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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
DVD + HD DVD
• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.
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In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry, Ron and Hermione, now teenagers, return for their third year at Hogwarts, where they are forced to face escaped prisoner, Sirius Black, who poses a great threat to Harry. Harry and his friends spend their third year learning how to handle a half-horse half-eagle Hippogriff, repel shape-shifting Boggarts and master the art of Divination. They also visit the wizarding village of Hogsmeade and the Shrieking Shack, which is considered the most haunted building in Britain. In addition to these new experiences, Harry must overcome the threats of the soul-sucking Dementors, outsmart a dangerous werewolf and finally deal with the truth about Sirius Black and his relationship to Harry and his parents. With his best friends, Harry masters advanced magic, crosses the barriers of time and changes the course of more than one life. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron and based on J.K. Rowling's third book, this wondrous spellbinder soars with laughs, and the kind of breathless surprise only found in a Harry Potter adventure.
Some movie-loving wizards must have cast a magic spell on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because it's another grand slam for the Harry Potter franchise. Demonstrating remarkable versatility after the arthouse success of Y Tu Mamá También, director Alfonso Cuarón proves a perfect choice to guide Harry, Hermione, and Ron into treacherous puberty as the now 13-year-old students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry face a new and daunting challenge: Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban prison, and for reasons yet unknown (unless, of course, you've read J.K. Rowling's book, considered by many to be the best in the series), he's after Harry in a bid for revenge. This dark and dangerous mystery drives the action while Harry (the fast-growing Daniel Radcliffe) and his third-year Hogwarts classmates discover the flying hippogriff Buckbeak (a marvelous CGI creature), the benevolent but enigmatic Professor Lupin (David Thewlis), horrifying black-robed Dementors, sneaky Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall), and the wonderful advantage of having a Time-Turner just when you need one. The familiar Hogwarts staff returns in fine form (including the delightful Michael Gambon, replacing the late Richard Harris as Dumbledore, and Emma Thompson as the goggle-eyed Sybil Trelawney), and even Julie Christie joins this prestigious production for a brief but welcome cameo. Technically dazzling, fast-paced, and chock-full of Rowling's boundless imagination (loyally adapted by ace screenwriter Steve Kloves), The Prisoner of Azkaban is a Potter-movie classic. --Jeff Shannon
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Top customer reviews
I watched it with her the first time and we both really enjoyed it. She thought it was the best of the Potter movies she'd seen yet (she's only seen 1 and 2 so far), and suggested that maybe it was because Voldemort doesn't make an appearance (she may be on to something there - dude is super creepy).
I don't think any of the movies are better than the books, but I'm a total book snob, just so you know where I'm coming from. ;>
Please keep in mind that the above comments are 100% subjective so you may feel differently.....and that's totally OK!
Azkaban definitely starts to delve into the darker aspects of the Harry Potter stories with the arrival of the Dementors, the escape of a convicted murderer and the emergence of a key player in the murders of Lily and James Potter. But, before the darkness takes its place, this book begins with my absolute favorite of the Dursley scenes: the inflation of Aunt Marge. Seriously, both the book was spot on with this scene and I really was disappointed in how glossed over it was in the movie.
I think my dislike of the movie stems from the over-saturated advertising that was done before the movie was released. I could not see a movie, watch TV, turn on my computer without seeing Sirius Black's face crying out in agony on the newspaper. I was tired of the movie before I even saw it (and that's saying something). So while I love the addition of Emma Thompson as Prof. Trelawney, love seeing Hermione deck Malfoy and thoroughly enjoy seeing the book of monsters come to life, anything having to do with Sirius Black was a major turn-off for me.
Before I finish this review, I want to talk a little bit about the imaginative brilliance that is the Maurader's Map. Just when I'm finally recovering from how amazing the game of Quidditch is, Rowling introduces a piece of paper that any kid would love to get their hands on. I mean.. it's an interactive treasure map, for all intents and purposes! So brilliant.
I enjoyed re-reading Azkaban and found myself rolling my eyes a bit at re-watching it. I prefer the ending to the book, prefer the timeline of the gifted Firebolt, prefer many things in the book over the movie's version of the events... but when it comes down to it, they are both still quintessential Harry Potter and it's impossible to forget them.
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