REVIEW: THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL

CAST

Natalie Portman (Thor)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Eric Bana (Hanna)
Jim Sturgess (Across The Universe)
Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall)
Kristin Scott Thomas (Mission Impossible)
David Morrissey (Basic Instinct 2)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Juno Temple (Horns)
Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones)

King Henry VIII’s (Eric Bana) marriage to Catherine of Aragon (Ana Torrent) does not produce a male heir to the throne; their only surviving daughter is Mary (Constance Stride). Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk (David Morrissey) and his brother in law Thomas Boleyn (Mark Rylance), plan to install Boleyn’s older daughter Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman), as the king’s mistress. They hope Anne will bear him a son. Anne’s mother, Lady Elizabeth Boleyn (Kristin Scott Thomas), is disgusted by the plot. Anne eventually agrees to please her father and uncle. Anne’s younger sister, Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson), marries William Carey (Benedict Cumberbatch), even though his family had asked for Anne’s hand.

While visiting the Boleyn estate, Henry is injured in a hunting accident, indirectly caused by Anne, and, urged by her scheming uncle, is nursed by Mary. While in her care, Henry becomes smitten with her and invites her to court. Mary and her husband reluctantly agree, aware that the king has invited her because he desires her. Mary and Anne become ladies-in-waiting to Queen Catherine and Henry sends William Carey abroad on an assignment. Separated from her husband, Mary finds herself falling in love with Henry. Anne secretly marries the nobleman Henry Percy (Oliver Coleman), although he is betrothed to Lady Mary Talbot. Anne confides in her brother George Boleyn (Jim Sturgess), who is overjoyed and proceeds to tell Mary. Fearing Anne will ruin the Boleyn family by marrying such a prominent earl without the king’s consent, Mary alerts her father and uncle. They confront Anne, annul the marriage, and exile her to France.

Mary becomes pregnant. Her family receives new grants and estates, their debts are paid, and Henry arranges George’s marriage to Jane Parker. When Mary nearly suffers a miscarriage, she is confined to bed until her child is born. Norfolk recalls Anne to England to keep Henry’s attention from wandering to another rival. In her belief that Mary exiled her to increase her own status, Anne successfully campaigns to win Henry over. When Mary gives birth to a son, Henry Carey, Thomas and Norfolk are overjoyed, but the celebration is short lived, as Anne whispered to Henry that the baby was born a bastard, which infuriates Norfolk. Henry then has Mary sent to the country at Anne’s request. Shortly after, Mary is widowed. Anne encourages Henry to break from the Catholic Church when the Pope refuses to annul his marriage to Queen Catherine. Henry succumbs to Anne’s demands, declares himself Supreme Head of the Church of England, and gets Cardinal Thomas Wolsey to annul the marriage.

Anne’s schemes drive Henry to the breaking point, and in a fit of rage, he rapes her. A pregnant Anne marries Henry to please her family and becomes Queen of England. Despite the birth of a healthy daughter, Elizabeth, Henry blames Anne for not producing a son, and begins courting Jane Seymour (Corinne Galloway) in secret. After Anne suffers the miscarriage of a son, she begs George to have sex with her to replace the child she lost, because if anyone found out about the miscarriage, she would be burned as a witch. George at first agrees, realizing that it is Anne’s only hope, but they do not go through with it. However, George’s neglected wife Jane witnesses enough of their encounter to become suspicious. She reports what she has seen and both Anne and George are arrested. The two are found guilty and sentenced to death for treason, adultery and incest. Distraught by the news of the execution of George, his mother disowns her husband and brother, vowing never to forgive them for what their greed has done to her children.

After Mary learns that she was late for George’s execution, she returns to court to plead for Anne’s life. Believing that Henry will spare her sister, she leaves to see Anne right before the scheduled execution. Anne asks Mary to take care of her daughter Elizabeth if anything should happen to her. Mary watches from the crowd as Anne makes her final speech, waiting for the execution to be cancelled as Henry promised. A letter from Henry is given to Mary, warning her not to come to his court further, and implicitly revealing his decision to execute Anne after all. Ten days after Anne’s execution, Henry and Jane are married, Norfolk is imprisoned, and the next three generations of his family are executed for treason. Mary marries William Stafford (Eddie Redmayne) and they have two children, Anne and Edward. Mary takes an active role in raising Anne’s daughter Elizabeth (Maisie Smith), who grows up to become Queen of England, and reigns for 44 years.

An interesting take on the story of the Boleyn sisters (who did both have a relationship with Henry), and if it encourages more people to find out about the real historical events then in my opinion that can only be a good thing. Henry’s relationship with Anne changed England through his break with the catholic church, and is both fascinating and tragic.

