Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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Welcome to the First Harry Potter Ultimate Edition in Hi-Def!
Spellbinding 3-Disc Set Includes New Feature-Length Documentary: Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 1: The Magic Begins
For the First Time Ever ... Uncover the intimate details of the search to cast Harry Potter and his friends • See Daniel, Rupert and Emma’s never-before-seen audition tapes • Be there with stars and filmmakers walking onto the set of the exciting first day of shooting • Learn about Chris Columbus’ critical, step-by-step decisions behind the creation of Harry Potter’s world on screen • Look back on an amazing decade’s worth of movies with Daniel, Rupert and Emma in new and vintage interviews never seen before. Plus: Exclusive Introduction by Daniel Radcliffe
The Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Ultimate Edition includes both the original theatrical cut and an extended version (a mere 6.5 minutes longer), and the picture and sound are as good as on the original Blu-ray release (the sound is now DTS-HD Master Audio rather than PCM, but both are uncompressed). Also on the disc is In-Movie Experience (the theatrical cut only), which is a combination of director Chris Columbus' picture-in-picture commentary and storyboards. Since there are numerous gaps, it helps to be able to skip to the next segment using the right arrow button. Daniel Radcliffe introduces the second disc, the main attraction of which is Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part I: The Magic Begins, an hourlong documentary in high definition that is the first of a series. It interviews all the principal cast (particularly appealing when it switches from a 2001 interview to the same person in 2009f) and covers the casting process, the sets, the premiere, and other topics. Almost 10 minutes of deleted scenes and a variety of featurettes and trailers complete the second and third discs, repeating much of the bonus material from the original Blu-ray release. Other extras include a postcard-sized book of photos and two character cards. --David Horiuchi
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As a Potterhead, of course I would want the extended version since the only way I could usually see this version is by watching it when ABC/Freeform/TeenageSoapOperaChannel runs a marathon... and I'll always get sucked in because the minute differences are enough that it makes it being on tv special, like it's something new all over again.
When these books first came out I had no interest in them. None. My siblings were all in an uproar (my sister was also 11, so she's grown up with Harry) but I dismissed the books as fanciful nothings, young adult fiction, psh when would I ever want to read that? I mean, at that time I was caught up in the fantastic world of romance novels. (Yes, that was sarcastic and true at the same time!)
But then, around the release of the fourth book, I decided to pick up the series and see what all the fuss was about. Since that first reading of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I've read the book four times (one of those times out loud to my niece and nephew), and every time the book just gets better and better, and I think a large part of that is due to the movies.
Now, I'll first say that yes, a lot of the original books didn't make it into the movies, specifically for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I missed Peeves, the potions Hermione has to get through to help Harry stop Quirrell, the introduction of Malfoy in the train (and not on the steps) and little details here and there (such as explaining to Harry where the pictures came from in the book Hagrid gives him at the end). But overall, I think the movie did a fantastic job of bringing to life the wonder, excitement and awe I felt while reading the book. I loved the portrayal of Quidditch and the main dining hall at Hogwarts, and I still catch my breath at that first sweeping view of the school.
In my opinion, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the weakest of the books, in terms of development - but it also captures the innocence of Harry, Hermione and Ron, and grabs the reader by the hand and gently introduces them into the world of Hogwarts, allowing time for us to catch our breath and relax into it all. That's the best way to introduce children to the world of fantasy and Rowling did a marvelous job.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention, in closing at least, how much I've also come to appreciate Dudley, and the Dursley's. They add comedy to the stories, but also that necessary anchor to the "muggle" world - the other side of what might have been had Harry's mother not been magical.
Feel free to join me in the next several days as I read, watch and review these books and movies. You do not need to read or watch every one, or do both, or.. well, do whatever you wish and chime in with your thoughts, your hopes for the upcoming movies and how you plan to fill the void after the last movie has been watched.