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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon DVD Bonus Content
I loved this particular movie when compared to the series as a whole, but this is not why i'm writing this review.

This review concerns the "bonus" content for people who pre-order the dvd here on amazon. The "screensaver" is not an animated screensaver of the marauders map as you might think, which actually would have been quite nice if it had been done in...
Published on October 29, 2004 by plums

versus
252 of 282 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How are these Ultimate if NO EXTENDED versions!?!
Like many of you who purchased the first two ultimate editions at a pretty penny, i was expecting extended editions of movies 3 and 4. What a disappointment! Were the big wigs at WB thinking that their fans would triple dip editions when they bring out all films in one super ultimate collection? I already owned all of the HP on Blu, but sold them when i started buying...
Published on September 7, 2010 by klovess


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252 of 282 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How are these Ultimate if NO EXTENDED versions!?!, September 7, 2010
Like many of you who purchased the first two ultimate editions at a pretty penny, i was expecting extended editions of movies 3 and 4. What a disappointment! Were the big wigs at WB thinking that their fans would triple dip editions when they bring out all films in one super ultimate collection? I already owned all of the HP on Blu, but sold them when i started buying the Ultimate editions. I will NOT be purchasing 3 and 4. Very poor on WB's part to say its ultimate, and include 8 hours of bonus materials, but not the few extra scenes that regularly show on TV. Very poor indeed.
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157 of 178 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ugh What have they done to this great Set, October 19, 2010
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When Warner Bros. introduced this ultimate edition set last year my wife was thrilled. Naturally I ordered them for her as she is a huge Harry Potter fan, and I enjoy the movies as well. When we received the first 2 Ultimate Edition movies we were blow away by both the packaging and the amount of extra content included. For the first time in a long time we felt like we were really getting our money's worth and eagerly awaited the next two movies. Well the day the movies became available for pre-sale I slapped our order in and we anxiously awaited the release. Now a few weeks ago I did a little browsing online and realized that neither of the two Ultimate edition movies releasing this year contained extended editions of the movie, which was one of the main reasons we purchased the set last year. We've owned both the HD-DVD years 1-5 special box set, and then upgraded to the Blu-Ray version(still own these). After discussing it with my wife, she decided she still wanted the Ultimate Edition's this year (3 and 4) so I kept our preorder. Well today we received the products in the mail, and before I get into anything else I have to rant a little bit.

First thing I noticed with this years Ultimate Editions, the boxes are MUCH lower quality than last years. My wife unwrapped year 3 and the way they have it packaged is very flimsy and easy to tear, which she did. They added a holographic cover to both movies this year which looks great, but the way they have it packaged its going to rip and tear if you plan on watching your movies.

Gone is the magnetic snap that clasped the case shut in years 1 and 2.

Both of these "Ultimate" Edition movies seem to be cheapened and lesser in quality not to mention the lack of extended editions of hte movie which is why MOST people purchased them in the first place.

Warner Bros. knew that people were going to buy these, especially those that had already slapped down the money for Years 1 and 2. Late last week I wrote a letter to Warner Bros. asking them why they decided to not include the extra content from the movies that we know exists (it runs on the family channel).

I do NOT suggest picking up Years 3 and 4, even if you already own years 1 and 2. 1 and 2 are totally worth the money, and are great sets even if you own the first two movies because they add to them. These sets add nothing worth the cost, and ruin what could have been an excellent set to own..

:(
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon DVD Bonus Content, October 29, 2004
By 
plums (St Louis, MO) - See all my reviews
I loved this particular movie when compared to the series as a whole, but this is not why i'm writing this review.

This review concerns the "bonus" content for people who pre-order the dvd here on amazon. The "screensaver" is not an animated screensaver of the marauders map as you might think, which actually would have been quite nice if it had been done in the style of the map in the movie. You will be instructed to download a seperate application which will take over your windows screensaver functionality. The application is not very intuitive to use and I've since deactivated it. The "Marauders Map Screensaver" itself is nothing more then 3 random images of indistinct parts of the in-movie Marauder's Map with giant "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" logos that splashed everywhere. Its not very visually appealing as a screensaver and the images in opinion aren't very well done.

