HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE - American director Chris Columbus (HOME ALONE) brings the magic of British author J.K. Rowling's beloved best-selling fantasy novel to life in HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE. Eleven-year-old orphan Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) finds his world turned upside down when he discovers that, like his deceased parents, he is a wizard and has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With fellow first-year students Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) by his side, Harry's adventures begin in the rambling castle that is Hogwarts. Vivid special effects make Hogwarts' magic a reality with paintings that come alive, staircases that move themselves, friendly ghosts, and fast-paced Quidditch (the school sport) matches in which students zoom around on their flying brooms. Mixed in with the miracles of Hogwarts are its dark hidden chambers and secrets, which Harry and his friends encounter as they embark on a quest to keep a treasured powerful object from falling into the wrong hands. Staying true to the book with this film adaptation, Columbus follows Rowling's story to the tiniest detail, making it a special treat for readers who were smitten with the novel. Radcliffe is especially engaging as Harry, infusing him with a believable sense of wonderment. The star-studded cast also includes Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, and Robbie Coltrane.
HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS - Director Chris Columbus recreates the magic of the second book from author J.K. Rowling's best-selling series about a young wizard, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). In this sequel, Harry and his friends Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the new school year only to be met with a terrifying mystery. An unknown creature, one that supposedly lives in the legendary Chamber of Secrets hidden at Hogwarts, is attacking students in the school, leaving them literally petrified and as cold as stone. Even the professors seem at a loss for how to solve the chilling mystery, leaving it up to Harry and his friends to save the day. Rowling's story translates well to the big screen, with a magical flying car, a giant spider, a house elf named Dobby, and assorted other creatures making their film debuts. Radcliffe continues to charm as the wide-eyed young Potter, and Grint shines as his best friend and sidekick. Kenneth Branagh joins the all-star cast as the preening megalomaniac author and professor, Gilderoy Lockhart. HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS also stars the late Richard Harris, majestic Maggie Smith, and an under-used Alan Rickman.