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|Index||425 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's a letdown. The fun and charming bits of Harry Potter were left out
of this film. I like J.K. Rowling's work immensely, so that's hard to
Plot-wise, things are a mess. Newt and his luggage full of magical creatures are a side plot to the important things going on. The real story is that an auror in New York is searching for a powerful and dangerous magical force that manifests within a teenager. His plan: turn the destructive energy the teenager carries into a weapon, I assume. Enter Newt Scamander, who is trying to transport a thunderbird(?) to Arizona for release back into the wild. Some of Newt's other creatures escape in New York, and he has to round them up, all while becoming entangled with the auror and his teenage target.
The plot sounds sort of okay, but it's not well integrated. The characters don't add up to much of anything, either. The sidekick baker is fairly likable, though, along with his brewing romance with Queenie. Newt's a bit thin as a character. Eddie Redmayne's dialog also tended to come out mumbled, which made him hard to understand at times. Throw in a few acronyms and oddball words like MACUSA, and that makes for more confusion.
Altogether, the film needed more work to tighten the story lines and make Fantastic Beasts a story focused on Newt and his menagerie, instead of what we ended up with.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Amazing movie, they've done it again! The cast was amazing (though Johnny Depp as Grindewald takes time to get used to),visual effects stunning and the movie is everything you can except it to be. The movie has so many great moments, it's happy and funny yet serious enough and has AMAZING humour, I laughed a lot while watching it and so did everyone else :) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS MOVIE and can't wait to see more!!! I also love the fact that they didn't try to continue the Potter series but instead made a ''stand alone'' movie franchise which has so many connections to the Harry Potter books/movies, it really made me feel like they're not trying to ''milk us'' but just want to provide us more amazing movies from the world we all love so much :)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Perhaps the biggest dilemma you will have before going into this, is
whether or not it will live up to the legend of Harry Potter. As
someone who loved the series and was skeptical about Yates undertaking
this endeavor, I am pleased to say that I'm relieved, As Yates delivers
a refreshing and whimsical film. Sure, it doesn't have the characters
we've come to love, but with the creatures you encounter and with the
added humor of J.K Rowling, you will come to grip with the fact that
this movie will leave an impression.
Newt is a scientist who has an uncanny resemblance to Doctor Who, as his strange and cunning outlook bares the trademarks of the epic character. Newt is searching for unorthodox creatures. As he stuffs them into his suitcase which is an accident waiting to happen. The suitcase seems to be unhinged and dire need of a proper lock. As he arrives in New York he mixes his bag with Jacob Kowalski, who lets loose beasts that start to run rampant in the streets. J.K. Rowling's first outing as a screenwriter is a wild success, with her keen eye for detail and whimsical taste. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" becomes a fine addition to her epic saga. I'm glad that there are four more awaiting us because if Rowling proved anything, it's that she has a lot more to offer.
I really want to draw attention to the title of the review above. I'm
sure many die-hard potterheads would want every review on this site to
score this movie 10/10 and say it is a masterpiece. Well I can't do
that, since that isn't my honest opinion. What I can say though is that
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a thoroughly entertaining
affair that is well worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of J.K.
Rowling's magical world.
For starters the cast was great. Eddie Redmayne feels perfectly cast in main role as Newt Scamander. A very awkward and introverted person who prefers the company of animals rather than humans. He has the quirkyness down to a tee. I also really liked the muggle (or no-maj as the Americans call him) played by Dan Fogler. How he reacts to the whole wizarding world and the events that happen around him is actually really funny. I also thought Katherine Waterstone and Alison Sodul did great playing two sisters who wind up roped in to the whole adventure.
The creatures are the best part of the entire movie by far. They CGI on them looks kind of fake, but it's more than made up for by the concepts alone. Almost all of them have some clever twerk that keep them from feeling generic and they're all filled with personality. The sequences when they're catching these creatures are all really fun to watch.
However there are some problems with this movie. For one it has way too many side characters. A lot of them feel completely underdeveloped and add basically nothing to the overall story (*cough* Jon Voight *cough*). There's also a magical threat that becomes more central towards the end but it honestly kind of left me scratching my head. I just wasn't that engaged in that part of the story to be honest.
