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NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film



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  #181  
Old December 1st, 2016, 7:01 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

Nice to see a lot of healthy discussion going on:

About the memory-wiping:
Spoiler: show
I don't think I've seen any mention of what Newt says about the Swooping Evil venom, when he enters the suitcase with Jacob:
Fantastic Beasts ScriptNEWT
I’ve been studying him. And I am pretty sure his venom could be quite useful if properly diluted. Just to remove bad memories, you know

So.... Does the potion only target "bad memories"? If so, what does this mean for what everyone does remember from those few days? As for Jacob - maybe he remembers more than we think....

I see MrSleepyHead bet me to posting the extract from the script about how it was the wizards that changes the newspapers rather than the rain. It is definitely amusing to think about those lowly MACUSA interns charming all the No-Maj's paper work!


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Originally Posted by Mundungus Fletc View Post
I have just reread the book and there is one spoiler for future films. It says Newt Scamander is
Spoiler: show
now retired and living in Dorset with his wife Porpentina. So sadly no more shipping wars.
I'm glad there don't have to be any arguments over all this!
Spoiler: show
Although I agree that there isn't much chemistry there yet, but hey they've only known each other for a few days.


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Originally Posted by Montse View Post
Spoiler: show
I have several questions .1. What kind of spell /potion do you suppose Grindy is using to disguise himself ? My first thought is Polyjuice, if so, can revelio undo the spell like it did in the film? .We had never seen that. When Crouch Jr. Is caught , Dd waits for the potion to wear off,if Revelio could do this, wouldn't he had done that ? And again , if it is Polyjuice, there has to be a real person called Graves. Now if that was not polyjuice, but some sort of comple x transiguration like the put on Harry in Cursed Child to make him look like Voldemort , can that last so long.I recall Harry had a limited amount of time. Or, again, was it transfiguraton like they put on Ron in DH , and created this Graves person and he confunded everyone into believing his existance,if so thats a bit of a stretch if you ask me.
Spoiler: show
My first thought was that this was a transfiguration spell, rather than Polyjuice Potion, given how frequently you have to keep drinking it to maintain appearances, and we never see Graves drinking from something like we did with Moody in GoF. But this could be an instance of ‘movie forgetting its rules’ which tends to happen in long series.
Spoiler: show
David Heyman has come out and said that it was polyjuice potion, and that we are unlikely to meet the 'real' Graves.

I agree that there is a bit of a plot hole in that the Revelio spell was too convenient. This part was one of my most disliked parts of the film, actually. I do wonder whether Jo had originally written this differently (ala Moody's transformation in GoF), but was persuaded by the movie powers of be not to sit around waiting for a reveal. It definitely does make sense for the film to quickly remove the Polyjuice effects for dramatic reveal, as the pacing would be terrible otherwise, but it does result in this plot hole...


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montse View Post
Spoiler: show
3. Grindy I suppose already has the Elder wand . We dont see it on the film , did we ? I suppose it will surface later.
Spoiler: show
I don’t think he has it yet, mostly because it seems like an important plot point they’ll want to use in a later movie. The wand we see him use in the movie (Graves’s wand? Don’t government officials need to present their wands to check into work, at least in the MoM?) is definitely not the Elder Wand, if we assume they are maintaining its appearance from the original HP films.
Been a while since I've read DH, but
Spoiler: show
I was under the impression that Grindewald was still a young man when he took the Elder Wand from Gregorowich. It may be that I am tainted by the DH1 film which had a 20-something Jamie Campbell-Bower as Grindewald for this scene.

The scene shown right at the start of the film with Grindewald decimating his enemies certainly led me to believe he was already using the Elder Wand. Obviously he wouldn't have used it as Graves in order to hide his identity.

Side note - do you think that they are going to ask Jamie Campbell-Bower back for some flashback scenes?


