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Sunday, June 26, 2011
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - 2001
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is a young up and coming wizard with a famous history. As a baby his parents were murdered by the most evil wizard in existence, but a spell was put on Harry causing many people to wonder just how the young baby survived the attack. Now, at age eleven he is working and living under his aunt and uncle who treat him like dirt, and once they receive a letter in the mail that shows them of Harry's magical powers, they run away to try and keep Harry from his destiny at Hogwart's school. But a giant named Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) comes and personally removes Harry from his aunt and unlcles' grasp and takes him to the school. This is where Harry learns more about magic and life than he ever expected, and begins his very long journey with his dear friends at Hogwart's.
Well, what can I say? I mean if I am being completely honest the film's flaws were about as bright and noticeable as the sun is on a hot summer day with no clouds. Starting with the cast. As a whole, the cast did a decent job with their parts. But speaking for our three main characters and actors, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, they quite honestly did a straight up terrible job with their parts. Speaking strictly for their acting talent and ability in this film, they just were not good. However, like many of the flaws in this movie, it can be turned around to a good thing. The three main characters have a certain likeability that will strongly appeal to old and young viewers alike, especially the younger ones. From a technical standpoint their acting may be bad, but the three seem like they are friends in real life, making them able to relate to the audience more so than even more talented actors can do, and that is one reason this film is so loved. As for me, I am not a fan of the books, and would have liked much cleaner performances, but hey I can't get everything I want in every movie, it worked here and that is all that matters.
The story is excellent, but the writing and direction is not, and I think much of the problems writer Steve Kloves, and director Chris Columbus had with making this film sparked from author J.K. Rowling. If I am not mistaken, the book series is geared towards teens and young readers, but unlike the Narnia adaptations it seems to me like Columbus and Kloves wanted the movie to be a bit more than that. Is it a children's movie or a serious fantasy epic? Well I can't really tell you because the people behind the making of this film don't know either. However, I have been told that down the line with a new director and an older cast that this problem is fixed.
But through all of the good and bad of Harry Potter, the thing that makes it work the most is the visual effects. What people love so much about the book is it takes the reader to another world, a world of magic. And with the beautiful set pieces and fantastic visual effects that world of magic, Hogwart's school, is brought to life perfectly. Maybe the film is cheesy and the acting isn't special, but The Sorcerer's Stone is a plain joy to look at, and honestly, I don't care if a movie is good, bad, smart or dumb, if it looks good I can enjoy myself watching it.
Overall, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a success start to a hit book series, there are plenty of flaws, but can be easily fixed as the series goes, and I am assuming that the writers and directors have made their changes by now. The acting struggles big time, the writing is pretty good, but could have been better, and the direction is alright. But the magic of Hogwart's is here for everyone to see, and I, like many others, liked it.
Final Rating: 7/10