Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesdays Top-Grossing Reviews: 2001

Year: 2001
Film: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Box Office Gross: $317, 557, 891
Awards: Nominated for 3 Academy Awards
Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, Robbie Coltrane

Five of the top 50 highest grossing movies are the Harry Potter series, but only one was the highest grossing movie of its year. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first in the series and the highest grossing. I doubt there are any people who haven't seen the movie, or read the book, or at least know who Harry Potter is, but I like writing so here it goes. Harry Potter is an eleven-year-old, orphaned British boy who lives a fairly tortured existence with his aunt, uncle and cousin. On his birthday letters start arriving that freak out his family such that they run away to a cabin. The cabin door is knocked down and Hagrid, a half-giant, appears to wish Harry a happy birthday and make sure he received his letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is of course a wizard. He arrives at school to find out his whole life is known to all wizards as he managed to survive an attack from the worst wizard ever - Lord Voldemort. Harry meets friends, Ron Weasley (Grint) and Hermione Granger (Watson) and they learn magic and attempt to survive Voldemort's return.

I love the Harry Potter books, and the movies do a terrific job of capturing the spirit of the world of Harry Potter. The first one has the optimism and hope that the first book is about, and as the books got darker as Harry grows up and the danger increases. There is of course debate about the two Dumbledores - Richard Harris (for the first 2 movies) and Michael Gambon (for 3-7). I think Harris captured the older grandfatherly role of Dumbledore better, but I'm not sure Harris could have pulled off the powerful wizard Dumbledore needs to be in later books, so perhaps its a fortunate coincidence that Gambon was able to take over the role. I think these movies won't be the epitome of film making that perhaps the LOTR series will be, or even the genre changing that the Star Wars movies are, but they're wonderful family movies that will definitely stand the test of time. Which of the 5 so far is your favorite movie? I love the 3rd one, Prisoner of Azkaban, with Gary Oldman as Sirius Black!
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Rachel said...

I love the HP series (books & films) and I think my favorite movie thus far is Goblet of Fire. I love how dark it as all become. My favorite book is Half-Blood Prince, so maybe it will become my favorite in November.

The first two films were fun, family flicks. Though they were the closest to their source material, they are my least favorites. Of course, I think their director, Chris Columbus is kind of a hack.

I did like Prisoner of Azkaban a lot, but felt that some important information regarding the map and Harry's father (and friends) were left out. If you didn't read the book, you wouldn't understand some of it (like my husband, who had to ask several questions).

Order of the Phoenix is my second favorite after Goblet, b/c it's just so bleak (like the book) with all the political oppression at Hogwarts.

Now I'm geared up to watch the series again!

Jess said...

Thanks Rachel! You're right, as representatives of the books, the first two are closer and thus less good movies. I didn't love Azkaban the first time I saw it, it mostly annoyed me. I love Ralph Fiennes in Goblet and now I want to rewatch Phoenix! Thanks for the enthusiasm.