Tag Archives: harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone

John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies


John Hurt
John Hurt may not be an instantly recognizable name to casual film fans, but everyone who has seen a fair number of movies has seen his work.  He was Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter series.  He was The Storyteller in Jim Henson’s wonderful and too-short-lived eponymous series.  He was nominated twice for Academy Awards in 1977 for Midnight Express, and for what is probably his most indelible performance, that of the title character in 1980’s The Elephant Man.  He was also the unfortunate victim in one of the most famous scenes in film history: the “chest burster” dinner scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien.  He brought gravitas and dignity to every project he participated in, and I always was instantly more interested in a film when his name appeared in the credits.  Hurt has an astounding 204 credits as an actor over the course of his career, rarely as the leading man.  As a result, some of the best films he was in; he was barely onscreen for more than a handful of a moments.  I would be lying if I said I’ve seen even a quarter of his filmography, but any movie he appeared in was better for his presence, and these are my ten best of those.

Continue reading John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies

POLL RESULTS: Best Harry Potter Movie!!!

With the return of The Wizarding World, Killing Time readers this month mulled over the question of which is the greatest of the eight (now nine) films that make up JK Rowling’s universe?  The winner (and my choice as well) was the third film in the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  Azkaban is the book and the film that takes Harry Potter from an intriguing kids series to an all-ages fantasy adventure.  Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron brought a darkness and maturity to the series and broke them from the mode of being literal translations of the novels to being films in their own right.  Finishing in second was the fourth film in the series: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, followed by the grand finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Every Potter film received at least one vote except for the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  Now, come on, people.  That movie is actually the only film that’s better than its book, and it is certainly better than the first two films.  Tsk.  I can see it being no one’s favorite, but someone voted for Chamber of Secrets and THAT person, since they’ve clearly lost their mind, might have thrown Phoenix a pity vote.

Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe, Maggie Smith, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I’ll leave the results up until Thursday at midnight, at which time the Rogue One Review Poll will go up.  Now, this should go without saying, but nothing ever does, so let’s go over it.  Do not vote before you see the film.  Let it settle a bit before you did to avoid the knee-jerk BEST FILM EVER or I HATE EVERYTHING reactions.  We’ve only done this once before for Episode VII, and it worked out pretty well, so we’re verging on making this an annual tradition.  The film’s world premiere was last night, and there’s positive buzz coming out of it, though the review ban won’t be lifted until tomorrow (which is why I will be going as dark as possible between then and when I see the movie Friday night).
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Albus Dumbledore, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Severus Snape, Alan Rickman, harry potter, Daniel Radcliffe

LEGO Harry Potter in 90 Seconds!!!

The Wizarding World returns tomorrow and what better way to hail its return than with LEGOs?  As longtime readers will know, it is the official position of Killing Time that LEGOs improve everything on Earth.  Period.  Thusly, I fricking laughed my head off at the 90 second summary of the eight-film franchise put together by the geniuses at How It Should Have Ended in conjunction with the Brotherhood Workshop. Just a caveat, I don’t know why you wouldn’t know the plot of the Harry Potter books by now, but if you want it ruined for you in 90 seconds, this will also do that.  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will hit theaters tomorrow (or really late tonight), and if you want more LEGO Harry Potter, there are two fantastic video games you can drop 100 hours on enjoying.
LEGO Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger

My Favorite Scene: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) “Hogwarts/The Mirror of Erised”

With the return of The Wizarding World coming this Friday with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we begin to look back at the films that formed that world: the Harry Potter series. The epic ended just before Killing Time began, so we haven’t had a chance to break them down, so once a month for the next eight, a My Favorite Scene column will be Potterized.  That brings us to 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  The first two films in the series were directed by Chris Columbus, and-like their source material-are largely children’s films.  The Potter series grows up with its protagonists.  The goal of the first film, as the book is fairly simple, was to establish the world; to take Rowling’s vision and translate it to the screen in ways that would form a comfortable visual foundation on which to rest later, more complicated entries.  This was done masterfully.  The first time you see Diagon Alley, Gringotts, Platform 9 3/4, but I think the most breathtaking reveal was Hogwarts itself.  The scene of the boats gliding across the lake at night toward the beautifully lit castle, The Great Hall, The Sorting Hat, all of it comes to life as a fantastical, but very real world.  Having the great John Williams score the moment for you doesn’t hurt either. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) “Hogwarts/The Mirror of Erised”

POLL: Best Harry Potter Movie!!!

The Harry Potter films finished just before the beginning of Killing Time, so we haven’t had a lot of cause to talk about the eight-film franchise.  That changes this month as we return to The Wizarding World for the first in a five-film series spun out of one of Harry’s textbooks at Hogwarts: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  The new series takes place in early 20th Century America, far from the magical castle where we saw Harry, Ron and Hermione grow up from Sorcerer’s Stone to part two of The Deathly Hallows. Continue reading POLL: Best Harry Potter Movie!!!