Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

New HARRY POTTER Film Review!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with our second look at HARRY POTTER & THE SORCERER'S STONE. This sounds like a wonderful film. Personally I can't wait to find out what a qweditch match does, bet it starts a big fire! Here ya go...

Hi Harry,

First off I (call me Cygnus X-2) would like to thank you for your wonderful, and informative site. I visit it everyday and I must say that you and the rest of the gang do a magnificent job. Keep up the good work.


I saw HARRY POTTER & THE SORCERER'S STONE a couple of days ago at a screening for film exhibitors.

I should preface my review with a little background about myself. I'm 34 years old, and work within the exhibition industry. I have read all 4 Harry Potter books, and love them all. In fact each succesive book just gets better and better (darker as well). Although these books are loved by millions of children, don't think these books are 'simple' or childish. They're not. In fact when reading the third and fourth books, I sat there reading them thinking 'these books are way too intense for kids'. so anyone who knocks the books should read them all, before making a judgement on them.

I should also tell you that the film I'm really looking forward to this season is Lord Of The Rings. I've loved Peter Jackson ever since I saw Bad Taste many years ago, and from the looks of things so far, his take on this classic is going to kick some serious ass.

All right, let's get back to HARRY POTTER.

ha-hem...just a little warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!!

The film is, well... excellent.

This film was an exciting two-and-a-half hour adventure (I know that sounds like a bad film-review-ad-quote, sorry). I loved it.

BUT...well I'll get to the 'but' bits later...

Let me first tell you what i liked about the film:

The Acting:

Dan Radcliffe does a great job as Harry. A big part of his job was to 'react' to the situations taking place all around him ('I'm a wizard?','My parents were murdered?!','There's a wizard school?', 'I'm famous?!' and so on). I'm amazed how much restraint he shows throuhg a lot of the time. I wasn't expecting De Niro or Olivier here and that's not what you get. For his age though, I was impressed. It will be interesting to see how Dan handles the next few films, where he will be acting more than re-acting.

Ron Weasley was great as well (don't remember the actor's name though).

The adults in the film all did a great job. Mr. Rickman has the most challenging of all the roles in portraying Proffesor Snape, a complex character, in that he is a 'good' wizard, but hates Harry Potter with a passion and treats him with such cruelty that it's ...well... truly disturbing. Rickman is exactly as I imagined Snape to be. He's intimidating, shrewd, cruel and truly scary when he talks quietly.

Robbie Coltrane does a bang on job as Rubeus 'mean looking giant who is actually a tender soul' Hagrid.

Richard Harris also does a good job as Headmaster Dumbledore. Harris brings out the wiser, fanciful and fatherly aspects of the character which is prevelant in this first film. More of the character is shown in the later books, but in this installment, Harris is perfect.

John Hurt does a cameo in this film which was fun watching. He doesn't play to many (if any) of these types of characters, and judging from his performance in this film, he should do more.

The Story:

Plot-wise, this film follows the book almost to the letter. There are no major changes or ommisions from the book (except for the Norbert story-line). The changes that do take place (in regards to the story) didn't bother me at all.

You would think in a film like this (a guaranteed blockbuster), the filmakers would make sure that the plot moves along at the speed of light so they can cram in as much as possible, but they didn't do that. Don't get me wrong, this film moves by very quickly, but I was pleasantly surprised that there were some quieter and more reflective moments in the film. I know, all action films should have these 'down' times in them, but in this case, they actually serve a purpose (other than to let the viewer catch there breath) and they succeed. For example, the Mirror of Eressed (i think that's right) scenes...

If you've read the books, you know that this mirror has a profound effect on Harry, and that he needs to make a choice about how to deal with this mirror. I didn't think that the film would be able to translate what that mirror can do to people who look into it as effectively as it is done in the book (emotionaly anyway). Well, I was Wrong! It's not that there's any special effects involved with these scenes that would help us understand what this mirror does. It's just that Chris Columbus really does flesh out the emotions evoked by this mirror without visuals (except for the set designs). He just keeps it between the actors and the mirror. A very smart and mature move by Mr Columbus. One of my favourite scenes in the film is the scene where Harry is sitting in front of the mirror, just staring at it. You can almost feel what he's contemplating during this moment. (...happines, hope, despair...) . No effects, just...the actor and the furniture. Truly intense.

Kudos to Chris Columbus and the producers for treating these scenes with as much respect as the rest of the film. It would have been very easy for them to rush these scenes and concetrate on the effects, but they didn't. It shows that, wether they succeed or not, they will try to be honest to the spirit of the books.

The Visuals:

The sets were incredible. There was never a scene which did not look interesting. The Dursley's home was suburbia-hell. Diagon Alley looked very Dickension, which is how I have pictured it, and Hogwarts had many facets to it. Lush and exquisite in its common areas and the great hall. Dark and grimy in it's dungeons, and quaint in its living quarters.

The special effects were quite good. The moving photos and paintings looked so good that hallfway through the film, you probably wont even think of them as effects.

The invisibility cloak was one of the more impressive effects. When Harry puts it on and takes it off, it looks ...well... right. This effect doesn't look flashy, but it's so effective, you may not even notice that it's an effect.

The Quidditch match Is friggin brilliant! One of my biggest concerns was how these kids would look flying around on a broom. I figured it could look really dorky if it's not handled right. I must say though, that it looks absolutely cool watching these kids fly around on their brooms. The game between Gryffindor and Slytherin i would dare say, ranks up there with the pod-race scene from Phantom Menace for the sheer adrenaline rush you get just from watching it.

I also loved the chess game during the climax of the film. You definately got the sense that this particular chess game is gonna have some serious ass-kicking going on.

The Music:

John Williams music is great. Although that Hedwig theme is a little to prevalant. His best cue though, is during the final chess game. Brilliant...

..and now to the things which i did not like about the film...


