The latest offering in a huge film franchise hitting the DVD and Blu-ray market tops this week’s new entertainment options.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” Grade 2 ½ stars: The film features an extremely talented cast that ranges from the innocent charm Eddie Redmayne brings to the role of Newt Scamander to the way Jude Law so easily exudes wisdom and confidence as Professor Albus Dumbledore. The work of this skilled group of performers is enough to give the latest film in the Wizarding World created by J.K. Rowling a solid base.
It also is thoroughly saturated with special effects that include massively large scale items such as ancient cities to something as simple as a room filled with floating teacups.
If only director David Yates had spent as much time on the story as he did with his obsessive attention to special effects details, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” would not be so lacking. The combination of this film having to continue the storyline from the previous production with a plot point that embraces chaos over planning creates a writing black hole where the story fails to have any real magic. Where the “Harry Potter” movies built with each offering, this franchise seems to be getting more complacent.
There are enough good performances and special effects to save “The Secrets of Dumbledore.” It is sad to see that one of the secrets is that the franchise is in desperate need of some serious writing help.
Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of June 28
“Firestarter”: A young girl’s powers of pyrokinesis are becoming more difficult to control.
“Mothering Sunday”: Housemaid and foundling (Odessa Young) finds herself dealing with conflicts of the heart.
“Where the Scary Things Are”: Group of high school friends force a semi-human mutant to commit violent acts that they post online.
“Family Camp”: Polar-opposite families must share a yurt and compete for the camp’s coveted games trophy.
Available on digital platforms
“Green Ghost & the Masters of the Stone”: Car salesman/wrestler discovers he has superpowers. They come in handy as he must save the world.
“Doula”: A pregnant couple reluctantly hires a male doula.
“Code Name Banshee”: Former government assassin in hiding, resurfaces when his protégé discovers a bounty has been placed on his head.