Just want to make sure that other people are aware of what exactly this bonus content is, and aren't buying the dvd here purely because of this. There is no marauders map style animation occuring here, and all that will be displayed are static images. I pre-ordered it here purely based on getting this bonus content, and I was rather disapointed with what i received.
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321 of 380 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A grownup-oriented review for those who have read the book, June 7, 2004
By 
amazonker (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
The third installment of the Harry Potter films was ready for a new director, and Alfonso Cuaron seemed a likely choice. Chris Columbus was admirable in his fidelity to the plot of the first two books, but as Harry becomes a teenager and faces a more complex life, Columbus's candy-coated style is no longer appropriate. So it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to the "darker" style that Cuaron promised.
In some respects I was not disappointed. Cuaron's interpretation of Harry's world is defined by inscrutable shadows and colored in misty greens and greys, rather than red-and-gold tapestry of movies one and two. This new palette is more natural, and in keeping with that, far more of the movie takes place out of doors. Cuaron gives Hogwarts a greater sense of age as well, making a crumbling courtyard and rickety bridge over a gorge central to many scenes. These locations, as well as the huge pendulum in the entry hall and clock face that Harry sits inside at one point, are a nicely subtle way to weave in the movie's (and book's) theme of time and how the past can't ever be completely undone.
Cuaron handles some scenes very well, especially brief, telling gestures or moments that provide character definition, such as the bit where Hermione grabs Ron's hand which made it into the trailer, and another where the two of them have an awkward conversation outside the Shrieking Shack. Other highlights include Harry and his dorm-mates up late eating candy that makes them impersonate animals (touchingly shows how very teenage they are); and a moment when Sirius, trying desperately to hold Lupin back from his change to werewolf, places his hand over Lupin's chest and says "You live in this heart!" - which is made all the more poignant because we know he can't stop the transformation.
Some plot points have been sacrificed in order to keep the film to a manageable length. Most of the time this works, as when Harry meets with Snape and Lupin in a beautifully lit nighttime corridor, precipitating the handover of the Marauder's Map and Lupin's realization that Peter Pettigrew lives; or when Harry receives the Firebolt from Sirius at a different point in the movie than in the book. There were, however, two changes which seemed inexplicable to me. First, the patronus charm is made into a shield of light rather than an animal which charges down the dementors. This eliminates Harry's discovery of his father within himself through his stag patronus (he does see a stag of light when he rescues himself at the lakeside, but when we see him from the perspective of rescuer there is no stag, and this is never explained). Similarly, even though Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs are named on the Marauder's Map, the nicknames and their relationship to Lupin, Pettigrew, Sirius, and James Potter is never explained. It would have taken only a few more minutes to add that explosition, which would have strengthened Harry's cinematic connections to his father tremendously.
All in all, I think it's possible that the viewers who enjoy this film the most will be those who haven't read the book. As someone who is very familiar with the Harry Potter book series, I kept finding myself hung up on the changes to the story (and just how much depth was lost) even as I enjoyed the beautiful cinemetography and deft handling of characters' relationships. My hope is that whoever directs film four is able to take some of Cuaron's artistic sensibilities and combine them with Columbus's sense of wonder and attention to plot detail. That would truly do Harry justice.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed!, September 8, 2010
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They have ruined this box set by not including extended versions of the films. The first 2 had them so I expected that all the movies on ultimate edition were going to be extended. Will no longer be buying these! Rumor has it they have tons of footage that was removed especially from the later movies. I heard like 30 to 45 mins worth. I was expecting each release to get longer extended versions then the past. Only thing making this still tempting is the new documentary's they have on each one. I wanted to see all those.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best so far, August 9, 2004
By 
I appreciate that everyone is entitled to express their own opinions, be it positive or negative. However, I do take offense to the suggestion by many reviewers that I'm a mindless sheep just because I really enjoyed Prisoner of Azkaban.

Yes, I'd seen the trailers, as well as 'the making of' specials, and I've read the actual book at least half a dozen times. It is most certainly my favourite of all five books so far. But unlike so many others, I was not disappointed with the handling of the film, probably for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I went in with as few expectations as possible, knowing full well that everything that was in the book could not possibly be included in the movie. There is simply too much, and if Alfonso had done what so many fans seemed to expect of him, we would have ended up with a movie about five hours long. All those who were disappointed by the movie in this respect should forget about going to see Goblet of Fire right now. How do you think they are going to fit everything from that book into two and a half hours?

Prisoner of Azkaban was a very well developed film. There were a couple of things that were left out that I was disappointed over, but I'd anticipated it, and it did not detract from my overall enjoyment. The last half hour or so of the film was especially dramatic and exciting, and who could not love the scene in which Harry saves both Black and his alternate self from the Dementors with a powerful patronus spell? I thought it was a nice touch to include the image of the stag, even though the significanceof this was not explained.

Those who feel the need to nitpick at every detail are only being detrimental to themselves. I loved being able to sit back once more and immerse myself in a new Harry Potter film, and there was so much about it to enjoy.

Our three young heroes are really starting to grow up now - Harry expressed an appropriate and natural anger when he was led to believe that Sirius Black had betrayed his parents to Voldemort despite being their best friend. Hermione is maturing, and showing a wonderful incliment to bending the rules. It might not have been in the book, but I loved the scene where she punched out Draco, then looked back to Ron and Harry and said 'That felt good'.

And Ron... well, Ron is just Ron. He tends to be relegated to comic relief but the trio just wouldn't be complete without him. And the hint of a budding relationship betwenen Hermione and himself was encouraging.

Overall, there is far more in this movie to be excited about and pleased with, than to complain about. It is unrealistic to expect the director to stick exactly to the book, and not take any liberties - particularly when there is too much in the book to fit into the confines of two hours.

