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REVIEW: Bloomsbury “reinvents” the “Harry Potter” children’s editions

Bloomsburycovers

Bloomsbury's new children's editions of the "Harry Potter" series are released tomorrow. Find out MuggleNet's thoughts on the redesign, inside and out, in our review. Read More »

Ultimate Editions

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Previews for the Harry Potter Ultimate Edition DVDs Read More »

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 video game

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Previews for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 video game Official Trailer Read More »

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game

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Previews for the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game. Teaser Trailer Official Trailer Read More »

LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4

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Previews for the LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 video game Teaser Trailer Behind-The-Scenes Sorcerer’s Stone First Look Chamber of Secret First Look Prisoner of Azkaban First Look Goblet of Fire First Look           Read More »

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Score

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Review by Elisabeth Vincentelli Big news on the Harry Potter musical front: After scoring the first three installments in the series, John Williams has been replaced by Patrick Doyle. Still, Williams never feels far away. His main theme pops up here and there, and a track like “Voldemort,” which eloquently illustrates the soul of a blacker-than-black wizard with thunderous cymbal crashes, shrieking horns, tumultuous strings, and a stately finish, firmly belongs in the Williams mode. Overall, Doyle acquits himself well. He can do light when needed (“The Quidditch World Cup,” which starts out like some kind of jig), but mostly he’s required to be ominous (“The Quidditch World Cup,” which ends in martial war chants). Among the highlights are the aforementioned “Voldemort,” but also the frantic, overpowering “The Dark Mark.” Note that the CD concludes on a jarringly different note with three songs by the Weird Sisters, the group that performs at Hogwarts’ Yule Ball. Led by Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, the ad hoc band also includes members of Radiohead and Cocker’s side project Relaxed Muscle. “Do the Hippogriff” is a fast-paced rocker that somehow comes across like a grungy hybrid of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and “Dancing with Myself.” The ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Score

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Review by Katie Pal You’re waiting for the movie, what’s the next best thing to do? The new soundtrack to go with the movie. Of course! I decided since I won’t be seeing the movie till June 4, I might as well get myself prepared with some of the music. After getting home from Borders, and running straight to my room I popped in my new CD. I was happy to hear a familiar theme song pop up as the first song. “Lumos” is the first song on the track that you hear. It has “Hedwig’s Theme” underlining the piece which gives you that feeling that this will be great. I was quite cozy and comfortable with this, because I was familiar with the song and knew everything would be great. My favorite track though, hands down, is track 3,  “The Knight Bus”. Can John Williams be anymore of a genius? I fell in love with this song right away. I like how he jazzed it up. You can actually see the Knight Bus flipping through the air and everything. I haven’t even seen the movie yet! It’s just an awesome piece. I will be honest and say I am ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Score

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Review by Jerry McCulley Another multi-gazillion-dollar Hollywood franchise, another chapter in the remarkable career of John Williams. Though he’s already been responsible for scoring some of the most overwhelmingly successful film series of all time, in tackling the second installment of the Harry Potter saga, Williams once again proves why his name is held in such high regard in scoring circles. While he utilizes the themes he established in Sorcerer’s Stone, Williams’s restless inventiveness still manages to cast this chapter in a fresh new musical light. Since many of the cues here are action or atmospheric-oriented, and thus lacking in need for strong melodic hooks, the veteran composer’s mastery of orchestral color–and no small amount of stylistic reinvention–infuses the proceedings with a sense of wholeness and a surprising maturity that’s a key element in conjuring up the film’s crucial suspension of disbelief. Harry Potter may be but a fictional wizard, but John Williams proves yet again he’s the real thing. Read More »

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Score

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Review by Jeff Shannon You needn’t see the film of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to appreciate the wonder, magic, and fearful chills of J.K. Rowling’s phenomenal bestseller in John Williams’s outstanding score. Williams typically avoids the source material for the films he scores, but he reportedly derived great pleasure and inspiration from Rowling’s first Harry Potter adventure, and created a perfect motif (fully expressed in “Hedwig’s Theme”) to dominate his score. It’s first heard as a dreamy celesta waltz and embellished through myriad incarnations and moods, often with a sinister edge befitting the darker tones of Chris Columbus’s direction. Evident are fantastical allusions to Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky (among others), and Williams’s epic track is “Quidditch Match,” a breathtaking frenzy to accompany the film’s dazzling highlight. And while Williams occasionally flirts with self-plagiarism (with inevitable variants of his Hook and Star Wars themes), this is nevertheless a richly regal score that brilliantly evokes the mystery and magic of Harry Potter’s world. Read More »

Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey by Bob McCabe

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Review by Eric Scull Almost exactly a year ago, Harper Design (an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers) released Harry Potter Film Wizardry, an interactive look at the making-of the Harry Potter film adaptations. This week, they follow that success with Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey – a massive new book featuring lavish behind-the-scenes images and, surprisingly, intricate and masterful storytelling. The book dives (head-first) once again into the film adaptations of the beloved book series, showing us a world on the other side of the film camera. Yet where the first book maybe stopped itself from being too complex in detail (although it was physically complex, with paper handouts and prop replicas scattered throughout the book), the intention with this book is clearly to be “definitive.” All stops are pulled out, and the result is a 530-page guide that’s much harder to resist than it is to pick up (the book’s weight according to Amazon is seven-and-a-half pounds, nearly 3 times greater than Film Wizardry and a greater weight than the last three Potter books combined, in hardcover). I may be the only member on staff here at MuggleNet who doesn’t own the first Potter book by Harper Design, Harry Potter Film Wizardry. I must assert that this is not due to ... Read More »