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Quote:
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Spoiler: show
4.I think the answer to my last question so far, is because it was needed for the story to take place.But anywho, here it goes : Why not travel via Thunderbird using a disillusionment charm? Sirius traveled via Hippogriff very long distances.I recall him sending a tropical bird to Harry,or something like that. I am not very familiar with Thunderbirds , been not really intrested about reading those Pottermore bits. Can you ride Thunderbirds ?
Spoiler: show
I’m not familiar with them myself (and am quite far behind in my Pottermore reading) but would a Thunderbird be tame enough to allow someone to ride it? The bird we see in the movie appears to be intelligent enough to follow Newt’s request in regards to the obliviating venom, which begs the question why Newt didn’t just let it find it’s own way home after setting it free in Egypt.
Spoiler: show
My understanding is that the Thunderbirds are so rare that it would not be feasible to ride them. There is a theory that Thunderbirds were deliberately left out of the Fantastic Beasts text book so they would not be disturbed by curious wizards. But then, I can't recall what Pottermore said about them...



And one last administrative question: How long are we to use spoiler tags in this thread? According to IMDB, the film is now released in all countries and it is now two weeks from its general release - are we to wait another week, month, three months?


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  #182  
Old December 1st, 2016, 1:18 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

I imagine that riding a thunderbird would be literally a shocking experience.
I should also think that they would be very proud creatures, even more so than hippogriffs.


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  #183  
Old December 1st, 2016, 4:19 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

Im enjoying the discussion here, especially about the memory charms. I wonder how much longer the spoiler rule is in effect for?


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  #184  
Old December 6th, 2016, 2:34 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

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Originally Posted by whizbang121 View Post
Im enjoying the discussion here, especially about the memory charms. I wonder how much longer the spoiler rule is in effect for?
Well, it's December 1st, so I vote we remove spoiler tags. Agreed?

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I also was hoping the whole movie, given that Newt had brought up the differing philosophies on wizard/muggle relationships between the USA and the British Isles, that he would suggest Queenie and Jacob elope to Britain with him at the end.
I am still hoping that happens, or they make it work in NY. I felt like that whole storyline was such a dig on the US, I loved it. Especially in our current political climate. Maybe it was the timing, but I felt like it was a big 'grow up' Americans! Get over all your stupid prejudices already. I'm not convinced it was planned that way, but that's how I took it. And well deserved if it was intentional.


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  #185  
Old December 6th, 2016, 2:51 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

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I am still hoping that happens, or they make it work in NY. I felt like that whole storyline was such a dig on the US, I loved it. Especially in our current political climate. Maybe it was the timing, but I felt like it was a big 'grow up' Americans! Get over all your stupid prejudices already. I'm not convinced it was planned that way, but that's how I took it. And well deserved if it was intentional.
It's certainly much needed.

I hope Jacob does come back for the sequels though. For a guy who spends most of the movie standing around a gawking, I found him fairly likable, and would like to see how his character develops with a possible relationship with Queenie and a reintroduction to the magical world.


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  #186  
Old December 7th, 2016, 11:46 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

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I hope Jacob does come back for the sequels though. For a guy who spends most of the movie standing around a gawking, I found him fairly likable, and would like to see how his character develops with a possible relationship with Queenie and a reintroduction to the magical world.
I loved him. The wonder he had at everything - it was like when Harry was first introduced to the magical world. He was just so open to it. And I was rooting for him. All he wanted to do was open a bakery to bring joy into the world. It was a nice device for portraying him as a good soul and so of course he was open to magic.


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  #187  
Old December 8th, 2016, 1:18 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

Jacob was very likable...because he was us; how we all were when we were first introduced to this magical world. How could we not relate?



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  #188  
Old December 10th, 2016, 3:59 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

Fair warning: There will be spoilers in this little review, which partially consists of me ranting about Harry Potter fans' relationship with their HP movies and making generalizations about the canon friendly part of the fandom. Ultimately, I will get to my actual, thoughts about Fantastic Beasts too.

As someone who eventually grew tired of discussing HP cinema with fans whose primary concern was whether the films stuck to canon, it is a great relief that Fantastic Beasts has no book to be compared to. That means no more complaints about omitted book chapters, alterations and overlooked book details on various discussion boards. It's a nice change of pace to be able to actually discuss the film with HP fans on its own merits as a film. The wonderful thing is that fans who complained about lack of attention to detail in the HP films finally seem able to appreciate the level of detail in Fantastic Beasts. Ironically, the HP films were equally rich in details and eye candy, but when said details were not accurate in relation to their book counterparts, those wonderful love letters from the filmmakers to the fandom somehow got interpreted as lazy filmmaking by the most hardcore book fans for supposedly missing the point.

