Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Movie Review: Searching (2018)

Posted: January 27, 2019 in Drama
Tags: ,

searching

David Kim (John Cho) tries to keep close tabs on his 16 year old daughter, Margot (Michelle La) with instant messages and facetime chats. Something happens to their family that makes David even more overprotective. He becomes worried when she doesn’t return his calls, and is sleeping when Margot finally does return his his call. David returns her call, but Margot never calls him back. David waits a while, and calls the police to report Margot missing.

Detective Vick (Debra Messing) agrees to take the case, and immediately starts to track Margot’s movements, even as David retraces her online footprint, what he finds makes Margot seem like a different person, and that gives Detective Vick an idea, and she thinks she knows what happened to Margot, does David buy into that theory, or does he keep searching?
Let’s begin with what Searching does well. It accurately portrays the anxiety of all parents when they see their children growing up and establishing their own identities. It also demonstrates that teenagers can be very secretive about their identities when they choose to, and how the internet can help teens hide or alter their identities if they choose. It also illustrates the hypocrisy of social media when Margot’s case becomes a cause celebre.

But there are things that are never clear in this film, why is Margot never shown at home with David? Margot is always shown online or elsewhere, is she camping, is she studying with a friend, is she playing piano? One simple montage with her dad would have solved this issue , but that would ruin the gimmick. That gimmick also ruins the narrative. A lot of the other issues with the script have to do with the David character. David starts the film as logical and reasonable, as the film continues David’s actions become less rational and the writers overdo that. David starts out the film as a helicopter parent, checking Margot’s every move, but then at crucial points he is strangely inattentive. Then there are the endings, it’s like the writers are saying pick one, we can’t decide, none of the endings were very good, even the one the writers finally decide on. Fake endings never help a film. Neither does product placement, there is a ton of it here, and it’s distracting.

The acting is very good, and probably saves this movie from being another run of the mill film. John Cho, known mostly for his Harold and Kumar stoner films turns in a surprisingly intense performance as a harried father desperately looking fir his daughter, the script can be blamed the excesses of the character, but Cho’s acting is solid. Debra Messing, another person known primarily for her comedic performances, turns in a powerful dramatic performance as a police detective with her own motivations to pursue this case.
The direction is gimmicky, but attention grabbing, but limited. The visual style forces the viewer into a certain point of view, but it also limits the narrative, by forcing only that visual perspective. This is the director’s first major release, so as long as this kind of technique doesn’t become a trademark pf his, it’s fine. The pacing is good, the performances are good, overall a good job of directing.

Searching: Yahoo! Finally a decent techie movie!

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mrs maisel season 2

Episode 1: Simone
Midge is working at B. Altman and planning more standup appearances, when she takes an unexpected trip with her father, Abe. Susie takes something of an unexpected trip to the Rockaways. With time to think Midge mulls her future with Joel. What happens on the trip? What is Midge’s decision about Joel?
Viewers sometimes have to suspend reality during sci-fi movies or shows, but viewers shouldn’t have to suspend reality in a comedy, but viewers will. I’m sure the writer did this to grab viewers’ attention, and it works, but it’s not necessary. Some of the scenes seem forced , and some of the dr drama is definitely forced. The saving grace is the episode that it is funny, very funny.

The cast is fantastic, comedic timing cannot be taught, and this cast’s timing is superb. Rachel Broshnahan is perfect as the fast talking, quick witted Midge. The drama didn’t seem as authentic in this episode as in the first year, but I will give her time. Alex Bornstein from Family Guy plays Midge’s street smart agent perfectly. Tony Shaloub is also perfect as Abe, Midge’s perpetually cranky father, Abe. These three carry the show and are very funny. Marin Hinkle handles her expanded role as Midge’s mother Rose well.

The direction seems visually flashier and more daring, maybe they have more of a budget in year 2 than they did in year 1.

Episode 2: Midway To Mid-town
Abe gets comfortable in his new surroundings, up to a point. Midge gets her first big paying gig, but keeps getting bumped in the order by male comedians, what does Midge do when she gets her chance? Joel takes control of his dad’s garment district business. He likes the feeling of power so much, he tries to exercise some control over Midge. How does she react?

The writing in this episode is inconsistent. It shows one woman emancipating herself and another woman whose dreams are slowly being crushed. It also seems that the writers are trying to soften Joel’s rough edges, make him less of a jerk. The jury is still out on that. This episode has more drama with some comedy, but it’s also less forced and more natural than the first episode.

Episode 3: The Punishment Room
Midge gets promoted to the coat room at B. Altman, and agrees to plan a friend’s wedding reception. Rose audits some art classes and gets in trouble with the professor. Joel tries to get a loan for his parents and goes on a treasure hunt.

