Midnight Movies: A Musical Spectacle, Entertaining Action, and Fantastic Beasts.

As the countdown to Christmas loomed over the world, the day itself flew by. Now, we enter that stage of recovery as the merriment turns into content leading to the New Year. With that, it’s safe to say that many of us take the time to watch a slew of films that have long been on the backlist. Here is what I’ve been watching.

The Greatest Showman

I know what you’re thinking, how can someone go so long without watching this showstopper of a film. Truth be told, the soundtrack was good enough on its own and knowing the history of the real PT Barnum, I was reluctant to watch it. Now, I will admit I enjoyed the film. The musical productions were phenomenal and the cast gave a compelling performance. However, the story was weak and lacked the depth it needed to make people really invest in the story. It is clear that the film relies on its musical productions to carry the film, instead of bringing the depth needed to the topics it attempts to explore. The balancing act between the music and the multiple plot threads was poorly executed and while there is a wonder to the spectacle of the film, it’s failed to leave a lasting impression.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Admittedly, this was never one that I paid attention to. Then it popped up on my Netflix feed and thought what the hell. In the end, Jumanji turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Many will surely compare this remake to the original, and it must be said that it held its own as the all-star cast bolstered the entertainment value with their brilliant comedic timing in this lighthearted adventure.

Fantastic Beast: Crimes of Grindelwald

It is known that I’m not a massive follower of the Potter universe, but I was impressed with the first instalment of this latest spin-off. Naturally, fans all over the world looked for those connections to the Potter series, but many have noted that those cameos and features are often contradictory. Nevertheless, Crimes of Grindelwald sought to build the narrative of this looming conflict between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, establishing the history between them and providing some insight into the dynamic between Dumbledore and Scamander. While the beasts took centre stage in the first instalment of this franchise, they find themselves as the supporting characters to this conflict in the wizarding world. The problem with Crimes of Grindelwald is that it tries to pack so much into one film, leaving a lot to be desired from some plot lines. This is no more evident in the introduction of Newt’s former love, Leta Lestrange. The casting of Zoe Kravitz was brilliant and she did the best she could with the material she was given. Her story and connection to both Newt and Credence could have easily been one of the most compelling arcs of the film but amidst the influence and establishment of the larger conflict, the execution of her arc fell flat. There is potential in this franchise, but for it to succeed, there needs to be a cohesive structure to the narrative.

Tomb Raider

Yet another unnecessary reboot of a beloved franchise, Tomb Raider takes us back into the world of Lara Croft. Vikander’s Croft was easily the most compelling character in the film as the search into her father’s apparent death takes her on a dangerous and deadly adventure. Unfortunately, the plot structure offers nothing new to the genre, and the supporting characters are simply one-dimensional enemies or allies to Croft. The action sequences were fun to watch and Vikander more than proved capable of carrying this role, but the rest of the film was generic, sticking to the same formula with hardly the same amount of depth.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas.
What have you been watching?
Did you enjoy any of these films?

8 thoughts on “Midnight Movies: A Musical Spectacle, Entertaining Action, and Fantastic Beasts.

  1. I have to agree on The Greatest Showman. It definitely lacks depth, which is a shame, because there was a lot of potential there and the musical numbers are produced really well. I have a couple friends who do work in the musical theatre and they loved it though. I felt like a bit of an outcast, because I didn’t adore it as much haha
    I also quite like the new Jumanji and I say that as a huge fan of the original version. I just try to not compare the two, because as you said, it has great entertainment value.
    I also feel you on Fantastic Beasts and Lara Croft, although, as much as I love Vikander, she just didn’t feel like Lara to me. She did great in her action sequences and everything, but somehow it just didn’t feel right to me. Can’t really explain it better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • From a musical perspective, it was great. The performances were brilliant and all that, but the storytelling was such a disappointment. Glad I’m not the only one that wasn’t as blown away by it.

      The original is an absolute classic and my friend kept telling me that the new one paled in comparison, but they held their own, which is what I was hoping for. I wanted them to make it their own instead of trying to be like the original.

      There was no emotional connection with Lara Croft. It all felt so generic and it’s like we’re just going through the motions with that film.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yeah, the original Jumanji is just a whole thing on its own. It’s like when they tried to recreate the magic with Zathura and failed, because they weren’t original enough with their ideas for it. The new Jumanji is so different and only takes on the spirit of the game that it’s really fun to watch.

        Like

    • They were definitely too ambitious in packing everything into one film. Hopefully, the next one will tighten things up. Jumanji is such a fun film to watch.

      Like

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