My Favorite Movies #64 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

2001

Directed by Chris Columbus

Netflix says… On his 11th birthday, orphaned Harry Potter learns he’s a powerful wizard — with a place waiting for him at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As he learns to harness his newfound powers, he uncovers the truth about his parents’ deaths.

  • Ah, the one that started it all.
  • Well… for the movie version of the franchise, anyway.
  • And it’s still not over, what with three more Fantastic Beasts films due to hit cinemas every couple of years.
  • You’ve got to hand it to Warner Bros., they’ve certainly found a way to milk the Harry Potter cash cow for all it’s worth.
  • While this movie set the tone for what fans of the book series could expect from the big screen adaptations, it’s certainly not a tone that stuck around long-term.
  • Chris Columbus approached this movie as if he were directing a children’s movie.
  • Just as the book was written as if it were a children’s book.
  • To me, that’s one of the many things about this series, both books and movies, that is brilliant. The series matures along with its main characters.
  • It’s easy to watch this one and make unfair comparisons to the later installments and call Sorcerer’s Stone or Chamber of Secrets silly.
  • In the very first scene, we’re introduced to Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore.
  • I know I said it in my post on Chamber of Secrets, I think that Michael Gambon (who took over in the third movie) is a fine actor, but he just couldn’t bring to the part of Dumbledore what Harris was able to do so naturally.
  • I’ll say this, the designers on this film did a great job in their attempt to match the descriptions made by J.K. Rowling in the book.
  • Granted, they didn’t get it all perfect. But it’s pretty darn close.
  • Though it is a shame that Daniel Radcliffe had a difficult time wearing the contacts that would have made his eyes green, seeing as how crucial to the series it is for him to have his mother’s eyes.
  • Learning what we do in later books/movies about the protection that Harry receives by living with the Dursleys, it probably makes my next question moo…
  • Harry has been mistreated by the muggles for the last 10 years. Was there no one to step in from a social services perspective?
  • I can only assume England has something equivalent to our Child Protective Services, right?
  • British readers, clue me in on this if you will, please and thank you.
  • All right, everyone together in your best Hagrid voice: “You’re a wizard, Harry.”
  • When it comes time to get a wand, Hagrid says Ollivanders because there’s no one better.
  • Are there really any other options for wands in Diagon Alley? I’d always assumed Ollivander had a monopoly on wands in Great Britain.
  • The time between Harry meeting Hagrid and leaving for Hogwarts is severely truncated here.
  • Harry’s birthday hits on July 31 and then the movie makes it seem as if he boards the Hogwarts Express the very next day instead of in September as the book describes.
  • I do have a slight problem with the scene in the train compartment. When Harry gets his chocolate frog card of Dumbledore, he just looks at the picture. He never reads the description which mentions Nicolas Flamel, which becomes super important later when the trio are trying to figure out what Fluffy is guarding.
  • I’m not sure that I ever appropriately imagined Hogwarts castle in my mind’s eye before seeing it on the big screen. Perfection.
  • During the sorting ceremony, McGonagall’s just jumping around the list of first years willy-nilly. Granger… Malfoy… Bones… Weasley… Potter…
  • I know the alphabet isn’t just a muggle invention.
  • Is it safe to assume that Hogwarts only admits 40 students per year? Five boys and five girls in each of the four houses?
  • That being the case, why are the classes so full?
  • I mean, class schedules are not explicitly talked about in the film, but in the books they talk about having certain classes with certain houses… but not all of them at the same time.
  • So class size really shouldn’t be more than 20 students per lesson, right?
  • Okay. I’m just gonna say it. Emma Watson is a good actress, but even at a young age, she’s way too pretty to play Hermione Granger.
  • Why did they change Professor Flitwick’s look so drastically between this movie and Prisoner of Azkaban?
  • Referring to the troll: “Is it dead?” asks Hermione. “No, just knocked out,” says Harry, the expert on troll physiology.
  • In Quidditch, why are there lines drawn on the field below? It sure doesn’t seem like out of bounds is a thing.
  • If you ever meet me in real life or talk to me on the phone, you should ask me to do my Filch impression. It’s pretty spot on.
  • Overall, as adaptations of beloved books go, this is a good one.
  • If you haven’t seen this (or the entire series for that matter), what are you doing with your life?

Next week we go back to the 80s for Rocky IV, the movie where Sylvester Stallone single-handedly ended the Cold War. In the meantime, I’m curious… What Hogwarts house do you belong in? I’m a Ravenclaw. Let me know your houses in the comments!

5 thoughts on “My Favorite Movies #64 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

  1. Oooo Canadian Netflix just got Harry Potter!! Well movies 5-8 haha! But I have my own copies so I’m not sure why I was so excited to learn that. I love Harry Potter! It was my theme for A to Z two years ago. So much love!!! I’m a Hufflepuff but also partly Ravenclaw. But I always say I’m a Hufflepuff. Proud of it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Favorite Movies #51 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | The Confusing Middle

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