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‘Fantastic Beasts’ Dominates Weekend Box Office

 
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:25 pm    Post subject: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Dominates Weekend Box Office Reply with quote

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the newest film in the Harry Potter universe, earned the top spot at the weekend box office, raking in an estimated $75 million in domestic ticket sales. The story, a prequel to Harry Potter, follows Newt Scamander, who joins a magical community in 1920s New York. Beasts’ serious earnings came in international money, where the film grossed $143.3 million. “When you look at the enormous success of Harry Potter and then as the wizarding world moves to its new chapter with Fantastic Beasts, this is exactly what we were hoping for,” said Jeff Goldstein, the studio’s distribution chief. The film bested other new releases this weekend, including Bleed for This and The Edge of Seventeen.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-box-office-fantastic-beasts-20161120-story.html
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:28 pm    Post subject: The ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Shock Ending Reply with quote

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/20/the-fantastic-beasts-shock-ending-what-it-means-for-the-future-of-the-potterverse.html?via=newsletter&source=CSAMedition

EXPECTO PATRONUM
The ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Shock Ending: What It Means for the Future of the Potterverse
J.K. Rowling’s latest blockbuster film adaptation, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’ contains quite the twist. Here’s what it means for the franchise. [Warning: Spoilers]
Melissa Leon
11.20.16 2:59 AM ET

Harry Potter mastermind J.K. Rowling’s first Wizarding World spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, tells the story of bashful magizoologist Newt Scamander’s first trip to New York amid rising anti-wizard sentiment. The troubling rise of Gellert Grindelwald, a Hitler-esque Dark Wizard with a key role in Potter history, lurks in the backdrop of Scamander’s tale through briefly-glimpsed headlines, flashbacks, and the Deathly Hallows insignia. Both threads stay only tangentially connected until a late, Scooby-Doo-worthy plot twist and cameo that, befuddling or not, define much of what’s to come in Rowling’s latest franchise.

(To avoid spoiling said plot twist, turn away now or else conjure up an Obliviate spell.)

A climactic wand battle between Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a rogue Auror named Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), and the good witches and wizards of MACUSA (the United States’s magical Congress) ends with Graves unmasked as proto-Voldemort himself, Grindelwald, here played by a bleach-blonde Johnny Depp with what appears to be one contact missing. Depp’s purring, hammy villain (a stark contrast from Farrell’s menacing Graves) lasts only a few seconds on camera before he’s carted off to wizard prison and we get back to the real star of the movie, Newt’s pet Niffler.

Of course, Grindelwald’s prison stint will inevitably last about as long as his first cameo, poising him to take on a primary role in the next of four (four) planned sequels to Fantastic Beasts. This being a Rowling joint, like Cursed Child earlier this year, we can be sure what’s to come won’t wander too far from established Potter lore. There will be echoes of familiar dynamics and a revisiting of key events from Wizarding history—most tantalizingly the battle for the Elder Wand between Dumbledore and his old pal Grindelwald. But what else to expect?

Rowling has gone on record saying the franchise will span 19 years, dating the last film at 1945—the year young Tom Riddle graduates from Hogwarts, likely with one or two Horcruxes already in tow. That’s also the year of Grindelwald’s defeat in that pivotal, three hour-long duel which ended the global wizarding war. (When Fantastic Beasts begins in 1926, Dumbledore and Grindelwald—whose former best friendship revolved around their hunt for the three Deathly Hallows and the means to seize power, abolish the law requiring wizards to live in secret, and position magical folk as the master race over Muggles—have already fallen out after the killing of Dumbledore’s sister Ariana.)

While Grindelwald rose to power and raised an army, pleas in the Wizarding community for Dumbledore, Grindelwald’s only equal in magical prowess, to subdue him grew louder. As he later recounts the story to Harry, Dumbledore resisted the call for years out of guilt over his sister’s death (he refused to face the possibility that it had been his own spell that killed her in the three-way fight between himself, his brother, and Grindelwald). But Rowling’s penchant for revisionist history has since added an extra dimension to Dumbledore’s motivations in these dark interim years: in 2007, she declared that Dumbledore was gay and had in fact fallen in love with Grindelwald in his youth.

