Thursday, December 1, 2011

FILMonBLU-RAY: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Review)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
2011 - Warner Bros
Released on Blu-Ray/DVD on November 11, 2011

# of Discs: 4 (Blu-Ray x 3, DVD - Target 4-Disc Exclusive comes with additional Blu-Ray disc)
Runtime: 130 Minutes

The final chapter in the story of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his battle against Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 continues right where the last one left off.

Harry, and his friends, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), are recovering from their ordeal at Malfoy Manor and looking towards breaking into Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley where they believe another Horcrux is hidden. Soon enough the trail leads them back to Hogwarts and a final battle with Voldemort and his dark army for the survival of the Wizarding World as they know it.

While the first film had more of a methodical pace as Harry and his friends struggled to find the way to defeat Voldemort, the second moves with a purpose. Harry's journey heads to Gringotts Bank where with the use of the Polyjuice Potion to turn Hermione into Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), and the Invisibility Cloak to hide Harry, along with the help of the goblin, Griphook (Warwick Davis), they gain access to the labyrinth tunnels in the bank that lead to the vaults. Things do not go smoothly though, with a booby-trapped Lestrange vault and a double-crossing Griphook leaving the three to jump on the back of a dragon they break free to escape from certain doom. The visuals of the trip down to the vaults, the multiplying goblets in the vault and the terrifyingly fierceness of the dragon are all must sees.

Another visual marvel is the scene that takes place in the Room of Requirement, as Harry is finding the next Horcrux and is confronted by Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and his cronies. The vastness inside the room and the power it has is really apparent at this point, as the room has taken the shape of the place where everyone hides/stores things inside, a place that goes on and on. Yet it becomes truly terrifying once Goyle's fiendfyre spell goes haywire and the whole place becomes ablaze in flames, leading to a maddening run and flight on brooms to escape harm.

But in the background for the majority of the film is the final battle that takes place on the Hogwarts Grounds and literally shakes the foundations of the castle. The walkway bridge is purposely blown up by the students to cut off an access point in an exhilarating way for Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), the Quidditch stadium is razed by the Death Eaters, the teachers and members of the Order of the Phoenix help with putting up a magical shield around the castle that only the power of the Elder Wand in Voldemort's hand is able to break. Each moment is brilliantly filmed and a pleasure to watch on Blu-Ray, a real immersing experience.

I had my hands on the Target Exclusive release of the film that features an additional Blu-Ray Disc that has a near hour long documentary titled, 'When Harry Left Hogwarts', that covers the final days on set for the principle actors of the film and the film itself. While I would not be surprised to see it find its way into the eventual Ultimate Edition release it was well worth the extra few dollars to see it. Along with featurettes on The Women of Harry Potter, The Goblins of Gringotts and a Conversation between author J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe, there are so many extras that will literally double the amount of time you spend with this release.

A fantastic movie deserves an equally fantastic media release, and Warner Bros. has achieved this with HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2. More so than even the first part, this film appeals to movie fans of all kinds and is a perfect wrap up to a decade-long series. Buy it if you have not, Try it if you have never seen it. It is worth seeing this epic in Blu-Ray.

Look to buy the 3-Disc Blu-Ray release of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 on Amazon for $24.99.

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