In celebration of the 4K Ultra HD release Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the latest adventure and series starter in the wizarding world lived in by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, Warner Bros is format jumping the original films in the series. They’ll all get that higher resolution with High Dynamic Range applied to them, to look sharper, prettier and newer. In my opinion, Warner Bros has been one of the more impressive studios when it comes to upgrading their catalog titles to 4K. One would think they are going to a lot of attention to one of their biggest franchises ever. They are releasing them in waves, with the four David Yates films (The back half of the series) being the first to come out. No date is set yet for the first four, but they’ll be here soon enough. This review will focus on the final chapter of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 from 2011. It, and the others will be available March 28th.
A clash between good and evil awaits as young Harry, Ron and Hermione prepare for a final battle against Lord Voldemort. Harry has grown into a steely lad on a mission to rid the world of evil. The friends must search for the Horcruxes that keep the dastardly wizard immortal. Harry and Voldemort meet at Hogwarts Castle for an epic showdown where the forces of darkness may finally meet their match.
Harry Potter rounds out his series with one of the best finales of an ongoing series in cinema history with The Deathly Hallows-Part 2. The film continues what it first half began, in following the book to the number and delivering upon giving us the biggest action set pieces the series has seen, with the highest stakes and one last major swing with all of our favorite characters. While a very focused and driven film, everyone is given one last stand and they deliver in crowd pleasing moments of laughter and applause.
The film continues on with a little bit more mystery before heading back to Hogwarts to bring everyone back into the plot, both heroes and villains. Alan Rickman delivers some of his finest work with his final scenes as the iconic Severus Snape (Who is dealt just a horrifying blow). We are also given final turns from Lupin, various Weasley’s, Neville Longbottom and even Draco Malfoy. Everything works pitch perfect, with some surprises, but gives us that feeling of playing out as it naturally should. I remember at the theater opening weekend, there were lots of cheers and giddiness in the audience and this movie (And series) has earned all of it.
Visually, its all out warfare. Harry Potter as a series had never seen anything of this scale up til then. A crap load of wizards, good and bad, going at it on the grounds and inside of Hogwarts. Destruction everywhere. Death taking the lives of some of beloved side characters. Its a crazy big spectacle and its wonderfully easy to follow as David Yates gets good coverage and knows how to play and put it together very well. He’s also good at mixing and weaving it all in with Harry, Ron and Hermione’s little side journey going on during all of this.
As a 2-part film, The Deathly Hallows is a wonderful achievement and the most perfect adaptation of the entire series of films. It accomplished the goal it set out for. As a film series, the Harry Potter films are a remarkable exercise in consistency, continuity and quality cinematic achievement to adapt seven books into eight films over ten years. Aside from the death of Richard Harris, there were no other real gigantic obstacles they had to deal with as a production. Luckily, its also one of the best film series’ ever made, with every entry being at the very least worthwhile and a valid component of the whole.
Encoding: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: 4K (2160p)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:01
Clarity/Detail: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes with one of the better looking transfers of this batch. It might be because this one is a bit more lit, but it carries a very visible and detailed looking picture with a crisp, sharp image. The previous Blu-ray release of this film already had a very good picture, but this is still a nice improvement. Deathly Hallows Part 2 definitely carries an enhance look on the detail in terms of seeing destruction, damaged clothing, frays and even a scene with a little hair in focus in front of the screen.
Depth: Dimensional work is very good here. There are a lot of sweeping camera movements making things look very three dimensional. Characters look full and separate from the background. The movements are smooth, confident and cinematic looking in their appearance.
Black Levels: Blacks are well saturated here just like the other films. This might be an angle where some of the impressive work is done or improved from the Blu-ray. No crushing was witnessed in the film while watching for this review.
Color Reproduction: While this one can be tame when at rest when it comes to HDR, when there is fire view an explosion, magic or a dragon breather it is so rich looking you can almost feel it getting hotter. The other HDR moments come with spells being cast, skies, stained glass windows and then Bill Weasley’s home at the beginning is very nice and clothing colors pop a little more in that scene.
