Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
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As Harry Potter readies himself for his third year at Hogwarts, an incident in which he is unable to control his anger forces him on the lam. At the same time, a dangerous man named Sirius Black escapes from the Azkaban prison with one thought on his mind: to track down and kill Harry Potter. The third year at Hogwarts is full of excitement and danger for Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
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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..
Definitely J. K. Rowling is a good writer, though I think overly verbose, and the films are made with the best special effects and abridged well from the large books, but this third movie ruined the series for me. Its tone fits the fourth book better than the third book. The fourth book, I found about the same time as I saw this Prisoner of Azkaban movie (which is #3 in the series), was an unpleasant experience in that it began to focus the series too much on school terrorism, with you becoming ACCUSTOMED to students and adults getting murdered at school. I hoped the 2nd book and movie would be the exception in that, but from what I've heard, in every book starting with book 4, more and more characters get killed, often beloved characters, and there's a veritable bloodbath at the end of the series. (Imagine how it'd feel for half the Fellowship of the Ring to get killed off at the climax of the Lord of the Rings series!) That is a disturbing thing to regularly find in a fantasy series that is supposed to be for everyone's enjoyment, ESPECIALLY in a school setting.
So I'm partly criticizing how this particular movie took an intentionally darker direction than the Prisoner of Azkaban book to the point where I found them hardly comparable, and partly criticizing how the book series shifted the tone into a more macabre direction starting with Barty Crouch and Cedric Diggory getting murdered in book 4, which I find as much a turnoff as the use of the word "witchcraft" in the school name. I'm not saying it's a turnoff to have murders in a fantasy story, but to have school terrorism be so commonplace made me sick enough that I quit after book 4. (Since this review concerns the Prisoner of Azkaban movie's same kind of obsession with being intentionally dark and macabre, that was why I mentioned that the book series started to become a turnoff for me the very next book, #4, The Goblet of Fire. Harry Potter books 1 and 3 weren't as consistently dark and macabre, but starting with this 3rd movie and 4th book, it was mostly incessant. I did eventually see the 4th movie because I had read the 4th book, even though I strongly disliked the 4th book, but my main criticism in this review is that the 3rd movie darkened the tone far beyond how the 3rd book seemed to me.)
Of course I'm in the minority, probably representing less than 1 percent of people who have delved into Harry Potter, but since I have free speech, I wanted to express that I think the Harry Potter series is overrated. Hopefully, even if you disagree with my assessment that the Prisoner of Azkaban movie is much darker than the book, you'll at least consider what I'm saying about how the series normalizes school terrorism and agree that our culture has become unhealthily saturated with macabre stories.