Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Director: David Yates

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.

PerformancesEddie 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.

StoryThe 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/FantasyThe 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.

SettingsThe 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 EffectsThe 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.


Scene of the Movie –
Cats chasing down Newt.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters to follow.

Final ThoughtsThis 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.

Rating

 

 

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The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

Director: David Yates

Writer: Adam Cozad, Craig Brewer (Screenplay) Edgar Rice Burroughs (Creator)

Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou

 

Plot: Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch but Nothing Memorable

 

Story: The Legend of Tarzan starts when Leon Rom (Waltz) goes in search of diamonds in African Congo for the king Leopold of Belgium. Making a deal with Chief Mbonga (Hounsou) which involves bringing John Clayton (Skarsgard) back to the Congo.

In England John Clayton has reclaimed his title and now is being convinced into return to Congo with American George Washington Williams (Jackson) as an open invitation for England to work on building relationships with Belgium.

John along with his wife Jane (Robbie) returns to Africa to guide George and along the way he gets to reconnect with his friends both human and animal, while remember how he came to be known as Tarzan.

When Leon’s plan comes together he kidnaps Jane using her as bait to capture Tarzan but Tarzan knowing the land better than anyone joins the tribe to hunt down Leon and his men. Along the way Tarzan learns of the bigger plan in motion and must save the animals and people who raised him.

 

Thoughts on The Legend of Tarzan

 

Characters/PerformanceJohn Clayton is known as Tarzan, raised in the jungle but now living his royal title in England. He must face his past by returning to Congo and save it from invasion. This is a different look at how you would imagine Tarzan not facing much of his animal side. Jane is the feisty wife of John or Tarzan that returns to the jungle using all her knowledge to survive once she is captured. George Washington Williams is the American trying to prove the plan of thee Belgium King and a killer shot. Leon Rom is the man leading the invasion upon the Congo, his character is slightly mixed for me, one minute he is a deadly military leader the next he comes off quirky.

Performance wise, Alexander does look the part of Tarzan but he doesn’t reach all the leaves of potential you feel Tarzan needs. Margot is good as we have come to expect from this star for many years to come, Sam Jackson does his usual, turns up in a film brings a few lines of intensity even in a supporting role. Waltz continues his trend of being a bland villain in big blockbuster movies, partly because of the character or maybe because of him, we never seem to see if he is over the top or calm.

StoryThe story looks at life after the legend of Tarzan, which I did think works because how many times can we do a Tarzan meets Jane. The story does also battle the idea of stopping slavery within a country and returning to face your past which Tarzan must do. This comes off a lot more serious that I think people would imagine by not having any light-hearted moments but then it does turn into what you would expect from it.

Action/AdventureThe action is all standard to what you would expect from a jungle based movie. The adventure does take on a travel across the country feeling which does work.

SettingsThe settings look nice when they are real but too many are green screens.

Special EffectsThe special effects are weak here because you can see green screen through most of the animal human scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at the Tarzan character but in the end we have seen most of this before.

 

Overall: Simple and Entertaining.

Rating

 

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

fantsticDirector: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Carmen Ejogo, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman

 

Plot: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Best Family Film of the Year

 

Story: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them starts as Grindelwald had started to terrorise the wizard community around the 1920s as we move to meet Newt (Redmayne) as he travels to New York. We learn that something has be terrorising the streets of New York which has grab the attention of Graves (Farrell).

Getting to learn his away around New York Newt finds himself using her magic which effects the life Kowalski (Fogler) and fellow wizard detective Tina (Waterston). After a mixing up cases Kowalski ends up with the case full of fantastic beasts which Newt and Tina must track down before they cause any more problems in New York.

We continue to learn of the kind heart Newt has as he helps rescue these beasts from the edge of extinction but a darkness as all creatures have will look to take control of the beasts with a potential battle between no magics and the wizards just waiting to be unleashed on the world.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a visually stunning addition to the Harry Potter magical universe, while this is a prequel it works on all the levels it needs to because it is actually so distant from the original series. We have the 1920s New York settings that looks authentic throughout and the beasts all look truly fantastic.  Being set with adult characters help because we don’t have to deal with the learning process which often held back the early Potter films.

Eddie Redmayne gives us a brilliant performance that fully fits the character Newt but it is here where the brilliance finishes with the rest of the characters all looking greatly cast without being as memorable as Newt, Farrell takes the lead villain role but doesn’t really get the full chance to be as evil as he could well have been but this is designed for purpose to make the next villains more menacing. If you ever want to see what could well be the best family film this year I whole heartedly suggest this film that comes off original to the rest of the current market without being to heavy on the wizard ways.

 

Overall: Visually brilliant and purely fun film that can be enjoyed by all.

Ratingcard

 

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Domhnall Gleeson, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall

 

Plot: Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: It ends with a bang

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two starts by reminding us of the closing scene in Part One with Voldemort taking Dumbledore’s wand from his grave. Harry (Radcliffe), Hermione (Watson) and Ron (Grint) continue in the quest to stop Lord Voldemort (Fiennes). The plan to find the final item of the three Deathly Hallows items takes our heroes down to Bellatrix Lestrange vault. After which they must sneak back into Hogwarts to meet up with the former classmates as they have to work together to uncover the next Horcruxes that Lord Voldemort is searching for to make him stronger.

