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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Ultimate Edition) - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)  [Region Free]
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This Ultimate Edition features the third film in the Harry Potter series on both DVD and Blu-ray. Also included is a 48-page photo book with rare images from years 1-7 and two Ultimate Edition character cards.
- Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part 3: Creating the Vision: Interview with J.K. Rowling and the filmmakers
- Conjuring a Scene: Creating Buckbeak and the Dementors for the screen
- Johnny Vaughan and the shrunken head lead raucous interviews with the cast
- Self-guided tours of Honeydukes and Professor Lupin's classroom
- Meet the animal trainers in care of magical creatures
Some movie-loving wizards must have cast a magic spell on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because it's another grand slam for the Harry Potter franchise. Demonstrating remarkable versatility after the arthouse success of Y Tu Mamá También, director Alfonso Cuarón proves a perfect choice to guide Harry, Hermione, and Ron into treacherous puberty as the now 13-year-old students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry face a new and daunting challenge: Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban prison, and for reasons yet unknown (unless, of course, you've read J.K. Rowling's book, considered by many to be the best in the series), he's after Harry in a bid for revenge. This dark and dangerous mystery drives the action while Harry (the fast-growing Daniel Radcliffe) and his third-year Hogwarts classmates discover the flying hippogriff Buckbeak (a marvelous CGI creature), the benevolent but enigmatic Professor Lupin (David Thewlis), horrifying black-robed Dementors, sneaky Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall), and the wonderful advantage of having a Time-Turner just when you need one. The familiar Hogwarts staff returns in fine form (including the delightful Michael Gambon, replacing the late Richard Harris as Dumbledore, and Emma Thompson as the goggle-eyed Sybil Trelawney), and even Julie Christie joins this prestigious production for a brief but welcome cameo. Technically dazzling, fast-paced, and chock-full of Rowling's boundless imagination (loyally adapted by ace screenwriter Steve Kloves), The Prisoner of Azkaban is a Potter-movie classic. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
But it seems to be the creative license taken with the plot that has caused the most discomfort for die hard fans of this imaginative and playful series. This movie is easily the least faithful to the letter of the book so far, and many fans can't seem to get past that.
I say it is least faithful to the letter, but in spirit it is right on target. This is the story where Harry begins to really delve into his past, learning more than he ever knew about his parents. This is facilitated by the appearance of Professor Lupin, an old school chum of Harry's father, and the escape of Sirius Black from Azkaban, who's relationship to Harry I shall not divulge for those few who have been in a coma for the last several years.
In essence, this is a coming of age story, and Cuaron really hits the nail on the head in this respect. His treatment of Harry's reaction to learning the connection between himself and Black is brilliantly played (I love the shots filmed from under the invisibility cloak in the Three Broomsticks), and Harry's relationship with Lupin was also spot on. And let's not forget the clever asides displaying Ron & Hermione's budding romance (surely you can see that one coming?!).
The casting, as usual, seemed to have tapped into the collective imagination of the fans. Who better to play Professor Trelawney than Emma Thompson?!Read more ›
The DVD comes with a ton of extras varying from pointless to rather good. You can have a tour of Honeydukes, and professor Lupin's classroom. A very bad interactive game to catch the rat. Slightly better is the portrait quest game which is quite interactive. There is also a memory game featuring scenes from the film. A trailer for the game as well as trailers for all 3 films. A short 5 min feature on the animals in the film. One of the better extras is a 15 min look at the creation of Buckbeak and the look of the Dementors, showing the problems encountered and special effects used for them. There are 5 deleted scenes which don't vary to much from the final version. The best features are a 12 min talk with the director and J.K .Rowling giving an insight into the design of the overall look of the film and locations. Then there are interviews with the main characters in the film totaling 43 mins with Johny Vaughan and the Shrunken head,Lenny Henry. Which although fairly short on each group and not that insightful of the film, is still fairly fun and a good extra. Overall a great package for Potter fans and those who love magical films.
Don't get me wrong, this is still a good film: had I not read an HP book it might well be my favourite of the three, but knowing what's to come I forsee some problems for future films. Prisoner of Azkaban, JKR's favourite of her books, is pivotal to what happens later and as such has vital plot points which should have been rendered more faithfully by the movie.
I know, I know. Many say the film is "faithful to the spirit of the book" and "if you put everything in it would be six hours long" etc.etc. But to include, eg., the fact that prisoners eventually go mad in Azkaban and the reason why, uniquely, Black does not, Harry having difficulty repelling dementor-shaped boggarts under Lupin's tuition because of his secret desire to hear his mother's voice as he passes out, the identity of the creators of the Marauder's Map and why their singular abilities were developed, the purpose served by the Shrieking Shack and how it got its reputation, etc. Fifteen minutes, half an hour at most of these little explanations put in here and there would, for me, have made a far more satisfying film. As it was, I felt like someone expecting a feast and being served only watercress sandwiches.
Alonso Cuaron is, no doubt, a fine director.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great delivery time but the disc is jumpy & freezes completely 15 minutes into the filmPublished 1 month ago by Tanya williams
An excellent entry into franchise. Not content with simply following on from the tone and atmosphere established by the first two films, this new Harry Potter story takes us into... Read morePublished 2 months ago by L.W