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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Adventure > Battles > Literature > Teens > British > Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)/Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)/Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (2009)/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)/Harry

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)/Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)/Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (2009)/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)/Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011/all Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays w/regular Blu-rays)



Picture: A- & B+ Sound: A- & B+ Extras: B Films: B/B/B+/B+/B+



Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them


Harry Potter fans can now relive the exciting prequel set in author J.K. Rowling's magical world where humans co-exist with magic folk. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016) features a top notch cast including Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Ron Perlman, and Johnny Depp to name a few with David Yates returning in the directing chair, who can't seem to escape the Potter-verse (this is his fifth entry in the franchise as Director in a row).


Beasts was a critical and box office success (obviously) so many sequels are planned and ready to go into production. However, unlike the previous Potter films, the Fantastic Beasts films do not exist in novel form and are strictly cinematic projects. Now, Warner Bros. is putting Harry Potter in glorious 4K, which helps us Muggles (non-magic folk) enjoy the films in a whole new, and startlingly realistic, light!


70 years before the first Harry Potter film, a magical event that made the history books at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry comes to life. Supernatural animal wrangler and writer, Newt Scamander (Redmayne) ends up in 1930s New York where he faces off against a group of magical folk who struggle to survive in the likes of non magic folk.


The film is a bit slow at times but the money is on the screen and the mix between practical and digital effects is mostly seamless, save a couple characters (such as the Ron Pearlman character) which look a bit too fake to pass the 4K test. The performances are pretty solid throughout and if nothing else, this film proves that this world can still be interesting without the familiar Potter characters and Hogwarts as a setting.


Presented on 4K UHD with a 2160p picture and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 (still originating on 35mm film) and an earth shattering Dolby Atmos track that sounds crystal clear throughout, taking great advantage of its 12-tracks (the first in the franchise to be originally designed that way). Also on the disc is a nice sounding, lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) English 5.1 track that isn't quite as good as the Atmos version, but will stand out well on most systems.


Also in the pack is a standard 1080p high definition Blu-ray of the film with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and the same Dolby Atmos/DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mixes as the 4K UHD. The presentation is up to standards and impressive in its own right, though the comparisons between formats is pretty outstanding of a difference.


A digital UV copy of the film is also included.


Special Features:


Before Harry Potter: A New Era of Magic Begins!


Characters:

The Magizoologist

The Goldstein Sisters

The New Salemers

The No-Maj Baker

The President and the Auror

Creatures


Meet the Fantastic Beasts:

Bowtruckle

Demiguise

Erumpent

Niffler

Occamy

Thunderbird


Design:

Shaping the World of Fantastic Beasts (360)

New York City (360)

MACUSA (360)

Newt's Magical Case (360)

The Shaw Banquet

The Blind Pig (360)

Deleted Scenes (11 scenes)



This packed release brings the blockbuster to life in startling 4K UHD and does the filmmaking full justice.



Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)/Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (2009)/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)/Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)



To go with the 4K release of Beasts, Warner has issued the last 4 of the 8 films from the original Harry Potter series. Fans will likely grumble that they will have to re-buy the series again but the improvements in new format with sound and transfers upgraded simultaneously is worth it.


Included along with the 4K discs are the two disc Blu-ray special editions which were previously available in the large Ultimate Edition Blu-ray sets that were issued individually in deluxe versions (complete with fancy packaging). In short, if you get all four of these 4K UHD discs then you won't be missing any bonus content, plus you get the new 4K image, which is quite impressive and an improvement over the 1080p standard Blu-rays.


Based on the hit teen/fantasy book series by author J.K. Rowling, these films have been a huge hit with audiences worldwide with some comparing its success to Lord of the Rings and Star Wars in terms of box office revenue. The Potter films have a huge cast but along with Daniel Radcliffe in the lead, he is joined by Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Harry Melling, Jason Boyd, Bonnie Wright, Richard Macklin, Kathryn Hunter, Miles Jupp, (the late, great) Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, and many more.


