We are very excited about the new Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (trailer here), which opens in the U.S. on June 4th. Even our 4 year-old, who finds parts of the first two movies terrifying, has begged us to take her to see Potter 3 right when it comes out. She is feeling pretty darned brave after surviving the Haunted House, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, and othe rsuch perils as Disney World last week.
The reviews thus far for the film have been very strong: The Mirror:
- New director Alfonso Cuaron’s bold plunge into the world of wizardry’s darker side has produced an absorbing film with a very different flavour from Harry’s first two big-screen adventures.
Daniel Radcliffe’s famous bespectacled features have become synonymous with the engaging character whom author JK Rowling has turned into a global phenomenon.
The Prisoner Of Azkaban also features Harry’s trusty companions, know-all Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron, hilariously played by the excellent Rupert Grint. In this film, the 13-year-old Harry is more cynical and more confused as he faces up to the grim fact that his true fears are within him.
- Daniel Radcliffe is fantastic in this edition. Rupert Grint’s (Weasley) defuses a scene effortlessly and that is true magic.
Every now and again you see an actress so young and gifted that she makes one take pause. Emma Watson (Hermione) is a miniature adolescent Grace Kelly.
Alfonso Cuaron he startled me throughout the film with cinematic devices, emotional directions and stylistic flourishes.
Cuaron really has such a light touch to this story, in the end it all feels so easy, so elegant and so effortless. He understands magic more purely than anyone I’m watching make films today.
- Azkaban rocks. Sure, there’s a werewolf and a hippogriff and a bunch of other magical stuff, but the real reason this third film in the series outshines the others is that it’s about something far more frightening than failing your Potions final or facing Lord Voldemort. It’s about being 13.
Cuaron’s efforts would have been for naught if the three stars – Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione) and Rupert Grint (Ron) weren’t up to the task.
But their performances, Radcliffe’s in particular, are far more impressive this time around.
I am extremely pleased to hear such good reports, especially about the cast whom I have loved thus far.
There is some dispute over whether the current cast will be able to complete all seven films – Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron says yes:
- The director of the third Harry Potter film has said he believes the film’s teenage stars will stay in their roles for the full seven-film series.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron said on Tuesday he hoped they would stay on.
“It would be amazing to have the whole series with the same kids,” he said.
Producer David Heyman disagreed, saying star Daniel Radcliffe’s days as the wizard were numbered, the New York Post newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Radcliffe will soon be 15. Emma Watson, who plays Hermione, and Rupert Grint as Ron are also similar ages.
….The trio have signed on for one film at a time. They have already begun work on the fourth film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which is being directed by Four Weddings and a Funeral’s Mike Newell.
“Right now they’re doing number four. There’s only three more to go. I just hope they keep the same cast for the whole thing,” said Cuaron.
“So far, they’re holding up very good, the way that they are ageing. I don’t think Dan is going to get way much taller or suddenly grow another eye. Same with Emma, and Rupert is OK,” the director added.
But in the New York Post, Mr Heyman has said it was “inevitable” the three stars would have to move on.
“There will come a point when one, two or all three of them will move on. I don’t know when that will be – with the fifth, sixth or seventh movies – but it’s inevitable,” he said.
The U.S. premiere of the movie was Sunday:
- Daniel Radcliffe appeared stunned by the enthusiastic reception he received Sunday from hundreds of shrieking fans who lined up outside the U.S. premiere of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”
“It’s really amazing,” the 14-year-old said, trembling a bit as he paused to wave at swooning teenage girls, some holding signs saying “Marry us, Dan!”
Even singer Rob Thomas of matchbox twenty — himself no stranger to screaming women — was taken aback.
“When Harry Potter got out I think you could actually see his hair blow back from the screams,” Thomas said. “They’re very excited.”
It was a happy development for Rupert Grint, who plays Harry’s friend Ron Weasley at the Hogwarts school and arrived at the premiere looking distinctively adolescent with a shaggy mop-top haircut.
“It’s quite cool,” the 14-year-old said with a grin.
Audiences can expect a more mature film this time, too. The third installment of the “Harry Potter” series takes a dark turn as the young sorcerer is sought by a murderous wizard who escapes from a prison for conjurers.
“It’s more dark. A bit more edge of your seat,” said 16-year-old Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy in the film. “You might want to go with your mum.”
Plenty of kids dragged their famous mums to the New York premiere. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins rushed past photographers with their kids, as did ABC’s Meredith Vieira.
Model Christie Brinkley snapped pictures of her husband, children and nephew together on the red carpet. “My son and I read all the books together out loud, in all the accents,” she said.
Fans lined up as early as 4 a.m., 12 hours before the start of the film, to angle for an autograph or glimpse of their favorite star. [AP]
Radcliffe and Thompson discussed their roles at a news conference:
- “It would be very hard to watch someone else playing the parts,” conceded Radcliffe, who saw himself on screen at 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall at Sunday’s world premiere of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” which opens around the world on June 4.
“But I’m just taking it one film at a time,” he told a news conference.
Watson concurred and presumably so would have Rupert Grint, who plays their partner in cinematic magic, Ron, were he not busy acting his age and taking school exams back in Britain.
….The actors, like the characters they play, are entering their teenage years and coming to terms with some of the same urges and issues facing the young wizards of Hogwarts Academy.
“Hormones are interesting things,” said Radcliffe with a chuckle. The slender actor talked about listening to loud rock music during down time on the movie set. “I think the music does help me let off a lot of steam.”
Radcliffe said he can relate to Potter.
“Harry basically has the same feelings of any teenager, but because of his past he feels them more strongly,” he said. “I kind of took my feelings and exaggerated them.”
The world premiere audience roared with delight at a scene when Hermione punches Potter’s rival Draco Malfoy in the face.
“I loved every single second of it. Girl Power,” said Watson. “It was great. I would have done it for a whole week but we got it in a couple of takes.” [Reuters]
We’ll be there.