Fantastic Breasts and Where to Find Them

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Fantastic Breasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:55 am UTC

I'm surprised there isn't a thread for it. Or maybe search is just borked? But I looked through about four pages. Oh well.

Anyway, just came back from the movie. I have mixed feelings. Well, I suppose I wouldn't say mixed, I just feel like it's kinda bad. The good parts - it's mostly fun, it's nice to be in that magical world setting, New York in the roaring 20s was cool to see through a Harry Potter lens. The bad is a plot full of holes, and really obnoxious story decisions with regards to interactions between the magical world and muggles. Like, really queasy-making issues, that are never addressed. I was also surprised at the special effects - pretty much any interaction between humans and the CGI creatures (and there's obviously a lot of that) looks pretty bad.

I don't think it's a huge spoiler, it's also mentioned in passing in one of the trailers, but I'm going to spoil this anyway:
Spoiler:
The keep talking incredibly casually about erasing muggles' memories, without any regard to people opinions and willingness to rule over themselves. They talk about it often. They talk about it on a massive scale. And no one explains why it's OK, why it's obvious this is how it should it be done. And no one questions it either!


Bigger spoilers (still not huge, it's not like the movie is very sophisticated and hard to predict):
Spoiler:
At some point, they erase someone's mind and then show wizards interacting with that person with previous knowledge, and that somehow is presented as nostalgic/romantic instead of creepy, manipulative, and deceptive.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:22 am UTC

Zohar wrote:I don't think it's a huge spoiler, it's also mentioned in passing in one of the trailers, but I'm going to spoil this anyway:
Spoiler:
The keep talking incredibly casually about erasing muggles' memories, without any regard to people opinions and willingness to rule over themselves. They talk about it often. They talk about it on a massive scale. And no one explains why it's OK, why it's obvious this is how it should it be done. And no one questions it either!
Wasn't that always part of the Harry Potter universe?
Spoiler:
I thought even the 1990s wizards were pretty cavalier about wiping muggles' memories. Or maybe its just a part of a Hollywood double standard where wiping memories is evil if the bad guys do it but justified and moral when the good guys do it (e.g. Men In Black making jokes about all the mass memory wipes).
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby flicky1991 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:24 am UTC

Gonna see this this afternoon!
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Angua » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:14 am UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:
Zohar wrote:I don't think it's a huge spoiler, it's also mentioned in passing in one of the trailers, but I'm going to spoil this anyway:
Spoiler:
The keep talking incredibly casually about erasing muggles' memories, without any regard to people opinions and willingness to rule over themselves. They talk about it often. They talk about it on a massive scale. And no one explains why it's OK, why it's obvious this is how it should it be done. And no one questions it either!
Wasn't that always part of the Harry Potter universe?
Spoiler:
I thought even the 1990s wizards were pretty cavalier about wiping muggles' memories. Or maybe its just a part of a Hollywood double standard where wiping memories is evil if the bad guys do it but justified and moral when the good guys do it (e.g. Men In Black making jokes about all the mass memory wipes).

Spoiler:
Yeah, it's one thing that's always annoyed me about the Harry Potter universe.

Don't forget that Hermione erased herself from her own parent's memories. They were always complaining about how many muggles' minds had to be wiped after some magical mishap or the other but no one seemed to care.

Also, the whole 'muggle repellent' which makes us sound like vermin.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Chen » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:52 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
Spoiler:
Yeah, it's one thing that's always annoyed me about the Harry Potter universe.

Don't forget that Hermione erased herself from her own parent's memories. They were always complaining about how many muggles' minds had to be wiped after some magical mishap or the other but no one seemed to care.

Also, the whole 'muggle repellent' which makes us sound like vermin.


Spoiler:
I always likened it to the Masquerade ala White Wolf vampires. If the general public found out about magic users who could influence the mind's of people (like politicians) there would be a mass uprising against them and the wizarding world would likely get destroyed, much the same way Vampires in White Wolf's setting would be destroyed if everyone knew about them. So wiping the minds of muggles would be like dominating mortals to forget. Something necessary for survival, but not something that would be morally right.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:09 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I didn't remember there being too much of that in Harry Potter, except for Hermione's shitty thing with her parents (self-sacrificing? Sure! Shitty? Definitely!).

