The new movie theater craze is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a movie based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. People are flocking from every place imaginable to sit in a theater for two and a half hours to see it. Although thousands are eager to get their hands on Harry Potter tickets, the movie really isn’t that great.

For those who love special effects, Harry Potter is a good movie. Fluffy, a three-headed dog, looks like a huge pit bull with gigantic sharp teeth dripping with drool. The giant wizard’s chess set scene features 10-foot tall chess pieces that come alive to brutally destroy the other chess pieces. Fluffy and the chess battle are realistic and terrifying.

The owls flocking to Hogwarts to deliver mail, the baby dragon, and other scenes are memorable because they’re realistic yet magical. The fast-paced Quidditch scene, with streaks of red and green shirts flying around while Quidditch balls zoom across the sky and into the players, will be everybody’s favorite.

But for people who like stories, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is just another mediocre movie. The plot is not well-developed. Because the movie jumps around from scene to scene way too fast, there is no time to build suspense. There’s very little story. If you haven’t read the book, or you don’t remember it, it might be boring. It might not keep your attention.

In the book, Harry does a lot of sneaking around, discovering hints and clues that something evil is going on at Hogwarts. In the movie we see little of this. In the book, the sense of competition between the four houses where students stay is threatening. In the movie the competition is almost nonexistent because they don’t show enough of what goes on in the classrooms. You really get no sense of what Harry’s teachers or classmates are like in the movie. Harry also uses a considerable amount of magic in the book. He almost never uses his magic in the movie.

In a basic sense the movie is like a bunch of action scenes sloppily pieced together. The Harry Potter movie is like a hamburger with no meat, like a cherry pie without the cherries. You might as well just wait until one of your friends has Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on video or DVD.

My advice to you is to read the book. EndBlock

Danny Krawiec, age 12, attends Ligon GT Magnet Middle School in Raleigh.