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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) 4K Ultra HD Review

By Mar 11, 2019 09:52 PM EST

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald showcases familiar characters and just like our own universe one discovers that not everything is just either good or evil.

The Harry Potter franchise has soared to unbelievable heights throughout the years, spawning 7 books, 8 films, theme park attractions and even a spin-off universe, Fantastic Beasts. The spin-off, so far, is comprised of two films, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)  and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018). Now, you can watch the latter, which is available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.

In this film, we become reacquainted with Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne; The Theory of Everything), British wizard and "magizoologist",  a person who studies magical creatures. Scamander has been forced to adhere to a travel ban after not going to work for the Ministry of magic but soon finds himself en route to Paris after separate visits from  Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law; The Talented Mr. Ripley) and from Queenie (Alison Sudol; Between Us) and Jacob (Dan Fogler; Fanboy). He is trying to find Tina (Katherine Waterson; Alien: Covenant) who is searching for someone herself - Credence (Ezra Miller; Justice League). Unfortunately for everyone involved, Grindelwald  (Johnny Depp; Pirates of the Caribbean Series) is also looking for Credence. He believes Credence can help in his takeover of the world from "no-mages".

The cast of this film is excellent, with reprisals from Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Alison Sudol, and Dan Fogler. Jude Law is surprisingly wonderful as Dumbledore, and Ezra Miller manages to give a somewhat likable performance given his type of character. Johnny Depp is, once again, a pleasure to see on screen, always playing such varied roles. Together, this cast really meshes well together and bring you right into the film with them.

The Extended view mode had a great feature that I have never seen before, which is to let you know when the scenes being shown were not in the theatrical release. However, they did not let the viewer know when they stopped so it was a good try, but hopefully, the studio will improve on this in the future.

Presented in its original aspect ratio of  2.40:1 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald looks pretty much perfect in its 2160p resolution. The picture is sharp and clear. The dark color palette that is used throughout the movie makes it a bit difficult to tell the details in normal 1080p Blu-ray. However, in 4K in HDR every subtle little change of color shines through. It is almost a new film. The Dolby Atmos mix perfectly compliments the video and fully immerses you in the sounds of old Europe and the magical world.

The special features (which are included on the Blu-ray) are as follows:

  • "J.K. Rowling: A World Revealed" - In this feature, we see J.K. Rowling talking about the challenges of this new storyline, producer David Heyman and director David Yates giving some commentary, and some movie clips from previous films.
  • "Wizards on Screen, Fans in Real Life": Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) view scenes from the film for the first time and share some thoughts on the film and what working on the set was like.
  • "Distinctly Dumbledore": This feature includes director David Yates, producer David Heyman, costume designer Colleen Atwood, and Jude Law discussing all aspects of the young Dumbledore character.
  • "Unlocking Scene Secrets": A discussion about six scenes in the film -  "The Return to Hogwarts", "Newt's Menagerie", "Credence, Nagini and the Circus Arcanus", "Paris and Place Cachée", "Ministere des Affaires Magiques", and "Grindelwald's Escape and the Ring of Fire".
  • As well as some deleted scenes which has some that are included in the extended cut, and well as ones that are not.

While the reception to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was not as large as the first film, I personally enjoyed it more than the first. While not as much action, it was nice to see old familiar characters and families from the Potter films. In addition, you see that not everywhere is just either good or evil.  Most are a grey area. If you are a Potter fan or Fantastic Beasts fan, this film is a no brainer to see. If you are just starting to get involved in the wonderful "Potterverse" that J.K. Rowling has created then this series is not a bad place to start (at least it will then be in order)

Grade: A+

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