Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone (2001)

See my previous post on the series here.

It all started with this story, the very first, the one that began it all. It seemed to be a thousand years since this movie came out, yet it was only 11 years ago. This movie was our first look into the magical world of Harry Potter and what he was in for for the rest of his life. The film is currently the highest grossing film of the series.

The story begins with a seemingly ordinary boy who’s living with his hostile relatives, the Dursleys. He has no idea that he is among the most famous wizard in the wizarding world. A gamekeeper of the magical school Hogwarts named Hagrid arrives and tells Harry the truth of what he really is and frees him from the Dursleys. He also tells the story of how Harry Potter was the only one who survived the dark wizard Voldemorts attack and brought him down and the reason for his lightning bolt scar.

Harry then starts his first year of school as a celebrity. He meets his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger on the train to school and already makes an enemy in Draco Malfoy. In his first year, he also learns about his parents past and the secrets of the school which leaves him suspecting the potions master Severus Snape. He finally figures out that the Philosophers Stone is being protected by the person who wishes to steal it.

The trio Harry, Ron and Hermione all sneak out in attempt to stop who they suspect as Professor Snape from staling the stone. They got past numerous challenges and traps until Harry finds himself face to face with the man who wants the stone. It isn’t Professer Snape, but the Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher Professer Quirrel. Professer Quirrel removes his purple turban to reveal Voldemort living on the back of his head. As they try to convince Harry to give them the stone, he refuses which then results in them trying to kill him. However, Harrys touch ends up turning Quirrel to dust. Voldemort then flees in his spirit form, knocking Harry unconscious.

Harry wakes up in the Hospital Wing where Dumbledore explains to him about the sacrifice his mother made for him which gave a magical protection against Voldemort. Before Harry leaves for the summer, he realises that Hogwarts is his home.

Petrificus Totalus

Chris Colombus has incorporated the magical world and adventure very well and it gives a fairytale feel to it. It contains some of the best lines of the whole series and will surely put a smile on your face. The movie does contain some awkward and overly cheesy moments. One being the breaking of Harry’s voice throughout the movie and the cringe worthy CGI. Unlike some of the latest movies, it does stay faithful to the book, though this was at the cost of some of the character development and the plot itself.

I rank this movie 4th overall which places this in the middle. I reckon this was a great start to the series. If it wasn’t for the strong start, we would unlikely have anymore movies.

Wizards chess in Harry Potter.

It's raining letters.

Lets end with some of the greatest quotes of the film.

Hermione: Now if you two don’t mind, i’m going to bed, before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed, or worse, EXPELLED!
Ron: She needs to sort out her priorities.

Ron: Can you imagine the look on old Mcgonnagall’s face if we were late. (Professer Mcgonnagal transfigures from a cat)
Ron: That was bloody brilliant

Hermione: Holy Crickets! Your Harry Potter! I’m Hermione Granger. (Looks at Ron) And you are.

Ron: Ugh, Ron Weasley.

Hermione: Pleasure.

Ron: Sunshine daisy, butter mellow, turn this stupid fat rat yellow.

Ron: Wingardium Leviosar!

Hermione: Ok stop stop! Your going to take someones eye out. Besides, your saying it wrong, it’s leviOsa! not leviosaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Dumbledore: It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.

And that’s all for the Philosophers Stone. Feel free to comment on your favourite Harry Potter moments. Also follow me on twitter or subscribe to my blog for more updates and stories on the franchise. I’ll be reliving all the movies this week before the very last movies comes out.

Harry Potter and the Epic Finale

Thirteen years ago, JK Rowling released the first of a series of books dedicated to the adventure of Harry Potter. This franchise she created has turned into a global phenomenon from the top of the bestseller list to one of the highest grossing film series of all time. The final week is a sad one for all Harry Potter fanatics worldwide as they await the final end of the adventure they’ve fell in love with for so many years. After the release of the awaited Deathly Hallows Part 2, there will no longer be any new movies for us to enjoy.

