Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 4K UltraHD Blu-ray Review
“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Run time: 132 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; DTS:X
Aspect Ratio: 2:1
Disc Spec: 2 BD / Digital HD
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” marked the first time I ever counted down the days to a film’s release. I had read the first four books, loved every single one of them, and I was eagerly anticipating seeing one of my favorite world’s come to life on the big screen. I was not disappointed. It remains, to date, one of the best cinema going experiences of my life.
One of the things that struck me about this film was the production design. Stuart Craig, who remained production designer throughout the series, is masterful in bringing the wonderful world of “Harry Potter” to life. From the bustling streets of Diagon Alley, to the autumn-colored, medieval halls of Hogwarts, Craig terrifically brings this alternate world to life.
Most of the adult actors are quite good. Robbie Coltrane gives arguably the best performance as Hagrid, the deeply-caring gamekeeper who treats Harry almost like a surrogate son. Even when he’s doing wrong, like hatching dragon eggs, you still root and sympathize for him. Richard Harris is also wonderful as the (mostly) soft-spoken and strong-hearted Albus Dumbledore. It is saddening that he only got to play the role in two movies and we never got the chance to see him evolve his character to the finale. You also have Fiona Shaw and Richard Griffiths are quite funny in their over-the-top performances as the Dursleys. Alan Rickman oozes contempt as Severus Snape, the lone teacher who can’t stand Harry. And Dame Maggie Smith lets everyone know who’s in charge as the stern Professor McGonagall.
The cast of children are sometimes hit-and-miss, but overall there are more hits. Daniel Radcliffe usually makes a compelling lead as Harry Potter, although there are a couple of points where he seems to be just making sure he gets out his lines. Likewise, Rupert Grint (as best mate Ron Weasley) has a little trouble playing off other characters, although his comic timing is usually good. Emma Watson is not afraid to show off as the bossy, sometimes pretentious, but ultimately clever and well-intended Hermione Granger. She tends to get the best bits of comedy in the film; I laughed the hardest when, after Harry breaks a rule that could lead to his expulsion, Watson mutters with pure pretentious contempt, “What- an- idiot.” One other child actor who makes a good, evil impression is Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy. I need not mention how much of a shock it was seeing all of these actors so young after watching them in “The Half-Blood Prince”!
Steven Kloves wrote the script, and while I wish he had let some scenes last longer, he makes up for that by trying to keep focus on the characters in Hogwarts and inserting a good amount of humor into the film. Kloves, probably trying to ensure he could please as many book readers as possible, sticks close to the original text, and that leads to both good and not-so-good traits of the film. While there are plenty of random pleasures, the direction of the story doesn’t become very clear until halfway through.
Movie Quality: 9/10
The print is presented in 4K/2160p with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ receives a nice 4K remaster that really helps boost the quality of the film. Considering that this film is 16 years old, it already looked good in high definition but this the new 4K master gives it that new coat of paint. I will say that Warner did this film some wonders with this new 4K transfer over the previous Blu-ray release. This is one impressive looking film considering the extra bump in clarity and details that we receive. The stylized colors used in this film do an excellent job in bringing the world of ‘Harry Potter’ come to life. Dark tinted blues are the primary colors that are used in the film. This is where the HDR comes into play quite a bit throughout. You will see it especially with all of the magical effects and all of the energy surrounding the magic that has this extra crisp vibrant look to it. Blacks are deep. Considering that the ‘Harry Potter’ movies are so dark to begin with, this is a huge.
Video Quality: 10/10
The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix, DTS:X. Like the video, the audio gets a nice upgrade here on Blu-ray. The rears get a ton of activity throughout the movie between dialogue, the score, and action sequences. I was quite impressed with hearing the various magical affects in the soundfield sound so life like. What is rather impressive is the use of the center channel where all the dialogue comes through. All of the dialogue and action pieces come through so clean that it is amazing with what can be done on the audio front.
Audio Quality: 10/10
- Introduction by Daniel Radcliffe [HD]
- Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 1: The Magic Begins [HD]
- A Glimpse Into the World of Harry Potter
- Additional Footage [HD]
- Trailers and TV Spots
- Capturing the Stone: A Conversation with the Filmmakers
- Diagon Alley
- Sorting Hat
- Hogwarts Grounds
- Interactive Tour
Special Features: 7/10
A super film with excellent sets and affects that support the whole structure of this film that is delivered through superb comic acting and tells a vibrant and enjoyable story.
Overall Rating: 9/10