Flesh Tones: Skin tones carry mainly a natural look with a little colder touch to it (A couple scenes carry a different aesthetic). Facial details like freckles, facial damages like bruises, cuts, scrapes, scars and wrinkles, lip texture all come through nicely at respectable distances.
Audio Format(s): English DTS:X (English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD ready), English Descriptive Audio, French (Canadian) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Chinese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Korean 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin American) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Italian SDH, Chines Simple, Chinese Traditional, Korean, Spanish (Latin American), Portuguese, Arabic, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish
Dynamics: Once again, Warner Bros has made an incredibly fun DTS:X track to improve upon and enhance the viewing standards of these films. They’ve been fully realized to even more potential in this mix. Not only is it a bit looser and individualized in its feel, it zips and zaps around the room like never before. Every battle scene accounts for anything going onscreen and for what is offscreen as well. Its very neat.
Height: Some good overhead action used throughout, from ambiance and fun mineshaft cart sounds to battling at Hogrwarts, its utilized best it can be.
Low Frequency Extension: When isn’t this film rumbling? Explosions and fire galore, energy bursts, punches a Gringott’s mine cart and a Nagini against some hard glass get different degrees of bump from your subwoofer during the film.
Surround Sound Presentation: There is plenty going on in this movie and open to so much going on and this track accurately places it and makes use of the 7 channel experience. This is a concert of wizarding battles in your living room with you feeling right there front row for the jam.
Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are crisp and clear. Plenty audible during even the most explosive and loud battles in the film.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes with the 2-Disc Blu-ray edition and an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film. Bonus features appear on the second disc of the Blu-ray edition.
Blu-ray Disc 1
Maximum Movie Mode
Blu-ray Disc 2
Behind the Story
- Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 8: Growing Up (HD, 49:19)
- Behind the Magic (SD, 47:01)
- A Conversation with JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe: Extended Version (HD, 1:03:20)
- Hogwarts’ Last Stand: Extended Version (HD, 30:27)
- The Women of Harry Potter (HD, 22:31)
- The Goblins of Gringotts (HD, 10:56)
- The Great Hall of Hogwarts (HD, 4:13)
- Ron and Hermione’s Kiss (HD, 4:12)
- That’s a Wrap, Harry Potter (HD, 4:55)
- Neville’s Battle Makeup (HD, 4:11)
- The Gringotts Disguises (HD, 4:07)
- Harry’s Death: The Courtyard Confrontation (HD, 10:14)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: The Quest – Secrets of the Cast Revealed! Emma Watson Gets a “Red Card” (HD, 2:02), Secrets of the Cast Revealed! Daniel Radcliffe Discusses His Mentors (HD, 4:27), The Magic Behind the Movies Revealed: The Secrets of Flight (HD, 4:03), Secrets of the Cast Revealed! Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort (HD, 4:05), Secrets of the Cast Revealed! A Look Back at Severus Snape (HD, 3:18), Exclusive Footage From the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 London Premiere Revealed! (HD, 2:23), The Love Life of Ron Weasley (HD, 2:56), The Weasley’s: A Look Back At Harry Potter’s Favorite Family (HD, 3:27), Dumbledore and Harry: A Look Back (HD, 3:23), Favorite Lines with the Harry Potter Cast (HD, 3:44), Favorite Props and Costumes with the Harry Potter Cast (HD, 3:31), Riding Along Memory Lane (HD, 4:37), Finding Luna: A Dream Come True (HD, 2:27), A Tribute to Dobby: The Beloved House-Elf (HD, 2:43), A Special Message to the Fans of Harry Potter (HD, 2:25), The Cast of Harry Potter Says Goodbye (HD, 2:26)
Deleted Scenes (HD, 6:33)
Warner Bros Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter (HD, 1:33)
Pottermore Preview (HD, 1:07)
- Teaser Trailer (HD, 1:59)
- Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:28)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a wonderfully satisfying finale and sends the Harry Potter portion of this series out on a high note (For now…we know Cursed Child will come one day). This 4K Ultra-HD upgrade brings improvement in video and these DTS:X tracks have been a real treat to listen to on these reviews. No new bonus material, but you had pretty much everything you wanted on the previous loaded edition and that’s included with this version. A definite pick up, just like the others.