It's been 84 years. What? It's only been 19? Well I still feel ancient!
I have not seen these movies in so damn long, we're talking almost a decade since I last watched every single Harry Potter movie. I will fully say I was born at the perfect time because I was 6 almost 7 years old when this movie came out but also Lord Of The Rings came out, high fantasy was everything I breathed for a good long while during this time in the early 2000s. I was very pleased this movie held up as good as I remembered it, I mean obviously there's something truly special here because look at the literal armies of Harry Potter fans in 2020. It's unreal what these movies did to the world at large and to cinema period. It's a spectacular start to one of the best and most beloved movie sagas of all time, and it really did get me in that mindset that I was seeing something magical even after all this time. I don't think I need to divulge heavily into plot because these movies are practically known from birth but for the uninitiated, a young boy discovers on his 11th birthday that he is in fact different from his truly horrible family and that he has magic in his blood before being taken to the finest school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world where he meets friends, learns about the wizarding world, and comes across a threat from the past. I couldn't dream of better worldbuilding if I tried, every aspect of the magical world from wands, to broomsticks, the various details of Hogwarts, and so so much more is told damn near perfectly. It draws you in instantly from the first scene (I still want that Deluminator.) and you want to know more about the world, learn everything you can because it's so dang cool and so interesting. The characters are timeless with very good acting from such young kids and you grow to like them very quickly and get invested in their characters, but lest we forget true powerhouses of cinema as the instructors. Now I actually love Richard Harris as Professor Dumbledor just a smidge more than Michael Gambon (though of course I still adore Gambon's performance) and I was truly upset at his passing, I do see Dumbledore as a more sagely Merlin character with great wisdom and teachings though Gambon completely pulls off the most powerful wizard in the world edge. Maggie Smith is a joy as always and I'm so happy I get to see her all throughout the week. But best performance, the whole movie, hands down, maybe even the series, Alan Rickman. Hot buttery jam I love that man! No one knew what to make of his character for years in these films, least of all me, but there's no denying he has the best material to work with in the long run. I thought the effects were done very well, only using CG when absolutely necessary and while it's certainly not the best I've seen I'm gonna cut the film released in 2001 some slack for the computer graphics. But the sets, creature effects, optical effects, all done excellently. The music by John Williams is unbelievably good! Couldn't ask for a better score if I tried, and I will fight anybody on this but the best music in the whoooole series is the tiniest musical cue but sweet baby Yoda, the music that plays when Ollivander picks the right wand for Harry....aaahh! So good!! This is a great movie, I know the books were about halfway done when this movie began production so they had that foresight to implement exactly what they needed to tell in future stories. There is so many threads introduced in this movie that get paid off with each consecutive film, the MCU looks like f***ing omnishambles compared to this series, they had to make stuff up as they went along with only a rough roadmap and occasionally tie it in, this was carefully created so that each movie could build on the last and make a better experience. It really did change the culture of that time, my God you couldn't go anywhere without something Harry Potter related. I'll admit I was into it, I had dragons, owls, letter writing sets, and found my house on good ol' Internet Explorer (PS. I was a Gryffindor back then, but now I'm split between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.), though I never had a wand. I really, really wanted one but I never got one. We might need to fix that soon. Regardless, I was a huge fan then and I'm still a fan now, this is a great movie and I predict that each movie will only get better and better. 4 stars, 8/10! I'm sure this fandom will last for ages, and I am there for it man.