With Fantastic Beasts, however, my impression is that the fandom in general eats up every single Harry Potter reference and namedropping and reversely consider all of that great filmmaking. All the filmmakers needed to do to please the fandom was to have someone mention Dumbledore's name. There is hardly anything imaginative about it from a filmmaking POV, but it works in the context of the narrative and more importantly builds audience anticipation about a certain popular character appearing in the sequels.

Furthermore, I like how these nods to the Harry Potter series never get in the way of the plot, but rather feel like an organic part of the whole. A detail such as the Deathly Hallows necklace is only put in there for the fans, but at the same time it makes sense for newcomers to this universe merely as a plot element to summon another wizard. For those of us in the know it works as foreshadowing about the plot development in the sequels, but it doesn't alienate the general audience. By contrast, remember the broken mirror shard in Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and how Harry got it in his possession? You probably do, but ask a non-book reader and he probably has no clue where it came from. It seemed like the screenwriter simply assumed everyone had read the book beforehand and didn't bother to integrate it into the film narrative in a cohesive way.

All these observations ultimately point to one of the strengths of Fantastic Beasts as a whole: It feels very self-contained as a story. The story is by its nature of being an original story written for the screen. It is wonderful to see how it takes its time to set up the characters, themes and plot and finds time to indulge in magical eye candy that makes the world come alive. Certainly, there are pacing issues here. Halfway through the film loses some forward momentum and seems to drag along to show off all the magic, but a part of me finds these flaws excusable when there are scenes inside the case so charming and wonderful that they feel like they could have been directed by Steven Spielberg at his prime.

The film also manages to feel both fresh and familiar at the same time. The freshness comes with the new setting and exploring new characters, magical beasts and locations, whereas the familiarity lies in Yates' visual consistency to his HP films; the spells and magical duels in particular look quite similar down to the sound design.

There are weaknesses with the film of course. As much as I have praised the film for being self contained, the Grindelwald reveal is not really an effective one. Grindelwald's motivations and ideology prior to the reveal seem vague unless you remember the character from reading the Potter books. Thus, the audience doesn't know what he is up to throughout the film other than some vague notion about him causing destruction in Europe and possibly being connected to the events in NYC. The threat is so vague that during the obligatory blockbuster city destruction scenes he is completely forgotten about. The end result is that the reveal feels like an afterthought because the threat from him never seemed immediate to the narrative.

While the plot doesn't quite land right, I was thoroughly entertained by JKR's screenwriting debut. Now that she has learned how to write a screenplay, I expect her to improve with the sequels. Imaginative moments and charming ending scenes may just about wash away its flaws this time around, but the same spell won't work twice.


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  #189  
Old December 10th, 2016, 10:58 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

I don't have much to add except to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

I loved the recreation of the Wizarding World in 1920s New York, it works wonderfully well, and a lot of thought and care has gone into this.

I also loved the characters.

And the ominous feeling of the Wizarding War reflecting real-time events in the Muggle world of the 1920s (a gathering storm) ... and our own time.

Despite the charm and humour (Jacob is great!), it's quite an adult storyline, with some upsetting elements (references to child abuse). Not at all suitable for little ones, but then the later Harry Potter films aren't either.

And I love the Harry Potter films.


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  #190  
Old December 10th, 2016, 2:57 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

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All these observations ultimately point to one of the strengths of Fantastic Beasts as a whole: It feels very self-contained as a story.
I'm not sure about this. To me, it feels like it's much too based on its HP references and it's almost as though JKR wanted to write a HP prequel without calling it a HP prequel. I expect the future films will be even more based on the HP franchise and riding on that hype. I don't really see these movies making any fans of their own who aren't already HP fans. Maybe I'm being too negative but I just struggle to see the point of these movies. The first one was okay but it wasn't anything that we absolutely needed to know, IMO, or that we couldn't have been told on Pottermore for example. The world building is also a bit lazy; I didn't get any feeling for the American magical community, aside from the Ministry.

