THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (2016)

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

#153 is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I'm not a Harry Potter guy but I found this to be fun and sometimes charming with (surprise) excellent special effects. This takes place some 70 years before Harry and company, as Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the author of the Potter school text "Fantastic Beasts," has arrived in 20s New York City, gathering magical creatures in his amazing suitcase so that the text can be written down the road. But one of his creatures, ...a cute platypus-type beast that has a propensity for shiny things, gets loose and wreaks havoc at a bank. Others get out and he has to collect them all back while dealing with Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), a former Auror for the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), who sees bringing Newt in as a way of getting her old job back. But the MACUSA is dealing with a lot darker and more dangerous problem then Newt's escapees. And the U. S. no-majs (known as muggles overseas) must be kept unaware of all the wizardry and creatures all around them. There's some dark material here that will no doubt be explored further in future sequels but the film is enjoyable and filled with excellent performances like Redmayne who is a virtual chameleon in every part he plays. Waterston and her wizardly sister Alison Sudol are great to watch (Sudol comes thisclose to parody but walks the fine line well) and Dan Fogler is excellent as Jacob, the no-maj who somehow gets mixed up in all of this. He's comical, warm and human. His last scene in this (with Sudol) is touching and sweet. I'm sure his character will be seen again. The setting in Prohibition-era America works as an almost steampunk- opposite of wizards and beasts doing their thing. Yeah you should probably see it.

SHOULD TLA SEE THIS? Well she already has three fantastic beasts at home and she can hardly find them sometimes. Maybe this will help.