Much like the manipulative relationship we see between Grindelwald-as-Graves and the tortured young wizard Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) in Fantastic Beasts, Grindelwald’s treatment of Dumbledore was similarly abusive and one-sided. “I think he was a user and a narcissist,” Rowling explained of the pair’s relationship in 2010, “and I think someone like that would use it, would use the infatuation. I don’t think he would reciprocate in that way, although he would be as dazzled by Dumbledore as Dumbledore was by him, because he would see in Dumbledore, ‘My God, I never knew there was someone as brilliant as me, as talented as me, as powerful as me. Together, we are unstoppable!’ So I think he would take anything from Dumbledore to have him on his side.”

The real test of Rowling’s commitment to the inclusion of such a high-profile LGBT character will come in the Fantastic Beast sequels ahead. (While we’re at it, maybe throw in more than one named, speaking character of color this time! Go wild!) She and director David Yates have been coy on the subject so far. But even apart from his doomed romance, Dumbledore’s dark, conflicted, fascinating history offers fertile storytelling ground to mine in the sequels ahead—particularly with regards to his sister, Ariana.

The story of Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana, takes on a newly tragic dimension with Fantastic Beasts’ introduction of the Obscurus, the black seething mass of rage and destruction birthed when young witches or wizards represses their own magic. Ariana famously went mad after being attacked as a young girl by three Muggles who witnessed her practicing magic. “It destroyed her, what they did,” says Albus Dumbledore’s younger brother Aberforth in the seventh Harry Potter book. “She was never right again. She wouldn’t use magic, but she couldn’t get rid of it; it turned inward and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn’t control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous.”

This is essentially the dictionary definition of an Obscurial, a witch or wizard who carries an Obscurus. (An uncontrolled explosion of Ariana’s magic claimed her mother Kendra’s life, much like Credence’s loss of control killed his abusive stepmother in Fantastic Beasts.) Ariana was around when Grindelwald first met the Dumbledore family in Godric’s Hollow in the years prior to 1926. If she was indeed an Obscurus, as fan site The Leaky Cauldron points out, she was probably the first Grindelwald ever laid eyes on, likely sparking his obsession with the idea of using Obscurials’ power for his own gain. In the sequels ahead, we’ll likely hear the details of this story for ourselves.

Anyway, along with Depp’s Grindelwald, Scamander’s bewitching ex-crush Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz) is glimpsed in a “cameo” of sorts, via a photograph found in Newt’s suitcase. Lestrange, of course, is the infamous surname of one of the Wizarding World’s oldest purebred families; Bellatrix, the fanatical Death Eater who murdered Harry’s uncle Sirius and bore Voldemort’s secret love child—yep—is its most notorious member. In the Fantastic Beasts scene, Queenie, a witch proficient in Legilimency (mind-reading), looks into Scamander’s mind and pieces together the gist of their relationship: The pair attended Hogwarts together over a decade ago and bonded over their passion for studying magical creatures. An experiment engineered by Leta went horribly awry and nearly killed another student, at which point she faced expulsion. Newt, ever heroic, took the blame in her place and was forced to leave school over Dumbledore’s objections.

Interestingly, parallels to Dumbledore and Grindelwald seemingly emerge with Queenie’s next line, in which she describes Leta as “a taker” in her relationship with Newt. The expulsion-by-school-experiment thread also seemingly echoes Grindelwald’s backstory. As outlined in the seventh Harry Potter book, young Gellert was expelled at 16 from the Scandinavian school for magic, Durmstrang Institute, because of “the twisted experiments” he conducted there (though, as with Leta’s, the exact nature of those experiments goes unmentioned).

Leta turning out to be a Dark Arts sympathizer—which would certainly explain why she and Scamander are no longer close—feels likely. Or perhaps their relationship will mirror Lily Potter and Severus Snape’s, two childhood buddies whose friendship ended over one’s willingness to screw with the Dark Arts. Either way, her expanded role in the next few films will open a window into the Lestrange family before Bellatrix. (Bellatrix married into the family; little is known about members other than herself and her “loyal” husband Rodolphus, who helped torture Neville Longbottom’s parents into insanity.)

In any case, the retelling of Grindelwald’s rise and fall from Nazi-fascistic power comes at a time of renewed political relevance; Fantastic Beasts’ metaphor for the evils of repression and homophobia also take on pronounced weight, considering who’s moving into office here in the States. While each new sequel will transport us to a different city in the Wizarding World, the heart of Rowling’s stories about tolerance and inclusion promise to reverberate now and for years to come.

