolves and the search for a killer wanted for the death of Harry's parents. Surely some of the blame has to be placed on the director. Cuaron drains the color out of the film and often places the cast in modern day attire (jeans?), giving the movie a supposedly more "realistic" look which clashes with its fantastical story. He throws in the same fade-in and fade-out transitions he used in "A Little Princess," but they're used so often they're worn out before it's over. And speaking of the ending, the movie's last shot is a curious freeze-frame that ends the story on an unintentionally humorous note. The disappointment carries over to John Williams' score as well. While not a catastrophe of any kind, Williams' music reprises so little of his original Potter thematic material that one must have assumed that characteristic came from Cuaron's marching orders for the score not to sound overly familiar. To be sure, Williams has done an outstanding job scoring sequels, often penning a wealth of brand-new material to complement his previously written themes. Here, though, the original Potter themes are used SO sparingly that it's hard to connect with the music, and in their place is a mostly subdued, dense score that -- while effective in the film -- isn't especially memorable (and also makes for one of the most difficult Williams albums to listen to). I realize I'm focusing on the negatives of "The Prisoner of Azkaban," yet there are certainly some wonderful moments in the movie. I just felt, when all was said and done, that the movie didn't add up to much, and Cuaron's attempts to differentiate this film from its predecessors robbed the picture of its heart.
Aug. 7, 2004, 6:02 a.m. CST
Hopefully Mike Newell will get things right, we will not see people, clothing or costumes changed for no good reason. There are plenty of new creatures, objects and people for Newell to be both faithful to the book and show his own interpretation without messing about with continuity. There should be some dark sinister bits like the Riddle House at the beginning (unless they cut it)and the showdown in the graveyard near the end.However the Quidditch World Cup should be bright and colourful (leprehauns and sexy Veela)and the campsite should be full of wizards all failing miserably to look and act like muggles (as opposed to Cuaron's completely muggle looking wizards). Likewise the Yule Ball should be stunningly beautiful with real fairies as decorations and everyone in their stunning dress robes (except poor Ron). Likewise if they want the school champions to wear more practical clothing when doing the 3 tasks, they might design something like the Quidditch kit but with black boots, rather that have them wear hooded sweat tops and jeans. The costume designer might look at the clothing that the Rangers wear in LOTR or the Jedi wear in the Star Wars movies or the costumes in Van Helsing. If Cuaron was doing GOF he would see no problem with wizards taking part in an ancient game in completely modern muggle clothing.
Aug. 8, 2004, 1:34 p.m. CST
because it is a little kids' movie and that's what little kids like and respond to.
Aug. 8, 2004, 6:33 p.m. CST
In fact, changing back will probably be widely cheered and welcomed by the audience. Chris Columbus' (like him or not) absolutely nailed the look and feel of the Harry Potter universe perfectly, and judging by the box office numbers (HP3 is tracking to finish $200 million lower than HP2 and almost $300 million lower than HP1), more people were disappointed with the 3rd film then the first two. I know you don't want to hear this, but it was Cuaron's wholesale changes for the third film that were jarring for most of the audience. But even more to the point, the HP stories have always been bright and dazzling even at their darkest moments, and the Braveheart/Lord of the Rings grunge-style all gray all the time look Cuaron brought in for PoA doesn't suit it remotely. Cuaron isn't a bad director; he was just the wrong director for a Harry Potter film. Directors can be miscast just like actors sometimes are, and Cuaron was. Chris Columbus, for all his other shortcomings as a director, was an excellent choice to direct the HP movies because his lightweight, straightforward, chirpy, the sun will always come out tomorrow style mimics the HP books feel so amazingly well.
Aug. 8, 2004, 6:48 p.m. CST
HP2 made about $100 million less than HP1 worldwide, but HP3 is tracking to finish about $200 million less than HP2 worldwide. In other words, HP3 doubled the rate of decline from the previous film and if you chart that out, by about HP5 the movies would barely break even. This has got to be troubling for WB, especially since they are hoping to get at least 7 hit films from the franchise and I would surmise partially explains switching back the looks for HP4. They know they screwed up with the fans.
