Monday, 1 July 2013
Review : Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter : Year One - The Philosopher's Stone - Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny ahead of him proves his worth while attending his first year of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
For the whole of this week, I will be reviewing all the Harry Potter films one by one. Starting off Year 1, The Philosopher's Stone released back in 2001.
SPOILER ALERT: Just encase you haven't seen these Harry Potter movies yet, and you don't want it to be spoiled, you may as well turn away now.
This movie is the beginning of something that was very special, It is the visionaries of J.K Rowling on the screen for everyone to enjoy, I know a lot of people prefer the films to the books, which just goes to show though Rowling was a good writer, people would rather visualise and experience the worlds of Harry Potter she creates for themselves, rather than let their imagination run away with them.
The film starts very atmospherically indeed, we are introduced straight away into Pivet Drive, and we the viewer are introduced to Dumbledore and to Professor McGonogal and to Hagrid who are all great characters that Rowling has created. We are introduced to Harry and how he ended up at the Dursley's House when he was a baby. Which all great, very well acted scene, straight forwardly paced, built up atmospherically with the fog and the music and with the fact it was night time, again atmospheric sets the mood, was very impressed with how the production accomplished the tasks in hand.
We then get a flash forward to the future when Harry is 11 or just turning 11, and he sleeps in the cupboard under the stairs. He just performs certain tasks for the Dursley's like making breakfast,cleaning etc. just doing basic hard labour house hold choirs and not being treated as an individual or with any respect.
The family take a trip to the Zoo for Dudley's birthday, and Harry realises he has a talent he never thought he had, he can talk to and communicate with snakes. I thought all the Zoo scene was good. I liked how they did certain tricks which could fool the eye, the glass disappearing and then reappearing, fooled me as a child. The snake is animated and yet authentic to every detail.
And then we have more great effects such as the effect with all the letters flying around everywhere, and the owls stalking Mr Dursley. That was all good and brought up very dramatically.
The Durlsey's move away to a house on an island somewhere, but Hagrid finds them and he tells Harry he is destined for greatness and he invites him to come to Hogwarts to be given the finniest tuition in Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry goes with him, It is then we are introduced to diagon ally and a little bit more into Harry's back story, which all very exciting and dark and built up in a very prefashioned manner which makes the whole thing sinister.
But it is when Harry's going to Hogwarts that things really get interesting, he meets Ron and Hermonie who as we all know turn out to be just as important to the stories as Harry. Then we arrive at Hogwarts and the landscape is just amazing, brilliantly lit, the castle itself looking at upwards gives the building power and malevolence. It looks great. and the floating candles another trick of the eye, but still very good.
Very precise animated techniques used for the sorting hat, I was truly amazed by how they achieved that task.
But putting all those lovely effects aside, my favourite scene in Philosopher's Stone is arguably the Troll scene in the girls bathroom. Where Ron and Harry risk their lives to save Hermonie by being incredibly stupid. Never the less, I love how dramatic that scene is, with crash, bangs and wallops, wood shattering all over the place, The troll itself looked great, a ghastly angry monster, which I like. the effect was very authentic.
Another effect which I thought was good was devil snaire, and the plants which could kill you in a second, that was very well achieved, as was the scene with the flying keys.
As for the story itself, It was very good indeed. It's not my favourite of the Harry Potters, but is a very strong opener indeed. You just know at the end of it that Harry, Ron and Hermionie will get up to more and more exciting and thrilling adventures.
In a nutshell 'Philosopher's Stone' has some of the best effects and dramatic moments which test the viewer's expectations of what will happen.
I'm going to give it a 7/10
TOMORROW : I will review 'Chamber of Secrests'
Thank you for reading this review, I will report again soon.