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Harry Potter 3 / IMAX

I went to see Harry Potter 3 (better known as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban) recently. This was my first IMAX motion picture experience.

My reactions to IMAX are:

Cool, but not as enthralling as one would think. It's worth it to go see an IMAX flick at least once. I mean, a screen 60ft tall is definitely neat. However, I can't really say it's all too much different from the standard 40ft silver screen. Yeah, it's BIG.. but that's about it. THX certified theaters can certainly keep up.

My reactions to HP3:

Initial reaction: Good, but movie takes a long time to get going. The movie seems spotty in the storyline in a few places - and this is most likely because of the limitation of movie making. The books most likely give a lot more details as to what happened.

The actor who replaced Dumbledore looks EXACTLY like the person who previously played him - but the voice is totally different. Were it possible (and I know it isn't,) I would have rather seen the previous actor. He had much more of a believable character. I did notice that the of all 3 movies, Dumbledore speaks least in 3 for obvious reasons.

Harry's character was a bit aloof in some spots, and in others he was very angry. This is not the same Harry you saw in the first 2 movies. Now I don't know the books at all - I'm strictly a movie person. However - this change was drastic. Every other character in the movie remained exactly like the first 2 with the exception of some growth (for continuity's sake). But Harry seems to be going somewhere strange. It's either this or the interpretation of the character to screen was way off for this movie. I am sure there was a lot of debate as to "how far along in the story should we take Harry this time 'round" when they were screenwriting this thing. My opinion: too far. They should have held back somewhat.

The "magic" of the Harry Potter films is getting old, fast. Yes, stews mix themselves, things fly around, newspapers have moving characters in them... we've seen it before - try something new next movie, please.

The best character in the movie was the Hippogriff. Out of all the animal creatures featured in the HP series, this one was spot-on perfect. Majestic, large, elegant and just plain cool. I want one as a pet.

This movie is worth seeing. I may seem to be panning it a bit - but it is worth a go. However, if there is a 4th movie to be released (and one must think there must be for graduation..?), there's going to have to be some major changes in the Harry character that lean more towards the positive. A heroic role must emerge instead of "Harry, you are in danger here" which is what you hear in every single one of these HP films. I'm praying to God I don't hear "you are in danger" in film 4. I want to hear "here is your quest - fulfill it". It is time to get off the defensive and finish the story properly - and it must finish.

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