'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1'
(Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, et al / 3-Disc Blu ray+DVD / PG-13 / 2011 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction – the Horcruxes. On their own and on the run, the three friends must now rely on one another more than ever…but Dark Forces in their midst threaten to tear them apart.
Blu ray Verdict: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1' is a generally exciting film that holds one's attention very well. Although the section where the three are on the run may seem to slow down the pace, the movie tracks the book pretty well and these scenes provide an opportunity to reveal the emotions with which each of them must deal.
I've noticed some negative comments on sound and picture from my friends and so have just replayed the opening part with the sole intention of evaluating the sound and picture; the results are conclusive, they are both outstanding. The surround speakers are given a terrific workout and the subwoofer is nicely exercised as well. I would give both sound and picture top marks for excellence. The picture is crisp and clear and never too dark so as to mask the action.
I would agree that if one had not read the book it could be more difficult to follow the story's turns and twists. If one has not read the book this would be a great time to do just that. I believe it was better to divide the book into two parts so the story could be more systematically covered. I hope the release of the Blu-ray 3D version will not be delayed too long after the movie is released in theaters.
Anyway, and for the record, This Part 1 is a very full two and half hours. The drama begins even before the opening credits roll. The special effects have reached a new high point with the trick of using polyjuice potion to create multiple Harry's. The frenetic escape of Harry in Hagrid's motor sidecar is an achievement in action editing. The trio's penetration of the Ministry of Magic to get the locket horcrux is very exciting and tension-filled.
Momentum dips a bit in the midsection as our trio scour the English wilderness for a way to destroy the horcrux. This prolonged section, which some may find boring, dealt more with the personal relationships loyalty of the three friends as challenges are thrown their way. The segment is marked by the hard-to-watch bloodlust of Bellatrix Lestrange and the nobility of Dobby. Watch out too for a most unexpected dance scene which will surely make you smile, if not actually chuckle!
In the third section, we learn what the "deathly hallows" are referred to in the title as our trio learns it from Xenophilius Lovegood. But the main highlight here is a most amazing animated short featurette called "The Tale of Three Brothers" as narrated by Hermione. This Part 1 ends very well with a sky-splitting final cliffhanger sequence.
Its been repeatedly mentioned how the main actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have all grown up in front of our eyes as this movie series unfolded. Rupert and Emma are both taller than Daniel already! Acting-wise, everyone had likewise improved very much. They all even show some skin here. Yes, even Hermione! The support from the esteemed gallery of British actors and actresses serve the film very well indeed. We saw everyone from all the previous films it seems, except for Maggie Smith!
Now, according to the Blu-ray disc, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will be released in theaters on July 15th and if that isn't enough it will be released in 3-D as well. That should make for a really grand finish to the series. In summary, this is an outstanding movie version of the first part of the book and provides a solid platform for the completion of the story. I'm delighted to have this movie as a part of my collection. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and the Blu-ray comes with the Special Features of:
Exclusive Sneak Peek of a scene from the highly anticipated upcoming film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
Maximum Movie Mode - Join host Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), and other members of the cast and crew, on an interactive journey through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Plus, revisit important moments from the previous films to prepare for the final battle that takes place in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.
Dan, Rupert and Emma's Running Competition - While filming the escape scene from the Snatchers in Swinley Forest, Dan, Rupert and Emma engage in a little competition of their own. With colorful commentary by Director David Yates, see the competitive spirit on set and this hilarious rivalry between the three leads.
The Seven Harrys - See how Daniel Radcliffe recreated the personalities of the different characters that transform into Harrys in the hilarious Privet Drive scene.
On the Green with Rupert, Tom, Oliver and James – Accompany Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) and James Phelps (Fred Weasley) for a round of golf and get a glimpse into their 10-year friendship that developed while making the Harry Potter films.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Promotional Trailer - Join Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and other cast members from the Harry Potter films on their first visit to the Grand Opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Behind the Soundtrack
Standard Definition DVD of the feature film
Digital Copy of the feature film
The DVD includes: