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"Harry Potter and Philosopher's / Sorcer's Stone" is the first movie in the Harry Potter franchise, based on the very popular children's book series. Please do keep in mind that this movie is based on the book, which means that as good as the movie is, reading the book is better.
That having been said, in this charming movie, we meet a young lad by the name of Harry Potter. He is an orphan and lives in England, with his rather abusive aunt and uncle and cousin. A quiet boy, he is astonished to learn that he has been accepted to a "magical high school", called Hogwarts. He is also quite amazed to learn that he is, in fact, a young wizard! From there, his life takes an almost surrealistic turn, as he visits a wizards bank (run by goblins), purchases his first magic wand and learns that he was, in a way, a child-saviour to his people. Inexplicably, when the most evil wizard of all time attempted to kill the infant Harry, the child survived and the evil wizard (by the name of Lord Voldemort) was destroyed. Harry now learns of this major chapter of his past for the first time.
You will delight in seeing Harry's new school, which is brought to screen in a most pleasing way. Paintings and photographs can move and speak, staircases can re-arrange themselves, and there is a Forbidden forest on the school grounds! As Harry is so young, the movie is rather light-hearted and playful, as we meet his schoolmates, and teachers and join Harry in his first magical lessons. But after the delight of these novelties wear off, Harry and his new pals start to uncover a secret that is hidden in the school. Suspicious characters and enchanted objects lead to the Hero-Triad into some dangerous and challenging tasks. In the end, Harry must face a character whom he thought was dead...the re-incarnation of the evil Lord Voldemort. Using courage and determination beyond his years, Harry manages to defeat this character once again, but will he be back?
This movie stars an impressive number of accomplished British actors (although if you are like me, you may not recognize them or know of their past works). The children in the movie are generally all new up-and-comers, and they do a tremendous job! Very believeable and incredible on-screen chemistry. One of the nicest things is having the same child-actors play the same roles in all of the future movies, so we can see them grow-up and mature into young adults. This film version was very close to the novel and is a very enjoyable show for fans and non-fans, children and adults alike. There is no profanity, no sexual content and no explicit violence. Some of the concepts might be frightening for young children, so the film is rated PG. People who know nothing about the Harry Potter books may voice the opinion that it is evil, or promoting the devil in some way, but that is simply not true. If in doubt, read the book or watch the movie yourself, before exposing your children to it and you will see that it is imaginative and fun, and not 'sinful'.
Along with his DVD comes a bonus disk, which includes special features. Extra footage, a self-guided tour of the school, and games and activities equal hours of interactive fun.
I hope that you enjoyed this review and that it has helped you in some way. If you found it to be insightful or helpful, I would kindly request that you vote "YES", that it was helpful to you. Thank you.
Who knew an ordinary boy with glasses and a lightning-shaped scar would take the world by storm? An orphan named Harry Potter lives with his rude aunt, uncle, and cousin and has a generally miserable life until he meets Hagrid, a half-giant who tells him the truth that his parents were excellent wizards and died trying to protect him from an evil wizard, Lord Voldemort. His journey begins as he is whisked away to start school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he meets his soon-to-be two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The kids get into mischief as they try to solve the mystery of the philosopher's stone and learn magic. He learns that love and friendship are the most important things and that the magic world is his new home.
This movie introduces Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson to the world as fine young actors starting out. Their camaraderie is undeniable and they have been well coached to portray these parts. It doesn't hurt their cause one bit to be surrounded by established English actors! Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, John Cleese as Ghost Nearly Headless Nick, and Alan Rickman as Severus Snape all perform brilliantly in their respective roles.
Being directed by Chris Columbus who also brought us Home Alone, the movie has a whimsical feel and is geared toward the younger demographic although it can be enjoyed by the whole family. The kids are young so the movie has a young feel to it as well as we explore the first of young Harry's years at Hogwarts.
With four children, we have - of course - see the first movie in the Harry Potter series many times. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is still enjoyable to watch, though not the one that we might usually take off the shelf because it shows its age in relation to the ages of the main characters.
Nonetheless, we have been taking a second look at a number of films in this category because of their release on Blu-ray. This film "came to life" again for us because of the stunning detail that can be seen almost from beginning to end. Hogwarts, in particular, is rich in detail from the many paintings that adorn the wals, to moving staircases to enchanted ceilings. We noticed many details that we had never seen before, despite having watched this movie 30 times or more.
One of the things I have been thinking about since we got our Blu-ray player in May is which standard DVDs in our collection really need to be replaced. Is the increase in quality with Blu-ray that much better that we would replace them all?
Well, I'm sure we won't replace them all, especially those we watched once and then put on the shelf. However, for a film like this, I do have to ask that question. In the case of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the answer is Yes. This is one where the difference in quality is substantial enough that it is worth the money to replace.
This is the first movie adaption of the Harry Potter series. It has a terrific cast, and the acting and special effects are superb! Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson play Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger. Also it has Richard Harris who plays Dumbledore. This is a good book and stays pretty well to the book!
Of course, if this movie wasn't so good, we probably wouldn't have all of the others. Though the most "child friendly" of the series, it is still a good movie for adults, too. It introduces you to the world of Harry Potter, his friends and enemies. It sets the stage for what is to come. This is my 4-year-old daughter's favorite movie (both HP and movies in general!) She loves the shots of "baby Harry Potter" showing his past. She asks to watch it at least once a day. It's just a good overall family movie. It's got alot of good values to teach (sticking together with your friends and chosing them wisely, perseverance, ingenuity, resourcefulness, accepting people's differences, etc.) Great movie, great actors, great everything! It will surely be a long time favorite (dare I say it....the Star Wars of our generation?)