Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

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.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was directed by David Yates from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling and stars Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Carmen Ejogo and Poppy Corby-Tuech. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second of five all new adventures from the Wizarding World created by J.K. Rowling.

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 picks up sometime after the first movie where the sinister Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) makes his slippery escape during a prison transfer and travels to Paris, France where he begins his search for a mysterious young man that he has sinister plans for. The Ministry of Magic has forbidden Newt Scamander to travel internationally but when Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enters the picture and asks Newt to go on a top-secret mission to France, the young wizard hesitantly accepts and has to go on this trip without the Ministry of Magic finding out.

Newt teams up with his old friend Jacob (Dan Golger) and they make the trip to France where they meet up with Tina (Katherine Waterston) to begin their search for Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), the mysterious young man who Grindalwald is searching for. There’s a few other allies Newt and his friends meet up with while Grindelwald slowly builds his new army. What happens is, Newt and his friends finally come face-to-face with Grindelwald and this dangerous encounter includes Credence who’s left to decide which side he should join and unfortunately Grindelwald charms him as well as a few others over to the dark side.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, more artwork and list of special features. The Blu-ray and DVD disc are black and feature the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was a good watch but unfortunately the sequel took a step backwards for a couple of reasons. First of all, the set up was extremely slow and secondly it really never went anywhere – except to France. I mean, we watch Grindelwald escape in the beginning and even though Newt and his friends catch up to him at the end, he’s never captured. Now, I know this was setting things up for future sequels, but still, I felt like this movie was missing that Wizarding World magic. The cast continues to deliver great performances with their characters and even though Eddie Redmayne’s Newt is the central protagonist here, it’s Johnny Depp’s antagonist that steals the show. As scary as Voldemort was, Grindelwald is even scarier and more dangerous because he speaks all the right words to those who follow him and he’s even able to lure others in to his circle with his charm. It was also kind of cool to see characters from the Harry Potter movies. We even get to see a few new Fantastic Beasts but I wish we could have gotten more of these amazing creatures. Like all the other movies, this one is grand in scale with the amazing set designs and visual effects used. All in all, David Yates and company delivered another visually stunning chapter in the Wizarding World franchise but it’s still the weakest of them all because of its extreme slow burn. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be available on a Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital) on March 12th.

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: Theatrical Cut – 134 Minutes / Extended Cut – 141 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English Dolby Atmos / French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1)

DVD Audio: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Special Features: The extras include interviews with some of the cast and crew, six making of featurettes, ten deleted scenes and a digital copy of the movie.

  • J.K. Rowling: A World Revealed (10:15)
  • Wizards on Screen, Fans in Real Life (19:22)
  • Distinctly Dumbledore (09:31)
  • Unlocking Scene Secrets: The Return to Hogwarts (06:18)
  • Unlocking Scene Secrets: Newt’s Menagerie (09:06)
  • Unlocking Scene Secrets: Credence, Nagini and the Circus Arcanus (05:52)
  • Unlocking Scene Secrets: Paris and Place Cachée (10:05)
  • Unlocking Scene Secrets: Ministere des Affaires Magiques (05:!8)
  • Unlocking Scene Secrets: Grindelwald’s Escape and the Ring of Fire (12:27)
  • Deleted Scenes (14:23)
  • Digital Copy
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