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Topic: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 05 December 2016 at 3:23pm | IP Logged | 1  

Anyone else catch this?  My wife and I saw it yesterday, and both enjoyed it thoroughly.  It's kind of like the Silmarillion of Potter films - beyond just being a prequel, it's more engaged by the nooks and crannies and details of Rowling's wizard world and mythology than its own plot, which I think is a good thing.  While the Potter stories always had decent plotting, they ultimately boil down to a standard hero's journey.  It's in the details and environment where the original books and films shine.

Fantastic Beasts gives Rowling's imagination room to stretch out, and brings her sharp ear for dialogue to screen pretty well intact.  Some great performances and a really cool envisioning of Jazz Era NYC round it out.  And the plot does have some nice intrigue to it, with her usual clockwork complexity and themes of the present being haunted by the past front and center.

The caveat here is that I don't know how people who never read the books or weren't engaged by the previous films would react to this, but going by my wife's reaction (seen the films once each and never read the books), I'd say it's got broad appeal.  Even a bit scarier than the last couple of Potter movies, with an ending that could have shaded over into actual horror without much effort.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 December 2016 at 4:24pm | IP Logged | 2  

I mentioned elsewhere, just recently, that a few years back i sat down to watch the most recent POTTER film, and the most recent TWILIGHT. Except for smatterings I'd picked up more or less by osmosis, I new almost nothing about either franchise.

At the end of the evening I found I still knew very little about Harry Potter and his pals, but I was pretty much up to speed on Bella and the gang.

In other words, one movie had assumed I was coming in fully briefed, while the other remembered that "every issue is the first issue for somebody!"

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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 05 December 2016 at 8:44pm | IP Logged | 3  

I watch the Potterverse because my kids love it.

Sometimes, there's something that really works, like the time travel stuff in the one with the griffin.

The weakest point, IMO, is how lacking the villains are in terms of motivation and how the stakes never seem very high at all.
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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 05 December 2016 at 8:47pm | IP Logged | 4  

More importantly, is Alison Sudol (Queenie) a Byrne Girl?

I mean, just look at those DIMPLES!!!
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 06 December 2016 at 1:54am | IP Logged | 5  

I've half watched most of the POTTER movies now, be that on planes or on TV. My over-riding impression is that nothing really happens in a lot of the films. It just seems to be build up, build up, build up. I found myself thinking 'Just get on with it will you'. so many times.

Each film seemed to have one or two important events, such as when Dumbledore dies, but then 2 hours of nothing around it. I do wonder whether there is a two to three hour story in there that I'd rather enjoy. But at the moment, I just don't have the will to ever revisit these films again.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 06 December 2016 at 2:16am | IP Logged | 6  

James,i think you just described Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead!
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 06 December 2016 at 9:07am | IP Logged | 7  

I don't watch either of those for this and other reasons.

I used to hate 'arc' shows where nothing happens for 20 episodes in the season and then you get a finale that has an incredible amount of stuff crammed in to it and then ends on a cliff hanger. All for the series not to be renewed because it lost most of its audience during the 'nothing happens' episodes.

Looks like GOT managed to solve this through nudity and sex while WALKING DEAD managed it through some other rmeans
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 06 December 2016 at 9:42am | IP Logged | 8  

I have work collaegues who watch The Walking Dead,they were raving about the current season opener,since then they`ve moaned that nothing has happened! I watched season one,but gave up a couple of eps into season 2,because they knew noise attracted the Zombies,then found any excuse to fire a gun for no sensible reason,which attracted Zombies...duh!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 06 December 2016 at 10:31am | IP Logged | 9  

THEY'RE NOT ZOMBIES!!!!!!

hunh hunh hunh

Okay, I don't watch the show, so I have to ask. Do they CALL them "zombies" on the show? The title uses "WALKING DEAD," which would seem to indicate the show runners understand there IS a difference.

Zombies are animated corpses. Puppets. They have no will of their own (being, you know, DEAD) and cannot even move without someone commanding them to do so.