Just enjoy the movie, and if you aren't capable of that, then fine. That's your problem. Don't insult others because they do enjoy it.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Extended Version??----No Sale, July 20, 2010
By 
Matthew E. Hamilton (Piscataway, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Extras are nice....sure. But the reason I bought the first two Ultimate Editions was primarily to own extended editions of the films. Warner Brothers is stating that they asked the directors if they wanted to make directors cuts and they both said no. I find that just idiotic. With all that extra footage....and I hear there is a lot....forget the directors. Have a disc of the original and then just make and extended edition without the directors' inputs. People love extended editions and would pay to see them on this package. Just look at the negativity surrounding the Lord of the Rings release. Many, many people would not buy it because it was not the extended editions. Same thing will apply here. I guarantee this will not sell nearly as well as the first two editions primarily because of the lack of an extended version. When will these companys learn? NO SALE!!!!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Extended..., October 23, 2010
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I pre-ordered these (3&4) after getting the first 2 Ultimate Editions on Blu-Ray. I am very disappointed to discover that they have NO additional footage. Amazon needs to correct its search results. If you type "Harry Potter Extended Edition" This Blu-Ray will appear as a result. This needs to be corrected.
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135 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Things get darker for Harry Potter and his fans in this one, June 8, 2004
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All I remembered about J.K. Rowling's novel "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" when I watched the movie was who Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) was in the Harry Potter world. Of course, it is hard not to remember that given the climax of the fifth book. But it is actually the fourth book that comes to mind because that was the novel where Rowling warned that things start to got significantly darker for our hero and it is clear that director Alfonso Cuarón has already sent the series off in that direction. Part of the look is visual, with Michael Seresin's cinematography given the old Hogwarts a new look, but there is also the fact that this is the shortest Harry Potter movie to date although each novel has been longer than its predecessors. Screenwriter Steve Kloves has streamlined the story so that the focus is on Harry dealing with the truth about how his parents were betrayed by a friend and sent to their deaths.
There are not too many series were the main characters are children played by actors who are growing up as well (the norm is to just forget about the kids in the sequels, like they did in the "Jurassic Park" series), which also us a sense of how things look different. On the way back to his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) learns that Black has escaped from the infamous wizard's prison at Azkaban and that the vile Dementors, the scariest things we have seen to date, who guard the prison are now watching the gates of the school because Harry is his target. The "why" is even worse for Harry than the idea that there is once again somebody out there trying to kill him.
Of course there is a new teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor Lupin (David Thewlis), who appears to like Harry; but you never can trust anybody in that particular post. The kids are also taking Divinations, which introduces them to Professor Sybil Trelawney (scene stealing Emma Thompson) and their friend Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) will actually be teaching the Care of Magical Creatures class. Those two are in on the primary action this time around, which leaves precious little time for Profesor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) to do anything, although as always we treasure every moment with Professor Snape (Alan Rickamn slowly milking the role of a lifetime for everything it is worth).
The best part of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is that in the climax (or should I say climaxes) right by Harry's side is Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), making sure there is one person who is up to speed on what is happening (at least as much as is possible given the massive plot complications in this one). Harry might have the raw talent, but Hermione has the smarts and this time she has ample opportunity to use them. There is no reason at this point to consider replacing any of the actors in the cast, young or old, except for the cold hard reality that has Michael Gambon now playing Albus Dumbledore. If it is all fixed, don't break it.
But above all this one comes back to Rowlings, her story, and her characters. Learning magic is not easy and Harry still does not really understand that he is going to be a great wizard, mainly because he is too busy being angry at the world (and he will get a lot angrier in the next couple of movies). This is a story about second chances and not just for Harry (think about it). "Prisoner of Azkaban" is the least interesting of the three films, and the five books for that matter, in terms of the larger story, especially since what is being set up here is rally being done so Rowling can take it away. But if there is one thing that Cuarón convinces us with this film, it is that this is not a kid's story anymore, even if that was how Chris Columbus played it in the first two movies.
Where the franchise needs to be careful is that this film has reduced both Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) to comic relief caricatures. Ron, who was so brave at the end of the first film, now gets to shake for fear at the drop of a hat so that we can laugh at him. The film suggests that Ron and Hermione are fated to pair up, but if he keeps acting like this she will have nothing to do with him. Meanwhile, Malfoy acts like a bully without doing anything particularly mean. At this point the difference between Malfoy and his henchboys Crabbe and Goyle is that Draco speaks, but then he usually ends up whining and running away. Yes, replacing a slap with a punch is an interesting upgrade from the book, but then the book sets it up as a small moment of satisfaction against Malfoy's war against Harry; the film treats it more as an element to be played out by the numbers. "Prisoner of Azkaban" ups the ante on the Harry Potter series, and all of the characters need to put all of their chips on the table from here on in.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What? No extended?, October 4, 2010
By 
shane (MARQUETTE, MI, US) - See all my reviews
What is going on where is the extended? That is what makes it so good! How ultimate is it when you get a pritty box that has the same stuff you already bought? Where is the extended edition? Sure we get a couple pictures, cards and books to add to the collection. Although I want the extended edition so I can watch it crystal clear, without all the commercials. Do I have to wait for the next upgrade to see it uncut? Way to milk the masses of there hard earned paycheck.
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition)
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