Saturday, October 02, 2004

And on the sixth day....

I’m in work on a Saturday.


Doesn’t seem right, does it? And I wouldn’t mind but it’s one of those beautiful Saturdays that I would normally spend walking around town with my gorgeous boyfriend…do a little shopping, mess around in HMV for a couple of hours (DVD a-go-go), get some lunch in exciting places like Yamamori Noodles, Zaytoon, Gotham Café, Burger King and Eddie Rockets…and then, naturally, stroll over to UGC and catch a movie!

But where am I?? Running around the largely empty office like a lunatic trying to get as much work done as possible!! Well, you can be damn sure I’m going to enjoy my night off tonight – free house (except for my sister) and gorgeous boyf down for the night…it’s gonna be wild-n-crazy! Just in case your dirty mind is running away with you, my night tonight will consist of: Making and eating dinner (probably chicken stir fry); going out to a 21st to make an appearance for an hour or so with a couple of friends; coming home and lighting the fire; putting on a few DVD’s and eating lots of crap (chocolate, mighty munch, etc. etc.) whilst dozing in front of telly; eventually sleeping.

Well, screw you – it’s my kind of night!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman & Emma Thompson.
Screenplay: JK Rowling (novel) & Stephen Kloves (script).

I hated the two previous Harry Potters. I really did! I have also never read the books, and have no intention of ever doing so unless forced. I have a very strong dislike for Chris Columbus, and was delighted to see him go, taking his insipid direction with him. And what a difference it has made! Though the ‘kids’ (teenagers, now) still embroil themselves Famous-Five like in every passing dilemma, the darker direction on this movie made it an actual pleasure to watch. Cameos from Emma Thompson, Paul Whitehouse, Dawn French and Julie Christie kept the laughter permeating the general air of doom, and I found each actor lent their own flavour to the proceedings. How sad it is, however, that Daniel Radcliffe cannot quite seem to pull off this acting ‘lark’. Rupurt Grint and Emma Watson, Ron and Hermione respectively, compound the matter by over-exaggerating and hamming every scene. They are only forgivable because they really do embody the irritatingly pretentious middle-class prep-school characters of the book to a tee.

The saving grace of this movie was its portrayal of the story being one of terror. Finally the Potter ensemble are given the dark wizardry and frightening spells they deserve – no more pigs tails on cousins, or snakes on tables – it’s monstrous beasts and wicked Dementors all the way. These Dementors, in particular, chilled the entire film (quite literally) and brought the darkness completely to bear on each scene. The Guards of Azkaban, they set out to find escaped prisoner Sirius Black, who has made his way to Hogwarts to find Harry – for what reason, we can only guess. Gary Oldman is the aptly named Black, and he revels in this role as he does every other – a genius to watch onscreen no matter what the character.

All in all this instalment earns four stars from me on the basis that it is by far the superior of the three, and shows a well placed step in the direction these movies should be heading. Some say Cuarón has made it too dark, but he is dealing with very dark subject matter…magic and wickedness combined with that most horrifying of states – adolescence.

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