[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=7366[/img]Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2
Starring: Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Bonnie Wright, Julie Walters
Directed by: David Yates
Written by: J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves (Screenplay)
Runtime: 130 Minutes
HTS Overall Score:95
"It All Ends"
So this is it! This is the final chapter in the eight film saga about a young wizard who becomes the savior of all. How did it fair? In a word; brilliantly! I won’t go into a lot of detail on this summary as I don’t want to accidently drop a spoiler, but I will say that this movie is what most film series aspire towards and yet fail so miserably at. As a film, story, plot or whatever description you want to throw at it, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is, IMO, the absolute best film in the series.
For those of you late to the party, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the epic climax to a story arc that has been 10 years in the making. It is the final battle between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort and everything hangs in the balance. Deathly Hallows Part 1 was the setup for the action that is unleashed in Part 2. Everything that you could have imagined happening in Part 2 by what you saw in Part 1 happens and on an epic scale. The battle scenes are larger than life, the special effects are off the chain and the plot twists and revelations are literally jaw dropping. This was a fitting end to the series and has to be the best end to such a saga as I have ever seen.
It’s been 10 years since my bride and I took our kids to see the original Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and I have personally never read any of the books in the franchise. Everything I know is based on these films and while I will admit that there are some of the films that I like better than others, I have never been disappointed by any of them by any stretch. Still, I know there are those of you out there that have read every book and will probably have certain films in the series that you were disappointed by, but surely this one is not one of them.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=7368[/img]My kids were six and four when we went to see the first Harry Potter and it has been quite an experience. As I reflect and think how they have matured as the films have become more mature in content, I am floored when I fully understand the breadth of this series. It may sound odd for me to make the following statement, but there has never been a film franchise in history that has truly been this unique. As I think of the films that defined my generation such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Etc., I can’t help but think how different Harry Potter is from all of those because of its cast and how they all grew up while my kids were growing up. And yes, it was a little sad watching the last one with my daughter who is now 16 because it kind of closes a chapter on her childhood. The boy however couldn’t care less because he’s 14, a rebel and too cool for Harry Potter these days. Just know that in the end, the payoff is well worth it.
Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.
Oddly enough, the video wasn’t as up to par as I have come to expect and it wasn’t an issue with the transfer as much as it was the way the film was shot. The dark imagery of the film doesn’t lend well to bright vivid colors that pop off of the screen. The gray scale that the filmmakers used to relay a feeling of overall hopelessness works incredibly well for the films tone but does sacrifice resolution and clarity. The black levels however are phenomenal. I was so impressed with the shadow detail and separation that I found myself pausing the film three separate times to take in all of the detail and gradational qualities of those scenes. Flesh tones were often pale and lacking any warmth but seemed to accurately represent the scene. My biggest complaint is in a scene involving Harry at the train station. The scene is key to the plot so I won’t describe it, but the “dreamlike” sequence showed some minor flaws with the green screen affect, but again that is a result of the filming process and not the transfer. Other than that though, the special effects were top notch. The CGI was stellar and all of the creatures and battles were completed perfectly.
The 5.1 DTS-HD-MA mix for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 was quite honestly a masterpiece. Not in the sense of the wildly bombastic foundation shaking Transformers Dark of the moon, but in a thoughtful and extremely engaging way. Every ambient sound that spilled from the surround channels and the incredible imaging and directionality that ventured left to right and back and forth across the entire sound stage was completely enveloping. The dialogue reproduction was as perfect as I have ever experienced and the bass was deep and impactful and occasionally bordered on the rude and offensive; and that’s how we like it! I have no reason not to give this audio presentation my highest score. It shines and does exactly what it was supposed to do; draw the viewer in and hold them in its grasp for the duration of the film. Top notch!
- Maximum Movie Mode
- Focus Points
- Aberforth Dumbledore
- Deathly Hallows costume changes
- Harry returns to Hogwarts
- The Hogwarts shield
- The room of requirement set
- The fiery escape
- Neville’s stand
- Molly takes down Bellatrix
- Final farewells from the cast/crew
- BD-Live enabled
- Behind the story
- 8 deleted scenes
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
- Bonus DVD of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
As I mentioned earlier, Harry Potter is more than a film series and more than a media franchise. It’s one of those things that rarely comes along and defines a generation. It took ten years to tell the tale of Harry, Ron and Hermini and their battle against the evil dark lord “you know who” and I can think of no better finale than the film presented here. Deathly Hallows 2 is going to be much too dark for younger kids with a lot of scary images and grown up themes, but parents with kids that grew up with the series will be incredibly well rewarded for their patience over the last 10 years. The only negative that I have to say is that it is a shame that it all has to end, but I guess we all need to grow up sometime.
Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring