My heart doesn't have much to say about this movie really. When you don't get a strong reaction out of me, the movie probably wasn't that big of a deal. Good movies are supposed to confuse audiences, with half the people being angry and the other half of the audience loving it and buying tickets for the next showing. Or those movies where people scream at the screen when you watch it, whether at home or at a theater. In the Midwest, my memories were of people yelling at the theaters in absolute tacky fun or clapping and screaming. A standing ovation! People were really into it in some locations like they were watching a live play.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them stars a guy whose acting I'm in love with, Eddie Redmayne. This guy deserves millions of Academy Awards. One day, he might have them as our generation's Meryl Streep! Or so I hope.
This movie seems to have been made almost entirely for hardcore Harry Potter fans. Nothing Mr. Redmayne or the very expensive FX crew can do about this. My honest impression is J.K. Rowling should've rested a little and let the moviemaking geniuses do their work adapting her material for her. In life, and I don't care who you are, you're either good at writing movies or novels, never both. Some people are 8/10 good at one and 10/10 good at the other. Nobody is 10/10 good at all types of storytelling. Period. Myself included, yeah, I have books out. J.K. Rowling blows me out of the water as a novelist. My books are written in my head as movies I intend on making someday on my grand quest of becoming Walt Disney with my animation studio. When you're as gifted as Ms. Rowling at writing novels, you tend to make sort of dreary cinema overstaying its welcome because you view it as a book, and the reality is, this is a movie. Please, we really shouldn't squeeze all that information into one movie, OK.
This is one case where you really wish we had a small sample of what the book is like and decide to pick it up like, "I'm a fan of this! The book sounds like a must read!" The movie feels so heavy. You can almost touch this with your hand and lift weights. Not so much as in there is too much going on at once like The Lego Movie, which was pretty cool in its hyperactive storytelling. Fantastic Beasts is like the film version of history class. Yeah, you might like your teacher. You're also working at learning. Class isn't fun. Or, insert a class you found so-so here where you liked it but it wasn't ultra fun. No better way exists than to describe this movie like that, not whatsoever.
Mr. Eddie R. gives this movie a marathon acting job. The FX are kind of interesting in a vast ocean of CGI movies similar to it. The promise early on in my mind was, "This might be the one movie where all kinds of sci-fi stuff happens without the characters ever worrying about romantic love." Because love comes in many forms. I'm a big fan of romantic love stories, but the majority of them out there are so similar, when you see a story about love like the love Eddie's character has for his exotic animals and his love of life, you appreciate it. The love these actors portray as on screen friends is absolutely beautiful throughout the kind of slowly written screenplay. The movie ends with a character caring about romantic love. I was hoping all along this would be like A.I. Artificial Intelligence from way back when and be about all kinds of love. Once Fantastic Beasts includes the guy falling for the girl, it becomes every other 2016 movie ever made. Done deal. The promise is over. Kids deserve a movie where people are OK with being single or widowed. They want to be loved by other people or animals and not only the boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic.
Going out to see this in theaters, I might've been a little disheartened by how sluggish it is at times and playing up to mostly Harry Potter fans who know every word by heart from the books. On TV as a two-day rental, it wasn't bad. I had fun at times when I wasn't wishing for more and felt like Eddie Redmayne could act himself out of a magic sorting hat well enough to make me smile.