I know the fandom is going crazy over this movie but is it because it's a good story in itself or just because of nostalgia or the connection to Harry Potter?


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  #191  
Old December 10th, 2016, 5:31 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

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Despite the charm and humour (Jacob is great!), it's quite an adult storyline, with some upsetting elements (references to child abuse). Not at all suitable for little ones, but then the later Harry Potter films aren't either.
That's a good point. I didn't even realize that because I grew up with the Harry Potter films, so their progression into darker themes and elements seemed completely natural to me. It makes me wonder who the target audience for Harry Potter is right now. As you pointed out, this film does have a lot of dark elements (child abuse, death penalty, sort of child murder) and though the originals were marketed as children's books I wonder if the series has evolved into adult fiction (maybe not quite that far--young adult? ).


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  #192  
Old December 11th, 2016, 4:12 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

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I know the fandom is going crazy over this movie but is it because it's a good story in itself or just because of nostalgia or the connection to Harry Potter?
It tells a fairly interesting story at heart, I think, about curiosity versus intolerance concerning otherness. The characters are likeable too (no connection to Harry Potter) and the acting in our lead characters is much better than the trio in Harry Potter.

The plot is self contained in the sense you don't need to have read Harry Potter in order to understand what is going on (although you get a generic villain without prior knowledge about Grindelwald, but hey, people are used to watching generic Marvel villains!). It is fairly basic and straight forward. Nothing complicated about it at all. It is also resolved by the end of the film which makes it function as a stand alone film in some ways, which none of the post Goblet films were close to being in the Harry Potter series.


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  #193  
Old December 11th, 2016, 5:12 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

There was a quick mention of the American school that I feel was a tease to make us want more of it.

It worked...for me.

Now I want a whole slew of books based on Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


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  #194  
Old December 12th, 2016, 9:02 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noldus View Post
Fair warning: There will be spoilers in this little review, which partially consists of me ranting about Harry Potter fans' relationship with their HP movies and making generalizations about the canon friendly part of the fandom. Ultimately, I will get to my actual, thoughts about Fantastic Beasts too.

As someone who eventually grew tired of discussing HP cinema with fans whose primary concern was whether the films stuck to canon, it is a great relief that Fantastic Beasts has no book to be compared to. That means no more complaints about omitted book chapters, alterations and overlooked book details on various discussion boards. It's a nice change of pace to be able to actually discuss the film with HP fans on its own merits as a film. The wonderful thing is that fans who complained about lack of attention to detail in the HP films finally seem able to appreciate the level of detail in Fantastic Beasts. Ironically, the HP films were equally rich in details and eye candy, but when said details were not accurate in relation to their book counterparts, those wonderful love letters from the filmmakers to the fandom somehow got interpreted as lazy filmmaking by the most hardcore book fans for supposedly missing the point.
Well, there are certainly going to be book fans who will complain about any change, regardless of the merit of that change. But I think most of the criticism from fans who took the time to discuss it on this site revolved around parts of the book which were tight and logically consistent being changed out for things that were neither. As an example, allowing Death Eaters to fly around as a cloud of smoke without any apparent limitations, while it looked neat I guess (though apparition looks neat, too), opened up a massive number of world-destroying plot holes that made the younger me want to stand up in the theatre and yell "hold on a minute, are we not going to talk about this?!" With a book to compare to, it's a stark difference. The books constantly wow you with the cleverness of JKR's design of the wizarding world under scrutiny. The movies constantly beg you to not look too closely.

I believe that even in the absence of a book to compare to, the lack of overall world cohesion was still apparent in this new movie (as mentioned in previous posts). It was one of the strengths of the books, but never seems to have been a priority for the films. Now, this time I was pretty surprised by this. Mostly because when it was books being adapted to movies, I was ready to immediately blame the movie-makers for just not sharing JKR's attention to detail. With JKR writing this, there is no other person to blame, really.

