Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ★★★½

I'm not sure when the last time I watched this movie was - that being said, I had nostalgia on my side for this viewing and I remembered quite a bit about it. I never actually finished all the books; I believe I made it to the 5th, but can't really remember.

This was a great introduction to the series for sure. I love how well the book translated to the screen, like this is almost exactly what you'd picture in the first book. Columbus was a great choice to direct this film. He captures that enchanting wonder of being a kid very well. The actors are all good, and the effects were surprisingly solid for the time. Everything in here has aged for the better which isn't something I was expecting, honestly.

These movies are a bit on the long side, but they're kind of warranted to be - the books have quite a bit of detail in them, and stretching the runtime gives the audience a chance to really get invested in the world-building and the story. And for all of this fantastical world-building, the plot manages to stay pretty simple in the first entry, which I like. There's actually nothing more that I despise when fantasy genre films overcrowd themselves with meaningless characters, details, etc. Harry Potter is straightforward, while still managing to stay engaging enough for both children and adults.

So yeah, this was surprisingly better than I expected it to be. I'm pretty excited to check out the rest of the series, specifically films 4-7 since I have little to no recollection of the lore in those entries.

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