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: FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

CAST

Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury)
Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs)
Alison Sudol (Other Peoples Children)
Colin Farrell (Phone Booth)
Carmen Ejogo (The Purge: Anarchy)
Ezra Miller (Batman V Superman)
Samantha Morton (Minority report)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Jon Voight (Transformers)
Ronan Raftery (Crossing Lines)
Johnny Depp (Dark Shadows)
Jenn Murray (Brooklyn)
Zoe Kravitz (Divergent)
Dan Hedaya (Clueless)
Cristian Solimeno (Highlander: The Source)
Gemma Chan (Mary Queen of Scots)

In 1926 the British wizard and “magizoologist” Newt Scamander arrives by ship to New York City en route to Arizona. He encounters Mary Lou Barebone, a non-magical woman (“No-Maj” or “Muggle”) who heads the New Salem Philanthropic Society, which claims that witches and wizards are real and dangerous. As Newt listens to her speak, a Niffler escapes from his magically expanded suitcase, which houses multiple magical creatures. As he attempts to capture it, he meets No-Maj cannery worker and aspiring baker Jacob Kowalski, and they accidentally swap suitcases. Demoted Auror (a hunter of dark wizards) Tina Goldstein arrests Newt for being an unregistered wizard and takes him to the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) headquarters, hoping to regain her former position. However, as Jacob’s suitcase contains only baked goods, Newt is released. At Jacob’s tenement apartment, several creatures escape from Newt’s suitcase.After Tina and Newt find Jacob and the suitcase, Tina takes them to her apartment and introduces them to Queenie, her Legilimens sister. Queenie and Jacob are mutually attracted, though American wizards are forbidden to marry or even socially interact with No-Majs. Newt takes Jacob inside his magically expanded suitcase, where Jacob encounters a contained Obscurus, a dark, destructive parasite that develops inside magically gifted children if they suppress their magical abilities. Newt extracted it from a young girl who has died, those afflicted rarely living past the age of ten. Newt persuades Jacob to help search for the missing creatures. After re-capturing two of the three escaped beasts, they re-enter the suitcase, which Tina takes to MACUSA. Officials arrest them, believing one of Newt’s beasts is responsible for killing Senator Henry Shaw Jr. They decide to destroy Newt’s suitcase and erase Jacob’s recent memories. Director of Magical Security Percival Graves accuses Newt of conspiring with the infamous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Newt and Tina are sentenced to immediate death, but Queenie and Jacob rescue them. Thanks to the help of Goblin gangster Gnarlack, Tina’s old informant, the foursome then find and re-capture the last of the creatures.Meanwhile, Percival Graves approaches Credence Barebone, Mary Lou’s adopted son, and offers to free him from his abusive mother. In exchange, he wants Credence to find an Obscurus. Graves believes it has caused the mysterious destructive incidents around the city. Credence finds a wand under his adopted-sister, Modesty’s, bed. Mary Lou assumes it is Credence’s wand, but Modesty claims it is hers. When she is about to be punished, the Obscurus is unleashed, killing everyone except Modesty and Credence. Graves arrives and dismisses Credence as being a Squib (a non-magical person of wizard ancestry), and refuses to teach him magic. Credence reveals he is the Obscurus’ host, having lived longer than any other host due to the intensity of his magic. In a rage, he unleashes the Obscurus upon the city.Newt finds Credence hiding in a subway tunnel, but he is attacked by Graves. Tina, who knows Credence, arrives and attempts to calm him, while Graves tries to convince Credence to listen to him. As Credence begins to settle into human form Aurors arrive. They apparently disintegrate him to protect the magical society, but a tiny Obscurus fragment escapes. Graves admits to unleashing the Obscurus to expose the magical community to the No-Majs, and angrily claims that MACUSA protects the No-Majs more than themselves. After being subdued by one of Newt’s beasts, he is revealed as Grindelwald in disguise and taken into custody by MACUSA Aurors.MACUSA fears their secret world has been exposed, but Newt releases his Thunderbird to disperse a poultice as rainfall over the city that erases all New Yorkers’ recent memories as MACUSA wizards repair the destruction. Queenie kisses Jacob goodbye as the rain erases his memories. Newt departs for Europe, but promises to return and visit Tina when his book is finished; he also anonymously leaves Jacob a case of silver Occamy eggshells to fund his bakery. His breads and pastries are unknowingly inspired by Newt’s creatures, and Queenie visits him in his shop.Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them stands perfect on its own and doesn’t need Harry Potter or any of the planned movies to get you invested in its story and yet it is an obligation for every J.K. Rowling wizarding world-fan to go see this movie. The director David Yates found this perfect balance and ended up with a result that has to be seen in theaters by everyone.