Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, David Thewlis, Helena Bonham Carter, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Bill Nighy, Timothy Spall, Warwick Davis, Rhys Ifans
Written By: Steve Kloves
Directed By: David Yates
Studio: Warner Bros
Buy On Amazon.com
If Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is any indication, Part 2 is going to be a dark, sad, entertaining, roller coaster thrill ride…which is exactly what I’m looking for! Part 1 on Blu-Ray looks beautiful, sounds great and is probably one of my favorite movies in the series.
When we last left Harry Potter and company in the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore had been killed after he and Harry destroyed one of Voldemort’s horcruxes. Harry, Hermione and Ron decide not to go back to Hogwarts and concentrate on finding these other horcruxes. In the meantime, the wizarding world is being taken over by Voldemort and Death Eaters; half-bloods are being imprisoned, members of the Order and Hogwarts are being murdered and things aren’t looking good. The trio venture to London and the Ministry of Magic to get one of the horcruxes, plus they also visit Godric Hollow where Harry was born, pay a trip to Luna Lovegood’s Father’s house for answers on the Deathly Hallows, and they also find themselves on the run from snatchers. Things just aren’t looking up by the end of the first part of the movie.
It’s taken some time to like David Yates’ direction with the Harry Potter movies, but I’m definitely liking his style lately. It took a few viewings to REALLY like the previous movies except Half-Blood Prince (that one I liked from the start). Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the same as Half-Blood Prince, because I liked that just as much..if not better. It’s a bit of a departure from the usual Harry Potter movies. Seeing the trio outside of Hogwarts, going on an adventure where it was just them and no one else to help them along. The only scene you see of anything related to Hogwarts is Neville and other students on the Hogwarts Express telling off a Deatheater. I wish there was a few scenes that showed what was going on during Hogwarts while the others were looking for the horcruxes. I always really wanted to know more about that in the books as well. How were the students rebelling against Snape (the new Headmaster). How were they dealing with things, but I guess we’ll see enough Hogwarts when Part 2 comes around in July.
At the same time, I can see why things were cut out and done the way they were done. It made the narrative flow better, and the audience’s attention was strictly focused on Harry’s quest. Essentially, this is a road trip movie and that’s probably what I like most about it. It’s a bit slower than the others but that’s fine with me. I’m really glad the last book was split into two movies, that way things weren’t left out. That’s always been a complaint with me, since I read all the books a few times. Oh this should have been in the movie or this should have been cut. I guess I still do that but not as much since it’s broken up into two films.
One thing that I LOVED and I think it’s one of the best scenes in the movie, is the brilliant animation sequence explaining the Deathly Hallows. The sequence is so well done, I just want to watch the movie over again just for that! I was curious how they would try to explain the Deathly Hallows and think they did a perfect done with that. Speaking of animation, I was really impressed with the way they handled Kreacher and Dobby this time. They changed things around for the better, and went the Gollum way. Had a little person fill in for the Elves, and then digitally do the characters later on and it works so well. At the end with Dobby, it really made the scene a lot more emotional for me. I hated his character in Chamber of Secrets..at least in the book, but not this time. It was hard to fight back the tears, since the character looks more realistic. I have a feeling it’s going to be a big time cry-fest come Part 2.
The Blu-Ray has a bunch of featurettes to watch and really liked them. The deleted scenes were good, and the Dursley scenes should have been put into the movie. They got the shaft with screen time, and when they finally get their moments of kindness, the scenes get cut. It’s a shame. Seeing how they did the Seven Harrys scene was amusing, there’s a nice feature on composer Alexandre Desplat, little featurettes on certain scenes like running from the snatchers, Godric Hollow, the lake scene and other pivotal scenes in the movie. There’s a longer feature, of actors Rupert Grine and others playing golf and bonding. It’s nice to see they are friends outside of the movies as well. Everything on the Blu-Ray is nice, but I still feel the extras should be more extended like the Lord of the Rings extended edition DVDs.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is now available on Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack, On-Demand, or by download. There’s plenty of options for viewing the “penultimate” Harry Potter movie. Part 1 is a great movie; it’s exciting, dramatic, sad, and has a few action sequences in it. It even has a Nick Cave song in it! It raises the bar to have Part 2 be the best movie in the series. I’m confident in Yates’ direction that they will make Part 2 the best!
Prepare For Final Battle as Cast and Crew Lead an Interactive Journey to Ready You for the Monumental Last Stand Against Ultimate Evil – All as You Watch the Movie!
The Seven Harrys: See How Daniel Radcliffe Re-created the Personalities of the Multiple Harrys in the Privet Drive Scene.
On the Green with Rupert, Tom, Oliver, and James: Join Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James Phelps (Fred Weasley), and Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) for a Round of Golf and a Glimpse into Their 10-Year Friendship.
Dan, Rupert and Emma’s Running Competition.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1: Behind the Soundtrack
Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1 [CC]
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Bottom Line: One of the best Harry Potter movies…until Part 2!
Running Time: 146 mins