REVIEW: “Fantastic Beasts” Is a Wild Ride Without Weight

How Eddie Redmayne can take himself seriously playing magical zoologist Newt Scamander is a mystery to me. I lost all composure at the sight of him flipping his waistcoat over his hip and crab-walking to attract a loose rumpant in Central Park in a vague approximation of its mating dance. And if that’s what you’re looking for, then Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them might be the movie for you.

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WHAT I WATCHED: Summer 2016, in theatres

It’s been a busy summer, but thankfully I’ve been able to see a solid handful of movies in theaters. Still, not all of them earned full reviews. So I thought I’d look back at everything I sat down to watch properly over the past few months.

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REVIEW: “Finding Dory” Has Heart, Lacks Heft

 When I first heard that Pixar was making a sequel to Finding Nemo, one of its (in my opinion) better and supremely underrated films, I was equal parts excited and worried. Excited, due to the obvious nostalgic appeal, but worried that that’s all the film would be — a cheap attempt to cash in on its predecessor’s success with a weak sequel that would likely have less of the Pixar magic and more of the cheap jokes. Dory’s character in the first film had largely been one of plucky, memory-hampered comic relief. How, then, did Pixar intend to give her any gravitas?

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REVIEW: “Me Before You” and the Romanticization of Death and Disability

The basic premise of Me Before You isn’t particularly unique among the recent slew of illness/disability/death-oriented romances (ie. The Vow, The Fault In Our Stars, Silver Linings Playbook, Love & Other Drugs, Rust & Bone, If I Stay): kindhearted-to-a-fault Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) takes on the job of carer for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy former finance bro who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, and in trying to show him life is worth living, the two fall in love. Add in a dash of class struggle and the medical drama of assisted suicide, and the film hopes to leave not a single eye dry.

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REVIEW: There’s a “[Civil] War” Going on Between Both Halves of This Film

I’m back! My apologies for the long hiatus — five classes made it a bit difficult to even go see new movies, let alone write about them. But, blessedly, Captain America: Civil War came out right near the end of the semester, so I was able to go see it last week. And like any good Marvel fan, I have some opinions.

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REVIEW: Bond, Forever Haunted By The “Spectre” Of His Past

Spectre opens in Mexico City, in full swing for Dia De Los Muertos. Bond (Daniel Craig), clad in black, is running through a crowd of skeletons. It’s an in-your-face reminder of the only constant in Bond’s life: death. Which he soon delivers to an unknown bomber, in a helicopter above a crowd of thousands. It’s not exactly a subtle introduction. Actually, it almost makes you wonder who is hit harder over the head with it—the dead man, or the audience?

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