Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them DVD Review

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Good Morning Lovelies,

Today marks the day that Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them reaches our homes on digital, DVD and Blu-Ray versions! And to celebrate I wanted to share our exciting review of the film!

Guest reviewing on the blog, Kara is my friend from work who is very excited by the magical world of Harry Potter and co. So I decided to let her review the film lovelies. I hope you all enjoy it lovelies…

Thanks to Joey for the advance screening of FBAWTFT.
This review is slightly spoilery.

It doesn’t hit you how much you’ve missed Harry Potter until the Warner Bros title floats on screen. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a welcomed addition to the film-verse, bringing to life the wonder and magic in 1920s New York.

In the first instalment of five, Fantastic Beasts introduces us to just a small selection of the creatures Newt has collected. It’s a taste of what’s to come – from the big to the deceptively small, the creatures are the heart of the film. You’ll wish these creatures exist in the real world, with weekly documentaries about them à la Secret Life of the Zoo or Planet Earth II. Newt Scamander is the David Attenborough of the magical world and Hagrid is his number 1 fan.

The essence of the magical world remains and its fusion with the 1920s era is incredible. The wizard speakeasy, mob goblins and bartender house-elves (Dobby would’ve made a good bartender), surrounded amongst the half-built skyscrapers set the tone for the film. You can’t help but compare our ministry with America’s equivalent, and I hate to say it, but the MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) headquarters is so pretty!

An unexpected surprise was the world within a world. We really did find out where to find the fantastical beasts – or at least a representation of it in Newt’s special suitcase. It makes you wish you got to see inside Hermione’s endless bag.

Eddie Redmayne is the perfect, lovable Newt Scamander and brings a nuanced and charming performance, but the most unexpected surprise was the no-maj (we call them muggles here) Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, who’s taken along for the ride in the hunt to catch ‘em all.

Our other two additions to the fantastic beast catching team were the two witch sisters, Porpentina aka Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queen (Alison Sudel). They shone in their roles, and I’m glad Queenie wasn’t relegated to a background character – her resourcefulness, smarts, and just her general presence added an extra special element to the movie. The relationship forged between the four heroes and the sisterly bond between Queenie and Tina was very well done and was the highlight of the movie.

The budding romance between Newt and Tina is subtly portrayed, as well as that of Queenie and Jacob which was endearing. The latter in particular we really start to root for, especially given the strict no-mag/wizard fraternisation rules enforced by the ministry.

You’ll see familiar spells being thrown which ties it well to the HP world we know and love. The rich setting and excellent CGI effects bring this world to life and immerses you into the experience. You’ll yet again be reminded how your acceptance letter got lost in the mail, but at least you can cast a simple ‘lumos’ spell on your phone (Thanks, Google).

Fantastic Beasts switches from light-hearted to dark effortlessly, with sprinkles of humour mixed in with a pound of violence. You won’t need ‘giggle water’ (you’ll get this when you watch the movie) to make you laugh, as the comedic elements in Fantastic Beasts sets it apart from the previous Harry Potter instalments. Newt performing a mating dance with a giant hippopotamus, bank and jewellery store heists, and a sticky-fingered platypus-like creature are just a few things you can look forward to. 

A character also makes it rain at one point...

Take away the creatures, however, and the flaws begin to show. The secondary storyline involving Grindelwald (Depp) and Graves (Farrell) felt rushed – almost an afterthought, and after painstakingly injecting life and love into the creatures, the ending is predictable and I hate to say it, but it’s been done already. Percival Graves was a character I would have loved to have seen more of, and while Farrell portrayed the MACUSA (no, not a mob group) official with posture, grace and a quiet menace, his character and storyline was often left in the background until you were reminded of his presence.  

Credence, played by Ezra Miller, had an incredible presence on screen, and even without saying much, he kept viewers entranced and riveted by his tragic storyline. The emotional and physical abuse he suffered and its ramifications is a powerful and resonating message. We see a small, black wisp slink away after the epic battle, so I’m hoping that Credence escaped and will seek Newt’s help in the future.

The wand fight near to the end is impressive – it’s literally electric, but it is short-lived and over too soon. Not enough time was given to this side of the story, and while I’m glad we got to see the creatures, there should have been a balance. Perhaps in the next few movies, it will be more well-rounded.

Hagrid would love this movie, and if that’s not enough to make you watch, at least you’ve still got the 8 Harry Potter movies, 7 books, and various other reading materials.

Look out for mentions of Hogwarts, Ilvermorny, Dumbledore and a family name you might not expect…

A question the movie leaves you with is who they will cast as a young Dumbledore and if we can ever expect a Marauders era movie soon (or if it will only remain in my dreams).
Fans of Harry Potter, you won’t be disappointed. They’ve done good.

Kara gave the film…

4 Stars

The film comes with a few extra editions, which I checked out and they are full of magical goodness, which I am sure every Wizarding World fan will enjoy!

Will you be watching this tonight lovelies?

Blog Soon,

Joey X

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