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Philosopher's / Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion



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  #1  
Old July 4th, 2011, 3:04 am
tru0001  Male.gif tru0001 is offline
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Philosopher's / Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

Discuss the First Film here, did you enjoy it? Did you love it?

I did, it was my first Harry Potter film and first ever film I saw at the movies, I was ten at the time and it was such an amazing and magical experience, reading the book again last night I realized that I know most of the lines off from the top of my head.

So discuss here 8D.

Sorry if this has been discussed before.


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  #2  
Old July 4th, 2011, 4:14 am
J17  Undisclosed.gif J17 is offline
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

I still enjoy the film. The atmosphere, soundtrack, story, design, etc. is all great. I know some can't watch it now, but its never really been that way for me. Yate's films are my favorites, but PS captured the book perfectly. IMO PS has the most "magic" of all the films.


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Old July 4th, 2011, 5:10 am
NumberEight  Male.gif NumberEight is offline
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

What the first entry into the film series does well is setting up and establishing the wizarding universe. The film shows us the difference between the Muggle world and the world occupied by magical beings. Harry enters the unknown and is marveled at what he is seeing and has been missing all of his life. The problem here is that that wonder, for the audience, disappears quite quickly.

The main issues with Stone (this is true for Chamber as well) are the boring visuals and the eventuality of the film losing the audience’s interest. The performances by the adult actors and the younger cast members cannot be thoroughly enjoyed when their presence is heavily accentuated and marred by a bland-looking castle with very little pop, and some of the worst visual effects from that year. As John Williams' sweeping score permeates the boat ride up to Hogwarts, one cannot feel what the filmmakers intend because the experience is ruined by looking at the castle. The same feeling is replicated with each exterior shot and is experienced again, but to a lesser degree, when we view the interior. Director Christopher Columbus didn’t direct a single visually exciting shot in the film, and it’s a testament to his skills when put into the context of later directors who came to helm the series.

As for the visual effects, it’s difficult to be immersed into the world when they look quite terrible. If you compare the budget of Stone with Fellowship of the Ring (released in the same year), it’s inexcusable that the former has inferior visual effects, particularly the fight with the troll and Harry being jerked around by his seemingly possessed broom. The trend continues with the centaur Firenze, and Harry chasing flying keys to progress further into the plot with the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Stone seems to slog along after the quite-eventful Quidditch match. We see the trio struggle to put the pieces together but it just isn’t entertaining enough and it feels like your standard detective fare. There are of course some interesting moments interspersed between those scenes, like Snape’s altercation with Filch, but that doesn’t fill the void of something left to be desired: an immensely entertaining experience. Steve Kloves’ script needed to be cut down and reworked to make things more interesting.

There are of course positives, most notably everything up until where the film begins to drag, excluding the visual problems noted above. Seeing Harry learn about being a wizard and coming to the realization that he isn’t a freak is wonderful. The score is excellent and really complements the source material. Williams continues to do this with the second and third entry into the series.


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Old July 4th, 2011, 8:49 am
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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Originally Posted by NumberEight View Post
What the first entry into the film series does well is setting up and establishing the wizarding universe. The film shows us the difference between the Muggle world and the world occupied by magical beings. Harry enters the unknown and is marveled at what he is seeing and has been missing all of his life. The problem here is that that wonder, for the audience, disappears quite quickly.

The main issues with Stone (this is true for Chamber as well) are the boring visuals and the eventuality of the film losing the audience’s interest. The performances by the adult actors and the younger cast members cannot be thoroughly enjoyed when their presence is heavily accentuated and marred by a bland-looking castle with very little pop, and some of the worst visual effects from that year. As John Williams' sweeping score permeates the boat ride up to Hogwarts, one cannot feel what the filmmakers intend because the experience is ruined by looking at the castle. The same feeling is replicated with each exterior shot and is experienced again, but to a lesser degree, when we view the interior. Director Christopher Columbus didn’t direct a single visually exciting shot in the film, and it’s a testament to his skills when put into the context of later directors who came to helm the series.