And there’ll be Nifflers, of course. That alone is worth the price of five Wizarding tales.
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inkling7



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:06 am    Post subject: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Reply with quote

Montse told me she saw the movie and really enjoyed it but came away with a few questions which will undoubtedly be answered in the next few movies I suppose...

Has anyone else here seen it?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:54 pm    Post subject: Skip it! Reply with quote

I haven't seen it, but came across this rather negative review:

AWARDS SEASON
Thanksgiving Weekend Movies to See or Skip: ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Moana,’ and More
Sick of debating Trump? Gotta get out of the house? Senior Entertainment Editor Marlow Stern and Senior Entertainment Writer Jen Yamato dish on what’s hot (and not) at the cinema.

SKIP: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

J.K. Rowling tapped her magical ATM again when she penned a 2001 spin-off prequel to her finished Harry Potter books—a textbook of all the magical creatures in her wizarding empire, as detailed by a magical zookeeper named Newt Scamander. Harry Potter completists have probably already seen Eddie Redmayne twitch his way through Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as Scamander, who loses a suitcase filled with supernatural creatures in 1920s New York City and finds himself leading a band of witches and proto-Muggles into a jumbled plot pickle involving his missing animals, traumatic wizard child abuse, and fascistic government forces who seek to suppress the true expression of magic. Interesting themes are buried somewhere in the rubble of this mess, whose abundant CGI effects are embarrassingly shabby. Was Fantastic Beasts just a cash-grab attempt to capitalize on Pottermania by churning out yet another movie megahit? Surely not! Find out in the next four installments! And spend your holiday watching something else, anything else, this week. – Jen Yamato
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:01 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Reply with quote

inkling7 wrote:
Has anyone else here seen it?

I have, and will come in soon with a review and a few questions. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:55 pm    Post subject: Hello there, Montse! Reply with quote

What a pleasant surprise! Long time no see, so happy to see you drop in here! very happy

Can't wait to see your review and questions. I'm debating whether it's going to be worth it to go see the movie.

In case you don't remember me, I'm Al - Alien Visitor on CoS. Very Happy
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Montse



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:03 pm    Post subject: Review and questions Reply with quote

SPOILER WARNING! Do NOT read this if you don't want to know about this movie before you go see it.

First of all, let's highlight how excited I was for this. Not much, a bit maybe, but not exactly thrilled. I thought it was cool, I reread Fantastic Beasts again the day I was going to watch it.I studied the magical beasts so I would be able to identify them properly, and got my hoodie and wand ready. Just by doing that, exitement began to rise to higher levels.

When the movie started and the music played in the Background of the WB logo, I got goosebumps, and got teary eyed. It was exciting hearing that again, something I thought would never happen again.I might have been hyperventilating...might have...not sure .

The story begins, Newt is so awkardly shy,and geekely adorable you just plain like him at fist sight. When the Muggle worthy button appears on screen. I was grinning like an idiot just with that. Story begins to unravel, and the Niffler makes his appearance, there I was goshing, all excited. I knew what it was, and what it did.Excited....yessss! Like everytime a Potter reference was made. As the story unfolds and more creatures appear, I was thrilled to identify them before Newt says what they are. Pleased to see they matched the description in the book, I felt like I was passing some sort of test.I was fascinated by how accurately they fit to what I had pictured in my mind that morning. And even more exited about how not only they matched the description, but how they managed to give each creature a personality for the plot.

The bowtruckle wins your heart , he is just so sweet. It reminded me of those shy students you get in class and hold your hand to feel safe. Just adorable.The Niffler on the other hand , well, you gotta love him, he is a trouble maker ,it has got attitude and it must be a Slytherin cause he does not care about rules or obstacles.He just needs to get what he wants.It is creative snd resourceful, gotta love him.

The demiguise is sweet, but is not much of a character, neither is the occamy. Now the Thunderbird...that was impressive!

So there you had me identifying creatures as they appeared on screen , enjoying the magical attributes of a certain suitcase, shouting at the characters for trying to solve situations like muggles, where they could be using spells and shouting spells along with them when finally , they recalled they had the power to use those. All through the film I had this goofy smile on my face.

The story is entertaining. You cant help loving Newt, he is such a sweet Puffie. And the other characters are likable as well.Jacob is an awesome Muggle.He keeps it cool , and hell is breaking loose before his eyes. Queenie reminded me so much of Luna, loved her instantly. And Tina, she is nice. Graves was an unexpected twist .I thought he was a Deathers of sorts, you know, a follower.Not Grindy himself, that was a nice twist. And the Obscurial, it was kinda predictable who it was gonna be from, but until the end you are not really certain cause it was nicely done.