The actor who portrayed Draco Malfoy was actually pretty bad. He just sounded and looked really cartoonish. Now in a film with so many young kids, I'm certainly not going to expect great things from everyone, so this isn't something that affected my overall enjoyment of this film.

The actress who played Hermione was OK, but not as good as the actors who play Harry and Ron.

The Story:

Like I said above, I was very happy about the translation of the film from the book. There was only one thing that dissappointed me.

The humour in the film definately doesn't match what is in the book. Except for a few lines mentioned by Ron, and Hagrid, most of the one-liners were lame and seemed forced. There are many times in the book (all the books actually) where while reading, I laugh out loud. I don't mean giggle, or chuckle, I mean laugh-my-ass-off! This doesn't happen in the film at all and one of the reasons is ...FRED and GEORGE WEASLEY. Where the hell are they in the film ?!!!! Oh sure they've got some screen time, but not nearly as much as they deserve. Their 'toilet seat' gift isn't even mentioned in the film. All i can say is, That's A Classic!

The Visuals:

I was impressed with a lot of the effects in the film, but not all. I was dissappointed with most of the cgi stuff. I mean, it looked good, but it still looked like cgi, not like it actually fit withing the live action stuff. For example, the centaur was as bad as the scorpion king in The Mummy Returns (and that was really bad!).

OK, enough nitpicking about the film.

I'm sure there's a lot of stuff about the film I haven't mentioned (and I'm sure I'll remember it all as soon as i click on the send button, oh well...) but, overall, this is one of the most enjoyable films I've seen this year. It certainly surpassed all the garbage we had to suffer through this past summer. This film will definately make a shitload of cash for Warner Bros.(until, of course, LOTR pummels it to the ground, he-he...). It's a great start for this franchise, and things will only get better if they stick to the spirit of the books (ie they better not sugar-coat the dark and disturbing aspects of the third and fourth books).

...and one final reminder to the film-makers. FRED and GEORGE WEASLEY RULE!!

Thanks, and see ya...

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Oct. 27, 2001, 6:17 p.m. CST

    "Quidditch", Harry. Jeez, I haven't read the books and I kno

    by Cash Bailey

    Oh well, someone it going to say it so it might as well be me: LOTR is going to smoke HARRY POTTER, STAR WARS and THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 2. Well, maybe not that last one.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 6:19 p.m. CST

    can't wait..................

    by horseflesh2001

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 6:22 p.m. CST


    by qualopec

    Crappy CGI should be banned. I'd like to see a new sci-fi fantasy film with NO computer effects...

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 6:35 p.m. CST

    As good as the pod race??

    by europop

    I highly doubt that. The pod race is the single most astonishing use of CGI in the history of film. Seeing it on the big screen was like being in one of those simulators, stunning. I don't see how broomsticks can possibly match it. Now that we hear that the film has some flaws, it looks like LOTR will truly cream it.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 6:43 p.m. CST

    The problem with really long kid's films.

    by blondbastard

    Two and a half hours for a kids film? If kids do enjoy it, then us humble folk that work at a cinema are going to have to towel dry chairs which have been pissed on cause the fucking kids couldn't be arsed to go to the mother-fucking bogs. However, had the film been 90 minutes, I'm sure the future wouldn't be so bleak.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Liar liar pants on fire

    by Greystoke

    Mr Wheatstraw's read all seven books? Only four have been published so far (excluding the comic relief specials). So somebody's lying, either that or he's really JKR in disguise. If so then you should be ashamed of your language miss Rowling. While i'm nitpicking it's the mirror of Erised. Erised/Desire? Figure it out...

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Sigh.......LoTR has already won

    by FoxyBeaver

    HP Sounds even gayer than I thought. Who wants to watch 12-year-olds flying around on broomsticks and chasing a ball with wings called a snitch. This movie will be the end-all be-all to kids and the apocalypse of all boredom for anyone over 10. Oh well, that said, LOTR rules.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Sigh.......LoTR has already won

    by FoxyBeaver

    HP Sounds even gayer than I thought. Who wants to watch 12-year-olds flying around on broomsticks and chasing a ball with wings called a snitch. This movie will be the end-all be-all to kids and the apocalypse of all boredom for anyone over 10. Oh well, that said, LOTR rules.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Harry Potter

    by metsrulein2k

    I must confess I never read the book, and nobody ever really told me what is is about other than a 12 year old witch or something, so with no prior knowledge, I saw the trailor, I hate to say it, but I was severely under impressed. To me, it looked like those made for TV Hercules movies that use to air before it became a series. Now I dont know much about LOTR either except from what I have heard when compared to HP, most people say that HP is a light weight version of LOTR, since that is the case, I will save my $8.75 and go see LOTR, the trailor looks a lot better than HP's does, anyway.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 7:46 p.m. CST

    English 101

    by statto4ever

    How can someone who has the spare time to write a talkback slagging someone up for their spelling forget the capital G in God?

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 7:47 p.m. CST

    RE:Harry Potter

    by Lemoncube

    metsrulein2k: you know, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover...or in this case a film by its trailer CAUSE HARRY POTTER IS GONNA RULE!!!

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 7:48 p.m. CST

    pettifogg... um, why do u care?

    by Castor777

    this reviewer was obviously wanted to release this review on this website as quickly as possible after seeing someone already had posted the first review. i did the same thing back when i was writing reviews for sundance and probubly made the same kind of errors. but u know what? no one cares. no one should care. i could give a fuck less if he got the name of the film mixed up and called in harvey potter. it really shouldn't matter. in fact, u should be grateful that someone is giving u a review of the film based off of a book that u probubly adore. if the reviewers grammar and vocabulary is so utterly horrible than u just can't handle yourself than honestly, keep it to urself. as u can probubly tell from this talk back, i don't give the slightest shit and nor does anyone else. understood? didn't think so - go ahead and post another talk back about how horrible my spelling is. i'll just sit back and laugh.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Uh...fellow talkbackers...Harry's mispelling and misundersta

    by Lenny Nero

    He's just fucking with you guys. The review clearly states what Quidditch is, as did many earlier reports and reviews. Take a joke.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Harry Potter vs LOTR?

    by magusreno

    Just out of curiosity, why does everyone compare these two films like they're the Gamecube and the Xbox? One is a children's movie and one is (basically) a geek movie, the audiences are completely different! Anyone but a 12-year old should know that these are apples and oranges here and that they don't compete with each other. Some people may actually see both movies! Imagine that, two movies in two months!