As for the "necessary for survival" bits, I call shenanigans, for two reasons. First, as far as we know, advanced magic has been a thing for a loooong time, a lot more than advanced warfare. It would have been easy for wizards to defend themselves in the past. Even with today's technology there isn't much that can hurt them, so I'm not clear on why wizards "went underground" in the first place. The second, though, is they're amazingly good at illusions and camouflage. The vast majority of the time, you wouldn't need to do any of this mind erasure gaslighting stuff because no muggles would experience it.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Angua » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:07 pm UTC

Spoiler:
They mention it bit with the flying car incident, and there a bunch of references to them doing it for when magical creatures turn up around muggles.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:14 pm UTC

I'm not surprised. I suppose I just didn't notice it as much at the time, possibly because I was much younger when I experienced the stories in those books compared to this one.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Chen » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:25 pm UTC

In terms of needing to survive it's a numbers thing (again like the White Wolf Vampire example). Plus Wizards in the Potter universe are pretty much idiots who don't understand technology at all. With creative use of their spells and the like sure they could probably do a lot of harm (imperius charming your way all the way up various governments for example). But they don't tend to do that. Modern warfare + numbers would easily overwhelm them if it came down to a physical confrontation. Range is probably the biggest issue. But even if the Wizards COULD win, it wouldn't stop people from rising up against them. They exist in small numbers and can literally force you to do whatever they want. People wouldn't stand for that kind of stuff. So if you don't hide you resign yourself to either losing the fight, or constantly fighting until you either subjugate the people enough, or just plain kill them all.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:39 pm UTC

I disagree. First, because we don't know how true that is, we've never had a super powered group in the real world. Works fine in Avatar though, benders don't really attract hate (I'm excluding Korra since I don't want to think about that show very much). Regardless, the fact that it's hard doesn't mean it's good or noble, and it doesn't mean people should be portrayed as good for still doing it. Not to mention, they don't really follow their own rules (muggles who are related to wizards know about them, heads of state know about them). If Rowling really wanted to she could have handwaved it away - "muggles always seem to find logical excuses when they encounter magic, no matter how convoluted their logic is", same way they treated deja-vus in The Matrix for example. But no, wizards do hideous terrible things to muggles all the time, and are portrayed as noble and good heroes.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Adacore » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:12 am UTC

You do have a point, Zohar, and I always thought that the memory modification was the most horrifying thing in the Harry Potter lore (the thing with Hermione's parents is the only part of the entire original book series that made me cry). The existing real-world lore on witches and wizards, upon which the world is based, is pretty clear that non-magic users can be aware of magic users, and would probably attempt to murder them if they knew about it, though. The Salem witch trials was explicitly, and repeatedly, referenced in the movie.

But on the general 'wizards being dismissive and superior to muggles' thing:
Spoiler:
It seemed fairly clear to me that this was the major overaching theme of the upcoming (many) sequels. Grindelwald's whole thing is that wizards are superior and should be a ruling class. Voldemort basically got a lot of his wizarding philosophy from Grindelwald's school of thought. I would assume that one of the plot outcomes of the series will be that the faction for equality rather than dominance wins out in the US.


More generally, I actually really enjoyed this movie. It was much better than I expected; faithful to the lore, and with engaging characters. It went a bit over the top with the CGI at times, but what blockbuster movie doesn't these days?
Spoiler:
I was actually really hoping they didn't even feature Grindelwald at all in this one, and the evil investigator dude just turned out to be one of his followers (which I didn't peg until he gave the Deathly Hallows pendant to the boy) for a bit of foreshadowing.

But since it was Grindelwald, did anybody notice if he has the elder wand yet? He seemed to be extremely good at dueling, but then he probably wasn't facing the most powerful opponents, and was defeated at the end, which would transfer 'ownership' of the wand to either Newt or Tina. But then if he didn't have the wand yet, you'd think that would be his top priority, rather than trying to capture unstable magical forces in New York. I know he loses the wand to Dumbledore in 1945 (a battle which I'm somewhat expecting to be the grand finale of this series), but it seems to be unclear exactly when he obtained it.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:18 am UTC

Adacore wrote:the thing with Hermione's parents is the only part of the entire original book series that made me cry

Spoiler:
According to J. K. Rowling, she reversed what she'd done after the end of the series. What Hermione did was a memory modification (like what was done to Bertha Jorkins), not "Obliviate" (although they portrayed it as such in the films), so it seems it's the kind of spell that can be reversed by the caster.

