I have not felt that elated or happy watching a movie in a long time. We couldn't stop talking about it afterwards. It gave me the same thrill that movies like Star Wars and The NeverEnding Story gave me as a child. As a movie lover, it ranked up to being one of my new favorites.
Review by Ken Priebe
and Mike Furches


This page was created on November 3, 2001
This page was last updated on
June 9, 2005


Directed by Chris Columbus
Novel by J.K. Rowling
Screenplay by Steven Kloves

Daniel Radcliffe .... Harry Potter
Rupert Grint .... Ronald 'Ron' Weasley
Emma Watson .... Hermione Granger
John Cleese .... Sir Nicholas De Mimsy-Porpington (aka Nearly Headless Nick)
Robbie Coltrane .... Gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid
Warwick Davis .... Professor Flitwick
Richard Griffiths .... Uncle Vernon Dursley
Richard Harris .... Headmaster Albus Dumbledore
Ian Hart .... Professor Quirrell
John Hurt .... Mr. Ollivander
Alan Rickman .... Professor Severus Snape
Fiona Shaw .... Aunt Petunia Dursley
Maggie Smith .... Professor/Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall
Julie Walters .... Mrs. Molly Weasley
Zo? Wanamaker .... Madame Hooch
Tom Felton .... Draco Malfoy
Harry Melling .... Dudley Dursley
David Bradley .... Caretaker Argus Filch

Produced by Todd Arnow (associate producer), Michael Barnathan (executive producer), Chris Columbus (executive producer), Duncan Henderson (executive producer), David Heyman (producer), Mark Radcliffe (executive producer)
Original music by John Williams
Cinematography by John Seale
Film Editing by Richard Francis-Bruce

MPAA: Rated PG for some scary moments and mild language.
Runtime: 152

1.9 MB, 9.4 MB,

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Harry Potter
and the Sorcerer's Stone
John Williams

1. Prologue 2. The Arrival of Baby Harry 3. Visit to the Zoo and Letters from Hogwarts 4. Diagon Alley and The Gringotts Vault 5. Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters and The Journey to Hogwarts 6. Entry into the Great Hall and The Banquet 7. Mr. Longbottom Flies 8. Hogwarts Forever! and The Moving Stairs 9. The Norwegian Ridgeback and A Change of Season 10. The Quidditch Match 11. Christmas at Hogwarts 12. The Invisibility Cloak and The Library Scene 13. Fluffy's Harp 14. In the Devil's Snare and The Flying Keys 15. The Chess Game 16. The Face of Voldemort 17. Leaving Hogwarts 18. Harry's Wondrous World 19. Hedwig's Theme

Let The Magic Begin.

Click to enlargeSTUDIO SYNOPSIS:
The long-awaited film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's best-selling novel, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, is directed by Chris Columbus (HOME ALONE) and stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Eleven-year-old Harry is a curious boy who discovers that although he has been raised an orphan, his real parents were wizards. With this knowledge, Harry sets out to learn how to make his own magic. His best friends and cohorts, Ron Hermoine (Rupert Grint) and Hermoine Granger (Emma Watson) accompany Harry on his adventures.

Hollywood Jesus Newsletter #30
by David Bruce
Review by Betty Hamm and Annette Wierstra -click here

Review by

Web site

Mike is the Senior Pastor at United at the Cross Community Church in Wichita Kansas. United at the Cross is a church made up of individuals not often accepted in other churches. The church consists of former gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes and others. Mike also speaks nationally on various topics and is a freelance writer. To learn more about Mike and his ministry link onto www.furches.org. In the arts Mike has worked with top music artists such as Steppenwolf, Marshall Tucker Band, Kansas and has an active interest in film. Mike is pictured with his music band "Route 66."

Harry Potter & The Search for the Sorcerer?s Stone

Oh boy, here goes. I know that I am getting ready to get in some hot water on this one but instead of complaining lets let the steam bath begin.

This weekend, I saw two movies that are similar in many ways yet different in others. One of the things that was so amazing was the response, especially from Christians, to both films. Both have wizards, magic, spells, trolls, people disappearing, and I could go on and on. One happened to be Harry Potter and the other was The Lord of the Rings. I had never read any of the Harry Potter books and have seen so much information and misinformation over the Internet that it is virtually impossible to decide what is true and what is false regarding Harry Potter. I did do some investigation into the issue myself when I was visiting Salem Mass a few months ago and what I found out to be the thoughts among the Wiccans in that community, after specific and personal discussions related to the books, and the author’s intent are very likely two different things. This is not unusual; even the Devil did that with Scripture when tempting Jesus.

