birdsofshore: (flapping)
[personal profile] birdsofshore
I saw Fantastic Beasts again today, and WOW, more surprises - I absolutely LOVED IT.

NON-SPOILERY VERSION: I honestly think it overwhelmed me a bit on Friday - there was so much to take in, so many new characters, so many plot strands, and so many different beasts. This time I felt pretty clear in my head what was going on, after talking it through with friends and reading reviews and meta, and I could just sit back and enjoy it. I really, really enjoyed it, very much indeed. Almost everything that bothered me the first time feels resolved in my mind, I feel enthusiastic about some of the things I disliked, and I LOVEDDDD the things I liked the first time around. Specifics under the cut, with SPOILERS, so please don't read if that's a problem for you. Possible spoilers in the comments too :)

NEWT: I really got so much more from Eddie Redmayne's performance this time. I love the physical quirks he uses for Newt, and the facial expressions, the sparing eye contact, the way he hides behind his fringe, the awkward gait, and the whole way he speaks. After watching the film on Friday I felt that Newt could easily be on the autistic spectrum, and watching it for a second time with that head canon in mind, I feel pretty certain that Eddie is playing him that way, and doing a beautiful job of it. I think I had invested such a lot in the character of Newt after cosplaying him for months, and when he wasn't exactly as I had imagined, it really threw me. But I feel like I 'know' him properly now, and I'm so happy, I'm in love with him all over again. I'm so glad the 'hero' is this fabulous, quirky, earnest, apologetic, driven, focused, socially-challenged, deeply-caring character.

TINA! I really like Tina now! She clicked for me too! I can't remember the exact words, but at one point Graves says something like, "Tina. Always popping up where you're not wanted." And YES! She is! And she always will be, because she cares SO MUCH and she will never, never let injustice pass by. She will always be investigating, usually with that little frown on her face, because it's so important to her, and she's going to put the world to rights. Although I got no chemistry from the actors, I think the way the characters are written, they can work really well together (although I still think friends rather than romance would have been great).

CREDENCE OMG CREDENNNNNCEEEEEE. I just. I have- I- GUH. I could turn into an angst queen for this boy. God, he's SO COMPELLING, the character and the backstory and the way Ezra Miller plays him? My god. I'm gone. I'm trash for him. Amazing. And [ profile] vaysh kindly pointed out the news about a deleted scene which throws light on what happens to Credence, so I feel happier about that.

GRAVES OH YES. Really, everything I said last time and more. His clothes, his physicality, his spell casting, his voice, god, his voice. I'm now more concerned than ever about what the future holds for Graves when he's not Grindelwald, because apparently heaven on earth for me is Grindelwald in Colin Farrell's body, LOL. He and Credence in that alley are an absolute twisted, angsty, fucked up JOY. I was FLAILING with fangirl glee. I would watch those scenes a hundred times. NNNGGGGHH.

THE OBSCURUS oh gosh, it's so PRETTY and CLEVER.  I'm in love with it, it really took my breath away, it's absolutely stunningly executed. I was rapt watching it, and I hardly ever like special effects or things like that, they leave me cold usually.

THE PLOT STRANDS: I stand by my comments that there is too much going on in this film and that the tone is all over the place and that the characters suffer from the amount of EVENTS and THINGS crammed into the one film. Being a person who finds it hard to follow complex plots, and gets easily overloaded with information, I really struggled when watching it the first time. But now I've had time to digest, and have seen it again, I can appreciate much more all of the things that are happening, the breadth of the story that's being told, and the fact that this is a set up for a longer arc.

I feel a real dick that it took me two goes to appreciate what was happening, except that the five people I saw it with today said they were pretty lost, too. I think the film has been highly edited down from what was orginally written, and I think it's suffered. The HP films had the same problem, but of course anyone who had read the books could follow what was happening easily.

THE BEASTS: CGI creatures are never going to be my thing, but I enjoyed them a lot more the second time around, when I didn't feel bombarded with information.

THE HUMOUR: One new criticism I had this time was that some of the humour fell flat, and I'm not sure why. It seemed to be a problem for Eddie Redmayne, which I wasn't expecting, as I've seen him play humour beautifully. Maybe it was because the humour didn't quite fit with the way he played Newt? I'm thinking of the scene where he explains to Tina that the first sign of serious effects from a Murtlap bite was "flames from the anus." Personally, I think that should have been hilarious, but the audience stayed quiet both times I saw it. Then the scene where he woos the Erumpent, complete with noises and arse-wiggling? That was also strangely awkward and only mildly funny. Again, not sure why. I did love little moments like when he said "I'm more of a Chaser," but maybe that was because it was more of an HP in-joke?

Anyway, in general, I am just delighted, that I feel whole-heartedly positive about the film and the prospect of the whole series. Thank goodness I 'needed' to see it twice (had promised a group of friends we'd see it together this weekend), because I don't think I would have chosen to go back a second time after seeing it the first. So glad I did, though.

If you've read this far, thanks for bearing with my wild mood swings about the film. I felt pretty shitty to be so critical in my last post, but I did very much want to discuss the film, so I appreciate everyone who talked it over with me, and I'd love to hear if you have any more thoughts. ♥

Date: 2016-11-20 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww, yay!! I'm glad to hear you liked it the second time around!! <333 I don't think you should feel bad about any criticism you had for it the first time you saw it!


And I'm so glad you're feeling Tina more now! Her strong morals and that line got me, too, I think that's what initially made me like her!

I feel a real dick that it took me two goes to appreciate what was happening

Don't feel that way!!! <333 All that matters is that you enjoyed yourself, right? And I totally agree about this being edited heavily from what they shot, PLUS, with the HP movies they were working from a LOT more content, and like you said we knew where those were going.

