Sunday, November 20, 2011

3 Short Paragraphs: Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone

2001, Chris Columbus -- rewatch; download

Yes, Philopher's Stone, not Sorceror's Stone.  The name change for the US book, carried through with the movie, never made much sense to me. I guess it comes down as simple as, "Why would a philosopher do magic?"  At least when we found downloads, we got the non-american version.  We are watching the movies again because we missed the last three in the theatres so decided to catch up in full.  And I am also preparing to read the books for the first time, now that things are fully completely over.

In some ways this is my favourite movie of the bunch, basically because it is the one that introduces the muggle in me to the universe but also because it's one of the few in the story that is so wrapped up in its English setting.  The whole gist of the first story is not only to introduce us to the Harry Potter vs Voldemort mythology but also to the world of magic.  We get the idea of how the magic coincides in our world but is hidden from us and are tossed a few of the trappings in their world like wands and brooms and magic spells.  Add to that the very british idea of living at your school, bureaucratic ministries and the Edwardian & Victorian aspects to everything wizardly and I just loved rewatching this movie as much as I did the first time.

Hagrid was once again my favourite character, the gigantic groundskeeper and specialist in all things monstrous. Like the big bear of a uncle that we all wanted growing up, he dotes on Harry and speaks plainly to him like no other adult ever did before.   I am also rather fond of Dumbledore, the not quite doddering Gandalf-Merlin analog who always seems to carry an innocent air of knowing completely what is going on around him.  The last and possibly best character is Hogwarts itself but really, she isn't seen in her full glory until the third instalment.