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Movie Review No.1 by Brittany

"I can't believe it was two-and-a-half hours. It felt like 10 minutes." -Marilyn Senders, 51, Philadelphia

I cannot agree more with this quote. I'm still wondering if someone was using a time turner during the movie. I absolutely couldn't believe it was over. The only thing I thought was not so great about the movie was that things were too rushed. Of course, I know they had to cut a lot of scenes but I really could have sat through another hour of film.

Harry Potter purists (i.e. my sister) will absolutely go bonkers over some lines which were cut, such as the running toilet seat gag. Most characters besides Harry, Ron, Hermione, the Dursley's, Dumbledore, etc. make only cameo apperances. I was disappointed by the removal of the Neville-takes-on-Crabbe-and-Goyle fight scene and most of Lee Jordan's quidditch commentary. We never even see Professor Sprout. Lots of explainations are cut short, which is alright if you know what's going on already. :)

On the other hand, this film was a very good adaptation of the book. The new scene (death of Lily Potter) written by J.K. Rowling, but edited out of the book, was fantastic. I absolutely loved the quidditch scene. I thought the flying looked great, contrary to popular opinion. The "Dark" forest scene was great, the unicorn blood looked so real. And the portrayal of the invisibility cloak is stunning!

All in all, the ruling is two thumbs up, unless you wanted the actors to read straight from the book. A great film. Now, tell me again, how many days till "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"?


Movie Review No.2 by Jasen

Well, I've finally seen the movie, even though it may have been — er, Thanksgiving Day. Before I begin, I just wanted to say how funny it was how I, along with my companions were first in an empty theater, an hour before. Fanatic, I know.

Anyway, the movie was simply amazing. But, of course there are things I have to comment about. I agree with most things that Brittany said in her review, such as some performances being rushed (but not really), cut scenes/dialogue, etc. But hey, you gotta do what you can to make a movie good.

First off, the entire film adaption was impressive. It captured most of the mood, if not all. However, the pace of the film seemed to sort of drag-on, slowly, but this was only occassionally. Once it got to an exciting part, like the Quidditch match (which was excellent), then the pace picked up. The mood, on the otherhand, wasn't so impressive at the end of the movie, when Harry confronts Professor Quirrell. Particularly, I expected Quirrell to have a much smoother, evil attitude to him, than he did in the film. And even just this, was what made the movie somewhat "toned-out". But that's just me.

The acting of most of the characters, and everyone had their moment, especially Harry, Ron, and Hermione were also something I admired. They're all so young, yet very stunning in their performances. Really. Snape and Dumbledore were good, and McGonagall...and Hagrid...and Malfoy.

You get the idea.

Now, you might be thinking what the special effects were like. They were excellent. Although, Voldemort's face was scary, it was I don't know...not terrifying, but hey, this is a kid's book. But should that matter? Think about the ending to Book 4.

Anyway, the troll was pretty ugly and life-like, the Norbert the dragon was good, the player's moves and the whole look of the Quidditch game, the Chessmen were interesting to watch, and Voldemort was still gruesome.

Overally, this movie was so much better than most other book-based ones, like Roald Dahl's "Matilda". Good book, but it didn't turn out to well. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was very exciting, funny, scary, and pure fun.

I haven't seen a good movie for a while, that I've actually stopped to think about, but now I have. You'd wonder though, what the movie could have been like if you, yourself directed it. I know I have.


Movie Review No.3 by Lily

Last night, after pre-booking tickets a month before, I dragged my best friend (who was pretending to be unenthusiastic, even though I saw right through her) along to see the movie, which came out a few days ago in Australia. We arrived an hour before the movie and collected our tickets.

The cinema was almost absolutely full and I was wriggling around in my seat with anticipation, while grabbing Emma's arm and babbling, "I can't believe we're finally going to see it! Oh my god! Emma, I can't believe it!"

Dan Radcliffe did an excellent job in the scenes with the Dursleys, looking oh-so-cute in those way-too-big shirts. The zoo scene was funny, and I loved that Dudley got stuck in the glass, which was very humorous. Also, there was no squabble over what to do with Harry while they went to zoo, no racking sobs from Dudley, and no Piers Polkiss. I think the scenes with the Dursleys were wonderful, but I would have liked to see more screen time with them as the humour in the book would have been hilarious on the screen.

The car trip and hotel scenes were cut, which irritated me some. But in the hut, on top of the rock, Harry drawing himself a birthday cake in the dust was adorable. When Robbie Coltrane bursting in majestically as Hagrid, demonstrated his enormous size very well. Coltrane was perfect as the fierce wuss that Hagrid is, and I loved it. I felt there should have been more amazement from Harry about being a wizard, though. What would any normal child say if someone told them they were a wizard?