Aug. 8, 2004, 7:03 p.m. CST
We're the movie fans who think for ourselves. As for the generally good HP3 reviews, I think it had more to do with critics celebrating the departure of Chris Columbus (whom they had relentlessly derided) than anything else. There was also another aspect that may have caused a number of major critics (like Roger Ebert, David Edelstein, etc.)to inflate their marks for HP3, and that was the fact that those critics themselves had vociferously championed Cuaron to replace Chris Columbus before and during the making of HP1 and 2. Naturally, when it actually happened and Cuaron took the helm of the HP franchise for PoA, those critics weren't about to give him anything less than high marks, because it would have made the critics themselves look bad.
Aug. 8, 2004, 7:11 p.m. CST
Like Rocky 5, Superman 4, and Star Trek 5. You know I'm right. Now that the director for HP4 has brought back the original look, HP3 will forever be the odd movie out. It'll be the one entry in our 7 movie HP collection that never gets watched and just gathers dust.
Aug. 8, 2004, 11:19 p.m. CST
Did "Azkaban" make a lot less money than the previous "HP" movies? Yes. Is WB disappointed? Probably. But by no means can it be considered a flop. I still don't know what point you were trying to make with that post. /// You said: "As for the generally good HP3 reviews, I think it had more to do with critics celebrating the departure of Chris Columbus (whom they had relentlessly derided..." Actually, the "Harry Potter" movies have all been pretty wildly acclaimed by the critics. "Azkaban" just more so (yes, more so). Columbus-bashing was not as wide-spread as you imply. /// You went on to say: "There was also another aspect that may have caused a number of major critics (like Roger Ebert, David Edelstein, etc.)to inflate their marks for HP3, and that was the fact that those critics themselves had vociferously championed Cuaron to replace Chris Columbus before and during the making of HP1 and 2." That's a mighty misinformed statement, my friend! Ebert was one of the few major critics who liked "Azkaban" less than the previous two movies (he gave "Stone" and "Chamber" 4 stars a piece, and "Azkaban" 3 1/2). NO ONE "vociferously championed" another director to replace Columbus after he was chosen, and never did I hear anyone volunteer Cuaron's name until Columbus took a timeout from the franchise. Where are you getting this information from? /// Finally, the only people who will consider "Azkaban" the "Superman 4" of the series (and by the way, all of the movies you listed as weak-links of their respective series are horribly made, technically and creatively -- another incorrect and overblow comparison to "Azkaban") are people like you and Voicebox, etc., who basically want every line of the book transribed to the screen. Columbus's renditions are fine, I enjoy them (and for the first two films -- the lightest of the series -- he probably was the correct choice). But there's no personal filmmaker's stamp on those films, and that is what I want out of cinema. Judging by the more positive "Azkaban" reviews, I am not alone on this opinion. Who cares about the critics? As a serious moviegoer, I do. These are the right people to judge FILM. You and Voicebox and the other the other bitchers are watching the movie, and judging it as the book. Your perspectives are skewed, and that's fine if you want to look like an ass. /// I'm done arguing about "Azkaban" (at least on this TB). You fellas/gals are entitled to your opinions. I believe your gripes would be more at home on a strictly Potter message board, where other like-minded individuals gather round and focus on the piddly-shits that didn't make it to the screen, as opposed to what did. I'm sure you can extend your bitching spree until the first "Goblet" trailer is unveiled (upon which a whole new round of bitching will begin, or not).