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 8:25 p.m. CST

    HP vs LOTR

    by europop

    I'm now going to complain at people who complain about people who compare LOTR and HP. They may be different styles of book, but the reason for comparison seems obvious to me: These are the two biggest sellers in the fantasy genre, and both would love to be remembered as the #1 fantasy story of all time. So just let people root for one or the other if they want to, because it is important to some people that their favourite book be recognised as the leader of it's genre. And I don't get all this "Why can't people see both movies?" that people spout when they don't like the LOTR vs HP talk. Hardly anyone ever says that they are not going to see one of the films. Just cos I say that I think LOTR is going to cream HP, does not mean that I'm automatically not going to see HP too. I think that nearly everyone who takes part in the HP vs. LOTR debate will see both films. So all you moaners just deal with the fact that the two biggest fantasy stories of all time are having their first big movies released within a month of each other, and therefore there is bound to be competition for which one will be crowned the king of fantasy (LOTR!!)

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 9:28 p.m. CST

    I'm going to complain...

    by Ribbons

    Dude, the reason people complain when they read all this, "HP is for pussies and LOTR kicks everyone's ass for all eternity" nonsense is because (and I know this has probably been said a million time before, but...) some people, including me, don't see what you all have personally or emotionally invested in one movie being better than the other. Movies are a form of entertainment. If they're fun to watch and tell a good story, then they did their job. You don't get your entertainment from one beating the other in "Grades and Greens," or at least I don't. But maybe that's just me.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 9:43 p.m. CST

    LOTR vs. Potter is idiotic.

    by MikeSal222

    There isn't going to be a consensus as to which is the better film, so give it up. Besides, there will be 3 LOTR films, and at least 7 Potter films (Book 4 will likely be split into two films, according to Columbus) so we aren't going to resolve this debate anytime soon. Go see both films. Enjoy both of them, and stop worrying about this non-existent "King of the Fantasy Movies" debate. Some will prefer LOTR, some will prefer Potter. All I know is, I've read LOTR and the Potter books, and I enjoy them both, for different reasons. Instead of trying to undercut one movie or the other, you should relax and enjoy them for what they are -- entertainment. Whether one of them makes a few million dollars more than the other is irrelevant. This ridiculous rivalry between LOTR and Potter, or LOTR and Star Wars fans, only makes all of us look bad. For some of us, these movies are a few hours of fun, nothing more, nothing less. Anyone going into either of these movies with the same unrealistic expectations as those who went to see SW: Ep.1 are only setting themselves up for a big disappointment.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Harry Potter and LOTRs

    by Lobanhaki

    When I saw the preview of LOTR, I knew it would at least be a glorious thing to look at. Hopefully, it will be. I think there is room for more than one fantasy success here. You see, I read the first Harry Potter book before this huge phenomenon came into being, and I knew, reading her work that I was dealing with some pretty good stuff (I've read hundreds of these kinds of books, literally speaking.) This is one of those series, like "The Belgariad", like "Memory, Sorrow, Thorn", like "The Chronicles of Narnia", and "The Dark is Rising Sequence" that is just brilliant in it's ability to paint a fantastic world at work. If the Harry Potter books come to the screen in good form, I'll see that, LOTR, and when it comes out next year, SWII: AOTC. Why? Because I enjoy watching all kinds of stuff, and I don't encumber my enjoyment by entrenching myself on one films side or another. Go Harry! Frodo Lives! And.............May the force be with you. Enjoy this boom while it lasts.

  • We should be excited with the great 'blockbusters' coming out in the next years- LOTR, Harry Potter, Matrix2, Episode 2, Spiderman etc etc... Why you geeks want one to beat the other is probably all in good geek fun and for heated rants here in talkback, though really, when it comes down to it, we just want some fricken great movies to be projected onto that silver screen. Sure our fanboy hearts may be broken if our beloved Spidey, or Star Wars franchise turns 180degrees down the toilet... but I guess that's all part of the experience of being a film geek/fan.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Petey's not the sharpest tool in the shed.

    by MikeSal222

    Why do I find it hard to believe that you have ever picked up a book in your life?

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings (please read)

    by Castor777

    look, of course each and everyone one of us is going to prefer one over the other. that doesn't mean we won't like both of them - cause it's going to be just like gladiator and braveheart. doesn't everyone have an opinion when it comes to those films? i do - i think braveheart is a hell of a lot better. so when i want to watch a 3 hour epic i'll normally pick braveheart over gladiator. isn't this typical? don't we do this with all films. don't u ever say 'oh i want to watch a james bond film' and decide which one u want to watch. because not only do we have a favorite bond film, we also have a favorite actor playing james bond. same with the old star wars vs. matrix thing - everyone has a taste for one over the other whether u like both or not. these are 2 fantasy films people, and they are being released within a month from each other. i can't believe people even ask why the two are compared. every film is compared to one another if u think about it. what the fuck do u do when the academy awards are brodcasted? do u not say, 'oh so and so is a better film and should win best picture'? i know i do. my god. i'm just lost that how people would be surprised that two films are practically neck and neck with each other. and 2 things - 1. harry potter being brought to the big screen is very cool but i honestly wouldn't expect them to bring all 7. after the third one they are likely to see a decrease in ticket sales, which may hold them back from making more. that's just what i think, but i don't really expect to see all the films out - after all if there are 3 more coming out and, if they are talking about the 4th one might being split into 2 films, than it could be the same for the remaining 3. who knows. oh and 2. i wouldn't really call lord of the rings a book for geeks. it too has been read by over 100 million people and has most likely been read by more people than harry potter. sorry but it's true. think about it - been out since the 50s, so since then families have brought it down from generation to generation and there are libraries that have had the books since then too, being checked out for almost 50 years now. it seems to be a point that everyone forgets to mention and i never understood why they overlooked it. some schools even have their students read lord of the rings - so i think it's better qualified under classic literature/most popular book of the 20th century and not just geek literature.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 10:49 p.m. CST

