Category Archives: Movie Review

Rinzy Reviews: The Mummy

Release Date: June 9, 2017.

Duration: 110 mins

Budget and Box-Office: $195m and $390.2m

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

 


In the year 2008, the relatively new Marvel studios came up with the ultimate idea of planning movies ahead in time under the umbrella of a cinematic universe, where everything is connected. Fast-forward to 2017, almost a decade after, every other studio wants to copy the ultimate money making formula. One of such studios (Universal Studios) hoping to replicate what made Marvel Studios billions of dollars left us with the first movie of the Dark Universe – The Mummy.

At this time where Hollywood has practically ordered the reboot of every hit movie and TV series, The Mummy is caught in that web. Most people remember the original movie of 1999 (Imotem! Imotem!) Does this movie come close to the original? The answer is no! Is this movie entertaining in its own right? Continue reading to find out.

Tom Cruise headlines this action thriller. Yes! The real reason I said this and the original aren’t on the same par is because while the 1999 version came across more as a horror movie than an action piece, this 2017 installment is all action and thrill, no gore, no scares, no cold chill. Even the story plot about sacrifice to incur the god Ra failed to incite any form of fear chill – which I think is what made the original captivating and an instant hit.

Now, The Mummy isn’t a bad movie. The choreography and action sequences are impressive (It’s 2017, I wouldn’t expect any less); at a point, Ahmanet’s zombie minions might even confuse you into thinking you’re watching The Walking Dead on the big screen – that is to say I enjoyed the car chasing scene very much.

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Talking about Ahmanaet – she wasn’t threatening at all. She came more across like a vindictive woman without a particular person to grudge against. Her back story, though not bad wasn’t really convincing. For starters, her motivation for killing her father wasn’t understood; her reason for wanting to bring Ra into human form wasn’t properly laid out for better understanding if it was part of the deal that turned her evil in the first place. Truthfully, she was a terrible villain.

Overall, the story plot was weak, I couldn’t feel anything strong.  Personally, I have a problem with exploring the Hyde and Jekyll’s story-line here: It just didn’t fit into the overall plot, and would have been much better if they had only teased us with Hyde’s presence inside Jekyll’s existence. Russell Crowe as the character wasn’t so bad.

Tom Cruise is still a bankable action movie star anytime, so if the reports of this movie not doing so well at the domestic box office means that so many things in the story didn’t appeal to the American audience. Going forward into the Dark Universe I hope they correct this mistake of convulsing plots and focus on telling a single entertaining story, instead of trying to hint at things that have no implication for now.

Rinzy Reviews: John Wick: Chapter 2

Release Date: February 10, 2017.

Production company: Lionsgate

Duration: 122 mins

Budget: $40m

Box-Office: $166.8m

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Lawrence Fishbourne, Ian McShane, etc.

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5

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Remember how I ended the review for John Wick and said he rode into the sunset? Well, the second installment in this franchise proved me wrong. The first part was such a success that a sequel has been released, and another on the way.

The second installment (rightly titled, Chapter 2) adds more flesh to the mythology of John Wick

John thought he was free to go back to his hiding spot, but he thought wrong. Italian crime lord, Santino D’Antonio, comes to him demanded the payment of a Marker owed him. It’s revealed that when John set out to retire and marry Helen, Santino’s help made the impossible task possible after John swore to a Marker. A Marker is an oath tied by blood to a medallion. John refused, claiming he was out. Hurt, Santino responded by blowing up John’s house.

 

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Common as Cassien

John goes to visit Winston at the Continental Ground in New York for advice. Winston says something very important. He claimed there are two unbreakable laws:

  • No killing on continental grounds
  • All markers must be honoured

He adviced John honours the Marker and execute whatever revenge fantasy he has for Santino later. John agrees.

D’Antonio’s request’s for John to kill his sister, Gianna D’Antonio so that he can claim her seat at the High Table, a council of high level crime lords. By the time John meets up with Gianna in Rome it is revealed they’re acquaintances. He let’s her take her life before putting a bullet in her head. He incurs the wrath of Gianna’s bodyguard, Cassian, who pursues him to up lengths until they crash into another Continental Ground. Santino betrayed John by sending his goons on him once the Marker was completed. Worse was the bounty of $7m put on John’s head by Santino under the guide of avenging his sister. All the assassins that came for him including Cassien are unsuccessful.

John makes an alliance with the Bowery King, which gives us a reunion between Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fisburn (Matrix duo).

