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Entries in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them [2016] (1)

Friday
Nov182016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Based on the results of her first foray into feature film writing, it's possible that a creatively blocked J.K. Rowling strolled into the London Library one afternoon to ask about fantastic screenplays and where to find them. I imagine her pouring over outlines for Carrie, Annie, Men in Black, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Ghostbusters while sipping hot cocoa and munching Bertie Bott's Beans. Maybe she sprinkled some enchanted dust on the pages, fashioning a "new" story based on her own book, a non-narrative encyclopedia of magical monsters. The end product dazzles with special effects and truly exemplary creature designs, but is almost undone by a theme-park-tour story that never gains the momentum our endearing guide (Eddie Redmayne) assures us has already picked up. I'll stick around for the first sequel, but we've got four more two-plus-hour movies on the way--which sounds more like a curse than a spell.