Blu-ray News and Reviews | High Def Digest
Film & TV All News Blu-Ray Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders 4K Ultra HD Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders Gear Reviews News Home Theater 101 Best Gear Film & TV
Blu-Ray : Worth a Look
Ranking:
Sale Price: $8.73 Last Price: $18.94 Buy now! 3rd Party 2.19 In Stock
Release Date: March 12th, 2019 Movie Release Year: 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Overview -

J.K. Rowling conjures up an original tale in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second sequel in the Harry Potter prequel franchise, but the plot juggles one too many spells and charms, failing to recapture the magic of its predecessor. The latest installment enchants Blu-ray with a reference-quality video and a satisfying Dolby Atmos soundtrack, but a small set of supplements. Nevertheless, the overall package is worth a look for fans fantasying another adventure in the Wizarding World. 

At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.
 
In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

OVERALL:
Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Two-Disc Combo Pack, BD-50 Dual-Layered Disc / DVD-9 Dual-Layered Disc, Region Free
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/AVC MPEG-4
Length:
134
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Special Features:
Extended Cut Digital Copy
Release Date:
March 12th, 2019

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

You can read our full thoughts on the J.K. Rowling-produced Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in our review of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray HERE.

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray

Warner Home Video brings Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a flyer code for a Digital Copy. The Region Free, BD50 disc sits opposite a DVD-9 copy inside a blue, eco-cutout case with glossy slipcover. After a couple of skippable promos, the screen changes to a generic static menu with options along the bottom of the screen and music playing in the background. 

Video Review

Ranking:

Newt Scamander returns to cast his charms on Blu-ray with an enchantingly magical, reference-quality 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that will mesmerize fans and bring the wizarding world to life. Shot on high-quality Arri Alexa 65 digital cameras, the freshly-minted transfer practically mystifies viewers from the opening moments with clean, well-defined lines of Grindelwald's prison cell, the ornate features of the Thestral-drawn carriage and the near-sterile baroque halls at the Ministry of Magic. Individual hairs, the threading in the costumes and the various small objects decorating the background of many homes are razor-sharp and plainly visible. Even the many CG animals and action sequences are highly detailed while facial complexions show every pore, wrinkle and negligible blemish with outstanding lifelike textures. 

Presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the video presentation also materializes out of thin air with spot-on balance in the contrast and brightness, layering the neo-noir-like photography of Philippe Rousselot with crisp, radiantly brilliant whites and appreciable dimensionality. The highlights are often spellbinding, especially during action sequences every time a character casts a magical spell with their wand, igniting the screen with dazzling flashes, or during the climactic finale. Black levels are extraordinarily inky rich throughout, bathing the image in silky, opulent shadows that maintain superb visibility within the darkest, murkiest corners. Despite Rousselot's almost-monochromatic cinematography, the action is often showered in richly saturated primaries, turning the Circus Arcanus sequence into stunning eye candy. Although largely limited, secondary hues remain accurate and full-bodied, which can be appreciated in the aforementioned climax against Grindelwald's fire curse. (Video Rating: 96/100)

Audio Review

Ranking:

Grindelwald debuts on Blu-ray with the same wonderfully satisfying Dolby Atmos soundtrack as its Ultra HD counterpart. For a more in-depth take on the audio quality, you can read our review of the 4K Ultra HD HERE. (Dolby Atmos Audio Rating: 82/100)

Special Features

Ranking:

Blu-ray Disc

  • Unlocking Scene Secrets (HD, 49 min): Exhaustive six-part documentary touching on various aspects of the production, featuring cast & crew interviews and lots of BTS footage.
  • Wizards on Screen, Fans in Real Life (HD, 19 min): Ezra Miller is joined by Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, to chat and comment on the latest installment to the series. 
  • J.K. Rowling: A World Revealed (HD, 10 min): The author and now screenwriter talks about her motivations, approach and aspirations in creating this new franchise. 
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 14 min): Nine extended and excised sequences. 

Digital Copy Exclusive

  • Extended Version (HD, 142 min): The longer version adds seven minutes to the original runtime with previously deleted scenes and commences with a brief intro.

Final Thoughts

Director David Yates and author J.K. Rowling return to the Wizarding World once again in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, another entry in the Newt Scamander prequel adventures. Without a printed source to work from, Rowling conjures an original tale meant to expand the Harry Potter universe, but the plot fumbles about trying to keep one too many spells and charms in order, ultimately failing to capture the same magic as its predecessor. The second installment to the new series enchants Blu-ray with a stunning, reference-quality HD presentation, complemented by a generally satisfying Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Although the set of supplements are relatively small, they are nonetheless informative and entertaining, making the overall package worth a look for fans.