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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Year: 2001
Production Co: 1492 Pictures
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Chris Columbus
Writer: J K Rowling
Cast: Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Richard Griffiths, Vern Troyer, John Hurt, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, Emma Watson, John Cleese
All right, up front, I'm one of the few non Harry Potter fans in the human race. I've never read the books, and of the movies, I've only seen half of this one and The Goblet of Fire.

Why did I watch only half of this, and why am I reviewing it if I watched so little of it? Because I think any film that made nearly a billion dollars on the back of a cultural juggernaut the likes of which we hadn't seen since the Matrix series with such shoddy special effects deserves at least a mention.

One glance at the Quidditch game - with cheap-arse superimposed characters against a matte painting backdrop - was enough. In any family-friendly film costing over a hundred million that's unforgivable, and turned me off Harry Potter films forever until I had to review one of the tiresome sequels.

That, and it's a kids film which - together with musicals - is one of the two genres I routinely dislike. Sad that the cream of England's acting talent had to whore themselves to an American studio and appear in this twaddle just for a big payday.

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