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Reviews for Sorcerer/Philosopher's Stone

Review # 1

Name: Marisol Jackoweskla

Age Group: 13-19

Gender: Female

Have you read the books?: Well, since I have this big Harry Potter site, I certainly hope so...

Website: Harry Potter for Muggles

Rating: 4 stars

The Review: Harry Potter is, without a doubt, one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. And this isn't just because it's based on some of the greatest books that have been published lately, it's just a really good movie.

Plot: The director, Chris Columbus, has stated that if he didn't remain faithful to the books plot J.K. Rowling and a lot of other people would be screaming for his blood. So, he makes a valiant effort to keep as much of the story line intact as he possibly can. For the most part, he succeeds. Fans won't be screaming because they left out an important plot twist, or anything like that. However, there were a few deviations. 1) Part of the gauntlet to the Sorcerer's Stone was omitted. This may have been done to cut time and to eliminate the possibility of boredom, but I really enjoyed reading the part in the book, and was sorry to find it missing. A couple other things were also changed in this sequence, but it wasn't changed too much. 2) Norbert was drastically cut. However, they covered up well and it wasn't too big a deal. 3) When Dumbledore is talking to Harry at the end of the book, he mentions that Harry's dad once saved Snape's life. This line was, mysteriously, cut. I know that they cut a lot of lines, but this one lays the foundations for later conversations with Harry and Snape later on. I'm just curious as to how they are going to get that point across. Despite those few qualms, it is true that the movie carried virtually the same plot as the book.

Characters: The acting in this movie was surperb! The child actors really surpassed all my expectations. As an actress myself, I know how hard it is to be believable as another character, and these people really stepped up to the challenge! Daniel Radcliffe is a good Harry, portraying really well all of Harry's trials and triumphs. Both Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are amazing, Rupert especially has great comic timing and a one in a million smile. I also have to mention Sean Biggerstaff, who has a relatively small role as Oliver Wood, but played it perfectly, one of the highlights of the movie. The adult actors on the whole were spectacular. Robbie Coltrane did such a great job as Hagrid, it was hard to imagine him as not being 8'6" tall! Richard Harris brought the right amount of emotion into Professor Dumbledore, Maggie Smith delivered her lines with strictness and kindness when necessary, and Alan Rickman... well... what is there to say? He was very different than my view of Snape in the way he said his lines, but they fit perfectly. My sister can tell you that I was jabbing her in the ribs every time he appeared on screen, such was my excitement. (Yes, I know I need to get a life, if I get excited about little things like this... ^_^;;)

Scenery: Hogwarts was amazing. It had the perfect combined feeling of magic, majesty, and mystery. Diagon Alley was also grand in its feeling. Privet Drive was exacting in its primness. My favorite was Hagrid's Hut, with the monster sized chair that Hermione looked so tiny in.

Music: John Williams is the master of movie music. It was sensational, like all of his other creations. It's surprised me that many people don't enjoy his music, but I have a hunch as to why... (people who don't want to read my philisophical ramblings can skip to the next section) When people read Harry Potter, they don't envision it full of music, from the music playing at the Dursleys' to the trumpets and drums during the Quidditch. I thought the music complemented perfectly, but I'm one that's always humming or has music playing in the background. Star Wars has the same amount and feeling of music as Harry Potter, but I don't think it's complained about because there's no prior knowledge of material, and we just expect it to be there. (End of Marisol's philisophical ramblings.)

Special Effects: Surprisingly good. I always have reservations about special effects, I'm a terrible critic. I get upset over the most miniscule details. On the whole, however, the effects were really good. Some things turned out spectacularly, for example the troll in the dungeons and Harry's dissappearing acts under the Invisibility Cloak. Some things looked a little fake, the Quidditch Match had a couple of glitches and Firenze looked totally unreal to me. However, how good could you make something as mythical as a centaur look?

On the whole, the movie was good, and I'll definately be seeing it again.


