I recently finished my James Bond re-watch and, to go along with the list of other movies to see this summer while at home, I have decided on the next franchise re-watch. Beginning tonight, Doc’s Classic Movies Reviewed will feature the EYG 8 Days of Potter.
That means that the first film in the re-watch will be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Based on the book by J.K. Rowling and directed by Chris Columbus, The Sorcerer’s Stone kicked off the franchise.
This is a good film, but, looking back on it, this film was short on story and long on world building and exposition. It is understandable why there is so much explaining going on. The film has to set up the mythology of Harry Potter, all of the students and teachers of Hogwarts, and artifacts, games and other details. That is a tall order and certainly takes up plot time.
The Sorcerer’s Stone plot doesn’t really start taking place until well into the film and there were parts to the story that we not very important to this film. Things that will play into future movies. Again, it is a necessary evil.
Our young actors are another weakness in this film. Don’t get me wrong, these children, in particular Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, grow into their parts and become considerably better actors. This film, however, most of the child actors are, at best, average. Emma Watson comes a long way as the franchise continues.
Daniel Radcliffe, however, was the best actor of the young ensemble and carries most of the film. As the others grow in skill around him, he solidifies the film alongside the amazing cast assembled. He was, perhaps, a perfect casting for Harry Potter. Richard Harris as Dumbledore, Maggie Smith as McGonagall, the effervescent Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, and Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid anchor the young cast members with their skills and performances.
I remember the first time seeing this movie and thinking that this is like the new generation’s Wizard of Oz. The magical nature of the film is wonderful and it clearly sets up for a great story moving forward.
This is probably the weakest of the Harry Potter films, but I can understand why. It has to do a lot for the future of the franchise and it does that well, leading into the stronger stories ahead.