Screened Out – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

By : Stephen Miller
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Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Jon Voight

Really, it should be called Fantastic Bits and Where to Find Them. They’re here – the magical moments Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has always provided – spread throughout this, her first direct-to-film writing. However, her many, many, many ideas would really wow us if they strongly connected to each other.

You do have Newt Scamader (Redmayne), bringing his case of magical creatures into 1920s New York. For Potter fans – and I fully admit I’m one of them – this is wondrous stuff. Because we remember Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the famous textbook Harry Potter uses under Hagrid’s tutelage. We’ve heard of Newt before, but we didn’t know his back-story.

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Screened Out – The Lobster

By : Stephen Miller
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Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly

NOTE: The Lobster was supposed to open Memorial Day weekend in Orlando; it has been postponed. It will open in Tampa.

This water is so tepid in this inscrutable art flick that The Lobster never boils.

This high-concept existential piece about coupling and romance has won a lot of awards, including top prizes at the Cannes Film Fest. Though the extraordinarily weird world is intriguing, I sincerely felt the film was missing wit and speed. Instead, The Lobster is extremely ponderous and unfunny, and everyone talks and acts as if they’re in junior high and hooked on barbiturates.

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Screened Out – Saving Mr. Banks

By : Stephen Miller
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Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman

It was the momentous meeting of two magical personalities Walt Disney and Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers. He’d already changed the face of family entertainment forever, and he wanted to add her beloved children’s book to his pantheon of movie successes. He’d courted her for 18 years; she always said no. Then they met in 1961, and she said yes.

It took a fortnight of convincing, but she gave permission, and Disney made one of the most revered family films of all times, a winner of five Academy Awards.

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