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.

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My Top 5 Favourite Characters I Want To Kiss Under The Mistletoe

This is aka the post in which I rant about the characters I find attractive all wrapped in shiny Christmas packaging. Obviously, there are many, many characters I could put on this list. These are not the best 5, just a selection of 5.

1) Dorian Havilliard (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas)

Maybe not in the latest books, because he’s definitely less funny and witty and more dark and brooding (understandably) but in the first half of the series I was madly in love with Dorian. He’s everything I like: tall, dark, handsome, funny and he likes reading. Yes please.

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2) Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia films)

In the books, Caspian is a bit of weedy kid with freckles. In the films, however, he is given a shiny new look as a handsome, dashing pirate-King who I have been obsessed with for many, many years. Seriously, just Google his face. Added to this, he’s funny and loyal and brave. *swoons*

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3) Lance Hunter (Agents of SHIELD)

Even I can’t help this one. Lance Hunter is a Brit – pretty sure he’s a Northerner too like me – who is dashingly handsome, hilarious and protective. I’m sure he’d make some sarcastic comment about said mistletoe but I don’t care. I love him.

4) J Daniel Atlas (from Now You See Me)

I was slightly shocked at Jesse Eisenberg’s lack of hair in Now You See Me 2 but brushing this aside, I love Daniel Atlas. He’s adorably cute and sarcastic and brave and a very good magician and I love his sweaters.

5) Sirius Black (from Harry Potter by JK Rowling)

Sirius Black is unashamedly my favourite male character from the Harry Potter series and he’s definitely not the kind of guy I usually go for. But, there’s just something about his slightly rebellious, bad-boy demeanor and that long hair that just makes me melt.

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The Halloween Book Tag

With Halloween coming up, I figured it was only right for me to a do a spooky themed tag. I don’t normally go big on the whole Halloween thing but I’m not immune to some scary fun. This tag was created by Naomi TheBookLover so let’s do this tag!

1. Carving pumpkins- what book would you carve up and light on fire?
I’m not someone for saying that they hated a book, but I had big problems with Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard despite wanting to love it.

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2. Trick or treat- what character is a treat, what character is a trick?
Dorian Havilliard from the Throne of Glass series is a total sweetheart and I love him. Draco Malfoy is a prick.

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3. Candy corn- what book is always sweet?
Something different to my typical Anna and the French Kiss is another book I love which is Winter by Marissa Meyer.

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4. Ghosts- what character would you love to visit you as a ghost?
This is such an interesting question! Maybe Dumbledore? I know he could give some good advice. Or Lottie from The Spinster Club series so we could have some feminist rants together.

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5. Dressing up in costume- what character would you want to be for a day?
Again, this is a very difficult one. I’m going to say Tessa from the Infernal Devices series because I’d love to live in Victorian London and get to hang out with Will Herondale.

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6. Wizards and witches- what is your favorite Harry Potter moment?
THIS SO, SO HARD! Fleur and Bill’s wedding? That was a total OTP moment. Seeing Sirius in Order of the Phoenix in that velvet blazer? I nearly fainted. Molly killing Bellatrix? That was another good one. I can’t just pick one!

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7. Blood and gore- what book was so creepy that you had to take a break from it for awhile?
I’m not really a reader of creepy books but one that is pretty eerie is The Diviners by Libba Bray.

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Quote Me #2

Time for some more funny, inspiring and beautiful quotes!

‘It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.’ JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

‘I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.’ Peggy Carter, Agent Carter.

Christie, look at me. I want you to remember something, because a lot of times people get nice things and they start to think differently. We got here from hard work, patience and humility. So I want to tell you, don’t ever think that the world owes you anything, because it doesn’t. The world doesn’t owe you a thing.’ Joy Mangano, Joy.

Top 5 July Releases | 2016

With only a few weeks of school left and all the exams out of the way, things are finally on the up. And what better way to spend your newly discovered ‘free time’ by picking up a great new release?

1) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
Release Date: July 31st

I think this is the big one this month – but many people probably don’t realise it’s even being released. This is basically the script to the new Harry Potter play that everyone has been raving about so if you can’t get yourself down to London to see the play, you can read this little beauty instead. And boy, am I intrigued.

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2) This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Release Date: July 5th

Victoria Schwab is a pretty well known author but I am yet to actually pick up one of her books, so I really should give her books a go. This one sounds like it could be right up my street – it’s an urban fantasy and the first in a duology about two people who are heirs to a city and have very conflicting ideas and opinions about how it should be run, and how to tackle their demon problem. Fun!

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3) And I Darken by Kiersten White
Release Date: July 7th

I’ve heard an awful lot about Kiersten White’s books and while I do own one of her books, I haven’t yet read it and I really want to push myself to read some. Therefore, having two of her books on my shelves may make me do just that. This is a fantasy following a warrior princess in some sort of Arab-fantasy world which just sounds very interesting to me.

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4) Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy
Release Date: July 5th

This is not a book that I would normally read but there is just something that grabbed me about the title and the plot. And there is something very interesting about an asteroid hurtling towards Earth and a romance between a girl completely oblivious to her oncoming demise and a physicist prodigy from Russia who has been enlisted by NASA. Really, what else is needed?