These last 4 films were directed by David Yates (The Legend of Tarzan), continuing the saga of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) who lives in a modern world where magic and humanity coincide, as he faces off against the evil Lord Voldemort (Fiennes) who wishes to kill him and bring down Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry once and for all using dark magic and an unusual cast of characters. Along with the challenges of growing up, Mr. Potter and his friends Hermione (Watson) and Ron (Grint) grow more and more competent in their skill for magic despite impossible odds as the series progresses.


In the case that you haven't seen any of the Harry Potter films and are checking them out for the first time, I would definitely suggest watching them in order or you may get lost pretty quickly. One cool thing about watching them now is that you get to see the young cast members grow up more and more and the films progress. As far as content goes, the tone of the films change from more adventurous and child-like to darker and more adult by the time The Deathly Hallows films come around. As a matter of fact, these later Potter films are much darker than early entries and feature some pretty impressive special effects that still hold up in this Ultra High Definition release despite being a few years old.



In The Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts. At the same time, Lord Voldemort's presence starts to swell as more clues are unraveled.


In The Half Blood Prince (2009), it's Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, Harry finds a book marked mysteriously, "This book is the property of the Half Blood Prince," which helps him excel at Potions class and teaches him a few dark and dangerous ones along the way. Meanwhile, Harry is taking private lessons with Dumbledore in order to find out about Voldemort's past so they can find out what might his only weakness.


My favorite installment in the Potterverse, The Deathly Hallows, Part 1, Harry, Ron, and Hermione race against time in the modern world to destroy the Horcruxes (a trail of unique items that help give Lord Voldemort power) and along the way, they uncover the existence of three incredibly powerful objects known as the 'Deathly Hallows'.


In Part 2, Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the evil Lord Voldemort's three remaining Horcruxes and soon find him and his dark army at the doorstep of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardly. In the explosive last installment, an epic battle is fought and stunning revelations are unearthed!



The Ultra HD 2160p Blu-rays showcase 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors besting even Blu-ray, which was once thought to be the superior format. Almost immediately you can tell the difference, with even more detail down to the last hair and colors that just a tad more realistic. If you're a videophile and have been holding out, releases like this are the reason to upgrade.


All four films were shot on 35mm film with the intention of 70mm/IMAX blow-up and the improvements in the 2160p Ultra HD with HDR presentations in the widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 (or 2.39:1, but all 4 of them) and a flawless DTS-X track that is as good as it gets. If you're looking for discs to test out your 4K system, I would definitely suggest these Harry Potter titles. Also included are the original 2 Blu-ray discs which show the film in 1080p with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and the same audio tracks as the 4K discs. At the time of this review, this is the highest quality available to the consumer market for home presentation. All films are also digital recordings (Phoenix was issued exclusively in IMAX with strong Sonics-DDP sound, the rest in all the theatrical sound formats (DTS, Dolby, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound) of the time) and as much of the soundmasters' high fidelity from each film has been brought out to the greatest extent possible by the 12-track DTS-X format.


Digital copies of the films are also included in UltraViolet format.


As mentioned, the special features on the Blu-ray discs are the same as the Ultimate Editions which were released a few years ago. All of the extras are in 1080p high definition.


Special Features for The Order of the Phoenix include:


On Disc One...


In Movie Experience


Focus Points


And on Disc Two...


Behind the Story: Part Five


Deleted Scenes


Trailers



Special Features for The Half Blood Prince include:


Maximum Movie Mode


Focus Points


Behind The Story


Deleted Scenes


Interstitials


Trailers



Special Features for The Deathly Hallows, Part 1 Include:


On Disc One...


Maximum Movie Mode


Focus Points


And on Disc Two this time...


Behind the Story: Part Seven


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Sneak Peak


Deleted Scenes


Trailers


And Special Features for Deathly Hallows, Part 2 include...


Maximum Movie Mode


Focus Points


Behind The Story


Deleted Scenes


Warner Brothers Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter


Pottermore Preview


Trailersind the Story: Part Five


Deleted Scenes


Trailers



Harry Potter is one of the best fantasy franchises out there and one of the rare cases where the hype is met with the content. Much like Star Wars, it's nice for fans to have future installments to look out for, when at one point it was thought to be concluded.



- James Lockhart

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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