Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Well it is finally over. After years of following Potter-mania, the films from the classic books have come to an end with HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 (which I will now refer to as HPATDHP2). It is of course bittersweet to announce this finale as these characters and their wizarding world have made a permanent lighting bolt mark in our lives. But thankfully the filmmakers have delivered a last installment worthy of the expectations from this grand phenomenon that is HARRY POTTER.
After HPATDHP1’s brilliant methodical look into the characters and hopeless doom, PART 2 leaps back into things with a much quicker momentum. Ron (Rupert Grint), Hermione (Emma Watson) and of course Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) are still looking for the Horcruxes and must destroy them all before defeating He Who Must Not Be Named. They’re still gonna need the help of all the wizards and students in a final battle, taking place where it all started in Hogwarts school no less, against Voldemort and his Death Eaters that will ultimately find Harry face to face with his mortal enemy.
Throughout the rich story, terrific characters and exciting special effects, perhaps the most impressive thing was the acting. While most films fail from their child actors growing up awkwardly and succumbing to the evil of fame and money, the Potter kids matured gracefully, becoming better at their craft and not going all Lohan. Casting seasoned pros in all the adult roles was very clever and should be applauded over and over again. Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall delivers comedic lines of exuberance with such grace and command. Alan Rickman as Snape in my humble opinion gives the best performance of the series that under other circumstances garners an Academy Award Nominations. After having such restrained depth in the previous films, Rickman is finally able to open the character up. The fact that his scenes are so quick and abruptly shortened only adds to the power that he exudes. Ralph Fiennes’ performance as The Dark Lord Voldemort will go down in history as one of the best villains ever combining the epic greatness of Darth Vader and the skillful precision of Hannibal Lector. The character Voldemort is naturally and brilliantly written with grand evilness but Fiennes breathes him to life like no one else could.
Director David Yates brings the final book from J.K. Rowling to life with energy and passion. The excitement is unrelenting using another magnificent score to push the film along. I’m not saying there won’t be moments where your brain imagined it differently, but that achievement would be impossible for any film following books so beloved as HARRY POTTER. With that said, HPATDH2 does it better than we could possibly hope for. They hit all the key emotional moments and play them up appropriately. This is a classic example of a “how to” in achieving maximal enjoyment from your popcorn series-ending flick.
Thank You HARRY POTTER for over a decade of enjoyment that six years later has grown to a theme park, a Pottermore website, a couple of spinoff books from Rowling and what seems like an undying love from the fans. Oh, and now we get to relive all of Harry Potter’s adventures on 4K Ultra HD, which is bringing new life to the eight films. HPATDH2 is a wonderful and fitting end to a great series.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: I was always a little disappointed in the Blu-rays for the 8 Harry Potter films, each of which had various problems. My issue with The Deathly Hallows Part 2 Blu-ray was with the last battle between Harry and Voldermort. It takes place in the evening, under shadows and most characters are dressed in gray or black and all of that lead to a washed out image. Thankfully, the 4K UHD version of Deathly Hallows Part 2 makes drastic improvements on that final showdown and with the added touch of HDR, we get more detail in the characters and the backgrounds, which greatly improves on the dreary setting. I saw the biggest differences in that 30 minute or so sequence, but keep in mind I was really looking for them and I was comparing the images side by side. In general, the differences between the 4K and Blu-ray are subtle and are really seen in closeups (details in clothing, etc.) or in the brighter images. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point out that all of David Yates’s Potter films have some natural grain to them and the 4K does amplify that a bit.
Audio: The DTS-X track gave me flashes of some of the better Dolby Atmos tracks I’ve heard. Surround channels felt like they were used better than in the DTS-MA Blu-ray track and was a nice improvement.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but each of the 4K UHD Harry Potter films contain two Blu-ray discs, the first containing the movie and the second disc of special features “Creating the World of Harry Potter”. Both discs were found in the previously released Special Edition Blu-rays.