Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!
One of the things that interests me the most about movies is franchises and trends. It’s intriguing to see how over time the tastes of the public change. In recent years, it’s been mainly dominated by superheroes and Jedi’s, but it came as a surprise to me that JK Rowling’s Wizarding World franchise is the third highest grossing of all time, and could soon be second with the release of Fantastic Beasts 2 coming in November 2018. With that, I rewatched one of my favourite movies growing up, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
With Chris Colombus directing and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the based off of the book by JK Rowling. After his parents were killed by the Dark Lord, Harry Potter is infamous throughout the Wizarding World but must be taken care until he is old enough to enter it. While he waits, Harry lives in a cupboard under the stairs with his nasty Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley. One day, Harry receives a letter from Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft and wizardry. Uncle Vernon doesn’t want Harry to attend, and so moves away with his family and Harry to stop him from attending. Eventually, Hogwarts sends Hagrid to rescue Harry from his terrible life and introduce into a world where he truly belongs; the wizarding world. Harry arrives at Hogwarts for his first year where he makes friends and enemies instantly. Harry must learn to adjust to his new lifestyle and being a ‘celebrity’ in school as well as uncovering a dark secret that poses a threat to his life which could also bring him closer to meeting Voldemort, the Dark Lord who killed his parents.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone introduced the world to a new wave of incredible acting talent. Daniel Radcliffe played the titular character and was great in his role. He was likeable and for a young actor did a fantastic work of acting. He first meets Hagrid, played by Robbie Coltrane. Hagrid is one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series because he’s so humble yet has a sense of strength to him. He’s kind to Harry who has had a harsh upbringing and can be seen as a father figure to Harry. Coltrane brought Hagrid to life from the pages and brought comedy to his character in a way that perfectly suits the movie. On the Hogwarts Express (the train to Hogwarts), Harry meets Ron Weasley, played by Rupert Grint. For a child actor, Grint was amazing. He proves he can act and brings Ron to life in a fun and lovable way. We then meet Emma Watson’s Hermione, who is one of the best characters in the series. Watson is an incredible actress and her iconic role of Hermione is no exception. She’s sassy and funny and just a great character who gets better with time. One of the enemies throughout the series is Draco Malfoy, played by Tom Felton. He was a good character, but I think he needed a bit more screen time. Though we see more of Draco throughout the series, it would have been nice to see more of him in the Philosopher’s Stone. One of my favourite characters was Professor Snape, played by Alan Rickman. He was so amazing and made Snape such an iconic and fantastic character. The head of Hogwarts was Professor Dumbledore, who was played by Richard Harris. I loved Dumbledore. Harris had the perfect voice for the wise old professor and was perfect as Professor Dumbledore. It’s a good idea to shed some light on the young actors. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton (among other young actors like Matthew Lewis and Bonnie Wright) did a highly commendable job. For such young actors, they really conveyed emotion and feeling well, whether it be through body language or voice. So hat’s off to them. Or young them.
The music in Harry Potter was like most films that I reviewed that I’ve reviewed recently. There was that one theme that’s so iconic from Harry Potter, which was great and suited the tone of the film perfectly, but that theme was so overused. They literally took it up by a pitch or maybe deepened the sound to suit the scene but it was just repeated so much that it reaches a point where it’s annoying.
The storyline was great, but that really is down to JK Rowling. I loved reading the Harry Potter books growing up. Admittedly, the books are better. When you read a book, you visualise how it will look on the big screen. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone matched some of what 10-year-old Ryan imagined. There were some differences from the book to the film, such as Diagon Alley and the Mirror of Erised, which did make the film lose a few points, but was still good.
There were a few scenes that I loved in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The snake scene with Dudley at the zoo was great, then the whole sequence of going to Diagon Alley with Hagrid was awesome to watch but a little boring in places. I loved the Hogwarts Express journey, then with the boats with a swelling theme with the grand reveal of Hogwarts was truly amazing and well done. I liked the Sorting Hat scene. From there the film is interesting throughout but struggled to keep my full attention. You just want to see more magic and solve the mystery. The Quidditch match was good fun to watch. I loved the ending as it tied up all we’d seen in the film. Harry has a good life, new friends and is essentially happy.
It’s important to look at the impact Harry Potter has had on the cinema industry. With 9 films, the Wizarding World is the 3rd highest grossing franchise of all time, and with the release of Fantastic Beasts releasing soon, it could well be the 2nd. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the 10th highest grossing movie of all time, with 5 of the Harry Potter Movies being in the top 50 highest grossing movies. That’s incredible! Since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in 2001, there have been hundreds of other movies about magic and wizards and thousands of spoofs and jokes on TV shows and in movies. Harry Potter was something that I grew up with and loved, and something that will be loved for generations to come.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone gets a 7.8/10 from me. It wasn’t a perfect film but had plenty of things to love and remember. It’s the perfect introduction to a series that is loved globally.
Thanks for reading this weeks review! Follow me on Instagram (@Ryans.Movie.Reviews) for the latest in movie news, behind the scenes looks and more! Follow this blog to be the first to read my reviews.
Once again, thanks for reading this weeks review. I’m turning 18 next week and want to do a special review, but have no idea what. Recommend me movies in the comments, but it could be a famous teen movie, my favourite TV show or something else. See you then!