The Unofficial Harry Potter Sweet Shoppe Kit by Dinah Bucholz

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Review by Keith Hawk  “There were shelves upon shelves of the most succulent-looking sweets imaginable. Creamy chunks of nougat, shimmering pink squares of coconut ice, fat, honey-colored toffees; hundreds of different kinds of chocolates in neat rows; there was a large barrel of Every Flavor Beans, and another of Fizzing Whizbees, the levitating sherbert balls that Ron had mentioned; along yet another wall were “Special Effects” – sweets: Droobles Best Blowing Gum (which filled a room with bluebell-colored bubbles that refused to pop for days), the strange, splintery Toothflossing Stringmints, tiny black Pepper Imps (“breathe fire for your friends!”), Ice Mice (“hear your teeth chatter and squeak!”), peppermint creams shaped like toads (“hop realistically in your stomach!”), fragile sugar-spun quills, and exploding bonbons.”  – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10   The description of Honeydukes Sweet Shoppe by J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ensnares all of the senses and the reader begins to salivate as the imagination runs wild with visions of overflowing chocolate, bright colors from both the sweet and sour candies, and the desire to just fall through the pages and be a part of that world is overwhelming. Not long ago, the ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Ultimate Edition DVDs

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Review by Andrew Sims Admittedly, I was weary of these Ultimate Edition DVDs when they were announced by Warner Brothers. Would they truly be “ultimate” edition DVDs? As I said on MuggleCast, “ultimate” means nothing can be better – so they aren’t allowed to release new editions after these! I received copies of the Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets editions today. We’ve seen the covers and insides of the boxes, but opening them up for myself got me really excited. Made of sturdy material, the boxes and the contents within are definitely great collectors items for any Potter fan. Each Ultimate Edition comes with two oversized “Character Cards” and a full-color book with various pictures, artwork, concept sketches, and more. The most important part of each edition – the film itself – was encased in a 4-sided box holding the film, an extended version of the film, a bonus features disc, a documentary disc, and a disc with a digital copy for your iPod, iPhone, Zune, etc. What makes each Ultimate Edition truly special is the included 8-part documentary titled “Creating the World of Harry Potter”. One part of the documentary will be placed onto each Ultimate Edition. Sorcerer’s ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Video Game

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Use the links below to read different reviews: Nintendojo (Final Rating: 7.9/10) Read More »

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for Game Boy Advance

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Review by Gerald Villoria The recently released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone games are based on the blockbuster movie, which in turn is based on J.K. Rowling’s novel starring a young wizard. As the introduction cuts through its series of still images and background text, you will learn that Harry Potter is a child left orphaned in the care of cruel Muggle (non-magical human) parents. Upon receiving an admissions letter, Harry leaves home with a friendly giant and makes his way to Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While undergoing magical instruction, Harry will be challenged to compete in the Wizards’ sport of Quidditch, and foil the plot of the evil wizard Voldemort. The enjoyable plot has been translated into an adventure game for the Game Boy Advance, where as Harry you will cross deadly chasms, collect pumpkin pasties and chocolate frogs, and knock many a pesky gnome unconscious. Harry Potter for the GBA is definitely a good-looking game, featuring very well-animated sprites and environments that show off some truly impressive textures. As Harry explores the corridors of Hogwarts, you can notice his cape flapping nicely and marvel at the complex animation of his spellcasting gestures. Enemies, collectible items, ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone PC Game

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Review by Zhao Longsun Out of all the Harry Potter games that have been released, the PC version definitely has the edge graphically, if you were looking for the classic 3D platformer this is the game for you. After watching the opening to game, which is quite effectively done with a graphical and textual story about Harry’s early days you are thrown right into the main entrance hall to Hogwarts and a chat with Dumbledore. Hogwarts looks great, not so much maybe as in realism, but in detail and small touches like the paintings hanging on the walls and the suits of armor moving. The characters are quite well voiced and look pretty much as you’d expect them, the fact that the lips don’t move is a bit of a let-down, but to be honest you can’t expect miracles. The gameplay is moderately good, you spend most of your time mastering new spells and then putting them into use in various tasks. When learning the spells you’ll be given a template and you draw over it by clicking and holding the left mouse button, then after you’ve done it to the best of your ability you are put into a ... Read More »

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” PC game

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Harry Potter's a huge phenomenon. If you've never heard of The Boy Who Lived then you probably are in a cupboard under the stairs with your broomstick shoved in your ears. The stories of the young magician have spawned countless tie-ins and licensing deals, and this game (and the recently released movie) are just the latest in a long line of cross-merchandized products. But does that make it a good game? Read More »

“LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7″

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The crew over at TT Games brings a touch to the Harry Potter series that previously hadn't been seen on gaming consoles. While Electronic Arts has created a corporate carbon copy of the movie adaptations, it is evident that you have true Potter fans behind the scenes of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. Read More »

Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection (UK)

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My first thoughts on receiving the Harry Potter Wizard's Collection were that this box set is just as magical as the name would suggest. Complete with 36 DVDs, this set is any Harry Potter fan's dream, packed full of extras, artworks, and memorabilia. Read More »

Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection (US)

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Complete with 31 discs and over 37 hours of special features, the Harry Potter Wizard's Collection provides fans the most complete and in-depth look at the series to date. The 19-lb. box set is the largest ever released by Warner Bros., and it is clear that the same kind of creativity, time, and energy that went into creating the films are also represented in this collection. Read More »

The D-Box experience: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2″

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I survived the Battle of Hogwarts. I was attacked, thrashed, doused, and nearly burned to death by Fiendfyre, but I survived. And I did it all while never leaving the comfort of my cinema chair. Read More »