I always saw "memory modification being accepted" as wizards having different morality to us because they basically live in a different world. Most good characters express regret at having to do it, but they do it anyway, because it's just a normal part of their lives.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Chen » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:36 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I disagree. First, because we don't know how true that is, we've never had a super powered group in the real world. Works fine in Avatar though, benders don't really attract hate (I'm excluding Korra since I don't want to think about that show very much). Regardless, the fact that it's hard doesn't mean it's good or noble, and it doesn't mean people should be portrayed as good for still doing it. Not to mention, they don't really follow their own rules (muggles who are related to wizards know about them, heads of state know about them). If Rowling really wanted to she could have handwaved it away - "muggles always seem to find logical excuses when they encounter magic, no matter how convoluted their logic is", same way they treated deja-vus in The Matrix for example. But no, wizards do hideous terrible things to muggles all the time, and are portrayed as noble and good heroes.


Firstly, I agree that the memory modification/wiping is in no way good or noble. It's portrayal is pretty blasé though, rather than it being portrayed as something particularly good.

Having not watched Avatar I'm not sure how they have any mind control type things, but I have to imagine that would be a breaking point for people. Pointing at you and killing or hurting you in some manner is one thing, but that's something we pretty easily have access to nowadays anyway. But making it so you could never know if what you remember is true? Or doing things you have no control over? And that going all the up the rungs of government? People would not stand for it.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:29 pm UTC

Also, don't forget one of the central Muggle characters is a 'Salemist'. I think that's a pretty deliberate point - the relationship between Wizards and Muggles has been pretty rocky for a while, and this is just sort of where they are now with it. IIRC, one of the points in the Harry Potter books is that one of the kids moving forward was going to be involved in Muggle/Wizard relations. Ethically, I don't think it's as awful as you do Zohar. It's a magical Men In Black handwave, and these characters are already pretty childish and one dimensional, so, meh. In the scheme of things, it's just a McGuffin.

Regarding memory wiping in this movie -
Spoiler:
I didn't find it creepy that LunaLikeCuteWizard went back to MuggleStraightManFoil after he wiped his memories. Putting aside that I have no idea why he decided to wipe his own memories, I think her going to him was pretty standard fare for 'we only appreciate the story if there's a romance involved'. As for how he had some vague memories/recollection - I also vaguely remember that being a central point to one of the Harry Potter quirks about memories, something about how the erasure isn't perfect, and leaves people with dreams or recollections or impressions.


I enjoyed this film, despite the plot holes and awkward periods, and hope we do see more of this world. One thing I really do applaud JKR for is creating a very interesting and readily expandable universe, and I'd like to see more of it, particularly from a more adult perspective.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:16 pm UTC

You say that as if it's not bad in Men in Black, either.

Imagine someone coming up to you at a bar and flirting with you, and you start dating, and it goes wonderfully, everything they say is charming, you have so much stuff in common, you've never had a spark like you had with that person. And then you find out it's not because they're magically (no pun intended) suited for you. It's because when they met you in the bar they looked for you specifically, they knew you'd be there. They gathered information methodically about you, they secretly asked your friends, they just know what works best in conversation with you, what things to say to get you to recount a funny story (which they already know) or tell a great anecdote that makes you two feel closer. They already know before they ask that you'll have a great time watching that movie, playing that board game, because they found out about it ahead of time. They weren't necessarily evil, they weren't necessarily manipulative when they did it. They just knew all the right things to say and do.

I don't know, maybe it's kind of like how in Kingsman you have a horrifyingly violent fight scene of people who are being brainwashed into killing each other, and a lot of viewers treat it as fun and cool because there's exciting editing and cheerful music.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Angua » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:29 pm UTC

At least in MIB you had Will Smith feeling guilty about it (at least in the first movie). They do seem to care about it less as time goes on though, which is a shame.

I don't know, with Kingsmen I think it was more that it was so well choreographed? People still found it horrific (both in the movie, and the viewers), but having so many people working together to create such a flowing scene is pretty impressive.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:39 pm UTC

The choreography was impressive, yes, but I really think the editing and music were chosen thinking "THIS IS AWESOME!!1" instead of "This is terrible". Obviously Jessica Jones never has such nuanced and elaborate choreography, but it had similar scenes of people being forced to fight each other, and those are portrayed as horrifying.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby plytho » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:46 pm UTC

The implications of memory modification (and mind control) are terrible in general and it would be interesting to see them adressed in-universe.

