The Nerd Herders: Fantastic "Fantastic Beasts"

*SPOILER ALERT* This blog contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!!!! Stop Reading Now if you wish to avoid them!

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Sitting in the theater my excitement was contained, it hadn't exactly hit me yet that I was about to re enter a magical world that is so beloved to me. And then, the theme started. The brilliant composer, James Newton Howard, brings in the old Hedwigs Theme that us potter fans love so much, and just like the 8 movies we all know and love, the Warner Brother's logo appears out of the clouds, followed by the title text. It was at that moment, I lost it. I was smiling and giggling uncontrollably, it was like being in the theater with my parents again oh so long ago.

The movie got of to a rather slow and predictable start if you ask me. We see Newt land in NYC with his case of Fantastic Beasts, and of course chaos ensues.

The introduction of the MCUSA was cool to see, nice for all of us Americans to meet our equivalent of the Ministry of Magic. Plus getting a 1920s New York City setting was just awesome.

Visually the movie was stunning, and fulfilled most of my hopes and dreams, and I was happy with the darker, gritty feel to the movie, it felt like Harry Potter meets Film Noir, and I felt this was able to adequately tie the movie into the HP universe, but also set it apart.

The characters were, in my opinion, well developed, and I felt as though the amount of characters we meet was kept at a manageable number in order to fully realize each character. Newt Scamander was everything he needed to be, awkward, animal lover, with a somewhat guarded and painful past. Tina was so relateable and such a great character to follow and play opposite Newt. Jacob provided every bit of comic relief that the film needed, and was also heartwarming and heartbreaking at the end when he forgets all of his magical adventures.

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Queenie just might be one of my new favorite characters! What an awesome gal, she can read minds, cook, and she's not afraid to jump in on the fight and do it dressed fabulously. She's easily underestimated, but shouldn't be.

Percival Graves was expertly played by Colin Farrell, and just one of the most interesting characters out there. and of course by this time we know that the man who was the Auror, Director of Magical Security and head of MACUSA's Department of Magical Law Enforcement, is now most likely dead as he was truly the infamous Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp. Grindelwald was most likely using a large supply of polyjuice potion to keep up his appearance as Graves. Now looking back we can see why "Graves" was so intent on learning about the obscurus that Newt had in his case, and it makes complete sense now that "Graves" carried a deathly hallows charm., considering Grindelwalds obsession with finding all three and ruling over muggles. This movie was a brilliant set up of Depp's character, and the next four movies.

Ezra Miller as Credence was awe inspiring, just impeccable. It was amazing to watch his descent, and slowly be lead down the path. The Second Salem were a mystery at the beginning, and I think the film did an amazing job at weaving together these seemingly unrelated story lines into a cohesive plot.

And the creatures were indeed Fantastic, although it seems there weren't many, if any, included from the actual book.

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The obscurus is a brilliant addition to the Harry Potter Universe, and at first it seemed that it was a new thing that we haven't seen before, but it isn't true. May I point out Ariana Dumbledore.

In the seventh book, Aberforth Dumbledore says that "When my sister was six years old, she was attacked, by three Muggle boys. They'd seen her practising magic, spying through the back garden hedge: She was a kid, she couldn't control it, no witch or wizard can at that age. What they saw, scared them, I expect. They forced their way through the hedge, and when she couldn't show them the trick, they got a bit carried away trying to stop the little freak doing it."

The muggle boys attacked Ariana, and she repressed her magic, and was unable to use it again.

"It destroyed her, what they did: She was never right again. She wouldn't use magic, but she couldn't get rid of it; it turned inward and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn't control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous. But mostly she was sweet and scared and harmless."

Her father attacked the boys and was sentanced to Azkaban for life, to keep Ariana safe, Kendra Dumbledore, her mother, moved the family to Godric's Hollow, (Where James and Lilly Potter later lived). Because Kendra didn't send Ariana to Hogwarts, many believed that she was a Squib.

"Then, when she was fourteen… See, I wasn’t there. If I’d been there, I could have calmed her down. She had one of her rages, and my mother wasn’t as young as she was, and… it was an accident. Ariana couldn’t control it. But my mother was killed"

This all seems to line up with the obscurus that we see and are told about in the Fantastic Beasts Film. It also explains why Gellert Grindlewald is so obsessed with the obscurus because he saw one up close in Ariana Dumbledore.

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A young Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindlewald

Albus Dumbledore and Grindlewald were friends and were planning to take over the wizarding world and make Muggles subservient "for the greater good," and when Aberforth learns of these plans he confronts the two and a vicious three way duel breaks out. This frightens Ariana and she begins to lose control of her obscurus and in the midst of the duel, she is killed by one of the three Wizards, it is still unknown which one of the three killed her.

Grindlewald flees immediately and loses all friendship with Albus. The Fantastic Beasts movie takes place about 27 years after her death.

That was a lot of history, but I think it's interesting to look at.

I have a few grievances with this film, however. One, the obliviate rain. Way too convenient. Far too convenient. Cop out if you ask me.

And second, Queenie appearing in the Bakery, and the bakery in general. This was the movie trying to have it's cake and eat it too. Leave it with Jacob receiving the eggs for collateral.

Third, the newspaper owner and his senator son were thrown in to add a plot element but did not seem incredibly integral to the plot at all.

The opening was slow, and I found myself bored several times. But the parts of this movie that were great, were absolutely amazing.

Alltogether, I thought this was Fantastic, and I give it a 7.5 out of 10.

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