Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Carmen Ejogo, Dan Hedaya, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Zoey Kravitz, and Johnny depp.

Directed By: David Yates

Where I Watched it: HBo MAX

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

HBO MAX is releasing the third film in this franchise on Memorial Day, so I figured I’d revisit the first and second entries in advance (kind of like how I just plowed through the Star Wars films). I’m not crazy enough to review 10 films before Monday, so I’ll have to do the Harry Potter films at a later date.

Some films get better over time, some get worse. This got better. Once you absorb this series, the sequel goes in a much shittier direction, and almost entirely abandons the Fantastic Beasts part. So in the first film, this dynamic, and these characters are appreciated so much more. Jacob is everything. Dan Fogler has created the best and most entertaining character in a franchise that’s not about him, yet we all root for him. Don’t get me wrong, Eddie Redmayne is good, but Dan Fogler steals this film. Queenie’s relationship with him really only boosts his character.

The whole storyline with Colin Farrell and Ezra Miller annoyed me less the second time around. Everything surprisingly got better, and i really chose to love the Fantastic Beasts, knowing that JK Rowling gets Alzheimer’s after this and forgets what this franchise was supposed to be about. It would be like if the first film had Harry at Hogwarts, then in subsequent films, he was raiding the ancient tombs in Egypt. you’d be a bit confused about the direction of the series.

The Blind perspective: Considering that most people are familiar with the wizard in world, but not the American perspective, there was some explaining to do there, and it was done well. But this narration soars best when it’s describing the beasts. My most nit picky thing is that it names Grindlewold in the most useless place, right upon the face swap from Colin Farrell to johnny Depp, which is presented as one of those “it’s Grindlewold!” Moments. We don’t need that, because the character with him uses his name almost immediately after. So you could have just described him, waited for the name to be dropped literally in the next line of dialogue, so we can all be surprised, and then used it after. it’s almost pointless though, considering how close the spoiler reveal is to the line of dialogue. We just get it two second before the visual audience gets their confirmation. In the theatres, it would have been fun to shout “Grindlewold!” In a crowded theatre like recognizing johnny Depp means he must be that character. People wouldn’t understand it came from the audio description. I could just proclaim to have been a prophet that can see the future. Hah.

Final Thoughts: I’m surprised, and while I never go back to look at a past review to let it color my new one, I think I gave this a B. I’m feeling it a bit more now, but i also fully expect to hate the second one even more. Though, maybe Jacob can save that too. Who knows. Jacob needs his own franchise.

Final Grade: B+

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