Jul 052022

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the latest entry into a franchise that is below average at best and lacks the, pardon the pun, magic of the Harry Potter films both in terms of story and characters.



Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Genre(s): Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 143 min. – $49.98 | June 28, 2022

Date Published: 07/05/2022 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: David Yates
Writer(s): J.K. Rowling (based on a screenplay); J.K. Rowling & Steve Kloves (screenplay)
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Mads Mikkelson, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston

Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio (4K): English (Dolby Atmos), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Atmos), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 2.0), Italian (Dolby Atmos), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Audio (BD): English (Dolby Atmos), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles (4K): English SDH, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
Subtitles (BD): English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the included Blu-ray disc.

THE MOVIE — 1¾/5

Plot Synopsis: Professor Albus Dumbledore (JUDE LAW) knows the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (MADS MIKKELSON) 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 and witches. They soon encounter an array of old and new beasts as they clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers.

Review: Full disclosure, I wasn’t a big fan of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and pretty well disliked its sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. So going in to Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, I had low expectations and I guess those were met. This third entry into the fledgling franchise (supposedly they want to do two more, good luck with that) was dreadfully slow and I actually began losing interest pretty early on, maybe 15-minutes in. It didn’t help that the film was so dimly lit to the point I had to squint to see what was even happening, but the film is a chat-fest with monologues and talky scenes that, at the end, really didn’t amount to much in terms of plot, and didn’t help all that much with character development.

Though on that front, and the meaning behind the title, we discover Albus Dumbledore has a brother (portrayed by Robert Coyle) and a deceased sister. They’re also much more upfront with the character being gay and once in love with Grindelwald, now played by Mads Mikkelson replacing Johnny Depp who had the role in the first two films but unceremoniously fired following the lawsuits involving ex-wife Amber Heard. Mikkelson is fine in the role I suppose but, and only going off of vague memory, was better in Crimes of Grindelwald.

The rest of the cast pretty much were bland outside of maybe Eddie Redmayne though his performance is the same as the previous two installments, just a quirky character with very little development. I think he’s an interesting guy and a good talent, just not very well utilized in this franchise. Everyone else was forgettable including Dan Fogley and his character’s yearning for Alison Sudol’s Queenie who had fallen to the dark side, serving as a clairvoyant for Grindelwald, though her turn in Crimes and coming back at the end of this one didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was once again directed by David Yates whose career has almost entirely been with the Harry Potter franchise (he also helmed the forgettable The Legend of Tarzan). However, between his direction, editing and cinematography, this isn’t a terribly good looking or well paced film, where it slugs along at a snail’s pace and looks damp and terribly dark.



This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All of the bonus material is on the Blu-ray disc. All told, featurettes dealing with this movie clocks in just over an hour.

The Dumbledore Family Tree (8:38) is a look at the Dumbledore including his brother, sister and nephew. No interviews, just a narrator telling a story.

Dumbledore Through the Ages (7:23) — This featurette looks at the character includes new and archive interviews with the late Richard Harris, Michael Gambon, Jude Law, J.K. Rowling, Ezra Miller and David Yates.

Magical or Muggle (4:32) — The cast gets confectionary words and determine whether it’s a magical or muggle word.

The Magic of Hogwarts (5:47) looks at returning to Hogwarts in this entry and the set.

Even More Fantastic Beasts (6:24) breaks down the new creatures in the film.

Newt in the Wild (4:48) — This featurette delves into the character actually exploring in exotic environments. Originally was going to film in China until the pandemic hit where the Chinese locales were re-created.

The German Ministry of Magic (4:57) — This one looks at the German ministry in Berlin and the set design behind it.

A Dumbledore Dual (4:00) breaks down the wand fight scene between Albus and Credence.

The Candidates’ Dinner (4:46) looks at the dinner sequence and the set design.

Erkstag Jailbreak (4:51) checks out one of the darker scenes in the movie and how it was filmed.

Battle in Bhutan (5:42) is on the finale sequence of the Wizard elections.

Deleted Scenes (7:15) — There are five scenes that didn’t make the cut and probably for good reason as these didn’t really add a whole lot for characters or plot.

The Secrets of Cursed Child (4:51) goes behind-the-scenes for “The Cursed Child” stage play.


4K VIDEO – 4½/5, BLU-RAY VIDEO – 4½/5

Warner Bros. releases Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray where it’s shown in the original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and 2160p and 1080p high-definition resolution, respectively. For the most part the 4K does look fairly good even though a fair portion is dimly lit, but even in those scenes (like the one where Newt rescues his brother from a hellish prison), detail is still discernible. The daylight scenes do who well in both formats and they are clean free of any aliasing or artifacting.

AUDIO – 4¾/5

Both the 4K and Blu-ray discs come with Dolby Atmos tracks. While I can’t give this marks for being one of the best Atmos tracks, it’s still pretty impressive offering up clear dialogue mostly from the center channel while there is very good depth from the front and rear speakers for the more action-filled scenes along with James Newton Howard’s decent if not unremarkable score (though he does utilize John Williams’ Harry Potter theme in one shot).


Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the latest entry into a franchise that is below average at best and lacks the, pardon the pun, magic of the Harry Potter films both in terms of story and characters.




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