Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Thursday, 17 November, 2016

3 stars
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them scene

It was November 2010, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 had just been released, and Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed the franchise’s title character, was looking forward to handing in his wizard paraphernalia upon the release of the film’s second installment in 2011. It was time for him to move on. It was time to find new roles to play.

Word then that British author JK Rowling was considering adding to her iconic book series, was not what he wanted to hear. Mortified at the possibility of having to act the school-boy caster of spells indefinitely, Radcliffe sought clarification from Rowling as to her intentions. Not to worry she told him by text message, no more books were planned.

While Radcliffe was relieved, at least for a while, the undertaking may have left Rowling feeling as if she had painted herself into a corner. What to do then, when the urge to write more stories in the Harry Potter realm manifests itself, but the central character of the story has now become he who cannot be included?

The answer was simple. Do what any other creator of fiction and fantasy does; write a spin-off story. And the best part here, so far as Rowling was concerned, she had already written it. In a way. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, had been featured as a textbook, owned by Potter, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them scene

Set seventy years before events of the original Harry Potter books, Fantastic Beasts (trailer), tells the story of the would-be textbook’s author, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a British magizoologist, who has travelled to 1920s New York, at the behest of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, to research the yet to be written textbook.

Scamander has however misplaced his suitcase, or what appears to be a suitcase. Its interior is in fact of infinite proportions, and had housed an array of weird and wonderful creatures, until they escaped. Eventually Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), of the local secret society of witches and wizards, decides to comes to his aid.

Teaming up with a couple of other locals, Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), they go about the task of rounding up the trouble making beasts. In doing so, they are trailed by Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), another local wizard. The senior ranking Graves, however, is not all that he seems to be.

While long time Potter director David Yates returns to helm this prequel, it’s nothing like the days of Harry, Hermione, and Ron. For those other than Potter fans, the story may be a little too slight. And those fantastic creatures, as marvellous as they are, they’re not quite enough to carry things through. Redmayne’s performance is a plus though.

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T2: Trainspotting trailer. Would you choose to revisit your past?

Tuesday, 8 November, 2016

The official trailer for T2: Trainspotting, the much anticipated sequel to 1996’s Trainspotting. Will it be any good though? Well, much of the original cast return, Danny Boyle also comes back to direct, and the screenplay is based on Irvine Welsh’s novel Porno, the follow-up to his original book, Trainspotting. So here’s hoping.

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Back to the Future, pulling apart top notch story-telling

Monday, 7 November, 2016

Back to the Future is a film I watch once a year, and part of its enduring appeal is down to the structure of its story. Screenwriters and authors take note, this is how to write successfully. Parts two and three are ok, but they really don’t hold a candle to the original.

Also, revisit Back to the Future’s opening sequence. It’s incredible just how much of the story is set up from there.

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The second trailer for the next Star Wars film, Rogue One

Monday, 17 October, 2016

Not long to go now until the first Star Wars Anthology film, Rogue One, opens in cinemas.

Just two months. I hope hope hope this will be good. The new trailer, released late last week, looks hopeful.

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How very Kubrick, scenes from a Kubrick/Spielberg collaboration

Friday, 14 October, 2016

A.I. Artificial Intelligence was made by Steven Spielberg in 2001. If you look at Kubrick – Spielberg, a short film by French actor Candice Drouet, it looks as if Spielberg took inspiration from a number of Stanley Kubrick’s works.

In fact, Kubrick and Spielberg worked together on the film, until Kubrick’s death in 1999. Suggestions that Spielberg wanted the film to stand as a homage to Kubrick therefore make sense.

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Film cameos featuring the rich and the famous

Thursday, 15 September, 2016

Setting up a cameo appearance in a film is probably no small task, especially when it comes to the higher profile actors. It must take a miracle of scheduling to have such people in the right place, at the right time. Still, it happens, and seems to happen often, so that means that someone is pretty good at scheduling.

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Spike Jonze made a perfume ad. What, can’t you tell?

Monday, 5 September, 2016

US filmmaker Spike Jonze, who directed the likes of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., and Her, has made a perfume advert, that features model and actress, Margaret Qualley.

Rest assured, this is not your typical sort of perfume advert. As quickly becomes apparent. That could be why some refer to it as a short film instead.

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Your photo as a movie poster. Seriously

Thursday, 1 September, 2016

Movie poster photo

This is cool. A Reddit member, known aptly as Your_Post_As_A_Movie, will convert images that other members send in, into a poster for a fictitious movie.

You can first look at the original, or source photo, and then see the movie poster version.

As I have to duck out for the rest of the day, this is today’s last post. Back tomorrow. In the meantime check out the Instagram page, for more art and design-ery stuff.

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The top one hundred films of the twenty-first century

Wednesday, 24 August, 2016

David Lynch’s 2001 feature Mulholland Drive, has taken out the number one spot in a poll of film critics, conducted by the BBC, of films made in the twenty-first century. In the Mood for Love, made a year earlier by Kar-Wai Wong, came in second place. I can’t argue with that.

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A trailer for Kenobi: A Star Wars Story. Wait, is that even a thing?

Tuesday, 23 August, 2016

Even though it was introduced as a fan-made clip, as I watched I thought, no, this must be an official trailer, for a Star Wars Anthology, or spin-off, film about Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi. But, no, it is not official, it is a labour of love by Canadian filmmaker Rich Williamson, for a would-be film that might be titled Kenobi: A Star Wars Story.

I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this went on to spawn an actual film. Or trilogy of films, a prospect that has been on the cards for sometime, from what I can gather. Ewan McGregor, who played Kenobi in the Prequel Trilogy films, is said to be interested in reprising his role, if production were to proceed.

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