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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great box set!
If you are thinking of buying this set, you've probablly already seen the films and don't need me to tell you how great they are!
So the box set itself is more important, great value for money! Each film is in its own two-disc set, with lots of interesting and fun extras. Definitely worth buying!
Published on 3 Feb 2006 by M. Todd

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11 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter Box Set - whether or not you've read the books
I thought that the first and second films were great the first time but the effect wears off after 2-3 times of watching it. They were good adaptations to the books however they missed out some key bits and in my opinion were not nearly as laughable as the books themselves.
The third film is different however. Tons of people loved it but I personally didn't find it...
Published on 20 July 2005


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great box set!, 3 Feb 2006
By 
M. Todd (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
If you are thinking of buying this set, you've probablly already seen the films and don't need me to tell you how great they are!
So the box set itself is more important, great value for money! Each film is in its own two-disc set, with lots of interesting and fun extras. Definitely worth buying!
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125 of 146 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two average adaptations, one great film, 1 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was a bit of a strange movie for me - I've been a fan of the books for many years, and when I left the cinema after seeing it, I was a little confused about what to make of it. It was a good adaptation. All the characters and locations I loved were there. There were some great actors. And yet something seemed to be missing. The best word to describe the movie is "solid" - it's good, but not very inspired. It's a by-the-books adaptation - throw all the scenes into the movie, and don't even stop to think about themes or character-arcs. Chris Columbus' direction is flat, boring and lacks sparkle; the visuals are generally dull; Steve Kloves script is sometimes horribly clunky with awkward dialogue ("Holy cricket"???); and there were many scenes that should have been cut out or trimmed to make the movie flow together as a story. "Philosopher's Stone" shows the danger of adapting a novel scene by scene - the child fans of the books loved it, but as a movie, it just doesn't quite work. It's good fun, but the irony is, you couldn't call it a "magical" movie - it just doesn't live up to the material. Put it this way - if I didn't love the book, I don't think I'd have enjoyed it, as it just doesn't work well enough on its own. 3 stars.
I approached "The Chamber of Secrets" with hopes that they'd get it right this time - the reviews and hype were all about it being "darker and funnier", and this emphasis on darkness excited me. But actually, it's not really a dark movie. It's darkER than the first one, but not dark in itself. In fact, it feels like a carbon copy of the first movie, but with the lights turned down and more Hollywood cliches, more awful writing, and more flat directing. The child actors were a lot better in this movie than the first one, but they were let down by the direction. The movie was full of the sickening hyper-sentimentality Columbus is famed for, something that is not found in the books - this is Harry Potter, cheap-trashy-Hollywood style. The ending is a perfect example - probably one of the most sick cases of audience manipulation I've ever seen in a movie, and it just doesn't make sense. Overall, "Chamber of Secrets" is probably even weaker than the first movie, and at least 20 minutes two long - and this is coming from an obsessive fan of the books. 3 stars.
However, with "The Prisoner of Azkaban", everything is redeemed, and all the mistakes are corrected. When I heard that Columbus would not be directing, I jumped for joy. I didn't know Alfonso Cuaron, but given his reputation for visual flair combined with focus on character-stories, I was very excited about this movie. He seemed like the perfect choice to direct a Harry Potter movie - and so it proved. "Prisoner of Azkaban" was always my favourite book, and of all the movies, I was hoping they'd get this one right most of all - and I was so relieved when they did. The movie is just wonderful, and has that thing the first two lacked - magic. The visual flair of the movie is stunning - the use of lighting, camera moves and editing is quite beautiful. This movie is TRULY dark - they've finally worked out how to do it. It's emotional without ever being sentimental. Cuaron has clearly though carefully about the themes and meanings in the story, and his visual imagery compliments them perfectly. As JK Rowling herself (who rates this the best of the three movies) has said, this is the perfect marriage of the right director for the right material. John Williams' score, which in the first two movies seemed to be portraying emotion and grandeur that just wasn't present on the screen, is perfect this time. The story is much tighter, and all scenes that were not important to the plot have been edited out. Some fans have complained about the lack of background for the Marauder's Map, but if you just stop and think about this story and what it's about, it doesn't need to be there. The story is about Harry sarting to let go of his parents emotionally, and becoming his own man - it's Harry who saves himself, not his father. He doesn't long for them as he used to. He's grown up. "Prongs!" doesn't have to be there, and would take away from Harry's true heroism in this moment. It's still thinking of his parents that enables him to become more powerful and use his Patronus - but having that "prongs" moment would be overkill, when the moment really needs to be about Harry. Good edit. The dialogue and writing is much better this time, as is the acting - the three leads have grown into accomplished young actors, and there are quite brilliant performances from Gary Oldman, Timothy Spall, the wonderful Michael Gambon (THE perfect Dumbledore - the late Richard Harris, as great an actor as he was, simply played a "stereotypical wise old wizard" - Gambon IS Dumbledore), Robert Hardy, Emma Thompson, and the usual cast including the great Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Robbie Coltrane. Special mention goes to David Thewlis, who is truly the heart of the movie. Overall, "The Prisoner of Azkaban" isn't just a great Harry Potter film, the first HP film that lives up to the title Harry Potter - it's also a great film in its own right. Alfonso Cuaron gave great freshness and magic to the story, and the experience of seeing this movie will live long in my memory. This one has truly wonderful moments that you will actually remember - Buckbeak flying above the Hogwarts lake, the first appearance of the Dementors, the wereworlf transformation. As an individual movie, this gets 5 stars.
So overall, this package contains two average movies, and one great one. The first two are worth watching as a fun introduction to the world, but they're not the real deal, and they're not the true essence and brilliance of Harry Potter. They're not films you'll be watching over and over again. On the other hand, "Prisoner of Azkaban" as sheer bliss from start to finish, and will be stuck in my DVD player for weeks after its release. Thank you for saving my favourite series, Alfonso!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic, 15 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
I've always really liked the first two Harry potters, admittedly the 3rd one isn't as good, hence the 4*'s, but I did want all 3 so this product definitely fulfilled this. Worth a buy if you are trying to complete your set of Harry potters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have collection, 12 April 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
Naturally for pure bibliophiles Movies are no substitute. For the rest of us the movie is the closest representation to the story we will see and we can compare and contrast to the story as it is written.

