IF Review

With spring finally in full bloom here in the UK, it's time for a May half-term movie. This year's pre-summer hit is IF (Directed by John Krasinski). I'll admit they first time I heard the title of this film, I initially concluded it was a horror film, but IF actually stands for Imaginary Friend and it is certainly not a horror film - what a relief! Thanks to Paramount Pictures UK I attended a preview screening of IF over the weekend and cannot wait to share my review with you all. IF is a must watch at the cinema this spring, read on to see why in this spoiler free review. Check out my Disney Summer Watchlist HERE The narrative revolves around young teen girl Bea (Cailey Fleming), who is going through a pretty turbulent time when she suddenly crossing paths with an imaginary friend named Blossom (Voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Seeing Blossom leads to Bea meeting Cal (Ryan Reynolds) a man that lives in Bea's Grandmothers (Fiona Shaw) building, who is trying to re-home

The Future of Fantastic Beasts

News has started to make its way online this week regarding the third Fantastic Beasts movie. So far, we know that David Yates is back to direct, the film will be set in Rio and the movie is set to begin production in Spring 2020. So, the big question on my mind is: What's next for the Wizarding World? I have so many theories and ideas surrounding this question, I've decided to share them with you instead of just letting them swirl around my head. You may or may not be aware that I am a huge Harry Potter fan (Harry Potter is the reason I pursued film at University), but I'm not a huge fan of the Fantastic Beasts films. When production on these films was first mentioned I was confused - a story about Newt Scamander seemed so strange and I felt that any storylines involving him would be forced and so far, I think I've been proved right. I saw glimmers of Harry Potter magic in Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald, and I hope the third film builds upon these glimmers. Read on to find out what I think Fantastic Beasts needs to do in order to create three movies that hold up to the magic of Harry Potter.

Check out my Countdown to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Giveaway here: https://thisisjustafilmblog.blogspot.com/p/countdown-to.html

Firstly, there are a few things that I think are fundamentally wrong with the Fantastic Beasts movies:
  •  The first of these is the beasts - personally I just do not think five whole films should be based around beasts. In the first movie there were far too many beasts, but the second film had significantly less which was an improvement - hopefully there will be less as the films progress. I love learning about the Wizarding World, but this story could have been told without beasts. 
  • I also think the story of Grindelwald could have been told without Newt (Eddie Redmayne) being the central character. I like Newt enough - but I feel no magic or chemistry from him, he would have been better as a background character. 
  • The tone especially in Where to Find Them is just too U/PG (I will never forget that awful mating dance scene), most of us grew up with the Harry Potter films and I expected the Fantastic Beasts films to have a darker tone like the last four/five Harry Potter films. If you listen to the first 30 seconds of The Crimes of Grindelwald soundtrack - that is the dark mysterious tone I need.
So, where do we go now and how do we improve on the first two films: 
  • Links to historical events is a definite must, In The Crimes of Grindelwald we got to see premonitions of World War Two and as Dumbledore (Jude Law) defeats Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in 1945 these films will take us through this war - I have always wanted to see what involvement wizards and witches had in muggle wars. However, it would have been great if the boat that sunk causing Leta (Zoe Kravitz) to think her brother was dead was the Titanic - that was a missed opportunity. So, more links to history would be great. 
  • We need a stable location, I love the fact that these films are opening up the wider Wizarding World, however I feel like we need one place to come back to at the start/end of each movie a place that featured in Harry Potter - maybe Hogsmeade? This would create narrative stability whilst invoking nostalgia. I also think that it was a shame we never saw Beauxbatons in The Crimes of Grindelwald.
  • There were a few moments in The Crimes of Grindelwald that I loved, one of these is the scene where Grindelwald walks onto the stage to start his rally. This scene is so powerful, and you feel the strength of his character. This scene, the way it's shot and acted should be the style inspiration for the next three movies. This scene stands out in because of Grindelwald's conviction and allure and I want more of that. 
  • Grindelwald is not the only character we need more of, Dumbledore is great (Just make him look like Dumbledore and drop the suits). I love both Jacob (Dan Fogler) and Queenie (Alison Sudol) so more focus on them would be great. But the lacking leading duo Newt and Tina (Katherine Waterston) cannot hold the screen and that is why we ended up with an overstuffed second movie, we needed new characters to make up for their lack of presence and intrigue. One character that I wish had lived to see out these movies is Leta - she is my faviourte character of these movies so far and I think she added so much to the film (She could easily have been the main character). 
  • Then we have Credence (Ezra Miller) - it's pretty obvious he is not a Dumbledore so I cannot wait to see where his story is going. Nagini (Claudia Kim) is slightly problematic on many levels, I think she's a great character and again she was captivating but when we think of the snake she becomes in the Harry Potter series questions are raised - hopefully the future films answer them. 
  • The McGonagall cameo is also an issue as her working at Hogwarts in 1908-1915 throws out the whole timeline (She should have started in the 1950's) - these films need to make sense going forward, there are other ways to connect with Harry Potter which we know these films proved with the Nicholas Flamel's (Brontis Jodorowsky) cameo. 
  • The second scene I loved in The Crimes of Grindelwald is the scene where Flamel helps to destroy Grindelwald's magic - that scene had me saying 'now this is what I want' it was full of magic, emotion and filled me with hope and that is what the next three films need to be full of. 
I could list more but we would be here for a week! If I could I wold love to take these films back to the drawing board and begin again, I have considered writing my own version even. I think that The Crimes of Grindelwald was a great improvement on Where to Find Them but it was limited by the poor premise. I seriously hope that a rethink has taken place, hence the delay in production and that I am able to give the third Fantastic Beasts movie a rave review. 

Thank you for reading xx

I would love to know what you think, so please leave a comment below. 

You can check out my Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindelwald Review here: