HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERERíS STONE

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          When itís book to movie comparisons, Iím as guilty as the rest. Only this is the first time I can remember that a movieís been slammed for actually following the book. Itís typically the opposite. Maybe they just needed a criticism and couldnít find a better one. Sometimes comparing the two though is mandatory. Besides, a novel can already have a theatrical template in place to follow, yet so many donít (or wonít) for some reason.

          To my misfortune, I havenít read the books yet. But unlike some childrenís fads, this one is easy to understand. The world created by J.K. Rowling is highly enchanting and easy to get lost in. Itís clearly a wonderful fantasy and likely why parents love it too. In the film, the three young leads are absolutely brilliant. And two of them had had no prior acting experience either, which is pretty impressive. In the 90ís, if you were a kid and cute, acting talent was only optional. But now casting agents seem to be going the extra mile and actually looking for ability. (George Lucas should still be ashamed for casting that kid in EPISODE I.)

          A touch long in parts, HARRY couldíve done without ten minutes or so. Getting to Hogwartís, for example, is probably longer than it should be. But if kids can sit through it, then attention spans are clearly not gone, and I mean that in a good way. My quibbles though are minor. Whether itís on Rowlingís writing style or the screenplay itself, Iím not sure. I just found it odd that Potterís arch nemesis, his own Moriarty, would have such little screen time. Granted, this is only one story out of many, but something so important should seemingly have more weight. And I question why more attention wasnít paid to Harryís overall learning. It wouldíve been nice to see him grow more in that respect, instead of just having a natural ability for everything, or so it seemed. However, this one aspect and more couldíve been omitted due to time constraints. Iíd like to know.

          While HARRY POTTER isnít the best film ever, it leaves you feeling that the movies to come will be better and better. Few series do that. Thankfully, Iíve finally discovered what millions already have, because POTTER is a good thing. Those individuals or groups upset over the whole occult thing should lighten up.


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