Goodness, it's been a while since I've sat down to review movies. But no better time than the present! So let's dig in:
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM:
Truth be told, I'm not a Harry Potter fan but I was super excited to check this out. The trailers made it look like a lot of fun , which is all I ever ask for in movies, and would provide me with a lot of fun characters to enjoy. Well, thankfully, the trailer was very spot on and I enjoyed this movie.
I was a bit worried that I'd have trouble following this because I wasn't into the Potter movies but thankfully, I didn't need to be one to fall in love with the creatures, characters, magic and out of this world mayhem involved in this movie. I found it pretty easy to follow the story and no previous knowledge was necessary. I know a lot of people sleep on CGI but if I was to point to an example as to why it works for movies, it would be this movie. So many small details were turned much bigger details. The visuals, the sound, the atmosphere made this movie quite the entertaining and engaging experience.
I definitely can see what makes this "Wizarding Worlds" so fascinating. If this movie is any indication, I'm looking forward to the next movie. And heck, maybe I should go back and check out the Harry Potter movies after-all.
LIVE BY NIGHT:
I'm a big fan of Ben Affleck. I think he's a tremendous acotr and a very skilled director, as proven by his Oscar noms and wins. He has definitely grown from a total bro from Boston to well respected performer by his peers and by the millions of his fans all across the world. He's got a great eye for creating stories involving great characters that are always dealing with internal and external conflicts.
Now that said, I was excited to check Live By Night for all those reasons. The expectations of Affleck as a conflicted gangster really had a lot of potential. Sadly, that potential wasn't there. The story of Affleck going from bootlegger to gangster in 1920's Boston was based off the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, who also authored Mystic River and Shutter Island. I've never read the novel itself, but I have to believe the movie was vastly different than the book.
The aspects I did enjoy from the movie were pretty simple. I love a movie that takes place in the 1920s. I can't explain it but I do. And this movie nailed that perfectly. The cars, the language, the costumes, everything. Definitely a high spot. The score for this movie delivered a terrific soundtrack for an otherwise bland movie.
Ben Affleck really tried his hardest but in the end, this movie was just a small bump in the road. I'd love to see Affleck stretch his directing chops. He's done it all in Hollywood and I don't think this can stop him. And as a fan, I'll be in line for his next movie.
(PS-Doesn't Ben kinda look like Dick Tracy in that poster?)