    THIS JUST IN!!!!!

    by jesuschrist

    Raging "which is better" debate between Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings has just edged out Star Wars vs. Star Trek as the all time nerdiest debate ever! Overweight men in tight t-shirts have been seen fighting with pimply teenagers in comic bookshops all over America! Well this reporter just wants to say this: Don't do this people. This is just what the Taliban wants! To see us tearing each other apart...Oh the humanity...of course I am just bullshitting. I am looking forward to both of those movies as the last possible bastions of big time Hollywood quality for the 2001 moviegoing year. Well them and Oceans 11, Vanilla Sky and The Royal Tenenbaums. Is it just me folks or has 2001 (with a couple of exceptions like Memento) been the worst fucking year in movies since God knows when? By the way, had no idea going in but I am embearrased to admit I saw 13 Ghosts today. Stay away from this lame excuse for a movie. Once again, I was kidding about the nerd debate so let's not get our big man-tits in a wringer about this. Hee hee....

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Hey jesuschrist

    by jesuschrist

    Maybe you should be embarrassed that you misspelled embarrassed. Ha Ha! (superior nerdy laughter) There, hopefully I beat somebody to that.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 10:57 p.m. CST

    The British aren't as big as pussies as American's are a

    by Critical Bill

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 11:07 p.m. CST

    PottervsLOTRvsEP2vsETvsCrush Groove?

    by RedFive

    Fu*k it gets annoying reading which movie series is better then the other.Everytime anyone posts anything about a movie series there always has to be someone who posts *well LOTR is better* *well star wars is better* *well ET is better* i say fu*k you all.Crush Groove is the movie of the f*c*king century and the history of the world long live the fat boys and there fat-asses.

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 11:51 p.m. CST

    I can't believe how you guys can allow guys like that into t

    by OniLink

    man, you're all wrong...better find another thing to do besides just bashing everybody here for the mere sight of a difference of opinion...inmature is the first word that comes to mind. And about that "family" story of yours, keep that to yourself, and don't f%@# with Puerto Rico, or else!

  • Oct. 27, 2001, 11:57 p.m. CST

    J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling deserve Congressional Medals of

    by boloboffin

    ...because between the two of them, they are going to save the American economy in this time of crisis. I'm one of these weird guys who wouldn't choose between the two at all. They're both brilliant storytellers. And both are fortunate that their works are going to be translated into some kickass movies.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 12:04 a.m. CST

    if only

    by movieManiac

    if only someone would get a clue and make a movie adaptation of PHILIP PULLMAN books.....sigh, guess that a little too much to ask from people who think JK rowlings work is original, its entertaining yes, but not even close to being a masterpiece. Now the His Dark Materials, those are imaginative book, HP seems like everyday life when u read those.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 12:13 a.m. CST

    its all so gay gay gay people!

    by PrimeSeed

    what is it with this gay obsession i'm seeing on talkbacks.Fak me!! You must be a reeeel stud if you can get in a mention about how gay a film is,honestly I'll never doubt your sexuality again. Don't get me wrong, I don't really give a squit,it's just quite funny that AICN is geek-central and you get posters who try to post with a manly 'tude,on ultra geeky topics.Case in point- Foxy Beaver - how is it that Harry Potter sounds gay but you're well up for LOTR's... I mean come on! Lord of the RINGS!! if that doesn't sound like a batty porn flik I really don't know what does.(and some Ringers had the cheek to knock Attack of the Clones as a title!). And hey..Petey Wheatdick, you are quite demonstrably defective,grab your receipt and head for your mothers flaps, you might just get a refund.Oh yeah -back on topic -Harry potter sounds quite gay to me, muggles and all.Now AOTC's ....there's a hetero film thats going to be the dogs testiks.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 12:18 a.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Is it just me or does Petey Whitestraw (sorry if I mispelled it)seem to be changing nationalities as this talkback goes on? First he talks like an American, then goes Puerto Rican, then some weird Russian/Spanish hybrid. No offense, I just think it's funny.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 12:43 a.m. CST

    His Dark Materials

    by grocer girl

    Movie Maniac, that is such a good call. I would love to see Philip Pullman's novels translated to film, provided the unique atmosphere of his work remained intact and the story true to the books. I don't know whether or not movies would sell, but they would certainly provide opportunities for fine cinema.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 1:35 a.m. CST

    It's the Mirror of Erised

    by son of lucas

    desire spelled backwards (like on a mirror) that it all

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 2:13 a.m. CST

    hey, jesuschrist...

    by Robert Blake don't exist, dude! You are just a myth, created by some crazy doomsday cult. Ditto about your daddy! *** NO GODS, NO MASTERS ***

