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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 19 November 2007
Adapted from JK Rowling's amazing magical novels, this DVD boxset features the first five films in the Harry Potter series.

Year 1 - Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone:
Harry Potter learns on his 11th birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses magical powers of his own.
Harry then begins his first year at Hogwarts and with the help of his new friends Ron and Hermoine, takes on Lord Voldemort for the first time to stop him from using the mysterious Philosopher's Stone.

Year 2 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:
Cars fly, trees fight back and a mysterious house-elf comes to warn Harry Potter at the start of his second year of a danger that may threaten his life. The Chamber of Secrets reopens and the heir of Slitherin returns to Hogwarts.

Year 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:
With the escaped criminal, Sirius Black on the loose and terrifying Dementors on guard everywhere, this begins Harry's darkest and most dangerous year at Hogwarts.

Year 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire:
When Harry Potter's name emerges from the Goblet of Fire, he becomes a competitor in a grueling battle for glory among three wizarding schools - the Triwizard Tournament.

Year 5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
Harry returns for his fifth year of study at Hogwarts and discovers that much of the wizarding community has been denied the truth about his recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort. Fearing that Hogwarts' venerable Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is lying about Voldemort's return in order to undermine his power and take his job, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, appoints a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to keep watch over Dumbledore and the Hogwarts students. But Professor Dolores Umbridge's Ministry-approved course of defensive magic leaves the young wizards woefully unprepared to defend themselves against the dark forces threatening them and the entire wizarding community, so at the prompting of his friends Hermione and Ron, Harry takes matters into his own hands. Meeting secretly with a small group of students who name themselves "Dumbledore's Army," Harry teaches them how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts, preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that lies ahead.

The scripts stick very close to the books' storylines, with only a small few scenes missing in the first three films. Anyone who has read The Goblet of Fire though will find huge chunks of the story missing, such as the whole lead-up to the Quidditch World Cup and the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W) storyline. To be fair though, it is a massive book so I suppose some of the minor storylines had to be cut. The Order of the Phoenix is very similar to the book up to a point and then massive cuts and changes are made, which if you are a big fan of the books, will spoil the movie for you a little.

When I watched the first Harry Potter film I had already read the first four books and had created visions in my mind of what the characters and places all looked like and I could not believe how spot-on the cast and locations were, with only minor differences to the books.

The acting from the younger cast members does get progressively better as the films go on, mainly due to age and experience, although the three leads (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) do perform excellently from the start, providing fascinating entertainment. Older cast members include top well-known actors like Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Alan Rickman (Snape), Maggie Smith (McGonagall), Richard Harris (Dumbledore in years 1 & 2), Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in years 3, 4 & 5) and Ralph Fiennes (Voldermort in years 4 and 5), to just name a few.

This boxset is one that every fan of Harry Potter should own and although the films are aimed more at children than the books are, they are still great fun to watch with lots of exciting action and are also full of laughs that the whole family can enjoy. The new slim DVD cases also save a lot of room on your shelves!
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