REVIEW: FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

Starring

Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Katherine Waterston (Logan Lucky)
Dan Fogler (Barely Lethal)
Alison Sudol (The Last Full Measure)
Jude Law (Captain Marvel)
Ezra Miller (Justice League)
Johnny Depp (Pirates of The Caribben
Zoë Kravitz (Rough Night)
Callum Turner (Assassin’s Creed)
Claudia Kim (Marco Polo)
William Nadylam (Lace Crater)
Kevin Guthrie (Dunkirk)
Jamie Campbell Bower (Camelot)
Carmen Ejogo (Selma)
Toby Regbo (Reign)
Hugh Quarshie (Highlander)
Jessica Williams (Delivery Man)
Derek Riddell (Ugly Betty)

Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)In 1927, the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) is transferring the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald from their New York maximum security prison to London so he can be tried for his crimes in Europe. Grindelwald escapes during the transfer, aided by his follower and MACUSA employee, Abernathy.Alison Sudol in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)Three months later in London, Newt Scamander appeals to the Ministry of Magic to restore his revoked international travel rights following his misadventure in New York City. While at the Ministry, Newt runs into Leta Lestrange, an old Hogwarts classmate who is engaged to his brother, Theseus, an auror in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The Ministry offers to restore Newt’s travel rights if he assists Theseus in locating the obscurial Credence Barebone, who has resurfaced in Paris. They believe Credence may be Leta’s long-lost brother, Corvus Lestrange, the last of a long line of pure-blood wizards. Grindelwald believes only Credence can kill his “equal”, Hogwarts Professor Albus Dumbledore. Newt, however, declines, refusing to choose a side, and the auror Grimmson is dispatched instead.Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)After leaving the Ministry, Newt is secretly summoned by Dumbledore, who is under constant Ministry surveillance for refusing to confront Grindelwald (with whom he shared a close personal relationship in their youth). Dumbledore tries to persuade Newt to locate Credence, though Newt does not give him an answer.Johnny Depp and Zoë Kravitz in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)After he arrives home, Newt’s American friends, Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski, unexpectedly arrive at his house. Jacob’s recollections of the New York City incident are mostly intact, as MACUSA’s citywide Obliviation order only erased the bad memories of the Muggle witnesses, and his were mostly good. Queenie and Jacob have followed Queenie’s sister Tina to Europe, where she is searching for Credence. Newt is unhappy to learn that Tina mistakenly believes he and Leta Lestrange are engaged. Seeing Jacob’s odd behaviour, Newt realises that Queenie has enchanted him into eloping to Europe with her to circumvent MACUSA’s marriage ban between wizards and muggles. After Newt lifts the charm, Jacob and Queenie quarrel about the marriage law, and an upset Queenie leaves to find Tina. Newt realises Tina is in Paris, and, ignoring the travel ban, he and Jacob follow the sisters to Europe.Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)In Paris, Tina searches for Credence at a wizarding freak show at the Circus Arcanus. Credence and Nagini, a young female circus attraction who can transform into a snake, escape after causing a distraction. While searching for Credence’s birth mother, Credence and Nagini locate the servant who put him up for adoption. However, Grimmson, who is secretly working for Grindelwald, arrives and kills her. Meanwhile, Tina meets Yusuf Kama, who is also hunting Credence. Later, Newt and Jacob also encounter Yusuf and follow him to Tina. Yusuf, revealed to be Leta’s maternal half-brother, says he made an Unbreakable Vow to kill Credence, whom he believes is his step-brother, Corvus, and the last of the Lestrange family.Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)Newt and Tina infiltrate the French Ministry of Magic to retrieve documents confirming Credence’s identity. While there, the two reconcile after Tina learns Newt was never engaged to Leta. Leta herself later discovers them and joins the search, which leads them to the Lestrange family tomb in the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Leta reveals that Credence cannot be Corvus Lestrange: as a child, she inadvertently caused the death of her infant brother by switching him with baby Credence while on a doomed New York-bound passenger ship, thereby sparing Credence and leaving Corvus presumably drowned. Meanwhile, a fabricated trail has lured Credence to the Lestrange tomb where Grindelwald is holding a rally for his followers. Jacob finds Queenie, now seemingly aligned with Grindelwald, in the audience there.Johnny Depp and Zoë Kravitz in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)Grindelwald preaches the abolition of laws concealing wizards from muggles, and utilizes images of the imminent Second World War to justify worldwide wizard supremacy and domination. Aurors surround the rally, led by Theseus, but Grindelwald fends them off while unleashing his emissaries to spread his word across Europe. Grindelwald casts a circle of blue flame to divide followers from enemies. Credence and Queenie cross over to join him, while Leta sacrifices herself to save Newt, Tina, Jacob, Yusuf, Nagini, and Theseus. As Grindelwald escapes, the remaining heroes unite alongside the immortal alchemist Nicolas Flamel to fend off a curse that Grindelwald directed at Paris. Seeing the devastation, Newt realizes he must join the fight.Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)At Hogwarts, Newt gives Dumbledore a vial, secretly taken from Grindelwald, that contains a blood pact that Grindelwald and Dumbledore made as teenagers. Newt correctly surmises that the pact magically prevents the two from combatting each other; Dumbledore believes it may be possible to destroy the pact.Claudia Kim and Ezra Miller in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)In his base at Nurmengard in Austria, Grindelwald tells Credence that he is actually Albus Dumbledore’s long-lost brother, Aurelius, and the only person powerful enough to defeat him. Queenie uses her mind-reading ability to advise Grindelwald on ways to control Credence. A baby bird that Credence had been caring for is revealed to be a phoenix, a bird associated with the Dumbledore family. Grindelwald then provides Credence with his first wand, and the film ends as Credence casts a spell for the first time.Dan Fogler, William Nadylam, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Claudia Kim, and Callum Turner in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)As a huge fan of the first Fantastic Beasts film, I had been looking forward to this film for a while. I’m so glad that it didn’t disappoint! I really enjoyed this movie, just as much as the first installment. Of course, it is a bit different, and it gets down to serious business, so the tone is a bit darker. Which of course makes sense. There was still enough humor though, and I love the characters. The storyline is great, the villain is interesting, the special effects were amazing, and the history and lore for the Harry Potter series is rich and enjoyable. Although this movie is pretty amazing, it did suffer from trying to feed us a lot of information and history. Yeah, there is a lot to take in, and a lot you find out. Perhaps this movie could’ve been a bit longer too as some extra scenes between some characters would’ve been appreciated. But with all of the information and history that was given, I found it all to be pretty exciting. I definitely feel as if this is a definite must see for any Harry Potter fan.

