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David Yates
Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Mads Mikkelsen
Writing Credits:
JK Rowling, Steve Kloves

Albus Dumbledore must assign Newt Scammander and his fellow partners as Grindelwald begins to lead an army to eliminate all Muggles.

Box Office:
$200 million.
Opening Weekend:
$42,151,256 on 4208 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 143 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 6/28/2022

• “The Dumbledore Family Tree” Featurette
• “Dumbledore Through the Ages” Featurette
• “Magical or Muggle” Featurette
• “The Magic of Hogwarts” Featurette
• “Even More Fantastic Beasts” Featurette
• “Newt in the Wild” Featurette
• “The German Ministry of Magic” Featurette
• “A Dumbledore Duel” Featurette
• “The Candidates’ Dinner” Featurette
• “Erkstag Jailbreak” Featurette
• “Battle in Bhutan” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• “The Secrets of Cursed Child” Featurette
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 26, 2022)

After the Harry Potter spinoff ”Fantastic Beasts” franchise launched in 2016, it only took two years for the second chapter to reach screens. However, fans needed to wait close to three and a half years for part three, 2022’s The Secrets of Dumbledore. Thanks, COVID!

Set in the early 1930s, Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) desires to destroy the non-magical “Muggle” world. Though he agreed to such sentiments as a younger man, fellow wizard Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) now opposes these plans, a fact that puts the one-time romantic partners at odds.

As Grindelwald attempts to set this into motion, Dumbledore enlists Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Rredmayne) to assemble a team to fight back against these wicked forces. Newt and company go through a series of missions as they work toward this goal.

Some movie franchises build a bigger audience as they go. When the plots thicken, more and more fans hop on board.

That pattern hasn’t emerged with “Beasts”. After the 2016 debut made a sold $816 million worldwide, 2018’s Crimes of Grindelwald mustered a less thrilling $654 million.

At least that allowed Crimes to turn a profit, which failed to become the case with Secrets. Apparently the semi-long gap between films two and three didn’t create a longing in the hearts of fans, as Secrets mustered a severely disappointing $401 million worldwide.

Had Secrets hit screens in April 2021 instead of April 2022, one could blame the lackluster receipts on the pandemic. However, given that big hits like December 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home and March 2022’s The Batman showed audiences felt ready to return to theaters before this flick’s release, one can’t pin the financial failures of Secrets on COVID.

Honestly, “Fantastic Beasts” always felt like a franchise that existed mainly because those involved wanted to revive the Potter gravy train. Whereas the eight Potter movies adapted narrative novels, the 2016 Fantastic Beasts launched from a “guide book” that offered no actual story.

This meant that the “Beasts” franchise began life without the strong plot/character background that existed for the Potter films. They adopted Newt – the “author” of the Beasts guidebook – as protagonist and seemed to largely wing it in terms of story.

Did those involved come up with an overarching plot to be told across the intended series of films? Perhaps, but it never feels that way.

Indeed, my reference to “winging it” should only be viewed as semi-facetious. The three movies to date feel so disconnected in so many ways that I can’t help but feel that the producers are generating story/character decisions on the fly.

While the 2016 movie did pretty well at the box office, I still think it disappointed creatively. Sure, it earned a nice chunk of money, but that felt more like momentum from curious Potter fans.

I never got the impression the 2016 flick enchanted a wide swath of viewers, and Crimes didn’t change that. Both drew an audience due to lasting fondness of the Potters but I don’t think they generated a strong base of their own.

Clearly Secrets did nothing to change that, and its blah ticket sales leave the series in jeopardy. Although the “Beasts” franchise intended to cover five movies, the downward slope of box office receipts makes it questionable whether or not we’ll see Beasts Four.

If Secrets ends the run, I can’t say I’ll shed a tear. The first two movies boasted inconsistent pleasures at best, and Secrets does nothing to improve that track record.

I saw Secrets theatrically barely two months before I watched it a second time for this review. However, I hardly remembered anything about the film.

In the review business, we call that a “bad sign”. When I view a flick 65 days after an initial experience, I should possess pretty decent memories of that movie.

