Fantastic Beasts - Harry Potter minus Harry Potter


So my son went to see this last night (new years eve) with his grandma and he had to sit in the front row for his showing (12:30 in the afternoon). The 4pm show was sold out.

WTF? For a movie that’s been out 6 weeks, any idea on why so popular last night?


You answered your own question. People want to want to see their loved ones during the holidays, but they also want to get the hell out of the house lest they go stir-crazy. Hence a massive stampede to the the movies. Since it’s families that are doing the stampeding, it’s family movies that get affected the most.

I went to see Rogue One Saturday afternoon and ran into the same thing - multiplex was packed, had to sit way in the front, and worse yet it took 40 minutes to get out of the parking lot.


Hi, I’m late to the thread, ready to rehash what everyone else already covered!

This was frustrating, because there was a lot to like, but a few really huge problems sucked the fun out of the film. Problem number one is Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander, and that’s going to be hard to work around.

I really liked the whole cast and the characters they played except for Eddie as Newt. Tina, Queenie, and Kowalski were all great, and even Colin Farrell seemed energetic and engaged as Graves.

But Newt? Yuck. I think the only thing I’ve seen Redmayne in before is Les Misérables, where I hated his nasal singing, but I didn’t have any reason to write him off entirely as an actor. With two Oscar nominations and a win, I assume he’s at the very least a competant actor who I shouldn’t blame Newt’s problems on, but wherever the problem with his performance originates, I can’t imagine watching any more movies about this guy. For most of the movie I imagine him being coached like a puppy or a small child from just off screen. “Come on Eddie, you can do it! Finish the line! Okay now look up, make some eye contact! Just for a second Eddie, you can do it! GOOD BOY!” I guess his character is supposed to be quirky? Or bad with people? Or overcoming a developmental disorder? I don’t know what they were going for, but I don’t understand why everyone around him had so much patience. He’s bumbling around carelessly for the first two thirds of the movie—a supposed expert on these creatures who at every turn loses track of them, can’t contain them, and chooses the most disruptive, attention-drawing methods of trying to recapture them. When a simple explanation could quickly clear up some confusion, or make things easier for his co-stars, he’s silent. If he was supposed to be lovably clumsy and reserved, he was the opposite.

And that ties into the second problem, all the digital monster hunting slap-stick of the first half of the movie. Bored me to tears. No weight, no consequence, in plot or in artistic merit. If it had been part of a clear decision to target younger viewers again, if the goal was to start a new Potterverse franchise that little children could start that would mature as they did, that would’ve made sense. But then they’re executing wizards in acid for negligence the next minute.

So yeah, between the cartoonish monster hunt and the insufferable lead character, I was angry by the end that so many other interesting characters were wasted. The setting works too, in all those regards I was more engaged than I expected to be. I just have no idea what’s up with Newt, and don’t want to see any more movies about him.

Unrelated observation: Does anyone have a lower opinion of government than J.K. Rowling? Throughout all the movies, they’re always stubbornly wrong about everything, and apparently it’s a global problem.


Insufferable? I think you misspelled dreamy.


I saw this tonight. I went in with low expectations, and the movie won me over pretty early. At first it was really confusing swooping in an out of newspaper headlines without really letting me absorb anything. But then it becomes a story about a man trying to get a loan to open his own bakery. And that’s when the movie got me. Later on, this main character turns into a sidekick, but by then I was already enthralled. Good job Rowling. Nice trick.


It was obvious to me Newt was being played as on the Autistic spectrum. That wouldn’t exactly have been a well known thing in the 20s, and I’d expect there has always been a high tolerance for excentricities in the wizarding world on both sides of the pond which explains why it wasn’t called out or challenged.


I went in with super low expectations, that it was going to be a cash-in. But, the characters were all really likeable, and the action was fun. Turns out J.K. Rowling really just knows how to write characters really well.

That, and the crazy execution system, gave me nightmares.


Finally saw this last night with my wife and we both ended up thinking it was pretty poor. Frankly, my reaction surprised me, because going into it I had a vague feeling that everyone loved it and that it was supposed to be a great movie. But the plot seemed pretty disjointed (or rather it was two plots simultaneously unfolding where they intersect each other now and then) and there was no character development so what you’re left with was a lot of CGI, which was fine, but not the main reason I go to see a movie.

Also, I would characterize the beasts as “interesting” rather than “fantastic.”



I’m so happy to see my favorite character in that picture. He’s the one that completely drew me into Fantastic Beasts despite the movie’s flaws. I just couldn’t resist wanting to know more about this gentleman trying to get a loan for a bakery.


The trailer is out

Looks great, I much preferred Fantastic Beasts to the Harry Potter films and look forward to it.



I was all set to harrumph (harrumph, I say!) at the Transfiguration professor covering Defense Against the Dark Arts in the scene with the boggart, but then I thought, “Nah, teaching people to confront their fears and give a name to them is exactly what Dumbledore would do, Transfiguration professor or not.”

That or the curriculum changed, or he was filling in for the day, or whatever.


Another movie with Harry Potter minus Harry Potter



I saw a trailer of the new movie during Sunday Night Football. It was a long trailer where they showed extensive clips from various Harry Potter movies, tying names mentioned in the Potter movies to the characters in the upcoming movie. I thought that was very well done. By this time, it’s been so long, most people have forgotten these names, so by doing flashback to previous movies, they get to show us that hey, this is not just in the Harry Potter universe, you’ll get to see a lot of the characters from the Potter movies and find out what really happened back then.


We rented the last one to refresh our memories and I have to say, it’s a super enjoyable movie. In some ways I’m more excited for this new one than any previous film because A) I haven’t already read the book and B) I have expectations that I will enjoy it, unlike Fantastic Beasts (which we skipped in theaters, but rented and enjoyed when that became an option). I think movies set in this world can be very cool, and I’m very eager to see how this pans out.


I saw that as well. I thought it was interesting how there were three different actors shown playing Dumbledore.


I liked the first one as well, and I felt it was more accessible for those who hadn’t read the books. Also, I really liked Jacob. His “It’s just like waking up, right?” line gets me every time.

Only thing I disliked was the battle versus the dark magic cloud in the last act. I’m worn out on battles versus amorphous blobs or swarms.

The next one is not getting great reviews, but I’ve got some ticket credits I need to use, so I’ll give it a shot.


Going next week. We’ll see how it is.

I did quite like the first one. Was nice to see more of the magical world.