Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: A Movie Review

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-poster-1While working on his book on the fantastic beasts of the wizarding world, Newt Scamander finds himself in New York with his leather suitcase filled with magical creatures. When an accidental switch of suitcases leads Newt and a muggle named Jacob Kowalski on a search for some escaped critters, they soon discover that there is more dangerous magic occurring in New York than just a few beasts on the loose.

Screenplay written by J.K. Rowling and tied to the encyclopedia of the same name, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was just as magical as the Harry Potter franchise. The story was told at a good pace that kept me entertained—I laughed out loud several times—and wanting more without wondering how much longer until it was over. However, I did feel there were one or two subplots too many in this film, such as the introduction of Newt’s previous love interest, but those were kept short and I’m sure will be expanded on in an upcoming film installment. While there were a few parts where I could tell the beasts were CGI, mostly when the actors were touching or interacting with the creatures, I still thought they were well done and kept true to the strangeness of the magical world.

I like that most of Newt’s history is still to be learned because it leaves room for his character to develop more as the series continues. Eddie Redmayne did an excellent job at portraying Newt Scamander, staying curious throughout the film while also seeming genuinely concerned about the beasts he was carrying, and I also enjoyed Ezra Miller’s performance as Credence Barebone. He’s an actor I like to keep my eye out for because I always enjoy his performances, and even though I had learned a few weeks back that he was in this movie I actually had forgotten and didn’t even recognize him until half way through.

Overall, if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter franchise—whether book or movie—I highly recommend seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It has a little bit of everything: action, adventure, romance, and, of course, magic, and is guaranteed to keep both kids and adults entertained.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: A Movie Review

Finally, the movie I have been waiting to see for over a year when I first heard there was a movie being made from one of my favorite books.

This is Charlie’s (Logan Lerman) freshman year of high school. He has no friends. His only friend, Michael, shot himself last May. Needless to say, Charlie did not take the news well. As his high school career begins, he keeps to himself and begins to count down until the day he graduates.

Then he meets Patrick (Era Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson): two seniors who are too focused on being themselves and having fun to care what other people think about them. The three quickly become great friends, and Charlie’s bad days seem to grow fewer and far between. Until the mistake that changes everything. The night Charlie kisses Sam instead of his girlfriend when dared to kiss the prettiest girl in the room. Isolated from the group, Charlie is beginning to find it harder and harder to turn off the bad feelings that have come flooding back in.

One of the greatest coming of age books, the movie adaptation is not disappointing. I was a little afraid that there would be a lot of creative freedom taken with it, but the author, Steven Chbosky, actually wrote the script and directed, which is probably why it was so close to the book. I think one of my favorite aspects about the movie was that the song “Asleep” by The Smiths was in it. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was the book that turned me on to The Smiths and “Asleep” was a big part of the book. If you listen closely to the lyrics you can probably figure out why.

I also must applaud Emma Watson on her performance. I was a little afraid when I first heard she was cast as Sam because… well… she’s Hermione Granger. Not Sam. But after re-reading the book and watching the movie trailer several hundred times, Emma began to grow on me. Her American accent was very well done and she portrayed Sam well, doing justice to the character that I loved in the book.

If you plan on seeing this movie I suggest bringing some tissues even if you don’t think you’ll cry. The topics of dealing with death, love, suicide, and molestation are tough to sit through without tearing up just a little (or so I think).

Grade: A+