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Losing My Virginity: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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[Losing My Virginity articles are reviews written by someone who still hasn’t seen an incredibly popular movie after all these years. LMV reviews are interesting in that they can offer the perspective of a person who’s untainted by the cloud of commonness that surrounded a famous film of the past, and also show how well it has stood the test of time.]

I have a bit of a confession to make. For the past 10 years, I have avoided the Harry Potter series like the plague. I have turned down free drinks, tickets, even brownie points with the ladies all to avoid these movies. I don’t know why but all the hype surrounding Harry Potter and his exploits shot down any desire I had to see the series.

But it doesn’t matter now, for Flixist has asked, no, PLEADED that I provide my unique perspective on the Harry Potter series.

This is going to be a rough week. Let’s start off with the first one (logically).

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first entry to the series and it follows Harry in his first year at Hogwarts. Like the viewer, the culture of wizardry and magic is new to Harry, thus easing my introduction to the world. A few minutes into the movie and it all becomes clear to me why people are so obsessed with the series. The universe is quite charming, offering a nice blend of reality and fantasy in a modernized setting. There was a sense of wonderment as I discovered the rules of this universe, but after the first hour that wonderment began to wear off.

The problem began once the actual plot or dramatic question was focused upon. It was an hour into and already the initial intrigue started to fade as I started to wonder if I really cared that Harry was the youngest seeker (more on the bullsh*t called Quidditch later) or if Severus Snape was up to no good. While I admit that I found the twist surprising, it all boiled down to a simple kid’s film. Granted that’s exactly what it is, but for something that people of all ages love, this first movie feels quite elementary.

I really hate to pick on children as far as acting chops, but these kids were sort of painful to watch. Every time Harry touched the scar on his forehead, I cringed as every action and word from him was mechanical. Emma Watson was awkward, but that might’ve been made awkward due to the fact that I think she’s hot now but never had seen her as a ten-year-old. Tom Felton succeeds as Draco Malfoy, but only because he’s such a little twat. However, thus far, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley has captured my heart. Despite his young age, I was surprised he had such a grasp on timing and subtle facial expressions. And yet, though this is their humble beginnings in this craft, the movie is lucky to have such strong adult actors like Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, and John Cleese. Sadly, we didn’t get enough of the Cleese but that might have been a good thing considering the CG on this film.

I know it was 2001 and the CG was impressive for it’s time, but it is really dated in this film. It was really made apparent when John Cleese and his band of ghosts rang through the halls looking like they just stepped out of Ghostbusters / The Frighteners. It harked back to a time when Hollywood REALLY liked to replace their actors with CG counter-parts. I remember it took me out a bit of the Spider-Man trilogy as well as the Lord Of the Rings trilogy, but here it’s borderline cartoonish.

Still, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a charming introduction to the series. The plot is lacking, but for a series that spans seven books, it’s only right that the first would drag a bit. I’ve been promised that latter movies move towards a more darker tone and improve greatly as far as acting and CGI go, and I for one look forward to experiencing a more polished film in this universe.

Overall Score: 6.10 – Okay. (6s are just okay. These movies usually have many flaws, didn’t try to do anything special, or were poorly executed. Some will still love 6s, but most prefer to just rent them. Watch more trailers and read more reviews before you decide.)

Now for random thoughts of mine that occurred throughout the movie.

  • I feel awful for the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw houses. It seems like those kids don’t really amount to sh*t. Hopefully that changes soon.
  • Quidditch. My god what is the point of the other players if the golden snitch gives you 150 points and a regular goal only 10. I saw a kid fall stories off his broomstick and nearly kill himself, all for 10 points!? This game makes no sense.
  • In the end when Dumbledore announces who won the House Cup, Gryffindor is in last place and Slytherin in first. They all celebrate and then Dumbledore just grants these magic points to Gryffindor for no reason ensuring them victory of the House Cup. Dumbledore is kind of a d*ck. If I was Slytherin I’d be PISSED.

Tomorrow: Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets. Sounds…mysterious?