Thursday, November 29, 2007

All Time Greatest films for the World(4): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, released in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is a 2001 fantasy/adventure film based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. Directed by Chris Columbus, it is the first in the popular Harry Potter films series. The story follows Harry Potter, a boy who discovers he is a wizard on his eleventh birthday, and is sent to the magic school Hogwarts. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The adult cast features Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman and Ian Hart.Warner Bros. bought the film rights to the book in 1999. Production began in 2000, with Columbus being chosen from a short list of directors to create the film. Rowling insisted that the entire cast be British, in keeping with the cultural integrity of the book and the film. Rowling also approved the screenplay, written by Steve Kloves. The film shot primarily at Leavesden Film Studios, as well as historic buildings around the country, and was released in the United Kingdom and the United States on November 16, 2001. Along with mostly positive critical reception, it made in excess of US$976 million at the worldwide box office and received three Academy Award nominations. The second, third, fourth, and fifth books have also been adapted into successful films, with the sixth and seventh confirmed.
Story and Plot point
Harry Potter is seemingly an ordinary eleven-year-old boy, living with his ultra-conventional, insensitive, negligent relatives, the Dursleys. But his eleventh birthday, Harry learns from an enormous, mysterious stranger called Hagrid that he is actually a wizard, famous in the wizarding world for surviving an attempted murderous attack by the evil dark Lord Voldemort, when Harry was just a year-old infant. Voldemort killed Harry's parents, but was surprisingly unable to kill the baby, being nearly destroyed in the process and only leaving a lightning bolt scar on Harry's forehead. Harry is invited to begin attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.In defiance of his aunt and uncle's wishes, Harry chooses to go to the school, where he begins to learn magic and make new friends, as well as enemies, among the Hogwarts students and staff. Harry learns that Voldemort has been in a state of near-death since the attack on Harry ten years earlier, but a plot is brewing for the dark lord to regain his power and strength through the acquisition of a Philosopher's Stone, which grants immortality to its owner. Harry and his friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, discover the plot and seek to prevent the theft of the stone, which is hidden in a protected chamber at Hogwarts.
Reaction and Box Office Records
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, garnering a 79% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a score of 64 out of 100 at Metacritic representing "generally favorable reviews". Roger Ebert called Philosopher's Stone "a classic," particularly praising the visual effects used for the Quidditch scenes. Praise which was shared by both The Telegraph and Empire reviewers, with Alan Morrison naming it the "stand-out sequence" of the film. Brian Linder of also gave the film a positive review, comparing it closely to the book and concluding that it "isn't perfect, but for me it's a nice supplement to a book series that I love". Although criticising the final half-hour Jeanne Aufmuth stated that the film would "enchant even the most cynical of moviegoers." The sets, design, cinematography, effects and principal cast were all given praise from Kirk Honeycutt, although he deemed John Williams' score "a great clanging, banging music box that simply will not shut up." Jonathan Foreman recalled that the film was "remarkably faithful," to its literary counterpart as well as "consistently entertaining if overlong adapatation."Richard Corliss of Time, considered the film a "by the numbers adaptation," criticizing the pace and the "charisma-free" lead actors. CNN's Paul Tatara found that Columbus and Kloves "are so careful to avoid offending anyone by excising a passage from the book, the so-called narrative is more like a jamboree inside Rowling's head." Ed Gonzalez wished that the film had been directed by Tim Burton, finding the cinematography "bland and muggy," and the majority of the film a "solidly dull celebration of dribbling goo."The film had its world premiere on November 4, 2001, in Leicester Square, London; with the cinema adapted to have a Hogwarts design. Harry Potter was greatly received at the box office. In the United States it made $33.3 million on its opening day, breaking the single day record previously held by Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. On Saturday, the second day of release, the film increased to $33.5 million breaking the record for biggest single day once again. In total it made $90.3 million during its first weekend, breaking the record for highest opening weekend of all time that was previously held by The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Harry Potter held the record until the following May when Spider-Man made $114.8 million in its opening weekend. Similar results were achieved across the world. In the United Kingdom it broke the record for the highest opening weekend ever, both including and excluding previews, making £16.3 million with and £9.8 million without previews. The film went on to make £66.1 million in the U.K. alone, making it the second highest-grossing film of all-time in that country, which it remains to this day.In total, the film earned $976.5 million at the worldwide box office, $317.6 million of that in the U.S. and $658.9 million elsewhere, which made it the second highest grossing film in history at the time, as well as the highest grossing of the year. As of 2007, it is the fourth highest-grossing film of all-time, behind Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
The film received three Academy Award nominations: "Best Art Direction", "Best Costume Design", and "Best Original Score" for John Williams although it didn't win in any category. The film was also nominated for seven BAFTA Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Robbie Coltrane. The film won a Saturn Award for its costumes and was nominated for eight more. It won other awards from the Casting Society of America and the Costume Designers Guild. It was nominated for the AFI Film Award for its special effects and the Art Directors Guild Award for its production design.

Article and Collection Srivenkat Bulemoni

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