Deborah and I went to the $5 (on Tuesdays) movie theater today and saw "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," a screenplay co-penned by J.K. Rowling and a "ghost writer" (hahaha) named Newt Scamander, who is also a character in the story, which takes place in the Harry Potter universe, though it is unrelated to (and pre-dates) that storyline, and I do apologize for this run on sentence.
In short, great film. See it. You won't be disappointed. Short sentences here to compensate for the run on above. Fair?
In full disclosure, Deborah and I were a bit drowsy during some of the movie, but this was entirely due to the moderately intense 90 minute gym workout we did before going to the theater and not because of a lethargic story line (perhaps a tiny bit due to the comfy recliner chairs in the theater too...). The movie was fairly action packed from start to finish. The special effects were superb. The plot made sense, and there was even a moral to the story (essentially, don't be a dick, especially to magical creatures and emotionally fragile youths). The assorted fantastic creatures in the film were entertaining.
The only criticism I have is a general one that I apply to all the HP films I have seen, and that is that the Magical authorities always seem quick to sentence the good guys to premature death for seemingly minor infractions of the Wizarding rule book.
I had been hesitant to see the film because - and I am quite chagrined to admit this - I am one of the few Muggles on the planet who has neither read all the HP books nor seen all the movies. But there was nothing to worry about. The storyline appeared to be unrelated to the HP one, though it's possible I missed an easter egg or two that may or may not have been in this movie. I leave that assessment to the experts, and I'd be none the wiser in any case.
In conclusion, we made a good movie selection for once. I would like to see the movie "Hidden Figures," based on a true story at some point. "Passengers" looks good on paper, but got rotten reviews. I am a stickler for the Laws of Physics when it comes to sci fi films and it always bothers me when said laws are violated in favor of Hollywood thrills. The nice thing about a movie like "Fantastic Creatures..." is that you go into it knowing that it's fantasy and that magic does not have to adhere to science, so they can do all kinds of crazy stuff and my mind can partition that just fine. But beyond that, you can't ignore things like gravity and lack of atmosphere.