Just got back from taking the kiddles to see Prizoner of Azkaban again, and found out what specifically I think makes it a superior movie to the first two. (movie, not book translation, etc.)
First off, the director has so much more fun with film and filters and it really lends believability to Hogwarts and hogsmeade being real places. When Harry sneaks off to join the fun at Honeydukes, and we see them walking down the snowy village street, you almost feel like you could reach in and touch them.
Something else that niggled at me, but I know get what, is that in this movie, magic is REAL. It bothered me that Ron and Draco would be so amazed their first year at the most rudimentary magic. Example: the "up" command for their broomsticks. They always have a look at amazement. Didn't they grow up among wizards? Why would that be seen as a moment worthy of a gaping jaw? This time around, it's perfectly natural. I caught something I hadn't noticed before: when Harry runs away and goes to the inn, a bus boy takes a cloth and it looks like he's just wiping up spills, but he is making the dirty dishes disappear into his rag. Cool.
I also appreciated the use of irising in and out of scenes to give the viewer the feeling of seeing through Harry's eyes. Throughout the whole movie, time is important. Every time they leave the castle to visit Hagrid, they wlk under the massive pendulum of the tower's clock.
I just felt that everything about this time around was more tangible and open and raw, at times. Please, God, don't let An Unfortunate Series of Events suck. I love those books so much... I hope they let Jim Carry's handlers reign him in so he doesn't start spazzing all over. (I love Jim Carrey, but in his place, you know?) Does anyone else agree that Jason Patric could have really taken that role? That's a stretch, I know.
Now if I could only stop reading everyone's accounts of WriterCon and focus on my own for a change... Anyone else hear that the erotica forum had some poopy people on the panel? I'm VERY curious to hear who it is everyone was complaining about being pompus really is. I have my guesses...