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Harry Potter Spinoff Movie - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Celestin, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Finally saw this.

    As a few of you know I've been screwing around with a large fanfiction idea since around 2012. I wrote 40-50k of it once then scrapped to restart. I've got bits and pieces, and since 2012 Newt and Rolf Scamander have had roles in it. I was a bit concerned that this new 'canon' would screw with that, because readers always expect certain things to comply, but fortunately it didn't hurt at all. In fact it sort of helped, giving me a way to explain a plot point. So yay.

    My thoughts (before reading most of the rest of the thread).

    Acting

    Overall the acting was too hammy for me. Too many cliched explanations of things that were shoehorned in to explain it to the audience when all the audience members over 10 could figure it out from context clues. It drew me out of the story once or twice.

    Acting highlight was for me was the muggle, Kowalski. I felt like he nailed most of his scenes, even if the writing for him was a bit meh, particularly at the end when he happily trotted out into the rain.

    @Xiph0 I know you said I'd notice the blonde woman in terms of being attractive or something, but I didn't pick up on whatever it was you said would be noticeable. Graves tho? Since I was trying to notice attractive people (for once) I did pick up on him.

    Scamander's actor did a solid job. Nothing exemplery but nothing to complain about. I like that he was very much not Harry Potter. In fact, I'd say that his mannerisms don't map/copy directly from any major character in the original books. I think they did a pretty good job there.

    Magic

    Generic white attack spell, ahoy! I didn't mind for Newt - he isn't focused on combat magic, but on magical creatures, and if he generally just uses one spell for attacking then fine.

    But all the aurors and everybody else, including a well-known-to-fans-someone-else? It quickly felt like bullshit and a direct sub-in for firing a gun. It irritated me.

    The briefcase was a lot of fun to watch but taken in the larger world (where we all read/write fanfiction) it seems a bit broken, like his briefcase was capable of a bit too much.

    Not sure how that could have been fixed easily within the context of the movie though. Maybe if it had been a vehicle or something larger than a briefcase? But even then some of the charm would be lost.

    Obscurials didn't irk me as much as expected, though it still feels a little tacked on. Given the conversation below (in spoilers) and the fact that canon was from Harry's POV and he just never heard of it. It was one conversation that helped as far as I'm concerned. When they were in jail it sent something like...
    Kowalski: WTF is an Obscurial?
    Tina: There hasn't been one for centuries...
    Scamander: Bullshit, I met one three months ago. They still exist, they've always existed, it's just rare to catch it these days.
    Plot

    I missed the first few minutes of the movie. Apparently there was a letter from Newt's older brother? I came in when Newt was sitting next to Kowalski trying to find his niffler, so I'm also unsure how it escaped.

    That said, I was rolling my eyes for the majority of the movie. A lot of things felt ridiculous and made no sense (like the "President" just hanging out with some Aurors in a room where any ex-Auror can wander in, etc).

    That said, the following is a decent enough bare bones plot:
    Newt Scamander has been traveling the globe in search of magical beasts. His goal is to write a book that will help his fellow wizards understand instead of fear them. He has several creatures that even fellow magicals are unfamiliar with, such as a Niffler (which Tina had not heard of). Such creatures are well known by Harry Potter's time, likely thanks to Newt.

    So the fact that Newt was specifically traveling the globe looking for magical beasts means it makes sense that he encountered and Obscurius at one point and knew what it was. It's also in character for him to have tried to 'catch' it.

    He goes to New York for two reasons - one, to purchase a creature, and two, to release one in Arizona afterwards. While he's there some of the creatures he's transporting escape into Muggle New York.

    MEANWHILE... It also makes sense that in 1926 Gellert Grindelwald might be infiltrating Wizarding America. Granted the timing is a bit off, given that I thought he was meant to be in Europe at the time, but it's not too far out there given his own goals.

    So Grindelwald has infiltrated Wizarding America as a prominent Auror with access to the Magical President. While his plans there are coming to fruition he takes note of a nearby Obscurial. Also he apparently had a vision or something related to it, but whatever.

    Grindelwald would have several reasons to be interested in Obscurials. One from an intellectual's standpoint, of scientific curiosity.

    More importantly he would be interested from the standpoint that the existence of an obscurial in magical America supports his own cause - that such a thing could happen in the modern world that protects the muggles that cause it instead of the wizarding child who will die young because of it.

    Thirdly... it's powerful as hell. It could be harnessed and used, and Grindelwald doesn't seem the sort to care about the morality of such a thing.

    THEREFORE... It's not too hard to accept that Newt and Grindelwald would encounter each other. Newt's creatures are being blamed, Grindelwald is trying to find the Obscurial, and their paths cross.

    I honestly didn't expect them to take the hardcore route at the end either and add in a shade of grey or two. The good guys consciously killed Credence, who was the victim in all of this, while Grindelwald tried to save him (for his own purposes, granted).
    The problem is that a lot of that was handled poorly, I thought.

    Grindelwald should be a lot more capable as a wizard than he was. Yes, I did notice that his character (disguised or not) seemed to use by far the most wandless magic. Yes he always seemed in control even when being attacked. But I wanted to see him do something impressive.

    Also at the end he looked really stupid. His face was... I don't know, I wanted to laugh at him, and that wasn't the right response.

    I won't go into everything that bothered me, because I'm looking at it from the POV of a long time fan who writes and reads fanfiction. But I did think they did a decent job of the overall plot even if the execution bungled it several times.

    It's better than I expected, but didn't blow my socks. It's just that my expectations were incredibly low. I liked Newt though, as a protagonist. I'd watch another movie starring him.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  2. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Administrator Admin

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    How much is Marilyn Monroe on your radar as far as culture/history goes? Probably has a lot to do with that. I think if she's burned into your head, it's hard not to see how better the actress playing Queenie did with it.
     
  3. Dresden11

    Dresden11 Third Year

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    What do people think about the new Grindelwald information? Rowling recently confirmed that he is a Seer. This is how he had the vision of Credence's great power. Any ideas on how this will affect the new movies?
     
  4. DeezNuts

    DeezNuts Squib

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    Sequels will probably focus on Grindelwald trying to chase Newt down because Newt made him drop his wand which means,......Newt is the master of the Elder Wand
     
  5. robwar80

    robwar80 Squib

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    I feel like the sequels will follow Gellert Grindewald and that it will climactically end in the famous dual between Dumbledore and Grindewald which is said to be "the greatest dual of all time".
    What I think is going to happen is that we will see how Grindewald will pose a large threat to the world and how wizarding ww2 is going to work out.
     
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