In terms of fans feeling that the movies 'missed the point,' I think that really comes down to what each fan feels that 'the point' is. And I don't think it's necessarily just something unique to HP in particular. Whenever I go to a movie that has a plot hole, that irks me. Doesn't matter how many stunning visuals they put in to mask it, that's the part that will bug me later on. I feel like things like these are lazy, because I feel like a film-maker can have their cake and eat it too by just finding more logical ways to move the plot.

For me, when I watch a movie, "the point" is to give me some entertainment and allow me to suspend my disbelief with as little effort as possible. As a result of this particular need I have as a viewer, I have come out of just about every HP movie, Fantastic Beasts included, with the reaction "that was really fun, but....."

Just me?


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  #195  
Old December 12th, 2016, 9:41 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

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I believe that even in the absence of a book to compare to, the lack of overall world cohesion was still apparent in this new movie (as mentioned in previous posts). It was one of the strengths of the books, but never seems to have been a priority for the films. Now, this time I was pretty surprised by this. Mostly because when it was books being adapted to movies, I was ready to immediately blame the movie-makers for just not sharing JKR's attention to detail. With JKR writing this, there is no other person to blame, really.
Well, the books are full of plot holes themselves. Just look at the Plot holes and contradictions thread on this site and see how many examples there are of her being inconsistent with the rules she set up for her world. So the fact that there are plot holes to me just proves that JKR was the one writing it, tbh. I didn't see that many problems with FB but I probably didn't look too closely. Consistency and tightness of plot have never been her strong suits.

Quote:
For me, when I watch a movie, "the point" is to give me some entertainment and allow me to suspend my disbelief with as little effort as possible. As a result of this particular need I have as a viewer, I have come out of just about every HP movie, Fantastic Beasts included, with the reaction "that was really fun, but....."
I agree but like I said, many readers came out of the books themselves with the same feeling and raised eyebrows.

As for the HP movies, it doesn't bother me that they didn't stay true to the books at all times because that's what happens with adaptations. They're never going to be as good as the original material. I could take the HP movies for what they are (good fun) but it's a shame that the fandom in general sees them as being almost as important as the books. And you're right that when they add things which don't make sense that's the biggest issue. No point in creating problems which weren't originally there. In many cases they should have worked by the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" rule.


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  #196  
Old December 12th, 2016, 2:30 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

Pearl!!!! How the heck are you?? It's been years!

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Despite the charm and humour (Jacob is great!), it's quite an adult storyline, with some upsetting elements (references to child abuse). Not at all suitable for little ones, but then the later Harry Potter films aren't either.
My 8 year old son (yeah, he's 8 now!) loved it! But I do not consider child abuse unsuitable for children to see: quite the opposite, it's important for them to know about such things.

What I found funny is that my son initially thought that Newt was Matt Smith's Doctor! Rowling was asked to write a Doctor Who episode, but declined; however, I think that she actually did without trying!


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while it looked neat I guess (though apparition looks neat, too), opened up a massive number of world-destroying plot holes that made the younger me want to stand up in the theatre and yell "hold on a minute, are we not going to talk about this?!"
That introduced zero plot holes. For one thing, it is not part of the plot: it was purely a visual narrative device. Second, never did this create a situation where these things had to be true in one situation but could not be true in another situation. That is what a plot hole is. It never even created a lapsus. For example, the "smoke flying" that you mistake for a plot hole accomplished nothing that could not be done with a broom or apparrating.

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Originally Posted by willfitz View Post
I believe that even in the absence of a book to compare to, the lack of overall world cohesion was still apparent in this new movie (as mentioned in previous posts). It was one of the strengths of the books, but never seems to have been a priority for the films.
By "world cohesion," you seem to mean "world building": and that was not a "strength" of the books, but something that some fans liked. However, the fans who most liked it also were the ones least attuned to the stories. The post-Columbus films were focused on the story, which is what the general audience wants: Joe and Jane Public (and even some fans) consider world-building in Potter, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, etc., to just be relevant only when it directly contributes the plot.

(Joe and Jane Public view SciFi/Fantasy fans obsession with world-building to be quite puerile, and it is a big reason why they are always surprised when a SciFi/Fantasy story is actually good as a story!)

