Fantastic Beasts - Harry Potter minus Harry Potter


Absolutely loved the film. I was apprehensive going in, as I was worried it would be some tack-on whimsical story about some fun creatures. Kids stuff.

Boy, was I wrong. The movie is very much starring adult characters, and about adult things. There were a few tropes I disliked, but for the most part it was surprisingly sweet and earnest. Glad that the ending wrapped up the way it did as well.

I was thinking about taking a boat to the U.S., and I think that most people would say that the further the apparition, the more difficult, especially to a place you have never visited before. I will bet that the wizarding world follows some sort of progression of transport similar to the regular no-maj world. Maybe the flue network isn’t going across the ocean yet? Magical flying transport unreliable.

But, the best story explanation I think you would have is that Newt Scamander was trying to be secretive about entering the U.S. as you could see the bureaucratic red tape he would have to cut through was a lot. So, that makes sense to me, that he would ride a normal transport and go through no-maj customs, rather than the wizarding customs etc.

This movie gets all sorts of dark. And, for being kids movies, the wizarding world in Harry Potter appears to be quite dark as well. The happenings at the ministry in book 5, the order of the phoenix (basically a rebel militia) and the sending of prisoners to a medieval prison with a short sham trial. The whole wizarding world is a bit backwards in a lot of ways, and I like that you see more of that in this film.

Whatever that execution device was, it was terrifying. From the attendants brainwashed style speaking tone, to the final form that we saw. Horrible! Whew.

I also appreciated how little hand-holding the movie did for an origin story. There were no large exposition scenes, just the initial trip into the case for Jacob, which was probably the most interesting way to tell the exposition to the audience and the character. J.K. Rowling truly is a master, and a fairly great screenwriter. The movie was just great, I loved it. I thought I was going to hate the whole 20’s style period nonsense, but it was ancillary and made things a bit fresher overall.

Also Dumbledore has bad taste in men.


Weird. My experience is that acronyms with “USA” at the end usually sound out the letters like NYOUSA is pronounced “no-yoo-ess-ay” and FIPUSA is “fep-yoo-ess-ay” and not a “ni-oosa” or “fe-poosa”. Definitely in the Army, everything was blah-blah-yoo-ess-ay but I suppose that was because it was the military.

“Ma-koosa” just sounds odd for the governing magical body of the United States. Still, it’s just a minor complaint.


You must have been stateside. US Army Europe was always yoo-sa-yur.

Looking forward to taking the family to see this this weekend.


I was in Germany for a stint. I’ve never heard it called yoo-sa-yur. I did hear “yoo-ess armee yur-up” a lot.


Your experience is different from mine, therefore I must attack and ridicule you at every opportunity until I feel better about myself. Remember, this is all your doing.


It’s true. I submit to the judgment of the MACUSA aurors. I expect my dip into acid will go semi-quickly.


I’m not a fan of Harry Potter, but I am a big fan of magic-based bureaucracy (e.g. Lukyanenko), so you guys are almost making me want to see this.


Random thought but it might be related to when the pronunciation was created. Older things like ECUSA get the -KOOSA ending but the more modern forms get U-S-A.


[quote=“JonRowe, post:41, topic:120687, full:true”]Also Dumbledore has bad taste in men.

Hey, who doesn’t like the bad boy? Although I’m definitely swooning over Newt. He’s so dreamy!


Overall liked it, but I was also somewhat bored during some parts of the movie. The main cast was good and thought Redmayne made for a good idealistic beast saver, and Dan Folger worked fine as a sidekick.

[spoiler]My favourite part was probably the time they spent in the suitcase. Newt’s place had some really nice setdesign. Also liked some of the creature designs. There, however, was a scene or two where Redmayne was interacting with a beast close-up and had that stare-into-the-void thing going that you know from the Star Wars prequels when actors interacted with CGI characters.

Did anyone not suspect Farell’s character to be Grindelwald in disguise right from the get-go? I was a bit surprised how clearly that was telegraphed right at the beginning. Also, yeah, the past years have not been kind to Johnny Depp and his status. I remember when he popped up surprisingly in a certain action comedy a few years ago and you thought “Holy shit, he’s actually in this?” When he appeared now, most people I was with went like “eh… ok.”

The final action scene - I couldn’t wait for it to end. Even if it’s 20’s New York City, it’s once again some massive action setpiece in that very city. Been there, done that… And however well animated it is, I don’t find cloud thingies particularly interesting to look at. All the cloud rampage was dreadful.[/spoiler]


Yeah the haircut kind of gave it away I thought. Different colored hair, sure, but even the camera shot was similar from the prologue to the first scene with that character.


See, I didn’t even catch the hair, but was 100% certain by the time the Deathly Hollows came up.


I did not know who this was. I watched the movies years ago and got the basics. I had to have a friend tell me why I should even care about this guy. And yeah I kind of remember a intro piece in the movie about… stuff.


[spoiler]I haven’t read any of the books, and I’ve watched about three of the movies during air travel - my knowledge of the HP lore thus is very limited. Didn’t know that Grindelwald was a character that was already mentioned there. All I knew him was what I got through Fantastic Beasts. Minute 1: “Ah, they’re setting up the big bad guy, and since they’re not showing his face, it’ll be significant later on.” Minute 1.5: “So, this dude has mysteriously vanished. Right” Minute 10 (or whenever we see Farrell’s character for the first time: “Oh gee, the haircut and the shot setup is much identical to the one shot of Grindewald 10 minutes ago at the beginning of the movie. Wonder what that means!”

It was so obvious I thought the twist would be that someone else turns out to be Grindelwald.[/spoiler]


Well sure but I guess the newspaper thing happened in every other movie, it seemed. I get what you mean, I guess.


And it was relevant too, see Belatrix LeStrange and Azkaban.

Anyhow @JD

[spoiler]Grindelwald of the movies has maybe 1 minute of screen time, cumulative, over 2-3 appearances in 2-3 movies. His role in the books is slightly more pronounced, but it is a pretty subtle background thing that was pieced together from disparate references.

Which is why I picked up on certain things. They weren’t being especially subtle, but for people who read the books or watched the movies more closely, they used the clues to add depth. Like I pointed out before, the necklace he gives Credence takes on extra meaning if you remember what it symbolizes and its significance to the character of Grindelwald in the lore.[/spoiler]


So we saw this at a matinee yesterday. While there were some obvious plot gaps and it took awhile to adapt to Redmayne’s acting we all enjoyed it. It was nice to return to the wizarding world again, even without Harry.

I see this is planned for 3-5 movies, and I think we will be in for the ride.


We finally saw this today at the early AM show. Thought it was decent enough. Not bad but nothing really amazing for me. My wife definitely liked it.


Yeah, Mrs. Kub really had a good time in this, and I enjoyed it as well - probably better than the Potter movies, mostly because it was originally written to be a movie and not adapted from a book - one of the huge problems I had with the Potter movies was that because they had been adapted, they tried to shove too much into them, and the movies suffered. The best Potter movie to me was Order of the Phoenix, where they cut over half of the book, and it was much tighter as a movie.

Mrs Kub wasn’t a huge fan of the Hugh Grant style take on Newt Scamander, but I enjoyed it.


NOOOOOOO. Don’t put that image in my head. He’s a combination of modern Chekhov and Matt Smith, which makes him good. Not Hugh Grant which makes him horribly icky.