Ralph Potts reviews the Eighth, and final installment, in the popular film franchise which is making its debut on Ultra HD Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner – 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 146 minutes
Disc Format: BD-66
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS:X, English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Issacs, Warwick Davis, David Thewlis, Helena Bonham Carter, Cieran Hinds, Julie Waters, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch
Directed by: David Yates
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
Written by: Steven Kloves based on the novel by J.K. Rowling
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 28, 2017
I Reviewed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 when it was originally released on Blu-ray and have included my comments from that review here. New comments and ratings for the new Ultra HD video and DTS:X sound are below.
The Blu-ray included with this Combo Pack contains the same audio/video as the original Blu-ray release. Refer to my original review, linked below, to see my comments/ratings for the 1080p video and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 channel soundtrack.
Deathly Hallows Part 2 continues where Deathly Hallows Part 1 left off as Harry, Hermoine, and Ron, with the assistance of Griphook, seek to infiltrate Gringott’s (in disguise) to gain access to Bellatrix’s vault which contains one of the Horcruxs. Things don’t go as smoothly as planned however, thanks to Hermoine, the trio manages a fairly clean get away. After escaping to Hogsmead and learning the location of the next Horcrux Ron, Hermoine, and Harry find themselves where it all begin, Hogwarts. There they are joined by what is left of the Order of the Phoenix, fellow students, and faculty as they stand together for the last time against the evil Lord Voldemort and his minions.
I have never read any of the Potter books and my only frame of reference for its world and characters is through the films. I am most decidedly a fan and enjoy each of the installments in the series for various reasons. With these final installments, the prevalence of carefree moments, romantic entanglements, and whimsical allegory, takes a backseat to a foreboding sense of dread, and the spiraling suspense that accompanies it. What remains constant is the unflappable bond between the three main characters. Some didn’t care for Deathly Hallows Part 1, but I enjoyed it, and looked forward to what I knew would be a terrific climax in Deathly Hallows Part 2.
I saw it in the theater and loved it. There is plenty of action, answers to looming questions, and melodrama, as the clock ticks down to the film’s emotional, and satisfying finale. I must admit to feeling a little melancholy as over the years I have enjoyed all of the Harry Potter films as well as watching the terrific cast that brought these endearing characters to life. I sat and watch Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2 together which made the experience even better. I thank author JK Rowling, the cast, the various production teams, and Warner Brothers, for an entertaining 10 year journey.
The rating is for thematic material, scary images, violence, and mild language.
AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
UHD Presentation: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- HDR: Dark Highlights:
- HDR: Bright Highlights:
- HDR: Expanded Color & WCG:
- Visual Impact:
DTS:X Rating: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Level of immersion:
- Soundstage integration:
- Audio object placement:
- Entertainment factor:
Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 66 Mbps, and lossless English DTS:X/DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 Mbps.
For its presentation in Ultra HD Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. With the limited exposure to Ultra HD either sourced from 2K or 4K Digital Intermediates we are left to judge based upon what we have seen thus far.
From a cinematic perspective, as with each of the HP films, Deathly Hallows Part 2 was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind, and that comes through in this presentation. The Ultra HD presentation bests the 1080p versions in most respects, but the margin isn’t a wide one. Deathly Hallows Part 2 isn’t a colorful film, and uses a bit of a darker overall aesthetic than Deathly Hallows Part 1. The palate of cooler chromatic hues, sepia tones and variants of blue/red benefited from UHD’s wider color gamut, appearing slightly warmer and generally pleasing. The sequence that takes place at the Weasley’s Beach home, and later in the lobby at Gringott’s are examples of this. Resolution gets a minor boost as close-ups tend to offer improved refinement and deeper resolvable textures when compared to the Blu-ray.
There is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. I found the application to be quite good, especially given the dark nature of the photography, offset by moments of vivid, sparkling contrast. There were instances where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant, such as the extended rail ride, followed by the encounters in the catacombs below Gringott’s. or later, when Voldemort, and his minions surround, and attack Hogwarts (the illuminated force field over the school, going up and when disintegrated) looked terrific against the gray/dark background elements. The film’s plethora of low level sequences had excellent depth of field and emboldened contrast. I think that HP and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 generally benefitted from the Ultra HD treatment. The improvement is subtle, but noticeable, which is something that those contemplating the upgrade solely for the video quality, will have to consider.
Like the other HP films released on Ultra HD Blu-ray the new DTS:X/7.1 Master Audio surround mix improves upon the previous 5.1 channel mix and sounds superb. This soundtrack runs the gamut between subtle passages of spoken dialog to dynamically charged sequences that deliver opulent surround sound. As an enthusiast, I appreciate a well-crafted sound mix that draws me into the onscreen elements, regardless of where the sounds are emanating from. Audio object placement from both above and in the listening plane at ear level are put to effective use. This mix generates a correlated, and broad soundstage where effects swirl, shift and traverse the listening area. I also appreciated the effectiveness of the added dimension during sequences where subtle special cues replicated the environments contained in the scene. Overall, I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and integration of discrete object placement. I think that this immersive sound mix complimented the source material, and made for a complimentary listening experience.
- Disc 1: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Ultra HD Blu-ray
Disc 2: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Blu-ray
Disc 3: Bonus Disc
- Maximum Movie Mode: Interactive in-movie experience hosted by Matthew Lewis, David Heyman (producer) and other members of the cast/crew. It features a plethora of interviews, behind the scene details, concept art, deleted scenes and more.
- 8 Focus Points (Totaling 26 minutes)
- Final farewells from the cast/crew
- Behind the story:
- A conversation with JK Rowling & Daniel Radcliff – 53 minutes
- The Goblins of Gringotts – 11 minutes
- The women of Harry Potter – 22 minutes
- 8 Deleted Scenes
- Promotional Material
- Digital HD Copy
Admittedly, I am a fan of the Harry Potter film series, and have looked forward to each installment. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 is a well-executed, and engaging film, that makes for a terrific series finale. It makes its Ultra HD Blu-ray debut in this Combo Pack from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring solid Ultra HD video, excellent lossless surround sound, a complimentary DTS:X immersive sound mix, and a fan friendly supplemental package that looks behind the scenes at the production.
While I found the Ultra HD video quality to be an improvement over the 1080p version, the decision to upgrade may depend on how important those improvements are to you. I am adding Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on Ultra HD to my collection. If you’re on the fence perhaps a rental is a good place to start.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package