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 2:14 a.m. CST


    by Darth Philbin

    AOL-Time-Warner owns both Warner Brothers and New Line, so nobody really gives a flying shit if you buy 12 tickets for Harry Potter or 12 tickets for Lord of the CockRings - the box office from both is going to the same fucking Hollywood suits. And since they own Freddy and Jason too, look for a Harry vs. Freddy vs. Gandaf vs. Jason flick in the Summer of 2004.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Why HP will easily gross more than LOTR

    by Fixxxer

    Okay, let's look at this from the point of view of someone who doesn't have a strong bias toward either movie. Like me. "Harry Potter" is going to easily be the biggest box office grosser of the year, and will most likely set the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time. There are those that will say the 150-minute running time will prevent this from happening, but let's remember that it is rolling out on over 4,000 screens, a hefty sum. "Episode I" clocked in around 135 minutes, and we all saw how well that one did. Plus you have to consider the fact that "Harry Potter" is a property that has enjoyed rabid fandom in the last few years by that most rabid of all age groups, the under-18 crowd. I dare anyone to even try to get near a theatre on Harry's opening weekend. It's going to be sick. Kids everywhere, dressed as Harry, clutching broomsticks, bringing the book to compare...don't doubt these things happening. Kids will want to see this over and over and over again. And so will their parents, who read the books to them. And so will their older siblings, who read the books in their Children's Literature class in college. And so will Grandma Jean, who just thinks that Daniel Radcliffe is such a cute young man. And so will the 20 and 30-somethings who saw "Episode I" and felt betrayed, and want to relive some of that movie magic again. "Harry Potter" is going to be huge. Will it be "Titanic" huge? That's highly unlikely. But it will approach the $400 million mark, I'm sure. That being said..."Fellowship of the Ring" will likely be a far better film than "Harry Potter." More ambitious, more technically savvy, better written (obviously, considering the source material) and better acted. But will it gross huge numbers? No. At least, not in America. And here's why: Hollywood's favorite demographic, that under-18 crowd, has no idea what "Lord of the Rings" is. Sure, they had to read "The Hobbit" in fourth grade, but they didn't understand it. What's all this "my precious" crap, and this stuff about Bilbo Baggins wanting the Dwarves to be careful with the plates? "LOTR" will play huge overseas, but here, it will probably top off around $150 million. It will be much like the "X-Men" movie; it'll have two spectacular weekends, then give way to other, more commercially viable fare. Teenagers don't want to see elves and hobbits shooting arrows and climbing mountains. They want fast cars, dick jokes, and naked women. "LOTR" is just not gonna get the job done here in the states. The rabid "LOTR" fans will go, for sure; but really, how many of you are there? I just graduated college. My friends and I talk movies all the time. They are a learned group of people. I said, "Jeez, I wanna see that 'Lord of the Rings' movie," and the collective "What is that?" would continually hit my ears. People my age and younger don't know what "LOTR" is, and I don't think they're going to care. It's not like there's a Freddie Prinze Jr. or a Reese Witherspoon in these movies to help draw in the young crowd. "LOTR" is not going to be the big box-office winner. That's that. But it will be the better movie. There. Now, that being said, let me tell you why "The Matrix" sequels are going to suck and "Episode II" will be great...

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Smoke a fat-packed bowl...

    by Darth Philbin

    Yeah, and another thing...I think that if you fire up a big-ass blunt before you go see Harry Potter, it will more than likely blow your goddamned mind! I think that it will be a much better movie to see stoned than Lord of the Rings. Furthermore, the BEST MOVIE TO WATCH STONED is PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE. Trust me on this one, guys. BIG TOP PEE WEE is nowhere near as good to watch cranked, but that fucking talking pig will make you laugh your ass off after a few good bong hits. Another good film to watch while you are high is THE FORBIDDEN ZONE with Herve Villachez - it's a low budget black-and white musical. Used to be at all the Blockbuster Video stores before they destroyed all their fucking tapes. Should call them TapeBuster. The worst movie to watch stoned is BEETLEJUICE because no matter how funny the film gets, you get depressed when the Maitland's car goes off the bridge at the beginning and you stay that way the whole fucking movie. Weird how all of these movies have something to do with Danny Elfman, too. Oh yeah, and don't go on Splash Mountain at Disney World right after you drop acid because acid transforms the ride into a hellish nightmare world in which we feel the pain of the hunted rabbit as he goes on a quest to find his identity only to realize that the world is really a cruel place filled by fucking singing skunks and shit. Plus you might accidentally piss your pants on the last drop if you are tripping like I did.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 3:26 a.m. CST


    by movieManiac

    Phil Pullman's books would be very difficult to get right on the big screen yes. But it would be great to see someone try. The depth of those books is something JK Rowling could never reach. Isn't it sad how the best books, and the best work is always neglected? If only Pullman's books had gotten the exposure that the HP series has.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 3:30 a.m. CST


    by statto4ever

    I'm an Atheist by the way, but I find it intersting that you say you don't belive in God, yet you use the phrase 'my God'. Care to explain?

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 4:48 a.m. CST

    Thank you for that info!

    by Ellie

    Thank you for typing that Info I apresheate that and I hope every one else does to! hear is a rose @--%-- and a smily face :) I am 11 and love reading Harry Potter. I hope that there is more websites on him, I hope you make one!!!!! From Ellie Sewell

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 4:55 a.m. CST

    I hope you got it !!!

    by Ellie

    I was just giving you my email it's I hope you wright back. From Ellie Sewell

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 5:25 a.m. CST


    by WindomsGirl

    Nice to see more Philip Pullman fans. I haven't read any of his other books but I'd definitly rank the His Dark Materials trilogy close to, if not actually alongside, the Lord of the Rings in terms of the scope of the imagination of the author. In some ways I think it's better. I don't think it would translate as well to film though.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 5:30 a.m. CST

    And as for Harry Potter...

    by WindomsGirl

    Don't get me wrong, it's really, really good but in my opinion His Dark Materials absolutely pisses on it.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 6:11 a.m. CST


    by europop

    Mirror of Erised??? Now where did Ms.Rowling get that idea from I wonder?? *cough*Galadriels*cough*Mirror*cough*

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 6:22 a.m. CST

    In the immortal words of Shatner

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Enough of this arguing crap, all right? You all stop it or I

