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Fantastic Beasts review

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


Warner Brothers


PG 13 133 min




I won't mention the names now but I remember having a conversation with a trusted colleague who disagreed with me over a couple films that were truly technical breakthroughs, in other words masterpieces a special effects for their day. The discussion that arose concerned whether or not cutting edge graphics are enough to make a film great, good or even palatable. That question is more alive today than in the seventies because let's face it, everybody with a laptop and a tech geek can produce a stunning CGI masterpiece. Certainly technology can be amazing.


Today you can buy a recording system with unlimited tracks and dozens of audio effects and run it from your bedroom yet The Beatles and George Martin recorded Sergeant Pepper on a pair of 4 track recorders bouncing tracks back and forth.


Still state-of-the-art CGI technology is most certainly the star of the show with the latest JK Rowling's entry into the world of film which is not Harry Potter flick. Well it kind of is but this time Harry Potter is played by somebody else and has another name. Oh and it's set in New York City not England.


Outside of that it's the same old thing; good Wizards versus bad Wizards. This time there are lots of fantastic looking creatures, the beasts mentioned in the title.


Potter, whoops I mean Newt Scamander, (Eddie Redmayne) is kind of a self-appointed Animal Protective League for all kinds of magical creatures. For some reason the evil wizards in the Big Apple and the Muggles (just because they are idiots), want to destroy these things. I have to admit they are something of a pain in Newts ass as they regularly escape from the suitcase he keeps them in and vandalize property and steal shiny objects. Be that as it may nobody in the audience wants to see them killed, right? Similar to Potter our hero has a nerdy sidekick name Jake Kowalski (Dan Fogel) and a hot wizard girl (Katherine Waterston) to accompany him through this romp.


His Nemesis will be Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) as he battles the forces of darkness to protect these wonderful creatures. And that's about it folks. At least the first 2/3, if not more is dedicated to rounding up these little buggers every time they escaped from the valise. As I said the graphics are spectacular, the characters look cool and 1929 New York City is stunning, but how long can you look at graphics before you get bored? For me it wasn't very long. I didn't particularly dislike anybody or anything it's just it it kind of drags alonget before the conflict really kicks in.


When that finally happens a few loose ends are tied up nicely and the story ends on a positive note. Still that was only enough for me to elevate my grade of D up to C and finally C+.



It's certainly not all bad featuring a fine cast of characters not to mention cameos by Jon Voight and Ron Perlman, it's just a little slow and not much meat on the bones


I'm guessing that devotees of graphics will love the look and the animated creatures while the fans of Harry Potter will enjoy another visit to that world a little better than I did







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Well, my wife basically agreed with you. I on the other hand thought it was just a lot of fun and fairly entertaining....even if a lot of it was just about rounding up loose weird critters.


After all, what is so wrong about a movie just being fun and entertaining? Must there always be a deeper darker purpose or platitude to to a movie?


I say: No.

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Nothing is wrong with fun but one man's idea of fun might be different from another man's. I don't and I have never claimed to have any concrete reasons for the things I like or don't like. I go back to Dumb and Dumber which some people thought was the funniest f****** Moviemail ever while I despised it and never even chuckled. Not even once. Like I said I didn't hate Beasts.. It's just that I've seen other movies that have been more fun for me personally.



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