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SMR 110: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

Rod and Karen review the first installment of the Harry Potter prequel series, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.


  1. sirius_moonlite

    I agree with your review, even as a fan who has read all the books and seen all the films. I think the screenplay suffered because Rowling (who also wrote the screenplay) was working from an unstructured source. The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them is not an actual novel like the other HP books, it’s like a reference book a Hogwarts student would read. I think she wrote it for a charity fundraiser. Rowling did write extensive back stories on ALL the characters in the HP universe, she often shares these backstories on Pottermore.com but this film relied too much on info from that site and the books.

    Here is some info I thought might answer some of the questions you presented in the review. You don’t have to read it if it’s too long.

    •JK Rowling has said Dumbledore will be in the next 4 films. They haven’t announced who will be playing him yet but he should be around the same age as Depp, so he’ll probably be in his 40s-early 50s.

    •You didn’t mention it in your review, but did you clock who the woman was in photo Newt carries around?
    That was Zoe Kravitz and she will be in the sequels. Her character, Leta Lestrange, is an ancestor of Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) which also makes her kin to Draco Malfoy (his mom is Bellatrix’s sister) and Sirus Black (the Blacks are kin to the Lestranges).

    •Tina and Perceval Graves (Collin Ferrel) were Aurors, dark wizard catchers, like wizard FBI. Mad Eye Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt (the tall Black man in the African garb in the HP films), Tonks and Neville’s parent were also Aurors. Harry and Ron both become Aurors as adults.

    •Johnny Depp’s character, Gellert Grindelwald was basically the Voldermort of his time. In fact he inspired Tom Riddle/Voldermort.

    •Albus Dumbeldore and Grindelwald were teenaged friends who were obsessed with the Deathly Hallows and power. Albus was also in love with Gellert (Rowling confirmed some time ago that Dumbledore was gay and has said she will not shy away from that in this new series). Albus’s brother Alberforth (who was in the HPDH:Pt2 movie) told Albus Gellert was a no good fuckboy which led to a fight where Albus and Alberforth’s sister Ariana got killed by accident. This is why Alberforth blamed Albus for their sister’s death. Albus severed ties with Gellert who then went on the run.

    •Dumbledore will be in the next 4 films. He is already a professor at Hogwarts in the 1920s but he is most famous for defeating Grindelwald in a duel in 1945. Rowling has said this duel will be the cumulative event in the 5th and final Fantastic Beast movie. Basically, Dumbledore becomes the Harry Potter to Grindelwald’s Voldermort.

    •Also both of Hermione’s parents were “muggles” or “no-maj” and they briefly appeared in a couple of the HP movies. Hermione had to olbiviate their memories of her to protect them in Deathly Hollows Part 1. Another fun fact, the actress that played her mom, Michelle Fairley, played Catelyn Stark on Game of Thrones.

  2. Amani

    WB did it to me again man, this is EXACTLY what they’ve been doing with DC’s Murderverse and the Hobbit. That was only one book they somehow turned into three movies, and it was shorter than any of the other Lord of the Rings books so we know they can cut it into 2 hours. This fucking studio man.

    The whole time for the last two years they swore this wasn’t going to be a prequel, then a couple months out they decided they were making five movies and throw in Grindlewald. That’s why it felt like there were two totally separate movies happening at once, and you can tell exactly which parts they added in re-shoots.

    For someone who never read Harry Potter, Rod nailed it, Johnny Depp’s character is basically wizard Magneto. For the record there’s no actual Fantastic Beasts books they’re working from, besides a fake textbook Rowling did for charity (and then later started selling for more money), but from what we know from the original series and the direction it feels like they’re going in, Eddie Redmayne is going to be even more pointless than he was in this one so there are odd choices all around.

    Still, as frustrated as it made me it was still mostly enjoyable because of the actors. And to be fair to them, they did actually kill the kid in the end. But it was so poorly explained I don’t blame anyone for being confused. I was more concerned about the fact they had a Black Woman President in the 1920s and nobody even looked sideways at her once? Completely took me out of the movie haha. Really enjoyed the review, sorry this ran long but WB has been trying my soul in 2016.

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