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 7:37 a.m. CST

    I can't agree about Pullman

    by Drath

    Pullman did a good job with Golden Compass, and was okay with the Subtle Knife, but the Amber Spyglass was the worst third part of a trilogy I've EVER read(and I read the Queen of the Damned). The character of Lyra is totally inconsistant throughout the series, she blames herself for her friend's death and not the man who actually killed him, meanwhile the villains end up making no sense whatsoever and end up contradicting what they said they would do in the earlier books. And the logic behind the entire world(s) he makes breaks down with only a little thought.(the evil church is going to kill the girl by blowing her up with one of her hairs? and only one hair on her entire head actually blows up, but no worries because she can cut it off and bury it right next to her and it doesn't hurt her, it just blows a hole in the Underworld the size of the Grand Canyon only bottomless). I'm sorry, but a movie version of that mess would be silly on a Dungeons and Dragons scale. Not to mention it's just a big religious statement that doesn't work--you thought Dogma got trouble, wait until a supposed children's movie like this tries to get made. Pullman goes to great lengths to discredit Christianity, but then he goes and says the whole innocence by grace stuff is true? Bullshit. I'd rather see someone make C.S. Lewis's Narnia books, which despite what Pullman says are not as preachy as his own work. Hell, I'd even rather see a remake of Wizard of Oz or Peter Pan. It used to be they remade movies all the time, like Ben Hur had a remake ever decade. Now they make one movie and no one revisits it except out of desperation. Sad. ***** Glad to see a Harry Potter book reader liked the movie. Sorry to hear Draco Malfoy wasn't good, but then he WAS a cartoony villain in the book. His finest moment was being turned into a farret in book 4. As long as they get his dad and Voldemort right, it doesn't matter.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 9:19 a.m. CST

    sorcerers stone

    by FPWorm

    anyone know why this is called sorcerers stone instead of philosophers stone?

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Sorcerors v Philosophers

    by The Rabid Monkey

    Not yank bashing but focus groups decided that when the book was released in the US nobody would know what the Philosophers Stone was (not that too many brits would either)

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 10:25 a.m. CST

    In the epic battle of HP vs. LOTR, the winner is...

    by HootDad

    The Audience. And the producers. Of both films. I mean, for cryin' out loud, where did this idea that these films are "doing battle" any more than any other films do battle that are released in the same season? This is ridiculous. BOTH films will likely make a boatload of money for their respective producers, and we film fans will get to see what will likely be two awesome fantasy films this year. How cool is that? OK, if you MUST have a "winner", I predict a draw. I think HP will make more money (in the $400M range vs. $250M for LOTR), and LOTR will be more of an artistic success. Tell me this, if the producers of the LOTR films end up grossing, say $2B worldwide for all 3 films while the first 3 HP films gross $3B worldwide, do you think they're going to be beating themselves over the head because HP "won"? Give it a break.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 11:31 a.m. CST


    by Castor777

    i don't know how u are calling me the ignorant one - at least i can thank the reviewer for his time in writing this review and not complaining about his spelling ability. i think it's u who is calling out 'i'm an ignorant fuck' - but it's ok, this talkback will soon be long past us and we'll all forget ur meaningless arguments.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 11:31 a.m. CST


    by Castor777

    i don't know how u are calling me the ignorant one - at least i can thank the reviewer for his time in writing this review and not complain about his spelling ability. i think it's u who is calling out 'i'm an ignorant fuck' - but it's ok, this talkback will soon be long past us and we'll all forget ur meaningless arguments.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 11:57 a.m. CST


    by Dr. Death

    I don't see how LOTR will gross more than 150 million in the US even if it actually turns out to be a decent movie. Not enough interest in dwarves and elves and too much interest in Harry Potter!!

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 1:56 p.m. CST

    "Freaking kids."

    by Kai Vincent

    Thank you, Big Dumb Ape, for that moment of sanity. I'm looking forward to LOTR myself, but it's hardly going to change mankind like some of these creamed-shorts fanboys think.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 2:09 p.m. CST


    by jesuschrist

    I give you "Baretta" and let you off scott-free with murder, and this is how you repay me? To tell me I don't exist? Why of all the....Awww, heck I can't stay mad at you. C'mere and ol Jesus a big hug. There you go. By the way, I am still curious to know if anybody else thinks 2001 will go down in history as the worst year in movies since I died on the cross. Let me know!

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 4:45 p.m. CST


    by MikeSal222

    I agree with your comment that most of the people who post here seem to not like anything - movies, books, art, etc. - but only derive enjoyment from making scathing comments about movies that they don't care for. It would nice to see some positive posts instead of the constant attempts to undercut other people's excitement about certain films.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Actually Pettifog, I thought he did quite Well.

    by kojiro

    It is so Seldom that one Finds another who can use The King's English properly. Indeed, the Decline of proper Writing Skills is one of the most disheartening trends of Modern Society.-------Oy, Lobanhoki, I don't know about Potter but I can't hardly see how the Belgariad deserves such distinguished placement. It's been quite a while since I've read it but I remember it as obeying every damn cliche of the genre to the letter.--------Hmmm, methinks me smells a rat in Mr. Wheatstraw. A rat which stinks of the fool who went apeshit over on the Enya Lotr talkback. Sure the language used is different, but the maturity level (such as it is) and the style of attack (i.e. living on the damn board to respond to his/her atackers immediately, one assumes, because he/she has nothing more worthwhile to do) is the same.

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 10:58 p.m. CST

    yay, petey's back!

    by Estevez_Rex

    i was a little sad that he was gone. i enjoy petey wheatstraw's posts bery bery much. although i still prefer the dude from the enya talkback. you know, the bitches, bitches, bitches guy (why can't i remember his user id?). that was one of the most entertaining things i've ever read. i got a lot of pleasure from reading his posts out loud. even though i disagreed with most of what he said, he still made most other people on that tb look like a retarded, and i would much sooner have a beer with him then with any other dweeb that frequents this site. and, believe me, having a beer with me is an experience not to be scoffed at. once a mexican lady fingered herself for me at a polish dive bar in manhattan when no one else was looking. but i would also have a beer with petey whitestone. this is not sarcasm, by the way, but jebus' own truth!

