Movies reviewed this week: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Allied, Underworld: Blood Wars, Long View: The Space Between Us (Starring: Gardner Elliot).
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
I know we did a small preview of Fantastic Beasts last week (issue 446) but this movie is well deserving of a lead review thanks to its great storyline, impressive special effects and brilliant acting.
Starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, who is on a global quest to find and rescue rare magical creatures, this is the latest offering from JK Rowling’s book of the same name (and was mentioned in the first Harry Potter movie as a textbook that the young wizard had to study).
The movie begins with Scamander arriving in New York by boat in 1926, carrying what looks to be a non-descript brown suitcase.
But then one of the locks pops open and what follows is an intriguing journey that plunges us into the world of wizardry and magic New York-style, where muggles (non-magical people for those of you who aren’t into Harry Potter) are known as “no-maj” and there are some strict rules for visiting wizards, who need to register themselves and their wands with the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA).
Of course, that pesky lock on Scamander’s suitcase pops open again – but this time, a Niffler (a treasure hunting creature with a long snout that resembles a platypus) escapes and Scamander is led into a merry dance to capture it.
Unfortunately, he’s arrested by a demoted Auror (they investigate dark wizards at the MACUSA) Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and what follows is a fantastical adventure in which we discover that inside Scamander’s suitcase is another magical world full of creatures that he has rescued.
Part thriller, part mystery and part romance, we don’t want to give too much away if you’ve not seen it yet but we have to say that this is one of the best movies of the year and well worth watching.
Review by Felicity Glover
Allied has received more hype that it deserves thanks to the recent break-up of Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) but still it’s an interesting movie that transports us back to 1942 and World War II. Starring Pitt, an intelligence officer, and Marion Cotillard, a French Resistance fighter, the pair meet on a deadly mission behind enemy lines in North Africa. Both escape and they meet again in London, where they fall in love, marry and start a family. At first glance, you are reminded of Mr and Mrs Smith but this does have a few surprises up its sleeve.
Underworld: Blood Wars
The fifth film in the vampire franchise directed by Anna Foerster, British actress Kate Beckinsale reprises her role as death dealer Selene, who finds that not only is she fending off brutal attacks from the Lycan clan but also the vampire faction that betrayed her. Her only allies are David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance) but will she be able to stop the eternal war between the Lycans and the vampires? Only time will tell, even if she is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice.
THE SPACE BETWEEN US
We love a good sci-fi film and are intrigued by The Space Between Us, especially with today’s focus of putting man on Mars for the first time. This time, however, we find that this theory has been flipped and man (and woman) has actually made it to the Red Planet. In fact, teenager Gardner Elliot (played by rising star Asa Butterfield) is the first human to be born on Mars and wants to come “home” after beginning an online friendship with Tulsa (Britt Robertson) in the US. His trip to Earth is full of wonder but his journey to find his father, helped by Tulsa, is fraught with danger as his organs are unable to withstand the atmosphere. Also stars Gary Oldman and Carla Guaino.
Oman release date: December 29