Man, maybe I missed the boat on this one, but so far my experience with the world of Harry Potter has not been a good one (with the caveat that I’ve never read the books). I saw the first movie in theatres back whenever it came out. I wasn’t blown away by it then and to be honest, I’m quite sure I remember much of anything from it, aside from the Quidditch match.
Fast-forward to last night. I popped in this edition of The Prisoner of Azkaban, with decent expectations that maybe time would have changed my opinion. Coupled with the general awareness that this installment in the series seems to be well loved and respected, I thought that maybe it would be head and shoulders above what I remembered from part one. But no. Not in the least. I was bored out of my mind. Now granted, there are some nice visuals and sequences on display here (along with some solid actors in the cast). But from a story-telling and pacing standpoint, I couldn’t stand it. I felt like I spent over an hour and half waiting for something to happen. How in the world could a movie about magic and wonder be so boring?
But you probably don’t care about my opinion at this point. Given that the film has been out for a while, chances are good you already have your mind made up about whether or not you like it. You’re just wondering what’s included in the Ultimate Edition, right? Well thanks to the magic of Amazon and my friends “copy” and “paste,” you can find out right now:
Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 3: Magical Creatures
Tour Nick Dudman’s Creature Shop
An Interview in Spanish with Alfonso Cuarón
3 Vintage TV Specials: The Magic Touch of Harry Potter; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Something Wicked This Way Comes; The Making of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Creating the Vision: Interview with J.K. Rowling and the Filmmakers
Conjuring a Scene: Creating Buckbeak and the Dementors for the Screen
Johnny Vaughan and the Shrunken Head Lead Raucous Interviews with the Cast
Self-Guided Tours of Honeydukes and Professor Lupin’s Classroom
Meet the Animal Trainers in Care of Magical Creatures
3 Challenges: Test Your Memory with Magic You May Have Missed, Help Crookshanks Catch Scabbers, and Go on an Unxepected Quest with Sir Cadogan
48-Page Creatures Photo Book with rare images from years 1-7
Year 3 lenticular card
Two in a series of character cards: Hermione Granger & Sirius Black
Oooo...ahhhhh…bonus features and extras and whatnot. Actually, all sarcasm aside, if I were into Harry Potter, I’d really dig the character cards and the photo book. The book itself is really nicely done, complete with a hardcover binding.
So here’s the deal: If you love HP and don’t have this, consider getting it. Or possibly springing for the Blu-Ray edition. But if you’re on the fence (as I was) rent the movie first and then see if it’s worth your time and money.