Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) review


This magical start to the family-beloved series of films is a charming, whimsical, and child-like fantasy held together by an entertaining story completely accurate to the book. However, I believe the film would have been a tad better if the acting hadn't been so childlike at parts.

PLOT: Young Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) was left on the doorstep of his abusive relatives, the Dursleys, as a baby and is now about age eleven, still living in the closet under the stairs and hoping for more. Things change days from Harry's birthday when a letter comes in the mail for Harry, which never happens usually. Despite the constant flow of letters from the same address every day, Harry never gets to read one due to his relatives' incessant doing away with them. It even gets so bad that the Dursleys have to move overseas with Harry to escape the tirade of letters. However, a great man named Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) burst down the door and informs Harry that he's a famous wizard from two famous wizard parents and has been invited to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry unknowingly goes where he's astounded by the world of magic and where he meets his best friends, awkward Ronald Weasley (Rupert Grint) and know-it-all Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). Things are going well with Harry in this new lifestyle until he realizes of a danger involving a secret stone and a dark lord. It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The acting in here is pretty great for the most part. The performances, whether young or not, are iconic either way. Out of the adult performances, the best would have to be from Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore, and Ian Hart as Professor Quirrell. These three seemed to be the most excellently played and most captivating of the adult performances. The more childlike performances were pretty okay for younger kids. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson weren't the most expert actors at the time obviously, but their performances, whether childish or not, are iconic in the world of film. I don't believe their performances were the best by all means, but they definitely went down in history. The other performances I'd like to mention would be Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, Richard Griffiths as Dudley Dursley, Richard Brummer as He Who Must Not Be Named, John Hurt as Mr. Olivander, and John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick.

SCORE:The score in this film is very well composed by the great John Williams and sets the magical mood for the film very well. The theme in this film is almost as iconic as the performances are.

EFFECTS:The digital effects in this film are still very high-end for being made in the early 2000s. The digital effects of "Fluffy", the paintings, the baby dragon, and everything are very well done and realistic for being made in the early 2000s.

OTHER CONTENT:This is one of the film series that goes down in history as memorable and iconic. This start of the film series starts us off in a very playful mood with a childlike wonder and great accuracy to the book. This definitely isn't the best of the Harry Potter films, but we all have to start somewhere, and starting off this light is a very great accomplishment.

OVERALL,a great fantasy with a great plot, pretty great and iconic acting, iconic and magical score, fairly high-end special effects for the early 2000s, and a very playful mood to start on, but the childlike performances almost deter the overall performance of the film.

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