Potter film to change family film forever

Grade: A

"Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone" has raised the bar for family cinema. This movie has changed family-oriented film forever, and other films of this genre will have to work hard in order to compete with it.

J. K. Rowling's book, "Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone," comes alive under the direction of Chris Columbus ("Stepmom," "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Home Alone" I and II). The story of an orphaned boy, who discovers he is a wizard and the adventures that arise from it, holds and secures the movie's success.

Viewers are whisked away into a magical world where goblins, demons, unicorns and dragons are norm. In this world, Harry remains a kid whose problems create suspense and tension that keeps everyone interested in the story and move the film to make it exciting for all.

Rowling's story of Harry Potter gives a tale of a normal childhood with bullies, tough teachers and the hardships a student faces to prove oneself. The story reminds audience members of their own childhood experiences in varying degrees, giving the story a more believable plot. The tale forces viewers to look at morals and values in an imaginative, entertaining way.

The movie is a raw adaptation of the book, covering its main points in the already two-and-a-half-hour film. It is still completely understandable for every audience member, including those who have not read "The Sorcerer's Stone." In order to cover every detail of the book, the movie would need to be made into a trilogy or a miniseries.

The cinematography was not tremendously exciting but was well enough to give the feeling that a viewer was there with Harry and had the ability to drown in the story.

The special effects were great, from the small to the big. However one could tell when corners had been cut to meet budget. In the scenes where Hogwart's students rode around on broomsticks (normal transportation for wizards), movement was extremely blurred to make up for the lack of visual clarity.

The acting was superb, especially by the child actors who even amazed me at their ability to sell the story. The talent derived form Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson II (Hermione Granger) far passes most child actors who seem to hold only talent for Lifetime Channel sagas. The veteran actors did a great job, including Alan Rickman ("Die Hard's" Hans Gruber), who plays a chilling Professor Snape as he harasses Harry.

The sound in Harry Potter was just as it should be, unnoticeable. Sound and music in a movie of this genre should only add to the whole and not take away as it did.

People of all ages should see this exciting and entertaining film. A story with twists and turns that keeps our imagination running while we think of our values in life. Go to see it with an open mind and you will not be disappointed.


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