Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Movie Review

Kudos to J.K. Rowling and all of the folks at Warner Brothers who brought to life Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them on the big screen in November of 2016.  I went to the movie with trepidation. Would this new movie live up to the expectation of the fans and the reputation of the Harry Potter series books and movies?  I should not have worried; I totally enjoyed the movie. I don't often want to revisit a movie especially immediately after the fact but this is one that I could easily go and see again right away and I am betting that many fans feel the same way.  Fantastic Beasts really was that good.

The movie left me wondering if someone who was not plugged into the Harry Potter franchise would enjoy it as much as the rest of us did and I am not sure. Newcomers might but they definitely would not understand all of the insider references.  Since there are four more Fantastic Beasts movies to come, if you are keen and unacquainted, you might want to go back and read the Harry Potter books and then watch the movies.

Highlights for me were many but I know I laughed out loud quite a few times. I came away wanting some Gigglewater and a certain special umbrella for Christmas.  Gigglewater is a wizarding alcoholic beverage that may cause you to laugh out loud when you drink it though apparently it is a real term from the 1920s.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an enjoyable film, well done, that sets us up for four more stories.  Eddie Redmayne is outstanding as Newt Scamander, Dan Fogler is a good pairing as the no-maj Jacob Kowalski and Colin Farrell is good when he appears as Percival Graves, Director of Magical Security.  I also particularly enjoyed the sister characters, Porpentina Goldstein as played by Katherine Waterston and Queenie Goldstein as played by Alison Sudol.

OFFICIAL MOVIE TRAILER


You likely don't need it but just in case you do, here is the final trailer for the movie.



MOVIE RATING


Fantastic Beasts is rated PG13. The Movie Mom says that it is given that rating based on fantasy action violence and she recommends it for middle school aged children. I think that is reasonable and this movie comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me particularly if you are involved in Harry Potter's world.

The Blu-ray release date has yet to be released but I am sure it is coming anytime now. Meanwhile, you can pre-order your copy on Amazon with their price guarantee by clicking right here.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Pre-order Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on Amazon.
Nifty Fantastic Beasts Niffler Gift Ideas.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Calendars.









Disney's Halloween Treat (1982)

Disney's Halloween Treat (1982)

Disney's Halloween Treat (1982)Disney's Halloween Treat is a compilation of Walt Disney shorts that includes clips from The Skeleton Dance, The Sword in the Stone, Fantasia, Peter Pan, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Donald Duck and the Gorilla, Pluto's Judgement Day and the Haunted Mansion ride.  It is a 47-minute film that first aired on The Wonderful World of Disney in 1982 and continued to do so until the middle of the 1990s. Narration was provided by a jack o'lantern puppet that also gave an educational talk about Halloween safety.

Disney released this film on VHS in 1984 but it has not been released on DVD, which means that the copies that are available are on VHS and are expensive. If you would like to own a copy and you still have the capability to view it on videotape, you can check for a copy on Amazon by clicking here and on eBay by clicking here.

Have you seen Disney's Halloween Treat? Did you like it?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

More Reading:

Orson Welles' Ghost Story (1951)
Disney's Under Wraps Movie Review (1997)
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
Not Too Scary Movies for Tweens



The Great American Cowboy (1973) Documentary Film

The Great American Cowboy (1973) Documentary Film
The Great American Cowboy (1973) Documentary Film Poster

THE GREAT AMERICAN COWBOY TAGLINE: The exciting true story of a vanishing American and his special kind of freedom. 


The Great American Cowboy is a 1973 documentary film narrated by  Joel Mc Crea, a member of the Cowboy Hall of Fame. It looks inside the rodeo with then modern day cowboys telling the story of rivals Larry Mahan and Phil Lyne as they compete for the National Finals Rodeo Championship title.   It won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (1974).

The film is shown here in Walt Disney packaging though I did read that Disney acquired the rights to the film rather than actually making it.  One original movie poster that I saw reads "A Rainbow Adventure Films release" while IMDB says that the production companies are American National Enterprises and Merrill-Rodeo Film Productions.

If you are searching for a copy of this film on DVD or VHS, you can try the Amazon listings here and you can try eBay here but be warned, this appears to be another one of those films that has not made the transition from VHS to DVD. Good luck with your search and be sure to report back and let us know if and when this movie becomes widely available.

Have you seen The Great American Cowboy? Is it a documentary film that you have been wanting to see or is this the first time you have heard of it?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

More Rare Films:

Orson Welles' Ghost Story (1951)
The Cheaters (1945)
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)


Orson Welles' Ghost Story (VHS)

Orson Welles' Ghost Story is an old-fashioned ghost story called exactly that, Ghost Story. It is the tale of a hitchhiker's story set in the Irish countryside. In this short 1951 film, Orson Welles uses ordinary means to scare us and he makes the film fun with his appearance and narration. The short film also includes great performances by Shelah Richards and Helena Hughes and is the work of director Hilton Edwards.

Wikipedia’s plot summary reads:

"It features Welles driving in the countryside one night and offering a ride to a man with car trouble. The man relates a strange event that happened to him at the same location. Two women flagged down his car one evening, asking for a ride back to their manor. They invited him in for a drink, and after leaving, he went back for his cigarette case. He found the manor deserted and decayed. In Dublin, a real estate broker told him the mother and daughter had died years ago. Welles, sufficiently spooked, drops the man off at his home and leaves in a hurry when the man asks him in for a cup of tea or something stronger as the ghostly women had earlier invited him into Glennascaul. As Welles drives off he passes two other stranded women who wave for a ride, flesh and blood women who recognize the famous actor behind the wheel."

This film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Short Subject category.