Still these problems are not enough to ruin the movie by any means. It's filled with wonder and creativity and being back in the world of witchcraft and wizardry is worth the price of admission alone. I enjoyed the characters, the humour and the creatures a whole lot. I also want to give J.K. Rowling huge credit for not just rehashing the Harry Potter story again. This is fresh and new and while it isn't flawless by any means it's certainly entertaining!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The magical community in Britain has been fleshed out rather well
through the seven Harry Potter books and the eight films that followed,
but America's magic users have been pretty much overlooked.
The year is 1926. In the midst of the dark wizard Grindelwald wreaking havoc in Europe, an unassuming man travels to New York City with a case full of, well, fantastic beasts ( a case which goes full TARDIS, as well).
There's also an unknown magical threat tearing up streets and striking fear in the hearts of the nomaj (non-magical, US term for muggle) community. The Magical Congress of the United States is searching for the culprit, and who do they blame? The unassuming man, Newt Scamander, a role that Eddie Redmayne fits into perfectly.
With the help of Tina Goldstein, a disgraced Auror, and Jacob Kowalski, a nomaj who gets caught up in Scamander's creature exploits, they must clear Scamander's name and find out who is behind the attacks in New York and stop them.
This film has a lot going for it, but it really holds up as an installment of the Harry Potter franchise in the way that it showcases the allure of the universe without the old story of The Boy Who Lived. It is also buoyed by great visual effects and witty banter throughout.
This will prove to be just the first of possibly many films in the Harry Potter universe (and yes, Johnny Depp does show up as Grindelwald), and if this film is any indicator of the wonder this universe instills, I can't wait for more.
It is unbelievable that JK Rowling's name is even attached to this
The discipline and thought that went into the Harry Potter characters and story certainly wasn't applied to this catastrophe, which, like the Hobbit and so many other Hollywood regurgitation(s), merely seeks massive profits by piggybacking on a successful franchise while being utterly devoid of substance.
It isn't even worth going into detail. There is only one truly likable character, though you can't relate to ANY character as we know absolutely nothing about them, nor do they have any developed relationships with each other.
The entire script is built around the magical creatures doing damage to NYC, again, a ridiculous premise, as the damage is massive and there is no backlash. The complicated boundaries between the magical and non-magical worlds and people, so well laid out in HP, are completely absent. The most ridiculous example of idiotic, careless detail is that for most of the scenes on the streets of NYC, it is practically a ghost town, whereas in reality, NYC in the 1920s was nearly as densely populated as it is now. Perhaps more so, not worth it to fact check this.
And Eddie Redmayne as the lead was totally inaccessible, not engaging and half of his speech literally unintelligible. Fully one third into the movie it is finally established that he, the lead character, is closer to magical creatures than humans, but by then, not only do we not care about him or like him, but really the script gives him not ONE real relationship wherein to show forth his character. Who is he? Where does he come from? We don't know. Anyway, a horrible choice for a lead character, someone who has no emotional connection to any characters. Even his relations to the animals is explored surface level, there is no one relationship with anyone or anything that develops throughout the story and makes the audience care about the character. Only superficial plot-related details are given and there is no emotional or human life at all.
This is the same way all the characters, every single one, is treated. They are merely 2 dimensional props, there to perpetuate a plot that is mostly centered around special effects and hubris action, magical creatures rampaging here and there, and, as I said, unrealistically, going on undetected.
