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Friday, November 18, 2016

The Occult Takes New York - Movie Reviews of Dr. Strange and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Two movies have recently debuted about the occult taking over / protecting New York City: a Marvel film about a sorcerer supreme starring the much revered Benedict Cumberbatch (a need to posting about the Climate Change agreement preempted a post about it, though I enjoyed the movie immensely. So little time in these days of homeschooling and teaching three classes at homeschooling co-ops that I have to choose my battles for time to blog.) and last night I watched the new movie about the wizarding world with only a few big names scattered among the villeins, Colin Farrell and Johny Depp. But the main actor Eddie Redmayne, playing Newt Scamander, was wonderful.

(For some unknown reason beyond my control this site has decided to print this portion in white instead of black like the rest of it. Hmm.)

In the first movie, Dr. Strange, the story is familiar to comic book fans being taking almost straight out of them and not deviating much from the other versions done in animation and live action. The two main differences between those others and this version were amazing though. One, Bendict Cumberbatch is a fabulous actor and totally hot. Two the special effects are ground breaking and totally wild. I enjoyed that movie immensely. The message, mostly the same as every other Dr. Strange message, still somehow felt new and fresh, though it's not. I'm not sure how they pulled that off. Perhaps that is all they needed was Cumberbatch and the incredible special effects to awe me into buying the message afresh. For great details about the new live action movie go to Wikipedia - Dr Strange (film)

The second movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is a totally new story written by J.K. Rowling, based on her textbook supplement to the Harry Potter series. The book is enjoyable to read because Rowling has a humorous style of presenting the bizarre magic of her universe. The movie explains where the book came from within the mythos. The plot was unexpectedly wonderful. The actor playing Newt Scamander, Eddie Redmayne, did a fabulous job, as did Katerine Waterston playing Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein, and Dan Fogler playing Jacob Kowalski. The story line was deep and meaningful. Most of the creatures come straight out of the book, brought forth is brilliant color and wondrous humor. For a nice summary and great details about plans for sequels go to Wikipedia - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them It's really nice of Rowling to give her American fans a taste of what her Wizarding universe would look like on our shores. Bravo!

As we drove away from the movie theater, my husband said, “It's really good we have Trump as president, because the Occult is taking over New York.” I think it's really good we have the occult in our fiction as a refuge from fear about what this new Trump presidency will unleash among our neighbors whose hatred has so long been suppressed. I guess everybody needs a voice and to be heard. Maybe we can all figure out a way to go forward from here. I try to stay away from politics. American democracy feels like an unresponsive system and I don't like the brow beating I took this election cycle. But the plot line of Rowling's movie feels a little like America right now with the Ult Right being represented by Credence. And Trump being represented by Graves / Grindelwald. Let's hope Trump's election hasn't released an Obscurial on the world. We don't have wizards or sorcerer supremes to put things back together. 

There sure was great special effects in both movies! 

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