I haven’t read the Fantastic Beasts book (neither the handbook version or the screenplay) so this will be a straight forward review, solely based on the film. Going into this movie I was very excited because it’s been a while since I’ve seen a Harry Potter movie in theaters and it was nice to get to do that again.
I saw Fantastic Beasts opening weekend when the film was of course sold out and everyone there were pretty hardcore Harry Potter fans. I’ve always loved going to see these kinds of movies on premiere weekends for this very reason. The atmosphere is just amazing and you don’t get that vibe if you see it in the afternoon on a random Tuesday.
So going into Fantastic Beasts I was very excited and the movie did not disappoint. The cast was absolutely phenomenal. Eddie Redmayne was the perfect Newt. He was cute and kind of awkward and just amazing. Dan Fogler, who played Jacob Kowalski, brought great comedy to the film. Ezra Miller as Credence was just creepy enough that I was weirded out but sympathetic enough that I was still on his side. Collin Farrell, however, made the perfect villain as Graves.
I absolutely loved Alison Sudol as Queenie. She was my favorite character hands down. Her sister, Tina (Katherine Waterston), however, was a bit annoying. I don’t blame Waterston for this though. I think Tina’s personality just irritated me and honestly I’m not exactly sure why. Towards the end she was okay though.
The plot itself was awesome and though I suspected that plot twist at the end I was still a little surprised by it. The action and magical scenes of the film were great as well. I was in awe of Newt’s suitcase and now want to live inside of it. I could’ve done without the bits of romance though. Queenie and Jacob were kind of cute but Newt and Tina’s little flirtation aired closer to the side of cringeworthy instead of awkwardly cute.
Overall though I really did like this movie and will probably end up buying the screenplay because honestly the cover just looks so incredibly gorgeous. Definitely go see the movie if you haven’t already. It’s totally worth at least one watch.
Did you see Fantastic Beasts? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!
*Note: There will be spoilers about the book and movie in this review. Read at your own risk*
I went into this film with low expectations because the reviews weren’t great and on average the movie is almost never as good as the book anyway. That being said I didn’t hate The Girl on the Train movie but I definitely didn’t love it either. Here’s my full assessment.
First of all, my biggest issue with this film was for some reason the setting was moved from London to New York City. This made no sense to me, especially because Emily Blunt, who plays Rachel, is British. Why change the setting when your main actress is already British? I don’t understand. Besides that the plot pretty much stayed the same. It’s hard to change the plot too drastically of a mystery. There were still changes of course but nothing too major.
Rachel for some reason draws now, which was never in the books. She’s actually a pretty good artist in the film. I don’t know why they felt the need to add this characteristic to Rachel but they did and it seemed like a pointless addition to me. There was also the addition of Martha, the wife of Tom’s former boss. I’m not sure if she was even in the book but she was given a big role in the film because she’s the one that makes Rachel realize everything Tom told her she did while she was drunk was a lie. In the books it was actually Dr. Kamal, the psychologist, that helped Rachel reach this realization.
Speaking of Dr. Kamal, in the film they kind of made it seem like Megan didn’t actually have an affair with him and in the books she did. Yes they ended it but it did very much happen. Still, I didn’t think skimming over this was that big of a deal. It didn’t change the plot that much so it was fine.
What bothered me the most, in terms of things being removed from the plot, was Scott and Rachel having sex. I thought it was so weird in the book and showed a lot about both Scott and Rachel’s character. Also, Scott was much scarier in the book than he was in the film. In the movie he kind of felt a little irrelevant to be honest. In the book I truly suspected Scott but in the movie he just didn’t seem all that bad. Yes he was a bit emotionally abusive in the movie but in the book he was more physically abusivee as well, which made things 10 times worse.
Similarly, although Tom was definitely still shown as the terrible person he is I didn’t like that we didn’t get to see how much Tom played Rachel and Anna. In the book Tom visited Rachel multiple times and even made it look like he regretted his decision to leave her and be with Anna. We got to see him make Rachel feel like he was still in love with her and if Anna wasn’t around they’d still be together. We don’t get that feeling in the movie. Instead it just looks like Tom is just as annoyed with Rachel’s antics as Anna is, which wasn’t the case. Tom enjoyed the attention he got from Rachel and took advantage of it and I felt like that was an important part of the story that you don’t get to see in the film.
I kind of went into this with Scott already but another character that was very different from their book version was Rachel’s roommate, Cathy. In the movie she is much nicer than she was in the book. Also, Cathy’s boyfriend doesn’t even exist in the movie, which, to be honest, is fine since he didn’t really have that big of a role in the book anyway. I was surprised by how nice Cathy was in the film and I kind of liked the change. I liked Cathy way more in the movie than in the book.
