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article imageReview: ‘Harry Potter’ 4K puts viewers at the centre of a magical rivalry Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Apr 5, 2017 in Entertainment
The final four ‘Harry Potter’ films are now available in 4K and the wizards-in-trainings’ journey is even more magical in ultra-high-definition.
In 2001, audiences were introduced to Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Sixteen years later, it’s hard to believe more time has passed since the first Harry Potter film premiered than the child stars’ ages at the time of shooting (they were between 11 and 13 when they began this journey). The films have been released and re-released a number of times since the series’ conclusion, offering budget options, complete sets and limited collectible boxes. With so many choices, fans have often been selective about which versions they purchase. But it may be time to buy the movies again because Warner Bros. is releasing all the films on 4K.
The pictures are being distributed in two batches, beginning with the back-half films: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2. At first glance this seems like an odd choice, until one realizes the director of these four movies — David Yates — also helmed the big screen adaptation of another of J.K. Rowling’s magical tales, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD the same week. It’s also a bit of marketing genius because if you buy the last four films, you’re obviously going to need the first four movies when they’re released later in 2017.
The enchanted world of wizardry and magic training has always been delightful and frequently breathtaking. And even though it looks great on high-definition Blu-ray, it looks astonishingly better on 4K ultra-high-definition. In part this is because many of Harry, Hermione and Ron’s adventures take them to the darkest corners of the castle and deep into the gloomy forest, and the latest disc format is exceptionally better at defining blacks and greys. Therefore, you’ll now be able to distinguish what’s lurking in the shadows — especially in the last two films where the characters seem trapped in the murky world of the Death Eaters. On the flipside, the generally striking use of colour and light throughout the series has never shone brighter or been more vibrant. Therefore, when a Patronus glides through a scene or the group is chased by cursed fire in the Room of Requirement, these vivid images pop off the screen.
Obviously the reverse order of the release is not meant to attract the uninitiated, but these enhanced versions will enrich your repeated viewing experience. Years five through seven are available now and also come with parts five to eight of the Creating the World of Harry Potter documentary, as well as the original special features included on the Blu-ray movie disc.
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