I saw Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and I have some thoughts

Hi everyone! Originally, I was going to make this post about my favorites of 2018 but I ended up seeing the newest movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise tonight. In my previous post about having “too much story,” I admitted that I was hesitant about this movie and if it was messing with the original lore too much. You all know that I am a die hard Harry Potter fan, who also enjoyed the first Fantastic Beasts movie. Let me tell you what I thought. Spoilers Ahead!

I wanted to start by talking about the thing I liked about this movie. First, I loved seeing Newt again. I really enjoy his atypical characteristics. Eddie Redmayne is charming as anything and it comes through again. In addition to Newt, I also enjoyed seeing him and Jacob back together for adventures. I can’t go any further without mentioning how I loved seeing Newt and Tina together. (I really ship it.) As for the story, I did enjoy seeing the lore of Grindelwald come to life as that was a very important part of what led to Voldemort’s rise to power. Along with that, seeing Dumbledore before in his teacher days was one of the best parts of the movies. There was some really good world building and great character development. I can’t completely say the movie didn’t have some great elements. 

Let’s get to what I didn’t like. First, I’m still not happy about Johnny Depp being casted. He did a fine job in the movie but they should have replaced him with someone less controversial. I shouldn’t feel guilty supporting this movie. There was definitely some muddling of the lore that seemed to appear out of nowhere and with no preface. With the reveal of Credence possibly being a Dumbledore and not a Lestrange, I found myself a bit baffled. I know it’s mostly for sequel bait but it’s still a weird reveal. Along with the whole familial confusion, there was also infanticide! I was not expecting to see babies being murdered and I was disturbed as any other person should be. My biggest gripe, beyond all of that, is that there were not enough beasts in the movie. I wanted to know if Newt had made any progress in helping people learn to understand magical beasts but that was completely thrown away for the Grindelwald plot. The actual beasts are what drove the first movie and I really enjoyed seeing all of that. The charm of the first movie just got lost in this one. Only Newt, Tina, and Jacob were the driving forces of what made the first movie so enjoyable. 

In conclusion, I don’t think this movie gave “too much” story. Instead, I thought it told the wrong story. It wasn’t a badly written story by any means. It was just too much of a turn from what the first movie delivered. The plot twists felt as though they were mostly there for shock and sequel bait as opposed to story building. Now, I am aware that this is JK Rowling’s world and she can do whatever she wants with it. There, however, has to be some consistency. I understand we can’t know everything about the Wizarding World. I am just saying, though, that the world building felt lost in the epic-ness of the movie. I’m not hating on this movie by any means. I would definitely watch it again. I’m just intrigued as to where the story is going to go from here. 

Thoughts I have had while re-reading Harry Potter

Hi everyone! I am still without a new book to read but I have filled that void with Harry Potter. I’m currently on book five and I’m about midway through. Even though I have read this series countless times, my thoughts have changed as I have gotten older. In this post, I’m just going to give you a list of thoughts I have had while re-reading this series.

  • Why did they leave baby Harry on a doorstop all night? Why couldn’t they have waited closer to morning before leaving him?
  • How can these two grown adults be so awful to their own nephew for things he doesn’t know yet?
  • Hagrid is actually the best character in these books.
  • Ron’s snarky comments are actually bits of foreshadowing.
  • Hermione is too nice. If my friends kept asking to copy off my homework, I would have snapped at them by now.
  • The Weasley twins threw snowballs straight at Voldemort like true legends.
  • Literally, how can anyone justify Snape’s behavior?
  • Everyone keeps punishing Harry for things he doesn’t even know about!!!
  • I’m sad Winky the house elf wasn’t in the movie.
  • Everyone keeps roasting Hufflepuff and it is hilarious. (No offense to the Hufflepuffs)
  • I’m convinced that Dumbledore hires the Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers mostly for his own amusement.
  • Does Draco have nothing better to do than to harass the Gryffindors?
  • McGonagall is a badass and I will fight whoever says otherwise.
  • Remember when Dumbledore calmly asked Harry if he put his name in the Goblet of Fire?
  • “We’ve done everything we can to make the TriWizard Tournament safer for the students!” *puts even more students in danger in the second task*
  • SIRIUS BLACK DESERVED BETTER!!!
  • All of this food sounds delicious. I would kill for a pumpkin pasty right now.
  • Oh shit, it’s Umbridge.
  • It’s comforting to know that even wizards have to put up with bullshit politics.
  • DOBBY DESERVED BETTER!!
  • Harry is an innocent soul who just wants to chat with snakes and play Quidditch.
  • The sass in these books is giving me life.
  • Voldemort is so dramatic. He just has to monologue.
  • I’m still sad Peeves wasn’t in the movies.
  • How about we give Neville a break?
  • Honestly, Harry and Ron making up nonsense for their homework is the most  realistic part of these books.
  • Hermione, do not get upset that exams are cancelled! Do you know how many people would kill for that?
  • They’re just kids, for god’s sake!!
  • These kids are in danger!! Let’s surround them with soul-sucking monsters!! – stupid adults
  • Yeah, I still want to go to Hogwarts.