Regardless of which side of the fence you may be on the movies is the only representation for many. And having them in one collection adds an esthetic plus. This is what movies are all about.

Even if you already own one or two of the films it is worth re-purchasing.

You can read the individual reviews for each film to get a feel for what this series of films is about. Notice that they changed directors on the third film and the feel of the series. You can speculate on the next film; however I would buy the set now and make a decision in the future as to a set of four movies.

One unique approach to this series if that the characters get older with each movie and the stories reflect changes in attitude and world views.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban, 14 Mar 2005
This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
In this third episode Harry Potter is 13. He spends the summer with his horrible aunt and uncle, the Dursleys. At the end of the holidays his uncle Vernon's sister, Marge, stays with them for a week. A week of hell for Harry, who has to endure the horrible Marge's constant criticisms and sarcasms about him and his parents. Not being able to dominate himself, Harry magically blows her up... and finds himself in the street, running away from the Dursleys but also in great, great danger. Not only has he violated the underage wizards decree forbidding him to perform magic outside of the wizard school Hogwarts, but he has also put himself in great danger, for someone far worse than the Dursleys and Aunt Marge is on the loose. Sirius Black, who is accused of the murder of 13 people and of having led the Dark wizard You-Know-Who to Harry's parents, has escaped from Azkaban, the wizard prison. Alfonso Cuaron directed this third film, giving a new vision to Harry's universe yet respecting JK Rowling's story entirely. As usual, the cast is really good and the special effects are stunning (especially the Dementors, the Azkaban prison guardians, which look really scary). The film is a bit darker than the 2 others but excellent. Most of the cast is the same apart from Emma Thomson (who does an excellent Professor Trelawney).
I've already watched this film about 5 or 6 times
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 12 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
A superb story!! If you buy this you will not be disappointed. One of the best films in a long time!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good and bad, 14 July 2009
This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
Let's be honest, the first couple of films were pretty darn awful. The acting is near terrible, and some of the stuff they left out was maybe not important, but at the very least interesting.

Prisoner of Azkaban however, is much better. It's the first film I really enjoyed of the Harry Potter series, and also the one that made me want to read the books, because, yes, I did watch the films first.

The acting improves in the 3rd film for ron and hermione, not so much for Harry, which is a shame.

As a box set, this is great, although addicted fans will likely buy the 8 film box-set when it comes out, and sell the other films (or keep them, depends how mad you are!)

They really are good films in their own right though. The other cast members are excellent, the sets are wonderful, the music spellbinding and the computer graphics brilliant!

Well worth watching!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book to film trilogy ever!!!, 14 Feb 2006
This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
These films are cram packed with magic and appeal to all ages. It doesn't matter what genre you usually watch, the sheer imagination and thought that has gone into the Harry Potter series is worth its weight in Galleons. Daniel Radcliffe epitomises Harry and the choice of Richard Harris and Michael Gambon as Dumbledore is the literal icing on the cake.
Azkaban is my fave among these three films due to the much darker storyline. As Harry, Ron and Hermione mature, as do the threats to them. It was good to see that, although the films cannot possibly contain everything in the book, they are still very loyal to the books (which, by the way, are absolutely excellent in their own right). I would certainly recommend to anyone that they should see these films at least once, and if these three are anything to go by, the next installment of Goblet of Fire will also capture your imagination (it did mine when I saw it at the cinema!!!)
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film is a hit!, 27 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
I purchased this trilogy for my husband for Christmas. He hasnt watched anything else all the holiday!!!!!
When he said he 'liked this kinda stuff' I just thought that it might get watched a few times but it is never out of the dvd player!
Apparently the special effects are very believable and it had him gripped for the whole of the film.
Bit too far fetched for me personally but thats not to say it isnt very well put together.
If you like this sort of thing (and he sure does) then its definately worth the money.
You must at least rent this if not buy it!!!!!!
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 19 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Harry Potter : Years 1-3 - The Special Editions Box Set (6 Discs) [DVD] (DVD)
This is well worth buying, the films are brilliant and the extras are really good. Although some good bits have been missed out of the film in the prisoner of askaban I would say this is a must have for fans.
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