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 11:20 p.m. CST

    I like both LotR and HP

    by PhoenixWoman

    Thing is, both Tolkien and Rowling have had to take lots of crap from "serious" writers -- the intelligentsia didn't like Tolkien's fantasy world, and they don't approve of Harry Potter's world. But both authors will be remembered long after the ones the hoity-toity find fashionable (anybody remember Jay McInerney?) are in the remainder bins of history. (By the way: Just as Tolkien got me reading Norse mythology, Rowling's got me reading her favorite author, Jane Austen. And once you start reading Austen, you'll see where Rowling got much of her style and humor.)

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Where the hell is McGonagall?!

    by Clover_Witch

    You didn't say a damn thing about Professor McGonagall, or Dame Maggie Smith's protrayal of her! All of the five McGonagall fans out there think that she's awesome and are pretty damn hurt you didn't say anything, Harry. From the previews I've seen, she rawks, so why the hell didn't she get mentioned?!

  • Oct. 28, 2001, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Dorks, so many dorks.

    by The_Source

    Honestly, I don't understand how so many dorks talk back each day. Why is there any need to compare this movie to LOTR. Also, who cares if Harry knows how to spell quidditch. If you spelled it right on here, you don't look any cooler. Man, you really don't look any cooler. Why can't people just stop giving themselves pirate eyes and getting mad at other people about it? ARRRRR.

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 12:05 a.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to see both movies. But whether or not

    by drompter

    Just look at the facts people, just the facts. TPM was reportedly the letdown movie of 1999. I know few people who loves Jar-Jar Binks. Almost everybody thought the acting was wooden. Almost everybody found Jake Floyd dump. Almost everybody thought the Gungan battle was cartoony. Nobady liked the kiddie stuff. Nobody liked the little screen time of Darth Maul, the robotic acting of Nathalie Portman, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. Still, the movie made US$418 millions at the box office. When it was released on video it set an unprecedent record of US$100 millions in just two days (one year after its theater release). And now its DVD has set a new record of US$47 millions in its first week (2 and a half years after its theater release). And it was soppose to be a dissapointing movie. Just imagine the numbers of Episode II if turns out to be a solid Star Wars movie. (and according to the reports, it's a good posibility). US$728 millions at the box office

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 1:15 a.m. CST

    let me get this straight...

    by wilko185

    So no-one likes TPM---but it cant't have been a failure coz it made a shitload of money. Likewise Harry Potter will be a "success" ---because of its mass market appeal, while LOTR will be less of a triumph on the universal scale--- due to its narrower demographics....but how do these movies compare to the classics of the past? How much did It's a Wonderful Life cost? Did Lawrence of Arabia break even? Were the backers of The Wizard of Oz rolling in clover...or pissing up the wall? It is surely similar questions to these that future generations will ponder when evaluating the creative output of the present generation of film-makers. Right? ***The fact that most reviews of TPM were negative, that most people posting on this and other fansites (ie. the hardcore fans) were and are generally down on the film, counts for naught compared to the bottom line---it makes money. Do you know how much New Line has invested in LOTR? No? Me neither. And as I don't have shares in the company, I don't care. I just hope HP, and LOTR, and AOTC are all good films ("good" by my own and most other's subjective viewpoint of course). How could I want anything else, or anything more? Maybe if I lived in the US I'd feel less distant from all this talk of the US box office take ...but I doubt it. How bout you. Are you a film fan a or bean counter? Or is anti-$ talk unpatriotic these days?

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 1:25 a.m. CST

    who gives a crap about a two and half hour kids movie

    by MovieStud

    i cant believe all you idiots spend time talking about a harry potter movie. who gives a crap!!!Its going to suck and you'll all going to bitch about it after opening weekend when you wasted 21/2 hours of your life watching some british kid playing around with witchcraft (or some form of it). I know that weekend I will be studying for finals and hanging out with real friends.

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 2:13 a.m. CST

    A Simple difference: one is a story for children, one is not

    by AntoniusBloc

    Until we see the movies, it is difficult to make a fair comparison of the MOVIES. However, there is one simple difference between the books: HP is written for children, LOTR is not. Tolkien's work is a great work of literature. There are college english and philosophy classes throughout the U.S. that that focus only on Tolkien's LOTR. (I took such a philosophy course at Boston College) Tolkien's style of writing is compared to the poetic style of Beowulf and the Bible, both of which Tolkien was heavily influenced by. The depth of the characters,themes, and symbolism of LOTR is what makes it a serious adult work, not just the fact that it is "dark" at times. Now, i have not read Potter, but the trailer makes it look like a live-action version of an animated Disney type fantasy.

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Re: Wilco185

    by drompter

    You get me wrong wilc boy. The objective of my post was not to remark the fact that movies should be judge for the money they make at the box office (if that were the case, then Titanic is the best movie ever, and Rush Hour 2 is a masterpiece and so is American Pie). I agree with you when you say you want ATOC, LOTR, HP, GFDS, UJNBGFRC, kjyg, etc, etc, etc, to be good by their own. I just wrote a simple comment referring that if TPM made all that money being a disappointing movie, then Episode II, wich looks a lot better, will make Georgie boy jump at least ten places in the Forbes's list. Just a simple statement, nothing more. BTW,no, I'm not american, as you can see for my "writing accent"

