In "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore," Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unble to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwal's growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines? (Gary Reber)
Special features include 12 featurettes: "The Dumbledore Family Tree" (HD 08:38), "Dumbledore Through The Ages" (HD 07:23), "Magical Or Muggle" (HD 04:32), "The Magic Of Hogwarts" (HD 05:47), "Even More Fantastic Beasts" (HD 06:24), "Newt In The Wild" (HD 04:48), "The German Ministry Of Magic" (HD 04:57), "A Dumbledore Duel" (HD 04:00), "The Candidates' Dinner" (HD 04:46), "Erkstag Jailbreak" (HD 04:51), "Battle In Bhutan" (HD 05:42), "The Secrets Of Cursed Child" (HD 04:51); five deleted scenes (HD 07:15) and a Movies Anywhere digital code.
The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa LF and Arri Alexa Mini LF camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture is entirely stylized with unique eye-catching production designs. The general appearance is dark and overcast and dominated by shades of gray and muted colors. Color fidelity is excellent with fine hue shadings that enhance the production designs, objects and clothing. Colors are saturated and rich and warm with deep black levels and excellent shadow delineation. This is characteristic of the HDR treatment. Lighting effects perfectly enhance the sense of depth in scenes and never inappropriately exaggerate. White levels appear natural. Resolution is superb throughout, whether exhibited in facial features, clothing, or object textures. Detail is exhibited in city skylines and the overcast London scenes. Flesh tones retain their naturalness within various settings and are revealing of fine detail in closeups. The visual effects are extraordinary and are character elements that excite, The wizarding is fantasying. This is a spectacular visual experience that will thrill fans. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic throughout. Deep sub-25 Hz bass effects enhance the action sequences. Atmospherics sound realistic from the subtlest to the loudest. Sound effects are dynamic and engaging as the sound elements to the wizarding visual effects depicting the magic depicting swirling spells and mystical creatures. Sound-effect dynamics are boosted with effective enhancement from .1 LFE bass extension. The orchestral score is expansive with a wide and deep soundstage that envelops the entire surround field. Dialogue is intelligible often with excellent spatial integration.
The Immersive Sound element is comprised of a very subtle presence of the orchestral score in the front two height layer channels. There is no signal in the back height layer channels throughout. Atmospherics and varied sound effects of fantastic beasts enhance the height layer, but these are extremely limited. Loud sound effects consist of brief fireworks-type explosions, which do engage all four height layer channels. This is a very disappointing height layer as there was so much material to work with, including the visual effects.
This is a superb ear-level holosonic® experience that delivers excellent fidelity and dynamics with excellent aggressive surround envelopment but wanting consistent spherical surround presence. (Gary Reber)