Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
9 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8.5 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG

Starring:
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
Rupert Grint as Ronald 'Ron' Weasley
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger
John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick
Robbie Coltrane as Gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid
Warwick Davis as Professor Flitwick
Richard Griffiths as Uncle Vernon Dursley
Richard Harris as Headmaster Albus Dumbledore
Ian Hart as Professor Quirrell
John Hurt as Mr. Ollivander
Alan Rickman as Professor Snape
Fiona Shaw as Aunt Petunia Dursley
Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall
Julie Walters as Mrs. Molly Weasley
ZoŽ Wanamaker as Madame Hooch

Special Features:
Both Theatrical And Extended Versions With 7 Minutes Of Footage Not Shown In Theaters

On The Theatrical Version:
In-Movie Experience
Picture In Picture Storyboard Comparisons, Stills Galleries
Exclusive Features Via Blu-ray Live
48-Page Photo Book With Rare Images From Years 1-7
Two In A Series Of Character Cards

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
DTS-HD MA 6.1
Spanish Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 152 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

"Uncover the intimate details of the search to cast Harry Potter and his friends. See Daniel, Rupert and Emma's never-before-seen screen tests. 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."

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Ultimate Edition" is rated PG for some scary moments and mild language.

Mini-Review:
Whenever a movie is re-released on Blu-ray or some 'Ultimate Edition' is put on sale, the real question for collectors is "What on this is new?" and "Am I buying bonus features I've already bought before?"

The good news is that there's a lot of new material included on this Blu-ray. Most notable is "Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 1: The Magic Begins." It's the first in a series of eight documentaries, the rest being included on the other "Ultimate Editions" of the movies. It's a retrospective showing the cast and crew reminiscing about the making of the first film. They cover the initial casting process, the designs of the world, the location shoots, the challenges of getting kids to act, and more. With plenty of vintage footage included, it's a very interesting look at the making of the movie. I thought I had seen everything there was to see on the making of Harry Potter, but there was still new stuff to me here. Potter fans should be pleased. Also included with the theatrical version of the movie is the "In-Movie Experience." As the film plays, storyboards pop up or short videos featuring Columbus appear and explain the making of certain key scenes. It's interesting, but my young daughter hated it when they popped up and, honestly, I would have rather watched them separate from the film itself. You'll also find a complete collection of trailers and commercials, still galleries, and a few deleted scenes.

The "Ultimate Edition" also includes a digital copy of the film for your portable device which is nice. The box also contains a book with a few stills and production paintings and two collector's cards. I think if I wanted a Harry Potter book, I would have bought a Harry Potter book. Now this big, bulky box just takes up room on the self. Potter fans may be more excited about it.

The third disc in the set is actually a DVD, not a Blu-ray. It was the bonus features disc on the 2002 Special Edition DVD of this film. So if you already own that, you're buying it again. Of further note, the bonus features from the Blu-ray of this film released in 2007 are NOT included in this set. This "Ultimate Edition" isn't quite as ultimate as you might hope.

If you're a Harry Potter fan, you're probably going to want this Blu-ray set. And if you don't already own the films on Blu-ray, this is the one you're going to want to get. But be aware that it doesn't contain every Potter bonus feature in existence and there will probably be a new, snazzier version at some point in the future.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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