Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith
Viewed in theaters: 11/22/01
Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (lost to Moulin Rouge!)
Best Costume Design (lost to Moulin Rouge!)
Best Original Score - John Williams (lost to Howard Shore for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)
Since the final Harry Potter movie is coming out later this year, I thought I would go back and revisit the previous six films, so expect to see more HP reviews within the coming months.
Let me preface this by saying that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan - I love the books. The movies, I'm not too crazy about. In fact, there have only been two Potter movies (so far!) that I've really liked and you'll find out which ones those are when I review them. It's not like one of those hardcore Potterheads who freak out about the Gryffindors and Slytherins being in a class together when it was clearly stated in the books that they did NOT share that class (well, I'm not like that anymore!), but the movies definitely don't hold a candle to the books.
Ironically, I started reading the books in the summer of '01 because I knew the first movie was coming out that fall and wanted to see it, so I bought the first four books to prepare for it. Well, that and the fact that the books had become a worldwide phenomena by then.
With The Lord of the Rings, it's completely the opposite for me: I love the films, but it took me forever to read the books because I found them so dull. Of course, what I think helped with that was that they made the movies back to back many years after the books were published and Peter Jackson directed all of them. I always wondered how the Harry Potter films would have been different if they had all been filmed after the last book was published and if they all had one director. Of course that would mean Harry, Ron, and Hermione would all be played by different actors and I can't imagine anyone other than Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson playing them (even though it drives me crazy that Hermione has blonde hair - um, Hermione is NOT blonde! Geeze, can't they dye Emma's hair?!)
As cute as they are, the three young actors (I call them Team RED) are pretty terrible in this. Their reactions to certain situations, their delivery of lines, etc. just terrible. (The way Emma says "THAT'S what's under the door. THAT'S what the dog is guarding" or whatever she says; the over-exaggerated expressions Rupert gives; the passive way Daniel says "I'm a wizard?" like he's saying "It's raining outside?"). I can forgive them, though. After all, they were only around eleven and this was their first movie for all of them.
Ickle Harry and Ron
I'm a huge Ron/Hermione (HeRmiONe!) shipper so I absolutely love the scene where they meet on the train for the first time. It is just so adorable. I love when Hermione tells Ron in her snooty voice, "You have dirt on your nose, did you know?" and the way Ron gives Harry a look that says "who IS that chick?" And to think they would eventually end up together, awwwwwwwww!
I've only seen the first movie maybe four or five times and I tend to like it less with each viewing. The first time I saw it, I really liked it, despite its flaws. The second time, I still liked it, but not as much as the first time. The other times, I was pretty much bored with it because it lacked (excuse the pun) magic. I can read the first book over and over again and still love it, but I don't think I'll need to see the first movie ever again.
I remember thinking how exciting and cool the Quidditich scene was the first (and perhaps second time) I saw it, but now it just bores the ever-living snot out of me. It goes on WAY too long and it's so stupid when Harry surfs on the broom at the end. No. Just no.
Here is another scene that I find a bit ridiculous:
If you are one of the five people left on this earth that has never read about or watched Harry's adventures, I would advise you to read the books, then watch the movies if you choose to do so. Don't bother watching the movies if you're not going to read the books.
Stayed tuned for my review of Chamber of Secrets!