Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the next installment of the Harry Potter franchise. That might not be abundantly clear, but they don't make a huge effort to remind you either. The only things in the movie itself that ties it to the the original series is the name dropping of Hogwarts and Dumbledore. Other than that, this is one in a series of four more upcoming movies to be prequels to the main Harry Potter series.
As prequels to one of the most famous movie franchises of all time, it is nice to be back in the wizarding world. The magic of all things wizards is a nice return to form for the movie, but there are some major differences that give the movie a fresh take on how we get to experience that world. The first and obvious difference is that the movie takes place in New York City and not in Europe. This adds a dynamic, deeper than first recognizable, that really helps the film to be more enjoyable than it might have been. Since the movie revolves around the characters in a city and not a school, this allows for more opportunities of how wizards blend in with muggles, or in America they are called nomaj. This adds a completely new way of enjoying the movie since in the main Harry Potter series the characters usually only interacted with other wizards.
Another aspect of the movie that was increased by the location change, was partly due to the period change as well. The movie takes place in 1926, which means that the whole experience seems to be a little magical. Where the movie drops the ball a little comes from the main focus of the film and the actual inclusion of magic.
The majesty of the magic world permeates from the main character Newt Scamander and the creatures he brings. Other than those beautiful reminders of how great the wizarding world is, the magic usage leaves something to be desired. The magic in the main Harry Potter film series was somewhat colorful and in high usage, dropping off in the later films, and was enjoyable when used. The magic in this current edition into the series has very limited magic usage other than an abundant use of disapparitions. The magic is also all a light blue without much variation of it all. The main series of Harry Potter movies had a little bit more color to its magic usage, slowly becoming just flicks of the wrist which this new entry has adopted. It doesn't make those magic battle scenes more interesting, other context is what gives those scenes life.
The first 20 minutes of the movie is rocky and makes you question the veracity of the movie, but it does good on dispelling any worries you could have had with the movie. It makes you really care for the characters and the new wizarding world of New York in 1926. I became very fond of the new group of main characters and wanted to see them to return for the next four movies, but that may not be the case. How they ended the movie makes it seem like this is the last time we will see Newt and the group, bring the only question as to who would be up to the task of championing the new series.
For this question I have no answer, but I can tell you to see the movie in theaters. It definitely benefits from a large screen and even 3D if you can afford it, movie going is an expensive hobby.
The amount of Marvel movies that have come out over a short period of time has led to what people refer to as, the Marvel Formula. This means that pretty much most of the movies follow a formula that is successful, but still is formulaic in nature. This movie blows all of that out of the water and decides it actually wants to get creative.
Doctor Strange is the most creative movie ever made in the Marvel movie timeline so far. It's the best one by a mile because of the denial of that Marvel formula. Doctor Strange is an origin story, and people usually don't like those, but you have to go see this movie. It packs in the action and makes you believe in this new world, ironic since there have been over 10 Marvel movies already.
The way that Doctor Strange decided to depict itself was really out of the box thinking. From the character to the way the movie was made, it all came from a place of pure creative intent. Some writing the movie off as an average one with visuals to sell the tickets, but I argue that the movie is fantastic overall. The story was great, easy to follow and complicated enough to enjoy what was happening on screen. The depth that this movie provides is deeper than some might give it credit for, if you dig you wont be disappointed.
It's hard to talk about the movie without giving away pieces of it and spoiling it. So I'll end with this: Doctor Strange is my Guardians of the Galaxy, in that it is the Best Marvel movie made to date.
Hacksaw Ridge is a movie directed by Mel Gibson, a director that has many achievements under his belt. This movie is his attempt to get back into the public eye and show that he still has what it takes to make a great movie. Luckily for us the audience, he not only delivers but proves that the movie industry is not whole without him. But let's not forget about Andrew Garfield, portraying Desmond Doss. He definitely deserves praise for being able to give the amazing performance that he does. Let's get into some specifics though.
Hacksaw Ridge is a movie that was made with a purpose. Every single one of Mel Gibson's movies has this quality to them, and it is conveyed to the audience perfectly. In this specific film, you understand what the movie is trying to tell you. You could chalk it up to faith and never giving up, but its not a generic faith movie. It doesn't pander to the religious crowd and it doesn't make it seem supernatural either. In religious movies, a miracle happens and it seems like something supernatural happened and its hard to believe. In this movie you understand that religion plays a role in the character's motivation, but it doesn't try to convince you of the religion itself. All the events that happen seem real, partly due to the fact that they did really happen. It makes sense, and the way it is shown, it's so engaging you can't look away.
Mel Gibson has a gift for depicting raw violence, almost the unspeakable. The way that he captures the image of war is striking, he has done it before with his film Braveheart. The film uses the striking visuals as an accent to the overall feeling the characters generate themselves. This movie is pretty much a masterpiece because it achieves the goal it set out to obtain. It might not be super realistic in the way it was shot, you are not going to have veterans walk out of the movie because it was too real like for Saving Private Ryan, but it really does shine a light on one of history's forgotten heroes.
Hacksaw Ridge is Mel Gibson's claim for another chance to make your jaw drop. It has all the ingredients needed for one of Gibson's classics and delivers on a story that highlights a forgotten war hero.