Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them :: At Best They’re Mediocre Beasts…

Cineville - Fantastic Beasts

Apparently there will be at least another five Fantastic Beasts films, but I think it's safe to say, this is the last I'll see. For the same reason I stopped reading the Harry Potter books a third of the way into the second one. I just thought, OK, that exists. I know what that is now. It doesn't really chime with any part of my being, so I can step away from it and not waste any more precious time on it. Which is a relief really, because I've got a lot to do.

Also, I'm writing these words two days after seeing this film and nothing has really stayed with me. There were some pretty interesting visual effects, I seem to recall, but visual effects don't really do much for me on the whole. I'm deeper than that, you see. I'm a words man. Words and stories. And I found the words and the stories here to be tedious and uninvolving.

Cineville - Fantastic Beasts


God, I feel like such a grouch, being so indifferent to this perfectly charming family film, with all of its fanciful things flying and sparkling all over the place. I just found it boring. And every time I recognised something from the Harry Potter universe, I felt slightly resentful, because I consider Harry Potter  mediocre at best.

I say more. I found Fantastic Beasts cutesy and meandering. I found Newt Scamander smug and irritating, and the characterisation about as subtle as a cinnamon headbutt. I did, however, lose myself in every scene that featured Alison Sudol as Queenie, but that was really just desire

Which I guess makes me pretty shallow. Just not as shallow as anyone over the age of 14 who likes this film.

Oh, and also, when Scamander goes into the suitcase with Kowalski, he takes the suitcase with him. Which - even in this magical realm - does not make sense. 

I gave an extra half-star for the allegorical elements. Then I took it off again because the fantastic beasts of the title are not fantastic. 

They're shit. 


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Cineville - Fantastic Beasts


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The Viewing

This afternoon I was back in what is quickly becoming my favourite cinema, probably because it's the one I go to most, on account of it being the nearest. It's the one with the rugs on the wall. I love it.

I had forgotten until the very last minute that this was a 3D viewing, which meant I had to nip to the exit, open the door and dip into a large bin of 3D glasses. This reminded me watching The BFG at the Pathé. I went to that with someone who had just (foolishly) invested in a monthly Pathé card, which is pretty much the same as the Cineville card, except nowhere near as good.

It's nowhere near as good because:

a) You can only go to Pathé cinemas with it, and they're all pretty much exactly the same.

b) You can only go to Pathé cinemas with it, and they only show pretty much all the same movies - new, mainstream movies.

c) For the same price as the Cineville card (€19 a month), you get something called Pathé Unlimited, except it's not unlimited at all because it doesn't let you into 3D or IMAX films and you have to pay extra for your 3D glasses. To get those things for free, you have to stump up €26 a month for something called Pathé Unlimited Gold, which just makes me think, Oh, fuck off. I mean, come on, Pathé, what do you really care about? It's not cinema, is it?

d) With the Cineville card, you can go to all of these cinemas...

Cineville - participating cinemas


With Pathé there are three. (And, as I may have mentioned, they're all pretty much exactly the same.)


So there you go. Balls to the Pathé. Have another shit beast instead...

Cineville - Fantastic Beasts

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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