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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Ultimate Edition) - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)  [Region Free]
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This Ultimate Edition features the first film in the Harry Potter series on both DVD and Blu-ray. The DVD includes an extended edition of the film with a runtime of 152 minutes. Also included is a 48-page photo book with rare images from years 1-7 and two Ultimate Edition character cards.
- Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part 1: The Magic Begins
- Exclusive introduction by Daniel Radcliffe
- Never-before-seen screen tests
- On the set on the first day of shooting
- Chris Columbus' step-by-step decisions
- New and vintage interviews with Daniel, Rupert, and Emma looking back on a decade's worth of movies
To try and please all the fans of JK Rowling's novel was a challenge that the makers of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone met head on. The result of their efforts is one of the most lavish, beautiful and magical cinematic treats to hit our screens in years. Director Chris Columbus and screenwriter Steven Kloves (thankfully with the help of Rowling herself) prove that although you can't translate everybody's reading of this much-loved book onto the cinema screen--maybe Fluffy was a bit more Fluffy in your imagination or Hagrid (superbly played by Robbie Coltrane) a little more giant-like--it is nevertheless possible to transfer Harry's adventures with fidelity as well as superb energy and excitement.
If there is a downside it's that the performances of the child leads tends to verge on the Sylvia Young-tastic in places. Nonetheless, the three young stars are both likable and watchable, showing great potential to grow into the parts as the adventures continue. The main disappointment is the substantial cutting of the ghost scenes and what promised to be a fine comic turn by John Cleese as Headless Nick, though with more Potter films on the way the ghosts will surely assume their rightful prominence later. There are, of course, some areas of the story that may frighten smaller children--such as the entrance of the evil Voldemort--and undoubtedly for any true Potter fan that cinematic entrance cannot live up to the images created in their imagination. All in all, though, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is what it should be: an unmissable treat for the whole family.
On the DVD: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone really is a magical experience in this lavish two-disc set. Disc one offers the film in all its surround-sound glory along with trailers and links to the Harry Potter Web site, but, disappointingly, there's no commentary.
Disc two is where the real wizardry can be found, with a vast and beautifully designed selection of special features. Entering the Great Hall a mysterious voice invites you to explore and find the secret hidden within (though it's frustrating that in some cases you have to re-enter the Hall after viewing a feature). Various options let you tour around Harry's world: from Diagon Alley to a virtual 360-degree tour of Hogwarts. The interactive component is excellent, with real thought having been put into ensuring that, instead of just the standard behind-the-scenes stuff, there is material aplenty to keep children and adults alike entertained for hours. Throughout the emphasis is on the disc's educational value: yes there are insights to be had from the film crew, but it's in the Classroom where you will find the real precious stones! --Nikki Disney
"Widescreen" vs. "Full Screen"
Widescreen preserves the original theatrical picture ratio of the film (Panavision 2.35:1), which will appear in "letterboxed" format on a normal TV screen.
Full Screen (or "pan and scan") crops the theatrical picture to 4:3 ratio (i.e., 4 units wide by 3 units tall), which is the shape of a standard (non-widescreen) TV screen. There is no letterboxing, but up to a third of the original picture is lost. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The discs themselves are housed in a separate fold-out dvd set:
Disc 1: Blu-Ray Movie (Theatrical Version)
Disc 2: DVD Movie (Theatrical Version)
Disc 3: DVD Movie (Extended Version)
Disc 4: DVD Special Features (Additional Scenes, A Conversation With The Film-Makers, Visit Diagon Alley, Enter The Library, Attend Classes, Learn More About Quidditch, Seek The Mirror of Erised, Gallery of Art & Architecture)
Disc 5: DVD Creating The World of Harry Potter Part 1: The Magic Begins (1. The Magic Begins 2. Characters 3. Magical Creatures 4. Sound & Music 5. The Evolution of Harry Potter 6. Special Effects 7. Growing Up Potter 8. The Harry Potter Phenomenon)
Although this set is marketed as a Blu-Ray set please note that only one disc is Blu-Ray which is why I don't think it's perfect. Unlike the US version of this boxset, the UK version does not contain a Blu-Ray extended version of the film which is very disappointing. The special features from Disc 4 are not unique to this set but the hour long documentary on Disc 5 offers a spectacular behind-the-scenes look at the movies and how it all began. The real highlight is definitely the extended version of the film.Read more ›
The film matches the book as closely as it is possible to do without it being 7 hours long. It is probably the best of all the films and has some classic movie moments - 'Yer a wizard Harry' being my particular favourite.
The magic really does come alive on screen, whether it is the enchanted ceiling in the great hall, the sorting hat (minus the song,, unfortunately), Fluffy, McGonagalls giant chess set or the spells and shenannigans of the trio, you will be amazed at how the film makers have done it.
The film is every Harry Potters dream, and by far the best film released (bar DH, that one is the best). The only thing that I missed from the books was Peeves, but they more than made up for that with the brilliant decision to make the staircases move!
My fears were groundless. From the moment Dumbledore walked onto the screen in the first act they were mesmerised, their sweets and drink were left untouched as they were transported to the magical world of Hogwarts. The time passed far too quickly as they were taken on a roller coaster ride of fun and excitement.
The atmosphere created by Columbus is engrossing, totally convincing. I watched my children's faces as the story developed, from looks of pure delight as the Dursleys house was bombarded with owl post, to hatred as Alan Rickman's Snape bullied the kids and finally to tears as Ron was knocked from his Knight.
The film is not perfect, some of the children's acting is a bit wooden (not helped by the script, which tries to stay too close to the book), some scenes should not have been cut (lets hope we see some of these on the DVD !!) and some subtle clue's provided in the book for eagle eyed kids are missing, but none of this detracts from the overall experience.
As we left the cinema, the first thing my children said to me was "when can we see it again ?". "Soon", I replied. I began to realise that I had probably enjoyed the film as much as they had.
A lot of thought has gone into the dvd, although it is a little hard to find the deleated scenes! Children may need some help, but then on the other hand it may keep them quiet for a long time!! The extras are well worth the money. And if this dvd is not in your collection then your collection is not compleate!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Don't forget the first one, it is mind blowing in plot and charactors, I picked up the book in a charity booth at Bristol hospital, read it and really enjoyed it, huge fun, I had... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Mrs. J. P. Penny
Just finished the book with my 4 and 6 year old boys and they loved the film just as much!Published 7 days ago by Mr Edward John Bowen
I have been a massive Harry Potter fans since the first film was made. The extended movie with the deleted sense is brilliant. Read morePublished 10 days ago by A D M L DELLER
Your a wizard Harry...I'm a what? So good, huge fan of Harry Potter!!!Published 14 days ago by Louis Mander