It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been busy. Not only has she shepherded her two-part sequel play to the West End, but she has also written the screenplay for this spin-off prequel, which is set some 70 years before Harry was born. The American setting puts a fresh slant on her elaborately imagined wizarding world, and the film has enough lively humour to keep things entertaining, but the movie itself is thin and derivative, never quite engaging the audience with its magic.
In this alternate reality, 1926 America has forbidden all magical creatures out of fear of terrorist attacks taking place around the world. Then an expert in these beasts, the cheeky nerd Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in New York with a suitcase full of them. He's on some sort of mission, which is immediately interrupted by three escaped critters, drawing in hapless wannabe baker Jacob (Dan Fogler) and witch detective Tina (Katherine Waterston). Joined by Tina's breathy sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), this rag-tag team is trying to recapture Newt's escaped creatures when they run afoul of aggressive wizard enforcer Graves (Colin Farrell), who's working for American's magical President (Carmen Ejogo). But there's something more seriously nefarious going on in the city.
Continue reading: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Review
The time is drawing ever closer to the release of Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find, within a short number of days we will finally be able to get a glimpse into the life of a character that author J.K. Rowling so lovingly developed. Even when Newt Scamander was a young Hogwarts student, he always loved the wilder side of magic. If there was a wild beast to nurture, Newt would be the enthusiastic child wanting to find out more.
When he grew up, he became an acclaimed magizoologist and formed his own unique and rather deadly collection of beasts. Any endangered species, Newt would willingly look after and add to his endless list of beasts, all with their own unique powers. After a busy trip collecting more creatures, Newt visits the city of New York and arrives to find that tensions between the wizarding community and a group of powerful muggles (known as the Second Salemers) are battling one another; the Second Salemers goal is to eradicate the wizarding community.
When some of Newt's beasts are accidentally released, he is quickly called to answer questions from the Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) who presumes Newt is guilty of working with wizard Gellert Grindelwald. The director, Percival Graves, believes that Newt has purposefully released the beasts to expose magic kind in order to stir up tension between and further the war between the muggles (No-Maj) and the wizarding world.
Newt Scamander is a wizard who's always had an interest in monsters and wild, unworldly creatures. Newt inspects as many different species of Beast that he can and keeps some of the rarest ones in order to preserve them and keep them from harm's way whilst also ensuring they themselves don't cause any of the chaos they could so easily cause.
It's 1926 and the wizarding community is under threat. Whilst most muggles (No Maj's) don't have any idea that wizards and witches actually exist, a small yet powerful few are all too aware of them and their powers.
The New Salem Philanthropic Society is headed by a tough woman named Mary Lou Barebone who wants to make sure that all wizarding kind is exterminated.
It's 1942 and the world is in the middle of a war unlike any that have happened before. The Nazi Party not only have control of Germany but they've branched out into France and their grip is tightening on lands further afield. The allied forces only held relatively small areas in France and many operatives worked undercover.
Marianne Beausejour is one such operative, she's a beautiful woman who managed to infiltrate certain circles. She's deep undercover and is trusted by her enemies. Max Vatan is spy assassin who's sent to France to help the allied forces. The pair fall for one another and start a love affair. As their relationship deepens, their safety is compromised and they both must fight to protect the love they've built.
The story for Allied is written by Steven Knight (Burnt & Peaky Blinders) and is said to be based on a true story.
When Lord John and Lady Greystoke found themselves stranded in strange jungle, their only instinct was to survive. Lord Greystoke built a shelter in the trees and made a home for him, his wife and his new born son, John Greystoke Jr.. As time passed, the jungle grew wilder and both the lord and lady lose their lives. John is found in his crib by a nursing Gorilla who decides to take the baby and nurse him as her own. So begins the legendary tale of Tarzan.
As Tarzan grows stronger, he knows he's different from the rest of his tribe and when he discovers the house his father built it teaches Tarzan about a whole new world full of people just like him. The boy grows into a man and eventually climbs the ranks in his pack to become head of the group. Tarazan - King Of The Jungle.
