Episode 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Warner Bros., 2004.

Pre-Screening Sips

  • Ask a casual fan which Harry Potter is their favorite, they’ll say Azkaban. Ask a die-hard, Azkaban. Ask a film critic, Azkaban. Ask a Brecken…
  • Things are about to get real angsty, my friends

Post-Screening Snippets

  • At this point, the Dursley prologue really wears out its welcome—Dudley’s boredom is a meta moment—but the dulled color palette introduces us to the less technicolor texture of this entry
  • Honestly, the dementors are still scary as shit
  • ABC Family makes us all think these are Christmas movies, but Azkaban is definitely the Halloweeniest entry
  • Michael Gambon has some fine comedic lines, but he just does not possess the proper essence of Dumbledore; he’s Fumbledore
  • Emma Thompson’s performance in this movie is only second to the performance of her glasses
  • The Fat Lady’s glass-breaking joke is the comedic highlight of the movie
  • How was there not be an institutional inquiry into this school’s inability to keep a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?
  • The most demented character in this movie is clearly the sadistic bitch who turns a snake into a creepyass jack-in-the-box clown to make it “funny”
  • “Turn to page three hundred and ninety-four” is my go-to line for Snape impressions
  • The entire Shrieking Shack sequence is brilliant from start to finish
  • To this day, Lupin is still one of the best on-screen werewolves
  • Yo, do you think they still sell Time Turners at Hot Topic?
  • Probably one of the most impressive cinematic elements of the entire franchise are the time-turned sequences

The Final Potion

            Harry Potter and the Greasy-Haired Godfather really does retain the cinematic splendor as it did on initial release. The third film’s tight script, bold creativity, and mature tone make it the perfect transition for the rest of the franchise.

GRADE: A

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