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On Demand movie highlights

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN ½

(HBO on Comcast) This third — and by far best — installment of the movies based on J.K. Rowling’s books concerns the escape of a murderous inmate (Gary Oldman) who’s hunting young Harry (Daniel Radcliffe). The visionary Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón takes over from the merely competent Chris Columbus, and right away he makes it clear that he intends to make cinematic witchcraft out of a mere franchise. (PG; runs through Dec. 3)

WE BOUGHT A ZOO

(HBO on Comcast) Matt Damon plays a grieving single dad who takes over a ratty Southern California wild animal park. It’s a sweet-natured, terribly unthreatening drama about redemption and renewal, and it may matter more to the man who made it (director Cameron Crowe, stuck in a career slump) than the audiences who see it. With Scarlett Johansson. (PG; runs through Dec. 31)

12 MONKEYS

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(Starz on Comcast) Fans of director Terry Gilliam (”Brazil,” “The Fisher King”) know to expect visionary settings and a certain looseness of story. They won’t be disappointed in his newest, a rotting-civilization tale starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and a wired Brad Pitt. The plot? Time travel, an attempt to save the world from viral plague and a great deal of uncertainty about who’s crazy here. (R; runs through Nov. 29)

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