Fantastic Beasts - Harry Potter minus Harry Potter


I would have to watch again to make sure this wasn’t what I was reading into it, versus the character, but I took it as follows:

[spoiler]Grindlewald had been a major force in Europe, and Newt had worked for the Ministry of Magic in England.
Newt also had several occasions to talk with the big bad in disguise, and his language was very familiar. The one on one scene in interrogation? He specifically calls out the leading questions as 'I’m not some Grindlewald acolyte’
The railroading punishment, the rejection of alternate hypothesis, the fact that during the trial he could have easily stated ‘yes, she did come to report this yesterday but was ignored’ (though this may have been a plain old plot hole)
The final confrontation did lead to certain conclusions. Having Newt’s companion have a history with Credence, and some repertoire, makes his reactions stand out.
Newt was also an acolyte of Dumbledore, whom you may recall was a onetime close partner and friend of Grindlewald.

All in all I did not find his conclusion unreasonable from his position. I think that his interrogation should have been enough to arouse that suspicion, and seeing how he interacted with the boy, and his overall sketchy behavior, made it make sense to me. Had newt not been part of the Ministry of Magic, had Grindlewald not been a major factor in Europe for years, it would probably have bothered me. However he was these things, so it merely made him intelligent and observant of the available evidence.[/spoiler]

Now as the audience we have a few other clues to tip us off. But Newt wouldn’t have seen the opening credits like we did.


Spoiler alert.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

FB&WTFT is a 2016-American-fantasy-adventure-life-sucking movie about how to give people who can’t act jobs while also supporting writers of plot-holes and shoddy dialog, all at the expense of the unfortunate movie-goer. It features a man who is scared to look at the camera (and other people), a schlub, and two women who seem to have no redeemable traits. One woman has mastered how to correctly do an incorrect accent, and to add to that perfection, she randomly forgets that she’s decided to have an accent in the first place.

Spoilers: There are 5 twists in this movie, and each twist is the same, and much like a knife in the gut: you think that the movie is over, but no, it isn’t through with you yet. Protip: keep your cellphone on during the showing so that you can phone Hell and ask about their exchange program.

If I were to rate this movie on a scale of 12 to 11, the numbers arranged as on the face of a clock, and with each number representing increasingly bad disease processes, with 12 being the common cold and 11 being AIDS compounded by ebolavirus, this movie would score a solid 10.

The 3D was so bad as to be unwatchable, and if I’d had a fork I would have stabbed my eyes out.


Note to self: have Hal9000 on retainer when I become God Emperor and need to castigate my foes in state controlled media.


It just came out of nowhere. You had the one bit in the interrogation scene, but that wasn’t really enough for Newt to jump to that particular conclusion. Graves could’ve just been an anti-no-maj (no-maj ugh) jerk or indeed a follower.

Various things:

  • Does Newt choose to ride a boat across the Atlantic, or is there some reason why the wizarding world doesn’t have a way to travel to other continents that’s faster than a boat?

  • Jon Voight is going to wake up and realize something unnatural happened to his son, right?

  • Saw it in 2D and I’m glad I did. There were quite a few dark scenes and I think 3D would’ve made it unwatchable.

  • So that’s how American wizards execute criminals? Uh…why?

  • What about everyone indoors at the end?

  • Ron Perlman as the mobster goblin sucked. The CG was distracting, and Ron Perlman’s voice is Ron Perlman’s voice.

  • American aurors don’t fuck around.

Finally, JK Rowling says the movies will cover the period from 1926 with this movie to 1945 with the last movie.

I guess this means we get young-ish Dumbledore fighting Johnny Depp by the end.


Sorry, I thought I had. That’s what I get for replying instead of just going to bed, like I had been planning.


Yeah, I can see that, but I could also accept he was acting on a hunch. There was seeds sown, and it wasn’t like he was claiming he was a specific disguise, just dispelling any enchantments used to hide. He wouldn’t have to be certain, or even right, to think to try it. Just suspicious.

