I had a dim view of the Potter series of books for sometime now, with a mixture of reading reviews and total rebellion at the complete overhype of them. However I’d recently sat down and started thinking about how biased and closed those ideas were and thought that I should at least give them a go. Never happened though, and I committed myself to watching the first movie in the DVD Boxset which I gave my girlfriend for her Christmas.
Well, it does have a lot of the traditional elements of a kids adventure yarn, and there are some exciting moments, but for me the story was far too packed with ideas and unexplored side stories. There were flat, pantomime characters, and quite a few unexplained events and character choices, things just seemed to happen without any prior warning with the explanation being left to the very end. A very sloppy story telling device when the writer has backed the characters into a corner or has run out of time.
Some of the animation work was excellent, and yet the main scene of Quidditch was quite poor with all the animation being shown from a distance and at high speed. It really did look like the videogame version, and there is perhaps all the answer we need.
Still, there was some adventure to be had, and some of the action was good, however equally editing on some of the action left a lot to be desired and simply confused events or served to pad them out without interest. A lot of these moments there was a feeling of cost or effects budget strain.
For me, not a good movie. The DVD was quite disappointing for me as well, although clearly aimed at fans of the series of books. The extras are light with two trailers and a cast list, but with the second DVD taking the form of an interactive journey with puzzles throughout. It’s certainly utilising the technology well and would be entertaining for fans of the series, and this is where the points are gained for this review.