As for the visual effects, it’s difficult to be immersed into the world when they look quite terrible. If you compare the budget of Stone with Fellowship of the Ring (released in the same year), it’s inexcusable that the former has inferior visual effects, particularly the fight with the troll and Harry being jerked around by his seemingly possessed broom. The trend continues with the centaur Firenze, and Harry chasing flying keys to progress further into the plot with the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Stone seems to slog along after the quite-eventful Quidditch match. We see the trio struggle to put the pieces together but it just isn’t entertaining enough and it feels like your standard detective fare. There are of course some interesting moments interspersed between those scenes, like Snape’s altercation with Filch, but that doesn’t fill the void of something left to be desired: an immensely entertaining experience. Steve Kloves’ script needed to be cut down and reworked to make things more interesting.

There are of course positives, most notably everything up until where the film begins to drag, excluding the visual problems noted above. Seeing Harry learn about being a wizard and coming to the realization that he isn’t a freak is wonderful. The score is excellent and really complements the source material. Williams continues to do this with the second and third entry into the series.
I have read these thoughts before by you (on other forums), and I have also seen these views absolutely shredded. It seems your copying and pasting them in threads such as these. Yet, here you are in another thread with this same flawed logic. You claim the castle ruins the moment we first see Hogwarts. This is absoluetly ludacris on a few levels. You are the only person I have ever heard from that has this reaction. I was there in theaters, and I can promise you no one said "It would be a moving moment, but for that bloody ugly castle." By this logic it is impossible to enjoy any film prior to 2000 due to shoddy early cgi and questionable visual effects. A movie is carried by its actors and script first and for most not its visual effects. Considering PS is still the highest grossing Harry Potter film I would say that is another flaw in your argument. You have to judge a film on its on merits taking into account the time it was made and the reaction it recieved at the time of its release. Yes, some visual effects were questionable but that did not diminish the affection it recieved from audiences. The visual effects were a result of a cautionary studio fearing this story might not sale resulting in a cautionary lower budget than the other films at the time, a lack of resources resulting from visual effects companies being tied up at the time with other productions. The whole thing came down to resources, and PS was working on considerably less than one would think for a film of its nature. This has all been addressed by Chris Columbus and the production crew in interviews and articles on the film.



Last edited by J17; July 4th, 2011 at 8:53 am.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 2:18 pm
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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They were not shredded. Point me to these posts, please, because I don't recall anything remotely challenging my opinion except for someone mentioning the technology used by Weta Digital in Fellowship of the Ring. The castle is absolutely bland and disgusting. It isn't attractive at all and I hate the way it looks. Their job was to bring the world to life and I think they utterly failed. Lower budget? Pfft. $125 million was a lot in those days. And no, it's not impossible to enjoy a film with terrible CGI prior to 2000, something I would never claim. What do those films most likely have? A better and more engaging script that isn't almost a carbon copy of a terrible book. But do ignore my other points, like how it's just standard, uninteresting detective fare that loses its way halfway through and becomes a massive chore to sit through.

Why did I paste this here? To create more discussion, discussion that was lacking in every thread I created on the matter. Your post is excellent, no matter how hard you tried to refute my personal opinion on the aesthetics of this terrible movie.



Last edited by NumberEight; July 4th, 2011 at 2:20 pm.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 8:36 pm
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

I thought they did an amazing job on this film especially with the casting. The adult actors are fantastic and the child actors grew up to be great. The score and feel of the film was fantastic. I thought they made everything look great and it was pretty spot on with how I envisioned it reading the book. I totally disagree with NumberEight about the castle, I thought the castle was amazing when I first saw the movie 10 years ago, and still do to this day when I re-watch SS! Obviously the special effects aren't nearly as amazing as the recent movies in the series but 10 years ago this movie was made. I believe they made the troll look like that because it was a children's movie and they didn't want him to appear that terrifying. As you can see in the DH2 trailers, now that the movie's are more mature and darker the troll's do look terrifying and awesome!


