I’ve Seen Things

I went to the theaters three times this week. Saw three different movies and ate half of a box of Hot Tamales.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 

Academy darling Eddie Redmayne stars in this movie adapted from J.K. Rowlings’ work. A fantastic idea with lots of extrapolation of earlier ideas presented, this is a popcorn movie. The Harry Potter world expands into America and adulthood. There is light love, light comedy, light suspense and expected resolution. It’s a visual movie, and in my experience, movies dependent on visuals play longer.

Which it did.

Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 74. I put the assessment a little higher: 79.


Amy Adams is the star of ‘Arrival’. Again, we experience many ideas previously presented but with a few interesting twists of quantum mechanics and human biology. Like Somewhere In Time‘ (Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour, 1980) this movie delivers more questions than answers. It’s a fun exercise and experience. I do feel that Jeremy Renner, an actor whose work I enjoy, is under-utilized, and the ads stating that Amy Adams is a linguist leading a team seems a little misleading, as she does most of the solving. There is rarely a sense of teamwork. It’s more about her hunt for the solution and how it fits into her personal grief.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it at 94 but I assess it at 90.


Barry Jenkins is the writer and director behind this movie. Brutal and human, depicting humanities’ complexities, fragility and strength, this is more like a play in three acts. I enjoyed the acting, directing and writing. There are gaps; nothing is cleanly explained, and pain and love is endured, much like most of our messy lives. I prefer fiction where full explanations aren’t given.

The RT rating is  98, and I agree.

Coming Attractions offers many interesting choices.

  • ‘La La Land’ has a slightly different look but my exposure limits impressions. With its cast of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and its release date, there are Oscar nomination expectations. My wife wants to see it. I’m not overly drawn to it but I’ll give it a go.
  • ‘Passengers’, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, has already been heavily panned. I can see why. It seems like a neat idea that was rendered shallow and specious. That’s my impression. That’s a bummer.
  • ‘Fences’ looks quite powerful and employs several favorite actors. It’s getting some excellent reviews. The trailers (or are they previews) had me grimacing with pain and sympathy. I’ll probably seek it out when it hits town.
  • ‘Manchester by the Sea’ has already arrived in theaters. It has received good reviews, there’s some Oscar talk, and friends like it. We plan to see it tomorrow.
  • Of others offered, ‘A Monster Calls’ calls to me. The novel on which it’s based and its back story offer their own compelling reasons for seeking this movie. Featuring a child who doesn’t fit, experiences grief and depends upon his imagination for assistance in coping with life, I’ll be on the look out for it.

One movie that wasn’t presented but I know is coming is another ‘Blade Runner’ movie. You know I’m getting ready for it.





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