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Now, this time I was pretty surprised by this. Mostly because when it was books being adapted to movies, I was ready to immediately blame the movie-makers for just not sharing JKR's attention to detail. With JKR writing this, there is no other person to blame, really.
Credit, you mean. Rowling focused on story, not gratuitous world-building. She wanted to tell a story about the arrogance of ignorance. That's cool. But just as in Harry Potter, the story came from how protagonists evolved. (Unlike Harry Potter, this seemed to be a multiprotagonist story: for Harry, the entire story was about how Harry evolved.) That did not need world-building. Instead, it was all about character development. And Rowlings script coupled with the direction and production did a really good job of developing Newt and Tina: we saw where they started, where they went, and where they ended. I.e., we saw the story.


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In terms of fans feeling that the movies 'missed the point,' I think that really comes down to what each fan feels that 'the point' is. And I don't think it's necessarily just something unique to HP in particular.
It is not quite "what do you think the point is?" but "why do you like it?" If you like Potter, Game of Thrones, etc., for World-Building, then you are going to be out-of-luck for film and TV because there is no market for world-building film or TV series. This is really a "niche" market. And this also gives rise to the biggest source of fan howling: "But what really happened was...." they cry! Of course, George Martin (Thrones, not Beatles) answers this with "NOTHING." Scarlett O'Hare really had no children and no husbands because she never existed. What is key to him (as with Rowling) is <em>story</em>.


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For me, when I watch a movie, "the point" is to give me some entertainment and allow me to suspend my disbelief with as little effort as possible. ...
Just me?
Not "just you," but you are in a small minority. The films that have the strongest appeal to audiences (given how audiences score movies in surveys and how well they return for sequels) are the ones that tell stories well. Sure, occasionally pure eye-candy scores well: but given that there are so many things to like/dislike about films, the question is "which aspect is important most often?"

Because the vast majority of stories are told by the evolution of one or some small number of protagonists, that means character development and character arcs are key.


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Last edited by Wimsey; December 12th, 2016 at 2:33 pm.
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  #197  
Old December 12th, 2016, 3:59 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

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As an example, allowing Death Eaters to fly around as a cloud of smoke without any apparent limitations, while it looked neat I guess (though apparition looks neat, too), opened up a massive number of world-destroying plot holes that made the younger me want to stand up in the theatre and yell "hold on a minute, are we not going to talk about this?!"
Why would they talk about it? The cloud of smoke is established visually in Goblet to represent Voldemort's followers. The audience doesn't need to be spoonfed such details through dialogue when there are audio visual ways to convey the same idea, i.e. cloud of smoke = Death Eaters/evil forces for the GA.

As for your claim the Death Eaters can fly around without any limitations, they clearly cannot get through magical protective shields. As seen in Prince, the magical shield protecting the castle from outside threats bounced off the Death Eaters when they attempted to get through. That's your visual world building.

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I believe that even in the absence of a book to compare to, the lack of overall world cohesion was still apparent in this new movie (as mentioned in previous posts). It was one of the strengths of the books, but never seems to have been a priority for the films.
As already pointed out by someone else, storytelling is priority number one. However, the consistency of how the magic works on the screen, for instance the very distinctive way apparition looks and sounds like, are elements that contributes to what you call "world cohesion".

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Originally Posted by willfitz View Post
Mostly because when it was books being adapted to movies, I was ready to immediately blame the movie-makers for just not sharing JKR's attention to detail.
That's the common misinterpretation I mentioned in my review: Fans assuming that the filmmakers didn't share JKR's attention to detail for leaving out "stuff", including what you consider "world cohesion" explanations. What people often forget is the difference of mediums: A book is not limited to tell the story in a certain number of pages, whereas a film rarely lasts longer than 2 and a half hour. If the screenwriter spends too much time on scenes merely developing "world cohesion", it bogs down the story as well as the pacing and in turn bores the audience. You get world cohesion at the expense of story cohesion. Ultimately, what doesn't contribute to character development, themes or moving the plot along often (and rightfully) get axed in a film adaptation.

