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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Post-Release

post #1 of 123
Thread Starter 
I'll preface this by saying I watched this in a 4DX screening. I was sceptical but it was really well implemented. More so than the shakes and the bumps of the seats, it was the way they would "roll" with the camera pans. I thought it would be pretty gimmicky but it was really immersive.

With that said I had a grand old time with this. I'm an unabashed fan of the series so I was an easy mark but it expands the world in some fascinating ways. I'm almost disappointed that this new iteration will move to Europe because magical 1920's New York (Goblin speakeasy!) Is so much fun.

My biggest gripe is the same as Doctor Strange, it's really light on plot. Beasts escape, our heroes have to find them. There is a B-plot that eventually meets up with the main story but it's real job is setting up the sequels. It's not especially distracting.*

Redmayne does the sweet and awkward thing here but Dan Fogler took this for me. The film is pretty light on laughs but he gets them all, he also shares the film's big emotional moment with Alison Sudol (get ready to fall in love with Alison Sudol.

I'd be interested to see what everyone else thinks. If you're familiar with Yates' Potter films expect the same. There are some wonderful moments (Goblin speakeasy!), it relies a bit to heavily on 'whimsy' but it's a welcome return to this world.

8 pants out of 10


*Highlight of the film Spoilers for those who aren't aware of the A-List cameo (Click to show)
There was an audible groan when Depp showed up. Confidence isn't high that we're going to get Johnny the actor. He has Billy Idol's hair and a weird moustache and is doing something weird with his voice. Hooray.
post #2 of 123
Is there a post credits scene?
post #3 of 123
Thread Starter 
There is, it's just four minutes of Daniel Radcliffe's farting corpse.
post #4 of 123

The pacing's a bit wonky when it comes to cutting between the A and B storylines, but I thought this was actually really charming.  I liked these characters a lot and would love to spend another movie with them.

 

Crowd clapped when Depp was revealed, but... yikes.  His look was as bad as any lazy Tim Burton movie, and his performance was even worse.  I really hope they retool the character with him for the sequel.

post #5 of 123

I think I liked this more than any of the Potter films, in large part because it dispensed with all the YA/chosen one tropes.  This wasn't a journey of someone who doesn't know their powers yet.  These were all functioning adults, and in a lot of ways, the magic is almost matter-of-fact, just an everyday tool they use as second nature.  It also felt like a larger world, not confined to a single castle.  I guess the overall feeling was a more mature film.

 

I did think the Obscurial storyline wasn't quite as strong as the escaped beasts -- I would have been perfectly happy with a Doctor Doolittle-esque romp chasing down the various beasts for two hours -- but I did like the resolution for that particular story.  It wasn't just a case of mad wizard having to be put down, there was some nuance to it.

 

I have to say I saw this with a VERY receptive audience.  Every Potter reference was met with barely contained glee, and Depp got a pretty positive response once people recognized him.  And I think everybody wants a niffler.

 

Gorgeous score too.

post #6 of 123

I liked this a lot.  Great, committed performances from the three leads, some imaginative set pieces, and the material with Ezra Miller's character, exploring themes of repression and isolation, was really interesting.  Colin Farrell is so great as Graves that I'm disappointed he probably won't appear again - I don't remember, is it confirmed that Grindelwald killed the real Graves or merely incapacitated him (like the Barty Crouch Jr./Mad-Eye Moody situation)?

 

But my major criticism is that, for the majority of the plot, Newt feels...incidental.  Eddie Redmayne is completely charming and sells the character in every scene, but he kind of stumbles into this larger battle, and the film never really defines what the stakes are for him beyond getting his creatures back.  We know what eventually happens with Grindelwald because he features in the HP series - how is Newt going to factor into the darker Wizarding War storyline without it feeling inorganic?

post #7 of 123

I have the same feelings as you do, Draco. What i liked about Fantastic Beasts was the extra depth of scope of Wizarding World and how it effected the Real World. The Potter films suffered from the fact that Harry is cooped up in Hogworths most of the time and thus it feels small in that way,

post #8 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post

I have the same feelings as you do, Draco. What i liked about Fantastic Beasts was the extra depth of scope of Wizarding World and how it effected the Real World. The Potter films suffered from the fact that Harry is cooped up in Hogworths most of the time and thus it feels small in that way,

Before Deathly Hallows came out I wondered if Rowling would conclude the series with the world being exposed to Muggles so it was quite cool seeing that being explored here. With that said the resolution to that development was a bit... wet.

I'm really interested to see what happens with this series. I've got a feeling they're going to play it a bit fast a loose with the established canon. I imagine if Grindlewald is going to be the main antagonist over five films he's going to be getting io to some serious shit. Thing is he was barely mentioned in the films and even in the books I don't recall him being magical Hitler or anything. Not the end of the world, but I hope we don't end up with an unnecessarily confusing X-Men style continuity.

Any bets on who will play Dumbledore?
post #9 of 123

I'll preface this by saying that I'm a casual fan of the Harry Potter franchise. I've watched (and largely enjoyed) all of the movies and read three of the books but haven't thought about the Wizarding World (is that the correct term?) since the end credits rolled on the final movie.

 

That said, I struggled to engage with this movie on almost every level.

 

Other than Dan Foggler's character, I didn't enjoy spending time with any of the main cast. Eddie Redmayne's Newt is awkward and socially inept which could be endearing if the actor had an ounce of charisma and didn't spend every scene avoiding eye contact, biting his lip, and saying things like “I….um…...we…….um…….if only I could understand…..um…...humans as much as I do these fantastic beasts!” You know when you walk into a party and there's always that one guy that nobody wants to talk to, and so he stands awkwardly by the drinks table staring at his shoes whilst occasionally checking his phone to see if anybody has called him (spoiler: they haven't)? Imagine being handcuffed to him for ninety minutes and that's how I felt here.

 

The whole b-plot with Samantha Morton playing We Wish Kathy Bates Had Been Twenty Years Younger So We Could Have Cast Her Instead took far too long to get to a point.

 

Colin Farrell really needs to start doing alcohol and drugs again because he was a fun actor when he was smashed off his face. Here he just plodded around New York looking as po-faced as I did during the entire running time.

 

I'll give the movie some props for its special effects because there were some impressive sequences scattered around the movie, and the fantastic beasts had some great designs. I didn't really know what was happening during the CGI-laden final* but it sure looked good!

 

The humor felt really strained. I watched Pixels last night and laughed around the same number of times as I did here. (Hint: It's less than once.) Actually, there are a lot of comparisons between Pixels and Fantastic Beasts. A lack of emotional resonance, a feeling that a lot of what happens has no consequence, characters that are hard to care about, people getting eaten by CGI monsters, and a surprising cameo by Adam Sandler as an evil wizard. Okay, I'm joking about that last one.

 

If you enjoyed this movie, I envy you. For me, there was a definite absence of magic.

 

 

 

 

 

* This probably wasn't the movie's fault. At one point I started thinking about other movies set in New York with monsters, which caused me to start thinking about the first Ghostbusters movie and how it quickly introduced four characters I really liked and had a story where every scene built on top of one another rather than feeling like isolated sequences. Fantastic Beasts might have explained the final during this five minutes whilst my mind was elsewhere.  

post #10 of 123
You weren't even a fan of Eddie Redmayne playing Matt Smith playing the Doctor?
post #11 of 123
I saw this today with a bunch of friends. I really liked the film but one aspect of the movie was way too Hollywood in it's setup and optimism. The relationship between Queenie and Jacob (Kowalski) might have read fine on the script's page, but the moment I saw Alison Sudol's Queenie starting to flirt with Dan Folger's Kowalski I nearly rolled my eyes. In a film that has a surprising amount of three dimensional characters this use of the ugly guy with a hot girlfriend trope really stuck out like a sore thumb, however I'm not sure if this is J. K Rowling's fault or the fault of the casting director.

Apart from that and a few other nagging questions* it was a fun and enjoyable movie.

*(Like why does Newt have to go through non-magical customs? Why does he have to take a boat back to England, couldn't he just teleport back home? Come to think of it why doesn't he just teleport to Arizona and not bother going through New York?)
post #12 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post

You weren't even a fan of Eddie Redmayne playing Matt Smith playing the Doctor?

 

Smith would have been great as Newt.

 

I had trouble understanding some of Redmayne's lines. I guess he thought Newt would be a mumbler which makes some sense based on his personality but also made some of the dialogue almost incomprehensible. 

post #13 of 123
I liked Redmayne a lot. I know he's getting the male Anne Hathaway treatment right now (in that he's disliked in a really visceral, inexplicable way), but I bought his Newt as a charming, somewhat bumbling introvert who loves the creatures in his care.

I wonder if a lot of material with the Samantha Morton subplot was left on the cutting room floor. It's some of the heaviest material in the film thematically, and Ezra Miller wrings a lot of pathos out of what is essentially a silent performance, yet it feels like a beat or two is missing. Same with Jon Vought's character - I was waiting for those two storylines to converge again, with a newspaper magnate awakened to the existence of magic teaming up with the Salemers.
post #14 of 123
I had a good time with this. I thought it was kind of dark that the magical community has a death penalty, but then I remembered, "Oh, yeah. These are American wizards."
post #15 of 123

Oh man. I've seen quite a few people online saying that Depp was loudly booed in their movie theater when he appeared. 

post #16 of 123
Depp's appearance got a few surprised gasps and cheers from my audience. No audible booing, as far as I could tell.

Some of the most enthusiastic reactions came when Arizona got name-dropped.
post #17 of 123

Same here.

post #18 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post

Oh man. I've seen quite a few people online saying that Depp was loudly booed in their movie theater when he appeared. 

Sounds like a made up fanboy/girl thing.
post #19 of 123

Hopefully all Colin Farrel fans! 

 

ETA:

 

As a casual Harry Potter fan, I found this video quite interesting in learning about some of the backstory of existing characters and how it possibly ties into Fantastic Beasts to set up a sequel. I thought the Obscurius was invented for this movie but apparently not! Oh and Jared Harris HAS to play Dumbledore now, right?

 

post #20 of 123
I did not like this movie at all.

But I would be down with Depp and Jared Harris in a late-in-life homosexual drama, where they're both wizards. Even if they insist these drippy new characters appear in it as well.
post #21 of 123
Think of the amount of wand jokes you could put in there.
post #22 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

I had a good time with this. I thought it was kind of dark that the magical community has a death penalty, but then I remembered, "Oh, yeah. These are American wizards."

That entire scene was incredibly well done...the clinical white room, levitating chair, and cheery witches extracting a happy memory to calm you as you're killed. It reminded me of the unexpectedly dark moments that Rowling sprinkled throughout the books.
post #23 of 123
They don't even get to appeal or anything.
post #24 of 123

Funny this is the second movie where Colin Farrell becomes Johnny Depp...

post #25 of 123
Johnny Depp looks like Bart Simpson in this.
post #26 of 123
Did anyone catch Depp's last line? It sounded a bit like "Shall we die a little?", but I have no idea what that would mean.
post #27 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post

You weren't even a fan of Eddie Redmayne playing Matt Smith playing the Doctor?

 

For me, the difference between Redmayne and Smith is that Matt Smith has tons of charisma, while Eddie Redmayne doesn't. Smith would have been wonderful as Newt imo.

post #28 of 123
Eddie Redmayne was actively asexual in this. Tough to imagine why they thought this character could carry this series.
post #29 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco Senior View Post

Did anyone catch Depp's last line? It sounded a bit like "Shall we die a little?", but I have no idea what that would mean.

I think it was "Don't we die a little?"

My prediction, unless I missed something -

Its something the girl in the photograph (Zoë Kravitz) said to Newt. Sequel!
post #30 of 123
Really surprised by how down everyone is on Redmayne. I found him utterly delightful, especially when Newt is in his element in the world of the suitcase.

It's Anne Hathaway Derangement Syndrome all over again. There's a personal bent to all the criticism that I find quite bewildering.
post #31 of 123

I just think the character would have benefited from someone with more of a leaning toward comedy, which Redmayne doesn't seem to have. It would certainly have made scenes such as the mating dance sequence work much better.

post #32 of 123

‘Fantastic Beasts’ Producer David Heyman Explains Why They Cast Johnny Depp

 

http://collider.com/fantastic-beasts-johnny-depp-grindelwald-explained/

post #33 of 123

After seeing In Bruges some years back, I'll always have a soft spot for Colin Farrell.  He is a phenomenal actor with the proper material, and turning into Depp is a very solid step down in my opinion.

 

I enjoyed this more than I expected.  Watching Balls of Fury recently helped as Fogler is fantastically funny and surprisingly warm in that little gem.  Although he brings less energy here, he still brings the warmth and personality.  I was amused that the most interesting character in the period piece movie about wizards was the non-wizard, but hey, what do I know.  I kept thinking I had seen the female lead before, but I had not.  It was just watching years of Law and Order.

 

The film took a while to get rolling, but eventually found a nice little groove.  I was a bit taken aback by the American Ministry...it was like the PT Jedi Council all over again.  Am I supposed to like these officious, incompetent jackasses?  Pretty casual and quick death penalties, and then just calmly executed a scared teenage boy with almost no context.  Sounds legit.

 

As for the death penalty, I guess our limey wizard buddies have a much better system:

 

 

 

Hopefully nothing bad will happen when Bellatrix gets out into the wild

 

 

As with HP proper, the end sort of wanted to have its cake (Kowalski, audience ID character) gets his memories and friendships wiped in a sweetly emotional (and earned) scene.  And to eat it as well, because after the wipe...bam, the hotness and memory restored, because who wants another of these films without Fogler?  Not me.

 

Still, I liked it quite a bit.  I also appreciated the not-so-subtle Raimi/Evil Dead homage with the Obscurial POV shots.  Very nice.

post #34 of 123

Unsurprisingly, I liked this, but all of the criticisms flung at it are fair. I have nothing further to share that hasn't been shared yet, really. It very much feels like a set-up for the 4 movies to follow -- which is not unlike the first HP. Of course, the first HP juggles its story and pacing better, but it's still the hardest one to rewatch due to the fact it's setting up what has yet to come. And while I see this as a set-up for 4 more movies, I fail to see how any of the characters we met will continue to be much of a presence. I really hope there isn't a cycling cast for each film.

 

Fogler was quite good in it, but I did think his voice was odd. Sometimes he seemed to have a gruff accent, and other times he didn't. Not a big issue -- just something I noticed.

post #35 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco Senior View Post

Really surprised by how down everyone is on Redmayne. I found him utterly delightful, especially when Newt is in his element in the world of the suitcase.

It's Anne Hathaway Derangement Syndrome all over again. There's a personal bent to all the criticism that I find quite bewildering.

I think you might be bringing your own baggage into that. I've always liked Redmayne, loved him in a few movies.

And I didn't think he was any worse than the rest of this film. Didn't really think anyone was good here. The script felt like an adaptation of a novel, which of course doesn't exist. It's just got so many ideas thrown in and none of them are developed. Kind of like the early Potter films before they'd figured out how to do it. 1930s New York seems like a setting where Rowling-sequel magic would fit right in, but they have zero fun with the aesthetic. The only scene that had even a little bit of a pulse was the goblin nightclub, they needed way more of that kind of invention. Everything looks washed out, dark brown, and everything looks fake. Especially the beasts. All weightless CGI cartoons, knocking shingles off of roofs or turning into clouds of pixels.

And none of the characters played for me. Everyone showed up for work, but did the bare minimum of what was expected. Thought it was a lugubrious drain to watch.

Sorry.
post #36 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post


I think you might be bringing your own baggage into that. I've always liked Redmayne, loved him in a few movies.

Threads I've seen on CHUD, BMD, and IGN would prove otherwise. The seething hate for Redmayne is alive and well.

post #37 of 123
He's a character actor in a leading man chassis. I thought maybe he brought one tic too many to Newt, but whatever.
post #38 of 123

This wasn't really my kind of film, so unsurprisingly I found it fairly odd and stilted. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it though.  I did think Colin Farrel got treated poorly - not given much characterisation to work with and then discarded for Depp at the end.  Eddie was ok, I guess, in that he's an odd character in an odd world.  Some of the attitudes were jarring - the quick execution sentence which noone seemed to hold a grudge over at the end, and the sheer incompetence of these apparently clever magical people.  Still without that there'd be no story I guess.

post #39 of 123
Nearly all of the Potter films were kinda awkward and clumsy. Even the good ones.

Yates' run on the Potter films had highs (HALF-BLOOD PRINCE) and lows (DEATHLY HALLOWS PART I), but was, for the most part, a mixed bag. I'm not sure he was the right choice to launch a new Potterverse series.
post #40 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones View Post
 

I did think Colin Farrel got treated poorly - not given much characterisation to work with and then discarded for Depp at the end.  

