It’s undeniable, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone is phenomenal. I’ve heard critics say they aren’t happy that the film stuck so close to the original book by J.K. Rowling, but it was a must. Why would we want to see a movie that has completely rewritten the work that entranced millions of people worldwide? Even Stephen Spielberg got in on the digs by saying making this film was like “shooting fish in a barrel.” Sorry, Steve, but this movie is even bigger than you are.
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone is an adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling’s popular children’s novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, he meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents’ mysterious deaths at the hands of a powerful adversary.
Great: I loved how well the film stuck to the original plot. Over the two and a half hours, all the kids in the theater were silent. How can you argue with that? I haven’t seen so many quiet children at a film since Toy Story 2.
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry is wonderful. He has his own quirks that are remarkably human. Radcliffe could have given off a very stiff and puzzled part with the pressure that was on him, but instead he gives a picture-perfect part that is better than imagined. Other wonderful acting came from Harry’s little red-headed friend, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), who provides the biting humor.
My absolute favorite among all the actors was Robbie Coltran as the bearded giant Hagrid who doubles as Hogwarts’ handyman and guardian. He was wonderfully endearing as Harry’s friend and protector. Hagrid really steals this film. He is funny, loving, and tender, all in one giant package.
So-So: When Harry and gang fly around on their broomsticks I wasn’t really impressed. It is apparent that it’s all computer generated. I would have rather seen sped up versions of the children on brooms rather than some computerized substitute. But this is nitpicking, I admit. There are some slow areas in the film. I wanted more magic! Also not so great was the part turned in by the stuttering Professor Quirrell (Ian Hurt), his part was played like a cardboard cutout. Stiff as a bored, and as exciting.
Bad: Nothing, except the film had to end.
Overall: Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone is one of the best films I’ve personally seen in a long, long time. It’s one of those rare films that I would go back and see, and pay for, this weekend. It’s also one of those films that you can’t wait for on video so that you can watch it endlessly. This film is a classic for the ages.
+ Charlie Craine