Review: Harry Potter Ultimate Editions DVDs 1 & 2


published 10 December 2009
written by Tao


Rupert-Grint.us was sent the Ultimate Editions of Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets for review. Below is the review which heavily focuses on the Rupert Grint parts.

The Ultimate Editions take you on a fantastic journey into the world of Harry Potter movies! In the regular DVD there are four discs – the blu-ray versions have three and contain picture-in-picture commentary by Chris Columbus – however for this review, we’ll stick with the regular DVDs. Disc one is the regular theatrical movie, the second is the extended version we’re treated to on ABC Family. The third disc has the extras found on the original DVDs. The forth disc is the gold you’re looking for. This of course is recommended to any major Harry Potter fan. I know that there has always been a lot of talk about how the movies aren’t perfect. However, I believe that viewing these DVDs will help you see the movies just a bit differently in a lot of ways.

Let’s start off with Sorcerer’s Stone. On this edition, we start with a fantastic introduction with Daniel Radcliffe. During his talk we see all kinds of behind-the-scenes footage from all six movies. However the focus seems to be solely on the first movie (whereas the footage on the Chamber of Secrets Ultimate Edition goes beyond just movie two). Which leeds into a hilarious Rupert moment. Chris Columbus talks about how Rupert was always smiling in every shot, even the serious ones. Rupert says Alan Rickman told him to just relax his face, and then says, “But obviously that didn’t work too well!” Chris also says Rupert’s strongest scene is the chess scene. He said by the time they shot this, the kids were getting more used to everything so they were able to do this scene really well without looking around, or smiling, or anything like that. (We see a bit of a possible deleted scene in this. Rupert says a line that wasn’t in the movie!) There’s a lot of great talk about casting the adult actors and the other child actors.

They continued to talk about each part of the process, picking different people such as Chis Columbus, Steve Kloves (some interesting information about his relationship with J. K. Rowling too!), Stuart Craig (lots of information about different sets and how they were made), and John Williams and his contribution to the films including how his music and how it was put together with different scenes helped shaped the cut of the movie.

Something I loved was going from Sorcerer’s Stone/Philosopher’s Stone interviews to interviews on the set of Deathly Hallows. It really showed how far each of the young actors have come. There is also some quick shots of the first premiere and how that the Monday right after they started on Chamber of Secrets!

The fourth disc also has an extra that only was on the gift set that came in the trunk when Order of the Phoenix came out. We also got the teaser trailer, two theatrical trailers and TV spots. The later of which is really nice if you’ve never seen them. I never had the pleasure having not gotten into the movies until Prisoner of Azkaban.

Chamber of Secrets continues with the new footage and interviews but all about characters that have been introduced throughout all the movies. We go from the first movie to the sixth movie. We actually get the actors reading their introductions in the books. Rupert’s is lovely! What’s funny is that he says he’s nothing like Ron’s description except the ginger hair! David Heyman reads a letter too from J. K. Rowling praising the casting of the trio and we see the very first press conference! Or at least part of it. There is actually a moment when we see a different scene in Chamber of Secrets about the Heir of Slytherin. It’s interesting to have seen it this way then the way it was played out on film.

Again all the characters are represented in this. One of my favorite moments is them discussing the differences between the Weasleys and the Malfoys and we get an interview from Mark Williams and Julie Walters! It’s amazing to watch how they decided on Voldemort, how he would look and such. We go through Cho Chang, the champions, etc. We get to see Luna’s screen test! This is great because you can really understand why Evanna Lynch got the part.

When we get into Prisoner of Azkaban, of course we hear about the infamous essays. Alfonso Cuaron talks about Rupert not doing his and how Rupert said Ron wouldn’t do his any ways. (I may have misunderstood this, but I thought that’s what was said.) As we continue on, there is less Rupert here but some interesting tidbits that I think again give a great appreciation for what they have done, even though we get ticked at what they don’t do. It’s also great to know how much influence the adult actors have with some aspects. And again, these are the times though we see very little of Rupert – if anything at all. It’s very focused on other characters and only Dan Radcliffe and Emma Watson get some extra time to comment with a few other actors in between (mainly Dan only talks about Gary Oldman and Ralph Finnes while Emma talks about Emma Thompson).

Finally we get to Half-Blood Prince which gives us a lot more Rupert. We get to see the screen test between him and Jessie Cave which is actually really hilarious. Not only for how Jessie plays it, but what Rupert does in reaction to it. Jessie was told to do whatever she thought Lavender would do and Rupert’s reactions is SO Ron.

There is a cute Rupert and Emma moment. We see them on the set of Deathly Hallows with Rupert’s arm in a sling (for Ron). They talk about reading the books. Emma reads them a ton of times. Rupert? He reads them right before the movie. Well, except for the last one, he was a little late on that! Emma jokes about how Ron-like this actually is! They laugh a lot and it’s VERY cute.

David Yates talks about how much the audience connects with Rupert and how much they enjoy him. He also talks about how dark Deathly Hallows is and how haunted Ron is. We see this behind-the-scenes footage of Ron looking out in the lake. The only part we got to see of this was a screen cap of him looking out onto the lake, but he actually skips a stone first. It’s very haunting and looks a very intense Ron moment!

In closing, Rupert talks about the bond they have and we see some shots from the London Half-Blood Prince premiere.
Like the Sorcerer’s Stone/Philosopher’s Stone one, Chamber of Secrets too has a teaser and theatrical trailer with some great TV spots you’ll be glad to see if you never got the chance before!

Unfortunately I couldn’t tell you everything without giving away the whole thing and what would be the point of the review if I did that? I highly recommend it for great Rupert moments, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. It’s also great for Harry Potter fans, especially if you love the movies. And if you don’t, there is new information to make you understand the whole process! So if you were unsure about spending the dough, you do get your money’s worth as a Rupert and Harry Potter fan. This will make a great Christmas gift too!



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