Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 4K Ultra HD Bluray
Presented in its approximate original aspect ratio of 2.40:1, The Crimes of Grindelwald looks extremely impressive in 4K. This is a finely textured and razor-sharp 2160p transfer that easily outpaces the already great Blu-ray transfer in almost every department and showcases a tremendous amount of depth, detail, and color. The latter is boosted significantly by the full benefits of HDR, which go a long way in bringing rich and interesting colors out of dark backgrounds -- of which there are plenty -- while effects-driven segments like magic spells and the Circus Arcanus are given new life by the more refined levels of saturation. Skin tones always look appropriate for the setting (and species), with even the more muted sequences -- again, of which there are plenty -- displaying a subtle range of varied colors that ensure we're not just looking at the same boring range of dark blues and grays.
As for the more traditional elements of 4K, textures offer the most obvious improvement: costume designs and establishing shots (Paris and London skylines, especially) reveal a staggering amount of detail, with close-ups bordering on three-dimensional. The Crimes of Grindelwald's detailed production design is loaded with background details, all of which are more evident with the format's increased resolution. Digital imperfections such as banding, compression artifacts, black crush, and noise reduction are basically absent from start to finish, while even the foggiest London scenes are handled without a hitch. Overall, this one of the better-looking 4K discs n recent memory, especially due to its challenging source material. I doubt that anyone's going to find very much to complain about here.
The Dolby Atmos presentation (which unfolds to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix if you're not set up for Atmos) is equally impressive, as there's a great deal of surround activity and presence on display from start to finish: swirling spells, mystical creatures, bustling crowds, and more contribute to a very busy sound stage that's extremely active for the most part...but it's not without quiet moments, and those sound great as well. Dialogue is crisp and clear with no sync issues, the music enjoys an extremely full and dynamic presence when needed, and channel separation is quite strong from start to finish. Quite simply, it's a great-sounding track that complements the film well and, though it doesn't appear to be specially mixed for home theaters, the volume balance between quiet and loud scenes is kept well within reasonable limits. My only complaint is that low frequency effects don't sound quite as strong as they should during certain moments but, since I didn't see the film theatrically, that may be part of the source material.
Side note: Cheers to Warner Bros. for not adding a redundant DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track -- it's not necessary since Atmos pulls double duty by self-converting, and they were often made the default for some reason.
Optional subtitles have been included during the main feature and all appropriate extras, with the choices differentiated by disc. A few stray lines of foreign dialogue, real or imagine, also feature burnt-in subtitles; both texts are attractive, non-intrusive, and placed within the 2.40:1 frame.
4K Bluray details
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Turkish
4K Ultra HD
Two-disc set (1 BD-66, 1 BD-50)
Digital copy expired
Slipcover in original pressing
4K Blu-ray: Region free
2K Blu-ray: Region A, B