I do love how Jo managed to represent those Narrowminded people who are extremists and hate witchcaft into the story. Making them the reason Obscurials exist. And I can see over religious people banning the movie for that.typical fannatic reaction...rolls eyes ! Rolling Eyes

I love how the hero, once again , is not the overconfident handsome dude, but a shy and awkward magizoologist. So much like Harry in the sense of going over that stereotype of Heroes.

Needless it is to say, I absolutely loved it. I came out and jumpy, with a very , very big smile on my face. Very pleased, satisfied and once again, eager for more.

As the excitement settled, questions began to pop in my head.

1. What is Grindy using to disguise himself ? It could be Polyjuice, if so... what happened to the real Graves? Can you revelio someone under polyjuice potion ? We had never seen that, as far as we know, you have to wait for the effects to wear off, as Dd did in GoF with Crouch. Is it some kind of advanced transfiguration ? Like they use on Harry in Cursed Child ...
Still dont know the answer to that.

2. Do you suppose expelliarmus was a modern spell ? Tina uses accio to disarm Grindy, why accio ? Why not expelliarmus ?

3. Can you ride a Thunderbird ?

4. What the fried eggs was that potion the thunderbird uses, how those it obliviate only what you want. Or will those poor muggles forget like everything ?

5. Why doesnt Newt accio the insect, why catch it by hand?

6. What the fried eggs was that killing potion ? Isnt it less messy to
Avada Kedavra people, if you are gonna kill them I mean, why the potion thingummy, to kill is to kill.

8. Are muggles ( non reading people ) gonna even understand who Gryndi is , what the greater good is , what is Gryndi's connection to the symbol? I dont think so...

That is it so far I guess .

I think muggles is a better word that nonmajg , however you spell it. Very Happy
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inkling7



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:48 pm    Post subject: Looking forward to the movie Reply with quote

Looking forward to seeing this movie when I get my self organised... I wonder if I will enjoy it more if I don't re-read the book since it is packed away somewhere.... super grin
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:23 pm    Post subject: The NewYorker Review Reply with quote

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
by Anthony Lane

What a relief to get away from Hogwarts. No more school rules, no more snitches (golden or otherwise), no more droning teen-agers stuck in the Scottish countryside. It is only while watching “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” directed by David Yates and adapted by J. K. Rowling from her book, that you realize how cramped the world of Harry Potter had become in the later films. They felt yawningly long, yet far too hermetic for their own good—obsessed with wizard-on-wizard action, and forgetting that what makes wizardry compelling, rather than whimsical, are the sparks that fly when it clashes or grinds against the iron of ordinary lives.

Hence the pleasure of a solid place at a specific time: New York, 1926. Any non-magical mortal, whom Harry would call a muggle, is known here as a no-maj, and any no-maj lucky, or unlucky, enough to see a monster gets obliviated—given a memory wipe, as Tommy Lee Jones was at the end of “Men in Black.” That is the fate confronting Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), definitely no relation of Stanley’s, who visits a bank to request a loan, meets an English eccentric named Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), and, after a mixup over suitcases, goes home with a portable bestiary. Before you know it, there’s an escaped whatchamacallit—half platypus, half mole—filching jewellery and cash, and a mega-rhino with a glowing horn marauding through Central Park in search of a mate. If you ever wondered what magical sex would look like, now you know.

Like Casey Affleck, Redmayne keeps glancing down or aside, although in his case you sense a blatant ploy, designed to pull us into Newt’s endearing shyness. The result, like his floppy haircut, is too quaint for a hero, but the rest of the cast is a sturdy gang, headed by Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein, an investigative agent with unearthly powers, and Alison Sudol as her sister Queenie, a mind-reading flirt. They are instantly clad in evening gowns—hey presto!—to enter a speakeasy, and the loveliest sight, in a movie generously laced with charm, is a strudel that makes and bakes itself in midair, at Queenie’s command, to feed the hungry Jacob. I wanted more of Samantha Morton to balance the sweetness; she plays the boss of an orphanage, a pale-eyed human bully who suspects that wizards are afoot and yearns to crush them. As often with Rowling, the details out-linger the plot, though the villain is quite a novelty—not any sort of creature but an Obscurus, a parasitic spitting cloud of wrath. It’s an expensive update on the black scrawl that appeared above Lucy’s head, in “Peanuts,” when super-crabbiness loomed. In all, the movie is a cunning and peppy surprise, dulled only by the news that no less than four sequels await. Will the spell not wear off before then? ♦
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:04 pm    Post subject: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Reply with quote

