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Peter T Chattaway

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald

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Links to our threads on the first and third films.

Links to our threads on the film versions of Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Goblet of Fire (2005), Order of the Phoenix (2007), Half-Blood Prince (2008), Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) and Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011); and links to our threads on the book versions of Half-Blood Prince (2005), Deathly Hallows (2007) and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008).

Coming in 2018.

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Dumbledore Could Be Openly Gay in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel, J.K. Rowling Says
“You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man,” Rowling added. “We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned,” she said taking a beat, “watch this space.”
Variety, November 10

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Various sources are reporting that Jude Law will play young Dumbledore in this movie.

This amuses me, as the first film showed Colin Farrell morphing into Johnny Depp... and Farrell, Depp and Law were the three actors who signed up to finish Heath Ledger's role in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus a few years ago.

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The real crime here is this movie. It’s bad, y’all. Really bad. The plot is so over-complicated and under-explained that it makes the Pirates of the Caribbean flicks look minimalist and clear. Character motivations appear and disappear out of thin air. There’s about as much dramatic tension as an episode of Saved by the Bell. Outside of a few reliably-solid actors (Jude Law, for instance, or the again-underutilized Ezra Miller), pretty much nothing in this movie works. 

 

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Nearly two decades ago, I wrote an article defending the Harry Potter books by comparing them to the X-Men stories: the magic in these books is just a different kind of superpower, the wizards and witches are just a different kind of mutant, and the stories are about people learning the responsible use of their superpowers.

More than any other film set in the Wizarding World so far, The Crimes of Grindelwald feels like an X-Men movie. X2: X-Men United, to be precise. Especially in the final act.

As I said at Facebook, it is also fascinating to see that Grindelwald justifies his plot for world domination by prophesying (correctly!) that muggles will be the cause of World War II, the Holocaust and the atom bomb. What's fascinating about this is that Grindelwald was first mentioned (in the first Harry Potter book back in 1997) as a sort of proxy for Hitler -- who *else* were we supposed to think of when we read that Dumbledore had defeated an evil German wizard in 1945? -- and all the atrocities that Grindelwald mentions in this film were essentially Hitler's doing. (Even the American nuclear program was prompted by the fact that Hitler already had one.)

Grindelwald's prophecy -- his use of future human evil to justify his own evil plan -- also reminded me of the "last temptation" scene in the 1999 miniseries Jesus (the one starring Harry Potter veteran Gary Oldman as Pontius Pilate), where Satan tells Jesus his death will be in vain because it will just give people more excuses to be evil to each other (waging Crusades in Jesus' name, etc.).

But I agree with NBooth that this is not a good film.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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