5 items from 2004
Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal has hit back at American journalist Lynn Hirschberg after she claimed he fell out with director Pedro Almodovar while making Bad Education. The New York Times reporter also alleged Bernal "had difficulty filming some of the explicit homosexual love scenes" in the film. But the furious Y Tu Mama Tambien star has refuted the claims, dubbing Hirschberg "ignorant". He blasts "The New York Times f***ed up. It's catty, aggressive and ignorant journalism on her part. It's horrible. I had absolutely no reservations (about the role)." »
The third time's definitely the charm for the highly successful Harry Potter film franchise.
Thanks to the revitalizing imprint of Y Tu Mama Tambien director Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a deeper, darker, visually arresting and more emotionally satisfying adaptation of the J.K. Rowling literary phenomenon, achieving the neat trick of remaining faithful to the spirit of the book while at the same time being true to its cinematic self.
Where the first two Potters were efficiently if uninspiredly directed by an eager-to-please Chris Columbus, Cuaron has crafted a rich, atmospheric stand-alone motion picture rather than simply a filmed adaptation.
Rising to the occasion is series screenwriter Steven Kloves, who hasn't yielded to the book's murkier impulses, and its resident ensemble, which has been joined this time around by Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall and, smoothly assuming the role originated by the late Richard Harris, Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore.
You don't need to be a wizard to predict huge numbers for the Warner Bros. picture, which will be given an added boost with a simultaneous release in Imax theaters.
While Cuaron may at first seem an odd choice, the third Potter actually shares a few things in common with the racy Y Tu Mama, most notably -- given its rapidly maturing young cast -- a prevailing rites of passage theme, not to mention personal identity issues.
Moreover, Cuaron also directed 1995's A Little Princess, a highly regarded adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel (also set in a boarding school), which just happened to be one of Rowling's favorite films.
At 13, Daniel Radcliffe's Harry has become a more assertive, angrier young man whose bouts of unmistakably adolescent indignation are very much in evidence here, Hogwarts and all.
Despite promising not to perform any wizardry while spending another summer with the Dursleys, Harry breaks down and, in a fit of annoyance, turns his obnoxious Aunt Marge (Pam Ferris) into a literal airbag, her grotesquely inflated form sent drifting into the night skies.
Fearing reprimands from his relatives, as well as from Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic, Harry runs off but doesn't get too far before he's picked up by the very purple, triple-decker Knight Bus, which takes him on a wild trip that recalls Terry Gilliam's wacky animated sequences from his Monty Python days.
It turns out that Harry isn't punished for the deed, but he faces more dire consequences with news that Sirius Black (Oldman), a particularly dangerous wizard believed to be indirectly responsible for the death of Potter's parents, has escaped from Azkaban prison and is headed Harry's way.
That ominous threat puts a damper on his Hogwarts reunion with Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), but Harry also forms a bond with Professor Lupin (Thewlis), the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who helps him confront his fears.
But, more than ever before, there are shades of gray in both the seemingly good and seemingly bad guys, lending Azkaban a greater, layered complexity than the earlier installments.
Despite the darker tone, Cuaron has found room for a great deal of humor, provided in part by an assortment of fresh characters including Thompson as Professor of Divination Sibyll Trelawney, a frightfully nearsighted seer.
Tech specs are uniformly impressive, from the artful compositions provided by incoming cinematographer and longtime Alan Parker collaborator Michael Seresin to Stuart Craig's always inventive production design to Tim Burke and Roger Guyett's magical visual effects (enter the Hippogriff) to John Williams' far moodier score.
And, speaking of uniform, costume designer Jany Temime, has effectively managed to take a little of the starch out of those proper Hogwarts outfits, sneaking in a casually contemporary flair more suited to the teen characters' budding sense of rebelliousness.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures presents
A Heyday Films/1492 Pictures production
An Alfonso Cuaron film
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Screenwriter: Steve Kloves
Based on the novel by: J.K. Rowling
Director of photography: Michael Seresin
Production designer: Stuart Craig
Editor: Steven Weisberg
Costume designer: Jany Temime
Visual effects supervisors: Roger Guyett, Tim Burke
Music: John Williams
Casting: Jina Jay
Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe
Ron Weasley: Rupert Grint
Hermione Granger: Emma Watson
Draco Malfoy: Tom Felton
Rubeus Hagrid: Robbie Coltrane
Albus Dumbledore: Michael Gambon
Vernon Dursley: Richard Griffiths
Sirius Black: Gary Oldman
Professor Snape: Alan Rickman
Petunia Dursley: Fiona Shaw
Professor McGonagall: Dame Maggie Smith
Peter Pettigrew: Timothy Spall
Professor Lupin: David Thewlis
Professor Trelawney: Emma Thompson
Mrs. Weasley: Julie Walters
Aunt Marge: Pam Ferris
MPAA Rating PG
Running time -- 141 minutes »
Harry Potter is back and looking to cast a spell over the boxoffice as his third angst-ridden, magic-filled installment reaches theaters today. With fans of all ages expected in droves for Warner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the teenage wizard's third year at Hogwarts should prove powerful enough to trounce both a very popular ogre and some severe weather. Following the industry's biggest Memorial Day weekend ever, watchers are virtually tongue-tied when it comes to predicting the exact degree of success of Azkaban, which is directed for the first time by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron of Y Tu Mama Tambien and more appropriately A Little Princess. »
MEXICO CITY -- Despite less-than-stellar reviews, Alfonso Arau's biopic Zapata grossed 14 million pesos ($1.2 million) over the weekend, making it one of the strongest openers in the history of Mexican cinema. Distributor Videocine bowed Zapata on Friday with 430 copies, a huge release by Mexican standards. El Crimen del Padre Amaro (The Crime of Father Amaro), which raked in 31 million pesos ($2.7 million) on its opening weekend, leads all releases. Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mama Tambien opened to the tune of 11.9 million pesos ($1 million). Y Tu Mama and Padre Amaro were released with 350 and 380 prints, respectively. Zapata loosely tells the story of Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata. »
Star Wars beauty Natalie Portman and Mexican hunk Gael Garcia Bernal enjoyed a romantic Valentine's Day meal together - and didn't care who spotted them getting intimate. Portman, 22, and the 25-year-old Y Tu Mama Tambien star made no secret of their mutual affection as they sat holding hands and frequently shared passionate kisses during their date at east London's trendy Real Greek restaurant. Prompt Portman waited patiently at the bar for Bernal to arrive for a double date, which they spent with another equally loved-up couple. An onlooker says, "Natalie and Gael were very intimate - touching each other and kissing in full view of everyone. They're definitely an item. Natalie arrived first and was at the bar by herself for a while waiting for the others to turn up - they had a double date with another couple. They all ended up having a few bottles or red wine and stayed late." Portman and Bernal met at an Academy Awards after party in March last year and they have since been spotted together, but have refused to comment on any possible relationship. »
5 items from 2004
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners