HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The penultimate Harry Potter film brings the audience the first half of his seventh year. However, things are a bit different with this one. A new Minister of Magic is in charge, and Voldemort has assembled his army of Death Eaters to take over the wizarding world. When the dark forces start to prevail, Harry Potter and his friends go on the run and search the land for the remaining hoarcruxes, which hold the portions of Voldemort’s eternal soul.
WHAT I LIKED
I’ve been a fan of the Harry Potter films since the beginning, but particularly once Chris Columbus was dumped from the franchise. The most prolific director in these series will end the run, and David Yates has improved upon each film. I may have liked the cohesion of “The Half-Blood Prince” more, but as the “one” in the one-two punch of this film and “Part II,” I got a real charge out of this latest installment.
The biggest plus of this film is that the story is brought out of Hogwarts and into a greater world. Instead of the kids being threatened at school and still having to do homework, the wizarding world is being torn apart. It just seems more realistic that grades and school dances aren’t as important with as perilous as the world has become.
This first film really sets the stage for the final act, which I hope is as awesome as it could be. In short, shit has gotten real for the kids at Hogwarts, and we are ready to witness the final battle. Harry Potter has grown up, and we’ve seen this happen over the past decade. It’s nice to see him move into a more grown-up world.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
To be honest, many of the complaints I’ve heard about this film are valid, though forgivable. It does run a bit long, though it doesn’t run as long as the middle of the actual book does. Also, for a franchise that is greatly considered to be a kid’s series, it’s getting really dark. We’re no longer looking at Cedric Diggory taking a death curse to the face at the end of “The Goblet of Fire.” People are getting killed left and right in this movie, and realistic or not, it’s pretty damn grim at times.
Like many Warner Bros. Blu-ray, the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” disc includes the Maximum Movie Mode. This provides embedded interviews, featurettes and tidbits throughout the feature. I’ve always enjoyed these, though this includes the bulk of the bonus materials. It’s cool to see when watching the film again, though I’d like to see more on a Blu-ray.
Still, there are a couple other extras, including deleted scenes and a look at the soundtrack, which is also available on the DVD. Blu-ray exclusive bonus content include the featurettes “The Seven Harrys” which looks at Daniel Radcliffe’s transformation into several versions of himself, “On the Green with Rupert, Tom, Oliver and James” with several actors playing golf and “Dan, Rupert and Emma’s Running Competition.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Harry Potter fans.