Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 1 could be considered one of the darkest entries into the Harry Potter universe. In this installment, Lord Voldemort is preparing to begin his all-out war against the Muggles and Wizards. He is desperate to hold onto his power and besides killing Harry, winning this war is how he will ultimately reign.
Of course this spells big trouble for Harry and stalwart friends Ron and Hermione. They need to track down and destroy the Horcruxes, the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction. They are not alone in their quest. The trio is spirited to safety by The Order of the Phoenix who use Polyjuice potion to create decoy Harrys confuse Voldemort.
From there the trio must run from Voldemort and his minions, while taking a number of bold chances. They sneak in to the Ministry of Magic to find clues, journey into the wilderness, and through it all, fight to stay together. In Harry Potter lore it is probably their most difficult battle but the one that will mean the most in the end.
While I’m not the most ardent Potter fan, I did find this film engrossing. There is a coming-of-age quality to the trio’s adventures. On their journey they can no longer turn to their professors and mentors for help and advice. Hogwart’s is no longer a safe haven and they must rely on each other and their magic like never before. But this is not an easy road and the chance that confusion and fear could break their once strong bond is always hanging over their heads.
The movie looks beautiful and the transfer to Blu-ray has been masterfully rendered. Colors, skin tones and landscapes are crisp and radiant. Great care has been taken to preserve details of the snow covered mountains, icy lakes, as well as the gorgeous simplicity of Privet Drive and the lights, sounds and confusion of the London streets. It all serves to make this a film you’ll want to watch more than once.
I originally saw this film in an IMAX theater and surmised that the Blu-ray surround sound would be hard pressed to beat that experience. However, Warner has done an surprisingly excellent job with the sound quality. The audio captures the every nuance of the quiet moments, while the more violent scenes such as the deatheater attacks, crackle and boom with intensity. To put it simply: you are there!
Maximum Movie Mode: A BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE (Disc One; 168 minutes) After enjoying the film, you might want to watch it again with the Maximum Movie Mode switched on. Here you’ll find a wealth of behind the scenes footage, “Focus Point” featurettes, interviews with the production staff, appearances by many of the actors, readings from the Deathly Hallows novel by Tom Felton, tons of trivia and plot discussions. It’s all hosted by Jason Isaacs (the older Malfoy). This is a well put together feature and one even the staunchest fans will find fascinating.