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Lawrence Fishborne as The Bowrey King

Santino evades John long enough to seek shelter at Winston’s Continental Ground. Santino taunts John with a possible fact that he could stay at the hotel for as long as their indefinite menu runs. John shoots him point blank and drops his gun on the table, replying Winston’s question with, “I’m done.”

For breaking one of the unbreakable rules, Winston punishes John (painfully) by excommunucating him. For old time sake, he gives him an hour headstart before signalling every assassin of the underworld to go after him. John responds, “I’ll kill them all.”

Rinzy Reviews: John Wick

Release Date: October 24, 2017.

Production company: Thunder Road Pictures

Duration: 101 mins

Budget: $30.2m

Box-Office: $88.8m

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Bridget Regan, Adrainne Palicki, etc.

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5

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Movie producers realize when they have a hit at hand, and most times they don’t know. John Wick is one of those times they didn’t. A sleeper hit in its own right… John has done well for himself. Starring many power houses in its cast such as lead, Keanu Reeves, and veteran, Ian McShane helped the execution of this usual story in an unusual way. Yes, I said usual story; a man going to great lengths to avenge a wrong done against him is something we see almost everyday, but if the reason for his anger is the death of a dog and robbery of his car then something is off. In the course of his mission, John does kill lots of people, this is worrisome looking at it with the eyes of realism, but in terms of action, it does make an entertaining watch.

OK! Let’s get started. Who is John Wick?

John Wick is introduced to us as a retired member of an Order of Assassins who follow specific set of rules, two of which are:

  • An eye for an eye
  • No killing on the premises of various hotels around the world regarded as continental grounds.

The first of this rule drives the story-line of this movie. John’s late wife set him a posthumous gift, a puppy. The stupid son of a Russian gangster breaks into John’s home, kills his puppy, and robs his car because John refused earlier in the day to sell it to him when they met at a fuel-station.

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Ian McShane as Mr. Winston

John, feeling he has been robbed of the last part of his wife goes after Losef Tarasov (the son of the Russian boss). John meets up with Viggo Tarasov (the Russian boss) and states the first rule to him. Obviously, this confrontation doesn’t go well and as expected lots of shoot-outs up until Viggo has no choice but to choose between himself and his son. I don’t know if it’s to show he understand the laws or just cowardice to stand up for his son, I had a problem with it.

John succeeded in killing Josef, which naturally further angered Viggo who in retaliation killed Marcus (another Assasin who betrayed him to help John. Played by William Dafoe). Marcus’ death angered John who was on his way out of the city to return for Viggo.

At this point I must introduce McShane’s character, Winston. Winston acts a mentor to John, and runs one of the Continental Grounds. As a father figure, Winston helps keep John in check as well as offer small tips to stay in the loophole of the laws of their profession. One of the ways was killing a female assassin who worked with Viggo for breaking rule number 2. He also gave John hints on where to find an escaping Viggo. John found and killed Viggo.
At the end of the movie, John got another dog and rode off into the sunset to continue with his retirement having avenged his late wife’s memory.

John Wick is a very interesting movie, one deserving of the accolades it’s got.

Watch out for RR’s review of John Wick 2 tomorrow.

Rinzy Reviews: The Boss Baby

Release Date: March 31, 2017.

Production company: Dream-Works Animation

Duration:97 mins

Budget: $125m

Box-Office: $486.8m

Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi,  Tobey McGuire, etc.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

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Few babies can lay claim to what the titular star of this movie has done.

I dont know how right i am valling The Boss Baby an original idea. Based on a 2010 book of the same name, this movie achieves what it sets out to, i.e. to entertain.

The movie follows the plot of a baby who’s a secret agent in the secret war between babies and puppies.

A certain manufacturer of a fast selling puppy brand hope to make the perfect puppy that people give up in having babies for them. Talking about having babies, this movie makes us understand according to its Genesis 1:1 that, babies come from the sky, more appropriately, a place called Baby Corp. The main competition for this place that mirrors Heaven, is the earthly base of operation for Puppy co. The powers that be at Baby Corp send, The Boss Baby to investigate if Puppy co now has the secret to completing its task, but it actually is his visit that grants them the number one thing they want.

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The Boss Baby and his older brother, Alex.

All the twists and turns brings The Boss Baby and his big brother closer, so much that by the time the adventure ended,The Boss Baby was so unfulfilled that he gave up his life of management upstairs for a life with Alex, his brother on earth. Hope you now get my initial joke about heaven and earth?

The Boss Baby was an interesting watch. You should get good number of laughs warching this.