Literally, not one shining point to this film. Another disgrace to storytelling, devoid of all substance and creativity, pumped out of the Warner Bros fecal-making factory. Utterly disappointed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How do you make a 'Harry Potter' movie without Harry Potter? Before the
last of the eight films of J.K. Rowling's staggeringly popular universe
five years ago, that must have been the conundrum facing Warner
Brothers executives as they stared at the end of the line of their most
lucrative franchise. And yet thanks to Rowling herself as well as
series stalwart David Yates, there is once again new life to be found
in the world of witchcraft and wizardry that she had dreamt up in the
seven books of the boy wonder. The inspiration is one of Harry's
textbooks at Hogwarts, an essential text which served as a guide to
magical animals written by one Newt Scamander. Rowling had written it
into a companion piece in 2001, but as those who had read the 128- page
book will tell you, there is a lot more that Rowling must have had to
add to her first movie script even as an adaptation of that earlier
That explains why the film's narrative feels like two parallel story lines, both of which are set in the 1920s in New York City. The first (and the one more obviously drawn from her text) concerns the magizoologist and former Hogwarts student's (Eddie Redmayne) arrival with a suitcase of magical creatures in tow. He's here to do field work for the titular book that he's writing, but no thanks to a mix- up involving a klutzy working-class 'no-maj' (meaning 'muggle' or ordinary, non-magical human) named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), some of the beasts Newt keeps hidden in his suitcase which is really a magical device enclosing a massive nature preserve have escaped. Together with two comely female wizards, the struggling investigator Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson) and her mind-reading sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), Newt and Jacob set out to chase down these creatures before they wreak more havoc on the city.
And yet their blithe adventure could not have taken place in a more complicated time not only has the Magical Congress of the United States (or MACUSA in short) set out strict rules against the revelation of the existence of wizards and/or the wizarding world, its meticulously cautious Madam President (Carmen Ejojo) has outlawed the possession of all beasts. There is perhaps good reason though the city is torn by a mysterious force purportedly to be that of an Obscurus, a dark and uncontrollable power manifested by wizards who have repressed (rather than being taught to control) their innate powers. Rounding out the second, and much darker, story is a missing dark wizard called Gellert Grindelward (Johnny Depp), which the opening prologue via numerous newspaper reels informs us has gone underground since his dark doings in Europe. It's no secret that Grindelward and by extension, Depp, whom we see only briefly at the end of the movie, will take up much of the acreage of the four other 'Fantastic Beasts' films that Yates and Rowling have planned.
Given how this needs to set the stage for the beginning of a new franchise, there is understandably yards of exposition and a lot of introductions to do within the just-over two hours it has. It also means that, aside from its city-shaking cataclysm of a climax, this is pretty much like an origin story, such that like the first 'Harry Potter' movie, one gets the distinct sense that it is holding back for bigger and hopefully even more intriguing things down the road.
Not to say that this first of a quintet isn't charming in and of itself; oh no, in fact, we are confident that Potter fans and newcomers alike will find much to love and beguile of the rich and fascinating fictional world that Rowling has created. Indeed, there is sheer delight in discovering the menagerie of creatures that Newt has hidden in his briefcase among them a scene-stealing platypus with a penchant for stealing shiny things, a majestic avian which changes shape and size to fill any available space, and a tiny stick-like green insect that can pick locks. Before things get serious, the early scenes with Newt and his unlikely companions pop with escapist fun, not least when he and Jacob get caught in incriminating situations by law enforcement while pursuing their small, furry and oh-so-cute kleptomaniac around bank vaults and jewelry stores. It is also here that we get to savour more fully the effortlessly endearing Redmayne and Fogler, one quirkily adorable as the shy and slightly awkward boy-man and the other an unassuming bumbler whose wide-eyed wonder upon the world previously hidden from his eyes channels our very own.
Like how she did with Harry, Ron and Hermoine, Rowling gets a strong character dynamic going around the four cohorts, including a budding attraction between Newt and his Auror-turned-ally Tina as well as a gentle romance between Jacob and Queenie. It is these characters that anchor the busy plotting in the second hour with heartfelt emotion.
Even so, the beautifully ornate production design shines through every frame, whether a seedy underground jazz club with all manner of peculiar (if slightly grotesque) creatures to Manhattan's old City Hall subway station where the climax unfolds. The special effects are equally stellar, particularly the transition from our world to that inside the suitcase and a breathtaking scene where the Obscurus wrecks destruction across several of New York's skyscrapers before plunging into the City Hall station. And of course, the close-ups of the various beasts are just as visually stunning, some scary, some cuddly, some ethereal and some just downright goofy. Even without the appeal of adorable young children, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' is pure enchantment, perfectly setting the stage for a whole new chapter of the wizarding world we've come to embrace through the 'Harry Potter' films. To call it fantastic may be slightly hyperbolic, but you'll be glad to know it doesn't fall too far short.