When a boat is shipwrecked, Tarzan meets his Jane and the two fall in love. Wishing to seek out his homeland and learn more about where he comes from Tarzan and Jane return to London where Lord John Greystoke Jr is soon found to be just of much of a gentleman that of his father.
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Who would've thought that a boy who grew up with apes in the jungle could turn into a well-respected lord who's not only adjusted to 'civilised' life - become accustom to it too. Tarzan is no longer the boy who was written about in all the books, he's a lord and lives with the love of his life, Jane.
When John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke (aka Tarzan) is approached by the government to travel back to the Congo become an ambassador for the Parliament he reluctantly accepts under forced circumstances. What Tarzan doesn't know is that he's about to play exactly into the hands of Captain Leon Rom, a ruthless Belgian businessman and hunter who's fierce rule is taking over Tarzan's old home.
Having kidnapped Jane, Tarzan's love Captain Leon Rom knows Tarzan will track her down. Both parties are not only pitted against one another but the jungle and its residents also make a battle cry which could result in disastrous consequences.
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Even when Michael Edwards was a small boy, he had huge ambition. Whenever the Olympics were on the TV Eddie would gleefully watch and admire the athletes and their abilities, it was the catalyst that drove Eddie to become a household name.
Though he was a strong skier, Eddie had zero knowledge or ability when it came to Ski jump, but the lack of competition was his in. Eddie decided that he too was going to become an Olympic athlete, HE would appear and represent his country at the winter games.
With no sponsors and everything working against him, Eddie begins training. Accident after accident, bad run after bad run - Eddie tirelessly continues with his quest to somehow reach his goal. Whatever the outcome of Eddie's journey, he's sure to change the sport and the winter Olympics forever.
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Long before the time of Harry Potter, wizards and witches still lived their lives in the muggle world as well as the wizarding world that was still governed by the ministry of magic.
Even though 'he who shall not be named' wasn't causing chaos for the wizards, they still had problems of their own. Largely these were monsters and beasts that come from far and distant lands. Newt Scamander is one particular wizard who is fascinated by these creators and when a selection of these terrible beasts are mistakenly released into the muggle world, Newt finds himself suddenly thrown into untrodden territory.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was originally written as a book by JK Rowling. The book studies 83 of these mystical creators all of which Newt has discovered.
Nobby is a good ol' northern lad who loves nothing more than spending time with his family and mates down at the local pub but there's something missing from his life - his brother. When Nobby and his brother were young boys, they were separated and the two haven't seen one another since.
Being separated for so many years has led the two grown men down very different lives. Nobby has multiple children and lives with the love of his life whilst his brother, Sebastian is a loner who doesn't have a personal life at the cost of his job, a professional spy.
When Nobby manages to track down his brother, the two are reunited and it instantly leads to Noddy making costly mistakes for his brother. The spy's mission is ruined and he must go into hiding and re-evaluated his plan. Ever the thinker, Noddy comes up with the perfect place for Sebastian to lay low. Grimsby - the boys home town.
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Alice once again returns to Wonderland and meets a lot of familiar faces. This time her biggest enemy is Time, quite literally. As the Blue Caterpillar reminds her, 'You've been gone too long, Alice there are matters that might benefit from your attention. Friends cannot be neglected.' Instead of falling down a rabbit hole, this time Alice gains entry to wonderland through a large mirror which takes her to a topsy-turvy universe which could only be associated with Wonderland. There appear to be a few differences between the book and the new film; whilst Lewis Carol's original version of the book was based six months after the original tale, the inclusion of Time might mean that Linda Woolverton's version make time travel much quicker in Wonderland. Again, Carol used many chess analogies in the book, at the moment its unknown how much this will play a part in the movie. The majority of the lead cast from Tim Burton's 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland including Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. Alice Through The Looking Glass was directed by James Bobbin who previously worked on the 2011 Muppets film and Muppets Most Wanted.
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