Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

European & American posters for the film

European & American posters for the film (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Harry Potter film series is a real money spinner, and will probably be raking in the cash well after Book 7 is out and Bloomsbury (J.K. Rowling’s publishers) have faded into oblivion for want of a replacement star author.

The story so far…

1 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Yes, philosopher’s and not sorceror’s. The difference in the UK and US titles is due to some brain-dead publishing droid deciding that American kids are too dumb to understand what the Philosopher’s Stone was supposed to be, and to hell with the fact that changing the name is inconsistent with what they already had learnt or would shortly learn in chemistry (if blessed with a halfway decent teacher) or philosophy classes (idem).

For such a big-budget movie, the special effects are pretty mediocre, except for the final confrontation scene. The scenario is well put together, and there are no annoying little gaps which leave those rare individuals who haven’t read the book asking “But how did he know..?” and so on. After the film, both fans and those who had just discovered the Harry Potter phenomenon, young and old, were equally enthusiastic.

The acting is a bit dodgy at times, but not excessively. The three main characters are pretty young and inexperienced, so this is only to be expected. However, nothing on earth will ever make Richard Griffiths (“Uncle Vernon”) into a really nasty character: there’s too much of the Nice Old Boy Who Tells Stories about him.

Casting Alan Rickman as Severus Snape was practically inevitable; it’s as though the part was written for him. For my part, however, I kept waiting for Professor MacGonagall to announce “Mai House is the crème de la crème”.

A good introduction to the world of Harry Potter, whether or not you’ve read the book. Extras on the DVD: a few interviews, a couple of games, but nothing really exciting. Don’t bother paying more for the deluxe editions.

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