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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

As the third chapter in the saga, there's a definite darker turn. The set design, colors, and even the scene transitions seemed to be dowsed in a bit of grey paint. Compared to the bright, joyful family romps that preceded it, this is a welcome change. The characters are beginning to grow up, mature, and with it the blessed relief of actually being able to act.

While this movie is dark it doesn't lose itself too far into it. It strikes a delicate balance of being serious while at the same time being fun and lighthearted. This is something that was sorely lacking the later movies, where instead they get much too focused on being CGI-fests. It's a bit sad, really.

I won't get too far into the plot, but it involves time travel. It's actually handeled rather well, with it being a closed loop and all. It does create a rather major plot hole, though. When you can FREAKING TIME TRAVEL, why would you not go back in time and just kill Voldemort before he's even a problem? Then again, that would mean losing out on nearly $6 billion dollars worth of sequels, and that's never any fun.

If I were to recommend a Harry Potter movie to start off with, it would most certainly be this one.

Selected Quote:
Hermione: Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?