I remember myself at six years old and obsessed with the idea of magic. I didn’t understand what was happening of course, just the flying of broomsticks, the incantations of spells and the brewing of potions all kept my imagination alive. My first book was in 2002 at eight years old, when my mum gave me the Prizoner Of Azkaban book as a Christmas gift. It was a marathon read as i could only read 3 pages a night at that time. It really wasn’t until I bought the games and the movies when i really became obsessed with the magical world. I then went deeper by reading all the books, stunned and on the edge of my seat as i flipped the pages. This story has been apart of my childhood and now at sixteen years of age, it finally comes to an end. It may bring the same feelings to us fans which Toy Story 3 did to it’s aged audience.

With the the film set to release on July 13 in Australia (or July 15 in US or UK), there is just one final week left. Within that week, i’ll be watching the previous  movies one by one and and sharing my thoughts to you one by one. I’ll include favourite quotes, funny stories in relation to the film and a bit of my review on each.

For all Harry Potter fans out there, join us this week as we count down the days till the end of our beloved wizarding world.

Tomorrow we’ll kick off with the Philosophers Stone or Sorcerers Stone if you prefer that name.

Follow my twitter account or subscribe to this page for more updates and comment on your thoughts of the franchise.

Wimbledon 2011: Men’s Final

What a fortnight it’s been, with new stars emerging and the spectacle of great tennis seen all around the grounds, we’ve finally reached our final day of the tournament. It all leads to the final two men in the draw. Current world number one Rafael Nadal will take on the new number one Novak Djokovic for the title of Wimbledon Champion 2011.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal playing for his third wimbledon title.

  •  1st Round: Michael Russell 6-4 6-2 6-2
  • 2nd Round: Ryan Sweeting 6-3 6-2 6-4
  • 3rd Round: Gilles Muller 7-6 (6) 7-6 (5) 6-0
  • 4th Round: Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6 (8) 3-6 7-6(4) 6-4
  • Quarter Final: Mardy Fish 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-4
  • Semi Final: Andy Murray 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-4

The final of 2007 was the last time Rafael Nadal has lost a Wimbledon match. Ever since then, the Spaniard has won 20 straight matches on the All-England-Match, which excludes his withdrawal from the 2009 tournament. The world number 1 now faces the challenge of rival Novak Djokovic. Nadals recent performances has shown his obvious adjustment to the grass game from his clay dominance.  He’s sailed in the first two rounds of the tournament and was mentally stronger than Muller in the third. In the next three rounds, he would lose one set in each match against former US Open champion Del Potro, American Mardy Fish and British hope Andy Murray to reach another Wimbledon slam final.

However Nadal’s status as the number one player in the world has now been taken by his opponent and regardless of how he does today, he will no longer hold the position. Nadal’s aggressive left-hander style has earned him the place as one of the best players of the sport. But can he summon the strength against the ATP’s new world number one and defend his title?

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic finally reaches his number 1 goal.

  • 1st Round: Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-1 6-1
  • 2nd Round: Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-4 6-2
  • 3rd Round: Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-4
  • 4th Round: Michael Llodra 6-3 6-3 6-3
  • Quarter Final: Bernard Tomic 6-2 3-6 6-3 7-5
  • Semi Final: Jo Wilfred Tsonga 7-6 (4) 6-2 6-7 (9) 6-3

On the other side of the net, we have Novak Djokovic. All tennis fans would know the tremendous form that the Serb has run this year, with a 43 straight match winning streak and only one loss in the entire year, it’s not surprising that Novak Djokovic is the new world number one. Like his opponent, he cruised through easily in the earlier rounds before running into Marcos Baghdatis which reduced him to smashing his racquet. The struggle seemed to persist against Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic, but won despite the constant shift of momentum during the match. His final challenge and match of his life was against Jo Wilfred Tsonga who pulled off a stunning upset against Roger Federer. He took the first after coming back a break down and took the second convincingly. But the Frenchman fought back winning 11-9 in the third set tiebreak. In a tight fourth set, Djokovic managed to seal victory, a first time appearance in a Wimbledon final and the number one ranking.

Djokovic has had a record breaking run this season which involves a second grand slam title in Australia. Can he continue this form to claim a third grand slam title against the defending champion?