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5) How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
Release Date: July 26th

I have always been mega interested by the Salem Witch trials but that is the only thing that grabbed me about this book. Firstly, it’s about a girl who is descendant of one of the witch hunters, rather than one of the witches. And secondly, the actual author of this book is a descendant of that witch hunter. Like, wow…I am super intrigued about this entire concept even though I know nothing else about the plot.

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My Top 5 Favourite Non-Book Magicians

Recently I did a post explaining my 5 favourite book magicians and now it’s time for my to share my non-book favourites – the amazing magical characters that come from the worlds of TV and film. And I’m going to be using the word ‘magician’ as an umbrella term for anyone with magical powers.

1) Henley Reeves from Now You See Me

I really do love the film Now You See Me and Henley Reeves is one of my favourite characters. Not only is she played by the brilliant Isla Fisher, but she’s smart and witty and determined too. She’s also pretty great at the whole magician thing and I love her sarcastic banter. I’m really sad she’s not going to be in the sequel, but that just means I’ll have to watch the original a hundred times more.

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2) Sirius Black

Yes, I know that the original source material was a book but I couldn’t not put Sirius Black on my list. He’s probably my favourite male character from the world of Harry Potter and he’s also an excellent magician – technically, he’s a wizard. He’s amazingly snarky and witty and he’s also very loyal and passionate and daring. He’s also not too bad to look at, but that doesn’t have anything to do with it, does it?

3) Cordelia Foxx from American Horror Story: Coven

Sarah Paulson’s characters are always my favourite characters in American Horror Story and aside from being my favourite character in Coven, Cordelia is probably my favourite character from the entire show’s history. I feel she often gets forgotten and is just seen as a goody-two-shoes but why does being kind and considerate have to be a bad thing? She’s also a real tough-cookie but is also really funny and always takes the moral high ground which is something I love to see in a character. And, she’s the supreme, so there’s that too.

4) Fleur Delacour

I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put my favourite Harry Potter female onto this list too. I’ve spoken about my love for Fleur before but I think she is a very undervalued character in the world of Harry Potter and I absolutely adore her. She is protective and understanding while always remaining true to herself and loyal to her loved ones. Fleur needs more love!

5) Merlin from Merlin

A few years ago, I was properly obsessed with the TV show Merlin. And still am, to be honest. And while Merlin may not be my favourite character on the show, he is definitely my favourite magical character. He is so sweet and kind and protective of his friends but he is also really brave and determined too.

 

The Captain America: Civil War Book Tag

Was this tag made for me? Quite possibly. I adore books and I adore Marvel so this is literally a match made in heaven. I know that this film has been out in the world for a few weeks now but I’ve sadly not been able to see it yet. So, to satisfy my pining, I am doing this tag!

Captain America: Name a character who always does – or thinks they do – the right thing.

I actually found this question quite difficult, but one of the first answers I thought of was Harry Potter. This is one of my favourite qualities about him; he is do determined and driven.

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Falcon: A loyal character

I’m going to go with Cress from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Among all of Cress’s wonderful attributes she is 100% loyal and committed to her friends.

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Hawkeye: A character that is extremely good at something very specific

Katniss Everdeen is very good at simply staying alive, but she’s particularly amazing at archery.

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Ant- Man: A character that’s just happy to tag along

I’d argue that Scott Lang does a heck of a lot more than just tag along, but in my opinion, Theresa from The Maze Runner just tagged along. I stopped reading this series after the first book because I really didn’t click with me and I think the characters were one of the reasons why.

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Agent 13: A character you’re super nervous about

I do not like where this question is going but a character I am very worried about is Dorian from the Throne of Glass series. He went through a heck of a lot in the last book and there might be a new relationship on the horizon that I do not want happening.

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Winter Solider: A character with really great positive character growth

I’m going to go with Lizzy from Pride and Prejudice. Her character growth is basically the whole point of the story and I love it.

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Scarlet Witch: A character that started out on the wrong side but ended up joining the team

Ooh, this question was really hard for me so I’m going to go with Magnus in City of Bones. He’s not exactly down with helping Shadowhunters.

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Bonus:

Winter Solider & Captain America: Two characters that have been friends for a long time:

Rose and Lissa from Vampire Academy. They’ve been friends for years!

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Iron Man: A character that doesn’t seem to learn from their mistakes or a character willing to stand up to his friends for what he believes in

I immediately thought of Celaena from Throne of Glass because she is not afraid to say what she thinks, even if it could possibly start arguments between her friends

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War Machine: A character that’s always showing off his “big guns.”

Basically all the guys in A Court of Thorns and Roses. I’m pretty sure they all get their shirt off at some point.

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Black Widow: Badass female character that also has a soft side

These characters are some of my favourite to read about but as I’ve already said my go to answer which is Celaena, I’ll say Izzy from The Mortal Instruments. She is totally badass but also a really sweet person.

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Black Panther: A character out for revenge

Levanna from The Lunar Chronicles. Especially in the later books.

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Vision: A character you are unsure about

Samantha from My Life Next Door. I’m still deciding whether I like her or not.

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Spiderman: A character you were afraid just wasn’t going to fit

Winter, into the whole dynamic that had already been set up in The Lunar Chronicles. I had no need to be worried though.

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Pepper Potts (pretty sure she isn’t in this movie but whatever): A character who uses their intelligence

Frankie in the Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. She is really clever and witty and she uses this to take down the annoying idiots in this book.

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