Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them went all Scooby Doo on moviegoers two years ago, swapping out a Colin Farrell mask for a Johnny Depp, a hundred million Harry Potter fans cried out in agony and disappointment. Whatever his personal failings (many, by tabloid accounts), Depp had long lost his luster as a genre leading man, devolving into one of the highest paid cosplay performers in Hollywood. It’s not that Depp, once considered a talented, if eccentric, performer, can no longer act. It’s that Depp has lost interest in acting ages ago, exchanging goofy accents, over-broad physical acting in exchange for one lucrative paycheck after another. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, but Depp and his steady descent into a caricature of himself mirrors the diminishing returns of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a prequel/spin-off series set in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter cinematic universe. (more…)
With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald releasing in November, nerdy fans are abuzz about its possibilities. Its connecting even more to classic Harry Potter characters, after all, with the addition of a younger Dumbledore to the cast. However, the things they’re abuzz about aren’t all inherently good. Many fans have mixed feelings about Johnny Depp’s involvement as Grindelwald himself, are concerned about the portrayal of a younger Dumbledore, and, more recently, the uproarious confusion about adding Nagini, Voldemort’s pet snake, as a character in the film. What once was a highly intelligent reptile is now shown to be a beautiful woman who transforms into a massive snake. Her inclusion, her race, and her relevance have all been up for grabs when it comes to criticizing the film. Here, though, we are going to look into something more unsettling: what this new information on her implies for the original Harry Potter series.
And trust that those implications are disturbing. (more…)
Though Harry Potter’s story ended with Voldemort, the universe of wizards, magic, and Hogwarts has proven to have more stories to tell. In November 2016, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiered, telling now the story of Newt Scamander, a creature-lover who adventured many years before Harry was even born.
For those new to the tale, the movie is set in 1926, decades before the events of Harry Potter. Viewers follow protagonist Newt Scamander, a kind Hufflepuff who has a very unique profession: magizoologist. He finds and cares for many exotic magical creatures. In his journeys, he heads to America and finds even more trouble with creatures and magic than his timid personality would ever anticipate.
In the film’s sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Scamander’s adventures continue and begin to come a little closer to home. This time, he’s working with fan favorite great wizard, Albus Dumbledore. After all, Dumbledore does have a complicated relationship with Grindelwald, the great criminal of the film. (more…)