Saturday, December 3, 2016

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
directed by David Yates
starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell, Dan Fogler, and more.

Yes, sure, there were supposed to be a bunch of other movie reviews. Like my review for Suicide Squad, in which I wanted to comment on the disturbing reactions I saw in the theater to small children seeing lots of violence and murder and them gasping in awe like it was the coolest thing. What is wrong with these kids? A rhetorical question since I'm sure they're just desensitized to violence from other movies, tv, games, etc. Then there's the Batman v Superman review in which I would make the same joke that everyone else has already made about the ridiculous scene of the two Martha's. Martha? Martha?! Maaaaarrrrrrtttthhhhhaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! Well, stuff happened, but here's my review for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

I'll try not to spoil the movie too much.

So, being kind of a Harry Potter fan, I own my own copy of the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I enjoyed reading the book. Even though it isn't really a story in a typical fashion, it's encyclopedic in nature, there are lovely little doodles and notes from Harry and Ron and even Hermione inside it that add another dimension to the book and make it fun. That aspect of the book missing from the movie is probably what bugged some people, the lack of Harry Potter in what they might have seen as being a sequel to the previous movies. Personally, I enjoyed this movie. I think if you are a Potter fan that likes learning about the different aspects that expand upon the wizarding universe J.K. Rowling created, you'll like this movie. If you are an animal lover, you'll enjoy this movie, too. Lots of little moments in the movie made me think of my cats and after the movie, I wanted to rush home to see my little fellas.

One thing I thought about a bit after the movie was the change in the niffler's appearance. The niffler was very cute, but I kept thinking: why did they change it? In the books, I'm sure they are described as looking like little dogs with a forked tail. But after reflecting on the actions that the niffler took, I feel like they changed it's design allowing for opposable thumbs, making the fella that much more "grabby handed". Johnny Depp is in this movie and it was kind of weird seeing Johnny Depp in this movie, not that there's anything wrong with him. It's just that he lacked a more malevolent presence and the reveal of his character felt more like a reveal of the actor, Johnny Depp, as opposed to the character he was playing.

I do like the dark tone of the movie. Most of the original Harry Potter series showed the world through Harry's perspective, in which the magical world was new and wonderful and took him away from his lonely and abused life. This movie deals with a character that suffers a great deal and has no magical escape. His is a very sad story and I felt a lot of empathy for the character.

I can't wait to see what will come of the next installment to this series. All of the creature designs were cool. I still can't get behind calling muggles "nomaj." They're muggles. Nomaj doesn't have as nice a ring to it.

4.5 out of 5 stars.
- O. Pelaez

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