Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

torren_of_amber

Well-Known Member
It opens today and I don't see a topic for it so, I thought I would make one. I won't be able to see it for a while and thought I'd see what everyone thought of it?
Thanks all.
 

Egon Spengler

Master Member
I haven't seen it yet. Doubt I will to be honest. I really enjoyed the first one but the second one was irritating, especially when it came to how instantly stupid they made Queenie for the sake of a shocking plot point.

After that I just kind of didn't care anymore.
 

Brett Banner

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I haven't seen it yet. Doubt I will to be honest. I really enjoyed the first one but the second one was irritating, especially when it came to how instantly stupid they made Queenie for the sake of a shocking plot point.

After that I just kind of didn't care anymore.
Couldn’t agree more. #2 was flat out bad. No real desire to see the new one and apparently there’s no definite plans yet for even making more after this one.
 

Mottrex

Sr Member
I think the problems arise from..
Is it an Adults movie with Magic or a kids movie with Adults that use magic..
The balance doesn't feel right and its peppered with cutsy animals to add to the confusion..
The og stories had adults for sure but you knew it was a story revolving around children with adults attached..
I think it suffers like any movie or franchise that spins the money wheel by giving origin pre og movie content..the elements of danger are removed if you know they are alive intact unscathed in future movie, same thing in you know who the disposable characters are..
 

Bloop

Sr Member
I saw it. It's not great. I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, being that I never read the books and only just watched all the movies a couple years ago (pandemic binge watch), but I really liked the HP movies. I enjoyed the first 'Fantastic Beasts' pretty well, but didn't see 'Crimes' until about a month ago. Seems like they didn't really know what they (Rowling, the studio, etc.) wanted to do after the first. They went too far away from the characters introduced in the first 'FB' movie, I'm assuming they keep shifting towards Dumbledore and more Harry Potter things and less "beasts" because the first one underperformed (you'll notice how small the words "Fantastic Beasts" have gotten in the logo). I think it would have been better to continue to put the main focus on the characters from the first, rather than the muddied mess that was the second.

'Dumbledore' continues that trend. I'll admit, I didn't bother paying close attention after about an hour in, but it didn't seem like I really needed to. I feel like they were pushing for a real anti-fascism theme, what with the German Minestry of Magic featured prominently and the whole thing hinging on an attempt to lie, cheat, and steal an election. But setting it in 1930s Germany while basically ignoring all the Naziism just undercuts the message, when real-life fascism should have been all around them. Not sure what they were all doing for the 6 years that took place between the end of 'Crimes of Grindelwald' and "Secrets of Dumbledore" either, as it could have easily taken place sooner.

And while I'm mentioning real-world problems being ignored, they've also largely ignored the racism, sexism, and misogyny that was prevolent in the era. I understand the "Wizarding World" is a fantasy, and has been separate from our own "muggle world," and its important to represent positive roles for women and minorities who have been underrepresented on screen over the decades. I'm actually okay with this for the most part - like I said, it is a fantasy - but it still feels a little glossed over.

As a film, it felt kind of slow - the pacing could've been improved for my tastes. Mostly, I just didn't care what was going on, so I had a hard time being interested.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
Saw the first one, even my wife, who is a bigger HP fan than I am, wasn't impressed. Skipped the second and now we're skipping this one. Even the original movies ran out of steam (like the books) in the end. This is just a cash grab.
 

HMSwolfe

Master Member
Sorry in advance for the wall of text, and spoilers ahead.

Not great. Pretty bad, actually. As my mother has said about each film in the Fantastic Beasts series, it feels like there was a book you were supposed to read first that made more sense. This one was a cacophony of plot events and disjointed scenes, strung together by the occasional burst of John Williams’ original themes/motifs to remind you what you were meant to be watching. Eddie Redmayne continues to do a great job of playing a person with debilitating Asperger’s or some other disorder, making it very hard for the general audience to connect with him on any level. Tina’s been given the boot, for the most part; probably because someone pointed out to Rowling that her stories are still overwhelmingly white, and subsequently we get “Lally?” who is a nightmare of silly accents and annoying dialogue. Mads Mikkelsen, unsurprisingly, does a better job as Grindelwald than Depp did, and frankly should have been cast in the first place. As always, Jacob Kowalski is a treat to watch and should have been the main character from the get-go. Why they gave him a stick is beyond me, though—it wasn’t a wand, it didn’t fool anyone that it was, and it didn’t seem to serve any purpose. The plot hinges on yet another shoehorned “fantastic beast” that really seems to be stretching the imagination, one that can pick the right leader for the wizarding world (which I was unaware as to having an overall leader)? All plot threads from the previous film are unceremoniously undone—Credence, revealed as Aurielius Dumbledore at the end of Crimes is actually Aberforth’s son, and is dying so as to not burden the audience or Warner Bros. with any more Ezra Miller. Queenie, ensnared by the silver-tongued promises of freedom to marry whomever she likes by Grindlewald at the end of Crimes does essentially an immediate about-face, and sees no consequences. The law has also, if you’ll pardon the pun, magically changed between the first film and this one to allow her to marry Jacob, a Muggle. The blood-pact? Blood-bond? Mysterious silly macguffin that kept Dumbledore and Grindlewald from facing each other directly? Is, again, magically removed as an obstacle with no real explanation as to how or why, presumably so they can wrap this series up quick in the next one.

