As much time and money and effort as Hollywood pours into big-budget franchises, only a handful manage to make a real lasting impression on moviegoers. But the best of them live on long after the last installment has hit theaters, and one that falls into that category is Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter series.

From 2001 to 2011, the studio released eight films based on J.K. Rowling‘s books. Collectively, they’re are one of the most successful cinematic series of time by any standard — critically, commercially, culturally. Even now, after all the cast and crew have moved onto other projects, fans still harbor a deep affection for the Boy Who Lived.

In tribute to the beloved fantasy saga, Kees Van Dijkhuizen Jr. has edited together a gorgeous thirteen-minute retrospective titled “Mischief Managed.” Hit the jump to watch his video, and be warned that you may get a lump in your throat once John Williams‘ iconic theme kicks in.

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The moment I walked out of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 last summer, I remember thinking “I can’t wait to own the entire series in one Blu-ray box set.” Warner Bros. quickly obliged with a disappointing barebones release for the 2011 holiday season and then vowed to take the movies off shelves. Why would they do such a thing? Probably to build hype for the set that just popped up on Amazon.

Amazon is now taking orders for the Harry Potter Wizards Collection, a 31-disc box set featuring all eight films in the series and much, much more. Retail price is $499.99 but you can now pre-order for the almost as obscene $349.99. See more of the set, including a video, and read the early specs below. Read More »

Fake Criterion covers have become a pretty popular form of fan art as of late. Design-inclined cinephiles have fake-Criterioned everything from Orson Welles’ Macbeth to a French version of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle to Kickpuncher (which is itself a fake movie), and it’s no wonder why. Criterion DVDs often get the kind of cool, artsy covers you would never find on ‘normal’ DVDs, which usually opt for something more tame and immediately recognizable.

The latest property to get the fake-Criterion treatment is the Harry Potter film series, which concludes this weekend with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Cooper Union graduate Patrick Sullivan created this stunning collection for his student portfolio, and it saddens me to know they’ll never actually be used. Flip through his cover collection after the jump.

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Tickets for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 have been on sale for a few days but true fans were waiting for this moment. AMC has announced that not only will they host back to back screenings of Part 1 and Part 2 on opening night, select theaters will host a four night event of all eight films culminating at midnight July 15 with the highly anticipated epic conclusion. Find out if your theater made the cut after the jump. Read More »

Though a good number of fans have already purchased their tickets to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at midnight on November 19, most of us have not. Two weeks away still feels a little too early to make plans. Well, AMC has upped the ante with an event that’s sure to sell out from coast to coast. They’ve announced a mini Harry Potter Marathon at over 140 theaters on November 18 leading up to the opening of Deathly Hallows Part 1. It’ll begin at at 6 p.m. with a screening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, followed by Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and then, at midnight, you’ll be seated and primed for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. We’ve got more information after the jump. Read More »

Microsoft reported today that the new Halo game Halo: Reach generated more than $200 million worth of sales in the U.S. and Europe on its launch day. $200 million is a lot of cash, bigger than the opening of any Hollywood film in the history of cinema… right?

It seems like every year a big video game title is released, and huge dollar figures are reported, resulting in a couple journalists to speculate that video games is beginning to overtake Hollywood in the entertainment industry.

Well… Not even close.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

2010 MTV Movie Awards Winners

2010 MTV Movie Awards

Lets face it, the MTV Movie Awards is not a real award show. It’s more a piece of badly choreographed television “entertainment” than anything else. I mean, at what other Award show does Twilight: New Moon take home five awards, and the movie Obsessed win… well, anything — EVER?

For those of you who are interested, you can find a list of winners of the 2010 MTV Movie Awards after the jump. Leave your snarky sarcastic-filled responses below.

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VOTD: 50 Movie Spoilers of 2009 in 4 Minutes

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The Fine Brothers love to spoil everything, In past years, we’ve featured their popular videos 100 Movie Spoilers in 4 minutes and Spoiling Every Best Picture Winner in Oscar History. After seeing all of the big movies of 2009, the brothers are back once again.  Their latest video spoils 50 movies released last year (including all ten best picture nominees) in one take, in under 4 minutes. Watch the video now, after the jump.

And if it isn’t completely obvious already, please be warned that the following video contains spoilers.
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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Buy It

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
(DVD available as single-disc and 2-Disc Digital Copy Special Edition)
The Harry Potter franchise has marked a rare occasion in cinema, or perhaps even a first. To my knowledge, there is no other long-running, self-contained film series in history where the later entries have improved considerably on their predecessors. As the young Harry Potter has matured, so too have the films depicting his wizarding adventures, turning what initially began as a family friendly adaptation of, essentially, fluff wish-fulfillment silliness, into an artistically rendered journey of kids attempting to balance their growth into adults against the never-ending onslaught of horrors that plague their lives. Cuaron’s Prisoner of Azkaban may remain the champion when it comes to telling the best Potter story that stands on its own, but considering that The Half-Blood Prince is clearly an intermediate chapter that was designed to align the necessary pieces for the final chapter, director David Yates should be applauded for the masterful way he’s managed to sidestep that issue by maintaining a strong focus on progressing the emotional core of the story instead of becoming bogged down in the notably less compelling central plot conflict, as well as gratuitous CGI-heavy action set pieces and wand battles. It’s because of this that, against all odds, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince turned out to be my favorite entry in the series yet, delivering a strangely perfect blend of character-based melodrama, genuinely hilarious moments of comedy, and a palpable sense of dread in every frame. If I wasn’t quite convinced that Yates was capable of tying up the films in a satisfying way after Order of the Phoenix, this most recent effort has convinced me that there’s no other man more qualified for the job.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: 2-disc DVD – Featurettes on the cast and crew and the life of author J.K. Rowling, additional scenes, a sneak peek at the Universal Orlando Resort’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, and a digital copy of the film. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a Maximum Movie Mode with the stars, director and producers.

BEST DVD PRICE*
TargetBest BuyFry’sWalmart
$15$15.99$14.77$9.98
Amazon – $9.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $19.99 at Fry’s and Amazon, $22.99 at Best Buy, and $26.99 at Target (see below).

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
TargetBest BuyFry’sWalmart
$19.99$17.99N/A$15
Amazon – $15.99

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