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Thom Price
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Posted: 06 December 2016 at 10:47am | IP Logged | 10  

I stopped watching a few seasons ago, but I don't believe the word "zombies" has ever been used in the show; the walking corpses are called many things by the characters in the show, but I don't recall traditional terms like "zombie" or "ghoul" ever being used.
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Jeremy Simington
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Posted: 06 December 2016 at 11:13am | IP Logged | 11  

JB, they are not called zombies at any point in the comic or the TV show.
Kirkman explains:

One of the things about this world is that people don’t know how to shoot people in the head at first, and they’re not familiar with zombies, per se,” Kirkman said on “Talking Dead.” “This isn’t a world the (George) Romero movies exist, for instance … because we don’t want to portray it that way, we felt like having them be saying ‘zombie’ all the time would harken back to all of the zombie films which we, in the real world, know about.  So by calling them something different, we’re kind of giving a nod to … these people don’t understand the situation. They’ve never seen this in pop culture, this is a completely new thing for them.

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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 06 December 2016 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 12  

"I do wonder whether there is a two to three hour story in there that I'd rather enjoy. But at the moment, I just don't have the will to ever revisit these films again."

I was about to be able to meet this request.  A couple of weeks ago there was much buzz about someone who edited all eight of the movies down into a single, 90 minute version he dubbed Wizardhood.  Unfortunately, it seems like it has been removed from the internet.

"I don't recall traditional terms like "zombie" or "ghoul" ever being used."

I have to say this...zombies and ghouls are completely unrelated (other than "Night of the Living Dead" when Romera decided to call his dead "ghouls" in order to avoid using the term "zombie") as ghouls are demons rather than undead. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 06 December 2016 at 12:07pm | IP Logged | 13  

One of the things about this world is that people don’t know how to shoot people in the head at first, and they’re not familiar with zombies, per se,” Kirkman said on “Talking Dead.” “This isn’t a world the (George) Romero movies exist, for instance … because we don’t want to portray it that way, we felt like having them be saying ‘zombie’ all the time would harken back to all of the zombie films which we, in the real world, know about. So by calling them something different, we’re kind of giving a nod to … these people don’t understand the situation. They’ve never seen this in pop culture, this is a completely new thing for them.

••

I'm reminded of when everyone seemed to be pushing me to check out the WILD CARDS series. I lasted about one page. The opening paragraph makes a reference to THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, a movie which would not have even been MADE if aliens really had arrived on Earth in the Forties.

So, kudos to that OTHER Kirkman guy for getting it right. :)

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David Miller
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Posted: 07 December 2016 at 9:30pm | IP Logged | 14  

I liked Fantastic Beasts. It was fun to see a less children's book approach to Rowling's setting. It was also weird and a little creepy. Rowling really ran with the darkness.

Funny how both of November 2016's black magic franchise starters relied on time reversal. Ultimately, Dr. Strange's averted apocalypse was more effective and exciting, while the stakes in Fantastic Beasts couldn't have been lower. I find it hard to be invested in the secrecy of wizard America.

I loved Dan Fogler's Jacob. Him and Queenie are breakout characters.

And what is up with the Wizard justice system? Sure they're racially integrated and drink alcohol, but Colin Farrel ordered two summary executions.(I read a theory he mind controlled the executioners, but that would entail mind-controlling the President, something seemingly disproved by the end of the film. (Not to mention sacrificing a president for a poltergeist is dumbassery.)) (And in England they were performing punitive lobotomies into the Nineties.)
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 08 December 2016 at 12:52am | IP Logged | 15  

 James Woodcock wrote:
My over-riding impression is that nothing really happens in a lot of the films. It just seems to be build up, build up, build up. I found myself thinking 'Just get on with it will you'. so many times

