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At Last - A film to do the book justice
31 May 2004
As good as the first 2 Harry Potter films were, there was always something missing for me. It's hard to know what exactly, but the first two films felt a little like 'Famous 5' even if there were 3 main characters. Too much unlikely dialogue.

With this film Cuaron has allowed the kids to be themselves. They joke about, fidget and fall asleep in lessons the way kids do and they kick out and argue just like teenagers. In the first two films the kids spoke just to get the plot across, but here you see them marvel and suffer and it draws you in.

The film has no single jaw-dropping sequence. The whole tone is darker and murkier, which suits the books perfectly. Quidditch is played out in the rain, flowers die as the Dementors pass.

If like me you thought the first two films were too overpolished and simply OK, go and see this. It's the first film that shows how good these books are to read.
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10/10
Poetry on screen - A classic Ghost story
18 May 2004
Some people think horror is about busty teens and young rebels being picked off by mysterious killers or lots of gore from a made up creature. Well this film has neither so stay away.

What you do have is a stunning film with great actors playing real people with real issues. Three or four stories are interwoven perfectly, set off with great imagery...all set around the Spanish civil war and the haunting corridors of an orphanage for abandoned children.

While the film does contain a ghost -the murdered child, Santi- the real horror of the film comes from the greed of certain adults who occupy the orphanage with the children.

This film is intelligent poetry on screen -mortality, love, hate, jealousy, greed and redemption are all explored.

This film puts many films to shame just for having a great story at it's core.
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