Thursday, November 24, 2016

Film: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

A Brit magician with a large collection of monsters in his suitcase travels to New York and accidentally loses some of them in the city, where magic is still being kept a big secret. 

When I left the cinema having seen this I tweeted "I've just given JK Rowling more money and I wished I hadn't". That sums up my impression of the film perfectly. 

It's a great production but it left me disappointed. The Potter Universe moves from the UK to New York and this allows the Brits to be portrayed as the cliches we usually get from American made films. In Potter the British cast were not stereotyped; they were just British. Now Eddie Redmayne becomes a bumbling Hugh Grant character acting like a cross between Tommy Cooper and Tom Baker. At times I thought he might pipe in with "Half a Sixpence". The other Brit, Irish Colin Farrell gets to play the more common cliche, that of the bad guy.

Digital effects are great and you know the actors spent a lot of time in front of green screen. The scenes in the bag are especially clever and probably looked amazing in 3D (I just saw the 2D one). There's a monster that's made from a very complicated particle effect routine that was probably created that way to appear on the digital effects company's show reel.

According to rumours this is the first of a five-part franchise. It'll do very well and I'll probably still see the others if they do materialise but that'll be because I like cinema, not necessarily this film.

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