So last Monday we went and saw Beauty and the Beast (2017) and last night we watched Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016).
First up.. Beauty and the Beast.
Disney's animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.
If you've ever seen the Disney animated version of Beauty and the Beast then you already know what to expect. This movie follows the animated version pretty closely though it does add a few new songs (though I've heard that they're from the stage show but I can't confirm it) and they changed a few plot points. Some of the changes are a little odd but most of them were made to clear up certain plot holes from the animated version. Everyone does a pretty good job in their parts though I still find it hard to believe Luke Evans as Gaston (he's too scrawny imo). Having said that, in the end it's Beauty and the Beast. If you like the animated version you'll most likely like this version.
Freaking "Be Our Guest" won't get out of my head now...
My Rating: 8/10
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
And then last night we watched Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
Holding a mysterious leather suitcase in his hand, Newt Scamander, a young activist wizard from England, visits New York while he is on his way to Arizona. Inside his expanding suitcase hides a wide array of diverse, magical creatures that exist among us, ranging from tiny, twig-like ones, to majestic and humongous ones. It is the middle of the 20s and times are troubled since the already fragile equilibrium of secrecy between the unseen world of wizards and the ordinary or "No-Maj" people that the MACUSA Congress struggles to maintain, is at risk of being unsettled. In the meantime, the voices against wizardry keep growing with daily protests led by Mary Lou Barebone and fuelled by the increasing disasters ascribed to a dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald.
This is the first Harry Potter world film that doesn't actually feature Harry Potter. I think everyone knows how much I like the Harry Potter series but this movie was kind of hard for me to get into at first. Maybe it's because I didn't read the book that this one was based on first, unlike the HP series where I had read the first 6 books before I ever saw any of the films, but it just didn't have the same (excuse the pun) magic as the HP films.
Don't get me wrong, it was still a fairly decent popcorn movie but it just wasn't as charming as the films that follow the Boy that Lived. The film suffers from some strange subplots that are going on along with the main plot of Newt trying to find all his creatures that were let out. I wanted to see more about the actual creatures and less about the orphanage, for example (even though it all came together at the end). Oh and the way the film ends (well, the way the events unfold after the climax battle) was sort of wtf plothole worthy to me. I'd talk more about it but it would definitely spoil everything so I'll hold off for now.
But yeah.. if you like the Harry Potter universe and want to see more of that world, even though it takes place way before the HP series, check this film out. Maybe one day I'll get around to reading the book to see if the film was made to follow it or if they just borrowed the name. And oddly, despite how definitive the ending is in this film, they've announced that they're making a second one (and there will be 5 total). I can't imagine how.
My rating: 6.5/10
IMDB rating: 7.5/10