Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them (2016)

“Was that everything that came out of the case?”

What’s it about?

Before the adventures of Harry Potter, Newt Scamander enters New York City in 1926, with a magical suitcase of full of strange and fantastical creatures. Unfortunately, some get accidentally releases as Newt and trio of companions must retrieve them. At the same time, a mysterious force is stalking the streets of New York City as the Wizarding Community tries to contain the situations and trying not to exposing themselves to the local No-Majs (aka Non-Magical people or American Muggles).

Who’s in it?

Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne plays the quirky / eccentric wizard Newt Scamander. He is joined by other actors / actresses, including Katherine Waterson, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler (as the funny non-magical person in the group), Ezra Miller, Colin Farell, and Ray Donovan’s dad.

Why should I watch it?

+ New era and location in Rowling’s Wizarding World
+ Plus, new characters!
+ Eddie Redmayne is Newt Scamander
+ Colin Farell was a very interesting character (wish there was more of him in the movie)
+ Fogler’s Jacob was great!
+ J.K. Rowling wrote the film’s screenplay
+ David Yates (Harry Potter veteran director) directs the movie
+ Inside Newt’s magical suitcase is cool!
+ The “fantastic” beasts are awesome!
+ Niffler steals the show (literally steals)
+ The visual effects are impressive as well….
+ MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America)
+ The roaring 20s of New York City
+ Didn’t expect this movie / series to be made, so it’s kind of a treat
+ For the most part, the movie is self-contained (no big cliffhangers)
+ Wizarding World / Harry Potter references
+ The first time (in the movies) that they mention the American Wizarding School (llvermony)
+ Movie opens up with a light version of the “Hedwig Theme” (in classic Harry Potter film fashion)
+ Super curious to see where the rest of the series goes from here….

Why shouldn’t I watch it?

– Familiar world, but a lot of new terrain to cover (new era, new location, new characters)
– Several scenes of heavy exposition
– One story thread is a bit boring (with some predictable misdirection)
– Pre-release movie news sort of ruined the surprise villain / actor who plays him (minor complaint)
– Trying to remember all the fantastic beast’s names (minor complaint)
– Trying to compare this movie to the rest of the Harry Potter movies

Anything else?

Fantastic Beasts was (and is) an unexpected surprise return to Rowling’s Wizarding World. There’s a lot of world building setup (understandably so) and it’s not Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts, but this first installment was a fun and entertaining way for those who miss the cinematic world of Harry Potter. With four more installments being planned, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the prequel spin-off series pans out.

8/10

You might also like:
Any of the Harry Potter films

Thanks again to Diego from letting me guest review on his blog. If interested, please follow me on Jason Movie’s Blog for my movie reviews

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6 thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them (2016)

  1. Nice… I agree about the Niffler. It’s dead-pan expression while defiantly committing robbery had me laughing so hard. To me this felt like the next natural step in the Harry Potter movie universe. Each one becoming slightly more mature than the last. I wasn’t the biggest fan of some of the previous movies but I enjoyed this one quite a bit. There were times in it that actually struck an emotional chord with me that I was not expecting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s great to see someone who has such a different view of the film. Other than Ezra Miller’s performance (there should have been more of him in my eyes) and Eddie Redmayne (he’s a consistently great actor)/it being set in my favourite era ever (the 1920s is amazingly classy), I wasn’t that impressed by this film. I thought it was a bit of a let down… I felt that there was too much going on / it was all over the place (which just weakened the plot)…
    Hope that the rest of the series steps up its game/this was just an introduction to a wicked series.

    I like your comments though!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My friend told Newt wasn’t going to be the main character for the rest of the films and that broke my heart because I think he was one of the reasons why it was good. Great review Jason!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought that this movie was pretty good, but of all things I couldn’t understand Redmayne! He spoke so quietly and quickly that I lost a lot of dialogue

    Liked by 1 person

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