Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Blu-ray)
I remember when I purchased the final hardback installment in the Harry Potter series being filled with mixed emotions. Sad that the book was almost over and crazy excited to dive back into the wonderful fantasy world J. K. Rowling created. The same holds true with the Harry Potter film franchise. Thankfully the film based on the final book is split into two parts so this loyal fan has one more movie to look forward to seeing! I get that much more time with the famous wizarding trio of Ron (Rupert Grint), Hermione (Emma Watson) and of course, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe).
In HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1, Harry continues the role left to him by Albus Dumbledore: to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes created by Voldermort so they can be rid of Voldermort once and for all. Of course, Harry cannot do this on his own (no matter how hard he tries to venture out on his own or persuade those around him) and his faithful friends, Ron and Hermione are by his side once again. Without clear instructions on how to find the Horcruxes or how to destroy them once they do, the trio takes on this difficult quest leaving their friends and family behind to wander the countryside thinking up areas to search, reviewing what they had found and contemplating their next move.
As a diehard fan of the book and films, it is hard for me to pick a favorite. But I love how, much like the book, each movie gets better. The acting skills are polished, the stunts are impressive and Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes) is ruthlessly evil with his icy words and heartless actions. When he casually tells his pet snake Nagini ‘it is feeding time’ and the snake slithered on the table to consume the helpless victim, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. The main three characters have developed a great deal from the first film (hard to believe it has been approximately 10 years since that time!).
One fantastic scene that deserves much praise and recognition was when Harry, Ron and Hermione break into the Ministry of Magic in disguise as adult employees of the Ministry. The adult actors did a phenomenal job looking lost, confused, and a little freaked out when the time called. Steffan Rhodri as Reg Cattermole/Ron was by far my favorite. I was cracking up at how ‘Ron-like’ he was being with his facial expressions and movements. Another moment in the film that deserves mention is the animated story of the children’s book about the Deathly Hallows. Amazing!
By far, the best part of this movie is in the last five minutes. All of the groundwork placed during the course of this film leads to one of the most tragic, heart wrenching and pulse quickening moments. Will they escape the clutches of Bellatrix Lastrange (superbly acted by Helena Bonham Carter) before Voldermort is summoned?
My glowing review for this film aside, I recognize those unfamiliar with the books will probably not enjoy the movie simply because as hard as the filmmakers attempted to explain things there will be elements that are without explanation. The creators of this film did a phenomenal job keeping in line with the original story.
Now that PART 1 is over, I am back to that mixed emotion. Eager for the final film in the franchise to come to a theatre near me while sad the ride has almost ended.
Video (1080p High Definition 16×9 2.4:1): Perfect picture for the landscapes.
Audio (5.1 DTS HD Master Audio): Audio is fantastic – especially during the fight scenes.
The Last Days of Privet Drive (2:26 ): A glimpse at the farewell exchange between Harry and the Dursley’s. We see the extended scene was cut from the film (which was rightfully cut in my book).
Hagrid’s Motorbike (4:01): This is an in-depth look at the flight Hagrid and Harry take on the giant motorbike and sidecar. We learn how they pieced together those scenes from Pivet Drive to the Burrow.
Magical Tents! (2:18): The set director and production designer discuss the two tents in this film and how the sets varied from the wedding tent to the modest tent Harry, Ron and Hermione use while camping/searching for Horcruxes.
Death Eaters Attack Café (2:51): Stunt doubles show us how they orchestrated the magical fight scenes between Ron, Hermione and Harry verses the two large Death Eaters in the café. Interesting that stunt doubles were needed for that scene!
Creating Dobby and Kreacher (3:48): The transformation that has happened from filming the house-elves in previous flicks to the work they do now. From tennis balls on sticks to actual people acting the parts it has evolved incredibly well!
The Return of Griphook (3:45): Did you know the same character who played Professor Flitwick, played the banker at Gringotts during Harry’s first ever visit to Gringtotts in the first film? True. The one and the same has taken on the roll o Griphook!
Maximum Movie Mode (2.47:56): Narrated by Jason Isaacs this is one of the most interesting ways to produce a commentary. Very brilliant and fun.
The Seven Harrys (5:29): We see how the director created this fun scene and hear from Daniel Radcliff on what he liked about that portion of the film.
On the Green With Rupert, Tom, Oliver and James (13:38): We watch the four Harry Potter stars enjoy a time out on the links, reflecting funny moments and creating some too.
Dan, Rupert and Emma’s Running Competition (3:45): Hearing how the trio was in heavy competition when the Snatchers find them in the words. I like how Daniel Radcliff is convinced he’s the fastest even though I’ve got my money with Hermione.
Godric’s Hollow/The Harry and Nagini Battle (6:00): The production of two major scenes at Godric’s Hollow.
The Frozen Lake (4:10): This look at the frozen lake scene highlights how they filmed the underwater sequence.
Additional Scenes (10:54): 8 scenes that I’m glad were left from the film. Some were very slow paced and would have not felt right in the picture.
Trailers and Spots
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Behind the Soundtrack: (3:51): We meet the composer behind the score for this film.
Cast and crew visit the world in Universal Studios( 6:25): Footage from the grand opening of the famous theme park where Radcliff and crew get very animated when they see their photo.