Review # 2

Name: Joanne

Age: 40-49

Gender: Female

Have you read the books?: Yes

Website: none

Rating: 3.75 stars

Review: I was very impressed with the movie. The plot is as faithful to the book as it could be without keeping everyone in the theater for eight hours. The acting was really superb. The kids came across as, well, kids, because they actually used appropriately aged actors for the roles. Daniel Radcliffe makes a great Harry, especially in parts where Harry needs to act bewildered, as he frequently does. Emma Watson as Hermione is terrific at sounding like a know-it-all and Rupert Grint as Ron really does steal the scenes he is in. (Sorry, Snape!) He makes an adorable and believable Ron.

The adult actors are also wonderful, as you would expect with their pedigrees. Not only do Richard Harris, Dame Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, and Alan Rickman act and sound the parts they portray, they also look the parts, thanks to great costuming, makeup, and special effects, especially for Robbie Coltrane.

The scenery was also impressive. The Hogwarts setting was more colorful and lighter than I had imagined it. I also like the music, which has the distinctive John Williams orchestral sound. I know that lots of people are perturbed with it, but I think people would miss some of the atmosphere of the movie if it were taken out. My favorite thing about the special effects if that they blend into the texture of the movie so well. You don't sit there thinking, oh it's time for a special effects shot; it just happens as part of the movie, like magic! I loved the wizard chess scene, but I found the quidditch match a little hard to watch as the blurring to portray the speed was distracting to me. Aside note: if possible, see this movie in a theater with a great surround sound system. My favorite sound effect was in the room of keys.

The reason I can't give the movie quite a four star rating is that, while I understand the need to cut parts of the book to make a successful movie, they did cut some things that I wish they hadn't, like the potions room on the way to the stone. I also think that a moviegoer who has not read the book will miss out on understanding the depth of the characterizations and relationships that J.K. Rowling intended in the book. There probably was no better way to resolve this, but I know that, while watching the movie, I appreciated already knowing the characters and knowing all the little scenes and touches that had been left out, like Dumbledore's holding socks in the Mirror of Erised, and why it was called the Mirror of Erised, for that matter.

One other side note: Much has been said and written about the potential of this movie to ruin the reader's imagined version of the characters and settings. I think that most people who have read the books will be able to maintain their imagined Harry Potter, even if they have seen the movie. So my imagined Harry will continue to be thinner than the movie Harry and my quidditch pitch will continue to have more contiguous seating and my Gryffindor common room will not have red tapestries in it. The differences don't make the movie wrong or my imagination wrong, just different.

This is a must-see movie for all ages, except children under the ageof eight or so. I'm sure I will be seeing it again in the near future.


Review #3

Name: Betcha P. Chan

First of all, I am very glad to admit the movie And I have to agree with Marisol, they were faithful to the book. All of the casts excluding Chris Columbus were British!And the settings were teriffic, I mean, as it was said in the book. Daniel Radcliffe was the very right person to act as Harry Potter. In short, the movie was beyond positive descriptions.

The negative part is, many parts were cut. Perhaps because the book was long. But the important thing is, they did their best to do what was said in the book. And Ron wasn't supposed to be with Harry, Hermione and Draco in the Forbidden Forest. Ron was bitten by the Norwegian Ridgeback, so Neville was the one to go with the three. And Draco was going with Neville, not with Harry, who was supposed to be with Hermione. But at least they were great. Tom Felton was fit for Draco Malfoy. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson was very funny and I think if I were the director of the movie, I could not have done it myself.

I have many questions for the director of the movie, and here is a few of them:
1. Well, I don't think I know who will be playing the role of Cho Chang. Is she Chinese or Japanese or simply British?
2. Who will be playing the role of Miss Fleur Delacour? I personally think the girl to play her role has to be a French one.
3. Who will be playing the role of Pretty-Boy Diggory?
4. The role of Viktor Krum? Is he a Hungarian or a Bulgarian?
Some suggestions follows...
1. I really hope there is an Asian casts (Filipino) in Book 5-7 so that me and my friends and my sisters could play those roles.
Good luck for the making of the second movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Review #4

Name: Mcbaby30003 (name witheld with the author's asking)

Age Group: 8-12

Website: None

Review: The movie was da bomb. I knew that the movie had a lot of computer animation, but it all looked so real! All the actors and actoresses were great. And the catle they used for Hogwarts was so big that they couldn't see the whole catle all at once. you gotta see this movie and trust it's gonna be the best movie you ever seen.


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