The truth of what comes across in our emails is not validated just because someone heard so and sent it to us. I have unfortunately been reminded of the old Proctor and Gamble group whom many criticized, associating them with Occult activities, based primarily on their logo. You don’t hear these comparisons as much any more due to the fact that Proctor and Gamble is suing for libel those people who spread easily disprovable lies about their company. After the assignment of several large lawsuit awards, many of the rumors have stopped. I would venture to say that many of those same people have tried to find a more easily accessible group to complain about, and the Harry Potter group just happens to fall into that category.

Harry Potter is a movie that has been in theaters for some time now and has also been the benefactor of several recently written books. There is a great deal of controversy among Christians as to the appropriateness of the books. While many attack its focus on wizards and witchcraft, these are character types and practices that are easily accepted in other works such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Lord of the Rings and numerous other fantasy works. The arguments regarding Harry Potter are many of the same arguments that were thrown at The Wizard of Oz some years ago. The lack of consistency among Christians is one reason that many who are not Christians remain so critical of the Christian Community. I firmly believe that if Christians were making the same effort to love the people seeing this movie or reading the book that they are in criticizing the movie, they would be surprised at the results they could have in reaching a lost world. As mentioned earlier, I saw both The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter on the same day and that, at least in the theater in which I saw the movies, a different clientele was present at each showing. I was frankly surprised that not as many children were at the Harry Potter screening as I had anticipated.

After seeing the movie Harry Potter, I must say that I believe moral and relevant issues are addressed in the movie. One can choose to focus on those issues or on the fact that this is a fantasy movie. I would choose myself to look at issues of acceptance and working together that are focused on in the film. Throughout the movie, Harry and two young friends must work together to overcome an evil wizard who is responsible for killing Harry’s mother and father. It would be easy to draw the same comparison of how Christians must work together, using their gifts to build up the Kingdom of Heaven. There are other lessons of value and morality throughout the film that keeps the film from being this great evil being propagated among many circles. There is value in Harry Potter whether we choose to accept it or not. The lessons of those values and their presentation to a lost world are the primary issue for me.

One of the things I must comment on is that while I view the film as fantasy and as having positive attributes, I personally didn?t see this as a great film, it was okay, but far from great. I enjoyed some of the sequences throughout the film and the special effects, especially the flying sequences were enjoyable. I was disappointed in the story itself and thought that the characters were not adequately developed. This is especially so after seeing many of the reviews of the film.

It should be obvious that I don’t have an issue with fantasy. Lewis and Tolkien use it wonderfully and it is a format that makes it easy to use allegory to tell of the battles between good and evil. I also believe that for some, Harry Potter will have value and that it portrays several worthwhile components. I also happen to believe that if having to choose between two movies that deal with some of the same issues, within the same format, that The Lord of the Rings is a far better movie.

Between Harry, his two friends, and a three headed dog I’d sweep away the guy whose name you can’t mention and end up with a 5.

Review by Ken Priebe

Ken's Web Site: Web site: www.prie-believing.com
Ken earned his BFA from University of Michigan School of Art and Design, where he majored in film and animation. He has a Classical Animation Certificate from VanArts, where he currently works as a manager and instructor. Ken lives near Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife Janet, who is also an artist. They are working on an animated short film, and are involved with graphic arts, drama and Bible studies at their church.

Click to enlargeMy wife and I finally saw the Harry Potter film over the weekend, and for myself I have not felt that elated or happy watching a movie in a long time. We couldn't stop talking about it afterwards. It gave me the same thrill that movies like Star Wars and The Never Ending Story gave me as a child. As a movie lover, it ranked up to being one of my new favorites. As a Christian, it made my faith stronger. As a person who loves kids and is still a kid at heart, I feel better about kids watching this film than I do about violent things like Dragon Ball Z and Power Rangers.
Many parallels to the Bible in HP have been noted by others, and though some of these will be repeats of them, here is what I saw in the film...
Click to enlarge

-Harry is born and is immediately pursued by an evil being with murderous intentions...the same can be said of Jesus and Moses.
-Hermione says, "Who does Voldemort fear? Dumbledore! As long as Dumbledore is around, he can't hurt us."...The Bible says that Satan and his demons "tremble" at the very word, mention, or presence of God! If we are in Christ, we needn't fear; Satan can't hurt us beyond what we can bear.