Another character that wasn’t included in the film was Rachel’s mom. On the one hand I don’t think Rachel’s mom was necessary for the film so I think her being absent is okay but in terms of how the book closes the money Rachel receives from her mother helps her move forward whereas in the film Rachel’s future is left a bit ambiguous. Again this isn’t necessarily a bad thing it’s just different.
Emily Blunt did an excellent job of playing Rachel. She was an unlikeable character in the book and remained that way in the film. The same can be said for Haley Bennett who played Megan and Rebecca Ferguson who played Anna. Justin Theroux as Tom was perfect and just as crazy and scary as I imagined him to be.
I didn’t love this movie and the book was of course better. I’m not sure why but the way the book is formatted with the alternating point of views of Megan, Rachel, and Anna, seemed to work much better on page than on screen. The film did a pretty good job sticking to the book but I just don’t think it translated well on screen. Even if I hadn’t read the book I don’t think I would’ve liked this movie.
I was lucky enough to win two “free” (up to $12 value which in NYC doesn’t cover the whole ticket) tickets to see Me Before You and I was super excited because I absolutely loved the book. I feel like I read the book recently enough to do a full comparison between the two and thus begins a new segment on my blog I’m calling From Page to Screen. I hope to do this with some other books to movie/TV in the future but for now here’s my full assessment on Me Before You.
*Note: If you don’t want to be spoiled about the movie and/or the book look away!*
Emilia Clarke was the perfect Louisa. She was totally awkward and quirky, exactly as I imagined she would be. And the outfits! So spot on! Sam Claflin played such a good Will Traynor and the chemistry between the two of them was undeniable. I absolutely loved it.
Matthew Lewis as Patrick was surprisingly good. Not to say that Matthew is a bad actor but it’s always hard to see an actor who you know as one character (Neville) become someone completely different. But Lewis did an amazing job. I hated Patrick almost as much as I hated him in the book, which was the point.
The whole Clark family was spot on but I definitely liked Treena more in the movie than I did in the books. I think that’s mainly because we don’t really see a lot of her in the movie. In the book she was very bratty to me and I didn’t like how she just expected Lou to pick up the slack and support the family while she went off to school. In the film Lou and Treena are very close and you don’t really see the different dynamics to their relationship as much as you do in the book.
Also, I don’t remember Lou’s mom’s religion be the explicit reason why in the books she didn’t approve of Lou going to be with Will in Switzerland, however in the movie it is heavily implied that that’s the case. Still this was something minor and the fact remains that they got the character of Lou’s mom perfectly.
One character that didn’t make it into the movie was Will’s sister, Georgina. Honestly, I didn’t really miss her that much. She didn’t play a big role in the book so her being taken out wasn’t that big of a deal.
For the most part the movie stuck to the book but I was very upset that they removed Lou’s rape scene in the maze. This was a major part of the book and the main reason why Lou was so stuck in her town. If you didn’t read the book, Lou went out with her friends and got very drunk. They, along with a group of guys they met, went to the castle and went in the maze. Lou got lost and couldn’t find her way out and she was surrounded by those guys. The next thing she knows she wakes up naked and alone, and Treena had to take her home.
Lou and Treena never spoke about that night again, Lou never hung out with those girls again, and Lou never told anyone about that until Will challenges her to go through the maze and she has a panic attack. Lou finally opens up about what happened that night and how she cancelled the trip she was supposed to take and decided it was better and safer to just stay in her little town.
That was a major plot point and the fact that it wasn’t even mentioned in the film was devastating to me because when I read that in the book I finally felt like I understood Lou. It explained so much about her and why she was the way she was. More than that, to me, it made her relationship with Will seem more real. Will helped her in a lot of ways but Lou opening up to him about that night was a huge turning point in their relationship. To me, that’s when they really started, or at least realized, they were falling in love with each other.
Some smaller plot points that were missing was Mr. Traynor’s (Will’s dad) affair and Lou moving in with Patrick. Both of these weren’t really that big of a deal to me. I hated when Lou moved in with Patrick in the book so I didn’t miss seeing it in the movie. And I was glad Will’s dad was less of a jerk in the movie, plus you could still see how Will’s parents marriage was strained in the movie, just without the affair.
As always the book was better than the movie. Still, the movie came pretty close and I would definitely see it again. It made me cry just like the book did and I loved seeing these characters come to life on screen. It’s definitely worth seeing if you haven’t already.
Have you seen Me Before You yet? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!