The extra scene of Lily’s death was great, but sad. I noticed, to my disgust, as I’ve heard, that Harry was wearing a “Blues Clues” jump suit. Honestly, you’d think they’d be more careful to look for something plain.

I loved every moment of the visit to Diagon Alley, especially when Harry went wand shopping. John Hurt was wonderfully mysterious, scary, and yet brilliant at the same time. The properties of the wands should have been further explored.

I loved every bit of the Weasley's screen time, even though it was very little. Julie Walters portrayed Molly Weasley excellently. Rupert Grint's first appearance was excellent as well, seeing as he is a wonderful actor. Emma Watson was joyfully snooty, although she was wearing her Gryffindor jumper already, which was clearly a mistake.

I loved every bit of the Weasley's screen time, even though it was very little. Julie Walters portrayed Molly Weasley excellently. Rupert Grint's first appearance was excellent as well, seeing as he is a wonderful actor. Emma Watson was joyfully snooty, although she was wearing her Gryffindor jumper already, which was clearly a mistake.

The boat scene was nice, but it was obvious they had used a blue screen. Maggie Smith as McGonagall was great. She was just as strict, fair, and smart as I expected. Her Scottish accent was a surprise, yet a nice one. Emma ranted to me after the film that she imagined McGonagall as middle-aged, but I always imagined her as she was in the film; fairly old with specs and wrinkly skin. I enjoyed the sorting, although I picked up quite a few significant errors:

    - The sorting hat doesn’t sing his song.
    - Harry isn’t supposed to whisper “Not Slytherin” he’s supposed to think it.

The lessons were all wonderful, Alan Rickman as Snape is just as venomous, cruel and biased as he is supposed to be, with Zoe Wanamaker being fabulous in her role too. I thought that the Draco & Harry flying scenes were a bit rusty (the special effects). Anyway. The potions lesson was great. All characters were great. I loved Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy. I was absoloutely amazed that Draco is pronounced ‘Dray-co’ rather than ‘Drarghco’ if you understand. It’s just seeing as the movie is English, I expected them to pronounce it as we Aussies do, ‘Drahco.’

The Quidditch was brilliant. I was quick to look for McGonagall’s name after hearing about it from other people before seeing it, and I did spot it too. The Quidditch was amazing. I have heard many people comparing it to the podrace in “Star Wars” and it’s very fast. You’ve got to watch carefully because it’s so fast you’ll miss it if you don’t. I did notice a very good-looking Slytherin, and the rest of the team are in desperate need of an orthodontist, as others have said.

When Ron ranted about Hermione on the way to the next lesson, I thought Ron should have said, “No wonder everyone hates her”, rather than, “No wonder she hasn’t got any friends”, because it’s a little more hurtful, since her crying wasn’t as obvious as I would have liked.

The Fluffy scene was weird. I would have preferred it if Neville was involved as he was in the book, when Filch is chasing them after Harry goes to duel with Malfoy. Fluffy was enormous. I didn’t think he would be that big. I think he should have been smaller. Besides, Snape only got a small cut from Fluffy, but wouldn’t he have bitten his whole leg off if he’d managed to get hold of him? But I can’t really blame Columbus, because it would have been awfully difficult to correctly portray a three-headed dog.

The mirror scene was beautiful and the library bit before it was good. Filch was played very well, but the mirror scene was, just as I said…beautiful. Daniel Radcliffe has something about him. There was such a sad, yearning in those lovely (unfortunately blue) eyes that made my eyes brim with tears. You just want to hug the kid. Just as JKR commented at the premiere: “He has such an endearing face.”

I thought Harry should have caught the key on the broom. I didn’t understand why the keys attacked him. Moving on to the chess scene. Bloody brilliant. It was Rupert Grint’s moment of glory. His very serious, “As for me, I’ll be a knight” spiel had me giggling like a little girl.

The Quirrell scene was great. He was just as smooth as I expected. However, I was a bit confused by Voldemort saying ‘Together, we can bring your parents back...”, etc. I thought this was impossible? Either Columbus made a mistake or JKR perhaps let something slip to him? And when he touches Quirrell, I was amazed that he was not burned, but his entire hand disintegrated, which was a little overreacted. Then, he was completely destroyed, which didn’t work out.

The End of Year Feast was great, especially when Gryffindor won. Strangely, Hermione received her points for “cool logic when others were in need” or whatever it was without having even have contributed. And the last scene was lovely way to end it; Harry embracing Hagrid and Harry’s last words: “I’m not going home. Not really.” That was sweet.

I think the movie was as good an adaptation as it could have been. Columbus did a great job, despite the many nitpicking mistakes (and significant ones) that have been discussed. I would have liked a bit more detail, just little things like chattering in the corridors etc., which probably would have given in a bit more atmosphere. The scenes were effective and detailed. Even though I have found many different things wrong with it, I have to say that overall, it was excellent, and I give it 11/10.

I can’t wait to see HPCS!
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