I don’t understand HARRY POTTER. I haven’t read a single book and I’ve only seen one movie (out of context). Any conversation about the subject ends with me making an ass of myself. I’m up-to-date and informed on nearly every topic in pop culture but J.K. Rowling’s massive wizard universe remains elusive to me. Join me as I watch every HP film in order and report my results. Will this HARRY POTTER virgin fall in love with the films or will I get even more confused by a series created for children? Grab your wands (very funny, sickos) and let’s get started!
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE
Director: Chris Columbus
Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%
And so it begins. The first movie in the HARRY POTTER series, released in 2001, seems to have a lukewarm response online. Everyone I asked said THE SORCERER’S STONE isn’t their favorite film. Not as bad as CHAMBER OF SECRETS, they say, but still rather forgettable.
I was afraid going into my first HP film. People said it wasn’t that great. What if I got bored right out the gate? What if I hated it? Would I have enough energy to push through on to the next, which people say is even worse than the first? Blagh! Damn you Chris Columbus!
Side bar: Chris Columbus doesn’t age. Seriously, the dude looks the same now as he did back in the 90’s.
Luckily, my worries weren’t necessary. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE isn’t that bad. Sure, it probably pales in comparison to other films in the franchise but I rather liked it. It’s fun, it’s light and it feels like the pilot of a TV series. In short, it left me wanting more. Also, it made me want to know more about Quidditch.
Can we talk about Quidditch for a minute, please? I watched this movie with my girlfriend, a HARRY POTTER aficionado. Thank God I did because she was able to explain to me (several times…) what Quidditch is. Even with her help, I’m in the dark. There’s a snitch, right? And the snitch is the most important part of the game. In fact, the snitch is the only part of the game when you think about it. If you catch the snitch, the game is over. But instead of only focusing on the snitch, the rest of the team tries to make baskets while one person – only one! – chases the damn snitch. Hey, wizards, focus all your energy on the snitch! That’s all you need! Meanwhile, a crazy ball that growls flies around knocking people off their sticks. Because, you know, why not?
I get the impression that Quidditch was made by a bunch of drunk wizards. Drunk wizards who like to see children in peril.
Speaking of danger, Hogwarts definitely seems like an unsafe place. Staircases that move, three-headed dogs, trolls running wild in the bathroom! But don’t worry, security is run by that creepy dude with long hair and a fat cat.
But back to the movie. I was impressed by how convincing Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson were. They were so young and yet their performances – while not perfect – are really strong. However, I guess I’m alone in that regard. Hopping online, I find that many people don’t care for Radcliffe’s take on Harry. Well bah humbug, I say. I think Radcliffe and his young co-stars did a fine job. I’m excited to see them grow as performers.
The plot of HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE is kind of flat. There’s the storyline about the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is really just there to teach us about Voldemort and his return. The bad guy reveal isn’t very surprising and the ending is a bit anti-climactic but, hey, it sold me. I’m ready to move on to the next adventure. Let’s hope Harry doesn’t murder Dudley when he returns home.
God, that kid is unfortunate looking.
Confusing as it was, I got a kick out of Quidditch. Columbus had a tough job, seeing as no one has seen Quidditch performed before. He did a good job at capturing the excitement. I will say this: I thought the announcer in the stands (Lee Jordan) was a girl. Oops.
LEAST FAVORITE PART:
I wasn’t crazy about the chess scene. Why did Ron have to ride on the knight? Why couldn’t he jump off before it was destroyed? Also, whose idea was it to build that giant chess set? They understand they can only use it once, right? It’s going to be completely destroyed after one game. Way to think ahead, wizards.
Come on, you can’t go wrong with ol’ Hagrid. It’s great that Hogwarts entrusts the safety of students in a man who is clumsy and forgetful. Also, he plays the flute and loves dragons! He’s like a big kid! Adorable.
- What is the deal with Draco Malfoy? Is he evil or just a douche?
- So the Sorting Hat is used only once a year? Where do they put this living creature with feelings after that? Does he get stored in a closet? Locked away in a box? That seems kind of cruel. No wonder he’s always frowning.
- What’s going on with the ghosts? Do they have free reign at Hogwarts? They just roam around, doing whatever they want?
- Invisibility cloak – that’s convenient!
- Why does Voldemort have a nose?
One down, seven more to go. I’m pleased to report that I was quite happy with HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE. It seems more child-friendly than the rest of the films will be so I’m excited to see how dark and bleak the series gets. From what I understand, things get pretty hairy for Harry.
Sorry about that. I needed at least one pun.
Feel free to leave a comment below or at my Twitter account (@MrBrandonMarcus) but please don’t spoil anything for me!