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Movie Date: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (PG)

The new cast doesn’t bring on the magic like the Harry Potter trio, but fans will lap it up anyway.

STARRING: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell

DIRECTOR: David Yates

THE SKINNY: Set 70 years before Harry Potter steps into Hogwarts, we see how magizoologist Newt Scamander (Redmayne) attempts to protect and rescue magical creatures as part of his research for a book he’s writing on. His misadventures in New York City hooks him up with witch Tina Goldstein (Waterston) and human Jacob Kowalski (Fogler). Of course, there is some evil magic at work too.



Expectations for this flick are probably a little too high.

Audiences are hoping it will be as magical as the Potter franchise. The team behind it are no doubt praying it will be as


I suspect both sides will likely be a tad disappointed.

Fantastic Beasts is a very interesting flick with some cool ideas.

The premise itself is aces. Hey, the main guy is writing a textbook on monsters, and the monsters he keeps in his magical briefcase escape!

Without giving too much away, I also like the concept about having a malignant creature created by suppressed magic.

Unfortunately, there are some fundamental issues undermining the potential for fun.

For a start, the cast is seriously deficient in charisma and chemistry.

Redmayne is a talented fellow, but he just strikes me as too weird to be a leading man.

His gang are rather dull, and are also quite ordinary looking. There's no glamour at all.

As for the setting, 1920s New York, it's not only visually drab but completely overdone - how many times do we need to see old timey New York?

The plot is quite confusing and there's often too much going on.

It's not that I didn't enjoy the film, but it's just a film.

Unlike Potter, I doubt it will be a phenomenon.

Verdict: 3/5


J K Rowling should just stick to writing books and not movie scripts.

There's no denying that Rowling has opened the door to another fantastical and magical world that adds more depth to her already rich Harry Potter universe.

But she has crammed in unnecessary subplots, making the movie rather disjointed.

It also doesn't help that she doesn't give enough to make us want to connect with the main characters.

Judging from her style of writing, she's definitely keeping the juicy parts for the subsequent sequels - there will be four more.

Remember how she revealed Professor Snape's jawdropping backstory?

That begs the question: Will it then alienate non-Potterheads?

The sense of awe and wonder that Jacob displays when he first steps into Newt's magical enclave mirrors mine.

It is what makes me a fan.

But mind you, this is no child's flick.

The tone is way darker and the themes more adult than the last two Potter movies.

This won't make you high like the earlier films.

But it has the familiar theme song, the hints of what is to come and little elements from the earlier movies littered around.

It is a welcome treat, a nostalgic return to the Potter world.

Verdict: 4/5

THE CONSENSUS: The new cast doesn’t bring on the magic like the Harry Potter trio, but fans will lap it up anyway.

Movie Review: Shut In (PG13)

Critics have been slamming their doors on Shut In, but I rather liked it.

Despite a slow start and being guilty of using jump scares (racoons rattling dustbins, anyone?), it builds up to a thrilling reveal.

Naomi Watts plays widowed child psychologist Mary, the sole carer for her stepson Stephen (Charlie Heaton), who was left paralysed in the car accident that killed her husband. One winter, one of her deaf patients Tom (Jacob Tremblay) disappears after a brief visit to her house, and Mary starts to suspect he has died and is haunting her.

Tremblay got us all trembly as the isolated boy in Room, and he's good as another traumatised kid in Shut In, but hopefully he doesn't need to see a child psychologist of his own after all that.

The violent, tense last act of the film makes up for its initial plodding nature.

Verdict: 4/5


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