I’ll keep you updated as I finish the series. Let me know what thoughts you have had about Harry Potter or if you agree with me.

Current Favorites: Podcasts Edition (Part 2)

Hi everyone! I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. Therefore,  I decided to do another blog more of the podcasts I’ve discovered. Personally, I like to listen to podcasts while I’m working and I’m sure some of you like to do the same. Here are some suggestions if you’re looking for a new podcast or two to enjoy.

Alice Isn’t Dead – From the creators of Welcome to Night Vale, “Alice Isn’t Dead” follows the journey of our unnamed narrator as she decides to become a truck driver in order to find her wife Alice, who she once presumed to be dead. If you’re looking for a perfectly twisted and weird serial then this podcast is for you. I really enjoy this one, as I am a mystery junkie. You don’t have to be a fan of Night Vale in order to enjoy this series but it definitely holds up to the same level of weirdness if that’s what you’re looking for.

Alice Isn't Dead

Crime in Sports – Are you a sports fan? Well I’m not but this one definitely peaked my interest. Created by the same hosts as “Small Town Murder,” this podcasts explores the lives of athletes from various sports who fell from grace so hard that it’s mind boggling. You don’t need to know anything about sports in order to enjoy this podcast but, if you do have sports background, then this podcast is definitely for you.

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Harry Potter and the Sacred Text – I had to include a Harry Potter related podcast on this list and this is the one that appeals to my inner English Major. Join Vanessa and Casper as they delve into the series and analyze it chapter by chapter. This podcast provides a meaningful and thoughtful conversation about the magical books we all know and love.

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Spirits – It’s time for some boozy talk about mythology, legends, and folk lore. For you fans of all things paranormal, supernatural, and alcoholic, then I recommend this podcast. It’s fairly light-hearted but still informative. Grab some wine and sit back as your hosts discuss legends from all over the world.

spirits

Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know – Get your tin foil hats ready before you listen to this podcasts that explores the strangest and most interesting conspiracies. Whether it’s a government cover up, alien invasion, or questionable death, this podcast covers it all. You might be just a little more paranoid after listening to one of these episodes but, I guarantee, you will be fascinated the entire time.

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That’s my part two. There are some more podcasts coming out in spring that I’m looking forward to that I might do individual reviews on. In the meanwhile, let me know if there’s any podcasts you enjoy that I might not know about or if you like any of these ones.

 

 

 

The Harry Potter Spells Tag/Challenge

I’m back at it again with another book tag but I realized I hadn’t done a Harry Potter related one yet. I found this one on @becomingbookish  so check it out if you want. Other than that, enjoy this tag and feel free to participate in these tags too.

Expecto Patronum – A book associated with good childhood memories

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Well, obviously I have strong ties towards the Harry Potter series but I also loved A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’engle and The Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funk

Expelliarmus – A book that book you by surprise

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I had to read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini for my World Lit class last semester and I ended up loving it. I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a powerful story.

Prior Incantato – the last book you read

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The last book I read was The Shining by Stephen King. I haven’t finished it yet but I’m working on it.

Alohamora – A book that introduced you to a genre you hadn’t considered

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I used to be an avid Mortal Instruments fan and, though I don’t read it anymore, it introduced me to urban fantasy.

Riddikulus – the funniest book you read

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The Martian by Andy Weir is pretty hilarious. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett is also a really funny read.

