Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them is J.K. Rowling's latest attempt at continuing the Harry Potter franchise for the fans and the studios wallets.

And to be fair, I think this Harry Potter prequel is a complicated and entertaining film which is endearing to even non-Potter fans like myself. (I never saw any of the Potter films.) We have adults tossed into the magic mixer of a story and in my mind, gives the creative team more room to finagle with.


Fantastic Beasts is directed by David Yates (Harry Potter franchise films) and stars Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Jon Voight, Ezra Miller & a very entertaining Dan Fogler.

The film takes place in 1926 New York and even though it's outside of the familiar Potter realm, there is still that familiar feel that I've seen in ads and snippets from that older franchise. But this time around, the adult roles can be easier to identify with.

Newt (Redmayne) is travelling to New York and carries a case that contains some interesting beasts within. But a few accidentally get out, giving us the basis for some of the story.

In parallel, there seems to be something evil running around town and wreaking havoc, which makes the secret society of wizards a bit of a nervous, because they don't want to be forced out into the open and have to confront the non-magic humans. Something that could lead to a kind of war between wizards and No-Majs, or those without magic.

Colin Farrell plays the lead wizard investigator investigating this evil thing that is wreaking havoc in the city, and Farrell's role as the investigator is sublime. I loved his character.

I loved Redmayne's quirky presentation and to be honest, everyone does a great job portraying these new characters and even though Redmanyne steals the show, Dan Fogler is a close second.

The story is nicely paced, not getting too boring while trying to dazzle and demonstrate the new world we're finding ourselves in while the magic and effects are fun and amazing and I think this is the perfect family film for the holidays.

Even though I found myself pigeon-holed into paying for an IMAX screening at $20 a ticket, I wasn't too traumatized by the ticket price to distract me from the film. But crap, they sure do put you over a barrel as far as large-format screenings.

If you're on a budget, then I'd suggest that dropping the bucks on a 2D screening will be totally awesome, while in my mind, on the popcorn movie scale, I'd dare say a 9/10 is warranted.

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