Blu-Ray Review: ‘Harry Potter’ Ultimate Editions For Fifth, Sixth Years

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CHICAGO – The J.K. Rowling series may be over but Harry Potter mania continues unabated. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The legend of ‘The Boy Who Lived’ seems to be growing as fans stream through the amusement park, await every bit of news from Rowling herself about what she’ll do next, and, most of all, count the days until “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.” Until then, catch up with the fifth and sixth films in the their cash cow, complete with collectibles and new special features. Clear some shelf space. Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

Overkill is not a word in the vocabulary of a true fan. So, the fact that these releases take up SO much shelf space that they could be used as doorstops is actually a good thing. You have to LOVE Harry Potter to buy the “Ultimate Editions” of the films. And, judged far from the casual fan, they get the job done.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Ultimate Edition was released on Blu-Ray on June 14th, 2011
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Ultimate Edition was released on Blu-Ray on June 14th, 2011
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Home Video

What about the movies themselves? These are the films in which the Harry Potter franchise stabilized for me after the first two Chris Columbus movies (which I hated) and the best films in the series, “Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Goblet of Fire.” I like but don’t love “Order of the Phoenix” and “Half-Blood Prince.” They’re definitely good movies, but I don’t love ‘em like hardcore fans.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Ultimate Edition was released on Blu-Ray on June 14th, 2011
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Ultimate Edition was released on Blu-Ray on June 14th, 2011
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Home Video

The Ultimate Editions of “Year 5” and “Year 6” of the “Harry Potter” saga includes the theatrical version of the films in beautiful WB High-Def. Warner Brothers still leads the way when it comes to 1080p transfers. The films look and sound stunning. These are amazing HD releases, although if you already own the standalone versions of the films then you know that.

Both films feature in-movie special features that allow viewers to witness the making of the adventures while they watch them.

Disc two of the two-disc sets feature the new special features to this series, an on-going documentary called “Creating the World of Harry Potter.” “Phoenix” includes “Part 5: Evolution” and “Prince” includes “Part 6: Magical Effects.” These are not mere filler to get fans to buy the films again. They’re both detailed documentaries about the production of the series that offer previously-unseen insight and behind-the-scenes details for fans of the films.

Two discs aren’t enough for an Ultimate Edition and Warner Brothers continues their trend of offering collectibles with their massive releases. This time, fans will find a hardcover photo book with rare images from years 1-7 in both releases and two in a series of character cards. Those of you with an amazing amount of Blu-ray shelf space can collect them all.

Previous Ultimate Editions included digital copies but not these two. It’s a bizarre exclusion but one can only assume that they weren’t used very often. When you have an edition this “Ultimate,” why transfer a Digital Copy to something smaller? If anything, Potter just keeps getting bigger.

‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Ultimate Edition’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Ultimate Edition’ are released by Warner Brother Home Video and star Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, and Alan Rickman. They directed by David Yates. They were released on Blu-Ray on June 14th, 2011. content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Anonymous's picture

It drives me nuts when a

It drives me nuts when a series that has yet to be completed…we are a month away from the final film…starts puking out “Ultimate Editions” and behind the scenes crud. You know they are bound to release full boxed editions 6-8 months from now…perhaps to tie in with the holiday season if they are quick.

Anonymous's picture

? These Ultimate Editions

? These Ultimate Editions have been getting released for years. Not just started. Probably 30 seconds of research would have told you that.

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