Saturday, 19 November 2016

Film: 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'.

This, the latest filmed project from the formidable imagination of J.K.Rowling, is the first of a projected series of five films. 

Set in 1926 New York (some 70 years before Harry Potter began his first term at Hogwarts) it has the likeable Eddie Redmayne as an itinerant globe-trotting magician carrying an old suitcase of live specimens of weird and wonderful beasts whose sizes vary all the way up to immense. When it's stolen by 'no-maj' (= 'muggle') Dan Fogler, the result is that all manner of its contents are freed with unintended consequences, creating havoc on the city and its residences, not the least being one of whom is Redmayne's nemesis in the form of Colin Farrell playing the anti-hero native magician. 
Redmayne is accompanied on his quests by the faithful but tested Katherine Waterston and is found in conflict with severely matriarchal Samantha Morton.

The film is directed by David Yates who also directed the final three Harry Potter filmed stories. Special effects abound all over the place, and are every bit as visually as impressive as one would expect. Those responsible for realising fertile Rowling's imagination on screen are to be congratulated.

I saw all the Potter films, of course (and read the first three books) and was troubled by finding every one of the former quite exhausting to watch (likewise those books to read) even though they were targeted as being, essentially, children's films. I could only assume that I was viewing them the wrong way - over-seriously, perhaps? So I did have a preconception that I would find this film likewise weighty. In the event I didn't find it quite as bad as all that, though I must say that the plot here was markedly more confusing than in the Potters. I was rapidly lost in the ins and outs of the exposition so just submitted to giving up and letting myself be taken where it wants to go. In doing that I did achieve a measure of being entertained, though I can hardly say that I'm especially keen on seeing the remainder of the series.

I think you'd have to be a Potter fan to get the maximum out of this film. I can't imagine many being disappointed by this if you'd been sad to see the Potter series finish. It's very much more of the same, though set decades earlier, and is sure to make admirers of H.P. feel satisfied that they'll continue to get their 'fix' in future planned productions of this franchise................6.




18 comments:

  1. I wasn't sure I wanted to see this in the theater, though I'm sure it would look better there than on TV, but then .... Colin Farrell? I need to see him on the big screen!

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    1. He's one of the film's assets, Bob, along with our Eddie, though I have seen him looking nicer in other films. Whether his pull is enough to make one fork out money to see him in large is debatable. Though maybe his pull on you is greater than on mine, which itself is certainly there.

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  2. We are going tomorrow me thinks

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    1. Good luck, then, J.G. Not that it's actually bad - it certainly isn't that at all. I just found it nothing to get over-excited about.

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  3. I cant wait to see it!!!!

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    1. Good for you, Sol. I seem to recall you liked the HPs - or at least got more out of them than I did. If so you'll like this too.

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  4. I am certain to be taken to see it.
    I've had enough of Mr. Potter though, he's been running around on the TV almost 24 hours here.

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    1. So, Someone is a fan of this kind of film, is he? Well, it takes all kinds. I'm not going go recommend that it should NOT be seen, so I hope you find the experience illuminating.

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    2. Someone is a fan of any kind of film. He can watch them 24/7 which he often does.

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    3. ANY kind? If there's no hyperbole there I don't know whether to admire or feel sorry for. (Oh dear! That sounds so condescending!)

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    4. Well, I hope you enjoy. Really! So are you hoping, otherwise you wouldn't be investing the time and money - and maybe you indeed will.

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  5. Ray,
    I never "got" the whole Harry Potter frenzy so I doubt I would "get" thus movie either, regardless of the CGI spectaculars. Give me another "Breaking Bad" series anytime.
    Ron

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    1. I couldn't quite get into the Potter films either, Ron, though on the whole I thought this one marginally better than those, though still not enough to tell anyone that they really ought to see it.
      As for 'Breaking Bad' - still means nothing more than two oft-heard words, I'm afraid.

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  6. I was a fan of the Potter series - save one - and I am disappointed in this film. It was a C. Nothing special.

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    1. I'd give it a slight improvement on the Potters, Blobby, but not one to make a song and dance about. And, drat it all, I'll probably have to see the next projected four sequels as well. There's a chance, though, that by the time some or all of them turn up, that my reviewing days will be past.

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  7. I loved the Potter books...My kids were very young when the first book came out. We would read it together, and then my daughter would read it aloud to me every night. She and my son loved the books, as did I. We would go to the opening night of each movie; was a "tradition" for us. In sense, they grew up w/the original books. And they are both still huge readers, which to me is the best thing in the world. These movies, though, not sure about....although I am guessing they will do quite well.

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    1. I could never really get into the books, Elle, and as I say above, found them as tiring as the films. Have no desire to catch up on the books I didn't get to. I suppose it's all a question at looking reading at them from the right angle, which I'm clearly not doing.

      I'd expect you, being a fan of H.P., to like the book of this new film. I hear that the writing style is very much the same. But sooner you than me.

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