Tag Archive: Fantastic beasts


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

I hate it when I am looking forward to a movie and it doesn’t live up to what I had hoped it would be.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has been advertised for months. I was super excited to see Jude Law as a younger Dumbledore. Johnny Depp appearing as Grindelwald seems inspired.

crimes of grindelwald.jpgI knew that we would see Grindelwald’s beginnings as a leader of wanting only wizards to rule the world. I knew that there would be new and old characters developing the story further.

I didn’t expect the darkness but I should have because the timing of Grindelwald’s reign of terror coincides with WWII. And his message of a master race is eerily similar to Hitler’s messages from the early 1930s.

The movie starts with Grindelwald’s escape from New York, a scene in which enemies and partners are discarded like wet towels that are no longer needed. Soon enough we are finding out about his true intentions and desires. We see him slowly trying and winning more followers.

Meanwhile, Newt Scamander has continued to take care of his menagerie of creatures. Because of the events in New York City a few months back, he is no longer allowed to travel across international lines. But the ministry is willing to allow him to travel again if Newt is willing to ‘take care’ of the Credence problem.

Crimes of Grindelwald fullcastThere are other problems. When Queenie and Jacob show up in London, Newt knows immediately that Queenie has put Jacob, an American Muggle, under a spell. They want to marry but Jacob won’t until the law allows them to be married.

Soon enough all three find their way to Paris to find Tina, Quennie’s sister. Not to mention the situation with Dumbledore.

The animation of this movie is incredible. Magical creatures abound and seamlessly works on the screen. I feel as if we are in the London and Paris of the 1920s moving towards the 1930s with more fitted clothing but Marcel waves still abounding.

The problem is there are almost too many back stories that we need to make sense of everything. Some of our characters do not act in a way that seems true to the characters we have known. While Jude Law is good as Dumbledore and Eddie Redmayne continues to shine as Newt, there is something missing. The wonder of magic is simply not present enough despite Jacob’s efforts.

That compounds the fact that this movie is too dark in the story line, in the story telling, and in the characterization of Grindelwald. This is not a movie for children, as much as I wish it to be. It is better for teens and adults who might feel a kinship with Credence in his hunt for his real family.

The first movie had many magical elements and was fun. This second installment has moved to a darker place quite quickly and I feel the rest of the movies in this series will not go back to a lighter feeling. But how can it when we are talking about a holocaust?

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Mother’s Day

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

It is May and I have plenty of garden work to do. I purposely planted zinnia seeds in my front garden in the spots where nothing grows very well. Last fall I loved my blackberry lilies around so they would mostly be in one spot.

At a recent sale I purchased two wild geraniums and a coral bells to place in my shade garden. Then I received a note from a gardening friend who is giving up her flowers. She has offered to let me take a shovel to her yard and grab what I want.

Is there anything more heavenly?

Maybe gardening is not for everyone. I personally love to get into the dirt and create a garden that will bloom at various times of the year. Truth be told, my favorite mother’s day gift is a flat of plants. This year I want to add more lavender and flowering cabbage so that the fall version of my garden is just as pretty as the spring version.

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-movie-charactersEveryone does different things for Mother’s day. They might go for brunch or cook a special meal. May be the family does a picnic or a walk in the woods. Some feel it is a special holiday not to be missed while others call it a ‘Hallmark’ holiday.

What is a person to do?

Frankly, my thought is to plant my new plants, supervise cleaning of my house, and have a fabulous meal. At some point I want to watch a movie but the question is always which movie.

I currently have Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is sitting on my pile. It’s a good movie continuing stories in the Harry Potter series before his parents were born but not the one I was thinking about.

To Walk InvisibleBut I am really interested in watching a movie that has been featured on Masterpiece Theater called To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters. The story line is set during a three year period in which the Bronte sisters – Charlotte, Anne, and Emily – write literary masterpieces. Their books, respectively – Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and Wuthering Heights – were published at a time when women were not designated for anything beyond take care of a home and being married.

From the reviews I have read, this is a raw movie that may inflame your sensibilities as the Bronte sisters deal with being published authors, having their names known to the public, and wondering how to live privately in a public era.

The Bronte sisters were like a lot of resilient women in their era, they succeeded when they were told they could not. Even their own voices whispeared caution. But like every other fiction-how-did-I get -here tale, we find how they made thei r mark, how they changes the landscpe of literture in a goo way.

To me that is worth watching.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Fantastical

Family Movie Night
By Karyn Bowman
One movie that I have been most anxious to see is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Our attempts to see this movie were met by bad timing and luck as we finally got tickets. One of the problems I have with these new reclining seats is that they take up too much space and reduce the number of seats in any given auditorium.
Maybe you like them but I am not crazy about these seats.
Back to the movie. This movie is the first in five movies about the fantastic beasts, building up to the incredible fight between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindenwald. Apparently there are going to be fantastic beasts in each movie and various people we have met in this movie will be scattered in the next four.
fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-movie-characters
That is the back story. But in this movie, we are taken back to 1926. This is when Newt Scamander comes to America, presumably to go on an expedition of the colonies. But the world he comes to is fill with just as much hate and fear of the magical by the nomag, otherwise known as muggles or non-magical humans.
He sees a protest by one woman who is determined to stamp out evil, especially in the children she feeds and clothes. But that is not the worst that will happen to him. When one of his creatures escapes from his suitcase, Newt is noticed by an auror. She helps him but not before Newt accidentally takes a nomag along for the ride and the re-capture.
Tina ends up arresting Newt but is forced to let him go, takes pity on him and nomag Kowalski, and gives them a place to stay for the night. That is when we discover what is really in that suitcase and it is amazing. We fall in love with the world he has created to protect all of these creatures.
But the real world intrudes on all of this. There is a disturbance cause by a wizard who is not allowed to use their powers. And magical energy, we learn, when not allowed to come out explodes in the worst possible ways.
I admit that when I came to the theater, I was tired. I may have nodded off during the previews. I was hoping I would not do the same during the movie. Once it started, though, I was hooked in. If I was tired, I sure did not notice it. I was fascinated, especially by Eddie Redmayne as Newt. It is a movie that can be for all family members with just a d=few scary bits for the youngest members of the family.
fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-buckletrumpThe problem with this movie is that as much as I enjoyed it and really loved Newt, there was little else that made a connection. What made the Harry Potter movies so successful is that we became attached to Harry. I loved him and wanted to see where this boy and his friends were going. I don’t have that overwhelming desire with Fantastic Beasts. The movie felt as if it had a certain amount of closure, the characters were done.
It is like the best popcorn you have ever eaten, the stuff with chocolate marshmallow powder flavoring on it. It is so good and sweet and different. You love it, enjoy, it, and when it’s over, you feel good. But you don’t overwhelmingly miss it. The next movie in the series comes out in November of 2018. I am not sure I will even care at that point because there is too much time lag and not enough interest to make me want to follow up. By that time, I am not sure I will be interested in chocolate marshmallow flavoring anymore. And that would be a shame.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.