Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Video review: Harry Potter Wizard's Collection
Everyone loves collector's editions, especially videophiles who like having the entirety of a film franchise in one handsome repository, complete with special goodies to go with them. The problem with these collections is that just when you think you've got the "ultimate" edition of something, another, supposedly better, one comes along.
(iPhone owners know all too well of what I speak.)
Just this month, "Bond 50" will encompass the first five decades of James Bond, 22 films in all. Of course, that won't include the 23rd Bond film, "Skyfall," coming out in November, or the 24th or any thereafter. Nor will it have any "unofficial" Bond movies, like David Niven's 1967 spoof or Sean Connery's 1983 spinoff, "Never Say Never Again."
A few years ago I was thrilled to get my hands on "The Adventures of Indiana Jones: The Complete DVD Movie Collection," with all three films. Since then, the quality bar has been raised with the Blu-ray format, and Harrison Ford donned the fedora and bullwhip again for another movie. So, you guessed it, "Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures" arrives Sept. 18.
So where does "Harry Potter Wizard's Collection" fit in this spectrum?
Fans of the boy wizard saga are at least assured of one thing: it is very unlikely there will be any latecomer movies to crash the party. Author J.K. Rowling has assured the literary world repeatedly that she will write no more Pottery books past the seventh. So these eight films (the final book was split into two movies) are it.
The "Wizard's Collection" includes both Blu-ray and DVD versions of all movies. So how do the extras stack up? For a $350 list price, the 31-disc Wizard's Collection comes up short.
It's essentially all the extras included in previous individual film editions, plus five hours more of behind-the-scenes footage, including a one-on-one chat between Rowling and star Danielle Radcliffe.
The really special stuff comes in the physical collectibles.
The edition arrives in a 19-pound chest that folds out in all sorts of ways, every corner stuffed with something neat. Included are high-quality prints of concept drawings, a blueprint of Hogwarts School, a cloth map of the wizarding world, a 48-page hardcover book detailing all of Harry's magical artifacts, a Hogwarts Express train ticket, and even your own Horcrux Locket.
You'll have to conjure up a lot of cash for this collection, so I would deem it for hardcore Harry Potterites only.