Perhaps a weird reason to bump the thread, but I'm going through this series with Rifftrax commentaries. (I by no means hate these films - I just wanted to see what the Rifftrax guys did with them. I had listened to the one for SORCERER'S STONE back when it came out in like 2007, but never followed up, and I see that they got around to doing all eight.) There was a huge sale on the Blu-ray collection, so I figured what the heck.
My relationship with Harry Potter is relatively casual. I've read none of the books, but caught each movie theatrically. I haven't had the opportunity to watch the films one after the other to see how they function as a saga, so I'm looking forward to that. On an individual basis, I thought it would be fun to see if my opinion has dramatically changed on any of them. My memory is that the strongest ones were AZKABAN, GOBLET and PRINCE.
SORCERER'S STONE is pretty much as I remembered it: painfully simpering and entirely too long. There's plenty to enjoy, particularly with the casting, production design, and score, but the "cutesy" moments are just too much, and every attempt at gravitas falls flat on its face. The climactic game of Wizard's Chess where Ron justifies "sacrificing himself" makes me cringe just thinking about it. But the world-building is excellent even if the story at hand doesn't have nearly as much intrigue as the characters' facial expressions insist. And hey, remember when John Cleese was in these movies?
Favorite Rifftrax line:
John Hurt: It seems like only yesterday that your parents were here buying their first wands.
Bill Corbett: I assume they're parking the car. Always full of life, those two.
For some reason I have an incredibly clear memory of the ubiquitous TV spots for this movie. Malfoy saying "Have it your way then" before throwing the transparent ball is forever burned into my brain. (And Mike Nelson's "Brought to you by Burger King" was the perfect riff for that moment.)