The use of memory modification as damage control after magical incedents doesn't bother me too much though. When a dragon in London becomes a carcrash no 'valuable' memories are replaced or removed. Removing an entire person from someones life is another matter obviously.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:24 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:The choreography was impressive, yes, but I really think the editing and music were chosen thinking "THIS IS AWESOME!!1" instead of "This is terrible".


I think in Kingsman it's supposed to be both. It's an amazing action scene, but he's clearly shaken afterward, and the guy behind it all *is* treated as the villain for doing so, even though the portrayal of the victims is unsympathetic. It manages to hit that delicate balance of reveling in traditional James Bond tropes while also parodying them. That's pretty much the whole movie, actually.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:10 am UTC

Again, I think in the movie world it's perceived as bad, but for the viewers, it's trying to show that scene as crazy awesome, and I think that's a really bad choice on behalf of the director (whether it's a bad judgement call, a shitty outlook, or something else I don't know). There are ways to make action scenes appear impressive without making them seem gratuitous and cheery, and this was not it.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Diadem » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:43 am UTC

Kingsman is a parody movie though. It's an absurdist comedy. The disconnect between the cheery music and beautiful choreography on one hand and the horror of what is actually happening on the other is not a mistake. It is very much intentional, and is in fact what that scene so good.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:48 pm UTC

I don't think it's a mistake, I think it's a bad decision. I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on that.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:00 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Kingsman is a parody movie though. It's an absurdist comedy. The disconnect between the cheery music and beautiful choreography on one hand and the horror of what is actually happening on the other is not a mistake. It is very much intentional, and is in fact what that scene so good.


Exactly. The same is absolutely true for the finale head explosions...that whole sequence was incredibly deliberate, and the absurdity arises from the conflict between the act and the presentation. If you take that away, you have a different movie entirely, and the comedy is utterly gone.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:28 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Imagine someone coming up to you at a bar and flirting with you, and you start dating, and it goes wonderfully, everything they say is charming, you have so much stuff in common, you've never had a spark like you had with that person. And then you find out it's not because they're magically (no pun intended) suited for you. It's because when they met you in the bar they looked for you specifically, they knew you'd be there. They gathered information methodically about you, they secretly asked your friends, they just know what works best in conversation with you, what things to say to get you to recount a funny story (which they already know) or tell a great anecdote that makes you two feel closer. They already know before they ask that you'll have a great time watching that movie, playing that board game, because they found out about it ahead of time. They weren't necessarily evil, they weren't necessarily manipulative when they did it. They just knew all the right things to say and do.


Groundhog Day, anyone?

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:24 pm UTC

I think the morality of Groundhog Day is more complicated, as for the vast majority of the movie Bill Murray is essentially a god compared to everyone else in it, and it's difficult to apply the same moral judgments. It's not like he was told "You can escape if you achieve true love!" and then was like "OK I'll manipulate everyone around me to get there". I think for a lot of time he was just trying things out. Also, he had no choice in remembering what was happening, which is a huge difference compared to people who actively erase others' memories.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby plytho » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:24 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Zohar wrote:Imagine someone coming up to you at a bar and flirting with you, and you start dating, and it goes wonderfully, everything they say is charming, you have so much stuff in common, you've never had a spark like you had with that person. And then you find out it's not because they're magically (no pun intended) suited for you. It's because when they met you in the bar they looked for you specifically, they knew you'd be there. They gathered information methodically about you, they secretly asked your friends, they just know what works best in conversation with you, what things to say to get you to recount a funny story (which they already know) or tell a great anecdote that makes you two feel closer. They already know before they ask that you'll have a great time watching that movie, playing that board game, because they found out about it ahead of time. They weren't necessarily evil, they weren't necessarily manipulative when they did it. They just knew all the right things to say and do.


Groundhog Day, anyone?

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:26 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I think the morality of Groundhog Day is more complicated, as for the vast majority of the movie Bill Murray is essentially a god compared to everyone else in it, and it's difficult to apply the same moral judgments. It's not like he was told "You can escape if you achieve true love!" and then was like "OK I'll manipulate everyone around me to get there". I think for a lot of time he was just trying things out. Also, he had no choice in remembering what was happening, which is a huge difference compared to people who actively erase others' memories.


