Ian Hobbs’s review published on Letterboxd:
"It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live."
And so the magic beings...
With less than a week away from the return to the "Wizarding World," Fantatsic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I thought, like most, to return to the film that started it all. I haven't been excited for a film since last years The Force Awakens. The idea of returning to the fantasy franchise that has been with me almost my whole life just makes me jump with excitement.
With every major franchise, trilogy, etc. everything must start somewhere, and to most people the first two installments in the Harry Potter franchise always seem to have negative reviews. I don't blame them, some things feel a little out of order and some things are dated but nevertheless Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone makes for a true fun and entertaining film unlike most.
I, in simple terms, can describe my feelings toward the entire franchise as love. Director Chris Columbus turned an already stellar book series, by the ever so wonderful J.K. Rowling, into a monumental experience that resonates with audiences off all kind. He films with such an enthusiastic way and wants to open everyone to this wonderful world of wizards. In two and a half hours Columbus sets up the way for many sequels to come and fits all the exposition in ever so slightly, that doesn't feel shoved in or too much to handle.
Over my years I've seen some pitch-perfect casting choices and with this it results in sheer brilliance as I watch Daniel Radclifee, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson be their characters. They're in no way "great" but they have their charism and play off each other great. Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, and Maggie Smith are a different story, they excell in their characters and show their ability as actors. Each and every actor portraying anyone is so beautifully perfect, I could never see anyone else playing them. Using his 30 year career to his advantage, composer John Williams makes a rich and true score that any person, fan or not, can reconcile with.
It may not LOOK as magical as it once did but the magic is still there in a film adaptation so close to the original it's uncanny. Sure compared to the time of release and to its sequels Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone may seem outdated and not up to par, but it still results in an excellent story crafted by Chris Columbus, that introduced the world to Harry Potter for years to come.
Starting a Harry Potter Marathon