Number 1000!!! – Friday, October 28th - Larry H. publishes his one thousandth movie review 1997-2022
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Released:  November 8, 2016
Oh my goodness J. K. Rowling is a mere muggle. Oops, the term for a normal human, not to be confused with wizards and witches in this movie is no longer “muggles” but “non-mag” as in non-magical. If you are a devoted Harry Potter fan, then you will notice many other subtle and huge differences even though this film is billed as a spin-off of the eight gigantically successfully boy-wizard films set primarily at Hogwarts and Great Britain.
The biggest variation from the Harry Potter films derived from the seven books written by J.K. is that there was not a book for us to read before we took the big-screen leap of faith on Fantastic Beasts without the blessed guidance of J.K.’s written word. Arguably, J.K. Rowling is the best story-teller since Shakespeare. I’ve read all of her Harry Potter books.
But this is her first attempt at being a screenwriter. Apparently, it is not an automatic that a novelist can also pen a brilliant screenplay. Director David Yates did is his part. The movie is fast-paced and beautiful with glorious costumes and music, but the story is disjointed and rambling. The choice of Eddie Redmayne as the floppy-haired Newt Scamander turned out to be golden which gives me hope for the next four films. Yes, you heard me; the money boys have already committed to four more Newt and the Beasts that are currently being called “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” 2, 3, 4, and 5. Yates has signed on.
Our new hero, Newt Scamander, lands in New York in 1926 with a suitcase full of Fantastic Beasts created by the fertile mind of J. K. Rowling. Problem: I didn’t think the beasts were fantastic. Sticky, gory, silly, useless, awkward, but not fantastic.
Having the 34 year-old Redmayne anchor the movie fresh from his Oscar win in “The Theory of Everything” (2014) was helpful and the other big-named stars like Collen Ferrell as Graves, Jon Voight as Daddy Shaw, and a cameo of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald was smart, but the big winner is Dan Folger who soared as Jacob Kowalski, the non-mag schlepping through the magical world as the witness to the zany acts of the beasts as they escaped from Newt’s suitcase and terrorized Manhattan. “Should we obliviate him?”
The world has to see this movie because it’s too important to ignore, but the decision to see 2-5 should be a personal decision. I’m pulling for you, J. K., but you gotta pick it up a notch. Rock ‘n Roll.
Grade 79. Larry H.
    1 Comment
You must be signed in to post a comment
Anonymous     Sat Jan 07 08:48pm
Let me tell you something about all this harry potter sh*t. After the first book I`m not Vance she didn`t have ghost writers. I have attention deficit disorder and 700+ pages from the book is just too d*mn much. Writer need to learn from him Hemingway how to great stories in a very few words. As long as I`m at it I don`t think she`s that f*ck*ng smart. By the by, I just bought a Heminway first addition of `The Sun Also Rises`.