Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Release Date: 3rd June 2004 - Australia (limited)
Runtime: 135 minutes
Box Office Gross: $796,688,549
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 seems to pose 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 dwelling in Britian. 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.
Gary Oldman - Sirius Black
David Thewlis - Professor Lupin
Tom Felton - Draco Malfoy
Pam Ferris - Aunt Marge
Warwick Davis - Wizard
Lenny Henry - Shrunken Head
Jimmy Gardner - Ernie the Bus Driver
Lee Ingleby - Stan Shunpike
Jim Tavare - Tom the Innkeeper
Timothy Spall - Peter Pettigrew
Julie Christie - Madame Rosmerta
Director - Alfonso Cuaron
Executive Producers - Michael Barnathan, Callum McDougall
and Tanya Seghatchian
Production Designer - Stuart Craig
Costume Designer - Jany Temime
Effects Designer - Nick
Special Effects Supervisors - John Richardson and Steve Hamilton
Visual Effects Supervisors - Tim Burke, Huseyin Caner
and Roger Guyett
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - Bill George
Additional Visual Effects Supervisor - Mark Casey
Animation Supervisor: ILM - David Andrews
Film Editor - Steven Weisberg
Music - John Williams
While I originally have only reviewed the first two and the last two of the series, I figure it was time to review the films I missed starting with THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN and ending with THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. That is until I'll go see the new FANTASTIC BEASTS movie in theatres. The third instalment of the series is where it began to take a darker turn and develop its magic as it happened before in THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS when it showed signs of the long-term potential. Alfonso Cuaron was a newcomer in the movie franchise and was a brilliant director taking over the reins from Chris Columbus as he sought to accomplish what was missing in the previous two films.
THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN has set a standard for all HARRY POTTER films in its world-building, visuals and a firm grip of emotional and profound storytelling and to this date, remains as the second best instalment behind DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART II (click here) that were magical and timeless.
Two of the pieces of the puzzle that stood out in this movie was the improvement in Daniel Radcliffe's acting of the main character and the introduction of Michael Gambon in his first time as Dumbledore to fulfill the continuation where the late Richard Harris had passed on. It evidently featured some actors like Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson and David Thewlis whose characters like Sirius, Trelawney and Remus would go on and return in the following movies. It was John Williams' swan song for the series that he provided the background music as he would stop composing more of the later installments after AZKABAN.
It's so fortunate to see the feature again after a long wait and still, it is recommended for viewers who have read the books (including the latest chapter THE CURSED CHILD) or even the whole film series. EXPECTO PATRONUM!