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Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) - Blu-ray Review

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) - Blu-ray

The American Ministry of Magic just got stronger.  It had to, of course.  The dark magic of Gellert Grindelwald (a fantastically evil Johnny Depp) is that powerful.  Opening with a flying stagecoach sequence, complete with winged horses and a sky-high jailbreak sequence, Crimes of Grindelwald, once again directed by David Yates and written by J. K. Rowling, begins with a riveting jolt of thrills and wizarding quills.

"It isn’t nearly as much fun as the original film, but it does have its moments"


Now on blu-ray thanks to Warner Bros, the second Fantastic Beasts movie contains a narrative that sees Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) trying to get his international flying rites restored.  Seems the trouble caused in New York in the first film has him slightly grounded.  It is here that he learns of Grindelwald’s escape.  Still not a friend of the Ministry of Magic due to his unwillingness to choose a side, the Ministry offers him a chance and he bucks at their offer, choosing to pal around with Hogwarts Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). 

From safe houses in Paris to the unexpected arrival of Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudal) and Jacob Kowalsk (Dan Fogler), one of which us under a marriage spell, Crimes of Grindelwald reunites the players from before, this time positioning them for discussions about marriage between witches and muggles.  With Katherine Waterston also returning as Tina Goldstein, who is jealous due to the rumors of Newt and another woman, Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange, the comical tension mounts soon enough, alleviating some of the oppression of the dark wizarding world gathering strength minute by minute, day by day.

Enchanted and, often times, spellbinding, Crimes of Grindelwald is stylish and sophisticated, growing up with the Potterheads who are now young adults, if not older.  The film, thanks to returning cinematographer Philippe Rousselot, is bold and stylized.  He, of course, is the eye behind Interview with a Vampire, Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and that knack for poetic images shows here with sweeping, stylized cinematography throughout the movie, adding more than a little charm to the wizarding drama involved here.Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) - Blu-ray

While I am still not a fan of the CGI animals (as I feel it could be done better), the movie is a dark adventure that definitely doesn’t insult its audience.  It isn’t nearly as much fun as the original film, but it does have its moments where the drama  is matched with enough wit to not completely drown it in the exposition detailed here.

The problem here is that the baddies are far more interesting than the good guys.  Newt is a great character but his complexities are still getting a bit of glossed over thanks to the sparkling special effects and Yates’ need for the film to consistently be active.  So, with relationships on the mind (eyes like a salamander) in the search for Queenie and Tina and something evil brewing in the darkness, Crimes of Grindelwald arrives on blu-ray on March 12, 2019. 

Something wicked this way comes indeed.

3 stars

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sequences of fantasy action.
Runtime:
134 mins
Director
: David Yates
Writer:
J.K. Rowling
Cast:
Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler
Genre
: Adventure | Fantasy
Tagline:
Who will change the future?
Memorable Movie Quote: "You don't look a day over 375."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site: www.fantasticbeasts.com/
Release Date:
November 16, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Own it Early on Digital on February 15; 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD debut on March 12
Synopsis:

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.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray
- Own it Early on Digital on February 15; 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD debut on March 12
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); Digital copy; Movies Anywhere; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Warner Bros presents Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald on 1080p with a glorious MPEG-4 AVC encode. The film is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio, bringing home the best possible theatrical viewing experience. As a result, the crisp visuals and luscious black levels are simply bursting with details and colors. The shadows are thick and heavy and the delineation is comprehensive. The special effects are quite engaging, making this prequel a snazzy-looking affair. A dynamic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track provides all the audible oomph your ears could ever desire.

Supplements:

Commentary:

None

Special Features:

While two editions of the movie re advertised, the second and longer uncut version of the film is only available through the digital download code supplied here.  There’s a lot of celebrating on this release and fans will welcome it.  The best featurette has to be the Unlocking Scene Secrets which runs for about an hour and contains 6 parts, covering the making of the movie.

  • J.K. Rowling: A World Revealed (10 min)
  • Wizards on Screen, Fans in Real Life (19 min)
  • Distinctly Dumbledore (9 min)
  • Unlocking Scene Secrets (50 min)
  • 10 Deleted Scenes (14 min)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) - Blu-ray

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