The writing is funny, the performances are good, but there are specific things about the writing that trouble me. The stereotypical Italian family is no funnier now than it was in the 50’s. Also every comedian has a filter, they all know when to turn it off and on, also there are still two types of women, one who has to walk on eggshells and get their husbands to bail them out of trouble. Also Midge is asked by her agent to do something that a male comedian would never have to do. Also there are some tied sitcom tropes. Overall, still a good show.

Episode 4: We’re Going To The Catskills
Midge and her parents go to the Catskills for a month on vacation. People are talking about Midge and Joel’s separation. Joel is lonely, Abe is drunk. Rose is determined to get Midge something, Susie is determined to get Midge something different.

This episode is more of a serious episode. Again, not really sure what this season is trying to say about women, but a couple of things concerned me.

Episode 5: Midnight At The Concord
Joel’s parents show up at the Catskills, and Abe can’t spend another year with Joel’s dad, Moishe. Susie is still hanging around the Catskills, pretending to be a plumber. Midge hears something that makes her want to go back to New York City, but how will she get there?

I found out what’s bugging me about this season, it’s one thing to write as if the show is set in the 50’s, but they shouldn’t use the same plot devices as writers use in the 1950’s. The writers also use rom com plot devices, which is a bad sign. The show is still funny including an extremely funny exchange between Kevin Pollack and Tony Shalhoub, but the writers must avoid the pitfalls of easy answers, and pat situations. I predicted the ending of this episode, that’s not a good sign.

Episode 6: Let’s Face The Music and Dance
Abe is alternately angry, happy, and angry again as events unfold around him. Susie is suddenly the most popular person at the Catskills resort. Rose suddenly becomes close to her daughter in law Astrid (Justine Lupe) to find out more about her son Noah’s (Will Brill) profession.

Kevin Pollack and Tony Shaloub are again very funny in this episode. Justine Lupe is also very funny but she plays into a negative stereotype about women’s ability to keep secrets, The writers made Susie excessively harsh in this episode for no apparent reason. And the writers insist on following this silly rom com path for the show that only makes the show more predictable.

Episode 7: Look She Made A Hat
Midge visit an art gallery with Benjamin (Zachery Levi) a friend from the summer resort Midge visited. The artist Declan Howell (Rufus Sewell) seems more interested in Midge then selling a painting to Benjamin. Susie has a proposal for her family. What is it? Joel is drinking to forget the one year anniversary of their breakup. Midge has a secret to reveal at Yom Kippur dinner, what is it?

The writing from last year seemed to challenge the conventional wisdom regarding women, but this season seems to want to fit the women into conventional gender roles. The writers really try to shoehorn Midge into a traditional female role instead of making her a trailblazer, like they seemed to be in the first season. That is disappointing. The episode still manages to be funny, at the Yom Kippur dinner where no one atones for anyone. Justine Lupe continues to be funny as Astrid, the converted Gentile, who wants to be more Jewish than the Jews, Tony Shaloub and Kevin Pollack shine again. This episode features no standup, for the first time in the almost two years, and that was a shortcoming of this episode.

Episode 8: Someday
Midge goes on her first tour with Susie, and forgets something major going on at the same time. Midge asks Abe to come to a show of hers, but he’s too busy listening to Ethan’s records to respond. Joel warns Susie, while Susie and Midge are on the road. Midge finally returns home to find her house a mess.

The writers start this episode with a standup routine, which rectified the issue from the last episode. The writers are making Midge more responsible and less entitled, which is good. The late 1950’s references are cool, but they go too far with one. The issue with this episode is that the writers continue to reinforce traditional gender roles, with Joel providing the chivalry in this episode. The show takes place in the late 50’s, but this used to be a show about a woman trying to find her footing after her husband left her. It doesn’t seem to be about that anymore.

Episode 9: Vote For Kennedy, Vote For Kennedy
Susie tries to get Midge booked for an arthritis telethon, but she might get bumped by an old rival, Sophie Lennon. (Jane Lynch) Abe is bored at his dream job, and the frustration boils over at the university. Joel is increasingly frustrated by all the problems in his dad’s garment factory. Benjamin seems impressed by Midge’s standup.

There’s a lot of stress under the surface of this episode, even between unlikely characters. I like that they try to be true to the period, for example, the character of Shy Baldwin. I don’t know that the denouement of this episode made sense, but the stand-up comedy was funny.

Episode 10: Alone
Abe’s got a few decisions to make. Rose goes to see the tea leaf reading lady. Joel makes a decision about his future. Sophie Lennon makes Susie an offer. Shy Baldwin makes Midge an offer.

This is a good final episode, filled with cliffhangers, and questions that need to be answered. All the main characters are moving in different directions than they started the season. The ending is serious and realistic and I like it.

