Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection

Didn’t fork over $500 for 2012′s limited edition Harry Potter box set? Warner Bros. has got you covered. On April 29, they’ll be releasing the Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection, a 31-disc Blu-ray set featuring all the special features from the previously released, and now sold out, Wizards Collection, this time in new packaging. Check out the full specs and images below. Read More »

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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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Harry Potter

I’ve always wished that Warner Bros had filmed extended editions of the Harry Potter films, in the same vein as Peter Jackson filmed the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course, anyone who knows the many differences between the books and the released films knows that it really wouldn’t have been possible. To squeeze the most important plot points into the films, scenes, characters and information have been combined in a way that sometimes eliminate the wonderful side stories that we loved from the novels.

Over the course of the series, there have been many scenes, sequences and moments that were filmed but ended up on the cutting room floor. And it appears that Warner Bros is hoping to squeeze a bit more money out of the very popular wizard franchise by releasing extended editions of all the Harry Potter films.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

[This is part one of a four-part series. You can also read part two, part three, and part four.]

While discussing which movie to review for next week’s /Filmcast, my co-hosts instantly gravitated towards David Yates’ newest take on the Harry Potter universe, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Having seen the wonderful and thrilling trailer for this film (in IMAX no less), I wasn’t opposed to this, but I was forced to make an uncomfortable confession: I had never watched a Harry Potter film or read a Harry Potter book in my life. The reasons for such a travesty are numerous and varied, but as Sam Seaborn once said, let’s not focus on the fact that I’m late to the party; let’s just be glad I arrived at all.

I contemplated watching the film without watching any of the previous films but was told by many, many, many people that this would be a terrible idea. Not only would the new film not make any sense, but I would be robbing myself of experiencing the entire Harry Potter storyline. So, I decided to undertake the task of watching all five films and writing some brief reflections about each one, culminating in a viewing and a review of the sixth film later this week. My hope is that this will spark some conversation about the previous films, and help us appreciate the benefits and shortcomings of each one’s contributions to this epic series.
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