Rinzy Reviews: The Wedding Party

Release date: December 16, 2016

Production Studio: Film.One Distribution

Budget: N60m

Box Office: N450m

Starring: Bankole Wellington, Adesua Etomi, Sola Sobowala, Alibaba, Richard Mofe Damijo, Ireti Doyle, AY, EmmaOhMyGod, etc.

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5

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I haven’t been this high after watching a Nigerian movie for many years now, until The Wedding Party.

The buzz this movie generated in the media upon its release in December 2016 caused me to almost bat an eyelid then. Having watched it now, I regret I didn’t do so sooner.

Just as the title reveals, the movie details as much as it possibly can the excitement of a Nigerian wedding. It takes things a step further by making the lovers persons of different ethnic tribes who take a vow of chastity as they look forward to their ground-shattering wedding night. The insecurities of the virgin bride concerning the reformed playboy groom, the feel of superiority by members of both families, especially the groom’s mother – Mrs. Obianuju Onwuka (as played by Ireti Doyle), all make for a very interesting watch.

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The Onwuka’s

I must commend Director – Kemi Adetiba – for a job well done. Almost everything about the movie was perfect, because she took something almost every Nigerian can relate to and made it extremely colorful. The costumes were on-point, every aspect of the props used were very good. The actors were the main dish: I could have swore I was watching a real Nigerian wedding ceremony. Whoever supervised the casting did a superb job. Kudos! If I didn’t know Banky W as a musician, I’d vow he’ll make it as an actor: he played the lead role of Dozie Onwuka which such excellence one could easily think he acts for a living. His co-lead, Adesua Etomi – who played Dunni Coker – did a very good job as she always does.

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Adesua Etomi and Banky W in The Wedding Party

Another commendable thing was how easy it was to fall in love with all the supporting cast – everyone was just too good; from the nagging mother and soft-talking father of the groom (as played by Ireti Doyle and RMD) to the typical Yoruba loving parents (as played by Alibaba and Sola Sobowale), to the good-bad friend (as played by Ikechukwu) to the slutty ex (as played by Beverly Naya) – everyone was awesome. Specially commendation to the party planner, the party crashing family, the thief who stayed seven years in a university and still graduated with a first class, and Iya Michael. Everyone brought some form of dynamic to everyday characters Nigerians are familiar with.

My best character is Mrs. Cooker as player by Sola Sobowale. Every scene with her was a delight for me to watch. She brought what it was to be a Nigerian mother hoping to not have your child’s wedding go sour, because every Nigerian mother terribly longs for the day her child will get married.

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Sola Sobowale and Alibaba as the Cokers.

My best scene was when it was the Coker’s turn to dance in. The perfect tune of Yinka Ayefele’s eyin temi bawo ni o! brought caused me to involuntarily join the family in dancing in. Everyone who’s been to a Yoruba party certainly know they don’t joke with their dance.

In all, The Wedding Party is highly recommended for those who haven’t seen it yet. The movie is extremely colorful, entertaining, and has perfect Nigerian songs for fitting scenes. There’s no dull moment from start to finish.

Rinzy Reviews: The Fault In Our Stars

BBM: C004AA0E2. Twitter: @RinzyReviews. FB: Rinzy Reviews.

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Release Date: June 6, 2014

Production Studio: 20th Century Fox

Box Office: $307.2m

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5

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SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE MOVIE YOU’RE ADVISED TO LEAVE NOW, DETAILS FROM THE MOVIE WILL BE DISCUSSED HERE.

Hazel Grace Lancaster, is a beautiful young woman with terminal thyroid cancer that’s now spread to her lungs; extremely positive even in the face of her impending demise.

Augustus ‘Gus’ Waters, is a young man who’s survived bone cancer once, and had to live without the flesh around one leg. He has aspirations, dreams, and is most afraid of oblivion.

 

It wasn’t a surprise that these two hit it off almost immediately. There were many things I loved about this movie, damn, this movie made me lose a tear; maybe more than one tear.

Gus kept challenging Hazel’s ideologies, her reasons for living till her anticipated death.

You put the thing that causes the killing between your teeth, and you don’t give it the power to kill you – Gus to Hazel, outside the group therapy home the first day they met.

Hazel and Gus have a dream to get Author, Peter van Houten to tell them the conclusion of his book, An Imperial Affliction, which Hazel had recommended to Gus earlier. van Houten surprisingly replied Hazel’s email, and invited them to Amsterdam. Hazel wants to go, but her Doctor is skeptic to grant her permission until her mom agrees to follow. Later that night, Hazel has an episode, water had entered her lungs and made it difficult for her to breathe been with her oxygen pipe. The trip to Amsterdam is subsequently cancelled. Hazel is devastated.

