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Vulcan Stev’s Family Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Richard Harris …  Professor Albus Dumbledore
Maggie Smith …  Professor Minerva McGonagall
Robbie Coltrane …  Rubeus Hagrid
Daniel Radcliffe …  Harry Potter
Fiona Shaw …  Aunt Petunia Dursley
Harry Melling …  Dudley Dursley
Richard Griffiths …  Uncle Vernon Dursley

Synopsis from IMDb: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first film in the Harry Potter series based on the novels by J.K. Rowling. It is the tale of Harry Potter, an ordinary 11-year-old boy serving as a sort of slave for his aunt and uncle who learns that he is actually a wizard and has been invited to attend the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is snatched away from his mundane existence by Hagrid, the grounds keeper for Hogwarts, and quickly thrown into a world completely foreign to both him and the viewer. Famous for an incident that happened at his birth, Harry makes friends easily at his new school. He soon finds, however, that the wizarding world is far more dangerous for him than he would have imagined, and he quickly learns that not all wizards are ones to be trusted.

VS: 1.9 pointed ears.
Let me caveat by stating that I was raised in home that discouraged involvement in anything that had to do with witchcraft/magic.  This restriction came from our religious beliefs.  As such when the Harry Potter books began to hit it big I followed my parent’s lead and forbade my children from reading them at young age.  As my children grew and were able to make theri own desicions, I relaxed the restrictions.  I have never read the Harry Potter books nor do I have the desire to do so, I can judge these movies on their own merit.

When this movie hit the screens we did not go see it in the theater.  Children in my Sunday School class began asking me question about Harry Potter.  I decided that I should at least familiarize myself with the movie so as to be able to answer questions about it.

To say I was pleasantly surprised is to put it mildly.  The whole idea of Witchcraft and Wizzadry does not sit well with me due to my upbringing (deal with it).  Harry Potter et all are decidedly good people.  Chris Columbus made me believe that folks could fly on brooms.  The story holds up well.  Having seen later films, I am impressed with the set-ups included in this movie.  The whole snake scene sets up wonderfully the sub-plot of Chamber of Secrets.

The .1 that my rating lacks is solely due to my being uncomfortable with witchcraft as a setting.  If dealing with witchcraft is a deal-breaker then this movie series is not for you.

Mrs. VS – 1 pointed ear
Which one is this?  The first one?  Is that the one where Harry fights the snake?  My family enjoys these movies.  I’ll sit and enjoy family time with them.  The train looks nice.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears.
Daddy let me read this book when I got old enough to handle the themes.  I love the J.K. Rowling novels.  HPatSS followed the novel pretty close.  Chris Columbus & Steve Kloves did a fantastic job of bring life to Ms. Rowlings book.  Quidditch looked better on the screen than my imagination initially pictured.

PIT #2 – 1.7 pointed ears
This is a decent movie.  It’s not my favorite genre but I can watch it.  When my younger brother asks to plug this DVD in I usually balk.  It’s watchable once or twice.  PIT #3 plugs this sucker in at least once a month.

PIT #3 – 1.95 pointed ears
The only fault I have with this movie is that Harry learns things TOO quickly.  He’s never even heard of magic while living with the Dursley’s but yet he can fly a broom well enough to become the ONLY first year to make the House Quidditch Team.  Otherwise I enjoy this movie sooo much that I watch it every chance I can convince Daddy to plug in the DVD.

Overall: 8.55 ears out of 10.  A nice family friendly movie.  The movie does not focus on the “magic” of Rowling’s universe.  Families with sensitivity to the subject matter will want to watch this movie together if at all.


February 14, 2009 - Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , ,


  1. What I found interesting, is that when J.K. Rowling finished the series, she self-identified as a Christian, and suggested that people who interviewed her made assumptions on her worldview without bothering to ask directly.

    Having said that, as you watch the film series (like you, Stev, I haven’t read the books, and not certain if I will), you will see a lot of Christian themes. I’ve even used lines from the films as illustrative material in some of my sermons (without mentioning their source).

    Of course, the magic themes my be a deal breaker for most, but for me, the series is a fantasy, and the basic tropes in the films make it obvious.

    Needless to say, my wife and I both look forward to each new film when it comes out

    Comment by Hank Harwell | February 14, 2009

  2. I suspect that my parents and grandparents before them forbade entertainment along these line is in no small part due to Duet 18:9-13

    Bewitched (among othr things) was expressly forbiden in my home growing up. I continued that practice but as my children grew and matured I allowed them to make the determination on their own. PIT#1 & #3 have read the novels.

    I am looking forward to the movie due out this summer.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 14, 2009

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