Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

There’s strange things going on all over the city. People behind this are not like you and me. There’s a hidden society, it goes back centuries.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a Harry Potter spin off. Directed by David Yates, starring Eddie Redmayne, Collin Farrell, Katherine Waterson and Dan Fogler.

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Newt Scamander enters the city of New York with a briefcase filled with magical creatures, but when several creatures got loose, they are blamed for the attacks on the nomag (muggles). On the run from New York’s secret society of witch and wizardry, Newt is on the quest to prove his creatures’ innocence and to discover the sinister truth behind the attacks.


The Good

One of the highlights of this movie are it’s beasts and they are indeed fantastic. The creatures are fun to watch whenever they’re in the screen and for majority of the creatures they look great.

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One character stood out from the cast and that is Dan Fogler, the nomag. He provides most of the humour which this movie definitely needed.


The Bad

Unfortunately the movie suffers from a lot of problems as the expectations from the previous Harry Potter movies aren’t met in this spin-off. One major flaw of this film is it’s tone. The film struggles to decide whether it wants to be lighthearted or dark as the the movie switches scenes from one tone to another without warning.

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Another flaw are it’s characters, apart from Kowalski (Dan Fogler) the rest of the characters are dull. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) lacks the charm to make us root for his character and it doesn’t help that he portrayed the character with an odd mannerism that’s difficult to relate to. Ezra Miller felt wasted as he is reduced to a one dimensional role that difficult to care about.


Rating

Overall Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them doesn’t quite hit the magical stride that the Harry Potter movies had. The bipolar tone affected this movie in a negative way and it didn’t help that it’s main character is boring.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

Though the creatures themselves are fascinating, it is not enough to enjoy the movie to it’s fullest. In a movie that’s meant to be about the beasts, the movie’s convoluted plot derailed the little enjoyments that the beasts brought to the screen.

The film has numerous easter eggs that refers to the previous movies and fans of the series will definitely identify them with glee, however for the casual audience this feels like your run of the mill blockbuster movie that’s all flash and no substance.

Good Bad 2.8/5
  • The Beasts
  • Dull Characters
  • Bipolar Tone
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Book Review: A Dance of Shadows by David Dalglish

A Dance of Shadows is David Dalglish’s 4th book in his Shadowdance Series. This time around, Lord Victor Kane a man with a mysterious past enters Veldaren and promises to rid all the thief guilds and in doing so get rid of most of the crime in the city. At the same time, an assassin called The Widow has also entered Veldaren and is targeting Spider Guild members. While our hero, The Watcher, tries to deal with this so called Widow, he also has to decide whether Lord Victor Kane is good for the city or not.

Reading this, I can’t help but think that Dalglish is using a certain formula. A notorious figure enters a city, promises change or vows to dominate. In the meantime a rogue assassin is killing people. Then somewhere in the middle enter blood thirsty mercenaries. The similarities between the third book and this are there. However that does not mean it is a bad book, it is still exciting and an incredibly fun read.

Dalglish manages to juggle through character to character and keeps them interesting. Making sure that each character has motivation to do whatever it is he/she is doing. There are many returning characters and a lot of them are nicely written. Thren Felhorn plays a larger role this time around but a big, show stealer is Deathmask. Although his intentions still unclear, he is written in such a bad ass way. I have no doubt he’s a favorite amongst the series’ readers. Tarlak also plays a larger role although I still can’t get over his appearance as he is described in the book as a wizard that wears bright yellow robes. That said he’s got some nice fight scenes and great moments.

Lord Victor Kane or as he is called in the book, Victor, plays a prominent role, and it’s safe to say he is written quite well, The Widow on the other hand is a mystery waiting to be solved, the revelation however is quite shocking and would definitely take the readers by surprise. There are a lot of great moments in this book and great fight scenes are also there however there are plot hole or story arcs that felt like it was dropped mid way through leaving them incomplete.

To conclude, A Dance of Shadows is a step up from A Dance of Death, mainly for the characters are well written and not to mention highly interesting story arcs. There is never a dull moment in this book and every page an essential event is happening. The combat style this time around is very RPG-esque with a warriors on the front, Wizards on the side and healers on the back. That said, it is fun ride through and through. Recommended for the fans of the series and also new readers can get into it without reading the previous three books.

Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Having watched the first two movies I was curious on how The Hobbit(book) actually played out, specially with the cliffhanger ending of the movie, I just had to read the book to find out the ending. That said, this review will be purely based on what I felt about the book and there will be no movie references for that matter.

The Hobbit was not as a page turner as I expected it to be. It starts quite slow and never really picks up until the third act. In between though, delivers some really enthralling chapters. Riddles in the Dark, is a marvel to read and the exchange of riddles between Bilbo and Gollum feels like an intense match of tennis and one is equally as witty as the other. The adventures withing the Mirkwood forest also delivers some uncomfortable scenes, the feeling of hopelessness is felt and really makes you emotionally attached to the dwarves and makes you feel their frustration while wandering within the forest.

As the third act begins, it really is a giant snowball rolling swiftly down a hill. The plot turns, shocking character changes and not to mention a dreadful war is at hand. It really is the best part of the book for me and it was handled perfectly.

Overall apart from the slow start, there is nothing bad about this book. It delivers an amazing journey and in terms of Bilbo a great sense of self discovery. It’s an incredible book and all fans of the fantasy genre will undoubtedly love it.