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Alfonso Cuaron rocks

Man, I wanna see the latest Harry Potter film already! Watched the latest one-minute trailer last week five times in a row. Gary Oldman is insane as Sirius Black. Am so glad Cuaron took over after Chris friggin' Columbus. Too bad Mike Newell who did Four Weddings and a Funeral and (argh) Mona Lisa Smile is set to direct the filming of book four.

Thanks to the folks at iharrypotter for pointing out this really early review of the film, which is set for a June 4 release. It was written by a cinematographer parent, who cited a number of interesting techie details:

The movie is a huge improvement over the first two HP films. It is rich, deep, and dynamic. Director Alfonso Cuaron really knows how to use the camera. The camera is constantly in motion, and there are dramatic and sometimes extreme angles; but it's not jarring or excessive, everything flows together beautifully. In the earlier HP movies there was a lot of pedestrian 'coverage' which is often the result of multiple-camera shooting to economize on time. . . . In any case, the swirling camera and imaginative angles let you see the world of Hogwarts in something close to 360' and this makes it seem much bigger, and more real, than in the prior movies.

The effects which were finished or near looked quite good. My 7-y-o son was particularly impressed by the Dementors, which are black-clad, ghostly prison guards. Their horrifying specialty is 'soul-sucking,' and when they are near it gets cold; there's a neat scene early on where their approach is forewarned by ice spreading across a window and into a nearby bottle. A smaller effect we particularly liked was the 'textbook' for Care of Magical Creatures class, which has teeth, claws, and is prone to bite, unless it's sleeping where all monsters sleep--under the bed!

Thank god! When I heard the director of A Little Princess had been tapped to take charge of filming Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, my fave in the series, I just felt this wave of relief. Cos Columbus kept piling on all these cringe-inducing moments in the films. To quote from the above review again, "How can one director do a big effects-laden kids' fantasy movie like this and also a gritty, hand-held erotically charged road movie like Y Tu Mama Tambien? Because he's a real filmmaker, one of the few, one of the best." Indeed. I heart Alfonso Cuaron. :)

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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