Writer: J.K. Rowling (Screenplay)
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller
Plot: The second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” series featuring the adventures of Magizoologist Newt Scamander.
Tagline – The fate of one will change the future of all
Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Simple World Building
Story: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald starts with Grindelwald (Depp) escaping prison pulling his forces together as he is going in search for Credence Barebone (Miller) who is now on the run, the Ministry want Credence bought to safety, which gives them a chance to offer Newt (Redmayne) a way to travel internationally.
Tina (Waterston) has been selected to go in search of Credence, which ends up giving all parties interested in search for Credence, the one person who has the power to killed Dumbledore (Law).
Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Characters – Newt still considered an outside in the magical world, he is offered a chance to redeem himself to stop Grindelwald from gaining too much power, he still has the connection with the fantastic beasts, is trying to redeem his relationship with Tina and prove himself to the Ministry. Grindelwald has escaped his prison and is now looking to raise an army for a war against the non-magics, he knows how to take down the biggest threat ad is working to get Credence on his side. Tina has moved away from Newt after reading something incorrectly, which sees her leading the investigation into Credence’s location. Dumbledore has a connection the Grindelwald, one that means he can’t track him down and he selects Newt to help him search for his old friend. Credence is the young man that everyone is searching for, he has power that others simply can’t control, he doesn’t know who to trust in any way, leaving him on the run as he wants answers to who his parents are. Leta Lestrange is the former classmate of Newt, she has been put in a position where she can make up for her own mistakes in the past, while dealing with her own secret.
Performances – Eddie Redmayne is solid enough returning to his role, there are moments where he is annoying though. Johnny Depp was solid too even with all the issues around him being cast in this film. most of the cast are just basically solid, nobody does anything to stand out in this movie.
Story – The story continues the adventures of Newt as he must learn why Grindelwald is searching for Credence. We do see both sides bring drawn out in a war between the two sides, with the different wizards needing to learn pick a side. Where we do have a lot characters we do seem to lose focuses on just what is happening within the bigger picture, as this is only an early chapter in series, it des feel like a building story rather than one that has a beginning or end, which also disappoints. We do however know that the Harry Potter franchise was similar with this, giving us moments which will be used for latter moments in the franchise.
Adventure/Fantasy – The adventure side of the film does take Newt to new locations with more of his fantastic beasts which is fine, though it just feels like more of the same with the magic being more about who wants power over clever little tricks.
Settings – The film does use a couple more settings with Paris and London being involved, most of the locations are used to show the secret places where magic can take place.
Special Effects – The effects are not as strong as previous films though, we have seen a lot of different moments through the film, with this being more of a let-down over anything else even with some of the beasts looks amazing.
Final Thoughts – This is an average chapter in a franchise which has gone on for a while now, it has good moments and tries to save itself with a twist, which is here for shock value over any meaning.
Overall: Simple chapter building.
Writer: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly (Screenplay)
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dimitier D Marinov, Mike Hatton
Plot: A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.
Tagline – Inspired by a True Friendship
Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Great Story of Friendship
Story: Green Book starts when Italian-American Tony Lip (Mortensen) sees the club he is working at close down for a couple of months, needing to find a job, he gets connected to Dr Don Shirley (Ali) who requires a driver for a tour of the deep south in 1960s America.
While on tour it is clear the two have their differences, with Tony not being fond of black people and believing Dr Don should know about black musicians, and Dr Don wanting to see Tony learn to be more accepting to people and carry himself more professionally in everyday life.
Thoughts on Green Book
Characters – Tony Lip has been a hired hand in the nightclub scene for years in New York, he has opinions on people that he holds in which does include his racist side, he is facing a couple of months without work which leads him to become a driver for a black musician going on tour in the deep south, Tony must put his opinions aside to get paid working for a man that will give him finically security. Dr Don Shirley is the musician that has built up a reputation for his ability on the piano, he hires Tony to be his driver, he carries himself proudly never letting the racist behaviour drag him down, as he looks to improve Tony’s behaviour. Most of the film follows the two on their journey with the problems they are facing along the way. Dolores is the wife of Tony that stays home while the journey is happening, supporting her husband with his decision.
Performances – Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali both give wonderful performances, which when you see the calibre of actor you are dealing with, you would expect, they both show the characters the weaknesses and strengths, so we can understand the struggles they must get through during the film. when it comes to the supporting cast everyone is good, though they don’t have much to do.
Story – The story follows two men from different backgrounds going on music tour as they teach each other life lessons as they become lifelong friends. We go through the segregation problems that were still going on through America in the 1960s and how both men dealt with the problems in their own ways. This is another example of just how behind America was about treating people equal no matter what their skin colour or talent is. While this is a personal story between two men, it is slow paced and might not be for everyone to enjoy.
Biopic/Comedy – The biopic ide of the story shows us just how the two men became friends even though they came from different backgrounds, while the comedy is basic without being as good as it could have been.
Settings – The film takes us through the South of America where the racial segregation was still happening, which gives us a road trip feeling through the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a good friendship movie, it has wonderful performances without being anything overly fresh with its ideas.
Overall: Simple friendship movie.