I can still to this day watch this film over and over, I agree with J17 that this one does have the most magical feel to it. The stayed very true to the book as well. It was a great start to the highest grossing film series ever! This movie will always have a special place in my heart!


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Old July 4th, 2011, 10:24 pm
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the first film. To me, it captures the essence of the book. I thought the movie did a great job in demonstrating the differences between the magical and muggle worlds, as well as, introducing various spells, creatures, and characters. When I first saw the first film, I had not read the first book, but I understood the plot very well. Some of the latter films (particularly GoF and OotP, the storylines didn't flow along due to jumping from one scene to another. I'm so glad that I had read the books prior to seeing the latter films or else I would have been lost.


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Old July 4th, 2011, 10:35 pm
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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Originally Posted by Snapes_Girl View Post
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the first film. To me, it captures the essence of the book. I thought the movie did a great job in demonstrating the differences between the magical and muggle worlds, as well as, introducing various spells, creatures, and characters. When I first saw the first film, I had not read the first book, but I understood the plot very well. Some of the latter films (particularly GoF and OotP, the storylines didn't flow along due to jumping from one scene to another. I'm so glad that I had read the books prior to seeing the latter films or else I would have been lost.

Of course it is a very short book and easier to stay with the main material. I like the magical feeling of it, but the acting is so stilted (inexperienced child actors) and the feel so much like a young children's movie in look and feel, that those aspects always keep me from loving it. It does do a very good job of introducing the world of Wizards.


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Old July 4th, 2011, 11:22 pm
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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They were not shredded. Point me to these posts, please, because I don't recall anything remotely challenging my opinion except for someone mentioning the technology used by Weta Digital in Fellowship of the Ring. The castle is absolutely bland and disgusting. It isn't attractive at all and I hate the way it looks. Their job was to bring the world to life and I think they utterly failed. Lower budget? Pfft. $125 million was a lot in those days. And no, it's not impossible to enjoy a film with terrible CGI prior to 2000, something I would never claim. What do those films most likely have? A better and more engaging script that isn't almost a carbon copy of a terrible book. But do ignore my other points, like how it's just standard, uninteresting detective fare that loses its way halfway through and becomes a massive chore to sit through.