Sonorus – A book that everybody should know about

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I absolutely recommend American Gods by Neil Gaiman and The Secret History by Donna Tartt to just about everybody.

Obliviate – A book spoiler you would like to forget having read

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I skipped to the end of Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent series, because I was frustrated with the book then I was pissed at the ending and just gave up reading it.

Imperio – A book you had to read for school

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I’ve read a bunch of books for school so I’m going to say my favorites have been Dracula, The Great Gatsby, Brick Lane, and Fahrenheit 451. 

Crucio – A book that was painful to read

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The Book Thief hurt like hell but was still a great book. Also, The Mark of Athena hurt my feels.

Avada Kedavera – A book that you would kill

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Allegiant, Ender’s Game, The Lovely Bones, and The Gold Coast can suck it for all I care.

 

That’s the end of this book tag. I hope you enjoy this one too.

After All This Time?

Since it is the twentieth anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone, depending on your country), I decided I wanted to write a little personal essay on why Harry Potter and JK Rowling mean so much to me and many others. Like many others, it is the foundation for my love of books and has inspired my writing in many ways. I felt it was a perfect time to give a little ode to The Boy Who Lived.

The first time I became interested in the series was when I was just about to turn six. The television was on in my living room and a preview caught my eye. It was a preview for the second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I turned to my mom and told her I wanted to see that movie. I knew nothing about it but I was intrigued by the flying Ford Anglia. My mom told me I had to read the book first before I saw the movie. Happily, I obliged because I was a weird kid who loved the thought of being able to read a book on my own. At first, my mom would read me the book but I became increasingly frustrated because I felt I could do a better job with all of the pronunciations of the spells and names. I snatched The Sorcerer’s Stone from her hands and she let me continue on my own way.

Soon, the books and movies began to pick up traction in mainstream pop culture. My parents found themselves sucked into a series that they once disregarded as just another kid’s book. My sister was a little late to catch on but now we get into arguments over the content of the books and certain characters. I attended a Harry Potter-themed camp as my first Girl Scout camp. I got a Harry Potter doll and a toy obstacle course of sorts that allowed you to “levitate” a ball through a series of hoops. (It wasn’t a Quidditch toy but some of you out there might know what I’m talking about.) I went to midnight book releases and movie premiers. I dressed as Hermione for Halloween three years in a row, teasing my hair out to exaggerate my already frizzy curls. About two years ago, I went to the Harry Potter theme park in Universal. Since I was just a small child, the Harry Potter series has been my constant literary companion. Looking back at it now, it is easy to see why.

I distinctly remember my elementary school library consisting of series such as Goosebumps and The Babysitters’ Club. While I don’t mean to insult these books since they are a main part of many childhoods, I just remember not finding them interesting at all. Before JK Rowling came along, most children’s literature and YA books were written to be approved by adults. Magic was reserved for bedtime stories. Rowling, however, decided that magic should be for everyone. The series was not written to condescend to children about problems with growing up but to show sympathy and encouragement while struggling with life. It doesn’t pit children against adults, or use the “Listen to the Adults” trope, but shows how their is not simply good or evil but people with different motivations. This is how Rowling set herself apart from other children’s authors in a revolutionary kind of way.

JK Rowling herself is also a major part of why the series is still just as loved today. She stays in touch with fans on social media, isn’t afraid to expand her stories and answer questions, and she is honest about her life. To this very day, she is still hands on with her stories and is in control of the movies as well. The cast of the movies are still in touch and have mini reunions that make my heart flutter whenever I see them reference the movies. This unique network of writers and actors help to keep the hype alive. With the success of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it doesn’t look the Harry Potter craze is going to fade out any time soon.

I can’t help but smile when I see new Harry Potter merchandise come out or hear it referenced in another show or movie. I still feel giddy whenever the first few notes of Hedwig’s Theme plays. I own several wands and have a Ravenclaw phone case. I cherish my well loved copies that have sat in the same spot on my bookshelf for as long as I can remember. I still play Harry Potter trivia. I can not properly express how I love the strange bond between “Potterheads,” as the fans have been dubbed.

It’s hard to imagine a life without Harry Potter. I hope it continues to inspire future generations in the same way it inspired my generation.