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 5:56 a.m. CST

    dark materials

    by polgara04

    amen to that bit about making pullman's books into movies. those are awsome, but the subtle knife was my favourite, mostly because it focuses more on Will than Lyra. Lee Scoresby was likely the second best character in the book, behind Will Peary, Will's dad was pretty cool too, but you didnt see enough of him. on to hp I have read all the books (4 of them, and i dont care what you call me petey) and i must say that if this movie doesnt live up to them, i will forsake what little faith i had left in the movie industry to deliver quality entertainment at a nominal fee (corny idinit)not that they have ever done that in my lifetime. Its all about money, and making an endless stream of sequels, so that you can suck they soul out of a francise, and leave the original lying exposed and without dignity in the middle of a muddy street (much like petey's mom, apparently) *ahem* anyway, so i hope these movies rule, and they fact that there will be seven of them will not make the producers think that they can make the later ones on the caliber of land before time six (there are like ten of those now) if they make all of them good, it will go down in history as a movie first. Try our best at a sequal?!?! perish the thought!!!!! lets just leave this largely to the brits, and it will be fine. and lotr will rule. yes, ofcourse. it had better. i dont think i could take both of these movies sucking. that would be bad, very bad (any reboot fans???) speaking of!!!!!! when are we gonna have a reboot movie?!?!?! it would be screwed up, but still!!!!!!! reboot is great, i better not hear any arguments on that one. its an established fact, not unlike gravity. ~polgara~

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Tony block

    by Greystoke

    Sorry but this is beginning to wind me up. LOTR is a kids book as well, JRR wrote it for his kids and also to justify the fact that he'd invented another language. so please don't tell me how high brow and worthy LOTR is and how HP is trashy kids stuff. Just because people study them at universities doesn't make them grown up books (thank god). I must apologise to peatey pantwhiff as well, I didn't realise she was your mother. mind you i couldn't see her face as i was banging her from behind!

  • Is that what they call it these days?

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Dark Materials 'n other kid's books

    by Chocky

    I&#39;ve read the first two books of this series, and not been terribly impressed. Yes, Lyra isn&#39;t that likeable. In fact I didn&#39;t like anybody except possibly for Polar Bear Warrior Dude (sorry, I can&#39;t remember his name). The fantasy world didn&#39;t seem very authentic to me.<><><><><>Now "The Dark is Rising" and Lloyd Alexander&#39;s books, those are good children&#39;s series (Disney&#39;s "The Dark Cauldron" aside). Peter S. Beagle&#39;s "The Last Unicorn" is excellent (again, the cartoon movie version aside). Does anybody remember the books by Zilpha Keatley Snyder? Not the lame-o forest series, but the one-off books like "The Witches of Wyrm", "The Changeling", and "The Headless Cupid." Those kick booty. And introduce children to that most excellent virtue: skepticism. (Although Mom had to explain to me that Wyrm wasn&#39;t really a demon). <><><><>oops I rambled far off topic yet again. Well I luv Harry Potter, but I luv LoTR more. Will see both, and purchase related merchandise like the mindless consumer sheep I am. I&#39;ll even see SW2, even though I disliked TPM.--Chocky, a Royal Geek.

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Mindless debate

    by Flash_Ah_Ahhh

    Arguing the merits of any two movies is pretty futile. Arguing these two is absurd beyond any possibility of parody. They both use the word &#39;Wizard&#39;, yes. Lord of the Rings is an epic adventure. Harry Potter is a mystery and coming-of-age story. You might as well be arguing whether Raiders of the Lost Ark or Life is Beautiful is the better movie. They both have Nazis. This argument makes the Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate look like ripe material for a doctoral thesis.

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 5:46 p.m. CST


    by kojiro

    That was genuinely funny. But seriously dude you need a better hobby.

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Fact: Tolkien did not write LOTR for his children, or for kids i

    by AntoniusBloc

    LOTR is inspired by "The Hobbit" which he did write for his children. However, Tolkien himself makes it clear that before he began writing the epic story of "The Lord of the Rings" he made a concsious decision NOT to make it a children&#39;s story. And even though "The Hobbit" is directed toward children, i could never view it as a shallow Disney-like fantasy, that Potter APPEARS to be. The depth of "The Hobbit" is more on the level of the Chronicles of Narnia. I admit, all i have to go by are plot descriptions, images, and of course the movie trailer when it comes to Potter. However,kids riding broomsticks just does not spark my interest.

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Fact: Tolkien did not write LOTR for his children, or for kids i

    by AntoniusBloc

    LOTR is inspired by "The Hobbit" which he did write for his children. However, Tolkien himself makes it clear that before he began writing the epic story of "The Lord of the Rings" he made a concsious decision NOT to make it a children&#39;s story. And even though "The Hobbit" is directed toward children, i could never view it as a shallow Disney-like fantasy, that Potter APPEARS to be. The depth of "The Hobbit" is more on the level of the Chronicles of Narnia. I admit, all i have to go by are plot descriptions, images, and of course the movie trailer when it comes to Potter. However,kids riding broomsticks just does not spark my interest.

  • Oct. 29, 2001, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Fact: Tolkien did not write LOTR for his children, or for kids i

    by AntoniusBloc

    LOTR is inspired by "The Hobbit" which he did write for his children. However, Tolkien himself makes it clear that before he began writing the epic story of "The Lord of the Rings" he made a concsious decision NOT to make it a children&#39;s story. And even though "The Hobbit" is directed toward children, i could never view it as a shallow Disney-like fantasy, that Potter APPEARS to be. The depth of "The Hobbit" is more on the level of the Chronicles of Narnia. I admit, all i have to go by are plot descriptions, images, and of course the movie trailer when it comes to Potter. However,kids riding broomsticks just does not spark my interest.

  • Nov. 14, 2001, 9:35 p.m. CST

    LOTR vs HP

    by Ghostdoggy

    J.K. Rowling kicks Tolkien Butt and there is only one Lord of My Ring - Preparation H xxx P.s. Petey is quite simply very fucked in the head but enormously funny with it!! I look forward to reading his crits in the leading newspapers as soon as he is old enough to apply for a real job