Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them | Movie Review

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Release date: 18 November 2016 (United Kingdom)
Director: David Yates
Film series: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Film Series
Box office: 812.5 million USD
Screenplay: J. K. Rowling

This is a film that I have been meaning to watch for ages. Literally ages. Because I am the biggest Harry Potter fan and I love Eddie Redmayne so why it has taken me six months to watch it, I have no idea. But a few weeks ago I finally got around to watching it. And I was not disappointed. The film was quite different to what I was expecting, especially in how dark the film went, but I loved it nevertheless. I adored all the characters, particularly Queenie because I could really connect to her on a personal level, because they were all very complex and interesting and had their own individual quirks and backstories. I did think that a little more time could have been spent on the world building because I think that people who aren’t die hard Harry Potter fans may have had a bit of trouble understanding things. However, the visual effects were brilliant and I loved how all the magical creatures were presented. This was a really surprising film for me as it was very different to what I was expecting but I really enjoyed it all the same.

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The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander – played by Eddie Redmayne – has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident, were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

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Let’s just get this out there – Newt’s a real sweetheart, isn’t he? He is so loving and warm and good-natured but still very determined and protective and I love that a Hufflepuff is getting their chance in the spotlight for once (because yes, I am a Hufflepuff). I thought that Eddie Redmayne did a fantastic job, particularly as he had to work with so much CGI in the film, and really brought this socially-awkward yet very intelligent character to life. I also adored the Goldstein sisters and they are both two of my favourite female characters ever. Tina is so dedicated and hard-working and loyal and I love her relenting resilience that never once wavers in the film. But I also loved that she isn’t stone-hearted and goes through a lot of emotions in the film and isn’t afraid to openly show them; she is human and that’s what I love. I also adored Queenie because I think out of all the characters she is most like myself (though I am quite like Tina too). She isn’t ashamed or embarrassed of her kindness and warmth and actually uses this to her advantage when people underestimate her for being a giggly, dumb blonde. She’s also very funny and protective of her sister and I loved seeing Queenie and Tina’s relationship.

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This film was a whole lot darker than I ever could expected; there are themes of child abuse, discrimination and a level of intense hatred and disgust towards certain groups of people that I certainly wasn’t expecting. There were also several comments towards society which I also wasn’t expecting, seeing as this is a ‘kid’s film’. But it’s no ordinary ‘kids film’, this story tells several very important and deep messages about people’s attitudes and what we do when we tell groups of people to suppress themselves and hide away from society because who they are is unnatural – we create the results and consequences of what that individual then does and the results of that are clearly shown in the story. On a lighter note, I thought all the CGI was done brilliantly and I loved seeing all of the magical creatures and the wizarding world come to life. The plot is quite slow at the beginning with a lot of flitting around between different characters but at the half way point, it really picks up and builds into something fantastic.

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This film was definitely a surprise but it was a welcome surprise because I loved all the different elements and all the sub-plots that wove together to create this historical and moving film that even though it is about wizards, still has a lot of relevance to our society today. This is definitely a film for slightly older children to watch because it does get quite dark but both kids and adults can enjoy it – kids can enjoy the wonderful CGI and humour whereas adults can pick up on the hidden sub-text and the themes that the film is trying to get across.

Belle | Movie Review

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Release date: 13 June 2014 (United Kingdom)
Director: Amma Asante
Screenplay: Misan Sagay
Music composed by: Rachel Portman
Awards: The British Independent Film Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film

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BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.

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My Reading Wrap Up | May 2017

As I’ve said, I’m currently slap bang in the middle of my exams and sadly I haven’t had all that much time for reading. But, as I love reading so much, I make sure to read some pages when I wake up and before I go to sleep, so I’ve managed to complete a couple of books this month.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

So, I tried to read this book a while ago and couldn’t get past the first three pages. I started panicking that all the hype surrounding this book had killed it for me but I calmed myself, put it down and then, a while later, I picked it up again. And there was obviously something wrong with my mindset at the time because reading it now, I absolutely loved every single aspect about it! I adore all the characters and the humour and the complex plot and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Leigh Bardugo has obviously improved so much as a writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next!