Head To Head

  • Nadal Leads 16-11
  • Last Meeting: ATP World Tour Masters Rome Final, Djokovic wins 6-4 6-4
  • Last Grand Slam Meeting: Us Open 2010 Final, Nadal wins 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2
  • Last Grass Meeting: Queens Club 2008 Final, Nadal wins 7-6 (5) 7-5

Although Nadal heavily favours Djokovic in all time matches, Djokovic has won the last four meetings all in 2011 and the last two encounters in straight sets.

Betting Odds

(From Oddschecker.com)

  1. Rafael Nadal 13/19
  2. Novak Djokovic 10/7

Prediction

My final prediction will say that Novak will win in four sets. I think the confidence he’s earned from this year and  his new status will enable him to win today. Nadal may take advantage of his frustration but in the end, Novak will outplay Nadal for the title.

Wimbledon 2011: Review Of The First Week

As Wimbledon takes it’s traditional break today, we shall look back at the week that was of this years Wimbledon championship. This tournament has come with stunning memories, frustrating rain delays and surprises in both the men’s and women’s singles.

The headline news of the womens field is the long anticipated return of the Williams sisters. Venus returns after a hip muscle injury which sidelined her for the majority of the season. The four time Wimbledon champion faced the toughest battle against the 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm who took Venus to the distance. However it was nerves from Date-Krumm which helped Venus in the end as she enters the 3rd round and now will play in the fourth.

Venus Williams scrapes through an epic second round match against Kimiko Date-Krumm and is now in the second week of the tournament.

For Serena, the comeback to Wimbledon meant much more. After winning the championships last year, she had an accident in a restaurant by stepping on glass. However this injury would then lead to several medical problems which put Serena out for 11 months. She now returns, more thankful than ever. She too has engaged in some battles with three sets against Aravane Rezai and Simona Halep. However she comfortably won the gruntathon between her and Maria Kirilenko which earns her a spot in the fourth round where she will meet and inform Marion Bartoli.

Serena on fire against Maria Kirilenko.

In the beginning of the tournament, many players are either delighted or disappointed with their location within the draw. But imagine how it felt for John Isner and Nicolas Mahut to verse each other once again in the first round following their longest ever match last year. This was the match that the sporting world was talking about. But many questioned if this sequel of the Isner and Mahut saga would be just as good as the first. Unfortunately, this match didn’t go the distance as many hoped. Isner successfully prevented another marathon, much to the dismay of fans, winning 7-6 6-3 7-6. It took nine hours less to win this time around.

No marathon this time for Isner and Mahut.

This years championships has also been shaken up by numerous upsets from both the mens and the womens side. The womens side has lost 4 of its top 10 seeds before the beginning of the second week. Australian Sam Stosur was the first to be ousted as she lost to Melinda Czink in the first round. The nexpected upset of the French Open Champion Li Na came next as she lost an epic battle with wild card Sabine Lisicki. Finalist Vera Zvonereva was favoured to be a finalist or even win this years championships, but last years semi finalist Tsvetana Pironkova had different plans as she got revenge by winning in straight sets. Schiavone was the last upset of the top 10, blowing several opportunities and losing 11-9 in their two day match against Tamira Paszek.

Lisicki celebrates her win against Li Na. The score was 3-6 6-4 8-6.

The top men have been more solid with Murray, Federer and Nadal all cruising from match to match. Djokovic faced a challenge against Baghdatis which lead him to boiling point and a smashed racquet. However he still ended up winning in 4 sets. Unfortunately, top 10 seeds Roddick and Soderling weren’t so lucky.

Andy Roddick came in favour to win his match against the Spaniard in their third round clash, winning their last 7 meetings. But a big service game and a dominant and aggresive game plan lead Andy Roddick packing early, leaving a quarter final epic against Murray to never be fought. Another surprise was Robin Soderlings surprising loss against Aussie teenager Bernard Tomic. A stomach illness appeared to be troubling the Swede, but the Australian kept delivering different shots which frustrated the number 5 seed. After coming back two sets to love against Hewitt in the previous round, he was unable to pass another Aussie as Tomic wins the biggest victory so far in his career.

Feliciano Lopez shocks Andy Roddick in the third round.

