• Stars

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is the newest venture into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. It takes place in 1926 in New York city, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away.

There are growing dangers in the wizarding world of New York. Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets, threatening to expose the wizarding community to the Second Salemers, American Muggles bent on eradicating wizards and witches.

Unaware of the rising tensions, Newt Scamander arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures, some of which are safeguarded in the hidden dimensions of his deceptively nondescript leather case. But potential disaster strikes when unsuspecting Muggle, Jacob Kowalski, inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose in a city already on edge. Things take an ominous turn when Percival Graves, the enigmatic Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), casts his suspicions on Newt.

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) stars as Newt Scamander. Katherine Waterson is Aura Porpentina Goldstein. Alson Sudol plays Porpentina’s sister, Queenie Goldstein. Dan Fogler is Jacob Kowalski. Colin Farrell is Percival Graves. They are supported by Ron Perlman as Gnarlack, Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelward and Jon Voight as Henry Shaw, Sr..

Under the direction of David Yates, who directed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is definitely not a children’s film. As the film becomes more and more serious, it becomes darker and darker; setting the mood.

The movie was written by J.K. Rowling. In the past, she did not write the screenplays, but four sequels have already been announced and are in various stages of development so there are many more “Fantastic Beast” movies in the works. I suspect you can bet on one a year for the next five years.

The sets are fantastic. The sets are built, destroyed and rebuilt magically in front of your eyes.

Make-up and costuming in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” are incredible like they are in every Harry Potter film.

I really enjoyed this film but it is definitely NOT for small children. It is darker than most of the Harry Potter films which were great for both adults and children. In the trailers, the animals look nasty and dangerous. They are much more fun in the film.

Not surprisingly, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will open this weekend at AMC Eastgate Showplace 6, AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12 and Doughtery Theatres Jerseyville Stadium.

Leave a Reply