Why did I paste this here? To create more discussion, discussion that was lacking in every thread I created on the matter. Your post is excellent, no matter how hard you tried to refute my personal opinion on the aesthetics of this terrible movie.
I am trying to find that thread. I can't remember if it was on SuperHero Hype or Blu-ray.com. It was on one of those forums. I followed the thread very closely, and you did get flamed pretty hard there at the end. If I recall you lost your temper and didn't return. That's neither here nor there, though. I have no problem with your opinion in general just that it is extremely flawed. As I said, by your logic no movie before 2000 can possibly be enjoyable for you. You made it pretty clear that you put design and cgi before acting and script. You say its general detective fare well guess what so is the book. You say you don't like a carbon copy. Fine. At the time though that was the only Harry Potter film, and I just don't buy any of this. I don't buy the idea that you were ****** that they were faithful to the material. I suppose you wanted them to shred it. Here's the thing the fans loved that they were faithful. As I recall more fussing and whining has went on in the fandom since they began cutting more and more. Your definitely in the minority. How you feel about the adaption though isn't that big of a deal. I like both the faithful adaptions and the more dynamic adaptions. What is a big deal is that you are claiming the design of the castle is disgusting and bland. And then completely ignoring the fact that Columbus and Craig have both stated budgetary issues, and a lack of available visual effects studios being the factor in how the cgi turned out. Most visual effects studios were tied up that year, and pickings were slim. Columbus has also stated that prior to designing the troll Peter Jackson invited him down to New Zealand and he saw what Weta was doing with their cave troll in FOTR and he realized they needed to do something different with their troll so he designed something entirely different. He as said he wishes he hadn't went the route he did, but whats done is done. They made mistakes and they recognize this. You claim $125 million is a big budget, but for a film such as PS it was low. Consider they had to desgn everything and build it on that plus pay the crew and the actors. The later films didn't have to build everything from the ground up so their budget was almost exlusively used for cast crew and cgi. The budget played a big factor in PS. If you don't believe me look it up. If you really are a fan, and want to know why things are the way they are its your duty to look it up. I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to anyways. If the castle aggravates you that much then you should be wanting to know why. Instead of speculating why it is the way it is. Also, consider this everything the castle is in the later films is based on what it started as. Its designed by the same guy. He built on what he had. JK Rowling was overjoyed by it as was 99% of the fanbase. Stuart Craig (designer) has stated he wasn't sure how the castle was suppossed to look so he went for a design and J.K. Rowling loved it. As more books came out and they got a better idea of things he redesigned things to better accomodate the story. You can't really blame the guy. Also, most of the interior locations were real locations. Those were cheaper to use. Once, the budget increased and the production was moved to Scotland the real locations were scraped. Another thing, is that one of their leases for one of the real locations ran out, and they couldn't get another lease in time for production on POA. Alot, of the current castle is a result of happenstance and necessity for the story. Even the cinematography and dreary look of the castle in POA was born out of the weather Scottland experienced during POAs production. Scotland saw more rain that year than it had in decades. It wasn't intended to have a constantly overcast look. However, when they got to Scotland and the weather turned foul Alfonso decided to incorporate it into the look of the film and went for a steely grey dreary look instead of the golden happy look of COS. I don't mind that you don't like PS. Its your opinion. But the same people have been working on these films from the beginning. They have been busting their butts to give us these movies, and everything in the later films is built on the lessons learned from the first films. Be thankful they learned those lessons. Its like your spitting in the faces of the designers when they were working with what they had. Truth be told sometimes I wonder if some fans are even grateful. We were blessed with this franchise, and yet every day I see fans on forums trashing one thing or another about these films.



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Old July 4th, 2011, 11:35 pm
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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<snip>
Would you mind editing your post to crate paragraphs? It's difficult to read your post.

Yes, I created a thread at Blu-ray.com, but I did not lose my temper and leave. That's hilarious. Once again, please stop with the massive strawman about pre-2000 films. The terrible visual effects take me out of the film. It did when I first saw it and it still continues to do it. The reason things look so terrible is because Chris Columbus is one of the worst directors of my time. He approved of the ghastly sets. And yes, I'm spitting in their faces because they spent millions and earned millions doing a terrible job that continues on with Chamber of Secrets, where the lovey-dovey happy bright Hogwarts grounds contradicts the film's darker story.

I do not think visuals come before the script, but the script here needed work to make the detective bits more interesting. There's no reason to create a 2.5 hour adaptation from a small children's book. Yes, I do not like that it followed the book closely, and I am indeed in the minority when I don't care about changes from the books. Harry could have been renamed and I wouldn't have cared.



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Old July 4th, 2011, 11:38 pm
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

I still LOVE PS!

I guess i've seen it 15-20 times, but i never get tired of it. To me, the movie manages to capture the feeling i got when i first read the book, the soundtrack especially is brilliant. Of course the trio, Dan, Rupert and Emma, isn't the greates actor's on this point, but i think they do a good job.

The movie is my absoulute favourite of the movies, after DH1 (and hopefully DH2 in one week)


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Old July 6th, 2011, 2:58 am
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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I still LOVE PS!

I guess i've seen it 15-20 times, but i never get tired of it. To me, the movie manages to capture the feeling i got when i first read the book, the soundtrack especially is brilliant. Of course the trio, Dan, Rupert and Emma, isn't the greates actor's on this point, but i think they do a good job.

