13 November 2016

Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone

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Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone- What the fuck is it about? (Spoilers)

I wonder if the entire success of this franchise is down to simple wish fulfilment? Harry Potter is an eleven year old child when he finds out that not only is he famous for having saved the world but he's also as rich as fuck. You find me an eleven year old child and I'll show you a superficial little bastard that'd give his right nut for all of that. Send me to a mixed-gender boarding school and throw an invisibility cloak into the mix and fuck it- I'm sold. So Harry finds out that he's a wizard and on his way to magic school, which is lucky because his complete cluelessness makes spoon feeding the audience exposition pretty fucking easy. It's just a shame that they then go on to repeat everything about a million times. So Harry'll say, “You told me they died in a car crash” and just to emphasis this important point, Hagrid will then repeat “A Car Crash!!”. “You're a Wizard Harry”, says Hagrid. “I'm a Wizard” Harry repeats to make sure that all the thick people in the audience got the point.

As soon as Harry gets to his new school we see him progress from class to class, which I think is another reason that this franchise probably gained popularity. Not because kids like to learn magic but because every class seems to give tips to young boys on how better to knock one out! Want to learn how to fly? Simply “say 'up' and then grip it tight because you don't want to slide off the end”. Want to play some sports? That's good “because you'd make a good beater”. Want to learn some real magic? Well then make sure you “don't forget the nice wrist movement we've been practising”. And what is that movement? It's “swish and flick”.. which is pretty much the perfect way to dry your knob on the curtains once you're done. At one point, Harry looks into a magic mirror and sees a reflection of what his heart desires. Trust me.. if you were to really show what a school boys heart really desires then this film would not have been quite so family-friendly.

Anyway, once we get through all of this, everybody seems to shit themselves and realise that the story should have started by now. Harry goes into the woods and finds Voldemort, a supposedly dead and evil wizard attempting to return to life by utilising a type of magic that I can only describe as 'sucking off a dead unicorn'. Harry and his two new friends assume this evil wizard is being helped by their teacher Snape because he's played by Alan Rickman and as a result they don't suspect the stuttering Professor Quirrel. This is stupid of them because even if Quirrel isn't helping Voldemort, I've never known anybody come across more like a nonce in my life. So Harry and his friends go all Murder She Wrote by getting involved in shit that's clearly none of their business, and the film concludes with them working through a series of magical traps that play out like a crap version of The Goonies.

So was it shit or not then?

Well, it's literally been years since I last saw this movie and I was sure that I hadn't enjoyed it on my last viewing. However I was surprised to find myself really having quite a lot of fun this time. I was eleven when this film first came out and so I was quickly carried away on a wave of nostalgia. Then we got to one hour and twenty minutes in and I realised that nothing had really happened yet, there was still an hour to go, and I lost my fucking patience. The movie was just so fucking long. By the time of the credits, I felt like Michael Biehn in The Terminator; “What day is it? What date? THE YEAR”. And as ever with these kinds of things, the problem seems to be a pathological and self-destructive desire to stick too closely to the original book. The Quiditch game adds piss-all to the story, I couldn't give a solitary shit about which house has the most points, and we can get rid of the dragon egg without the story having to change in the slightest.

The kids actually get into trouble in this scene for staying up late and spending time with Hagrid. And what's their punishment? They have to go into the woods.. where they'll stay up late.. and spend some time with Hagrid! I mean, Jesus. Sort your fucking script out will you?! Some of us have homes to go to! I'm pretty sure in a later film one of the actors was fired for having been caught smoking weed. If he'd gone to Hogwarts then he wouldn't have been fired but simply paid with the stuff to teach him a lesson. It's all edited really strangely too, with shots being lingered on for like half a second too long which just results in these awkward pauses before and after each actor does their line. It's as though every character has mild autism and has to sort of guess when they're being spoken to. Oh, and because Chris Columbus is such a shit director, literally everything looks like it was filmed on a set. This is despite the fact that most of it wasn't. I've been to parts of Hogwarts.. it's Durham Cathedral. I can see the actual brick walls on screen that I've touched with my actual hands and, looking at them here, I'm pretty sure I could nut my fucking head through them.

If I was to praise this film and Columbus for one thing however, it'll obviously be the cast. It goes without saying that the adult actors are pretty much a who's-who in terms of great British thespians. In fact, the only person they seem to have forgotten about is Michael Gambon. Not to worry though as Richard Harris isn't looking his healthiest. In this film Harry is so wooden that he could have been played by a badly made cupboard door instead, and Hermione is so overly obnoxious that every time she opens her mouth I find myself needing to smash it with whatever's in reach of me. However despite his ginger toad-face, Rupert Grint was really good as Ron. He's got the mischievous kind of grin that lets you know that when he hands Harry an 'Every Flavour Bean', he's kind of hoping that his new friend will get something like 'prolapsed goats anus' or 'his own dead Dad's sweaty balls'. It is every flavour after all. The film might be too long and mostly rubbish.. however with a cast as good as this one, and the previously mentioned stuff that all teenaged boys can relate to, I think there's enough here for it to be worth a watch. At one point, the kids are told not to go to the forbidden corridor unless they want to die a most painful death. Strange really because that's what we were all told about our school caretakers 'private room'. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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