Director: David Yates
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller
Release Date: June 28, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ rejoins Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Redmayne) and his loyal friends and associates as they are recruited by Professor Albus Dumbledore (Law) to put a stop to the plans of dangerous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mikkelsen) who has begun to put a power play in motion that could lead to the end of both the wizarding and muggle worlds alike if successful. Unable to move against him personally due to the unbreakable bond formed between the pair years prior, Dumbledore must now largely trust the fate of the worlds to Newt and some other talented players. But as things become more dangerous and grim, will they be able to stop him and his followers in time and without Dumbledore’s direct assistance?
Directed once again by David Yates (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) & Steve Kloves (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) which was based upon a screenplay by Rowling, Yates does a solid job at the helm of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ bringing his noticeable style and approach to the tale and once again showing that it’s surely no coincidence that he’s already directed so many Wizarding World films. The cast this time around includes various new and returning individuals including Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Jude Law (The Rhythm Section), Ezra Miller (Justice League), Dan Fogler (TV’s The Offer), Alison Sudol (TV’s Dig), William Nadylam (Stillwater), Callum Turner (Emma.), Jessica Williams (Booksmart), Katherine Waterston (Logan Lucky), Richard Coyle (TV’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange) along with more; the majority each offering capable or at least quite fitting overall performances in their respective roles.
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is a thoroughly engrossing, exciting and visually spectacular new chapter in the Wizarding World saga that also sees some rewarding magical confrontations that are a joy to behold. It does rather well especially with some changes being unexpectedly forced upon it such as tweaking Rowling’s script and of course the recasting of Mikkelsen in the role of Grindelwald. Fortunately most of it still works quite capably this time around with the story progressing nicely and still retaining some of its dark tone as well as a solid performance by Mikkelsen who does well taking on a role that many never wanted to see recast, bringing his own style and charm to the character and not merely trying to replicate Depp’s portrayal.
The third chapter in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series has its heart in the right place although it feels unnaturally light in tone on occasion which might not be an issue in itself, but it feels unnaturally forced in a few instances which don’t work as well as they had probably hoped; undoubtedly a result of the attempt to step away from the bleak tone of its predecessor (understandable due to the box office decline but disappointing from a story standpoint; after all how would things not feel hopeless during such a dark time in the wizarding world) and while some of it doesn’t quite click, other humorous moments do deliver splendidly. The majority of those often seem to involve the character of Jacob and his ever-amusing reactions to being thrust into this magical world and unaccustomed to the wizarding ways, something Fogler really makes work beautifully for the character and once again reminding us why he’s one of the best things about this series.
Overall, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is another fun and somewhat dark installment in the series that keeps the threat going at maximum while at the same time trying to insert a tad more humor and lighthearted moments into the mix, whether for better or worse. The film still provides plenty of thrills, heart and some unforgettable magical confrontations as well as a more prominent part for some fan-favorite characters to play within. ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is definitely recommended for fellow fans of the Wizarding World and especially the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ films in particular. It may not be the best installment in the series but it’s still a lot of fun, while offering up plenty of thrilling and visually spectacular moments throughout to keep you enthralled. Altogether it’s another solid entry in the franchise that anyone who enjoys these films probably won’t want to miss out on.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, presented in its original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty fantastic as a whole and provides a sharp, well detailed presentation from start to finish. It holds up nicely even during the many darkly lit and fast moving sequences throughout and never results in anything occurring onscreen becoming problematic or negatively affected. The Dolby Vision addition also helps to create some extra depth and clarity in the notably bright and deeply dark areas which nicely complements the Ultra HD presentation. It may not be as drastic of an upgrade as some films due its dark and cool-colored nature but it’s still a definite improvement over the Blu-ray to say the least. Overall, this is a solid Ultra High Definition video presentation that holds up nicely throughout and should easily please fans and first time viewers alike.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack serves up a clean, hard hitting and crisp audio presentation throughout. It constantly utilizes all seven available channels in order to send spells and other action effects including buildings crumbling, nature content and crowd chatter plus a great deal more whipping throughout the various speakers quite regularly, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered problematic in the process. Overall, this is a pretty great Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers splendidly throughout and perfectly complements the onscreen fun and excitement.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ includes a nice collection of bonus content that fans of the film and franchise should enjoy, the entirety of which can be found on the Blu-ray disc of the film included in the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack release. Included on the release are a handful of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 7 minutes in length altogether) along with some fun videos and Behind the Scenes Featurettes that feature interviews/comments and fun facts with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Videos/Featurettes are ‘The Dumbledore Family Tree’ (running approximately 8 minutes in length), ‘Dumbledore Through the Ages’ (running approximately 7 minutes), ‘Magical or Muggle’ (approximately 4 minutes), ‘The Magic of Hogwarts’ (6 minutes), ‘Even More Fantastic Beasts’ (6 minutes), ‘Newt in the Wild’ (5 minutes), ‘The German Ministry of Magic’ (5 minutes), ‘A Dumbledore Duel’ (4 minutes), ‘The Candidates’ Dinner’ (5 minutes), ‘Erkstag Jailbreak’ (5 minutes) and Battle in Bhutan’ (6 minutes). Also included is ‘The Secrets of the Cursed Child’ (approximately 5 minutes) which takes a behind the scenes look at the Harry Potter stage play.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray disc included in the 4K UHD Combo Pack and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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