Blu-ray Review “Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection”

Directors: Chris Columbus, David Yates, Mike Newell, Alfonso Cuarón, David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman
Number of discs: 31
Running Time: 1180 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG / PG-13
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Release Date: September 7, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

If you could have ever wanted an ultimate set for the “Harry Potter” film franchise…it has arrived! “The Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection” is a beautiful 31-disc extravaganza that includes all eight films. In addition to the theatrical release of every film, the collection also includes the extended versions of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; and the 3D versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows –- Parts 1 and 2. Also there is an Ultraviolet digital streaming copy of each film as well. There is a ridiculous amount of special features totaling more than thirty-seven hours, which more than ten hours of it is new-to-disc bonus content and five hours of never-before-seen material. Fans are going to have a field day with this. I will get more into the special features below but just looking at this wonderful box. This is such a creative way to look slick but pack of hell of a lot of content. Overall it is relatively small (12¾” x 10½” x 11¼”), but it is a very neat series of swing-out and slide-out drawers and cubby holes that hold all of the set’s discs and collectibles. Now for all the goodies that are included in this release, included is a 48-page hardcover book “Harry Potter Catalogue of Artefacts”, a 32-page “Harry Potter Label Collection” booklet, an envelope containing five wonderfully detailed black-and-white Stuart Craig drawings which are printed on heavy-stock cards, concept art color paintings also on heavy-stock cards, a Holocrux locket replica, a weathered blueprint poster of the Hogwarts castle, a large 24″ x 36″ cloth map of the Hogwarts grounds (pictured below) and, of course, a numbered certificate of authenticity. Sounds good? Well don’t just run out just yet since this releases does not come cheap.  The average price for this release is well over $300 bucks.  So unless you are the biggest of “Harry Potter” fans or unless you don’t own any of these film’s on Blu-ray then I would suggest this release highly.

Since we all have seen these movies before and watched the available special features, this review will focus on the content that has not be available before (and because those are the only ones Warner Bros sent us to review 😉 ) which lies on discs 25, 29 and 31.  Disc 25 is “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Bonus Disc”, it includes over 2 hours of features including the all new! “Creating the World of Harry Potter, Pt. 7: Story”.  This feature runs 47 minute and is the seventh documentary released as part of each film’s Ultimate Edition Blu-ray releases.  This is centered around series author J.K. Rowling and saga screenwriter Steve Kloves, who really just dive into every aspect of the series from book to film, all of the challenges in between and a reflection on the results.  Next up is “The Deathly Hallows, Part 1: Behind the Magic” runs about 45 minutes and has previously aired on TV but never released.  It basically is a pre-release EPK focusing on what we can expect from the upcoming 7th film. “Harry Potter on the Road” follow a production crew all over the UK stopping at various location shoots from the series.  This could have been a 10 hours feature in its own but runs a short 20 minutes. “The Deathly Hallows, Part 1: Behind the Story Featurettes” is an 80 minutes feature that is split into fourteen mini featurettes focusing on the film’s production and nine of these are new to the film.  There is eight deleted scenes included from “Deathly Hallows, Part 1”, decent scenes but well cut. “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Sneak Peek” is a short taste of what we were waiting for in part 2 and final “Harry Potter” film. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Promotional Tour” features Radcliffe and his castmates, J.K. Rowling and other VIPs as they give us a then sneak peek of the new theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort. “Behind the Soundtrack” chats about Alexandre Desplat’s score but doesn’t spend enough time on it. Lastly there is a teaser and a theatrical trailer for The Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

Disc 29 is the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Bonus Disc”, it included over 4 hours of features including the all new! “Creating the World of Harry Potter, Pt. 8: Growing Up” and an all new! extended “A Conversation with JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe” with 15 minutes of new footage. “Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part 8: Growing Up” runs slightly longer than the 7th part and puts a conclusion to the whimsical ten-year journey that was the Harry Potter film saga. “A Conversation with Rowling and Radcliffe” is an extended version from 53 to 63-minutes of this conversation from the creator and Potter himself, one of the best features on this release and a must watch for all fans. “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2: Behind the Magic” like with Part 1 as well, is another pre-theatrical release TV special. “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2: Behind the Story” includes seven featurettes, which includes six new to the Wizard’s Collection.  “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2: The Quest” continues with more featurettes, in fact, sixteen more though shorter featurettes. A little bit of repeat but die-hard will eat it up. There are eight deleted scenes, nothing that will knock you out of your chair but decent. “Hogwart’s Last Stand: Extended Version” is an truly awesome  dissection of the films’ final showdown, which runs about 30 minutes. “The Women of Harry Potter” is an in-depth look at the strong women throughout the series books and the films. Next up, you can go behind-the-scenes of the UK attraction in “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London”. Rowling gives an in inside preview into her new website, “Pottermore”. Lastly’ there is the teaser and theatrical trailers for Part 2. The last disc and most awaiting is disc 31, which is the exclusive Wizard’s Collection Bonus Disc.  It is includes about four hours of all new features starting with: “When Harry Left Hogwarts – Extended Version”, which runs just shy of 90 minutes.  It is quite the emotional ride through the final days of filming. “The 50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments – Definitive Version” runs just over an hour and covers everything from”The Sorcerer’s Stone” to “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2”. “Designing the World of Harry Potter” features production designer Stuart Craig and his team as they show what it took to make the world of Harry Potter come to life. There is a two parter called “Secrets Revealed!” The first looks at the secrets of Quidditch and the second discusses Hagrid, both amazing. Lastly rounding out this amazing disc is “The Harry Potters You Never Met”, which gives some spotlight to Harry’s many stunt doubles.

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/HPWCSEP7
Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/harrypottermovie
For Additional Film Clips: http://www.youtube.com/harrypotter
For More Information: http://www.harrypotterwizardscollection.com/

Here is a detailed breakdown on what is on each disc:

Disc 1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Theatrical Version + Extended Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 2: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 3: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Creating The World: The Magic Begins (Blu-ray)
Disc 4: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Disc 2 from the Special Edition (DVD)
Disc 5: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Theatrical Version + Extended Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 6: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 7: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Creating the World: Characters (Blu-ray)
Disc 8: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Disc 2 from the Special Edition (DVD)
Disc 9: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)
Disc 10: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 11: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Creating the World: Creatures (Blu-ray)
Disc 12: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Disc 2 from the Special Edition (DVD)
Disc 13: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)
Disc 14: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 15: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Creating the World: Sound & Music (Blu-ray)
Disc 16: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Disc 2 from the Special Edition (DVD)
Disc 17: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Theatrical Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 18: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 19: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Creating the World: Evolution (Blu-ray)
Disc 20: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Theatrical Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 21: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 22: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Creating the World: Magical Effects + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 23: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Theatrical Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 24: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 25: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Creating the World: Story + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 26: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (Blu-ray 3D)
Disc 27: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Theatrical Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 28: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 29: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Creating the World: Growing Up + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 30: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (Blu-ray 3D)
Disc 31: Wizard’s Collection Exclusive Bonus Disc (Blu-ray)

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