 

I never really thought Colin Farrel has a big fanbase until this movie, as I've seen multiple people express their sympathy for the poor guy at how he's written out of the movie (I mean he gets an epic wand battle at least!) and how they'd rather have him playing the franchise Big Bad than Depp. (Personally, I'm kind of looking forward to seeing Depp playing a major villain - something he's not really done yet.)

post #41 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post
 I'm not sure he was the right choice to launch a new Potterverse series.

He's not just launching it -- he's carrying the entire series through to completion.

post #42 of 123

Just got back from this.  First impression - I liked it.  Any and everything involving the titular fantastic beasts was pretty wonderful stuff.  Superb production design.  Great (thematic!) score from James Newton Howard.

 

All of the four leads were good-to-great.  Redmayne’s got the earnest thing down cold, and he’s endearing enough (and makes a nice pairing with the more grounded Waterston).  Fogler and Sudol were the real standouts, though, and I loved their developing relationship (rushed and implausible though it may be), particularly as it culminated in the rather touching final scene between the four main characters.

 

Going beyond that, I think the fact that this is Rowling’s first screenplay is pretty strongly felt, as there are storylines that literally go nowhere of importance.  Why is there all that business with Jon Voight’s Generic Evil Senator son?  Come to think of it, why is Jon Voight even in this movie at all?  He’s totally wasted in this, as is Samantha Morton in a depressingly arch, one-note role.  These are good actors, give them stuff to play!  Additionally, the elaborate setup going on for the future is basically totally disconnected from the more whimsical creature stuff.  The main Graves/Credence/Obscurus storyline is so grim that it clashes in fairly major way.

 

But overall, I had a fun time.  It’s certainly better than THE CURSED CHILD.

 

I do have some nitpicky questions:

 

1.  How long has Grindelwald been impersonating Graves?  He's seen murdering people in Europe in the opening teaser, so how/when did he get to New York City?  What happened to the real Graves?

2.  If someone in Graves’ position has the authority to sentence people to death on the spot (and yeah, it was technically Grindelwald, but the other employees don’t bat an eye when the sentence is passed down, and there’s a dedicated magical molten metal execution chamber, so MACUSA clearly has such a policy), why was Grindelwald not summarily executed when they got him in custody at the end?  This is a guy who’s been terrorizing and murdering his way through Europe, yet Tina and Newt were condemned to die because some animals escaped.  Explain that plot hole, Rowling!

post #43 of 123

nice movie

 

would be even nicer if it was more standalone!

 

really liked the UNSUBTLE Ezra Miller stuff

 

really liked Dan Fogler

 

wished there was more of Colin Farrell

 

Redmayne is fine, but his character is really the least interesting thing about the movie.

 

laughed at deus ex eagle rain

post #44 of 123
I was not prepared to like Fogler as much as I did here. I'm not sure if every emotional beat was earned, but goddamn does he sell that scene in the rain.
post #45 of 123

Yeah, that was really nice. 

 

And considering that this is a fairly forgone conclusion as an ongoing series, I really thought they'd find another 'deus ex eagle rain' type of loophole to let an exception be made for the character to keep his knowledge.  But what they did instead was really sweet.

 

Considering my general feeling that Newt was more like a drifter-archetype getting into adventures in different places, and the fact that the character wasn't particularly interesting as the protagonist, it seems like the movie should've been more from Fogler's POV than it was.  Especially considering the fact that he's already being used as a narrative device so that people can shoot off exposition at him.

 

For the first half of the movie, I thought it was working that balance pretty well.  But the moment it has to show lots of destruction FX, the character has to be pushed to the background for a while.

post #46 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


Yates' run on the Potter films had highs (HALF-BLOOD PRINCE) and lows (DEATHLY HALLOWS PART I), 

oh god yes

post #47 of 123

It seems, from what JK Rowling has been saying, that Newt is the only character (beside Depp's Grindelwald) who will cross over to the sequel, which is a shame as I really liked Jacob Kowalski and assumed he'd be playing the Ron role throughout these movies. I mean, I guess we might see him again as a cameo but I was hoping he'd be a main character throughout. 

post #48 of 123
it's too bad this thing has to be a series at all

and that it's going back to Europe.

To be fair, Europe is more than just UK, obviously.

But I was hoping there would be more globetrotting to more different parts of the world if this has to have sequels.
post #49 of 123
Apparently, Paris is going to be one of the big locations in the sequel. It's still Europe, but it's an interesting city for this kind of film.
post #50 of 123

It's where those crazy LeStrange's live, right? 

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