The trip to Amsterdam was possible in the first place by Gus’ doing. This helped my understanding to how much Gus loved Hazel.

Along the way, Hazel felt the need to cause little changes to her and Gus. Her trying to redefine the nature of their relationship by saying, in order not to hurt him they’d be better off as just-friends  mirrors the popular real life issue of being friend-zoned, and how we most times we can’t have whom we want simply because they’re not yet sure they feel the same way.

One scene  that made me laugh was, Gus’ reaction on the plane to Amsterdam to meet van Houten. Gus had perfected the aura of confidence, and it was funny seeing that confidence flee in the face of something beyond his control.

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The confrontation scene with van Houten was very emotional. The pain on Hazel’s face was clear, the disappointment on Gus’ alarming . They had done so much to get to Amsterdam, only to find out that van Houten didn’t care about them, it was his secretary/PA they had relating with along that cared. The confrontation did lead up to events that finally inspired Hazel to kiss Gus and admit her feelings for him, this led to one of the most awkward foreplay scenes I’ve seen.

This was where the real emotional drain of the movie began. It was as though the sex opened the young lovers’ eyes to the real pains of the world they lived in – the world where cancer reigns supreme. The bests of these heartbreaking moments are numerated below.

When:

  1. Gus tells Hazel his cancer’s returned, and it had spread all over his body.
  2. Gus asks Hazel to join Isaac in writing the eulogy for his fast coming funeral.
  3. Gus momentarily loses his humor and courage. He sobs after the incident at the gas-station.
  4. Gus’ fear about not being remembered after he dies. Hazel affirms that she loves him and will remember him, and that if that wasn’t enough for him she doesn’t know what to do.
  5. Hazel tells her parents the hard truth of life without her. Her greatest fear’s how life would be for the people left behind when she dies.
  6. Gus’ attending his mock funeral with Isaac and Hazel, and listening in tears to what they both had to say about him.
  7. Augusta Water died eight days after his mock-funeral. The cancer stopped his heart after spending his last days in pain in the ICU.
  8. van Houten attends Gus’ funeral. He delivers Gus’ handwritten eulogy to Hazel.

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The moments above brought tears to my eyes (I must confess). Big ups to the acting-chops of Shailene Woodley (Hazel) and Ansel Elgort (Gus), these two brought so much life to their respective characters, I could feel the joy in their happy moments, the pain in the times of sorrow… the scene where Gus tells Hazel about his returned cancer that has spread all over his body caught me off guard. Having not read the book, I was free of spoilers, and the movie took its time to place Gus out of suspicion, so having to reveal that he was the one who was going to die (not Hazel I had been preparing myself all through the movie for) made me scream out in pain.

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Quotes I found addicting:

1. ‘If you want the rainbow you have to deal with the rain.’ – A post on the wall in Gus’ parents house.

2. ‘Do you know what Dom Perignon said after he invented champagne?… Come quickly, I’m tasting the stars.’ – The Chef to Gus and Hazel at the restaurant in Amsterdam.

3. ‘I am in love with you… You heard me… I am in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed. And that, one day all of our labors will be returned to dust… And I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have… And I am in love with you… Sorry.’ – Gus, confessing his feelings to Hazel at the restaurant.

4. ‘A drawing of a thing is not a thing itself, nor is a T-shirt of the drawing of a thing, a thing itself.’ – Hazel to her mother, at the hotel room in Amsterdam.

5. ‘Between the three of us, we have 5 legs, 4 eyes, 2 1/2 pairs of working lungs.’ – Gus to Issac’s ex-gf’s mother when all three attacked her car.

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The Reason For This Sermon:

Love is beautiful; the greatest weapon of all as most say. Many say we only experience it once, others say some never get to experience true love in their life time. Watching movies like this (A Walk to Remember, Me Before You, etc.) breaks me, and I’m caught between the thoughts of if I ever want to experience true love or I’ll like to continue in ignorance to the bliss and pain such a love can cause. I’d like to know what you think.

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If you loved The Fault In Our Stars, I’d love to know, why. If it made you cry, I’ll also love to know. Drop your comments below.

Rinzy Reviews: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Release date: November 18, 2016
Production Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Box Office: $812.2m
Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5

 

J.K. Rowling takes us back into the wizarding world of Harry Potter in this wonderful installment made to exist independently and perfectly. This movie details events that happened roughly seventy years before the first Harry Potter movie; roughly in the 1920s.
I present to you, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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The movie starts by giving us a tiny glimpse into what the main antagonist has been doing behind the scene. After this, it doesn’t take long to show us his face, only that it isn’t his real face. More on this later…

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Many things change, and if you were a big addict of the original Harry Potter series you’ll need to keep an open mind to unlearn a bit of what you already know. I introduce to you, your new hero, Newt Scamander – British Wizard who on his way to Europe momentarily stops at New York.

