This movie proves the Harry Potter world has become pretentious. The filmmakers are so concentrated on showing off their special effects, getting cool shots or displaying the sets that they forget to actually tie scenes together, tell the story and, at times, make sense. Plus, they cut out important elements of the book so they can make more room for the never-ending romantic subplot and they even add in pointless scenes that were never in the book! This is the weakest film of the series.
Much like the film in said title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone seems to essentially be a nice kind of kiddy escapism flick into the world of magic, but like The Wizard of Oz, it still manages to be surprisingly touchy in a profoundly humanistic kind of way despite its far fetched story. I grew up with these series, and thought they were the greatest thing i have ever seen at the time. Now that i have grown older and judge all cinematic feats objectively, Sorcerer's Stone might have lost some of its figurative magic, but it is still an impressive and genuinely entertaining film. After having recently been through the torture of seeing the entire Twilight saga series, it is nice to see a film series such as Harry Potter that DOES actually have great writing and for the most part good acting, and manages to be believeable in the setting it provides. Dumbledore, who is the most important character in the film, and his dialogue with Harry in front of the mirror shows us that the film manages to still be relevant to actual family values and issues while subtly lying under its gorgeous magical cover. Visually the film is stunning due to the fact that the filmmakers wanted to give it that authentic look, resulting in many on location shots. The outdoor shot of the first time seeing Hogwharts is simply visual delight in what could have easily been an ugly CGI snoozefest. The great hall ( Which was not on location and actually built for the film ) is also fantastic visual beauty, and the high camera angles show us a great overview of the entire room while this is coupled with John Williams's fantastic score, which uses fantastic chords of joy and happiness in the light hearted scenes while still maintaining that ominous mystery feel in the darker scenes, such as the Unicorn search in the dark forest. Williams's score for this film is definitely one of the greatest in the history of film due to the fact that it captures the adventure, joy, mystery & evil of the film like no other. Its three main characters Harry, Ron & Hermione, who were ofcourse still very young child actors at the time, are surprisingly genuinely enthusiastic and natural about the happenings in the film, and while they will never be the true star of it, they definitely do not drag the film down. However, there are indeed fantastic acting performances in the film, especially by Alan Rickman ( Snape ) whose subtle slow way of speaking is intimidating in its own right, and Richard Harris ( Dumbledore ), who captures the wise and friendly aspect of his character as only Harris can, with his calm demeanor and naturally fatherly character, which only makes it sadder he passed away before the making of the Prisoner of Azkaban, as a Dumbledore as good as Richard Harris's will never be seen.The narrative of the film is great, with us slowly beginning to understand more about the plot as it unfolds. It doesn't insult any type of audience with obvious dialogue or flashbacks ( *Cough* Twilight * Cough* ) and instead lets the mystery unfold into logic on its own. All three main characters embody their characters perfectly as each is used to the best of their abilities throughout an event in the story, which will make sure none of them seem irrelevant, and all of them give a clear view of what they are like.It is a grandiose spectacle of visuals and magic, and while obviously lacking in real depth it is also a genuinely human story about an orphan ( Harry ) who finds friendship and courage through a series of brave events.
Now I can't compare this to the books and I don't plan to. I feel as if comparing an IP to a book, which is a lot longer and can go into far deeper detail is unfair and I feel as if it's only fair to review it as itselfWith that said, the film has a lot of redeeming qualities. The set design is beautiful, costume design great and it explains how the world in which it takes place in works. The visual effects don't really hold up compared to modern standards, but are still done very well for it's time. The story itself is just purely alright and the acting from the children and adults are good. But the dialogue could use some work. Now, The ending is the largest reason why I can't give this film an 8. As they venture to get the sorcerers stone, they use their skills and knowlage that they learned along the way to make their way through. Hermonies used her knowlage of creatures to get them out of the Devil's Snare plant, Harry, as the seeker of the Griffindor team, grabs the key to unlock the door to the next room, and Weasley using his knowlage of Chess to beat the chess board and get Harry into the room with the stone. Harry gets into the room and Quirrel is the person trying to get the stone with Voldemort living inside of him as a sort of parasite. And as Quirrel attacks him, what is the thing that saves Harry? The spells he learned to help defend him against the dark arts? Nope, love, the worst and laziest excuse for a power that will stop the enemy. An interesting battle could have happened, but for me the climax was just lazy and boring. And then in the end when they award the house cup, Dumbledore got Slytherin all hyped to win but then he awards points at the last minute, I thought that was really weird. A pretty solid movie with a very meh ending