The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 130 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.4:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, 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,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 11, 2011
"It all ends"
In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends here.
I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books, although my children have. My experience with the stories have all been through the films which date back to 2001’s Sorcerer’s Stone. Currently I am the only one in my house that still enjoys the Potter films. I have seen each of them during their respective theatrical runs and while I haven’t found them all to be equally entertaining I can’t say that there is one that I haven’t liked. The earlier films undeniably brought these delightful characters to life and endeared them to us while fundamentally establishing with each subsequent installment, the books theme of good versus evil. With each film we see Lord Voldemort becoming stronger and the tone shifting from seemingly brief (sometime humorous) moments of recoverable peril to mortality invoking danger that has serious/permanent consequences. Deathly Hallows part 1 began the final leg of the journey with Harry, Hermoine and Ron seeking out the Horcrux’s in an attempt to stop Voldemort. He and his minions have taken over the Ministry of Magic, invaded Hogwarts and have successfully turned the wizarding world into a dark place where no one can be trusted. The Order of the Phoenix takes a serious hit while trying to protect Harry. The skirmish results in Harry, Ron and Hermoine being separated from them and left to continue on their own. With danger around every corner they must rely upon spells to remain hidden from prying eyes as they search for the Horcrux’s. With a little luck they locate one of them only to find that it can only be destroyed by the Sword of Godric Gryffindor which has disappeared.
As they search for answers the trio struggles under the pressure of hopelessness while narrowly surviving dangerous engagements with Death Eaters seeking to capture Harry. With the assistance of a three handed down trinkets and a trail of bread crumbs that lead them into dire circumstances that come to test the limits of their unshakable friendship, they locate the missing sword, destroy the Horcrux and learn of the Deathly Hallows, three magical objects: the all powerful Elder Wand, The Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility. With the noose of Lord Voldemort’s power tightening Ron, Hermoine and Harry find themselves trapped by deception and facing insurmountable odds. Realizing now that Lord Voldemort seeks the Elder Wand as a means to kill Harry they are locked in a race against time in the hopes of discovering it before he does. Unfortunately time has run out. Deathly Hallows part 2 continues where 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 wanted to sit and watch Deathly Hallows part 1 & 2 back to back but time didn’t permit it. When I have a break in my review schedule I will spin them together as I think it will make the experience even better. I thank author JK Rowling, the cast, the various production teams and Warner Bros. 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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 comes to Blu-ray from Warner featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.
The look of this film does not lend itself to use of eye popping colors, boldly applied contrast or definitive sharpness. The world where most of the film takes place is made up of large amounts of CGI which is interwoven with both real objects and people. It has a typically distinctive visual design that often gives it the appearance and feel of a dream. The film intentionally uses low level lighting and mixed light/dark elements which emboldens the story’s fantasy world. The color palette isn’t particularly extensive as sepia tones, grays and other neutral colors are heavily utilized. Blacks are deep, noise free and dynamic. Shadow delineation is excellent which gives the film’s multitude of low lit sequences and darker elements plenty of depth and dimension. Contrast is spot on so that whites appear dynamic and punchy when appropriate without being overcooked and washed out. Fine detail is readily perceivable in close ups while backgrounds during long range shots tend to appear less definitive. This appears to be innate to the photography and reminiscent of how the film looked during its theatrical presentation. I didn’t see any overt signs of compression related anomalies or deleterious artifacts. The result is an excellent high definition presentation that appears faithful to the director’s vision.
This lossless audio presentation, like Deathly Hallows part 1, is used like a canvas to paint a picture that brings the fantasy world of Harry Potter to life. The entire surround platform is used to overlay the film’s discretely placed directional and venue replicating ambient effects. Superlative detail and clarity bring forth every nuance within the recording so that each was discernibly distinguishable. There are several sequences, such as the trip through the bowels of Gringott’s, the assault on Hogwarts, or the aurally engaging simulation of Lord Voldemort’s voice inside your head, that transform the room into a three dimensional soundstage brimming with immersive 360 degree surround activity that revolves around the listening position. Low frequency effects frequently produce deep, authoritative bass that pressurizes the room. Dialogue is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity that produces just the slightest hint of sibilance in the upper registers (it didn’t require a deduction). This is a wonderfully involving and dynamically energized sound design that features high level sonic detail, superb directional correlation, seamless integration, and rhythmically charged bass extension. I thoroughly enjoyed this superb audio/video presentation that most certainly compliments this involving film.
- (HD) 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.
- (HD) Focus Points (26 minutes total) :
- Aberforth Dumbledore
- Deathly Hallows costume changes
- Harry returns to Hogwarts
- The Hogwarts shield
- The room of requirement set
- The fiery escape
- Neville’s stand
- Molly takes down Bellatrix
- (HD) Final farewells from the cast/crew
- BD-Live enabled
- (HD) 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
- (HD) 8 deleted scenes
- (HD) Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – 1 minute promo
- (HD) Pottermore – JK Rowling introduces her new website – 1 minute promo
- Bonus DVD of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Admittedly I am a fan of the Harry Potter film series and have looked forward each installment. The Deathly Hallows part 2 is a well executed and engaging film that makes for a terrific series finale. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video in a top notch offering that features excellent high definition video and reference quality DTS-HD Master Audio sound that is sure to be appreciated by home theater enthusiasts. The inclusion of a well designed and comprehensive set of interactive bonus features enhances an already strong package that comes highly recommended and is a must have for Potter fans. Enjoy!
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JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package