Harry Potter Book Covers For the UK and the USA

 

All Reviews are from Amazon.co.uk

 

A file permissions error has occurred. Please check the permissions on the script and the directory it is in and try again.

 

 

 

 

Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone / Sorcerer's Stone

 

Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone Movie UK Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone Movie USA

 

To try and please all the fans of JK Rowling's novel was a challenge that the makers of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone met head on. The result of their efforts is one of the most lavish, beautiful and magical cinematic treats to hit our screens in years. Director Chris Columbus and screenwriter Steven Kloves (thankfully with the help of Rowling herself) prove that although you can't translate everybody's reading of this much-loved book onto the cinema screen--maybe Fluffy was a bit more Fluffy in your imagination or Hagrid (superbly played by Robbie Coltrane) a little more giant-like--it is nevertheless possible to transfer Harry's adventures with fidelity as well as superb energy and excitement.
If there is a downside it's that the performances of the child leads tends to verge on the Sylvia Young-tastic in places. Nonetheless, the three young stars are both likable and watchable, showing great potential to grow into the parts as the adventures continue. The main disappointment is the substantial cutting of the ghost scenes and what promised to be a fine comic turn by John Cleese as Headless Nick, though with more Potter films on the way the ghosts will surely assume their rightful prominence later. There are, of course, some areas of the story that may frighten smaller children--such as the entrance of the evil Voldemort--and undoubtedly for any true Potter fan that cinematic entrance cannot live up to the images created in their imagination. All in all, though, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is what it should be: an unmissable treat for the whole family.

On the DVD: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone really is a magical experience in this lavish two-disc set. Disc one offers the film in all its surround-sound glory along with trailers and links to the Harry Potter Web site, but, disappointingly, there's no commentary.

Disc two is where the real wizardry can be found, with a vast and beautifully designed selection of special features. Entering the Great Hall a mysterious voice invites you to explore and find the secret hidden within (though it's frustrating that in some cases you have to re-enter the Hall after viewing a feature). Various options let you tour around Harry's world: from Diagon Alley to a virtual 360-degree tour of Hogwarts. The interactive component is excellent, with real thought having been put into ensuring that, instead of just the standard behind-the-scenes stuff, there is material aplenty to keep children and adults alike entertained for hours. Throughout the emphasis is on the disc's educational value: yes there are insights to be had from the film crew, but it's in the Classroom where you will find the real precious stones! --Nikki Disney

 

 

 

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

 

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets Movie UK Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets Movie USA

 

The world's most famous boy wizard dives straight into a darker and more thrilling magical adventure in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It's practically the same set-up--something evil's afoot at Hogwarts; Harry and his pals must put it right--but fans of the books won't be disappointed. Director Chris Columbus, whose artistic licence is necessarily limited by the demands of adapting JK Rowling's phenomenally popular novel, does a spectacular job rendering Rowling's imaginary world: the production design and costumes are fascinating in their own right; such is the impressive attention to detail.
Daniel Radcliffe gives a more assured performance here as Harry, though he's not quite strong enough to carry the film without the aid of an excellent ensemble cast of experienced adults, notably a twinkly-eyed Kenneth Branagh. Of course, most viewers will already know what's going to happen as far as the story is concerned, so for them the pleasure in watching The Chamber of Secrets lies in the visualisation of Rowling's magical creations and the verve brought to the action sequences. It's fantastic fun for kids and a good excuse to regress back to childhood for the rest of us. --Laura Bushell

 

 

 

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

 

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban Movie UK Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban Movie USA

 

Some movie-loving wizards must have cast a magic spell on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because it's another grand slam for the Harry Potter franchise. Demonstrating remarkable versatility after the arthouse success of Y Tu Mamá También, director Alfonso Cuarón proves a perfect choice to guide Harry, Hermione, and Ron into treacherous puberty as the now 13-year-old students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry face a new and daunting challenge: Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban prison, and for reasons yet unknown (unless, of course, you've read J.K. Rowling's book, considered by many to be the best in the series), he's after Harry in a bid for revenge. This dark and dangerous mystery drives the action while Harry (the fast-growing Daniel Radcliffe) and his third-year Hogwarts classmates discover the flying hippogriff Buckbeak (a marvelous CGI creature), the benevolent but enigmatic Professor Lupin (David Thewlis), horrifying black-robed Dementors, sneaky Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall), and the wonderful advantage of having a Time-Turner just when you need one. The familiar Hogwarts staff returns in fine form (including the delightful Michael Gambon, replacing the late Richard Harris as Dumbledore, and Emma Thompson as the goggle-eyed Sybil Trelawney), and even Julie Christie joins this prestigious production for a brief but welcome cameo. Technically dazzling, fast-paced, and chock-full of Rowling's boundless imagination (loyally adapted by ace screenwriter Steve Kloves), The Prisoner of Azkaban is a Potter-movie classic. --Jeff Shannon

 

 

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

 

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire Movie UK (Out 20th March 2006) Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire  Movie USA (Out 7th March 2006)

 

 

The latest entry in the Harry Potter saga could be retitled Fast Times at Hogwarts, where finding a date to the winter ball is nearly as terrifying as worrying about Lord Voldemort's return. Thus, the young wizards' entry into puberty (and discovery of the opposite sex) opens up a rich mining field to balance out the dark content in the fourth movie (and the stories are only going to get darker). Mike Newell handily takes the directing reins and eases his young cast through awkward growth spurts into true young actors. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe, more sure of himself) has his first girl crush on fellow student Cho Chang, and has his first big fight with best bud Ron. Meanwhile, Ron's underlying romantic tension with Hermione comes to a head over the winter ball, and when she makes one of those girl-into-woman Cinderella entrances, the boys' reactions indicate they've all crossed a threshold.

But don't worry, there's plenty of wizardry and action in Goblet of Fire. When the deadly Tri-Wizard Tournament is hosted by Hogwarts, Harry finds his name mysteriously submitted (and chosen) to compete against wizards from two neighboring academies, as well as another Hogwarts student. The competition scenes are magnificently shot, with much-improved CGI effects (particularly the underwater challenge). And the climactic confrontation with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, in a brilliant bit of casting) is the most thrilling yet. Goblet, the first installment to get a PG-13 rating, contains some violence as well as disturbing images for kids and some barely shrouded references at sexual awakening (Harry's bath scene in particular). The 2 1/2-hour film, lean considering it came from a 734-page book, trims out subplots about house elves (they're not missed) and gives little screen time to the standard crew of the other Potter films, but adds in more of Britain's finest actors to the cast, such as Brendan Gleeson as Mad Eye Moody and Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter. Michael Gambon, in his second round as Professor Dumbledore, still hasn't brought audiences around to his interpretation of the role he took over after Richard Harris died, but it's a small smudge in an otherwise spotless adaptation.--Ellen A. Kim, Amazon.com