Saturday, January 7, 2017

Best of '16: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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-Mr. Scamander, do you know anything about the wizarding community in America?
-I do know a few things, actually. I know you have rather backwards laws about relations with non-magic people. That you're not meant to befriend them, that you can't marry them, which seems mildly absurd to me.

At long last! It is time for the annual return to blog-life for a recap of the year in film and countdown to my favorite night of entertainment self-congratulation: The Oscars! Without further ado, I present the twenty or so films that qualify for my prestigious label of "Best of '16":

The first Harry Potter film came out in 2001. I had not read the books, but I am a sucker for just about any film that comes prepackaged with the amount of fanaticism that requires midnight showings and cosplay at the theater. I was underwhelmed, but I kept coming back over and over. I really enjoyed Goblet of Fire, but fell asleep during Half-Blood Prince. I rediscovered the series when Abby wanted them read as bed-time stories, and although I'm still not a huge fan, I still appreciate Rowling's fantastic world. 

With that in mind, it only took fifteen years for the franchise to release a truly exceptional movie. That's right, Fantastic Beasts is easily the best film set in the Wizarding World. Maybe it is because Rowling wasn't bound to fan expectation, but nearly every aspect of this film is superior to the Potter stories. I look forward to what these characters and this corner of Rowling's universe have in store for us next.

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