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Author Topic: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find TheM(oney That They Make)  (Read 2319 times)
Khaldun
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on: November 19, 2016, 11:21:09 PM

Moar from JK Rowling! Can gay Dumbledore be far behind?
TheWalrus
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Reply #1 on: November 19, 2016, 11:50:17 PM

Is this the thread where we bitch about Harry Potterworld movies we haven't seen yet?

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Velorath
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Reply #2 on: November 20, 2016, 12:22:24 AM

I've seen it. It's an ok movie which is about how I feel about all the Harry Potter movies.
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Reply #3 on: November 20, 2016, 06:26:49 AM

It was ok but weak in my opinion. The plot was not well thought out, there was no clear idea of who the bad guy was or what he wanted until right at the end. Then everything gets revealed at once and it's anticlimactic because the movie hasn't given you any reason to care about it. The creatures are very well done and very obviously designed to be easily translatable to toys. They are animated really well and with a lot of character however. The costume design was also excellent. I loved the way that the wizards wore clothes that were almost but not quite normal for 1920s New York. It was a nice touch.

Ultimately though the movie is all about the intersection of the magical and mundane worlds and this is always the weak spot of the franchise. Magic is not very consistent in the Potterverse but you can ignore the gaps when you're dealing with an all wizard setting. Those gaps and inconsistencies become massively jarring when the action takes place in the muggle world however.

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Khaldun
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Reply #4 on: November 20, 2016, 09:33:16 PM

It's actually decent. Better than I expected. Some surprising visual cleverness and some decent characters.

There is some really weird editing that makes it feel oddly amateurish. There's a whole subplot that gets substantial screen time (2 early scenes) that is completely dropped later on that seems as if it was supposed to be important. ()  The evil anti-wizard lady is strangely underdeveloped--you keep expecting more attention to her and it never really comes. The big twist is oddly anemic--there's very little done to give it weight or significance.

The American wizarding world is overall not really thought through--you can feel Rowling losing control over the worldbuilding that she does off of a conventional "magical Tom Brown's Schooldays" in the Potter books--the particular hangups of American wizards don't seem particularly coherent or convincing. Rowling might really want to think about what it might be like to tell a story or two away from the centers of her wizards' political and economic power, though maybe that's the point about wizards, I guess, that there are so few of them overall that there isn't that much away from the center to dwell on.

Not much also on why wizards might be out to eliminate beasts--that could use a bit more explanation.
Velorath
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Reply #5 on: November 20, 2016, 09:43:01 PM

There's four more of these things coming so I assume that some plot points that don't seem very fleshed out will get picked up on in future movies.
Khaldun
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Reply #6 on: November 21, 2016, 06:04:02 AM

There's four more of these things coming so I assume that some plot points that don't seem very fleshed out will get picked up on in future movies.

Except they're supposed to take place elsewhere so I don't really think an American newspaper publisher and his inexplicably angry son are likely to show up.
NowhereMan
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Reply #7 on: November 21, 2016, 09:36:51 AM

I got the feeling from the original books that Rowling really doesn't have any idea of what to do about the rest of the Wizarding world outside the UK. They exist as brief contrasts and she did a good job of creating an 'image' of the Russian wizards or the French ones but I didn't feel like she'd have really managed to flesh out their world. Hogwarts and the UK wizarding world worked because she was adapting a life and culture she knew to the fantastical and she blended them very well. I don't think she has the fantasy world building chops to handle adapting that to another real world culture and have it work the same way. Maybe getting a co-author from an American writer would have helped with this? Basically I'm not convinced that she's really got a handle on a wizard world with scale. The Harry Potter world worked with Hogwarts schooldays as a base that built itself into a very British national framework. I don't think she's got any seed ideas to build the same thing in other countries and I don't think she has the high level world building ideas to start charting all these different wizarding worlds, it's not how I see her working as a writer.

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Reply #8 on: November 21, 2016, 09:45:01 AM

Yeah, I can agree with that assessment 100%. The American culture bits of this really felt like someone from the outside looking in rather than fully integrated. It was also remarkably egalitarian for 1920s New York in America, what with a black woman President and the diversity among the citizens we saw.  Also, if you're looking to hide and stay separate from "Non Mag's" in the way the Wizards in the US are trying to do there were far, far better places to do so in 1920's America than NYC.

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Khaldun
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Reply #9 on: November 21, 2016, 10:17:31 AM

Yeah, though we've also seen in the UK that wizards do try to have "parallel lives" of power and influence to Muggles/NoMajs, that they're an elite in that typical sense (that they go to fancy schools, mostly, and have elaborate meritocratic systems of placement in their own bureaucracies/professional worlds. Even in the Potter films, it's not really very clear what a wizard does if they're not a Hogwarts teacher, an Auror or other Ministry of Magic employee, or a person running a business in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. Or a professional Qudditch player or reporter. Some wizards just seem to have aristocratic estates or be stay-at-homes. Harry's dad inherited his money, so neither he nor Lily actually needed to work. There don't seem to be big wizard industries (or indeed wizard laborers, just house elves etc.) and considering that wizards can make seemingly anything they want (like strudel!) it's hard to see how there could be. I actually have a hard time even understanding why the Weasleys are poor and the Malfoys are rich per se, considering that wizarding ought to put you on par with having a Star Trek replicator.

Even the Potter films don't really stand up as world-building in a profound sense, so yeah, she's going to have a hard time going bigger. The Africa-school stuff she unveiled last year was sweetly intentioned but made zero sense in any kind of sustainable world-building manner.

