Thursday, June 23, 2005

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Jamison got such positive feedback from his Be Cool review, he went right out and wrote another one. Its been so long since I wrote a review, I may have to hire him as the official Brewster's Millions reviewer.

Before you say anything, I already know what you are thinking: “Jamison, this is a KIDS movie, you are almost 30 years old!” … But I gotta tell ya, I really love these “kids” movies.

This follow-up to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has our young wizard friend Harry Potter (Played by Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) facing a new challenge or two during their second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (A year that almost doesn’t exists for Harry due to his evil Aunt and Uncle trying to lock him up). The gang of young wizards try to discover a dark force that is terrorizing the school, originating from the fabled “Chamber of Secrets”.

Sequels? Oh no! Oh YES! But this is no mere sequel. You see friends; I have never seen any previous Harry Potter movie all the way through before this one. Only bits and pieces on the TV versions of each. I literally go into the Chamber knowing little if anything about the background, history, or characters in the film. Yet, within minutes, I already had decided who to root for, who to root against, and what the goal for the hero is to be during each scene. YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE FORMER POTTER FILMS TO ENJOY THIS ONE!

A few kick backs to the former films may just go over audience members heads… Harry’s cloak, the broom-stick rugby matches, etc. But these in no way hinder the movies ability to bring in the viewer to fall in love with our heroes.

Rather that go into depth about the plot and story line, I’d rather focus on the enjoyment aspects of the film. First off, the kids are cute. Sure, they are older in this one than they were in the past ones, but the little girl is still irresistible cute and a fine actress. Any kid with red hair and freckles is cute (until they get acne) and of course Harry Potter wears glasses. Kids with glasses…c’mon people.

For a bunch of no-named actors prior to these films, the kid’s abilities are outstanding! I can totally see myself as a kid wanting to act like one of them in my adventures in the woods behind my house. The only real un-kid-friendly aspect I can think of is that Ron says “Bloody Hell” several times in the film. Not a comment I would want my 7 or 8 year old repeating, which of course any kid will repeat when heard (Isn’t ‘bloody’ a very vulgar term in Brittan?).

The humor is relatable to all viewers. All characters have a British or Irish accent, yet none of that hard-to-understand British humor (the accents just make the kids seem cuter anyway).

Special effects are outstanding. The last scene involving a large snake looks kind of Willow-ish, but other than that, all the effects seem so flawless that they hardly seem like computer generated effects (Especially the spiders…ewww).

Full of spirits and ghosts, magic and monsters, humor and lovable characters, along with an easy to follow plot (Yet with enough twists to entertain an adult) I can’t help but recommend this movie. I loved it.

Although I have not read any of the books, I can’t help but think that the author was a Tolkien fan… We have two old gray wizards (the school’s Headmaster… and Gandalf from Lord of the Rings), two brown haired, bright eyed boys (Harry Potter… Frodo Baggins), His two friends (Ron and Hermione… Merry and Pippin), Trees that attack, a small, annoying, loud, little ghoul in both films, a very large spider in both Films… and a few more similarities. I certainly am not accusing this woman of copying Tolkien, but the inspiration is there for sure. Go rent it!

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