REVIEW: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

CAST

Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes)
Chris Evans (The Losers)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman: Winter’s War)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
James Spader (Stargate)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes On A Plane)
Paul Bettany (Legion)
Don Cheadle (Traffic)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass)
Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House)
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker)
Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter)
Idris Elba (acific Rim)
Linda Cardellini (Scooby-Doo)
Stellan Skarsgard (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit)
Julie Delpy (Before Sunset)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex)
Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)
Henry Goodman (Yes, Prime Minister)
Claudia Kim (The Dark Tower)

MV5BMTk4MjI3NzY4OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwODY4NjA3._V1_In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the Avengers – Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton – raid a Hydra facility commanded by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They encounter two of Strucker’s experiments – twins Pietro, who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff, who can manipulate minds and project energy – and apprehend Strucker, while Stark retrieves Loki’s scepter.MV5BMTk4NTc1NTc0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDQ4NjA3._V1_Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter’s gem, and secretly use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark’s A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Escaping with the scepter, Ultron uses the resources in Strucker’s Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones. Having killed Strucker, he recruits the Maximoffs, who hold Stark responsible for their parents’ deaths by his weapons, and go to the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue to obtain Wakandan vibranium. The Avengers attack Ultron and the Maximoffs, but Wanda subdues them with haunting visions, causing the Hulk (Banner) to rampage until Stark stops him with his anti-Hulk armor.1
MV5BMTU1NzA3OTI1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjg4NjA3._V1_A worldwide backlash over the resulting destruction, and the fears Wanda’s hallucinations incited, send the team into hiding at a safehouse. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the meaning of the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination, while Romanoff and Banner plan to flee together after realizing a mutual attraction. However, Nick Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. In Seoul, Ultron forces the team’s friend Dr. Helen Cho to use her synthetic-tissue technology, together with vibranium and the scepter’s gem, to perfect a new body for him. As Ultron uploads himself into the body, Wanda is able to read his mind; discovering his plan for human extinction, the Maximoffs turn against Ultron. Rogers, Romanoff, and Barton find Ultron and retrieve the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Romanoff.
MV5BNjczNjAzNjgwOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODQzMTUzMg@@._V1_The Avengers fight amongst themselves when Stark secretly uploads J.A.R.V.I.S. – who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet – into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, explaining that the gem on its brow – one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence – was part of his vision. This “Vision” and the Maximoffs accompany the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. Banner rescues Romanoff, who awakens the Hulk for the battle. The Avengers fight Ultron’s army while Fury arrives in a Helicarrier with Maria Hill, James Rhodes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate civilians. Pietro dies when he shields Barton from gunfire, and a vengeful Wanda abandons her post to destroy Ultron’s primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets, but Stark and Thor overload the machine and shatter the landmass. In the aftermath, the Hulk, unwilling to endanger Romanoff by being with her, departs in a Quinjet, while the Vision confronts Ultron’s last remaining body.MV5BZDRkOGQwNWItZjQ1ZC00MjU0LWJiZTUtZWIwMjZkMTdhNWM5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTI3MDk3MzQ@._V1_Later, with the Avengers having established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Cho, and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the forces he suspects have manipulated recent events. As Stark leaves and Barton retires, Rogers and Romanoff prepare to train new Avengers: Rhodes, the Vision, Sam Wilson, and Wanda. In a mid-credits scene, Thanos, dissatisfied by the failures of his pawns, dons a gauntlet2 and vows to retrieve the Infinity Stones himself.MV5BZmQ0YmE1MTMtYWQ2ZS00ZDNhLWIzOTctNjk4YTQ1YmQzZDZhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTI3MDk3MzQ@._V1_The Avengers: Age of Ultron is solid entertainment and best experienced on the big screen. Long-running trappings of shared movie universe storytelling remain, and the novelty of seeing iconic comic book characters together onscreen is just as impressive as it was in The Avengers.