Click to enlargeABOUT THE MIRROR
-Before seeing the film, I heard others mention that Harry "communicates with the dead" (divination) by talking to his parents in a magic mirror. But in the film, they do not "communicate" at all, and there is no intention of contacting a spiritual world for communication. He simply sees an image of them, because the context of the mirror is that it shows you what you most deeply desire, a hint at your true self and what you want; Harry dreams of being reunited with his family. (And what is a movie screen but a reflection of our dreams as well?)

I was concerned when Ron Weasley wondered if the mirror foretold the future, then was relieved when Dumbledore reassured Harry what it really was, and the dangers behind it. What he says about the mirror, that it contains "no knowledge or truth" and that "men have wasted away before it" (by relying or obsessing on it) can be said of deceptive fortune telling devices like palm reading and astrology in real life. He says now that Harry has found the mirror, it will be hidden away in the dungeon. Everything that is dangerous or relates to some actual occult principle is described in the story with a warning.

-Ron sacrificially lays down his life for his friends in the chess game, and Harry's mother sacrifices her life to save him, giving him a mark against evil as a gesture of love.... I think this parallel is pretty obvious
Click to enlargeTHE SATAN FIGURE
-I saw Voldemort as a Satan figure, and like Satan, a frustrated rebel with limited power. Some people have argued that HP is not about fighting between absolute good and evil. But one of the most memorable lines in the film for me was when Voldemort tries to tell Harry "there is no absolute good or evil, only power!"...which sums up Satan's mission statement for the pantheistic New Age movement...to which Harry replies "You liar!" Sounds like Jesus' temptation in the desert.
-An element that I especially loved was the relationship between the child heroes, and the fact that they often used their brains, their intellect, as their weapons to battle Voldemort: Hermione's "book-smarts", Ron's chess strategies and Harry's grounding in truth. Whereas Satan's New Age spirituality encourages us to empty our minds through Eastern meditation and occultic trances, the Bible tells us to USE OUR MINDS, and "be transformed by the renewing of our minds." God gave us brains for creativity and discernment, and our little heroes demonstrate this for us.this for us.

I will admit that some of the images and ideas in this film may not be suitable for very young children, and that it could potentially make some of them curious about the occult. (I also admit that I still have not read the other three books, so I can only speak for this one at this point.) However, I think one thing that is freaking some of us Christians out over HP is failure to recognize context. Most cults and denominational splits in the church derive from taking one Bible verse out of the context of the whole book. Some of us raise these controversial quarrels by saying, "The Bible says..." without researching or praying for understanding of why it was originally “said” or to whom it was addressed.

Click to enlargeMAKE-BELIEVE STUFF
A similar principle can apply if we get huffed over Harry Potter without bothering to recognize the context or even worse, without bothering to read/see the book/film! Yes, there are some real occult practices and ideas presented in the film, but they are presented within a context of caution or ridicule; if kids pick up on this there is nothing to fear. The rest of the "magic" is stuff that even a 5-year-old could tell you is make-believe. At best, it will spark the idea in a child's mind that there is a spiritual realm beyond what we see, that the "good magic" in the world is in the beauty and miracles given to us by God. It then becomes our job to teach our children discernment regarding evil, and the characters they read about are already helping us. God forbid we should bring our children up in a world where imagination is stifled and the only reality is that which we can see. My wife and I are avid watchers of the show "7th Heaven." There is an episode where 10-year-old Simon is concerned that his 5-year-old sister Ruthie doesn't believe in Santa Claus, so he prays to God that He will find a way to make her believe in Santa, because it will prepare her mind for believing in the "big stuff like You!" An interesting spin on it, I think!
I think we need to avoid both extremes of either letting Harry Potter be viewed by children without explaining to them what magic is real and what is not, or harping on it as "Satanic." I think we need to look for Christ in everything. God spoke to me through the Harry Potter movie about the reality of spiritual warfare and the importance of truth, friendship and intelligence. I would think and hope that it would make kids ask their parents for a chess set rather than a ouija board!
Click to enlargeABOUT TRUTH
It is said, "all truth is God's truth." The occult is real, it has truth in it, but it is still "God's truth!" That doesn't mean He comes up with the specifics, but it means He has its author on a leash, and will not be overcome by it! Turn around, focus on Christ, enjoy the magical world He's given us, and long for the even more magical world to come, where we will be able to fly without brooms!!!!
Review by Betty Hamm and Annette Wierstra -click here

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About Harry Potter Hollywood Jesus Newsletter #30
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Harry Potter main page -Review and Photos
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