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4.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone The Film: Imagining A Classic,
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone / et l'École des sorciers (Bilingual) (Widescreen) (DVD)This was a near impossible task with a very decent result. Translating the epic story and themes and feel of Harry Potter into the celluloid world and not angering the devoted fanbase is not something any wizard would attempt. But thankfully, with much control and input from J.K., so much of what we love about Harry survives Hollywood and even thrives.
As a note, I usually do not partake in a dvd review unless I have seen all the extras, commentaries, easter eggs, and assorted other goodies available. Call it my anal-retentive crazy side, but I like to immerse myself fully in something I like this much. But not all the dvd's in this series that I have come with these specials. Much crying now ensues. And the extras will be consumed by me soon enough, which shall be fun.
Mush of my liking of the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is how much is harvested from the delightful source material. From characters matching what you expect in your mind's eye to Hogwart's moving and creaking just like it should to Hagrid being the most amazing Hagrid. Let me be clear on this one point, Hagrid Rocks! Slightly mushed cake and all.
With all the absolutely essential parts in place, the movie presents a necessarily streamlined version of the story. This works for what they have to do here, compressing everything into two hours and a half. Very early on in my viewing, my mind switched the Harry Potter movie cannon into a parallel universe. It is the only way to enjoy the films for what they present and not drive your senses crazy because a favourite scene or character vanishes or is given short shift. Everytime a little something you consider essential does not make the cut, a little piece of you dies. Sounds dramatic, but to a Potterhead it is very serious.
I can't help but feel that Harry Potter should have been into a television series, 12 episodes a year, seven years in total. This way the story gets to expand and breathe like J.K. and the fans rightly deserve. Maybe possibly in ten years time or so this might become a reality.
But back to what we have and not to what we want. Despite the limitations of the format, there is so much to love and cheer on about with this movie. Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter, and seeing him living in those baggy ugly hand me down clothes from that dastardly Dudley brings the written word to life. Radcliffe is amazing, for such a young age, with conveying so much. His first encounter with wizard folk feels just as astonishing as the book. And with the magic slowly dripping back into Harry's life, we viewers know what Harry feels as Radcliffe makes us believe.
I always found Ron whiny in the book, and the movie keeps that annoying trait going as well. Hermione on the printed page is marvelous, but in the film can be bothersome with her haughtiness. Maybe it is simply seeing her on screen. Also I found Richard Harris as Dumbledore rather dull and miscast. That will guarantee some hate mail, but I really do not see his appeal. One obvious deletion which I sorely missed was Peeves, my favourite Hogwart's ghost. Kept waiting for him to pop up, cause mischief, and scoot along.
One thread through all eight movies which pleased me immensely was the theme music. Every moment of that melody just caused giddy tingles, priming my senses for what would come next. And what came next was always joyful and entertaining.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a worthy first effort to set the stage and tell the beginners tale. Everything is in place whatever comes next, and we cannot wait.
4.0 out of 5 stars J. K. Rowling's world is just as I imagined it,
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone / et l'École des sorciers (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)The Harry Potter franchise recently ended after the seven books were transformed into eight movies. Sorcerer's Stone (also known as Philosopher's Stone) was the first entry. It did well at the box office, grossing $975 million worldwide, and was the most successful entry until the final installment in the series beat it in 2011. The eight films grossed $7.7 billion worldwide, so they are enormously popular.
Due to the popularity of the franchise, I'm going to assume that you have read J. K. Rowling's books, seen the movies, or both, so this review will contain spoilers. If you have never entered the world of Harry Potter, stop reading now.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was directed by Chris Columbus, who was responsible for Mrs. Doubtfire and the first two Home Alone movies. The tone of this first Harry Potter movie is quite similar to those three, relying on whimsy and comedy rather than drama. That matches the tone of the book, so it is not a criticism. If you had read the first book, like me, you were probably looking forward to seeing the world of Harry Potter portrayed on the big screen. The adapted screenplay by Steve Kloves didn't disappoint.
There's a lot to like about Sorcerer's Stone; the sets are vast, the important story elements are present, and the majority of the young actors do a good job. It's a tricky business casting children who have to develop over the course of a decade, but I don't find myself disliking any of the choices. It's great to see Hogwarts, the Hogwarts Express, Gringotts, Diagon Alley, and Quidditch brought to life.
Sorcerer's Stone starts slowly and might seem overly long, but it's necessary to introduce the characters and the worlds they inhabit. I could imagine some people viewing this first installment and giving up on the franchise, but that would be a mistake. This is a vast story which starts off as a charming fantasy before quickly becoming much darker in tone. In a way, it mirrors childhood. We are initially fascinated with the world until we mature and realize that it does have plenty of problems. As the series progresses, the films grow more serious as the threat of evil increases.