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Newt Scamander works for the Department of Magic. He’s a Magizoologist, and loves magical creatures, and is writing a book about them.

Scamander, or better, Newt, has his travel plans altered when his suitcase is accidentally swapped by a No-Maj cannery worker and aspiring baker Jacob Kowalski (A No-Maj is the American address for a non magical born person, just like Muggle-born is for the British) who was hoping to make positive meaning of his life. The suitcase is no ordinary suitcase, it is a magical housing for fantastic creatures, or beasts just like the title suggests. 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, with the hope that it’ll help her regain her former position. This trio form the heroes band required to solve the problem of the day.

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The main plot of the movie though confusing at the beginning became clearer towards the middle, and by a second viewing made perfect sense. I blame my poor following on being too eager to return to the fantastic world of J.K. Rowling.

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One of the things that makes this movie super-interesting is its subtle ability of borrowing ideas that made the original Harry Potter movies work, such as having a non-magic born (James) effortlessly contribute to the story-line just like Hermione did, and yet, still existing perfectly away from the Harry Potter movies shadow.

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Another thing I like about FBAWTFT are the villains; primary, secondary, and tertiary, all categories of villains made sense to me and they worked wonders to furthering the story-line. Though at this point, I know main villain of this new movie series, Gellert Grindelwald is no Lord Voldermort, I am almost certain he’ll bring his own form of beauty to the movie series, thanks to J.K.’s powerful imagination and actor, Johnny Depp’s future portrayal. Secondary villain, 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 is a welcome addition to the movie. At first, the plot concerning her and the children of the orphanage seemed confusing at first – her beating a particular child (Credence Bareborn) inhumanely, her going about campaigning against the unacknowledged threat the magic born held for the larger public, and her fondness for a particular girl-child in her foster care; all these started to make sense when Director of Magical Security, Percival Graves became involved and sought to connect the separate plots together. An Obscurus (a dark, destructive parasite that develops inside magically gifted children if they suppress their magical abilities) becomes the main focus of the story as everyone sets out to find and subdue the entity causing mass destruction that risks exposing the Wizarding community to the No-Majs.

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At a point Newt is accused by Percival Graves of bringing in magical creatures which are illegal in the USA. This is because Percival wants to take away the MACUSA’s attention from the fact that an Obscurus is what’s causing the disruption of peace all around New York. Percival does this for selfish reason which is revealed to be that he isn’t actually Percival Graves but evil Wizard, Gellert Grindelwald. He’s almost swiftly apprehended thanks to the effort of Newt and one of his fantastic beast. It is obvious he will escape soon. As the primary antagonist, Grindelwald feels more human than Voldemort; his reason for going rogue is that MACUSA protects the No-Majs more than they do fellow Wizards; time will tell how well this will be explored.

I liked that Percival Graves was used as a tertiary villain but later shown to be the big-bad of the series in an undercover mission.

Primary movie villain, Credence, is shown to be as confused as someone under doubt of his/her true sexuality; Ezra Millar clearly brought out the vulnerability and pain of this troubled villain to the forefront; sadly his character was apparently killed, and may not be returning for further installments especially if his presence doesn’t further future story-lines.

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In one of my best scenes of the movie, Thunderbird – whom I thought from the trailer would have a prominent role in the movie gets screen-time to shine.

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Thunderbird steals the attention as the most awesome looking beast without a sweat.

Thunderbird users her spectacular power to facilitate the quick obliteration if every No-Maj’s memory who had witnessed the destruction caused by Credence as the Obscurus. Hopefully Thunderbird gets more screen-time to shine. Thunderbird’s act proves to MACUSA what Newt had been trying to say all along – magical creatures are good, and can be a force for good if nurtured right.

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OVERVIEW
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a very interesting movie, and one which leans very much to the extensive mythology as created by J.K. Rowling. The movie validates Rowling’s announcement that it is the first of a larger story that’ll be told through five installments, it also lends credence to its name: a lot of beasts (creatures) were on display. With the second installment scheduled for 2018, I can’t wait to watch.

 

Have you watched the movie yet? Tell me what you think in the comment box below.

BBM: C004AA0E2. Twitter: @RinzyReviews. FB: Rinzy Reviews.