Mimi and I haven't seen it yet, but a friend of ours' kids loved it so much they saw it twice already! We'll try to find time to go next week - better to avoid weekend crowds. wink
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:07 am    Post subject: Another negative review Reply with quote

I seem to come on these negative reviews rather frequently...

Fantastic Beasts Is a Distinctly Unmagical Slog
By David Edelstein

Few movies are as conceptually tedious as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which transports J.K. Rowling’s fascist-wizards versus liberal-wizards-and-muggles conflict to 1920s New York — or a stagy, computer-generated simulation thereof. This time the script is by Dame J.K. herself, and from the outset — before we’ve even gotten to know the characters or the stakes — it’s hectic, cluttered, and ineptly staged. The Dickensian simplicity of the Harry Potter films has been replaced by a lot of desperate mugging. Part of the problem is that Rowling and her studio are not so much telling a story as erecting another “tentpole,” the Hollywood name for a “franchise” that becomes a virus — but is nonetheless regarded as a remedy for red ink. I only wish there were a vaccine.

From the start, Rowling tries to keep a lot of balls in the air, but gravity’s a bitch for a neophyte screenwriter. After an unseen monster ravages a block of tenements, an adorably tousled Eddie Redmayne, as someone called Scamander, steps off a ship from England with a battered brown suitcase full of odd creatures, one of which promptly escapes. (He’s not much of a zookeeper.) While Scamander is tracked by a bumbling member of the wizard police with the intriguing name Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), he gets his suitcase mixed-up with an identical one belonging to a tubby little man called Kowalski (Dan Fogler) who dreams of opening a bakery.

All this mayhem is set against a background of fanaticism. On one side, a crusader named Mary Lou (Samantha Morton) — she recalls the ‘20s temperance activists — tries to rouse the rabble against supernatural forces she’s convinced are plaguing the city. On the other, there’s apparently a proto-Voldemort racial supremacist called Gellert Grindelwald on the loose, plotting in secret to dominate the muggle world. (In the U.S., the word is not “muggle” but the much less elegant “No-Maj.”) Colin Farrell plays the sleek, icy wizard who surveys the damage and enlists Mary Lou’s patently demented disciple (an even weirder than usual Ezra Miller) to help him track down a member of a new species: a kind of child wizard forced to repress his or her magical power. The result of said repression is that the child is consumed, but not before wreaking havoc on buildings and bystanders.

If you followed the above synopsis, good for you. If you didn’t, the bottom line is that Rowling has resurrected her one big Potter theme and introduced a new wrinkle. The repressive fascists are once more the villains, but the damage now goes deeper than imprisoning or murdering liberal opponents. As in many horror films, people (here, children) forced to muzzle their gifts go quietly crazy, the upshot being rampaging id-monsters and self-immolation. Trump-like xenophobes led by a mogul called Shaw (Jon Voight) might correctly see danger to America, but Rowling is pretty firmly on the side of the tolerant. For one thing, her male hero is a sweetie who seeks to protect all creatures great and small that both the wizard and human worlds would rather see exterminated. The wizards, fearful of exposure, are more muzzling than the muggles.

Read the rest here: http://www.vulture.com/2016/11/review-fantastic-beasts-is-a-tedious-slog.html
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:39 pm    Post subject: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Reply with quote

Last night Miranda, Michael and finally sat down and watched Fantastic Beasts and rather enjoyed it. I think like Montse I need to watch it again to figure out some things I got a bit confused about but since I bought in on iTunes that won't be a problem and might enjoy a glass or two of wine with it next time super grin

I got the impression that the forbidding of interaction between Nomaj and wizards was rather like the prohibition of alcohol which was going on in the US around the time this film was set and a bit of a parallel... We'll that's the thought that crossed my mind as the film progressed even though I might have been reading too much into it....lol

I see they will be making a sequel which will have a younger Dumbledore played by Jude Law and what happened with him and Grindlewald which should prove rather interesting especially if their relationship is brought into it.
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