Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Featured In Issue 163, January 2012

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Some sequences of intense action vaiolence and frightening images.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
David Yates
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2" is the final adventure in the "Harry Potter" film seriesthe second of two full-length parts. In the epic fin. The much-anticipated motion picutre event isale, 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 Potter (Radcliffe) who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort (Fiennes). It all ends here. Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. (Tricia Spears)

Special features on Disc One of this three-disc set include the interactive "Maximum Movie Mode: Blowing Up Hogwarts," two featurettes: "Focus Points" (HD 26:27) and "Final Farewells From Cast And Crew" (HD 03:07), BD-Live, and up-front ads. Special features on Disc Two include "A Conversation With J.K. Rowling And Daniel Radcliffe" (HD 53:03), two featurettes: "The Goblins Of Gringotts" (HD 10:56) and "The Women Of Harry Potter" (HD 22:31), deleted scenes (HD 06:33), "WB Studio Tour London—The Making Of 'Harry Potter'" (HD 01:33), and a "Pottermore" introduction by Rowling (HD 01:07). Also included is the DVD and a digital copy.

As with the previous releases, the 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture is nicely rendered in the "Potter" style, with a prevailing darkness throughout and should be viewed in a darkened environment, preferably a black one, to optimize low-level shadow detail. Even with such a much darker presentation, blacks are deep and solid, and the shadows are dark but revealing of detail. Cinematographer Edurado Serra's overcast scenes and some interior scenes shed more light, but still, the look is filtered and subdued. Resolution is excellent, with fine facial features, clothing, and object textures that are mostly clearly delineated, except for those instances where the clarity is diminished. The feel embraces the period medieval stylization of past Potter films, with a play on dark and light that creates an engaging cinematic visual effect. As with "Part 1," the color palette exhibits dark saturated hues with brown tints, to create a very warm visual. At times the imagery is dramatically desaturated for effect, to the extent of a black-and-white rendering. This is a challenging picture to reproduce by any display standard and will test the native contrast capabilities of your display system. Dimensionality is superb. Fleshtones appear natural, yet subdued and desaturated in the dimly lit scenes. Such are rendered well, considering the light-starved production values. Occasionally there are spots of vivid color, but these instances are limited in visual impact. While an exceptionally dark picture, as was "The Half-Blood Prince" and "The Deathly Hallows: Part 1," the stylization effectively transports you to a place and a period, seemingly long ago, with engaging visuals that are elaborately portrayed and at times impressive. While Warner Bros. released Part 2 theatrically in 3D along with 2-D formats, in IMAX on July 15, 2011 and with D-BOX® Motion Code™, this release is the 2-D version. Hopefully Warner Bros. will soon release the 3-D version, which should be superior. (Gary Reber)

As with "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1," the DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack delivers an impressive holosonic® presence throughout. Though the dialogue is production sound and ADR, spatial integration is well managed and the dialogue sounds perfectly natural within the context of each scene. Atmospheric sound effects are prominent and, at times, aggressively directionalized, which enhances the dimensionality of the soundfield. As with the previous release, the sound design would have been an excellent candidate for a 7.1-channel mix, but Warner limited the sound to a 5.1-channel mix. Still the soundfield is engaging and scenes are powerfully dimensional, extending out from the frontal soundstage with a strong localized surround presence, with vividly delineated elements spread out within the soundfield with aggressive surround presence. The music score is well recorded, with a wide and deep soundstage that extends deep into the surrounds and reveals nuances in instrumental timbres. Phantom center back surround is evident and effective in a number of scenes. The entire soundscape sounds strongly earthy and powerful, while atmospheric low-level subtleties are impressively resolved. Low-frequency effects can be extremely powerful in the .1 LFE channel, with bass extension to sub-25 Hz frequencies and at full-on SPL. The sound has a solid bass foundation in numerous scenes, with sound effects enhanced with motion and panning. The sonic character throughout is smooth and natural sounding, with no incident of harshness or stridency. The D-BOX Motion Code encoding is powerfully applied in the action scenes and greatly intensifies the LFE impact with dramatic motion effects. As with the previous release, this is an impressive soundtrack, with an engaging sound design that establishes mood and excitement. (Gary Reber)