Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ★★★★

Will rewatch and review all eight Harry Potter movies again before the release of the highly anticipated spinoff movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (looks cool).

First off is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Philospher's, depending on where you're from), directed by Chris Columbus and is the beginning of the cultural phenomenon of "The Boy Who Lived" based on the series of books written by J.K. Rowling. As a kid, I was in love with this movie, so much that I would imagine wanting to go to Hogwarts school. It's such an imaginative fantasy world, executed so well. And while this first installment does suffer from some narrative problems, such as some plot exposition and fan service which does drag the movie in some places, even as an adult, I do admire the passion and execution put on the screen. Early on, our three main leads, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson are each fantastic playing the characters they literally grew into for 10 years that defined their careers, the visuals still hold up (well, for the most part), the supporting cast is excellent (namely the late Alan Rickman), there's the iconic John Williams score that's epic, and while the film doesn't hit the level of maturity that the superior sequels hit, I do like that sense of dread when the more intense moments of the movie hit.

For those who can't get into the phenomenon, I can understand why. This isn't for everyone, especially this first installment that relies on exposition and cool magic stuff for the kiddies and diehard fans of the books. But at the same time, it's a solid build-up to a magical franchise with surprisingly mature themes that executes strongly the more the main characters grow up and the stakes rise. Maybe I'm relying on my childhood nostalgia, but I still enjoy the original Harry Potter for that sense of childhood fantasy and the fun adventure that awaits.

Just don't go near the troll-boogies. That part was cringe-inducing.

"Also, our caretaker, Mr. Filch, has asked me to remind you that the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a most painful death."


Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King) liked these reviews