Cat’s Cradle by Julia Golding

I’ve finally finished my task in re-reading this series that I was absolutely enamored with when I was a few years younger. This definitely isn’t my favourite book in the series, mainly because it is away from the thriving and amazing city of London, but I still enjoyed the writing and the characters and seeing how far they’ve developed since the beginning of the series. I’m sad that it’s over!


Doing It by Hannah Witton


My TV Listings | May 2017

I’m currently right in the middle of the exam season which means that TV programs aren’t exactly the first on my agenda but I have been trying to watch a couple of things here and there.

The Graham Norton Show

I’ve obviously been making time for my favourite chat show because not only does it perk me up, it yanks me back to the real world and some pop culture!

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This show had some really poignant episodes this month that were slightly different to its usual format – they had a much stronger message behind them, particularly the episode ‘Moo Moo’ which dealt with police brutality and the idea of being a black man in America. This episode was so moving and important and was handled really well in my opinion; I love this show all the more now!

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Quote Me #9

Back again for some more great quotes!

1) Amy: This one says Die Pig. And worst of all, they didn’t put the comma between die and pig. (Brooklyn Nine Nine)

2) Peter Quill: You look like Mary Poppins.
Yondu: Is he cool?
Peter Quill: Hell yeah, he’s cool.
Yondu: I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!
(Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

3) Prince: [dancing with her] What? What is it?
Belle: [smiles] How’d you feel about growing a beard?
(Beauty and the Beast)

Mid-May Favourites

Today was my first day of exams so from now until mid-June I’m basically snowed under with revision. That said, I’ve still been finding time to discover a couple of new favourites this month and particularly my film favourite, I am completely obsessed with! That said, this list definitely isn’t up to my usual standards and I’m sorry!

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017)
Director: James Gunn

Obviously, if anyone knows me, I am going to be obsessed with the newest Marvel release. I know that the majority of people love this film, though some people are sitting on the fence, and I am firmly in the camp of absolute adoration. This film was quite different in tone from the first one and was definitely more emotional and moving but was still full of brilliant songs, amazing characters and the humour that all Marvel films are jam-packed with. This film was so engaging and enjoyable and I encourage everybody to go and see it!

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Six of Crows (2015)
Author: Leigh Bardugo

I can’t believe that the first time I picked this book up I couldn’t even get through the first five pages because now I am fully obsessed with this book. I love all of the characters because they’re so complex and engaging and are characters that I’ve never read about before. This world is so vivid and dark and gritty that I just want to discover more about it and the plot was perfect – who doesn’t love a good heist novel? I can’t wait to read the sequel!


Grease Live Soundtrack (2016)

After becoming absolutely obsessed with the Hairspray Live soundtrack, I figured I should give Grease Live a shot as well. Now, Grease isn’t actually one of my favourite musicals (with is a very unpopular opinion) but I’m pleased to say that I absolutely adored it. Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Hudgens and Jordan Fisher are incredible in this and I have been listening to every single song on repeat.

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The Playlist Shuffle Tag #15

Here we go again!
1) Lethargy – Bastille
2) Stone Cold Sober – Paloma Faith
3) Wish That You Were Here – Florence + The Machine
4) Courage and Kindness – Patrick Doyle
5) Stay Alive – Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton
6) Madhouse – Little Mix
7) Everybody Wants To Be A Cat – Charles Perry
8) Losing Sleep – John Newman
9) On My Own – Samantha Barks
10) Left Right Left – Charlie Puth
11) That Would Be Enough – Alicia Keys
12) Love Runs Out – Noah Guthrie
13) Happen – Emeli Sandé
14) If You Really Love Me – Stevie Wonder
15) Fifty Checks – Tom Wopat