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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Seekers Guide to Harry Potter
Seekers Guide to Harry Potter
Reality Kings // Unrated // November 16, 2010
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ryan Keefer | posted May 12, 2011 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Traditionally I have a history of respecting a fan base and their devotion to an aspect of entertainment, even as I might not like said entertainment all that much. I don't really like Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead or Phish but I can appreciate the followings or even passion that their supporters bring to their shows. And while I haven't read a word of the Harry Potter books, I've seen all of the films in the series to date, and have even taken my wife (a devotee of both the films and books) to the theme park for all things Potter. And while she enjoys the franchise and has reread and watched the books and movies several times, I think we've got nothing on Dr. Geo Trevarthen, the scholar involved with The Seeker's Guide to Harry Potter.

According to the biography, Trevarthen teaches a course on Harry Potter at the University of Edinburgh that examines both the religious and possible political aspects of J.K. Rowling's series of books. She also an expert in Celtic spiritual traditions and shamanism and "is an ordained minister in the Circle of the Sacred Earth and a legal celebrant for weddings in Scotland." And clearly she's got opinions on the Harry Potter franchise. Lots and lots of opinions. Whether it's the meaning and implication of the characters as she thinks Rowling has given them, or the dynamics of how they handle themselves at Hogwarts, she manages to speak at length about them. At almost 90 minutes in length she speaks quite a lot about them, but never fear; in the event you want to take a break from them Trevarthen has been considerate enough to set up breaks and chapter stops in the feature, and some of these breaks include her walking through libraries, forests and using a Celtic sword to dazzle the viewer. The problem is that I think one of those things simply doesn't belong.

All of these things occurring (set behind the backdrop soundtrack of what can only be described as something designed to put the most devoted Potter follower to sleep) makes this film become an endurance contest for the senses. Trevarthen incorporates the natural mysticism she believes the characters use in their activities and interactions, and examines the mythology of some of the characters in relation to Greek Gods. OK then.

I know and am aware that the Harry Potter franchise means a lot of things to a lot of people, and I get that people want to carry some of those things into everyday life. But sometimes there really isn't a hidden meaning to a popular book, movie or television show. Sometimes, it just is. And when my wife says "jeez, she's really reaching to find something in these books," I tend to agree with her. I respect the wizards and muggles like other outsiders tend to, but in this case, The Seeker's Guide to Harry Potter is looking for something that just isn't there.

The Disc:
Video:

The Seeker's Guide to Harry Potter is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. There is not a lot going on in the production, most of it appears to be self-shot using tripods with Trevarthen sharing her thoughts on the bigger meaning of the story and its characters. There are the occasional fade effects that don't add to the magic-ness part of the feature, but the image is natural and does not have any additional picture nose or edge enhancement done to it, and looks adequate.

Audio:

Two-channel Dolby stereo. All of the sonic action occurs in the front channels and as a feature, not much goes on from a sound point of view. It sounds clear and is without issue.

Extras:

Nothing else to speak of.

Final Thoughts:

If you are really involved and engaged in the world of Hogwarts, then The Seeker's Guide to Harry Potter might be your cup of tea. Good on Trevarthen for finding some coincidences in much of the same material that she has a passion for, but saying that it's a little bit of a reach to get there is an understatement, to say the least. Skip it unless you are harder than hardcore.

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