Most helpful positive review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Harry Potter Box set (non blue ray years 1-6)
on 24 October 2014
Reviewing a 6 film box set is difficult so I won’t dwell on the storylines which are best found under their individual titles. The set itself contains the first 6 films in the franchise and the three slipcases contain two discs each holding one film apiece. These are housed in a relatively sturdy outer card box that is open at the front.
The box set numbers the discs according to Harry’ school years, since each film actually takes place in a differing school year as the main actors age throughout the series –it’s a novel approach that works. The films are very much aimed at the year group the film is centred on, and as you progress so the action darkens and themes become more ‘grown up’. The discs themselves are basic bare bones. All have much the same sparse features, play, scene selection and languages [which will disappoint many as its basically English sound and English or Arabic subtitles. In general the films get better with each new year.
For those unfamiliar with the stories, here’s a basic lowdown;
Year 1 HP & the Philosophers Stone: The disc opens with a choice of play, special features which is merely a cast listing and two theatrical trailers, scene selection and languages [English, the choice being with subtitles, or Arabic? subtitles,] Basically a young Harry discovers he’s actually born with magic and whisked of to an alternate dimension/reality and into a special school of wizardry. This plays and sounds in many places like Star Wars and is definitely aimed at the early pre teen groups, but desperately tries to cater for a wider age range. This has not aged particularly well as the novelty of the story [and hype] has died down. It’s well acted by the young cast and still holds the attention but lacks the darker edge of the later movies. It’s success is probably down to the special effects which lift it from the mediocre.
Year 2 HP & the Chamber of Secrets: The disc opens with much the same features as the first, but one trailer is actually a recap of the first film. A good enough storyline where the three main characters try to discover a hidden chamber, but it runs very much like the first. A few interesting characters are thrown into the mix but is more likely to appeal to pre or young teens than a more adult audience [unless you have grown up with these movies].
Year 3 HP & the Prizoner of Azkaban: So the three are growing up in their third year at the school. This also sees the films adopt a more Dr Who feel to them and they also become more darker in nature. The question is, Is the bad guy really the bad guy or is there more to it?
Year 4 HP & the Goblet of Fire. language selection same as last disc. At the Quidditch World Cup, Death Eaters destroy the encampment and back at Hogwarts, Harry is selected by the Goblet of Fire to be in the school Champion tryouts. Will Harry be selected to represent his school and can the Death Eaters [those who want to keep the wizard bloodlines pure] be stopped?
Year 5 HP & the order of the Phoenix. The Order was created before the first instalment to counter Voldermort and the Death Eaters. Amongst other things the Ministry of magic takes over the running of Hogwarts as Voldermort undermines Harry.
Year 6 HP & the Half blood Prince is a real pain to load as it features over 15 minutes of adverts before you go to scene select. And it’s almost 20 minutes before you’re into the film. Basically Harry find a spell book that belonged to the half blood Prince. But who is it? And whose trying to destroy Harry?
Overall an excellent box set but decidedly aimed at teenagers and adults who ‘grew up’ alongside the characters as the films were released. For those approaching the series now, it will probably not have the same ‘pull’ to it and the early episodes might be off –putting to older viewers as they are more pre-teen orientated. The 12 year rating is well deserved as younger viewers might find it all ‘too real’. Despite it’s flaws the acting and special effects still enthral and keep this a solid **** rating.