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By Richard von Busack November 19, 2016
J.K. Rowling's ingenuity, now free of old Hogwarts, gets a real workout in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Credited as scriptwriter and co-producer, Rowling has a fresh backdrop, the New York of 1926. She and director Peter Yates, a longtime vet of the Harry Potter film series, charm us with the critters, but really hook us with the characters. This warmly cast comedy has a switched-suitcase plot, mixing a British amateur crypto-zoologist, a busted-down former police officer for the world of magic, the portly baker Kowalski (Dan Fogler, excellent in a dapper stout-man part, neither slobby nor mawkish), and a ravishing if ditzy mind-reader.
The battered leather suitcase belongs to Hogwarts dropout Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and is far bigger on the inside, which makes it ideal for stuffing full of mythological beasts. On a visit to the city, one of Newt's menagerie escapes—an endearingly mischievous flying echidna that loves to stuff treasure into its pouch. When trying to retrieve the thieving monotreme from a bank's vault, Newt's case gets accidentally picked up by the baker Kowalski.
Aggravated mystical copper Porpentina Goldstein (the pretty, sad-faced Katherine Waterston) hauls Newt into custody, delaying the rescue. Even with the New York wizards trying their best to keep secrecy, some civilians suspect witchcraft. Samantha Morton is an Aimee Semple McPherson-type street preacher who carries a banner emblazoned with a pair of large hands snapping a magic wand. Enter Miss Goldstein's glamorous telepathic sister Queenie (Alison "Fine Frenzy" Sudol); she thinks Kowalski is on the cute side, even if his mind is going to need to be "obliviated" once their adventure is over. Is it a coincidence that "Queenie" was the name of a middle-aged witch in everyone's favorite muggle/magus romance Bell Book and Candle?
You'll want to see Philippe Rousselot's photography on an IMAX screen if possible, to take in the terrifically detailed NYC landscapes, with their pomp and squalor. Colin Farrell is magically evil as a snappily dressed enforcer who is secretly preying on a poor half-wit (Ezra Miller); Ron Perlman is a speakeasy proprietor who looks like a demon version of H. L. Mencken. The effects are dazzling, but you may need an obliviation spell to forget having seen similar ones in Doctor Strange—the buildings that repair themselves, or the apple that eats itself while floating in the air.
By Gimly January 27, 2017
Struggles desperately to be three movies at once: One about Pokemon, one about proto-Voldemort and one (uncharacteristically dark story) about child abuse. But none of these three movies are bad movies so _Fantastic Beasts_ gets a pass from me.
I was particularly fond of the degree to which it tied into the Harry Potter world at large. There were moments were I went “Oh Harry’s used that same spell before!” or characters that fitted naturally into the narrative being mentioned, as opposed to getting all _Agents of SHIELD_ season 1 on us, and awkwardly name-dropping something from the other films every 5 minutes, just in case we forgot, which was what I was afraid it might do.
End result, _Fantastic Beasts_ is a flawed film that I was still very happy to have watched, and exceeded my expectations.
_Final rating:★★★ - I personally recommend you give it a go._
By StbMDB March 4, 2017
I must say I was expecting to like it, and I really liked it despite the few generic moments throughout the film.
Can watch again/10.
By Per Gunnar Jonsson April 28, 2017
Personally I found this movie to be 2+ hours of excellent entertainment. This is one of these movies where I simply cannot understand how people can give one and two star ratings stating that it is garbage etc. I do not get what these people expected? Maybe they just have to complain? The original Harry Potter books are very much books for children or young adults and so is this movie. It is a highly entertaining story in a magical universe with some adventure, some suspense and a lot of humor.
The magic and the magical animals are quite cool. The pocket universe (or whatever they are called in the Harry Potter world) is simply gorgeous and cool. The story is not really much to write home about but it does not have to be. This is a magical movie where the magical atmosphere is what makes the movie. It is a good enough story involving a bit of suspense, action, friendship, bad guys, quite some humor and, of course, a lot of magic. More importantly perhaps, the story is not overly stupid nor does is try to peddle crappy SJW nonsense messages about gender or diversity nor climate. This movie delivers where it counts as far as I am concerned. It is entertaining, plain and simple.
If I should endeavor try to find something to complain about it would probably be that the lead character was fairly bland. He did not really have much charisma. That and the fact that I never really understood which, despicable (presumably) acts the main opponent, Grindelwald, had actually committed before the events of the movie.
On the whole I enjoyed the movie a lot and although it is perhaps not the absolutely best movie I have ever seen but it still deserves a top rating.
By Reno April 28, 2017
**Well, everything's in the title itself, you watch it only to confirm.**
I don't want to be so negative like the film critics, but this is a big disappointment for me watching being a film fanatic. I don't think anyone who loved 'Harry Potter' film series would thumb this new beginning. This is not like 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' from the same universe, but different trilogies. I was excited for something like that, as a concept wise, for the fresh tale from from the fresh characters in the same universe. I don't know about the book version, but the film did not click for me.
It had a bunch of nice characters, and to set in the Harry Potter universe, really it should have been a masterpiece. The major drawback was the story. There's nothing to appreciate the screenplay. It's about some creatures from the magical world got out in the human world, just like 'Jumanji'. So our hero struggles to recapture them. Meanwhile, some others too involved in and the reason will be revealed in the final stage.
Nice casting and great visuals. I won't point out its director's fault, because he has done his duty very well. He's also will be the man behind the rest of the sequels. I think it deserved the Oscars for the costume design. Not a bad film, particularly for the kids. Comparing it with the Harry Potter franchise makes it a worst film, but independently it is an okay film. So the initiation was average, but I'm still expecting the follow ups to be much better.
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