The short film is also known as Return to Glennascaul and is part of a DVD release of Orson Welles' Othello. You can find Ghost Story on Amazon by clicking here and you can find Othello here, though I do not see it in a North American formatted disc.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

More Rare Films:

Orson Welles' Ghost Story (1951)
The Cheaters (1945)
The Great American Cowboy (1973)



The Cheaters (1945) Christmas Movie


THE CHEATERS TAGLINE: Delightful derelict! He's a Rogue...A King...Devil...Pauper...A Millionaire...WHO? 


For the longest while, The Cheaters was a hard movie to find even on VHS videotape. To the relief of many, it was eventually released on DVD. However, I was not paying attention and it appears that even the DVD is hard to find now. I missed my opportunity. Did you?

The Cheaters is a 1945 movie directed by Joseph Kane that stars Joseph Schildkraut, Billie Burke and Eugene Pallette.

The story line is that of a rich family getting ready for Christmas and their decision to help a starving actor by feeding and sheltering him for the holidays. Wikipedia calls it a screwball comedy and the story line would indicate that it could be exactly that.

Leonard Maltin once said that this film features an "Excellent cast in an enjoyable tale of a wealthy family of snobs humanized by the downtrodden actor they invite for Christmas dinner."

Some consider it  a beloved Christmas film. Apparently, before A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas and a Christmas Story, this film was one that was shown regularly during the holidays.

The reading I have done indicates that it is probably a dark Christmas movie.  One of the lucky to snatch up a DVD copy and watch it in the last decade called it one of the "finest holiday films he's ever seen." That's a pretty strong recommendation, which makes me want to see this film even more.

If you are searching for a copy of this movie on DVD or VHS, you can try the Amazon listings here and you can try eBay here. Good luck with your search and be sure to report back and let us know if and when this movie becomes widely available.

Have you seen The Cheaters? Is it a movie you have been wanting to see or is this the first time you have heard of it?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Read more about The Cheaters on Turner Classic Movies.
Orson Welles' Ghost Story (1951)
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

Movie Mom's Guide to Family Movies (Nell Minow)

Before I start, a word of warning. This is an old book. At least it is old as it relates to movies. The second edition was released in 2004 so there is more than a decade worth of movies that are not discussed in the book. However, I still think the book has merit for parents who want to read about movies dating up to that point in time and whether or not they are suitable for family viewing.

As our children were growing up, we regularly referred to the Movie Mom's reviews. We appreciated her rating of the movie in terms of quality and in terms of age appropriateness.

Although our children are grown and gone now, I still occasionally turn to her reviews to find out what she thinks of a specific movie.  You can find her reviews now on the website Beliefnet.com. I like knowing what to expect from a movie before I go to see it, particularly with respect to violent and sexual content.

I can still recommend Nell Minow's book for the reason I mentioned above. It contains reviews and information on older family-friendly movies.

More Resources:

The Best Old Movies for Families: A Guide to Watching Together (2007)

If you have young children, you will enjoy this movie resource. It's easy to read and helps you share old movies and the classics with your children.

What Kids Really Want to Ask: Using Movies to Start Meaningful Conversations (2007)

This book approached 1,100 middle-school aged children and asked them if they could ask their parents a question and receive an honest hour, what would they ask. The book addresses the answers by picking a classic movie for each question.

What resources do you use when choosing movies for your children?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy The Movie Mom's Guide to Family Movies.
Not Too Scary Movies for Tweens.
How to Have a Children's Movie-Themed Party.

Author's Note: Originally written elsewhere in 2009.

Nifty Fantastic Beasts Niffler Gift Ideas

Nifty Fantastic Beasts Niffler Gift Ideas
I have not written my review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them yet but believe me I was more than impressed. I was totally impressed. I came home and went looking for a Niffler and discovered a few wonderful Nifflers that are available online on Etsy.

The Niffler, for those not in the know, is a British creature that burrows and seeks out anything glittery.  He is known for being affectionate and gentle BUT he can be destructive as he cannot keep his little paws off of anything that glitters. It is definitely NOT recommended that you keep a niffler in the house.

Anyway, the first of my four fabulous Fantastic Beasts niffler gift ideas, is this adorable collector's art doll or plush animal by A Dragon's Chest on Etsy.  If you really wanted to pick up Newt Scamander's Niffler and pet him or scratch under his chin, here is your chance to do so. Note that this piece is handmade as a piece of art and not meant for the play of a child. You can find this niffler in A Dragon's Chest shop on Etsy by clicking here.

My second find was a digital painting from Hilarious Delusions on Etsy. I love the image done to look like a vintage informational print or maybe even like a page from a scientific book. The artist also has pictures with Newt Scamander and Queenie Goldstein. You can find all three images here on Etsy.

Then I found a cute pin, which is shown below. The pin is a simple way to display your fascination of and love for the niffler species. To celebrate the five Fantastic Beasts movies that are being created, Hannah Hitchman crafted a series of pins so that you can create your own menagerie of magical beasts. She drew the Niffler herself and is having the pins produced with gold-colored metal with a rubber fastener and a special coating to make a shiny finish and protect the pin. You can find the Niffler as well as the other Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them pins here in Hannah's store on Etsy.

Finally, there's a fabulous tote bag with which to carry all of your Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Niffler stuff around. The totebag can be found at Shiiit Cake Clothing on Etsy and the image is also available on a t-shirt and a sweatshirt.

Niffler collector's art doll plush animalNiffler Scientific Page Art Print
Fantastic Beasts Niffler Pin
Fantastic Beasts Niffler Tote Bag
You will find any of these Nifflers directly on the links and/or pictures shown above. Is there a niffler in your future?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

See ALL of Etsy's niffler collection.
Discover the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Calendar.



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