Some of the best moments include Harry first learning about the existence of Hogwarts, his initial flying lesson, and seeing the teachers demonstrate some of the spells that the children will learn. The main characters are fully realized and know a lot about them by the end of the movie.
Sorcerer's Stone is a good blend of fantasy and action, with the final part of the film containing the most dramatic sequences as our three heroes try to recover the Philosopher's Stone. The music used in the movie is excellent, and the main theme itself suggests a magical setting. There are a lot of important themes in the series and I think it's generally a good example for children. The importance of friendship is one of the major messages and it all begins with the relationships between Harry, Ron and Hermione.
The Harry Potter franchise isn't just for children. I'm 50 and I have worked my way through the books and the eight movies several times. The adults in the story are played by some of the finest British character actors. Can you imagine anyone other than Alan Rickman as Snape? Dumbledore was played by Richard Harris in this movie and the sequel, and I think I prefer his version to Michael Gambon's portrayal, although Gambon's version did work for the more serious tone present in the other movies.
There's a whole generation of people who grew up loving Star Wars, but here's a franchise for the next generation. Sorcerer's Stone is funny and lighthearted compared to later entries in the franchise, but don't let that deter you from watching all eight movies. The adequate acting improves considerably as the children age throughout the series.
The picture quality improves as the series progresses, but the Blu-ray presentation is good enough. The Sound quality is excellent and adds something to the action scenes.
4.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter. Great Series!,
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This review is from: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone / et l'École des sorciers (Bilingual) (Widescreen) (DVD)This was such a great deal. I got the normal Movie with a special features disk. The Disk Includes many wonderful things not included in the book like a guide through Hogwarts and through Hagrids hut. It also goes down to explain much more then the movies do! The movie is fun for the whole family to watch and has a lot of laughs!
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie screen adaptation,
This review is from: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone [UMD for PSP] (UMD for PSP)I will not go through the story as you can read my review of the book. However the basic primes is of a boy who grows up as the orphan nephew of a family that does not believe in magic only to find that he is a famous wizard. How will he handle his situation and the interaction with friends?
The movie its self as with all movies would have to be a mini-series to incorporate all the nuances of the book. However this movie does an excellent job of selection and gives the overall feel of the story.
Naturally comparing and contrasting this story with others in it genre you will always find a better or a favorite. This in no way diminishes the excellent story and the cohesiveness of the movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical movie for the whole family,
This review is from: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone [UMD for PSP] (UMD for PSP)Daniel Radcliffe stars as Harry, a rather pitiful orphan who lives with his mean aunt and uncle. On his 11th birthday, Harry discovers he is a wizard and happily leaves home for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There, he makes his first-ever pals - classmates Ron and Hermione, and their friendship is the heart of the story. We follow the trio as they go through their first year at school attending magic classes, finding adventure, and even solving a mystery that puts Harry face-to-face with the dark wizard who killed his parents.
Radcliffe captures the innocence and sadness of Harry, as well as his daring-do and sense of fun. Rupert Grint, as his sidekick Ron, delivers most of the comedy lines and is very appealing. Emma Watson plays Hermione with a heart of gold underneath her bookish bossiness. They are supported by a stellar cast, including Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman. There is lots of action, fun special effects, and some sweet, poignant moments as well.
All ages can enjoy this movie, even if you haven't read the book. It's wholesome family entertainment that will leave you feeling good and looking forward to the next film in the series.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie of 2001,
Rated PG for Some Scary Moments and Mild Language.
5.0 out of 5 stars helloo! its the best!,
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone [Import] (VHS Tape)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone one of the best fantasy films i've seen, but one of the best films of 2001. when it premiered, the film broke box office records grossing over $100 million in it's opening weekend. the movie itself lived up to the hype and anticipation.
Believe or not, some ridiculous morality groups including agassiz middle school in fargo nd actually voiced concern over the film because of the witchcraft element.
Also what other people may not know is the children's books weren't successful at first. j.k. rowling came up with the idea for the books while working as a teacher. when rowling first displayed her early harry potter stories to publishers, all of them turned her down!!! Apparently these book publishers (like many in general) didn't know a good thing even if it bit them on the leg. eventually about 4 and 1/2 yrs after rowling's finished her final harry potter, warner bros. and chris columbus amazed by the popularity of the books, and seeing the opportunity to profit from it, convinced her to do a film from her books. this film ''harry potter and the sorcerer's stone'' is the result.