J.K. Rowling should stick to writing novels. This whole affair is nothing but a huge money grab. This latest entry is a hollow shell devoid of any spirit and magic of the Potter world. In short, one fantastic yawn fest.
WB and co., you must be laughing all the way to the bank. This film is just one long 2 hour trailer. Personally, I found watching the trailer more interesting and best of all, it was free .
What made the Potter films endearing was the character development with the magic and CG as the supporting cast. You cared about the characters and were eager yet anxious about their journey in a magical world. It's the other way around in Beasts. After the first half, I couldn't wait to get away. I just hate it when I feel there was no sincere effort put forth. Yes, the wrapping looked nice but when I opened the box, I felt duped. As if on some amusement ride, the whole film was on rails and along the way, there would be occasional things that would pop up.
Don't be fooled by the current IMDb rating and glowing reviews both which are no doubt artificially inflated by the legions of Potter fans around the world. If you are a true fan then you should demand more than an illusion of what could have been. What a complete waste of the excellent cast who you could tell were just going through the motions but I blame it on the poor writing. Rowling must have written the whole thing during her 15 minute coffee break.
You know there's something amiss when some of the minor characters steal most of the spotlight or garner the most laughs- think Ice Age and that squirrel or Despicable Me and those minions. I wonder how this series can possibly be extended to 5 parts. The main problem is the film is now stuck with an unlikable cast moving forward.
WB and Rowling must take the fans to be fools or worse, they cast some dark magic that blinds them to donate money to this sorry excuse for a film. If you notice all the reviews on here, you can tell the film is quite polarizing. Most are either 10's or 1's. The fans vs everyone else not possessed by magic.
Resist the dark magic. Times are tough and your hard earned cash better spent elsewhere that is more deserving. Take it from me, a duped Star Wars fan- all the red flags are there. This film, this road. I know where it leads. And it's not to the promised land. If fantastic beasts is what you seek then this film is not where to find them.
JK Rowling will forever be known as one of the most genius humans to
ever live. The fact that she can pen such a detailed and perfect
magical world without Harry Potter and the beloved characters we have
grown to love, it makes you feel like this world is actually real! This
movie is very entertaining and and heartwarming. It's no longer a dark
saga of an evil dark wizard trying to kill a young boy, it is an
insight into a magical world that is so grand and amazing!
Despite taking place way before our known HP time, there are enough quick and witty references to our known HP world throughout the movie to make Potterheads smile. I went in with less than no expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised. And LOVED IT. And the best part of it all- I've always somewhat disliked the HP movies, because I'm a die-hard fan of the books. The movies never lived up to the books. For Fantastic Beasts, there are no books to compare it to, so there's no room to dislike! Can't wait for the next movies!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a spin-off of the highly
successful Harry Potter-franchise. Naturally, there were great
expectations for this first part of a whole new franchise in the J.K.
Rowling's wizarding world and I can honestly say that it delivers
everything you would dreamed of.
From minute one the movie gets you on a journey with great visuals, very recognizable music and great performances from Eddie Redmayne and Dan Fogler. From now and then you get the, sometimes funny, sometimes smart references to Harry Potter, but nevertheless is this a movie that can totally stand on it's own.
There are some nitpicks, such as the very long introduction before we start to see what the story is all about and the fact that there were a lot of lines referring to events that were setting up the second or the third movie, but for a film that had to set up the rest of an upcoming franchise it was totally acceptable and not a slight bit tedious.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them stands perfect on its own and doesn't need Harry Potter or any of the planned movies to get you invested in its story and yet it is an obligation for every J.K. Rowling wizarding world-fan to go see this movie. The director David Yates found this perfect balance and ended up with a result that has to be seen in theaters by everyone.
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