Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the third installment in this prequel franchise and this new Wizarding World desperately needs a course correction. Still suffering from pacing issues, moody tones, and now a replacement actor for a main character, there is just not a lot of hope here unless someone finds a way to bring back the fun - and the magic - to this franchise. The 1080p HD picture looks decent but has issues. Although, the Dolby Atmos track is amazing. The bonus features are worth a watch as well. For Super-Fans Only.
Read our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
[Excerpt From Our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review]
"The amazing wizarding world of Harry Potter officially ended with Deathly Hallows Part 2. The notion of a prequel with Fantastic Beasts sounded good in theory. But, its rote characters, bleak tone, and extremely slow pace made its first outing less than thrilling, void of any magic or fun that the original Harry Potter run had. Its sequel was even worse with an even darker tone and a much slower pace than its predecessor. This third film titled The Secrets of Dumbledore is a small step in the right direction, but the replacement of Depp by Mads Mikkelsen and its continued sloth pacing prevent any high-value entertainment from happening. Instead, this 2.5-hour movie only serves to wink at the muggles in the audience with its tiny bits of fan service from the original films and does nothing to really further the story.
More often than not, when the main character is replaced in a sequel by another actor, box office and critical praise go down. So is the case with Johnny Depp being replaced here by the impressive Mikkelsen. To make matters worse, Ezra Miller is still on bright display in this film, but judging by how poorly Secrets of Dumbledore did money-wise, this might be its last outing theatrically-wise, forgoing the next two planned sequels. Even though a young Dumbledore is saving the day in these movies, there are not enough thrills or fun to make these films appealing. Warner Bros. chose the dark path with these Fantastic Beasts movies and has added only one character to deliver some sort of comedic role or a small amount of charm. Otherwise, it's all about brooding and being moody for hours on end."
Vital Disc Stats: Blu-ray
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore casts its way to Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code via Warner Bros. The discs are housed inside a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features the cast of the film looking out into the open. There is an insert for a digital code as well.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore comes with a good 1080p HD transfer that has a couple of issues due to its muted appearance and tone. The colors of this sequel stay within its gray and muted color walls. Rarely are there any pops of color. There are moments where orange and yellow magical spells or fire appear on the screen, which livens up the dreary display. Wardrobe outfits can come with red and green, but more often than not, the key color realm here is gray silver, and shades of blue. There are elements of green in the trees that surround the castle, but other than that, this is not a great-looking image - color-wise.
The detail is mostly sharp and vivid, but there are some softer areas, especially in the heavier CGI area where the 4K Disc handled these elements better. Closeups consist of individual hairs and practical makeup. effects, beads of sweat, impressive textures in animal skin and scales along with the wardrobe. Wider shots though don't come in quite as strong, especially in the low-light scenes where murky shadows and instances of bleeding come into play. Black levels aren't as rich as they are in the 4K image and the skin tones are still a bit muted. Lastly, there are issues with banding in the heavier action sequences and some compression problems that the hefty 4K eliminated.
This release comes with an exquisite Dolby Atmos track that falls in line with its previous release both in the Harry Potter World and the Fantastic Beasts realm. Sound effects are loud, and robust and offer up a wide dynamic range. Sounds of magic spells, explosions, and debris from stone and dirt all sound fantastic. Animal noises and people talking have the necessary reverb and balance with excellent directionality. The low end of bass come with a great rumble often with no rocky distortions.
The score always adds to the suspense and drama of the scene and the dialogue is always clean, clear, and easy to follow. The height speakers bring down debris, weather, and other screams from people on balconies and staircases. This is an energetic audio mix that consistently sounds wonderful. The track transfers to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for those without the Atmos setup.
There are about 77 minutes of bonus material that include cast and crew interviews and some on-set footage on how they made the film. These are standard EPK type of featurettes but are fun nonetheless.
While The Secrets of Dumbledore is a small step in the right direction as far as tone and adding more fun to this franchise, it might be too little too late for any real change to happen. This is just a bleak, moody, and unfun prequel to something that was superb that came before it. Even the biggest Harry Potter fans aren't pleased. The 1080p HD picture has some limitations but the Dolby Atmos track is stunning, and the bonus features are decent. For Super-Fans Only!