As I went into this second go-round, I scarcely recalled anything from April. Secrets did look familiar when I saw it in June, but nonetheless, it remains troubling that I entered Screening Two with so little maintained awareness of Screening One.

This occurred for a good reason: Secrets brings a muddled, oddly dull tale. More a collection of scenes than a cohesive narrative, the tale never capitalizes on its potential.

Honestly, it doesn’t seem as though it should become a major challenge to find drama and thrills via the basic story. Grindelwald wants to stage a massive genocide – how can the end result become so blah?

The main issue stems from the scattered way Secrets tells the story. Again, we find a basic narrative here that shouldn’t be hard to pull off.

At its core, Secrets covers a small band of folks who attempt to thwart an evil cause. We’ve seen the core plot many times, and a streamlined version would work fine.

Instead, Secrets scatters its characters and themes willy-nilly, a choice that damages the overall impact. Because the story becomes so disjointed, the tale doesn’t come together, and the viewer ends up distanced from the basic drama.

The first film set up four primary characters: Newt, Muggle baker Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and sibling witches Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol). In a sane world, the sequels would’ve concentrated heavily on this foursome in a Luke/Leia/Han way.

That group continued to function essentially intact for Crimes. In a perplexing choice, Secrets greatly diminishes Queenie’s role, and it leaves Tina almost entirely out of the picture.

This feels like a major mistake. While the Newt/Tina/Jacob/Queenie foursome didn’t set the world on fire, at least they created a good emotional core around which to build.

Instead, Secrets generates a melange of other characters as it tries desperately to link more firmly to the Potter universe. Take the movie’s title seriously, as Dumbledore becomes more and more significant.

I can’t help but feel this occurs because those involved decided that audiences didn’t really care about Newt and the other new characters. The Powers That Be likely thought viewers wanted a more true prequel and thus Crimes and especially Secrets point in that direction.

This comes across as desperate and means that Secrets devotes a lot of time to characters we barely know instead of those we saw in the first two movies. Of course, the use of Grindelwald and Dumbledore makes some sense, but even so, the end result lacks real coherence and fluidity.

Given the manner in which the 2016 film launched the series, it feels genuinely odd that Newt often gets left on the sidelines here. Sure, he does play a substantial part, but he still too often seems like a guest in what really should be “his movie”.

Again, I must believe this occurred due to the fears of those involved that audiences didn’t invest in Newt and company as much as hoped. It shouldn’t be tough to create a narrative that follows the rise/threat of Grindelwald without a loss of focus on Newt, but Secrets lacks the confidence to go down that path.

As a result, we wind up with a slow and not very stimulating adventure. Even though the first two flicks in the franchise didn’t dazzle me, the intensely blah third chapter disappoints.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A-/ Bonus C

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a largely positive presentation.

For the most part, sharpness satisfied. A few darker shots could seem a bit soft, but these didn’t become a concern.

No issues with shimmering or jagged edges materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Of course, print flaws failed to appear.

Colors were with a subdued sense, as they favored a quiet mix of teal, amber and gray. Given the design, the hues didn’t impress, but the disc replicated them as intended.

Blacks felt deep and dense, while shadows were fairly solid. A few shots seemed a smidgen thick, but they remained in the minority. This turned into an effective depiction of the source.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos audio also worked well, especially during the story’s many magical moments. Whether we got elements that focused on general wizardry or actual combat, these scenes opened up the spectrum in a pleasing way and made engaging use of all the channels.

Audio quality seemed fine, with speech that always sounded natural and concise. Music showed nice range and impact.

Effects appeared accurate and tight, with nice low-end. The soundtrack became a satisfying complement to the tale.

A bunch of featurettes appear here, and Dumbledore Family Tree runs eight minutes, 38 seconds. As implied, it brings a summary of the Dumbledore clan, with the logical emphasis on Albus. It becomes an efficient overview and helpful for those of us who don’t act as “Wizarding World” fanatics.

In a similar vein, Dumbledore Through the Ages lasts seven minutes, 23 seconds and offers notes from directors David Yates, Alfonso Cuaron and Chris Columbus, producer David Heyman, writer JK Rowling, and actors Richard Harris, Jude Law, Michael Gambon, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, and Daniel Radcliffe.