Erasing other people's memories is way more intrusive than merely remembering things yourself, I agree. Time loop scenarios traditionally have the other people involved merely acting as they would on a normal day/month/time period. You're not inflicting anything on them. I mean, unless the time looper's a dick, but that's pretty straightforward.

Deliberately deciding to go fuck with somebody else, and removing their memories of a portion of their life is something else entirely.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:47 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I think the morality of Groundhog Day is more complicated, as for the vast majority of the movie Bill Murray is essentially a god compared to everyone else in it, and it's difficult to apply the same moral judgments. It's not like he was told "You can escape if you achieve true love!" and then was like "OK I'll manipulate everyone around me to get there". I think for a lot of time he was just trying things out. Also, he had no choice in remembering what was happening, which is a huge difference compared to people who actively erase others' memories.


At least some of the time, he's taking advantage of his unfair information to seduce women (other than Andie McDowell who takes much more convincing than others). They've still had interactions with him that they don't remember...

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:11 pm UTC

Yes, I agree 100%, he's definitely creepy in some parts of the movie. However, there was absolutely no reason for him to believe his situation would change. As far as he knew, he was going to be stuck in that time loop forever (and I think I saw an estimate of being stuck there for ~30 years), effectively making him a god. At that point, I really think morality is a bit different. Also, he didn't have a goal in mind to make Andy McDowell fall in love with him, and he didn't know that would rescue him. This wasn't a Star Trek time-loop thing, where the character involved knows something is fucked up and tries to figure it out and solve it. Bill Murray tried what he thought might work - driving away, or killing himself. Those didn't help, and from then on he pretty much was... not human for a while, I think.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:19 pm UTC

Random thought...the whole fake-out was mostly unnecessary:

Spoiler:
All the indications that it was the girl, rather than the not-squib boy...a fair amount of lead-in was devoted to this fakeout, with the only real payoff being Grindlewald's brief showing off that he cared only for magical folk. I dunno, it just seemed strange. It's not as if that's a hard thing to sell, given that we have eight previous movies showing that villains like to believe in magical superiority. Just seemed like it shouldn't have required that much screen time to sell.


Now that I've had a bit of time to mull it over, it was a good watch overall, but feels...I dunno, pacing was off in a few points. You've already figured out what's gonna happen for a while, and are waiting for the movie to catch up. Lotsa flash and cool shots, but honestly, the most enjoyable bits have basically nothing to do with the actual plot.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:27 pm UTC

Never mind the ethics of obliviation, my main problem with the film was that it just wasn't good story-telling. For example, we know the protagonist likes beasties, but are we ever given a clue as to why? Maybe a childhood scene of him playing with the beasties, for example? No, it's just his Thing, and we have to just accept it.
Spoiler:
We're told via newspaper shots (and one scene of him killing some men in hats) that some dude called Grindelwald is a criminal. Then he's forgotten about for most of the film. And then it's "oh by the way, that government guy was Grindelwald all along". As reveals go, it wasn't exactly impactful.


As a spectacle, it's a good movie. As a bit of world-building, it's a good movie. As a story, it's shite. I suspect there were a lot of missing scenes that were edited out to bring down the run time, but without which, the story has more holes than swiss cheese. I look forward to the director's cut if there ever is one.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:32 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Spoiler:
We're told via newspaper shots (and one scene of him killing some men in hats) that some dude called Grindelwald is a criminal. Then he's forgotten about for most of the film. And then it's "oh by the way, that government guy was Grindelwald all along". As reveals go, it wasn't exactly impactful.

Have you read the Harry Potter books? Not that I'm saying that only people who've read the books should enjoy the film or anything - just wondering if that is impacting my view of it too much.

If you've seen the Harry Potter films but not read the books:
Spoiler:
Grindelwald was in Deathly Hallows Part 1 - he appears as a young man stealing the Elder Wand (there's a repeated shot of him jumping out a window), and then as an old man being interrogated by Voldemort as to the Wand's whereabouts. I'm not sure if they explained much more about him in the films compared to the books, but he was established as a villainous character at least. (The books explain all the back story you get in the new film, and more.)

If you've not seen the Harry Potter films or read the books, all I'll say is that he's appeared before, so it was assumed much of the audience would know who he was.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:17 pm UTC

Like...he's mentioned, but it's not as if he's terribly important to the initial series.

