The Harry Potter films continue to get better with
each succeeding film for me. "Harry Potter and the Deathly
Hallows, Part I" is the action thriller of the Potter films.
Fans already know what's going to happen and for those who
don't I'm not going to spoil it except to state up front
that the film doesn't have a conclusion but ends on a great
cliff hanger. ***
Quite honestly I it took me a while to get into the
Harry Potter films. I hate Chris Columbus as a director--he
has a generic style that reminds me of watching an original
movie on ABC Family. As a writer he's also just not very
good at developing characters. Luckily, Columbus was working
with fool proof material in the form of J.K. Rowling's novels.
Columbus a mediocre filmmaker at best wisely stepped away
as the films became darker and more complex because, quite
honestly, the material would have been out of his league
as a director and writer. He let others more talented and
with the skills necessarily to tackle the material step
in. Kudos to him for recognizing his limitations as a film
director and writer. ***
Having said that, I will admit that with each successive
film I've grown to like this franchise more and havne't
been disappointed yet. Yes, they weren't exact replicas
of the books but that's a good thing--the film has to stand
on its own outside of the literary work and tells a story
with a much different approach. The limitations and ability
to tell a story visually are different and, of course, each
reader has created their own movie in their head. I was
pleasantly surprised by both the fidelity and the departures
the filmmakers tackled in telling this rich story which
echoes the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in terms of the complexity
of the storytelling but with a nice, unique point-of-view.
It's also been a pleasant surprise to see the actors in
the film return to their roles and continue to bring more
to their portrayal each time. ---
Image & Sound:
The Blu-ray looks exceptionally good--the image is crisp
and true to the theatrical presentation of the film. The
grainy look of the film is intentional as is the often washed
out colors during some sequences. The look of the film is
much more subdued with colors that are often muted to reflect
the much more serious and dangerous elements of the story.
The audio sounds terrific with a strong 5.1 lossless
The DVD that is included has a substandard transfer.
I'm not sure what Warner has thinking here as many people
will just be buying the DVD (perhaps they were thinking
that most folks would be watching the show on their car
DVD players to keep the kids occupied).