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UPDATED! Malkovich is NOT Voldemort! Plus a gushing review of Azkaban!!!

The crusty seaman here with the real deal. Turns out BBC has gotten WB to comment (check here for the story!)and they've denied the rumor that John Malkovich is playing Voldemort. It honestly doesn't surprise me as IMDB ran with the whole "Mr. Bean" as Voldemort thing a while back. So, looks like I can still cross my fingers that Tim Roth or perhaps Jeremy Irons will step into Voldemort's evil booties!

Ahoy, squirts. Quint here with a couple of nice tidbits on the next two Harry Potter films. I've been a fan of these books since I was forced into them before a scheduled interview with screenwriter Steven Kloves when the first film was still shooting. Prisoner of Azkaban is arguably the best book in the series and I'm really excited to see that the early word is Alfonso Cuaron hit Azkaban out of the ball park.

Before we get to Red Whale's... enthusiastic review, I'd like to bring up the casting that I saw over at IMDB earlier today. According to IMDB's news section John Malkovich has been cast as Lord Voldemort in the currently filming HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE. I love this casting, even though I'll have to force Tim Roth's face off of Voldemort when I reread the books. What do you folks think?

Anyway, here's Red Whale with his rather odd look at a rough cut of PRISONER OF AZKABAN:

Red Whale here. First time sender, long time reader. Just caught a screening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ( can we please have a title that's not so damn hard to spell?) I've never read the books, you know, because....well, because they're long as shit. But I've kinda liked the movies, was def. more excited about this one, though, cuz it's got a director who's cool, and isn't in love with Robin Williams.

Well, anyone, I dont' have kids so I took my nephew, who's 14, so I don't know if he's in the target age or not, but he loves HP.

Anyways, the movie starts off with Harry making his fat aunt even fatter, thus pissing off the Dursleys. So anyway, Harry's in trouble, and looks like he won't be able to go to Hogwarts, of course we know that's not the case, other wise this movie would be pretty lame. The beginning is pretty silly, but luckily it's also short and only gets better.

Luckily for Harry he gets picked up by this big purple bus (the Night Bus). So off to Hogwarts we go.

It's about this point that we leant that a prisoner has escaped from Azkaban, the magical prison. All of Hogwarts is abuzz. Especially Harry, Ron, and Hermione whp suspect that Sirius Black (aformentioned prisoner) is going to try to kill Harry.

Enough of the plot, which is actually a lot more adult than the previous movies., but we got better stuff to talk about. First off all, these kids have improved ten fold. Especially the kid who plays Hermione. And believe me, she'll be smokin' at 18. These kids actually make you believe they've been through these past few years. Harry is especially war-torn, feeling the weight of all this. There's a scene where Harry must protect Hermione that is actually touching.

The rest of the cast is pretty much the same as before, though Snape gets some much more deserved screen time, and the new Dumbledore is alright. He def. aint Richard Harris, but he does the job.

As for Cuaron, he makes the film. This film is an outright thriller. The movie starts out light but slowly the creepiness factor begins to, uh, creep in. And for the first time, we actually sense that we are in a magical world. He keeps his close-ups to a minimum and lets us just feast on the wonderful eye candy. It's all so freaking beautiful!

And terrifying. This is a kids movie? I mean, the stars are kids, but it's all pretty unsettling, especially these Dementors. They seem to be like Kryptonite to our young wizard Harry. It's kind of freaky to see these things roaming around what's supposed to be a school. Also, there's the required Quidditch match, which takes place in rain and is interrupted by the friendly dementors.

The end is pretty brilliant, even for me who hates time travel. And it's not the cop out that I felt the previous two films gave us. All in all, it's a cool movie I'd say right up there with LOTR. And Im sure HP lovers would probably argue its even better than that. Out.

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