This is my overriding problem with the films in general.  Speaking as a HUGE fan of the books, there is a ton of investment in the characters because they've been developed, have feeling, emotion and motivation.  Much of that has been left out at the expense of making a 2.5 hour movie.  As is with many adaptations, the books are SO much better than the films.  The only ones that came close were THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN and THE DEATHLY HALLOWS and that was only because one 900 pg book was split between two movies! As it is, it was a little too late to make an investment in the last two films in the franchise if those were the only two you ever saw and you never read the books.  So, yeah, I watch the films as an addendum to the books, but you have to read the books to have a better understanding of how all the parts fit together.  
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 08 December 2016 at 5:04am | IP Logged | 16  

Saw it the other week and enjoyed it.
I'm not big on prequels, but I don't feel that this qualifies as one. Completely different story, characters and setting, with a few minor references to familiar names.
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 08 December 2016 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 17  

I read and enjoyed all of the Harry Potter books, and liked most of the movies
as well. THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN is probably my favorite of the bunch, and
the last two installments my least favorite.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 08 December 2016 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 18  

Did any of you get the impression that Newt was on the autism spectrum? I
was wondering if that was the case through the latter half of the film, and
checking the interwebs, I see that people with autism are identifying with the
character.
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Steven Myers
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Posted: 18 April 2017 at 8:16pm | IP Logged | 19  

I finally watched this today. VERY fun, if a bit predictable. I'd like to see more of these characters!

And I absolutely adore the books. One of my favorite series ever. Wanted to see the movie first this time, because (if I remember correctly) this was conceived as a movie first.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 April 2017 at 9:33pm | IP Logged | 20  

...a bit predictable.

•••

It's a prequel, right?

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Steven Myers
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Posted: 18 April 2017 at 9:56pm | IP Logged | 21  

...a bit predictable.
•••

It's a prequel, right?

----

Yes and no. It's a story set in the "Potterverse", but it doesn't involve the original series main characters or their ancestors or the villain from the original. Nor does it set up the original series at all. There are a couple familiar names, that's all. You could watch this without any knowledge of the original series and it doesn't spoil anything, nor does knowing the original series spoil this movie. Which is a really wordy way of me saying it stands alone just fine.

What I found too predictable (spoilerish)

It was easy to pick out who the real villain was way before the reveal.
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David Miller
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Posted: 18 April 2017 at 10:55pm | IP Logged | 22  

I agree, it's not a prequel. Unless later movies end up paving over the original series and it turns out everything is connected after all.

I was spoiled on the villain's identity, but forgot it by the time I reached the end of the movie. My problem was less being unsurprised than unimpressed. I've seen the actor be a total weirdo a bunch of times already. 
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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 19 April 2017 at 3:37pm | IP Logged | 23  

 David Miller wrote:
My problem was less being unsurprised than unimpressed. I've seen the actor be a total weirdo a bunch of times already.

I definitely found the casting of Depp to be the one sour note in the film.  I've been done with him for quite awhile - increasingly found him to be an annoying combination of foppish, condescending, pissy, and humorless.  Now that we can add 'wife beater' to his CV, I'd be pretty thrilled if he just went away and enjoyed his millions privately.


Edited by Dave Kopperman on 19 April 2017 at 5:45pm
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Paul Kimball
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Posted: 19 April 2017 at 7:28pm | IP Logged | 24  

I really enjoyed it.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 20 April 2017 at 2:24am | IP Logged | 25  

Voice of dissent.  I really disliked this movie.  I thought it overlong and boring.  I didn't have a horse in the race for much of the film and when I eventually did, I didn't care.  I watched it in the theatre a month or so after release and after about a half hour, I thought I'd spent a day in the theatre.  No joke.  The story was ill-defined.  The characters were one-note.  The setting wasn't grand or magical.  It took far too long to get to the point of the story and when it finally did, I was too exhausted by the journey to get there that I didn't really care at all about how the characters were going to get themselves out of it.  The beasts weren't fantastic and as to how to find them, I still have no idea.  In the end, I thought it a jumbled mess of story, theme and character that never amounted to anything remotely fun, exciting or endearing.  
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