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:11 a.m. CST
While reviewing the first HP movie on his tv show, Roger Ebert stated he would have preferred if any of several different other directors than Chris Columbus had gotten the job. He mentioned Cuaron, Terry Gilliam, Steven Spielberg and one or two others specifically. Later, when Cuaron was first announced as director for HP3, Ebert also wrote a column addressing his high hopes for the upcoming PoA film and that he was glad Columbus had been replaced with one of the directors he had been hoping for since the very beginning. David Edelstein started pushing Cuaron's name in his original HP movie review and even brags about the entire thing in his HP2 and HP3 reviews, all of which you can look up in the archives at Slate.com. If you are really interested, go to rottentomatoes.com and read the reviews in their archives for HP1. There were more than a few reviewers who pushed for Columbus' replacement, and Cuaron is often mentioned as a top candidate to replace him. I wasn't making it up. Also, I never said I wanted every word from the books on the screen., and I never complained about Cuaron leaving anything out. You're confusing me we other posters here. (Hey, I understand and it happens to all of us sometimes so no hard feelings.) What I said was that I wanted the films to stay true to the central feeling of the original books, in that they were always so hopeful and bright and dazzling, even during their darkest scenes. Cuaron, however, went dark, negative, and depressing in such a huge way he ended up sucking all the life out of the PoA. It was a 2 hour funeral dirge. His choice as director, of course, but we can say he was wrong and celebrate that he's gone, too. I don't know exactly what Chris Columbus ever did to make you hate him so much, but please just let it go. This is a movie fan website and we're discussing the merits and faults of the Harry Potter movies and it's totally acceptable. We'll stay here and post and argue away until we're finished, which I would estimate as until about 3 months after the DVD for HP7 is released. My advice is to grab a Snickers bar and get cozy, because we're not going anywhere. Oh, and do you really put that much faith and importance in film critics? If you do, you're truly the first person I've ever met that does. Usually people just laugh at them and their reviews.
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:24 a.m. CST
I really could care less about a director putting his stamp on a movie, especially when it's a middle movie of an already existing and well defined series. It doesn't matter how many film school art house techniques Cuaron used, in the end it all screamed one thing loud and clear - prententious
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:31 a.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
I've give this series three tries already. THREE! Each movie is the same damned thing. Nothing is really evolving here. Like another poster said, its like watching scooby doo. I really really really like the 3 main leads. I think their perfect infact, and I like all the older actors as well. I'm glad the fourth movie is following the great casting tradition. But anyway, I digressed, the casting obviously isn't the issue, it's the lame story and boring script. It doesn't seem like anything of real consequence is happening, and I don't actually feel the potter movies are connected to each other at all. Same faces, new mystery. Thats it. Like watching a T.V. show or something. Also, the magic is too sublte. I want to see some badass pyro technics going on. I want to see more "POWER!" from these "wizards". I heard there was a scene in the POA book where Serious Black was framed for a murder that Pettegrew caused. I heard Pettegrew caused a dark explosion that killed a bunch of people, and there were bits of bodies strewn about. I want to see something like that. Anyway, I'm single minded unfortunately, and have really never liked younger audience based things. I'll never read the potter books, they seem kinda....goofy. Plus, I like the idea of Malfoi, but appearantly JK Doofus wants to turn him into a clown rather then a competant rival for Potter. It would have actually been cool, and more interesting if say, Malfoi and Potter both got the hots for Hermoine, and both constantly tried to win her love. But in order for this to work, Malfoi would have to be more like his father, Charming, subtle, and intellegent evil. Pretend to have a good side, or pretend to be trying to be good. Make Hermoine pitty him a little. Instead we have an immature typical school yard gimme your lunch money whiney jealous bully. Anyway, basically, my main complaints I guess are the story overall, and the way the characters are used. bring on rotk ee. Atleast Jackson and co have the balls to make 3 hour plus movies.
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:42 a.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
....wheel of time books. Would anyone want to watch 9 drawn movies of the same thing happening over and over again? I would think the audience to be satisfied with a 3 movie trilogy. 3 movies is the perfect length to introduce have the first movie introduce the story, second movie evolves the story, third movie ends the story. Thats what I like about LOTR. It follows this simple structure. First movie is soley about intoducing characters, and destroying the ring. Second movie evolves the story by adding the real plight of middle earth, that theres war comming, and humanity is on the brink of getting exterminated. The story went beyond the simple fact the ring needed to be destroyed. Third movie, big war, ring gets destroyed, trilogy ends. Simple, short, and sweet. Thats not gonna be the case with potter though, as I fear for the audiences lack of an attention span. Also, yes, I know its cliche to compare everthing to lotr. I'm not a crazy/purist fan of lotr, i'm just stating, 3 movies/books should be enough to tell a story, if its just going to be "solve mystery" over and over again. I fear the flaming is gonna consume me....
