Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 223, January 2018

WSR Score4
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 violence, frightening images and brief sensuality
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David Yates
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"Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows" is the seventh and final adventure in the Harry Potter film series, told in two full-length parts. Part 1 begins as Harry (Radcliffe), Ron (Grint), and Hermione (Watson) set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the Horcruxes—the keys to Voldemort's (Fiennes) immortality. On their own, without the guidance or protection of their professors, the three friends must now rely on one another more than ever. But there are Dark Forces in their midst that threaten to tear them apart. Meanwhile, the wizarding world has become a dangerous place for all enemies of the Dark Lord. The long-feared war has begun and Voldemort's Death Eaters seize control of the Ministry of Magic and even Hogwarts, terrorizing and arresting anyone who might oppose them. But the one prize they still seek is the one most valuable to Voldemort: Harry Potter. The Chosen One has become the hunted one as Voldemort's followers look for Harry with orders to bring him to the Dark Lord... alive. Harry's only hope is to find the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds him. But as he searches for clues, he uncovers an old and almost forgotten tale—the legend of the Deathly Hallows. And if the legend turns out to be true, it could give Voldemort the ultimate power he seeks. Little does Harry know that his future has already been decided by his past when, on that fateful day, he became “The Boy Who Lived.” No longer just a boy, Harry Potter is drawing ever closer to the task for which he has been preparing since the day he first stepped into Hogwarts: the ultimate battle with Voldemort. Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the following featurettes: Creating The World Of Harry Potter Part 7: Story (HD 47:28), Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows—Part 1: Behind The Magic (HD 44:09), Harry Potter: On The Road (HD 19:37), The Return Of The Order (HD 05:35), Scabior And Greyback (HD 04:10), Dobby's Farewell (HD 04:28), The Look Of Bill Weasley (HD 03:41), The Weasleys (HD 03:33), The State Of Evil (HD 09:58), The New Guys (HD 07:06), One Book, Two Movies (HD 04:38), The Wizarding Prop Shop (HD 05:28), The Seven Harry's (HD 05:29), On The Green With Rupert, Tom, Oliver And James (HD 13:38), Dan, Rupert And Emma's Running Competition (HD 02:45), Godric's Hollow/The Harry And Nagini Battle (HD 06:00), The Frozen Lake (HD 04:10) and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows—Part 2 Sneak Peek (HD 04:24); eight deleted scenes (HD 10:54); The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter promotional trailer (HD 06:25); Behind The Soundtrack trailer (HD 03:51); a teaser trailer (HD 02:31; the theatrical trailer (HD 02:23); and a digital copy.

The 2.40:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on 35 mm Kodak Vision2 film stock using Arricam LT and ST and Panavision cameras in Super 35 and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The 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. The HDR encoding provides subtle enhanced contrast, black levels, and bright highlights. The film continues the dark, shadowy and desaturated visual style evident in all four of Director David Yates' entries in the Potter series, despite the involvement of three different cinematographers. Blacks are deep and solid, and the shadows are dark but revealing of detail. The overcast scenes and some interior scenes shed more light, but still, the look is filtered and subdued. Unlike in Order Of The Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, the filmmakers have not quite accentuated the pervasive darkness in their rendering of Deathly Hallows: Part 1. A number of sequences appear to be a touch brighter with HDR encoding, such as the Dursleys' departure from Privet Drive and Harry's farewell to No. 4, or the rocky seaside heights where Harry and Hermione hunker down to consider their options after escaping their pursuers. HDR enhancements are also pronounced in the darkest sequences. such as the entire early sequence at Malfoy Manor, which begins with Snape's teleported arrival and concludes with Valdemort feeding Charity Burbage to his snake. Additionally, agreeing with Valdemort while the snake Nagini watches him, appears effectively menacing, and the recurrent closeups on Snape are nicely delineated with the heightened contrast separating his pale features from his black hair. Also, HDR is effective later in the film, when Harry dives beneath the icy surface of a frozen pond to retrieve the Sword of Gryffindor. 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. Except for instances of magic visual effects, colors for the most part remain muted and desaturated, though, not to the extent exhibited in The Half-Blood Prince. Still, 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, such as the scene in the brightly lit city square, but these instances are limited in visual impact. While an exceptionally dark picture, 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. (Gary Reber)

The DTS:X/DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-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. Throughout, dialogue intelligibility retains a good sense of spatial integration. Atmospheric sound effects are prominent and, at times, aggressively directionalized, which enhances the dimensionality of the soundfield. 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. 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. The frozen lake scene above and under water is breathtaking. Low-frequency effects can be 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. Noteworthy sound effects are the multi-directional elevators in the Ministry of Magic clanking and rattling and Ron's explosive diversion to cover his entry into Dolores Umbridge's office, with multiple jangles and pulses positioned throughout the soundfield. When the Horcrux necklace is opened, Voldemort's voice darts deftly through the soundfield as the dark wizard mounts his psychological attack against Ron. The sonic character throughout is smooth and natural sounding, with no incident of harshness or stridency. A WOW! segment starts at 0:56:34 and ends at 01:58:13. Two others are from 01:19:12 to 01:20:06 and 01:50:42 to 01:53:38. The Immersive Sound element consists of manipulated clanking sounds, thunder, a sharp hissing sound, fire jets, breaking glass, echoed voices, wind, elevator, swishing sounds, flying newspaper pages, bees swarming, other sound effects and atmospherics and an extended, though, very subdued orchestral score. Except for the music, Immersive Sound elements are object-based and quiet brief. And while some carry some SPL weight and are effective with exceptional power and precision, for the most part the perception is subliminal. As with before in this Immersive Sound series, much in the way of soundscape dimension has been ignored by the sound designers.
As with the previous releases in the series, this is an impressive soundtrack, with an engaging sound design that establishes mood and excitement. (Gary Reber)