I don't think having seen the original series, or read the original books, contributes significantly to the story told here. Yeah, it's kinda cool that they're obstensibly in the same universe, but end of day, there's extremely little overlap, and they're basically unconnected tales.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby JudeMorrigan » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:31 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Like...he's mentioned, but it's not as if he's terribly important to the initial series.

I don't think having seen the original series, or read the original books, contributes significantly to the story told here. Yeah, it's kinda cool that they're obstensibly in the same universe, but end of day, there's extremely little overlap, and they're basically unconnected tales.

From a plot standpoint, that may be true

Spoiler:
But while he only rated a mention in this movie, Dumbledore will almost have to pay a much larger role in the later movies in the new series. Quite a bit of this series should inform the background of the original series. And it should get a lot more explicit than Ariana Dumbledore's likely having been an Obscuriel.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Diadem » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:39 am UTC

Grindelwald is extremely important to Dumbledore's backstory, since (major HP part 6-7 spoiler alert):
Spoiler:
Grindelwald and Dumbledore were lovers

The backstory of Dumbledore and Grindelwald, and the deathly hallows, is explored quite a bit in book 6 and 7 of Harry Potter.

I agree that the reveal in this movie was rather lacking. But if the future movies show more of young Dumbledore that is potentially very cool.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:47 am UTC

Going off the majority of this conversation:

Spoiler:
I was coming here to rant about the Obliviation/Memory modification, but it seems you've all pretty much covered that. I agree. I do think it's something of the Wizarding World's biggest moral issue. Even with survival issues in mind, it's still a hugely morally ambiguous thing that they can basically just decide to wipe peoples' memories for them.

Regarding the ending between our young witch and muggle baker, I think that's going to be a development. Rowling has this theme going about the segregation of magical and non-magical people in the US. It was implied that she was unwilling to let his memory be wiped, but really had no choice. And I think what we may see in later books; if not a complete reversal of his obliterated memory, then at least her trying to re-establish that relationship and defy the segregation laws.



Another part of the movie that kind of disturbed me.

Spoiler:
Their justice system. Specifically, their use of the death penalty.
Again, Rowling is obviously trying to make a commentary on the US use of the death penalty, but it went a little too... far in this film.

Like, when they are caught, there is no trial. There is no examination of evidence. No due process whatsoever. This one guy, who's not even an independent judge, literally sits them down in his office, talks to them for three minutes, and then is like "okay, I'm going to sentence you both to death, to be carried out right now".

... honestly? Really? You're telling me that in Magical US certain government officials can just sentence people to immediate execution whenever they kinda feel like it? It just goes way too far.

Oh, also the fact that Newt is apparently an employee of the Ministry of Magic. Like... honestly? He's under the employ of a foreign government. The Minister of Magic himself is in town and speaks to him. You're telling me there is no kind of diplomatic process here. No "hey, you can't just execute my ministry employees without talking to me first"?


What's more, though, is the identity of this particular Head of Law Enforcement. He's freaking' Grindelwald.

Like... how did they not catch that?

This was never satisfactorily explained in the movie. Was this person a real guy who Grindelwald kidnapped/killed and then assumed his identity (a la Mad-Eye Mooney from Goblet of Fire)? Or did Grindelwald just invent an identity and join the magical US government? If the latter, it's especially troubling, because Grindelwald can't have been there for very long, and how would a guy with literally no background climb the ranks of magical government so high they just give him the unabridged power to execute people at will? This was never explained, and it truly irks me.



I liked the movie as a continuation of the Harry Potter universe, but... I don't know. Something's off. And it's not quite sticking in my memory as it should. I feel like that's in part due to the fact that there was no "book" per say (I know there's Newt's guide). I dunno... it's just not sticking.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Zohar » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:13 pm UTC

Re: justice system:
Spoiler:
I also felt during the movie that none of that made sense, but when it was explicitly revealed Colin Farrell was evil, I figured he was able to move things along quickly and efficiently due to corruption. Like, he might in theory have attracted attention to himself later, but he would have gotten away with it.
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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:54 pm UTC

I mean, apparently the magical US government is like...twelve people.

Which feels really frigging strange coming from the scale depicted in the original series.

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:41 pm UTC

Magical US was on a small government bend, it appears?

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Re: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:21 pm UTC

Methods and Madness:
Spoiler:
The whole execution thing was wonky, too. Sure, sure, grindlewald's evil. The auror's executing them are apparently not, yes? It's like...what, two people? And it's needlessly convoluted. I don't get what any of that scene was about.


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