Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 (Blu-ray Review)20 Apr, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey
Box Office $295 million
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray combo pac
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.
Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Imelda Staunton, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Bill Nighy.
The front package of the Blu-ray combo pack for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 screams that there’s an opening scene of part two, the final film in this decade-old franchise. While that may be the biggest bonus selling point for this offering, it’s hardly the only one.
Warner’s Blu-ray Maximum Movie Mode is at its finest yet here, with Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) and other crew taking viewers through an interactive, behind-the-scenes look at this film while it plays, with key points in previous films thrown in to prepare us for the finale. The bonus gives this disc immediate and future replay value, though it’s not for the viewer irked by constant interruptions of the movie. The impatient among you can skip the film and go straight to the focus points.
The rest of the featurettes are almost whimsical, perhaps to make up for the lack of lightheartedness in the film itself. A scene where stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are trying to outrun Death Eaters in the film was a running competition in real life. Grint, Oliver and James Phelps (the Weasley twins), and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) go off set for a round of golf. And “The Seven Harrys” shows the technical (and ridiculous) lengths Radcliffe had to go through for the opening action sequence.
None of the deleted scenes are shocking, and the promotional trailer for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park and the short soundtrack featurette are for only the most dedicated of Potter fans.
As for the film itself, this is the darkest, most adult installment in the franchise, and Part 2 is sure to top it in that regard. The joys of Hogwarts are a distant memory as Harry, Hermione and Ron are on the run from Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Good wizards are hunted, a war against muggle-kind is brewing and the boy who lived — now entering manhood — remains our only hope. From its exciting opening to its brooding cliffhanger of an ending, Part 1 is an enjoyable film on its own, even though it leaves so many questions unanswered: Will Potter find all the Horcruxes containing the Dark Lord’s soul? Will Ron and Hermione end up together? Does Harry live or die?
Haven’t you read these books?!
Regardless, July 15 and Part 2 can’t come soon enough.