Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) Movie Review

Eddie Redmayne stars as klutzy magizoologist Newt Scamander, the author of the future guide of magical creatures that exist in this world and, of course, where they may be found. Set mostly in New York City in 1926, we find those who can work magic living in a world where the No-Majs, aka, those who have no powers to speak of, are kept in the dark to all of the fantastic things going on around them due to spells of ‘obliviation’, which erases their memories of them.

Scamander arrives in New York with a magical suitcase chock full of his magical creatures, highly illegal to possess in these parts, with the intention of releasing one of the most magnificent among them, a Thunderbird, in the wilds of Arizona. However, in a mishap, that suitcase is swapped with one belonging to a struggling No-Maj factory worker and baker named Jacob Kowalski, who ignorantly ends up releasing a bunch of the forbidden creatures out into the public. In this environment, the wizards have their own factions and the No-Majs have an upstart group known of more zealous elements bent on weeding them out, though there is a struggle for power even within those ranks with people forging forward with their own agendas for wanting to expose the secret society of magic existing within the city.

Moana (2016) Disney; Dwayne Johnson – Movie Reviews

Moana is the chief’s daughter within her tribe on the New Zealand island of Motunui. Unlike most girls in her Maori village, she is destined to be the chief of her tribe herself one day, pushing them to further greatness in that insular community. Traveling beyond their surrounding reef is forbidden, but a lack of fish and disease in the plant life caused by a curse has Moana exercising her leadership skills by beyond the horizon to find enough food for all of them. In order to reverse the curse, her grand ocean quest is to find the source of their woes by enlisting the services of a Maui , a shape-shifter demigod who must return a long-lost magical emerald stone he once stole that changed the world for the worse.

Arrival (2016) Amy Adams – Movie Reviews – Sci-Fi

After twelve alien spacecraft have descended to various spots across Earth, American Amy Adams stars as Dr. Louise Banks, a linguistics professor who is visited by representatives from the U.S. Army to try to decipher the alien language heard on a recording of their “voices”. Unable to process the language without being there in person, she is soon part of a team of scientists who enter one of the spacecraft above Montana in order to speak to the Heptapods (as the squid-like aliens come to be known due to their seven perceptible limbs) directly, on the hope that she can glean enough from their conversation of ink-symbols to figure out just why they’ve come to our planet before the military in other countries the aliens have descended upon get jittery and determine the best course of action is to obliterate them before they do it to us.

Doctor Strange (2016) Benedict Cumberbatch – Movie Reviews

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as New York-based neurosurgeon, Dr. Stephen Strange, a big shot at his profession with as big an ego to flaunt, a level of cocky, self-satisfied smarm not too dissimilar to Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Iron Man films. His job is, literally, in his hands, until a car accident occurs that leaves him without much use of them for surgery purposes, causing him to go into an emotional and psychological tailspin if he cannot figure out a solution. Western medicine has no answers, so he seeks alternate ways, and that leads toward a rumored miracle breakthrough that takes him to Kathmandu, Nepal, where he connects with a monastic order of master magicians led by the powerful mystic, the Ancient One (Swinton), who proceeds to open Strange’s mind to powers within him that are far greater than the mere physical. However, a wayward former student of the Ancient One has gone against their teachings and has removed pages from one of the most sacred of the magical library’s many tomes, one that taps into the Dark Dimension that may bring to Earth dangerous forces that even the most powerful sorcerers on the planet can’t thwart.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016) Mel Gibson – Movie Reviews

Mel Gibson’s film loosely showcases the true story of small-town Virginia resident Desmond Doss and his heroic actions as an American soldier fighting in the Pacific against the Japanese forces during the waning days of World War II. Doss, a devout Seventh Day Adventist and believer in pacifism, enlisted into the Armed Forces because he believed in the fight, even though he wished to help out without the need for killing the enemy on the other side, trying to go through basic training retaining his unwavering beliefs to help his fellow man and his country by becoming an unarmed medic.