The movie is my absoulute favourite of the movies, after DH1 (and hopefully DH2 in one week)
I agree about the soundtrack! John Williams is a master and knows how to write those winning themes! Seriously, every song is so captivating and exciting and even just listening to the music allows me to imagine the scenes, which cannot be said for later films which he did not compose for.

Sorcerer's Stone is a beautiful movie because of all the magic. Every spell cast was emphasized, the secrets of Hogwarts start to show themselves, and there is just amazing magic at every corner.

Some standout scenes: the chess game, Harry's confrontation with Quirrelmort, Quidditch!!, Diagon Alley and Ollivander's wand shop, and the letters flying through the Dursley's. So magical! (for lack of a better term!)


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Old July 6th, 2011, 3:35 am
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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Originally Posted by NumberEight View Post
Would you mind editing your post to crate paragraphs? It's difficult to read your post.

Yes, I created a thread at Blu-ray.com, but I did not lose my temper and leave. That's hilarious. Once again, please stop with the massive strawman about pre-2000 films. The terrible visual effects take me out of the film. It did when I first saw it and it still continues to do it. The reason things look so terrible is because Chris Columbus is one of the worst directors of my time. He approved of the ghastly sets. And yes, I'm spitting in their faces because they spent millions and earned millions doing a terrible job that continues on with Chamber of Secrets, where the lovey-dovey happy bright Hogwarts grounds contradicts the film's darker story.

I do not think visuals come before the script, but the script here needed work to make the detective bits more interesting. There's no reason to create a 2.5 hour adaptation from a small children's book. Yes, I do not like that it followed the book closely, and I am indeed in the minority when I don't care about changes from the books. Harry could have been renamed and I wouldn't have cared.
Sorry about the lack of paragraphs. The bolded bit boggles me, and I don't see any point arguing about this as your sensibilities and desires for these films are about as far from my own as possible. It would be pointless trying to discuss the film as we have absolutely no common ground indicated by the bolded bit. I'l leave you alone and carry own with the discussion. I want to apologize to the OP for this.


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Old July 6th, 2011, 4:43 am
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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Sorry about the lack of paragraphs. The bolded bit boggles me, and I don't see any point arguing about this as your sensibilities and desires for these films are about as far from my own as possible. It would be pointless trying to discuss the film as we have absolutely no common ground indicated by the bolded bit. I'l leave you alone and carry own with the discussion. I want to apologize to the OP for this.
I like films 3 and 4 and love 5-7. I can't wait to see the final one. I just don't like the first two because I find them boring (script issues) and visually incompetent.


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Old July 6th, 2011, 10:20 am
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Re: HP1 : Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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I like films 3 and 4 and love 5-7. I can't wait to see the final one. I just don't like the first two because I find them boring (script issues) and visually incompetent.
This is your opinion.
Other people love movies 1 and 2 and dislike later ones.
What we have to do here is respect that others have different opinions and not post as if our opinion is the only accepted one.
I am not singling you out as we are all guilty of this (me included).
We simply state how we feel and why and accept that some will agree with us but others will not.


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Old July 6th, 2011, 11:10 am
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Re: Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

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Discuss the First Film here, did you enjoy it?
I enjoyed it at the time.

I regarded it as a mere warm-up act to the mighty juggernaut of Fellowship of the Ring (December 2001) though, to be honest.

Quote:
Did you love it?
I liked it well enough at the time. A lot of adults were caught up in the HP phenomenon, after all. I'd read the first four books by summer 2000, so of course I wanted to see the films.

