Friday, November 18, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

My ViewFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them  (2016)  PG-13  Seventy years into the future, Harry Potter will read writer Newt Scamander’s (Eddie Redmayne) book. First, Newt has to have the adventures in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards.  If you are a fan of the Harry Potter film and book series, then you will want to see this film. The film uses the Harry Potter world as its basis but makes this its own world. The action is fun and fast paced with special effects that bring the many, and I do mean many, beasts alive. Redmayne is obviously having fun with the role, and it shows in his performance. His boyish charm makes his character come alive on the screen. Alison Sudol is dazzling as the headstrong love interest for Newt, Queenie, and I adored Katherine Waterston as the sweet and mind reading-sister. Dan Fogler steals the movie as the hilarious human who becomes Newt’s sidekick. There isn’t a closing credit scene, and the film was not shot in 3-D, so save a few bucks. You will enjoy this fantastic ride full of beasts and wizards.    My Rating:  Full Price   Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Website
IndiefestThe Edge of Seventeen  (2016)  R  High school life for Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is already pretty bad, but it gets worse when her best friend (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her popular older brother (Blake Jenner).  Writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig brings us the adolescent adventures of Nadine in the hilarious and smart “The Edge of Seventeen.” Many filmmakers have tried to document the hardship of the awkward teenage years of young women who just don’t quite fit in. Juno, Kings of Summer, Ghost World, Spectacular Now and of course, Sixteen Candles come to mind. This film is their equal with smart writing, quick dialogue, and excellent performances, especially from Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson. Steinfeld is dazzling in this movie, commanding the screen, even with scene-stealers such as Sedgwick and Harrelson. She embodies this role, and we fully believe that Nadine is as socially awkward and just a little “weird.” The Edge of Seventeen is a teen coming-of-age comedy that feels real. I had so much fun watching this film that I wouldn’t mind spending a day or two hanging out with these characters, even if meant going through the pain of attending high school again.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   The Edge of Seventeen Website
My ViewBleed for This  (2016)  R  World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller) is in an automobile crash and is told he might never walk again. Vinny is determined not only to walk again but to fight again.  In spite of this true story of a man committed to do the impossible, the film never gets behind the facade of Vinny. The movie lacks the big emotional breakthrough that the story and we, the audience, deserve. Just because the real-life story is amazing doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a fantastic movie. Miles Teller has shown us in the past that he can carry a film, but, unfortunately, he is let down by the storyline and the dialogue. He’s never given that big, impassioned and moving scene. The emotional tone of the film is flat, and try as hard as he does, Teller rarely provides us with the in-depth look into the makeup of who Vinny really is as a person. Bleed for This becomes just another ordinary boxing film, which is too bad because its star and its true story are far more remarkable than the movie, itself.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Bleed for This Website
Forgotten FilmFly Away Home  (1996)  PG  Amy (Anna Paquin) is thirteen years old when her mother is killed in New Zealand. She goes to live with her father (Jeff Daniels) whom she barely knows. Amy then stumbles upon a nest of abandoned goose eggs and decides to hatch them. When they hatch, she becomes their mother. The birds need to fly south for the winter and to get them there she and her father make their ultra-light planes look like geese and lead the birds on a magical trip to the south. This is a warm film, perfect for families. Paquin is better than most young actors her age, and she works extremely well on screen with Daniels. The film is based on a true story which makes it seem even more spectacular.   My Rating: Full Price   Fly Away Home Info

Weird Credits:  From Fantastic Beasts and Where You Find Them:  Russian Arm Operator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouMifune: The Last Samurai  (2015)  Toshiro Mifune was the greatest Japanese actor of his time. This documentary explores his life including the legendary films he made with Akira Kurosawa. Mifune starred in one of my all-time favorite (and top ten films) Seven Samurai  (1954) which was remade twice as The Magnificent Seven.   Mifune: The Last Samurai Info
Until Next Time!

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