Third time’s the charm

In my time-honored tradition of seeing movies ages after everyone else, this past Friday, I finally saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. My chief complaint about the previous two movies was that the filmmakers filmed the books, but failed to capture the spirit of them. Not a problem with this film. 
 
The NY Times critic puts it best, but in short, the result was less rosy, happy, fantastical and more slightly scary, cool, fantastical. For the first time, too, the acting felt solid. Rather than having a group of famous and talented acting legends doing cameos very much in the manner of the special guest stars from Batman, instead we had some famous and talented acting legends actually acting. It will be interesting to see the direction they take with the fourth movie.

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