The David Yates-directed “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” was released last November, and is now on Blu-ray, while the second half is slated for release in mid-July.
Rather than making the last installment five-plus hours long, the seventh and final book has been split into two parts. This first portion has been described as a “road film.”
Author J.K. Rowling, who expressed simultaneous emotions of euphoria and heartbreak upon completing the final novel, claimed “Part 1” to be her favorite adaptation to date upon its release. Arguably the most faithful adaptation of Rowling’s source material, those unfamiliar with horcruxes and Hogwarts may be a bit in the dark with this penultimate Potter film.
Much of the movie is spent following Potter in his search to destroy said horcruxes. In the meantime, Harry learns of the Deathly Hallows. This breathtaking sequence directed by Swiss animator Ben Hibon is this highlight of the film.
Overall, this Potter prelude has moments of action — Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double sustained an injury filming an aerial stunt — but the setup for “Part 2” leaves viewers hanging a bit. With cliffhanger emotions akin to “Two Towers” for J.R.R. Tolkein fans, the Potter faithful should still delight in anticipation for the final chapter.
Extras aren’t just rudimentary mazes and Easter eggs. The Blu-ray’s biggest bonus is the “Maximum Movie Mode” hosted by actor Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), along with eight deleted scenes and various featurettes, including a short on the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park’s grand opening.
Although the advance screener didn’t include it for fear of leaks, a “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” sneak peek is offered in the Blu-ray’s three-disc set, which also includes a digital copy. —Rob Collins