The film starts of by a mysterious sequence in which a young boy is dropped of the doorstep of a neighborhood. a big giant, named hagrid (robbie coltrane(, looks at the boy and eventually promises that he eventually come back for this special boy, who has an unusual birthmark on his head.
The boy we learn is Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and he been brought here to be brought by one of the worst excuses of a mom and dad: His nasty aunt and uncle Mr and Mrs. Dursely (Richard Griffiths and Fiona Shaw) and their big fat son named Dudly. They abuse Harry literally using him as a slave around the house, and offering little luxury and love. We fast about 11 yrs, and suddenly we see that Harry is going hundreds of letters inviting him to come to the school of Hogwarts. Harry doesn't know what ''Hogwarts'' is, but his aunt and uncle, and like evil people do and keep that info away from hm, literally ripping up every letter addressed to Harry from Hogwarts.
As Harry and his ''family'' are visiting the zoo , Harry notices he has special odd powers: He can talk to a snake and and literally makes the snake comes alive!!! Dudley, the big fat kid, tries to pet the snake, but ends going through the windows and poops his pants, lol, as he sees the snake escaping. 0 Harry is shocked, but happy he has this special powers. Eventually that day, Hagrid, comes to Harry's house, and tells him all about ''Hogwarts'' which is a special Wizards and Witches school for kids. He also tells Harry that he is a great wizard!!!!!!!! Harry and Hagrid, then leave the Dursely's and Harry begins his first step into the adventure at Hogwarts.
At Hogwarts, Harry meets other potentials wizards and witches like Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) who become Harry's roomates at Griffindoor.
''Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone'' is loaded with
''Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone'' also has great makeup effects as well: For example , Harry in the beginning meets a couple of Goblins who work at the Gringotts bank where Harry has an account. The makeup is fantastic, the people playing the Goblins look amazingly real in their makeup.
''Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone'' was a big hit for it's great story about a special boy, the amazing adventures he has as he Wizardy and Mystery where he will not uncover, great adventure but uncover himself as well. J.K. Rowling has done her best work with Harry Potter. 3 of the Harry Potter films have already been finished, with the 3rd film film being released later this year. There is a great special 2 disc dvd for the movie and it includes:
* A special interactive tour of Hogwarts
However, the DVD features has it's setbacks for one is it's ''Extra Footage'' of the film. The ''Extra Footage'' are deleted scenes that didn't make the cut of the film. Ordinarly deleted scenes, are put into a special category on a dvd, so users can see the original film and then see the deleted scenes separately. I did like the commentary though explaining how tough yet fun it was in bringing Harry Potter to the big screen, obviously when the movie was a successful a box office franchise was born.
The franchise of Harry Potter is not limited to the film or books, video games for the Playstation, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance all have games of Harry Potter. However, Harry Potter is one the greatest fantasy movies in quite a while and J.K. Rowling has a done great job in bringing it to life.
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!!! Imagination and Wonder Have Returned!,
"Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" gives kids a chance to laugh, scream in fear and be awed all at the same time. Who in their right mind didn't pretend to be a wizard, witch, knight, cowboy, football star, etc. when they were growing up. Today's kids have been robbed of that privilege by overprotective parents and worry-wart professionals.
So just sit back, relax and watch a pretty cool kid do some pretty cool things. Harry is a wonderful role-model for kids. He is respectful of others, minds most of the rules(the ones he breaks are broken with the best intentions), and fights for what's right. He doesn't whine about being in a rough situation. He makes decisions that would make any parent proud. Oh, and by the way, he doesn't use his powers for evil purposes. He actually fights evil.
Please don't let the whackos scare you away from this movie or anything related to it. I'm a Catholic convert, and if you know anything about Catholic converts, you know that we're pretty holy-roly. I don't see anything evil or satanic about Harry or any of his friends. I'm not afraid that I'll find my daughter doing incantations sometime in the future trying to conjure up some evil spirit. Instead, she'll be using her imagination, much like all of the kids that I grew up with, and pretending to be a warrior or a crimefighter or even a witch! Who cares? Just let the kiddies have some fun and quit strangling their childhood.
Sorry for going off, but in today's world, somebody has to say something. God bless you J.K. Rowling, for bringing wonder and imagination back to life in a time where so many are trying to destroy it.
Highly recommended film, highly recommended book. I enjoyed this as much(if not more) than my daughter.
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry kiddies and adult children: this was dull,
The kid does a good job acting in a wooden story, and the effects are convincing if not special. The movie gets a star above one for the performance of Alan Rickman, who can compensate for the uninspired direction and writing with his qualities as an actor.
For hardcore HP fans only (I know, I know, there are a billion of you or so; why not depart from the example set by your peers and get behind a truly magical movie, like "My Neighbor Totoro?").
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