Another difference is that film is an audio visual medium. Rowling may spend paragraphs upon paragraps describing all the intricacies of her wizarding world to make it come alive for the readers who also use their own imagination to envision her descriptions. The reader takes an active part in forming the pictures in their own head. A film needs to visualize everything to make the world come alive. You talk about a lack of attention to detail in the films. I say, look at the detailed sets, the intricate props in the background, the costumes, the visual effects, the sound effects etc that so many seem to take for granted whilst praising Rowling's attention to details in her books in the next sentence. That's the irony people don't realize themselves. I mean Harry Potter is a film series where they designed full length newspapers articles about the wizarding world that's partly shown in the background for a short amount of time. In what world is that not a detailed approach to the material?


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Old December 12th, 2016, 10:20 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

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What people often forget is the difference of mediums: A book is not limited to tell the story in a certain number of pages, whereas a film rarely lasts longer than 2 and a half hour. If the screenwriter spends too much time on scenes merely developing "world cohesion", it bogs down the story as well as the pacing and in turn bores the audience. You get world cohesion at the expense of story cohesion.
The other thing is: what is one trying to adapt? All storytelling requires adaptation: a storyteller has an idea in his/her mind, and then he/she sets out to create a narrative that communicates that story. What that narrative should be depends on the medium. Rowling originally was adapting the stories in her mind to novels; more recently, she has been adapting them to scripts for the screen or stage. Yet another adaptation (say, story book -> story screen) requires the same thing: figuring out the best way to tell the same story in medium X. Should someone decide to turn these stories into operas, then yet a third adaptation will be needed!

In a very real way, this is no different from adaptation in biology. The media of the oceans and land are as different as the media of page and screen. Animals in water need gills. Animals on land need lungs. In some cases, the gills can serve as lungs. In other cases, they cannot.

But say that our story is "vicious top-of-the-food-chain predator." Let's say that the written version is the ocean and the cinematic version is the land. The written version needs to be a Great White shark. (Or a Megaladon: but that might make my analogy just a bit too pedantic! ) As such, it needs literary gills, fins and other features that accomplish relevant tasks of delivering the story (i.e., all of the sharp teeth that will slice up something and then get that something to the stomach, with this repeated frequently enough to allow our carnivore to make lots of little carnivore sequels).

Toss the shark onto land, and you get.... a stinking mess. On land, you need lungs, legs, the ability to store a marine environment inside, the need to withstand direct sunlight and more variable temperatures, etc. In short, you don't want a great white shark: you want a Tyrannosaurus rex. "But" cries the marine fan "I think that the fins and gills are important to the story of carnivory." No, they really are not: those are akin to plot devices that work in one medium but not the other. "But" cries the marine fan "there was no need to change the sense of smell or the way the eyesight works." Actually, there was: those are akin to narrative devices that work in one medium but not the other. But" cries the marine fan "there the feathers or mating calls were gratuitous inventions that the carnivory story didn't need." Actually, it did, as part of the carnivory story is to spawn little pointy toothed sequels (in either medium), and what you need to do that in oceans/page vs. land/screen are different.

Now, some important parts of the plot need to be retained. Sharp teeth? Yup. Great senses for detecting prey far away? Yup. Basic digestive tract to turn that meat into energy? Yup. Basic mating for producing cute little vicious sequels? Yup. But, remember, those plot elements alone to not make the "vicious carnivore" story: they often will be used for "long ranging scavenger" or "not quite top of the food chain predators": two somewhat similar but different "stories." But in the end, what gets the audiences to cough up the cash is a good presentation of vicious carnivore, and if they see that a Great White and a T. rex elevate to the same thing, then there is a good chance that they'll like the product.


EDIT: PS: I love your keyboard. Does it come in an ergonomic version?


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Last edited by Wimsey; December 12th, 2016 at 10:23 pm.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 5:05 am
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

This is slightly off-topic, but something that Newt himself would have wanted to write!


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Old December 21st, 2016, 3:30 pm
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Re: NEW PROJECT by JKR: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - The Film

Before anyone gets excited about rumours of Scamander novels, JKR has taken to Twitter to vehemently deny the possibility.

JKR on TwitterNo, no, no. There won't be Newt Scamander novels. Only movies. Calm down, there!


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