As for the humor, I was one of the few people who was laughing at the jokes like Chaser/Seeker. Which, I honestly thought would be more of an obvious joke? *shrug* I kinda feel like they were aiming for the humor more for any kids in the audience.

Date: 2016-11-20 09:58 pm (UTC)
capitu: (Hufflepuff ~ fashion [default])
From: [personal profile] capitu
I want to see it again! AHHHH!

Date: 2016-11-21 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I loved it the first time I saw it and can't wait to see it again!! OMG...Colin Farrell ROCKED the Graves character. And Jabob...I want more Jacob and his love for the magical world!

I'm glad you found your love for it. ♥

Date: 2016-11-21 12:53 pm (UTC)
capitu: (Hufflepuff ~ fashion [default])
From: [personal profile] capitu
Okay, real quick, but is it true what I told you I read? Is it true it's Paris?

Also, I read that there'll be less creatures and more Grindelwald stuff (eventually that's what FF is goign to be, wtf?)? Oh man! Please don't let that be true! ^^ I so loved the creatures!

But, well, I read a fair few more, but who knows what's true and what's not.

Date: 2016-11-21 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad you liked it better this time. I saw it this weekend having read some of your spoilery review but not all. I agree that it felt like lots of backstory was cut - especially some bits about Tina/Second Salemers. I liked Tina - I think she suffered from the cuts but I liked her earnestness and the fact that she wasn't overly effusive.
I see what you mean about the humour as well, although I didn't feel that the film was lacking in lighter moments. I think Newt's character would be one where humour is hard to read.
I enjoyed the film a lot (I came in with no real expectations - it was a nice change not having a book to compare it with negatively!) and Mr Wand, who has seen most of the HP films but has very little interest in the HP world, really liked it too.

Spoilery McSpoilerson

Date: 2016-11-21 02:23 pm (UTC)
llaeyro: (Charlie/Teddy)
From: [personal profile] llaeyro
I saw it yesterday! I've just read through your first post about it, but thought I'd best read your updated thoughts before commenting.

I came out of the film feeling... mixed. I had absolutely loved it, then the death chamber had me going 'OKAY THEN, that escalated quickly...' then Graves chasing after Credence as he rampages through the city had me really confused over just what Graves was trying to achieve (and still does) and then when everything seemed to be calming down the Aurors just pull out their wands and attack and I was just, jaw on the floor wanting to shout WTAF at the screen (but outbursts of any kind just don't fly in British cinemas). Then Jacob, and when Queenie stepped out with her brolly (omg the brollies) I thought 'YES! He's not too wet yet? She can keep him?' but no. Bastards. The poison also seemed to get into the water supply bloody quickly, but I'm guessing that was just for our benefit, so that we didn't go away thinking 'but what about the people indoors?' Every bit in between, I loved. Well, the teapot was a bit odd, surely any small container would have done. The screenplay describes that scene as 'A huge, dark attic-space, filled floor to ceiling with shelves packed with boxes of china: dinner services, teacups, and general kitchenware.' I suppose it would need to be something with a narrow lip, as if it was something like a teacup, the Occamy could pick out the cockroach without having to shrink down, and a teapot is one of the things most likely to be present that fits the bill. But yeah, you're WIZARDS! Throw some Accio's around, ffs. Regarding Newt taking the boat... Well, he maybe wasn't supposed to be in America? He went to release Frank, which isn't allowed, under the pretense of buying a different creature, which he didn't know also wasn't allowed, and all Port-keys have to be enabed by the Ministry so maybe he thought it was too risky to try and get one? Or perhaps he was worried about the effet of Port-key travel on the creatures in his case? And Apparition is only good for shorter distances, not across oceans, and only when you have your destination clearly in your mind. It's his first time in America, he doesn't even know where Central Park is, and wouldn't know where to Apparate to where he won't risk being seen by a Muggle.

As for the humour, the 'flames from the anus' did get a reaction in my cinema. There was a bit of a chuckle, but mostly it was a grimacing, sort of 'ew' sound, with a hint of 'please don't show us that...' The Erumpent mating dance earned quite a few giggles, and I found myself looking away a bit, because it was equal parts amusing and embarrassing.

I definitely need to see it again to get the mass of plot and sub plot sorted out in my head. I spotted the remaining black wisp of Credence escaping, and that Newt had said the Swooping Evil poison was useful for removing bad memories, so Jacob wouldn't be completely Obliviated. I had trouble understanding Grinde-Graves's motivation, even after the reveal, but flicking through the screenplay has gone some way to solving that. I think a second watch will be the key. I was confused about what Newt is actually doing, like why he's cataloguing these beasts. I understand his personal motivation, but he says at the end that he better get back to the Ministry to deliver his manuscript yet the British envoy in the meeting was surprised to see him there and questioned his motivation.

I loved Newt, and the autistic way he was played. He was charming and awkward, endearing and real. Credence is compelling, curious, dangerous yet vulnerable. Definitely happy with the suggestion that we'll be seeing more of him! I loved the creatures, particularly the Niffler and Pickett the Bowtruckle for personality and Frank the Thunderbird for sheer fabulousness. I hope that the fact that the next film isn't in New York doesn't mean that we won't see these characters again, particularly Jacob and Queenie. I loved their chemistry <3 I would have loved to see an asexual Newt, but perhaps J.K felt we would criticise her for repetition. Friendly man, passionate about magical creatures, never settles down because he's asexual... sounds like Charlie Weasley, to me :P
Edited Date: 2016-11-21 02:37 pm (UTC)


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