On of the surprising events of the tournament was the form of the two qualifiers in the mens draw. Bernard Tomic and Lukaz Kubot both came from qualifying and have now reached the fourth round. Kubot had a great run in back to back grand slams with a 3rd round appearance in Roland Garros. He ousted an impressive field of competitors from Ivo Karlovic, Arnaud Clement and Gael Monfils and will now face Feliciano Lopez. Bernard Tomic as mentioned before has had stunning run and shows signs of the future of Australian tennis after Lleyton Hewitt. After ousting Davydenko, Andreev and Soderling, he now faces Belgian Xavier Malisse.

Tomic on a run at Wimbledon.

 

Before we conclude, this years Wimbledon has also been filled with some hilarious moments. It started with Caroline Wozniacki crashing Novak Djokovic’s press conference and grilling him about his one match losing streak. Also Ryan Harrison had a hilarious moment during his shirt change. It seemed he couldn’t figure out how to put on a shirt. Also a first round match up between Americans Alex Bolgomolov Jr. and Donald Young had a intense situation turn awkward and comical. Watch below to see what happened.

This concludes my review on the first week. For more posts on Wimbledon and tennis in general, subscribe or RSS to my blog. Also follow me on twitter for updates on current and future posts and events. If there is anyone you know who would enjoy this or should be recommended to, please share. Once again thank you for reading and feel free to comment on your view of Wimbledon.

All images are courtesy of the official Wimbledon page.

The Curse Of Winning Roland Garros

Henin. Ivanovic. Kuznetsova. Schiavone. Li.

All these women have won the French open title in the past few years. But all have one thing in common. All have failed to deliver two weeks later in Wimbledon.

Justine Henin

Justine Henin with her biggest weapon.

Henin is known by many for her superb one handed backhand, the variety in her game and the mental toughness which she possesses. She has been ranked number one in the world and has won seven grand slam titles, four of which came from Roland Garros. The only missing grand slam is Wimbledon. She’s come close many times, making the finals in 2001 and 2006. She followed her 2007 Roland Garros win with a surprising semi final loss to Marion Bartoli.

It was this tournament which brought her back from retirement in 2010, hoping she’d follow Roger Federers success at claiming his first French Open title in 2009. However it was the quarter final match against Clijsters which gave her an injury which ended her season.  It would be this injury which would force her to retire again in January 2011.

Ana Ivanovic

Ivanovic celebrates a hard earned victory.

In 2008, the whole tennis world seemed to be glued and obsessed with the Serb sensation Ana Ivanovic. She had everything, the big game, the confidence and the beauty which rivaled Maria Sharapova. Her dreams would come true in 2008 after she defeated Dinara Safina in the final of the French Open which would earn her a first grand slam and the world number one ranking.

But in Wimbledon, the pressure of her new status seemed to show as she struggled to get past her second round match against Natalie Dechy and then lost in the third round against then wildcard Jie Zheng. This loss would be the first of many as Ivanovic continued to lose match after match. Her ball toss was gone and her confidence had evaporated as she fell as low as number 65 in the world. However, the end of the 2010 season seemed to show some hope as she battled back into the worlds top 20.

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Svetlana Kuznetsova wins her second grand slam title in Roland Garros 2009.

In 2009, many eyes were on world number 1 Dinara Safina to win her first grand slam. In the final, it was Dinara who struggled as Kuznetsova sent blow after blow of winners to earn a seocnd grand slam title. In Wimbledon, Kuznetsova faced German up and comer Sabine Lisicki in the thrid round. This would be a bad day for the Russian as she lost her match and left the court in tears.

Francesca Schiavone

Schiavone beats Stosur in the French Open final in 2010.

The veteran stunned many tennis fans world wide as she took a surprising win in the 2010 French Open. However it was two weeks later when the Italian would face a shock. Her first round opponent Vera Dushevina came back from a set down to win in three sets against the French Open champion. Although she failed to deliver in Wimbledon, she delivered in the following grand slams with quarter final performance in the US Open and Australian Open and has made the final of this years Frenchh Open.

Li Na

Li Na during her French Open win against Francesca Schiavone.