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:48 a.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
That didn't really make sense. I just had two thoughts that came together, clashed, and got jumbled. Basically what i'm saying is, HP is like this, movie 1 introduce characters story. Movie 2,3,4,5,6 solve a new mystery. Movie 7, end story. I don't think the casual audience will care, after movie 4, or even after movie 3, judging from box office results...Sorry for being Negative!!!!! I REALLY wanted to like these movies. And don't tell me to read the books so I enjoy the movies better. A movie should be good on its own merits. *takes cover*
Aug. 9, 2004, 2:07 a.m. CST
I want you to break down the pretentious elements of "Azkaban" for me. I won't even respond to it, I won't need to. Also, I believe you're mistaking "vanity" for creative fluorishes. Vain would describe M. Night casting himself in his own movies, and then fluffing himself and his work in interviews. Calling Cuaron "vain" based on his work in "Azkaban" is amusing, and like most of your points, unfounded.
Aug. 9, 2004, 10:48 a.m. CST
It's no big secret that Cuaron, like Ang Lee with The Hulk movie, was trying to import high art film techniques into a mainstream fantasy film. Both tragically misjudged the requirements of the genre, got carried away, and turned in films that were more statements of the directors' proficiency in executing those techniques then they were about making good movies which were relevant to what the audiences wanted or expected. I wholeheartedly agree with you that M. Night Shyamalan is currently the worst offender in this catergory, but at least he's doing it to his own original movies and stories, not someone elses. Cuaron's pretentiousness in PoA has been detailed by others already in several various posts in this chain, so I don't think repeating them in detail would be a good use of time. I will, however, concentrate on two of Cuaron's worst cases - the repeated use clocktower imagery and the Whomping Willow vignettes which are interpspaced throughout the film. Sure, both were allegories for the importance of time to and the passing of time through the story, and I'll even admit that from a pure technique perspective they were interesting and well thought out; but, they both were completely out of place in a Harry Potter film, screamed "Hey look at me! I'm a art house film shot masquerading in a summer film to specifically draw attention to my director.", and their repeated use through out the film repeatedly killed the stories momenteum dead in it's tracks. Everytime one of those shots would appear on screen, people would start grumbling and check their watches/pagers/cell phone messages to pass the time.
Aug. 9, 2004, 11:21 a.m. CST
I've got nothing against a director who wants to remake someone else's work later on. In those circumstances, a director is free the change and adapt until their heart's content. I have no beef with that. For example, Cuaron's modern remake of Great Expectations and Baz Luhrmann's modern version of Romeo and Juliet were both riveting and totally fine. In the case with the current Harry Potter movie series, however, these films are intended as straightforward movie versions of the original books, not newly conceived or re-imagined versions of them. Everybody from WB on down has been saying they would be straight adaptations all along, and everyone in the audience knows and expects that when the movies come out. The first two HP movies exemplified this, were beloved by the fans, and were huge hits. Cuaron, though, tried to do a reimagined adaptation within the series, and that's what a lot of us have a problem with him, and the box office numbers are down far more than expected. It was simply the wrong approach for this place and time. If Cuaron wanted to do an HP adaptation on his own, outside of this series, then I don't think anyone would have held it against him. I know I wouldn't have. Not caring about how a mainstream adaptation turns out as long as the film techniques are impressive, often leads to some pretty bad films like John Huston's version of Annie, and Brian DePalma's version of The Bonfire of the Vanities. Now, I'm not saying PoA was as bad as those films, just that PoA was definitely headed in that general disastrous direction. One has to wonder if Cuaron would have ended up with a full-blown bomb if Chris Columbus hadn't been their looking over his shoulder as producer. Thanks for sticking around to argue it all with me.
Aug. 9, 2004, 11:39 a.m. CST
Excalibur, I appreciate you sharing your views, and I understand where you're coming from. Neither of us are going to convince the other to alter their opinions however, so let's just agree to disagree in order to avoid repeating our points ad nauseum. Hopefully we will be on the same side of the fence in the future "Goblet of Fire" talkback.
Aug. 9, 2004, 11:52 a.m. CST
We've gone about as far with this discussion as we're likely to go without repeating. I know we both enjoy the Harry Potter films and want what's best for them. It's just that we have different views of exactly what that would be. Thanks again for all the lively back and forth. I'll look for you next year sometime when the Goblet of Fire trailers start coming out. Until then. Cheers!
Aug. 9, 2004, 12:12 p.m. CST
Chris Columbus has to be one of the most underrated directors around. He was the best choice for the HP movies, unfortunately it is only after he stopped directing them that people have realized this.