Hogwarts is under a new head master Severus Snape (Rickman) who threatens the whole school both students and staff only to finally get confronted by Harry and taken out of the picture at Hogwarts. Voldemort tries to get the students to turn Harry over but united they stand ready for the final battle against Voldemort and anyone who stands with him.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two complete the saga we have seen for a grand total of ten years. We FINALLY get to see a proper battle instead of a small five minute one which most of the films have had. We do get more causalities and a conclusion that any saga would be happy with, we get some twists we don’t see coming that will bring our opinions on certain characters around. We get rewarded for sitting through the other films that developed the characters so we don’t have to waste time with anymore preparation. In the end all the fans will be rewarded with a conclusion that we deserved. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter going through his final preparation to face Lord Voldemort in a battle that will define him. Daniel gives a great performance in his final outing as the wizard hero. (9/10)

 harry

Emma Watson: Hermione along with Ron work on their own plan to stop Voldemort. Hermione helps in the battle by letting Harry focus on the main one ahead of him.  Emma gives a good performance. (8/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron along with Hermione work on a plan to stop Voldemort and final show each other how they feel about one another. Rupert gives a good performance in the supporting role. (8/10)

 ron

Ralph Fiennes: Lord Voldemort along with his army is out to take down Hogwarts and kill Harry once and for all. Ralph makes for a great villain through the last couple of films and finally gets a chance to be the full force villain we have been waiting to see. (9/10)

 voldemort

Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two has a huge supporting cast for the battle which sees old friends return, enemies exposed and true alliances revealed. They all help in the final battle with each offering something we didn’t expect from them.

 

Director Review: David Yates – David does a good job directing the conclusion of the Harry Potter saga. (9/10)

 

Family: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two remains one for the growing family to enjoy but this one would be too much for the younger audience. (8/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two keeps its fantasy elements going with the magical battles. (8/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two doesn’t have much mystery about it anymore as we solved most of the mystery in the previous film. (5/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two cuts its setting down but that works because we don’t need many as the battle takes place at Hogwarts. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two has great special effects throughout that keep everything looking very real. (10/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two should only be watched by the fans who have seen the previous films, if you don’t you won’t get the full reward with this one. (Watch After the Rest)

 

Best Part: Hogwarts battle.

Worst Part: 19 years later doesn’t fit in at all.

Action Scene Of The Film: Hogwarts battle

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: The end for now

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars

Box Office: $1.3 Billion

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Tagline: It All Ends

Trivia: Daniel Radcliffe reportedly broke 80 wands throughout the series because he used them as drumsticks.

 

Overall: Great Conclusion to the Saga

Rating 90

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Bill Nighy, Richard Griffiths, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Timothy Spall, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, John Hurt, David Thewlis, Domhnall Gleeson

 

Plot: As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Harry Potter and the Fellowship of the Wands

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One starts by showing the wizard council preparing for anything making the people away they are still going to be safe. To be sure Hermione (Watson) erases her memory from here mortal parents. We see Lord Voldemort (Fiennes) and his followers planning to find and kill Harry Potter (Radcliffe). To help protect Harry the defence arranges for a select through the turn into a Harry Potter to confuse the dark lord, with the real Harry heading off with Hagrid (Coltrane). Upon their escape the order is attacked having causalities including a very trusty friend of Harry’s.

Even through the dark times we have a wedding for the Weasley brother and at this wedding Harry learns more about his old friend Dumbledore. Darkness falls on the wedding leaving Harry, Ron (Grint) and Hermione escaping to London. Each step leading to a new danger the three friends most choose their steps wisely. Harry must go back into his past to find the answers to the questions which will help him defeat Voldemort.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One enters into the world that we have been into for years now. We go to the darkest levels we have had since the series started and we take away the school element of the film. Even though this film relies on yet more building and focuses on the friendship a lot more that we have had in previous years. On the negatives we do lack the amount of villain activity as we only see an opening scheming and a few attacks my goons. It might be part spoiler here but it was good to finally see the villains have the opener hand at the end of the film. This is good build and does take the film into a different direction than we have been going with the adventure the three go on. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter with everyone after him Harry has to watch his own friends sacrifice and risk their own lives so he can complete his mission and stop Lord Voldemort. Daniel gives a good performance showing the power that is needed in the character. (9/10)

 harry

Emma Watson: Hermione long-time friend of Harry’s who joins in the quest even if it strains the relationship with Ron. Emma does a good job and finally gets a bigger role and shines in it. (8/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron worried about all his loved ones he questions his place in the quest leaving the other two alone but he does make his return when it is most needed. Rupert gives a good performance and shows a much serious side to his character. (8/10)

 ron

Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One has a large supporting cast but in the end they don’t come along or get involved as much as previous times.

 

Director Review: David Yates – David does a good job showing the good guys preparing for a final battle with the dark lord. (8/10)

 

Adventure: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One shows a good sense of adventure throughout for our heroes. (9/10)

Family: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One this would be harder to suggest watching with younger family members but can be enjoyed by the old children. (9/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One keeps its elements of fantasy high level which works for the whole story. (9/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One keeps us guessing on who is the ones they can trust and who they can’t. (9/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One uses new settings by not including Hogwarts also doesn’t seem missed. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One fails to use the extra special effects which works because the ones being used work well. (9/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One would be one to watch as long as you have seen the rest, this may not be one that can be picked up without seeing the rest. (Series Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The adventure between the friends comes off well.

Worst Part: Not enough of what the villains are up too.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 7 – 8 of the series

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Box Office: $960 Million

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Tagline: The Hunts Begins

 

Overall: Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings

Rating 80