Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

From 2001, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series opener is full of CGI enchantments and admirable sentiments about friendship, loyalty, and school ties, Stone still offers precious little for the parental set; it's strictly a kids’ affair. The great bulk of it is consumed with tedious exposition: getting to know the cast and mastering the silly, Tolkien-like nonsense names. Fortunately, director Chris Columbus has more fun with the effects, which include an amusing talking hat and a very cool cloak of invisibility. Throughout, our Luke Skywalker-like hero must assume the heavy mantle of being The Chosen One. Young actor Daniel Radcliffe is given the thankless task of performing one astonished reaction shot after another to the wonders of his wizards’ boarding school; like poor Mark Hamill in Star Wars, he’s upstaged by the better-written supporting roles of his two best friends. (PG) BRIAN MILLER

Sept. 3-10, 6:30 & 9:30 p.m., 2009

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