Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would make a hell of a tv show. Perhaps on WB’s sister HBO as a lite Game of Thrones replacement. With the steady hand of J.K. Rowling, opting for a screenplay credit this time instead of a simple guiding hand, this series by now is so fantastical and mythologically realized that I now believe anybody can be securely transported to the wizarding world.
The muggle or in this case “no-mag” who acting as our surrogate is Kowalski (Dan Fogler graduating in his acting career) a factory worker who has hopes of opening his own pastry shop when he accidentally switches cases with Newt Scamander, an odd wizard visiting stateside in 1920’s Manhattan hoping to conduct research on magical creatures. All heck breaks loose seemingly out of his suitcase and an adventure involving various magical creatures, wonderful displays of CGI and humour, darkness and mystery abound all surround this 132 minute long tale.
I’d explain the side plot if it mattered but you can decide to see it for yourself. The movie is an enchanting picture with amazing production value, only it is chiefly lacking in some serious stakes. Its characters bore you despite their potential and don’t seem to have much of a drive, as such despite everything they calmly trot from place to place. They drop character hints about each other and we learn some intriguing background information but it all seems needless fan service, though in this case delivered with more assurance and aplomb than Rogue One had, arguably due to the presence of its original creator.
Director David Yates (Harry Potter 5-8) returns to the world that gave him his career and he seems to know the place so well that I can’t help but feel, especially following his last effort Tarzan (his only non-Harry Potter movie since the series ended) that he takes the audience for granted. Its not that the audience has any trouble figuring out what’s happening, its that it simply would have been more effective had more moments been shown on-screen rather than implied. An investigator (Katherine Waterson) finally confronting the two fugitives she’s been pursuing for one. Additionally Perhaps if Scamander had anything directly to do with the antagonist the finale would have had less of a dulled impact. Again the tv show argument introduces itself again as this world is perfectly lived in and would be nice to return to fir thirty minutes at a time week to week. I roll my eyes at the current five film franchise plan in place for this series. Audiences love Harry Potter and want more of that world despite the main story being told. I just don’t think as welcoming as we are we aren’t going to stick around on the big screen for for more of these kinds of films. The absence is what impacted the grosses this time around, but I bet you it won’t stick.
I must say the one thing this series entry does admirably is distinguish itself from its most famous character. This is partly because the setting has nothing to do with him and the proper attitude that other things have gone on here and will continue to for some time makes the world seem more important. Its why my attention held for as long as it did, though I can’t say the same for my dad. Still if the ride along (read: delivery) is this smooth I can’t complain too much. The music is nice as James Newton Howard the third famous composer (and one of my favourites) to work on the series doesn’t commit the tired trope of his famous colleagues by tirelessly and endlessly rehashing the same franchise theme. Enigmatic of the film’s mission statement: a little new, polite and prettily packaged goes a long way. I just hope for the franchise’s future it doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Continuum Scale: -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3
It girl: Katherine Waterston (upcoming Alien: Covenant) has wonderfully sad eyes
Her co-star and on-screen sister Alsion Sudol has a Rachel Weisz like quality of appeal
I decided beforehand regardless of any interruptions I wouldn’t ask anyone to be quiet. As a result someone else stood up and spoke out asking the folks next to me to check and see and turn off a possibly activated phone alarm causing a disturbance. Funny how that works. My dad said he hadn’t seen anything like it.
The picture quality like in Rogue One was weak, funny how Cineplex seems to have good sound and Landmark Cinemas good picture but neither has the other. Its pretty shoddy and lame if you ask me.