Harry Potter Years 5 and 6 Ultimate Editions (Blu-ray)

At the end of the Goblet of Fire, Harry witnessed the return of Lord Voldemort and barely escaped with his life. The Ministry of Magic doesn’t believe Harry's tale and is doing everything within their power to keep the wizarding world from knowing the truth by orchestrating a smear campaign against the boy who lived and Professor Dumbledore. Furthermore, the ministry is taking an active role in educating of the students at Hogwarts by appointing Dolores Umbridge as the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher. When she refuses to teach practical defensive magic, Hermoine convinces Harry to form Dumbledore’s Army with a select group of students in order to give them a fighting chance.

Director David Yates takes over the helm inheriting the legacy of Chris Columbus, Mike Newell, and Alphonso Cuaron. From a pure directorial aspect, I think he did an excellent job, but my biggest complaint with this movie lies in the writer, Michael Goldenberg, who replaced Steven Kloves who penned the first four movies.

The Order of the Phoenix is the longest book of the series, and for what it matters, my least favorite. How can the longest book turn out to be the shortest movie? The spirit of the prose is there, but too many details are left out of the story such as the house elf Kreacher.

Emboldened by the return of Lord Voldemort, the Death Eaters are wreaking havoc in both the muggle and wizard worlds in Year 6, and Hogwart's is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that new dangers may lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. He needs Harry to help him uncover a vital key to unlocking Voldemort's defenses—critical information known only to the school's former Professor of Potions, Horace. With that in mind, Dumbledore manipulates his old colleague into returning to his previous post with promises of more money, a bigger office…and the chance to teach the famous Harry Potter. The tone of this film is extremely dark and younger audiences may have nightmares from it. Kloves returns to write the script and the narrative shows a vast improvement over The Order of the Phoenix and he sets the stage for the final chapter (split over two films).

Video Highlights

  • VC-1/1080p encode on a BD-50 discs
  • Excellent detail in close-ups
  • Inky blacks
  • Natural flesh tones
  • Virtually seamless CGI
  • Same video encodes as previously released discs

Audio Highlights

  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks
  • New audio tracks versus previous release (DTS versus PCM)
  • Outstanding dynamic range
  • Intelligible dialog
  • Powerful score
  • Impressive bass response, especially in the third act
The video encodes are identical to the previously released single disc editions with DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks that sound fantastic.

Bonus Materials

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  • In Movie Experience
  • 28 Focus Points
  • Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 5: Evolution
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Behind the Magic
  • Building the Magic: The Sets of Harry Potter
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Rebellion Begins
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Fulfilling a Prophecy
  • 9 Deleted Scenes
  • Trialing Tonks
  • Harry Potter: The Magic of Editing
  • Teaser and Theatrical trailers
  • Photo Book
  • Limited Edition Character Cards
  • Digital copy of the film

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  • Maximum Movie Mode PIP
  • 14 Focus Points
  • Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 6: Magical Effects
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Behind the Magic
  • Close up with the cast of Harry Potter
  • Once minute drills with the cast
  • First footage from The Deathly Hallows
  • J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life
  • What's on your mind featurette
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • 5 Promo spots
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Teaser and Theatrical trailers
  • Photo Book
  • Limited Edition Character Cards
  • Digital copy of the film

These Collector's Editions are meant for hardcore fans of the franchise and they are definitely worth the upgrade for all of the swag and fabulous additions to the eight part documentary that's exclusive to these sets. If all you care about is the audio and video, there isn't any difference from the previously released discs so unless you want all the goodies, an upgrade isn't required.

Release Date: June 14, 2011
Studio: Warner

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Movie: 7/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 9/10

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Movie: 8/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 9/10

Review System

Source
Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player

Display
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Electronics
Integra DTC-80.2 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Belkin PVA-PF60 power conditioner

Speakers
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Cables
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics

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