Monday, November 21, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hello.  Everyone is talking about this film ever since it came out last week.  It was flooding my Facebook newsfeed, on how people are saying how great it is.  I've seen critics saying that it's so-so, some say good, so I thought, I can only know for sure after I've seen it.  Which I did today ^_^ I already know not to expect this film to be like Harry Potter, although it's basically from the same universe as Harry Potter.  One thing I have to say about my main opinion about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in general, and this might be an unpopular opinion...I thought it was okay, not great.  I can sort of hear a cry of disbelief just by typing that.

Okay, let me explain myself slightly further.  I enjoyed it, I really do.  Will I say it's the best film I've seen in 2016?  Absolutely not.  Will I say it's bad?  Absolutely not.  Will I say it's amazing?  Absolutely not.  Again, I'm hearing cries of disbelief.  I think J.K. Rowling went a little too Hollywood with this one, I get that it's the American side of the magical world, so it's understandable for it to be a little Hollywood.  It was nice to see new magical creatures, and I love how Rowling came up with all these creatures, and they were beautifully designed, but it's just feel like it's trying too hard to be better than Harry Potter.  The beginning felt a little too rush, I wish it slows down a little rather than just showing all the newspaper clips of the magical crisis, and then straight jump to Newt (Eddie Redmayne) with his briefcase.  Not to forget, the intro feels too superhero-ish.  Which brings me to the next point.....I felt like I was watching Marvel that got lost in a wizardry world.  This whole "destroying-the-city-to-save-the-city" thing is too Hollywood...too superhero style.  Again, trying too hard.  Alright, enough with the cries of disbelief already, but that's just how I feel.  The whole magic side of it was actually nice, there were time when I felt it was a little too extravagant, but I guess it created a different magical culture from the British, which is fine I guess.  However, the overall shape of it is just not original enough.  I feel like I've seen way too much of it in Hollywood films that it becomes predictable, and repetitive.

Although, if I want to trigger an argument, I recall when Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children came out people were debating on white-washing...not enough diversity.  Well, how about Fantastic Beasts?  Isn't it exactly the same?  Why are people not complaining and bringing out their 20-page thesis paper on Hollywood white-washing?  Why?  Because it's J.K. Rowling?  Because it's from the Harry Potter universe?  Bias much?  Double standard?  Because it's in the 20s so not that much people of colour?  Well, Miss Peregrine's was set in rural area of Wales during WW2, isn't that the same as well?  Say what you want, but I am seeing a little of hypocrisy there.  I am not accusing that everyone is, just in general.  Triggered?  Well, it's just an opinion.  An unpopular one I guess.

Getting back to the film, I know there are more sequels to come, and it is interesting to see where the story goes, will it get better or not.  It's not clear about the villain, and where he stands in the plot.  We know it's Johnny Depp, and I find that slightly odd, but then again, what kind of villain he is, still remain a mystery.  I am also curious on where the plot stands, can we still call it Fantastic Beasts? Let's face it, the plot isn't really about catching magical creatures, they just happened to escape from the briefcase and Newt just tried to catch them all again, but the main central plot is not about "where to find them" it was about that thing called Obscurus.  However, I am interested of this obscurus and how it can relate back into Harry Potter.  In general, I am curious to know how Fantastic Beasts will relate with Harry Potter, as I'm sure, or at least I hope, that's what will happen from the coming sequels...that it will act as "prequel" to Harry Potter.

So, that's my "unpopular" opinion on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  If you don't agree with me, I just want to tell you, that it is okay.  It doesn't make any of us right or wrong, it just means that I have my opinions, and you have yours.  Nothing wrong with that, agree to disagree ^_^  If I am to rate this film from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, I will give this film 6/10.  Until next time, toodles~

*image taken from Google Image

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Dr. Strange

Hello!  Wow, I have not update anything in the past month.  So sorry about that.  I have been busy...with life and studies, you know, the usual.  Dr. Strange came out end of last month...I think...or earlier than that?  I don't know, all I know is that I haven't got the chance to watch it until just now, I should say yesterday now because it's passed midnight, lol.  I think I mentioned in some of my earlier posts that when it comes to Marvel films, I will just go and watch it because it's all connected in one way or the other.  This film is not an exception.  It might not relate terribly to Avengers...at least not yet, but there is subtle relation.  Not so subtle in the end credit scene, lol.

I have to admit that I am not familiar with Dr. Strange at all prior to this film, but I kind of have an idea what his skills are about, or powers, or technique, or whatever terms you prefer to use.  I must say that truthfully, the plot moves rather quickly and get straight to the point without any elaborate twist.  I won't mind a little elaboration but it works, because the concept of their skills are already complex that you don't really need to put in twist or complexity to make it interesting.  Sometimes I feel like I was watching Inception with what they can do, but without the sleeping of course.  It plays around with dimensional worlds, time bending, astral projection, enlightenment-ish journey.  It is also interesting to see they "clean up" after their own mess and not destroy the city.  You'll know what I mean if you already watched it, or soon to watch it.  I just don't want to spoil anything.  I do have to say that I wish there's more of "the ancient one" in this film...there's not enough of her, at least I feel so.  I can see that she is a complex character and maybe it's good to keep her as mysterious as possible, but I wish there's more to it than just "the ancient one."  I do feel that some of the characters need a little more spotlight.  Most of them are on Dr. Strange himself, for obvious reason, but just because the film is named after him, doesn't mean it has to only be about him.  Like I said, it moves a little too fast, and yes, I did say it works, in a way, to keep it simple and easy to understand.  But a little elaboration wouldn't hurt.  Maybe they're saving it for sequels, but still, they can always tease us with it.  Makes it more interesting.  I know it's in Marvel's nature to keep the films light and humorous, but sometimes it can get a little bit darker like DC films.  Maybe not as dark as DC (which I'm not complaining), but just give some more variety to them will be a good balance.

Our dear Benedict Cumberbatch made a good Dr. Strange, don't you think so?  He has the right physique, vibe, and character for it.  I also have to say, that I would never imagine, his red cloak is capable of making me laugh to the point of crying.  I know Marvel films always include some good humour, but that cloak....is a character of its own and I cried laughing because of it.  Overall, this film is actually pretty simple and straightforward with complex way of saving the world.  Well, a little more complex and elaborate than running around smashing building to save the city.  But definitely easy to understand, and light-hearted as well, so nothing too dark, typical of a Marvel's films.

Will I recommend this film?  Yes, even if you haven't been following Marvel films, it matters not because it's not that attached to other films.  It will...I have a feeling it will be more attached to Thor.  You will know why if you stay behind to watch the end credit scene.  There are two end credit scenes, so, do wait for them if you can.  If I am to rate this film from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, I will give this film 7/10 ^_^  Until next time, toodles~

*Image taken from Google Image