Please keep in mind that I have been waiting more than FOUR YEARS to see Prisoner of Azkaban on the big screen. Thank you.
I liked David Thewlis as Remus. I hope I don't sound too much like I'm back-pedaling... I mean, I am, a little bit. My Remus and Alfonso Cuaron's Remus are clearly very different. And my Remus just happens to look more like Jeremy Irons. And don't give me that shit about, "Eh, you whine because he's not pretty enough, bleaurgh..." Because when Jeremy is unattractive, he is unattractive. The man can be downright ugly. It's wonderful. For a tired, lived-in sort of face, you can't go wrong with Jeremy Irons. Besides, David Thewlis can be a little bit pretty himself. Hehehe. That was such a godawful movie. My mother and I used to call him 'Clueless Thewlis.'
But, no. David Thewlis is Remus in this movie, and that's fine. He does a good job. His voice kind of grates on my ears, to be honest, but he plays Remus well as a character who walks the fine line between being a teacher and a friend for Harry. The scars across his face are superb and lovely, his transformation (much as I hate how the wolf looks) was quite nice, and his scene at the end with Harry was appropriately sad and pathetic. The cane and the limping were nice touches too. (I could have done without the shapeless, ugly sweater vests, though.) The tetchy scenes between him and Snape, few though they ended up being, were nonetheless highly amusing. In the few moments when you're not sure who is really the murderer and who is trustworthy (in the Shrieking Shack scene), Remus did come off as rather threatening, which makes me smile. (That "cleverest witch" line? Oh, wow, did that sound bitter and mean. It was awesome.)
So David Thewlis was good, and I am pleased. Moving on to Daniel Radcliffe... ohhhhh my yes. First of all, his acting has gotten much better. Second... the older he gets, the more startlingly lovely he gets. Occasionally, watching his scenes becomes a game of "rein your hormones in, kthx." His nostrils bug me, though. Oh, but his line, "Poor Professor Lupin's sure having a tough night!" or something to that effect...? OMG, adorable.
The Harry/Remus moments were there, and they were much better than I expected them to be.
Buckbeak was cool. Hermione was far too kick-butt, which is sort of disappointing in its own way... I think it's because Emma Watson is so pretty? Something about movie!Hermione doesn't ring true for me, I'm afraid. I still love her, and someday I'll get myself a little Hermione doll and be pleased, but she's not... right. Uh... Gary Oldman did a good job, but I still hate Sirius. The James and Lily dancing picture? So cute.
All right, my biggest gripe is with how they did Scabbers. Isn't it sort of exasperating that, while they can do such a beautiful job animating something like Buckbeak (or even that wolf-thing that WAS NOT REMUS), they have such a tough time creating a convincing rat? I have nothing against puppets; they used puppets in Willard. But they also used CGI and REAL RATS. So Willard LOOKS LIKE IT'S A MOVIE FULL OF REAL RATS. Scabbers looked so fake. I was so ashamed.
Also, my father elbowed me when Scabbers bit Ron. Hey, at least my rat isn't an Animagus in hiding! I think...
And Ron didn't get to say his wonderfully creepy line! "I let you sleep in my bed!" Such a great line; it just makes you shudder.
[ETA Things That I Forgot: Emma Thompson is teh awesome and I tell no lies. When Harry was sitting on the sidewalk in front of the playground (right before he sees Sirius/THE GRIM) and the swings and the teeter-totter and all of that are moving by themselves... I totally started singing "Ring Around the Rosy" in a breathy little girl's voice. That was what that scene really needed, some creepy-ass children singing. It made me think of Pet Sematary, a little. I have no comment to make on Draco. No comment, whatsoever. Ron's spider dream was so cute. The Knight Bus scene was awesome, and the guy who played Stan Shunpike cracked me up right from the start. Also, little shrunken Rastafarian head! The sense of humor displayed in this movie was really wonderful and very welcome. And awesome.]
Conclusion: most of it was good, near perfect. One or two things bugged me. The end.
*waves little Harry/Remus flag* Whee! Whee!