September turns out to be D-Day for sexy Blu-ray sets. Even with the unfortunate delay of The Avengers Phase 1, we’ve still got giant collections for Titanic, James Bond, Indiana Jones and Alfred Hitchcock. The good people at Warner Bros – prepping the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection to kick off the fun – likely realized early on that they needed to bring their A-game to compete, especially with the series so recently ending and a glut of other Potter DVDs and Blu-rays readily available. Looking at the new set, however, “A-game” is an understatement. It’s more like “exercising the nuclear option.” Good luck making a splash with this 600-pound gorilla in the room. Hit the jump for my full review.
The most successful film franchise of all time will be available on home video in one nifty box set early next week with the release of the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection, and a devoted fan has put together a rather impressive video retrospective to mark the occasion. Titled “Mischief Managed,” the video goes through all eight film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s wondrous series, with scenes accompanied by the franchise’s various scores. It’s a great watch for Harry Potter fans, but it’s also interesting to see the different directors’ visions back-to-back. The story gets dark quite fast, but it’s neat to see it progress from the colorful, faithful touch of Chris Columbus on the first two films, to Alfonso Cuaron’s inventive and playful twist on Azkaban, to the bombastic Britishness of Mike Newell’s Goblet of Fire, and finally David Yates’ grounded yet haunting stamp on the final four films.
Hit the jump to watch the fan-made video retrospective. The Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection will be available on September 7th.
Many of you know that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is preparing to write a new novel aimed at adults, but what’s a Potter fan to do in the meantime? Well, now that all eight films have been released, you can pre-order the ultimate movie set dubbed, Harry Potter Wizards Collection on Blu-ray / DVD Combo with UltraViolet Digital Copy. Details have yet to be confirmed and there is not currently a street date , but the pre-order price is set at about $350 (“marked down” from $500). It’s a limited and numbered edition of 31 discs with over 5 hours of never-before-seen footage. The special collectibles include a map of Hogwarts and concept art, while some of the features appear to have extended editions. Hit the jump to check out the collection.
Well this is a bit drastic. Very soon, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to buy any of the Harry Potter films. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is set to stop shipping all Harry Potter theatrical releases (including both Deathly Hallows films) starting December 29th. Coincidentally, a comprehensive set that includes all eight Harry Potter films is set to be released on Blu-ray November 11th. The report doesn’t state whether or not this set is included in the shipping hault, but it’s highly unlikely. It seems that WB might be making Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection fans’ only way of purchasing the most successful franchise in film history [Edit: Variety reports that the 8-Film Collection is included in the shipping stop, so it will be unavailable after the 29th as well].
While I’m inclined to run out and grab this comprehensive set, I’m hoping for a much more impressive retrospective set released sometime in the next few years that’ll include new special features. But at this time, no plans for such a set are confirmed. Maybe Warner Bros. is planning on releasing the single films vault-style like Disney, where the movies are available one at a time for a limited period? At this point, all we know is that production ceases on December 29th, so if you own some or most of the films already and were planning on completing your collection, I’d suggest you do so before Christmas.
With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 only four days away, Warner Bros. has released a five-minute retrospective that looks at the previous seven films in the franchise. It won’t catch you up but for fans of the series, it’s nice to see how the actors have grown and how the visual style and tone has changed over the years. I re-watched all seven movies this past weekend and after the jump you can check out the retrospective as well as my brief thoughts on the films. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opens in 3D this Friday.
Here are my brief thoughts on the films. Hopefully when the Blu-ray box set comes out, I can do full-length reviews for each of the movies.
Warner Brothers has attempted to create ultimate editions for the films in the Harry Potter franchise to tie into the final title in the series – which opens this summer. The problem is that this made more sense for the early films, as those DVDs and those supplements were nearly a decade old – new transfers and new insight could be had. With the Ultimate editions of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince both were done after the inception of Blu-ray, and already had fairly elaborate special editions. These ultimate editions are for fans and completists. Daniel Radcliffe, Michale Gambon, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, and Emma Watson all return in the series fifth and sixth installments. My review of the Ultimate edition Blu-rays of Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince follow after the jump.
While, Warner Bros. has decided to send David Yates’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I into theaters without 3D, the studio isn’t leaving the boy wizard’s past adventures alone. Variety reports that the studio’s home entertainment division has hired Prime Focus to convert Yates’ previous Harry Potter films, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, into 3D Blu-ray. Because Yates is still at work on Deathly Hallows: Part II, he won’t be able to give his full attention to the 3D conversion until early 2011. However, Variety notes that “the Prime Focus process is flexible enough to permit the director to view shots and ask for adjustments after most work on those shots has been done.”
Hit the jump for more on Warner Bros.’ plans to turn Harry Potter 3D.