Rendakor
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Reply #10 on: November 21, 2016, 10:32:08 AM

World building was certainly the weakest part of the Potter universe; the story and characters were interesting but there are a lot of Fridge Logic problems with the universe.

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Rendakor
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Reply #11 on: December 03, 2016, 08:30:54 PM

Saw this tonight, I agree with most of what's been said here. It's better than the worst of the Potter films but not as good as good as the best of them. I'm sure I'll see the rest of them too, since my wife is a big Potterhead.

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Rendakor
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Reply #12 on: November 17, 2018, 09:01:35 PM

Arise! Crimes of Grindelwald came out yesterday; I saw it tonight. More thoughts under the spoiler, but mostly it feels sort of awkward. Not bad, but Newt and crew from the first movie feel shoehorned in to what should have been a movie about Youngbledore vs Grindledepp. I would vastly have preferred to read this than watch it, since there were a lot of new characters and I had trouble keeping them straight. The visuals were pretty good, but most instances of Beasts felt forced to justify the title. If you're a die hard Potter fan, it's probably worth seeing in theaters just for the spectacle; otherwise, I'd give it a pass. I'm not sure if this is movie 2 of 3, or 2 of X; either way, the whole thing felt like a lot of setup for future movies.


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Reply #13 on: November 18, 2018, 01:48:28 AM

I pretty much agree with Rendakor. There's a lot of plot signalling for stuff that's destined for the next movie(s), but nothing really happens in this one. The biggest event in the movie (from a plot perspective) happens right at the beginning, the rest is just subplots - that also mostly don't go anywhere - and thinly veiled adverts for Christmas merchandising.

It's a 2h+ movie that's ostensibly for kids but doesn't really have any of the kid-centric scenes from the first one, and in fact has a few pretty dark spots plus a lot of exposition. So I guess they're aiming it at adult fans of the franchise. But there's nothing really here for adult fans either. Nothing gets resolved, there are a couple of big reveals but nothing that materially effects the main plot particularly. I mean sure, we learn why Dumbledore won't fight Grindelwald, but we already know that it's Newt's fight to have so that detail seems superfluous. The movie spends a lot of time on subplots that aren't properly explained and don't really matter either. It's a mess.

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Reply #14 on: November 20, 2018, 06:54:09 PM

Fantastic Beasts: The Bore of Grindelwald. Never have I ever been so bored watching a harry potter movie. Even going in and assuming this movie isn't cannon (though it basically is) and not judging the movie based on how it fits in he lore.... this is just sleep inducing.

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jgsugden
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Reply #15 on: November 20, 2018, 07:48:46 PM

It felt very disjointed.  It was a disappointment.  I'll wait and watch it agan when it is free to me, but this is the worst Potterverse so far.

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kaid
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Reply #16 on: November 26, 2018, 08:47:57 AM

I pretty much agree with Rendakor. There's a lot of plot signalling for stuff that's destined for the next movie(s), but nothing really happens in this one. The biggest event in the movie (from a plot perspective) happens right at the beginning, the rest is just subplots - that also mostly don't go anywhere - and thinly veiled adverts for Christmas merchandising.

It's a 2h+ movie that's ostensibly for kids but doesn't really have any of the kid-centric scenes from the first one, and in fact has a few pretty dark spots plus a lot of exposition. So I guess they're aiming it at adult fans of the franchise. But there's nothing really here for adult fans either. Nothing gets resolved, there are a couple of big reveals but nothing that materially effects the main plot particularly. I mean sure, we learn why Dumbledore won't fight Grindelwald, but we already know that it's Newt's fight to have so that detail seems superfluous. The movie spends a lot of time on subplots that aren't properly explained and don't really matter either. It's a mess.

The issue pretty much is this was plotted to be a five movie deal the first one fanstastic beasts was largely self contained and other than finding out that gindlewald was in it at the very end really gives threads to continue. This one is clearly setting up the story for the next three movies but kinda failed to have enough resolution to anything in this movie to really feel complete. I think this one may be okay in the future if you can binge watch the series but kinda struggles a bit on its own.
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Reply #17 on: November 29, 2018, 06:14:47 PM

Fantastic Beasts: The Bore of Grindelwald. Never have I ever been so bored watching a harry potter movie. Even going in and assuming this movie isn't cannon (though it basically is) and not judging the movie based on how it fits in he lore.... this is just sleep inducing.

It felt very disjointed.  It was a disappointment.  I'll wait and watch it agan when it is free to me, but this is the worst Potterverse so far.

Wait, worse than the Half Blood Prince? That movie was atrocious

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Rendakor
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Reply #18 on: November 29, 2018, 06:55:16 PM

I thought HBP was better than Deathly Hallows 1: The Campening. But yes, FB2 was worse than both of those; two relevant things happen in this movie, and those happen in the first 10 minutes and the last 2 minutes. The rest is just long, confusing filler nonsense.

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jgsugden
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Reply #19 on: November 29, 2018, 08:57:36 PM

...]

Wait, worse than the Half Blood Prince? That movie was atrocious
Yes. Worse.

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Reply #20 on: December 05, 2018, 11:29:46 AM

The entire movie could have been replaced by a single shot in the next movie of someone reading a magical newspaper with the headline "Grindelwald Escapes!" featured prominently.

Everything else is bullshit filler that no-one, not even the characters involved, give a shit about.

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