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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 21 December 2011
This set looks fantastic. It has a cardboard sleeve and the main box inside is large, solid and and very well-presented with lovely detailing. If you have all the sets together, they are quite phenomenal to behold! Inside there is a 'Creating The World of Harry Potter' photo album and this contains photographs of many of the Harry Potter film sets. There is also a paper folder which contains two artcards -Snape and McGonagall - and a digital film code leaflet.
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. The extra scenes really add to the film and aren't just fillers - my particular favourite new scenes include Petunia opening up the eggs to find Hogwarts letters in each one and the little conversation between the trio after they've defeated the troll. I loved these scenes in the books so it was great to see them on screen at last! This set is definitely one for the die-hard fans due to the price - it's just a shame that there isn't an extra Blu-ray of the extended version in the set.
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on 30 September 2003
I thought this DVD was excellent, it had superd graphics and really brought the magic of Harry Potter to life, my two children always ask to see it again and again. I can't help myself from sitting and watching it too
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on 5 March 2002
I took my 3 young children to see this film with a little trepidation, knowing it to be 2.5 hours long. Also, having read the books to all of them as bedtime stories, they each had pre-conceived ideas about the characters, portrayed so vividly in the text.
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.
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on 11 October 2003
I came to the film without reading the book (which I've subsequently done) so I came with no preconceived ideas at all. The 3 main child leads are brilliant. Hermione trying to boss the boys, the lovable brave Ron and Harry who has the right mix of normal and the 'there's something about him' sort of quality you would expect from the novels' hero. But the real star of the film is Hogwarts, moving staircases, ghosts, talking paintings. It's a lovely textured world that rivals the BBC's Narnia chronicles, sharing their Sunday afternoon serial feel.
But there is menace but it waits until the end of the film where you realize these kids really are going to go up against something evil and the tension builds and builds before resolution and you get that nice tea and cake feel at the end.
Some of the concepts doesn't make it good for young kids or overly imaginative kids prone to nightmares but for the rest of us it's a good family round the televison after Christmas/Sunday Dinner kind of a film.
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on 8 January 2010
The film is wonderful, for me clearly the better of the two Christopher Columbus 'family films', and in many ways my favourite before the obsession started with making Harry Potter increasingly 'darker'. Extras are not bad including around nine minutes of deleted scenes and numerous behind the scenes features. But the main issue here is the Blu-Ray quality and that is why this great film gets only three stars.

The video quality is not very good. Contrasts are surprisingly poor, with many scenes too bright (Harry and his owl during the Xmas holidays) and the children's faces often looking vampirically pale due to excessive contrast. There is also far too much soft focus and too little sharpness for the film to ever really shine let alone 'pop' as the jargon has it. Scenes which are just made for HD, lingering close-ups, for example, often appear surprisingly soft and lacking definition. There are moments of HD magic - like the moving bricks in the wall before Diagon Alley - but they are far too rare and are never of reference character. Faces, particularly the children, often lack detail almost as though some form of digital noise reduction (DNR) had been applied! I say "almost" because the film is not short of grain/noise.

Audio quality is pretty good but well short of what it could have been. The PCM track is only 48khz and sometimes lacks the extra detail and spaciousness associated with HD audio. Surround sound is very well used though, particularly in the Quidditch match.

All in all a disappointing BD. The new audio-mix on the "Ultimate Editions" available in the US and continental Europe seems to be an open admission that the soundtrack wasn't good enough. But I wouldn't hold your breath for a new transfer. On the internet I read that some of the video problems are to be blamed on the limited budget for Part 1 and the not sufficiently careful integration of CGI. Although I hope, at the least, a new transfer one day could sort out the contrasts, and remove DNR if that is what is making the kids' faces look so lacking in detail and smoothed over at times.

Not really recommended. The only good news is that a better sound-mix is out there and that general feedback from BD-loving Potter fans is that the series gets much better on BD from Part II on. I'll be sure to post on "Chamber of Secrets" when I've seen it!
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Amazing amazing amazing!
This is the first Harry Potter in the series. For anyone that hasn't yet watched this, this particular movie is someone that you must watch because it explains everything that happens in subsequent movies.

Join Harry Potter in his magical adventures at Hogwarts.
The story is really good. The special effects are absolutely incredible. This is a fantastic movie.

What I love is that it stars so many of our own iconic British actors. Now that makes me happy :)
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on 23 January 2013
Here I'm just going to tell you about the differences between the USA version and the UK version.

I saw many people from the USA trying to buy those UK version since the difference in price is really big and the title say they are region free.

Impressive the shipping company. I order them from UK the 14th and just 8 days later is in home (and yesterday it was a holiday). So shipping is not a problem, plus it was only $13 for all of them.

The blu-rays are region free! wow! so I can play them without problem in my blu-ray player. The dvd aren't, not a problem for me, since I do own a free region dvd player, but it something that you should check if you want to order them.

The are difference between the USA version and the UK version:

- First... and not important at all. The boxes are a little taller (box 7 is the USA version)
- More important is, that in the USA version, all the disc inside are blu-ray except the one with the movie is DVD (obviously), in the UK version they decide that the only in blu-ray is the movie and the rest are DVDs.
- With that said, the difference in price is big, being the UK version really cheap if you compare with the US. The boxes are $50 for a total of $350. In the UK the boxes are $12.55 for a total of $75.30 (They still don't have the Ultimate 7, so the price is for the first six of them)

So for $220 less (if you include the $75+$45 for the 7 in USA version), you get all the movies, with all the same extras, and the extended version of 1 and 2. But you get everything in DVDs but the movies, so you will need a region free dvd player (around $40 on ebay).

So not bad at all. But be aware of those differences!.
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on 30 March 2011
If like me, you are so in love with the Harry Potter series that you thought that no one and nothing on this earth could make something to rival the pure awesomness of the books, you were wrong.
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!
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on 17 June 2002
There was a great deal of hype surrounding this film, and in many ways, it was always going to be difficult for it to live up to expectations. Many of the characters are well casted- Maggie Smith is typically excellent, as is Robbie Coltrane, and it will be nice to see more of the brilliant John Cleese in coming films. The special effects are wonderful- interesting to see how they filmed Quidditch, and some of the children's performances are really very good considering their ages. Yet despite making allowances for their youth, it is sometimes hard to see them as really being Hermione or Harry- they are simply far too "stage school" and wooden in places and Hermione particularly, whilst trying extremely hard, sometimes fails to convince. Ron is without doubt the best of the children, but the scene where Harry sees his parents in the Mirror of Erised, is very moving and well acted by Daniel Radcliffe. However, everyone involved in this film really had a great deal to live up to- anyone who has read the books already has their own ideas of how the characters look, sound and act and therfore overall it was very well done. The children's performances will no doubt mature as they do, and it is great that the cast is a British one- an American Harry would just not have worked!! It is as true to the book as would have been possible without making the film any longer, but for many it is doubtful whether the film versions will ever be able to compete with JK Rowling's masterful story telling. Basically, the film is good, but nowhere near as good as the book- go and read it and see for yourself...!!
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on 10 December 2007
Great Movie, Surely Everyone and their Dog have seen this fim by now, HD REALLY makes Hogwarts look AMAZING.

Incidently, for those wanting to know, the main feature is coded in 1080p resolution, while the extras are 480i/p.

Still worth it if your potty for potter.
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