As for the boat? Transportation is always weird. Apparently the range of apparations is ‘plot driven’

And, as shown with the shop at the end, there are going to be a lot of people asking uncomfortable questions. They may have reversed the obvious, but there is no way this should go unquestioned. Jon Voight’s character especially. For this movie? I’m ok with ending as is, but future films must deal with this in some way.

Yeah, no 3D either. Never much care for 3D.

Because convoluted executions are the best! But, really, until the waves it seemed a reasonable idea. A humane and peaceful drifting, just send them across the vale while thinking of family. Kinda like how hanging got replaced with injections, it was less cruel. But it was a bit convoluted.

Yeah, I pointed that out to my wife. It did bug me. Family eating inside a high rise? Wiped. Standing two inches from rain at subway entrance? No wipe.


At first, I was confused. “Oh, it’s some kind of giant pensieve and they’re going to permanently wipe their memories?” But then, I thought “I guess it’s like The Veil that Sirius fell into, so they’re being banished to the neutral zone or whatever.”

But then the wand fell in the pool and sizzled and dissolved as if it had been dipped in acid. Then the camera clearly showed the chair doing the same thing.

“Uh… They apparently intended on seating her in a floating chair, and lowering her slowly feet-first into a magic acid pool. What the…?”

MACUSA is some bad people.


Oh I agree. This seems to me a case where the intent and depiction diverge. The reassuring and peaceful way they go about it, and the OMG EVERYTHING IS TURNING TO ASH were… confused. With no insight, I’d wager this is a case where things were done for greater visual impact, without thinking about the implications on the narrative.


US wizards may have Presidents, but apparently they don’t have any kind of due process.


Oh, and one more niggle. MACUSA would NOT be pronounced “ma-KOOSA” by Americans. It would most likely follow all the conventions set by other similar government acronyms and be “MAK-yoo-ess-ay”

Right? Like, what the hell? “Welp, the penalty for this is immediate execution by dunking you in acid. Sorry, but them’s the rules.”


Oh God, the are going to kill Hitler.

I hate Eddie Redmayne. I thought he was good in the acting sense in this and enjoyed the film.

But HP it is not and I think the box is not going to be what they had hoped. HP had a child’s fantasy adventure from a child’s perspective in it (at least the first few until the child ‘matured’). This is missing here, though they try to make up for it with the animals…but I do not think it will have as wide of an appeal or impact as they were hoping for or associating with HP.


They’re definitely planning on killing the Wizarding World equivalent of Hitler.


I’ve already seen the movie, and I don’t mind spoilers too much… I mean I generally don’t go to these genre type movies for the surprise of it. I just figured someone else might care. And yes, typing when sleepy makes me more careless and sometimes a bit more… shall we say blunt too.


I did notice that everyone that was shown with the telltale blank stare was doing SOMETHING with a liquid – in the high-rise scene the man was taking a shower while his wife and kids were drinking tea or something. Mechanically it doesn’t make a lick of sense, but the impression that I got was that all water in the city was turned into a mystic roofie, not just the rain.


This was my impression too. Since you can’t live without that substance for long, wiped.


Tee hee.


Eddie Redmayne’s mannerisms and speaking ticks bugged the hell out of me, I can’t imagine watching another move filled with that, is that based on the books, or just a lazy way to try and give the character some kind of depth?


We saw this a few nights ago. I went in expecting something of a cash grab, so I was pleasantly surprised by how charming this was. Halfway through the movie, I started wondering if this would be the best Harry Potter film. I’m not sure the story compares to Prisoner of Azkaban, but the acting alone elevates it above all the Harry Potter movies in many ways. Which isn’t to say there’s not some fine acting in those films, just that the child leads can’t compare.

A lot has been said about how well-suited the Harry Potter world is to the 1920s setting, and I couldn’t agree more, but what really got me is how the American perspective on the wizarding world played out. The new political landscape made things fresh even more than the time period.

I’m a bit disappointed there’s going to be another big bad in this series. I’d be happy with a string of period pieces and genre films set in the Harry Potter world, like Star Wars appears to be attempting.

I can hear Jason and Marcus salivating already.


The Episcopal Church USA is abbreviated ECUSA and pronounced E-KOOSA (long e).