Movie Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and more


Magical Creatures

Four years after the final installment in the Wizarding World franchise, Great Cheekbone Swap hits theaters this weekend as Mads Mikkelsen is fortunate to take the place of favorite Johnny Depp in “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” “.

Set in the 1930s, the real world, aka Muggles, is preparing for World War II. In the Wizarding World, a battle of a different kind is taking place. Gellert Grindelwald (Mikkelsen), the dark wizard and former love of Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), has returned from creating chaos around the world with a renewed belief in wizarding supremacy and succession. plans to create a new Wizarding World Order.

Having been cleared of his crimes by the International Union of Wizards (ICW), Grindelwald’s first step towards world domination comes with a plan to steal the election (ICW) and take control. He wants to burn down the Muggle world. “There’s nothing I can do to stop you,” he told his former lover Dumbledore.

As Grindelwald erupts into a storm, Dumbledore recruits British Ministry of Magic employee Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and company – including returning characters such as his brother Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner), fearless baker Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and assistant Bunty Broadacre (Victoria Yeates) – to pick up their wands and fight.

The stakes are very high. Dumbledore considers it the greatest threat to both the Wizarding and Muggle worlds in a century. “Things that seem unimaginable today will seem inevitable tomorrow,” he said.

It seems that politics in the Wizarding World is as rife as it is in ours.

If you went to “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” to learn about Harry Potter-style magic, you’re in luck. The movie has breathtaking visuals that bring the wizarding world to life, some mystical creatures, like cute dragons that can identify pure hearts, murderous books and a suitcase can walk and walk.

It’s chock full of CGI wonder, but packed with so many effects that the characters play a second-to-bit and byte-by-byte role. It works best but after a while it becomes stuffy. You crave something organic, but this is the Wizarding World and it’s all an illusion.

The story has an old fashioned action-adventure feel, but like CGI, it feels overdone. The big moments are huge, accompanied by an orchestra of scores. But even the small moments are big. A simple story of world domination packed into a long two hours and twenty minutes, with lots of characters, most of whom don’t have much to do.

Under the watchful eye and careful camera of veteran “Harry Potter” director David Yates, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” is a big, beautiful movie about magic, but unfortunately, feels uninspired. get all that magic.

Breastfeeding: 2 STAR

Father Stu

“Father Stu,” a new, inspirational film by Mark Wahlberg, now in theaters, is the unlikely, but true, story of a brash, potty-based boxer whose path to redemption begins with a detour into the Catholic Church.

When we first met Stuart Long (Wahlberg), he was an amateur boxer with foresight. He’s good, but not good enough to be pro, as his mother (Jacki Weaver) likes to point out. “Don’t be careless with your life,” she says. “You’re at the age where most people pack it up.”

He is an angry man. Angry at his dead father (Mel Gibson). Angry at his dead young brother. Angry at yourself and the world.

He was a nasty drunk with a short temper, but when health conditions forced him to retire from the ring, he set his sights on Hollywood. “I’ll pay with my own face,” he said. “Not my fist.”

A fluent talker, he finds work at a grocery store, where he hopes to meet actors and directors who will land him a gig. Instead, he meets Carmen (Teresa Ruiz), a devout Catholic who reluctantly begins dating the unpolished Stu, but only if he is baptized. As a friend said, she is as Catholic as the cross itself.

His path to redemption begins when he helps Carmen teach Sunday School. His simple way of speaking impresses the kids, Carmen and even her strict father but it is not until a drunken motorcycle accident that Stu can see the light and give it all. Literally for the church. “God saved me to show there’s a reason why I’m here,” he said as he told Carmen of his intention to become a priest.

In a life full of dramatic turns, Stu still has a long way to go. One thing could prevent him from realizing his dream of becoming a priest. “God is all about fighting hardships, having the strength to endure a difficult life,” he said.

“Father Stu” inspired to spare. This is a movie about the power of religion to heal and motivate, there will be many people saying “Amen”, but the execution of the story is like a movie of the week, with plot points predictable, and the accelerated timeline squeezes too much into too little time.

Even for two hours, the pacing was messy as director and screenwriter Rosalind Ross tried to cover up as many aspects of Stu’s personality as possible. She considers the adage “everything happens for a reason” and as such, the film feels rushed in some scenes, too leisurely in others, but rarely gives us insight. Color can create Stu’s motivation.

Wahlberg, who also produced the film after hearing Stu’s story over dinner with a group of priests, went through an extreme transformation to play the character – and I don’t mean the mustache. his bag. His charisma is evident in his weight and make-up and it is in these scenes that he elevates Stu from the cartoon bad boy of the first half of the film, to an attractive character. Too bad Ross tries to tie some loose story threads together like a real personal story finds its humanity.

“Father Stu” is due for an Easter release, so in terms of its theme and message, it looks to be a movie for the whole family, but be warned, Stu’s language is realistic, i.e. fairly raw for the duration of the movie.

“Father Stu” is a movie about change, about overcoming obstacles and living with purpose. All good messages, just too bad they’re tied up in a clumsy movie.


All my Puny sadness

As you can imagine from a movie that begins with the dub, “Is there ever a truth that is clearer than the saying ‘Are we going to die?’ and to the bone, how many of us can imagine that “,” All My Puny Sorrows “does not shy away from the delicate issue of death.

Struggling writer Yoli (Alison Pill) and concert pianist Elf (Sarah Gadon) — short for Elfrieda — are sisters who have run away from a strict, rural Mennonite raised to forge their lives. live in art. There exists a deep bond between them, although their lives have taken very different paths.

Yoli is in the process of divorce after 16 years of marriage. When her daughter Nora (Amybeth McNulty) speaks out, Yoli wonders if she’s handling things correctly. She said: ‘The end of 16 years of monogamy has caused some strange animal reactions. “Honestly, the past few months have not been my proudest.”

Elf, although successful in the international arena and happily married, she has lost her desire for life. As she contemplates suicide a second time, Yoli comes to her side, hoping to save her sister from the same fate as their father Jake (Donal Logue), who committed suicide when they were children, but pleas plea Hers fell into deaf ears.

“Will you take me to Switzerland?” Elf asked.

“Yeah, we’ll get the Swatches,” Yoli said.

But the Elf wanted to go to a suicide-assisted hospital, “where it’s legal to die and you don’t have to die alone.”

Screenwriter and director Michael McGowan, adapted from Miriam Toews’ novel of the same name, tells a story of pain and death that explores life’s purpose. McGowan sensitively shows how life’s decisions resonate for everyone in the inner circle and beyond.

These themes are enhanced by the performance of Pill, Gadon and Mare Winham as their obsessed mother. Literary scenarios often feel as if the characters are speaking in carefully constructed prose, but in the mouths of these performers can sense love, frustration, and acceptance of the situation. Pill and Gadon bond as sisters, bringing to the screen lifelong loves and petty quarrels.

“All My Puny Sorrows” is a melodrama that includes the totality of a sad end-of-life situation, exasperation, sadness, and sometimes even humor.

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