Things I liked:

-- Rupert and Tom are simply adorable as little Ron and little Draco, and the best child actors in the film. Tom's Draco makes me laugh -- what a little snot! Rupert is very cute, and Ron to a tee.
-- John Williams's enchanting score
-- Some very nice set-pieces, notably the Chess Game
-- I do love the Invisibility Cloak!
-- Hagrid's 'I shouldn't have told you that' made me laugh
-- Love Zoe Wanamaker's cat eyes as Madam Hooch

But I wouldn't say I loved it. The film feels far too long for its source material. And I'm not a fan of the overly sugary Hollywood approach. PS/SS feels too 'Disney' to me. I prefer the cooler, 'European' mood of the later films -- this is far more in keeping with the spirit of the books, IMO.

I'm not a big fan of the castle design in the first two films. I prefer the beautiful set designs established by Cuaron's PoA.


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Old July 6th, 2011, 4:51 pm
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Re: Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

Personally, the first movie was my introduction to the books. Seeing that movie is what prompted me to go purchase the four books that were out at the time. Because of that, the movie will always have a special place in my heart. I saw it as innocent and magical and I loved every minute. I could easily watch it again with the same amount of interest as I did the first time.

I understand that the script could be perceived as slow or lacking but my mind has willingly ignored all of that for the sake of sentimentality.


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Old July 6th, 2011, 5:06 pm
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Re: Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

When I first saw the movie, I was taken in by the seemingly vastness of the castle, the floating candles, the floating pumpkins. All those owls and letters. Running through a brick wall to get to the train.

I thought Hedwig was adorable and wanted a snowy owl of my own.

I felt sorry for poor Harry being forced to sleep in a tiny room under the stairs, and I was intrigued when he talked to the snake. I loved it when he found out he was a wizard. And I loved how normal Ron seemed, and I could relate to bookish, know-it-all Hermione.

I thought Snape's voice was mesmerizing.

I had no problems with the movie at all. I thought it was very well done. And I saw it before reading the book.


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Old July 6th, 2011, 5:48 pm
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Re: Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

I've always liked the SS and CoS movies, mostly because they're the closest to the books. I know with the later movies it's harder to get everything in, but in several of the later movies they've added things that weren't in the book at all, which annoys me.

Anyways, I remember seeing SS in theaters around Thanksgiving of whatever year it came out. We were in Illinois visiting family and we decided to go see it with my aunt and cousins. I liked it a lot. I think I saw it before I had read the book, but I don't really remember. I just know that before the movie came out, I wasn't super into Harry Potter, but after the movie I started to really enjoy the series a lot more.


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Old July 7th, 2011, 6:29 am
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Re: Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Film Discussion

I saw this film again in the theater tonight (a museum near me is showing all the films again).

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone will always hold a special place for me because it is the original and it does have a certain charm and sense of childhood innocence and a warm whimsical nature that is lost as the series becomes darker and more mature. It's a great introduction to this world. One of my favorite sequence of the film is Harry's first introduction to the wizarding world, from the Leaky Cauldron to Diagon Alley to Gringotts to Ollivander's and back to the Leaky Cauldron for that flashback. I think the film is at it's best here. From the cinemtography to the costumes to the music to the art direction, it just feels so magical, so otherworldly, so fantastical but yet rooted in a genuine reality. It has a 17th century European feel. Other favorite moments are the mirror of Erised sequence and the very last scene on the Hogsmeade train station (which now moves me to tears thinking of the end). Rupert and Emma are fantastic in this movie, Emma lights up the screen from her first appearance and Ron's wise-cracks are awesome and true to his canon character and sorely missed in the later films. Dan does a good job as the quiet, clearly abused little boy with a chip on his shoulder and a good heart.

Sure, the film feels a little childish and the pacing does drag a bit and the episodic nature of the story causes you to lose interest and the cinematography is just good enough (nothing spectacular), but this film feels like a classic nowadays. It's a great romp, wonderful escapist cinema. It's not as great as the book (none of the films are) but as a film on it's own, it really does seem like the Wizard of Oz of our time as Roger Ebert put it.


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Last edited by MasterOfDeath; July 7th, 2011 at 6:32 am.
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