Harry Potter has lived under the stairs at his aunt and uncle's house his whole life. But on his 11th birthday, he 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 with the help of the school's kindly headmaster, Harry uncovers the truth about his parents' deaths -- and about the villain who's to blame.
|Release Date||:||November 16, 2001|
|Genres||:||Adventure, Fantasy, Family|
|Production Company||:||1492 Pictures, Heyday films, Warner Bros.|
|Production Countries||:||United Kingdom, United States of America|
|Director||:||Chris Columbus, Chris Carreras, Annie Penn|
|Writers||:||Joanne K. Rowling, Steve Kloves, Adam Brockbank|
|Casts||:||Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Griffiths, Richard Harris, Ian Hart, John Hurt, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Sean Biggerstaff, Warwick Davis, Julie Walters, Zoë Wanamaker, David Bradley, Tom Felton, Saunders Triplets, Harry Melling, Derek Deadman, Ben Borowiecki, Geraldine Somerville, Verne Troyer, Bonnie Wright, Chris Rankin, Matthew Lewis, Rik Mayall, Leslie Phillips, Jimmy Vee, Kieri Kennedy, Alfie Enoch, Elizabeth Spriggs|
|Plot Keywords||:||witch, christmas party, magic, cutting the cord, halloween, child hero, broom, chosen one, frog, fantasy world, based on young adult book|
I feel, next to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the best book-to-movie adaptation that I've ever seen. The sets were stunning - the actors were first rate - the effects were breathtaking. The film flowed quite smoothly in it's transition from page to screen, never tripping on the awkward conventions that other books on film have struggled with. The screenplay, by Steven Kloves, stripped away all unnecessary elements to get to the root of the story. Though many events from the book were excluded, the essential ones made it to the film. And it makes for one smooth story and very enjoyable movie-going experience.
Many kudos to Chris Columbus and the rest of the Harry Potter cast/crew for not turning this movie into what it easily could have become: a 2 and a half hour commercial advertisement for action figures and collectibles, kid's meals and fast food tie-ins, soft drinks and snack products, etc. and instead focused on bringing J.K. Rowling's story to life as accurately and as lovingly as it deserves. There has been much speculation on whether Columbus was the correct choice for the first two installments of the series and I say to that, Yes. I feel that he accomplished what most would have failed. He has proven, at least to me, that Diagon Alley truly exists - if only I could find the right brick to tap on. The world of Harry Potter is no longer fantasy to me, but instead a place where any of us mere Muggles could hope to visit, one day.
One of my favorite moments, is what I'm going to refer to as the Adrenaline Sequence. By Adrenaline Sequence, I mean the sequence in a movie that for all intents and purposes, doesn't necessarily propel the story, but gives the audience a huge theatrical payoff, ala the Pod Race sequence in The Phantom Menace. The Adrenaline Sequence for this particular movie is the Quidditch sequence. I was very happy to finally see the 'hockey/soccer hybrid on a broomstick' come to life. The Quidditch Sequence is, by far, my favorite sequence in the whole film. The scene is dizzying in it's violence and it's one breathless moment after another. My hat goes off to Columbus and his team for succeeding in making this scene as memorable as it should be.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a fantastic movie for children of all ages. Fans and non-fans alike will enjoy this colorful story of good versus evil and the friendships that endure.