Chinese player Li Na has already achieved so much, particularly for her country. She reached the Australian Open final for the first time in her career and was the first Chinese player to do so. Li Na came as a somewhat underrated force in the French Open. But she soon delivered as she battled past the likes of Kvitova, Azarenka and Sharapova for a place in the finals. She faced the defending champion Francesca Schiavone which she would win in straight sets, making her the first female Asian player to win a Grand Slam.

Two weeks later in the current Wimbledon championships, Li Na came in as one of the favourites to win the title. However many underestimated the ability of the German wildcard Sabine Lisicki. Coming back from injury, Lisicki was thrilled to be playing again in the tournament which she reached the quarter finals two years ago. The first set went to Li Na and Lisicki took the second. The final set would then become nail biting as Lisicki kept pulling huge serves and Li Na was beggining to feel the pressure. In the end, Lisicki would pull off a surprising win against the Chinese, breaking over a billion hearts in the process.

Pottermore: The Harry Potter Experience

It’s been 13 years since the first Harry Potter book was published and since then, JK Rowling has lifted millions of readers imaginations all over the world. With the final film Deathly Hallows Part 2 set to release in just 20 days, the build of the beloved series for many fans worldwide is about to come to an end. However today JK Rowling announces a new installment for Harry Potter fans worldwide.

JK Rowling has announced a new website called “Pottermore”. This is the site many fans such as myself have dreamed of for many years. Pottermore will be a global and interactive site which will bring the magic to life. Us muggles can finally receive our letter to Hogwarts, got through Diagon Alley, be sorted in our houses, cast spells and mix potions and compete for the house cup. Maybe we’ll meet the famous trio along the way.

JK has also announced that new content on some background characters will finally be revealed on the site. It will also be the place to buy audio books and ebooks of the Harry Potter series. It will be open to everyone on October.

So will you be joining the magic of Pottermore? Many fans are thrilled with the announcement. Others are skeptical. Will this be the site which many fans have always wanted or will this be a disappointment?

Here are some screencaps of the official website.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For now, just follow the owl.

Feel free to comment on your feeling of the new addition below.

Isner Vs Mahut: One Year On

When John Isner and his opponent Nicolas Mahut stepped onto court 18 twelve months ago, no one expected that this first round match would live to be one of the most epic matches in history. In times where everyone was focused on the world cup, this match still managed to dominate headlines around the world. The match was played in a course of three days and went for 11 hours and 5 minutes. Both players managed to break several records in the match.

  • Longest match (11 hours, 5 minutes).
  • Longest set (the fifth set required 8 hours, 11 minutes).
  • Most games in a set (138 in the fifth set).
  • Most games in a match (183).
  • Most aces in a match by one player (Isner, 113).
  • Total aces in a match (Mahut’s 103 aces, the second highest number by a player in a match, brought the total to 216).
  • Consecutive service games held (168: 84 for each player).

John Isner celebrates the best win of his career.

It took 65 minutes on the final day of the match for Isner to finally break with a down-the -line backhand passing shot and therefore winning the sweetest victory of his career. Unfortunately for Nicolas Mahut, all those 11 hours of blood, sweat and tears lead to a shattering loss.

Isner comforts a devastated Mahut.

The final score in the fifth set ends at 70-68

One year on and as the luck of the draw has it, these two will ironically meet up once again in the first round, this time on court 3. John Isner has since dropped out of the top 20 whereas Nicolas Mahut rose into the top 100 and currently stands at number 94. The question is, are we in for another thriller? This match probably won’t end at the same historic scoreline, but what we can expect is for both these men, particularly Mahut, to come back one year on with the desire to either get even, or extend their win.

Mahut hopes to get even.

Isner intends to repeat his success.

Fans will have to wait before this match begins as its scheduled in the late afternoon, but once it begins, it is likely the enthusiasm of many fans worldwide will be felt when the first ball is hit.

For more blog posts on Wimbledon this week, please subscribe to my blog or follow my twitter account to get updated on the latest news stories of the tournament. Also feel free to comment your thoughts of this upcoming match or on the tournament in general.

All images are thanks to the official Wimbledon website.