Like one might expect, “Ages” gives us a general overview of the Dumbledore character. It doesn’t tell us much that seems useful, especially contrasted to the effective “Tree”.

Magical or Muggle goes for four minutes, 32 seconds and features Redmayne, Miller, and actors Dan Fogler, Callum Turner, Mads Mikkelsen, Richard Coyle, Jessica Williams, and Alison Sudol.

They play a game in which they’re told the names of various items and asked it they’re magical or muggle. It’s silly fun.

With The Magic of Hogwarts, we find a five-minute, 47-second reel that includes notes from Williams, Law, Turner, Heyman, Yates, Fogler, Redmayne, Coyle, producer Tim Lewis, VFX supervisor Christian Manz, production designer Neil Lamont, set decorator Anna Pinnick, lead graphic designer Miraphora Mina, and actors Victoria Yeates and Fiona Glascot.

We look at sets and production design during this show. It comes with a mix of insights and praise, though I do think “Miraphora Mina” is the most Harry Potter-sounding real-life name I’ve heard in a while.

Even More Fantastic Beasts spans six minutes, 24 seconds and brings comments from Heyman, Law, Redmayne, Sudol, Mikkelsen, Yates, Manz, Miller, and puppeteer Tom Wilton.

This one tells us about various creatures seen in the movie and their creation. This becomes another combination of useful material and happy talk.

Next comes Newt in the Wild, a four-minute, 48-second piece with info from Redmayne, Heyman, Yates, Manz, Lamont, Wilton, and stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam.

“Wild” discusses locations, the impact of COVID, creatures and the sets intended to look like outdoor places. Unsurprisingly, we find a continuation of the facts/fluff combo from the other featurettes.

The German Ministry of Magic occupies four minutes, 57 seconds and includes notes from Redmayne, Law, Heyman, Yates, Manz, Lamont, Mina, Pinnock, Turner, and actor Oliver Masucci.

During this piece, we get thoughts about the movie location alluded to in the title. We find another decent but erratic reel here.

After this we find A Dumbledore Duel. It runs four minutes and offers material with Law, Heyman, Miller, Yates, Manz, and Irlam.

“Duel” covers elements of the titular battle. It brings more happy talk and insights.

The Candidates’ Dinner spans four minutes, 46 seconds with statements from Fogler, Manz, Lewis, Yates, and Williams.

“Dinner” discusses details of that scene. Anticipate more of the same tone from the prior reels.

Up next arrives Erkstag Jailbreak, a four-minute, 51-second piece that features Redmayne, Lamont, Lewis, Heyman, Yates, Law, Manz, Wilton, and Turner.

Like the last two, “Jailbreak” covers a specific sequence. It becomes another watchable but superficial program.

Finally, Battle in Bhutan takes up five minutes, 42 seconds with info from Heyman, Manz, Lamont, Mikkelsen, and Redmayne.

This one looks at the Bhutan scenes. Expect more of the same mediocre material.

Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 15 seconds. These tend toward character moments, some of which work surprisingly well.

We get a nice look at “young McGonagall”, and in the longest piece – the 3:50 “Newt’s House”- we find a deeper look at the relationship between Newt and his brother. Given that the movie runs long and seems slow already, these probably wouldn’t have helped the final product, but they do offer value.

Finally, the disc ends with The Secrets of Cursed Child, a four-minute, 51-second look at the Harry Potter stage production. We hear from technical assistant stage manager Zak McClelland, deputy head of wardrobe Rebecca Barnett, head of wigs, hair and makeup Craig Forrest-Thomas, and actors Ian Redford, Dominic Short, Madeleine Walker, Susie Trayling, Thomas Aldridge, Phoenix Edwards and Samson Ajewole.

Redford leads us through the tour, as he gives us a look behind the scenes. While we learn a little about the show, this really acts as an advertisement for it.

Three films in and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore shows a faltering, directionless franchise. Too long, too slow and too disjointed, the movie fails to ignite in any real way. The Blu-ray comes with appealing picture and audio as well as a mix of bonus materials. Maybe a potential fourth Beasts film will finally deliver the goods, but Secrets turns into a relative dud.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main