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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

This movie just doesn't feel complete. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be patient and watch it knowing that Part 2 is on the way, but still, I felt a little cheated. It feels like a mere preview for better things to come.

Now, I'm pretty confident Part 2 will deliver the goods. It's not like Part 1 doesn't have its pleasures; it just feels like a movie that is holding back.

I understand that splitting the final novel into two movies was pretty much a necessity, and I don't see the split as a result of greed on Warner Bros.' part. Even hard-core Harry fans would find it a little much to sit in a theater for five hours. I just wish there had been a little more excitement in the first installment.

Harry and his friends hit the road, leaving Hogwarts and all of its little quirks behind. There are various adult variations on the boy-wizard story here, even featuring some PG-13 sexual themes that might cause a parent to wonder why he/she took a 10-year-old to see the movie.

Daniel Radcliffe continues proving that he was the perfect choice for Harry, even if he did suck in the original movie. The same goes for Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. They are true examples of prophetic casting.

I am looking forward to more Harry vs. Voldemort action in the finale, which is coming this summer. When Part 2 comes out on Blu-ray, and the films can be watched in succession, perhaps my opinion of Part 1 will improve a bit.

SPECIAL FEATURES: You can watch the movie in Maximum Movie Mode, with the cast and crew taking you through the film. This is essentially an audio commentary with additional video enhancement, and it's the best way to watch the movie if you really want to know how it was made. You also get a segment about the "Seven Harrys" scene, in which Radcliffe had to play his co-performers disguised as Harry Potter. The package also includes some additional scenes and footage from the final movie.

The Incredibles (2-Disc Blu-ray+DVD)





(OUT OF 10)

It's hard to believe this movie is 7 years old. It remains one of the best CGI-animated films, as well as one of the best superhero yarns ever put on a movie screen.

The story of a family and their various superpowers has been done a few times, but it's never been done better. And I love the way animators managed to capture the little mouth thing that Holly Hunter's face does when she talks.

The action sequences are stunning; the humor is right on; and the visuals are still among the prettiest in animated cinema history.

Now that they are making sequels for films like Cars and Monsters, Inc., I hope they consider revisiting The Incredibles. I think they have a story deserving of more than one film.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The Incredibles Revisited is a new "roundtable" discussion about the film and its legacy. You also get plenty of the standard, well-done behind-the-scenes Disney stuff. This package includes a Blu-ray version of the film, as well as a DVD and a digital copy, so you are covered on three technological fronts.

The King's Speech (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

Do I like this movie? Sure. It's a great story, and it features two of 2010's better performances.

Do I think it was last year's best picture? Hell, no! In fact, I thought there were more than 10 movies better than this one.

The recent decision to release a PG-13 version of the movie—minus King George VI's awesome, profanity-laden rant—was a travesty. Seeing a movie censored like that is the sort of thing reserved for TV broadcasts, not movie theaters. It seems the public didn't really embrace the chance to watch the sanitized version. Good for you, public!

Colin Firth won an Oscar for his portrayal of King George VI, a man with a profound stutter. That stutter is ill-timed, considering the rise of radio as a force, and the onset of World War II. In order to be a great leader, he needs to show confidence over the airwaves, and his speech pattern is doing little to help the cause.

Geoffrey Rush is brilliant as Lionel Logue, an unorthodox speech therapist who gets the king to unwind and find his inner beast. Rush is funny and even a little heartbreaking in the role. I actually thought he was more deserving of an Oscar than the excellent Firth.

This Blu-ray contains the film in all its R-rated glory. There's no word yet on whether the PG-13 version will be released on home video.

SPECIAL FEATURES: There's a director's commentary, speeches from the real King George VI and some Q&A material with the director and cast.