Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 3D Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Simon Crust, 6th January 2012.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the first part of the closing chapter of this immense franchise that has spawned eight films and a worldwide cult of fans. David Yates once again holds the directing duties and takes us down a very different path than we have seen before. Less concerned with the fantasy elements, a large portion of the film is a dramatic character study of the three main leads as they come to terms with the isolation, emptiness and resolve needed to survive as ‘fugitives’ battling to stop a megalomaniac from destroying everything they hold dear. Yates sticks very close to the book in terms of story and thus inherits the books problems, in that he glosses over some early emotional elements to get to the character aspect, but in doing so slows the film down to a near crawl, that whilst is excellently acted, struggles to hold the attention in what is an ‘action/adventure’ franchise. The blame can be rested on the commercial decision to split the final film into two parts rather than tighten up a dramatic script for a single film outing. However, the film is not a total loss; it contains many stand-out moments and is dramatically the best of the bunch; it's just not a great Harry Potter film as it cannot exist without its surrounding films.

As a 3D Blu-ray package Warner has released a set that contains everything that has already been available, this is no bad thing as the previous set is excellent in terms of picture, sound and extras – however the 3D disc, which only exists on Blu-ray as Warner pulled the theatrical run due to it being unfinished, is a rather poor convert exhibiting all the problems associated with convert – it is flat and lifeless, although the sound more than makes up for any deficiencies, being loud, boisterous and immersive - but I must say that the 2D version is my preferred option for watching.

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