is the golden age of children's entertainment. Right now, and
for, say, another four or five days. This week the time today's
kids will look back on as the moment when children's entertainment
was actually good. Some will look back fondly, and others will
just remember it as a brief interlude that gave them false hope
and set them up for the millions of disappointments in adolescence,
and the billions more in adulthood. Next week some new piece of
pandering Scooby-Doo shit or a horrible movie based on a crummy
British puppet show will come out and jade the kids so violently
that they'll probably slit our throats, steal our cars, fuck our
pets and piss in our flour jars. If you've never made cookies
from flour that's someone's pissed on, well, a) you've chosen
your roommates better than me, and b) you don't know what hell
is. if you want to know, I don't recommend pissing in your own
What I'm saying
is, enjoy this week because it could be your last. Today's youth
is tomorrow's murderers. And as Rick Froberg said, "I hate the
kids." They have devilry in their souls, and a movie like Harry
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban does not soothe them. Rather,
it gives the kids a false impression that someone gives a rat's
left nut about them. When they learn the truth, holy shit, we're
and the Prisoner of Azkaban is pretty damn good. A lot better
than these dirty little pissers deserve. I mean, a big part of
me says they should get the same shitty Shakespeare-in-high-school
ripoffs and John Hughes crap we got. It toughens you, makes you
bitter and teaches you to expect less than nothing and still get
pissed off when you don't get it.
doesn't pander to the kids. It doesn't act like their stupid little
turds with wallets. It's smart enough to not fill in every damn
blank; it's hell clever and maybe too complicated for its own
good. Maybe this is because the source material is so well loved
that Hollywood wouldn't dare fuck it up. Whatever, it mostly works.
plays bespectacled, average-seeming Harry Potter who is a wizard
in training at Hogswart, an academy for magicians. Most people
already know that he's no ordinary magician, but perhaps the most
powerful one there will ever be. At the story's beginning, he
discovers that Sirius Black, the man thought to have killed his
parents, has escaped from the Azkaban prison and is headed to
Hogswart to kill him.
by a professor/werewolf (David Thewlis), Radcliffe chooses not
to hide from Black but to confront him and learn why the madman
killed his parents. He enlists his two lousy-actor-child friends
to help him.
many subplots, most relevant to the central story. Some illustrate
that Potter has a dark side that he tries to bury, much like I
have tried to do my entire life. Except that booze is my kryptonite
and it weakens me. Porn, too. And bad television, junk food, certain
prescription medications, soft beds, cold iced tea and other people's
money where I can see it. But, keep me away from those and I can
be a pretty good person. Other subplots are used to reveal a complete
world where magic and ordinary coincide. A rat is actually a man,
a horse-griffin creature is sentenced to death, and a nefarious
professor is out to get Radcliffe.
all works well. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
has at least two large buttloads of special effects. It's about
magic, after all. There are two reasons the special effects aren't
annoying. First, some of them are damn clever, like the paper-eating,
teeth-baring Book of Monsters and the walls full of paintings
whose habitants are alive. Second, they are integral to the world
where the story happens. The special effects don't replace the
story and they aren't the main thrust of the movie. Lazy Hollywood
asses use special effects in place of stories because, well, it's
pretty damn easy. And it's actually refreshing, like hosing yourself
down with a feminine wash after a long run, to see them used to
bolster a strong story.
and their relationships are deep. The kids ain't much when it
comes to acting. Potter's red-headed friend spends the movie looking
sour-mouthed, like someone just kicked him in the nuts. The adults
are pretty damn great, though. Alan Rickman is as creepy as the
slippery Professor Snape as the Tavern Harelip is when she's caught
rubbing her pants against the pickle jar. Thewlis makes a sympathetic
werewolf, and a way better looking one than the mutt in Van
Helsing. Gary Oldman has brief screentime as Sirius Black,
and that's probably just as well because more of it would only
open the story's biggest plot hole wider.
is dark, but it's not really scary. That's okay because this is
a kid's movie, mostly. The darkness is like the ambience at a
make-out party; dim, sort of grimy and clammy. It has a lot of
ookey elements, like the Grim Reaper-like Dementors that come
to protect the school and who will kill anyone who crosses them.
When they get hold of you, they suck your face off. I had a girlfriend
like that once. She dislocated one of my eyeballs once when she
was really turned on. When we had sex she liked for me to read
her medical diagnoses in a sexy French voice. I liked that too.
The best thing
about the movie is the way director Alfonso Cuaron, director of
Y Tu Mama Tambien, follows the book, which really respects
kids' intelligence, and yet isn't so blindly faithful as to make
it boring. There is hardly any of that stupid Quidditch, and much
of the movie's themes are revealed without much being said.
thing is that the movie is too damn long. Hogswart is a great
world, and there's a lot to see, but the movie takes it's damn
sweet time getting started. Cut the first hour of the movie in
half, and not only would you have a movie the kids don't deserve,
but you have one I don't deserve.
it's a fine fucking flick. Don't take the kids, it'll only set
them up for disappointment. Four Fingers for Harry Potter
and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Filthy || Want to tell Filthy