These films have been frankly messy and rather disappointing. Had they chosen a proper direction to go—any one direction, really—they could have been…well, probably not great, but good. Had they just done Fantastic Beasts—the interesting and strange journeys of a magizoologist exploring the wizarding world and discovering new and wondrous creatures, with some light action and comedy and romance, could have been good. A serious, dramatic exploration of Grindlewald’s rise to power, mirroring that of Hitler’s in the 20s and 30s, culminating in a world war for both Muggles and magic alike, could have been good. But pairing them both together, along with about forty other subplots and mysteries and cameos and Easter eggs, leaves these films bloated as well as watered-down.

To echo some of the sentiments above, sometimes the ignoring of social injustices of the past damages the series greatly, I think. As an example, in the first film, Rowling wants to portray the wizarding world as so much more progressive and enlightened—and so 1920s wizarding America has a female president. Can’t marry who you like, though, and they have a gruesome form of capital punishment with no trial system, but hey, progressive that a woman of color is their leader! Same goes for the other films in this series. They ignore real-world problems that would fit quite nicely into the plot if executed well, and end up falling flat as competing ideas kill each other. Why wasn’t there more overt parallels drawn to the Nazis within the wizarding world? Can there be Jewish witches and wizards? Is that a thing? How would they fare under Muggle Nazi fascism? We’ll never know. Too interesting of ideas.

Overall, these films have had moments of charm, but nothing on the scale of the first three Harry Potter films. They’re slightly better than 4 and 5 on a technical level but the lack of a strong underpinning story and characters means even the two worst (in my opinion) Harry Potter films win out over Fantastic Beasts. This one was long, and I shudder to think that two more will follow. If they were handed over to a filmmaker with a distinct style and vision, as happened with Alfonso Cuaron for Prisoner of Azkaban, I’ll be interested in returning. But otherwise, dull times are ahead.
 

Mottrex

Sr Member
I saw it. It's not great. I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, being that I never read the books and only just watched all the movies a couple years ago (pandemic binge watch), but I really liked the HP movies. I enjoyed the first 'Fantastic Beasts' pretty well, but didn't see 'Crimes' until about a month ago. Seems like they didn't really know what they (Rowling, the studio, etc.) wanted to do after the first. They went too far away from the characters introduced in the first 'FB' movie, I'm assuming they keep shifting towards Dumbledore and more Harry Potter things and less "beasts" because the first one underperformed (you'll notice how small the words "Fantastic Beasts" have gotten in the logo). I think it would have been better to continue to put the main focus on the characters from the first, rather than the muddied mess that was the second.

'Dumbledore' continues that trend. I'll admit, I didn't bother paying close attention after about an hour in, but it didn't seem like I really needed to. I feel like they were pushing for a real anti-fascism theme, what with the German Minestry of Magic featured prominently and the whole thing hinging on an attempt to lie, cheat, and steal an election. But setting it in 1930s Germany while basically ignoring all the Naziism just undercuts the message, when real-life fascism should have been all around them. Not sure what they were all doing for the 6 years that took place between the end of 'Crimes of Grindelwald' and "Secrets of Dumbledore" either, as it could have easily taken place sooner.

And while I'm mentioning real-world problems being ignored, they've also largely ignored the racism, sexism, and misogyny that was prevolent in the era. I understand the "Wizarding World" is a fantasy, and has been separate from our own "muggle world," and its important to represent positive roles for women and minorities who have been underrepresented on screen over the decades. I'm actually okay with this for the most part - like I said, it is a fantasy - but it still feels a little glossed over.

As a film, it felt kind of slow - the pacing could've been improved for my tastes. Mostly, I just didn't care what was going on, so I had a hard time being interested.
I've not seen it but know unlike the original movies I cant see myself revisiting this current trilogy in years to come where I can easily find myself dipping into a Potter movie especially as they are self contained stories with a less obvious thread till the later movies and still hold up especially the Amazing plasma like drippy wand battles with Voldermort..
Does he show up or will that be another trilogy I wonder with young syrius and the potters, I read the books but would prefer to see at least a single movie of those events as they have already been touched on in print and film.
 

Darth Lars

Master Member
As a Swede, the word "Chillin" (spelled "Qilin" in the movie) was weird because it is the Swedish word for "baby goat".
 
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