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Harry Potter is a name that rarely graces the pages of FANGORIA,
but it is a legendary franchise rich in spells, magic, fantasy, and monsters…so
why ignore it? This week saw the release
Potter fans have been waiting for, a behemoth of a Blu-ray set that dwarfs
everything else out there.This massive anthology, properly named the HARRY
POTTER WIZARD’S COLLECTION, is truly bursting at the seams with features and
rewards for the faithful.
The "Wizard’s Chest" packaging itself is a thing
of marvel, meticulously crafted to be a source of constant discovery. It boasts plenty of secret drawers and little
enigmas; try to find the secret bonus disc...you will definitely be rewarded
for your efforts. You’ll experience
several features like “Designing the World of Harry Potter”, “When Harry left
Hogwarts - Extended Version” and “Secrets Revealed - Hagrid. There are also spring-loaded drawers containing
other goodies, like your very own Horcrux locket featured in THE DEATHLY
And then there's the real wave of genius here, the films
themselves. Here’s what you get in this
mammoth set: Blu-ray editions of all
eight theatrical films presented in glorious 1080p—including the 3D versions of
THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PARTS 1 & 2 for those of you with the technology—the
theatrical and extended versions of THE SORCERER’S/PHILOSOPHER’S STONE and THE
CHAMBER OF SECRETS (both on Blu-ray & DVD), the DVD versions, and lastly
you get the Digital Copies and codes for your tablets, iPods and phones. Wow!
Take a deep breath and then gleefully giggle some more; we haven’t even
covered the bonus discs. These include
complete special features discs for Years 1 to 4 (peruse featurettes like
“Preparing for the Yule Ball” “Capturing the Stone: A Conversation with the
Filmmakers” and “Conjuring a Scene: Creating Buckbeak and the Dementors for the
Screen”). There is also an eight-part
documentary series, one chapter per film, featuring dozens of TV spots, cast
& crew interviews, theatrical trailers, deleted scenes, conversations with
J.K. Rowling—endless treasures waiting to be explored.
If you, or your kids, are fans of this beloved supernatural
series, incredible doesn’t even describe the WIZARD’S COLLECTION. There’s so
much here…you get a Certificate of Authenticity, and eight gorgeous conceptual
prints from production designer, Stuart Craig.
The collection also includes several items for the most rabid Potter
fans: a 48-page hardcover book entitled CATALOGUE OF ARTIFACTS, an authentic
Map of Hogwarts and surrounding areas, a blueprint poster of Hogwarts Castle,
and eight production paintings, one from each of the films…
Harry Potter is obviously fantasy-driven, but with its ample
monsters, sense of the macabre and escalating darkness, there has always been
plenty to savor for and you just can’t dismiss the wonderful talent associated
with these films; veteran directors like Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cauron, Mike
Newell and David Yates; incredible scores by legendary composers John Williams,
Nicholas Hooper and Alexandre Desplat; memorable
performances by some of Hollywood’s greatest seasoned professionals – Alan
Rickman, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter, the late Richard Harris, Jason
Isaacs, Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Kenneth Branagh, and Bill Nighy. And let us not forget Ralph Fiennes’
brilliant portrayal of the evil, reptilian Lord Voldemort and see how he has
become one of cinema’s most enduring villains.
The HARRY POTTER WIZARD’S COLLECTION is so thorough there is
very little to complain about. The
addition of all eight scores would have made this collection absolutely
complete, but really, this is just a minor beef. This is the Holy Grail for
every Potter enthusiast and the only foreseeable problem may be the hefty price
tag of 350 bones. For the most rabid fans, this is rarely a deterrent, and this
collection will no doubt find its way onto many 2012 Christmas lists. Enjoy this true gem, it will not disappoint.
DVD/ Blu-ray Reviews
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