DVDs & Blu-rays: The Harry Potter Wizard's Collection, Titanic 3D and Piranha 3DD
With a list price of $499, casual fans aren't the target audience for The Harry Potter Wizard's Collection which hits the shelves on September 7. (Amazon.com has a pre-order price of $344 for the set as we write this.) HP fanatics, however, will get their money's worth. For obvious reasons, we couldn't get our hands on a review copy, so we're working off press releases here, but we still feel confident about recommending the set. This is a limited, numbered edition, collector's box set, with lots of bells and whistles. Blu-ray, DVD and digital copies of all eight films are included, plus extended versions of Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets , 3D versions of Deathly Hallows, Part 1 and Part 2. There's some 37 hours of special features; in addition to all the previously released extras, there's ten hours of new bonus content, five hours of it brand new, never-before-seen features. Maps of Hogwarts, concept sketches, booklets, and even a Horcrux Locket are among the trinkets and memorabilia.
There are a couple of flaws in the collection. For $500, we expected extended versions of all eight films. And yeah, die-hard fans that purchased the Ultimate Edition of each film as it was released have already spent a boatload of cash on the series, only to be asked to turn around a sink another few hundred in to it, but we're guessing plenty of Harry's fans will do just that.
James Cameron's Titanic sinks in 3D this time around in the new four-disc combo with Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, Digital Copy. Besides the film in three formats, there are two new documentaries, Reflections on Titanic and Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron, some 30 deleted scenes, 60 behind-the-scenes featurettes.
The film does exactly what it's supposed to do in 3D - it pops off the screen. The part where the ship breaks apart and everyone plunges into the ocean, of course, looks great, but even the scenes that don't make much use of the 3D effect look better. Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet became stars with Titanic - which has now earned some billion dollars. See why in 3D.
There's a different kind of 3D action going on in Piranha 3DD, which we include here solely for giggles. There's a waterpark, and the owner is so cheap he decides to use the water from a nearby lake to fill his pools for free. Trouble is it's not just water he imports from the lake, lots of hungry piranha make it into the pools and promptly start chomping away on everyone. That everyone includes lots of busty young women, lusty young men, and three old farts named Gary Busey, Christopher Lloyd and David Hasselhoff (and yes, Hasselhoff dons his famous red swimming trunks from his Baywatch days). You know the drill, jiggle, jiggle, chomp, chomp, scream, scream, a little more jiggle, the end. Piranha 3DD doesn't break any new ground, but director John Gulager finds a balance between crotch shots and gore.
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