POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE
Daniel Radcliff, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith,
Robbie Coltrane, Ian Hart and Alan Rickman
Director: Chris Columbus
Running Time: 152 mins
to buy on DVD and Video 11th May
Young Harry (Radcliff)
had grown up the unwanted nephew of Vernon and Petunia Dursley. Pouring
all their love into their own son Dudley and making Harry the brunt of all
their frustrations and abuse, even making him sleep in the cupboard under
the stairs, he never felt like he belonged. This all changed when Harry
started to receive mysterious letters that his Uncle wouldn't let him open.
When one was hand delivered by a seven-foot giant called Hagrid (Coltrane),
Harry opened the letter to find that it was an invitation to Hogwarts School
of Witch Craft and Wizardry and that he was in fact, a Wizard.
Prepare to be dazzled
by what could be the biggest grossing children's movie of all time. The
whole movie is a delight from start to finish. The all-British cast is superb,
Robbie Coltrane is excellent as Hagrid, Richard Harris brings a touch of
class to Albus Dumbledore, Maggie Smith is the epitome of every strict teacher
you ever had and Alan Rickman brings a certain menace to Professor Snape,
but it is the children that steal the show. Emma Watson as bossy and clever
Hermione and Rupert Grint as Harry's best mate Ron are amazing in their
roles, but this is Daniel Radcliff's film. He is in almost every scene and
gives a performance that everyone dreamed that Harry Potter would be.
The whole look of
the movie is marvellous, the sets and the locations really bring this magical
world to life. Some of the special effects are on the dodgy side however.
The Troll and the three-headed guard dog look really computer generated,
but this can be forgiven when you watch the exhilarating Quidditch match.
The whole sequence is a pure adrenalin rush and is fabulously put together.
The only problem I had with the film is that I think it will be too long
for younger viewer. Any child under the age of six will probably become
restless during the two and a half hours, but to the rest of us the movie
doesn't really seem that long as there is never a dull moment. It a good
job they never released the original cut as that was over four hours (hopefully
it will be on the DVD). Yes there are supposed to be parts of the book missing,
but as I said before, making the movie too long would have alienated its
core audience and according to a friend that has read it, they are only
minor things anyway.
As you might be
able to tell, I have not read any of the books. I went into this movie blind,
not knowing anything about the story, but now I can see their appeal. It
is pure escapism and that is why this film will do extremely well. With
everything the world is going through as the moment, the chance to sit in
a cinema and truly escape into a world of magic and imagination is beyond
a doubt, a very welcome one.
Includes the film
in either anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) or full frame (1.33:1) versions.
Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 with English and French subtitles.
Extras include trailers and more.
footage prepared especially for DVD, a 360-degree IPIX self-guided tour
of Hogwarts (including the Gryffindor Common Room, The Great Hall, Harry's
Room, Hagrid's Hut) controlled by your remote
New interviews with director Chris Columbus and producer David Heyman
A tutorial on how to play Quidditch (with an original Quidditch montage
featuring Oliver Wood and Harry) and the Catch a Snitch game (play with
Interactive games that give you the chance to "have a wand choose you at
Ollivander's Wands", "meet the ghosts of Hogwarts", "cast a spell over a
scene in eight languages", "create potions correctly or wind up in the Infirmary",
"sneak past Fluffy and other challenges to reveal the secret in the Mirror
of Erised", "transfigure objects", "open a screaming book", "enjoy video
highlights of the students and professors" and much more.
The disc also includes
many interactive DVD-ROM features that allow you to "be sorted by the Sorting
Hat", collect Wizard Trading Cards, download "flying owls in the Great Hall",
"Quidditch screensavers" and "your own Rememberall". You can also receive
"owl e-mail messages", play Apple game demos and more.
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