Number of Times Seen – 3 (Dec 2001, 19 Aug 2002 and 12 Apr 2015)
Brief Synopsis – On his 11th birthday, a young boy finds out that he is no ordinary boy, but rather a wizard.
My Take on it – One of the problem with the opening of many franchise movies is that the first one needs to be two things:
1. It was be engaging to the audience (obviously) because if it isn’t, the studio won’t continue the series like we’ve seen too many times
2. The movie must also spend enough time introducing the important characters and events that will populate the entire franchise while still feeling like we are getting a complete storyline out of it.
This movie both succeeds and fails in both of those categories.
As we are all aware, many things written in books that will adapted into movies need to be excised because they are deemed less essential to the main plot line or are too difficult to integrate into a purely visual tale.
You will hear this a lot from me throughput all 8 of these HP reviews, but the fact that so much of the expository details from the books don’t appear on screen in any way makes the movies (even slightly) inferior to the novels.
This one is no exception.
For thoise who havent been exposed to the books, I assume that the introduction into the world of wizards and muggles is a staisfying one because you don’t really know what is missing; those of us who know the books, will feel the excised bits (even the small ones) that were left on the cutting room floor because so much of these stories are interconnected and intertwined that it feels incomplete when those parts are gone.
Another problem taht I had with this “prologue” movie was that since we are dealing with 11 year olds, the storyline here feels as if it is geared more towards little kids than anyone else. The sequels make up for that since they get darker and darker.
Obviously, if you plan to visit the world of harry Potter, you will need to venture through this movie in order to get a grasp of what is (and will be) going on.
Bottom Line – An interesting introduction to the world of Harry Potter, but feels a bit too juvenile and isn’t on the same level as most of the sequels. Feels very much like a “tame” prologue just to get us to know the world we will be sucked into before we start to learn what is in fact going on in this extraordinary place. Essential in order to get a full picture of the story, but not even close to being the best. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Despite many instances of Harry being noted as a “great wizard” Harry does not in fact cast a single spell during the entire movie. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy
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