My Impressions of Season 2:
I like this show, I really do, but it seemed like the writing took a step backwards this year, last year it seemed like this show was about a woman trying to make her way alone, and that was interesting. This season, up until the last episode, it was about something completely different. In a very real way men played a much larger, more dominating role than I ever imagined would happen after season 1. The writers seemed to infantilize  Miidge at some point, but they also took Midge out of her comfort zone at other times, which was both interesting and necessary. The ending of the last episode was actually gratifying to me, except for one aspect of it that I would change, but other than that, I was pleasently surprised by the risks that episode took.

The acting is amazing Rachel Broshnahan was meant to play the role of the sometimes coddled, but always tough as nails Midge Maisel. It’s difficult to find an actress who can perform both comically and dramatically, but Broshnaan does both flawlessly. Alex Borenstein is very funny as Midge’s fast-talking, street smart manager, Susie. Tony Shaloub is fantastic as Midge’s mostly laconic father Abe. Shaloub is another actor who can play a seious schene and a funny scene with equal aplomb.Marine Hinkle did a good job, plaing Midg’s mom, Rose, but I wish she got to show off the sharper edges the writers gave her in the first episode. Michael Zengen does a good job as Midge’s husband Joel, he benefits from the fact that the writers try furiously to rehabilitate.

The direction starts of with a bang with exotic locals and visual effects, then settles down to normal storytelling, Jeff Bezos can’t be blowing his money on tv shows, he has a divorce settlement to pay. There was nothing nooteworthy about the direction after the first few episodes.

The Marvellous Mrs Maisel: Still A-maise-ing in Year 2.

 

bird box

A single female painter named Malorie (Sandra Bullock) is driving with her sister Jessica, (Sarah Paulson) when something that is afflicting Russia and Europe starts afflicting America, people are being driven insane by some unknown force, and chaos seems to be taking over the streets as Jessica is driving. Malorie somehow makes it to a women’s healthcare clinic because the owner sees that she’s pregnant and feels sorry for her. Malorie survives, along with Douglas, (John Malkovich) the owner of the clinic. Soon, others join Malorie and Douglas, including another pregnant woman named Olympia. (Danielle Macdonald) The group somehow finds a way to get food and after Olympia comes in, the group follows Douglas’ rule of not letting people into the clinic. One day, a man named Gary (Tom Hollander) knocks on the door to the clinic, desperate to come in, does the group let Gary in?

There seems to a new horror genre developing since the release of A Quiet Place, featuring largely unseen creatures bent on the destruction of mankind. In A Quiet Place the creatures have a weakness that people must find and exploit. In Bird Box, people must do something to avoid the ensuing punishment. But at least A Quiet Place was an interesting character study, about families under stress. Bird Box is nothing like that, its characters are bare bones, uninteresting , shells of characters, including whatever is menacing people, and if the writers of Bird Box are looking to M. Knight Shyamalan for inspiration, they are looking in the wrong place. From the first scene Bird Box stretches credulity to the breaking point. There is an undeveloped love story that shouldn’t be developed, and a predictably awful ending.

Poor Sandra Bullock, first she makes a horrid remake of Ocean’s 11, and now a pale imitation of A Quiet Place, which she co-produced to get it to Netflix. She used to be an A-list star, now she’s producing movies with the production values of a tv movie. Bullock gamely tries to breathe life into her threadbare character, but the writing sabotages her at every turn. Similarly John Malkovich tries to make his character a cantankerous old cuss, but he’s not given much material to work with. Tom Hollander plays perhaps the most interesting character, a mystery man of sorts. But again, interesting is a relative term in this movie. The other characters are simply too underdeveloped to make the viewer care about them.

The direction is sloppy and uninteresting, the pacing for this 2 hour movie is terrible, it makes it seem like 4 hours. There is nothing visually stimulating about this movie, unless one likes to look at crane shots of a river, or the interior of a woman’s clinic. The director also overuses flashback to the point where it confuses the audience about time and place. Flashback is also a bad technique to overuse, because the audience can figure out who survived and who didn’t, and that cuts down on the dramatic tension of the film.

Bird Box Guilty of many cardinal sins

Crazy-Rich-Asians

Singaporean Nick Young (Henry Golding) heir to the Young fortune, is dating American economics professor, Rachel Chu. (Constance Wu)  Before Nick can introduce Rachel to his controlling mother, Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh) Eleanor finds out that Nick and Rachel are dating.  Rachel accepts a wedding invitation from Nick’s friend, Colin’s (Chris Pang) wedding to Araminta Lee. (Sonoya Mizuno)  Before the wedding, Rachel meets Eleanor, Elenor is polite, but cool to Rachel, Rachel fares better with Nick’s grandmother, Ah Ma (Lisa Lu).  Rachel goes to Amarita’s bachelorette party and finds out something that throws her whole relationship with Nick into disarray.  Does she go to Colin’s wedding?  What does Rachel find out at the bachelorette party?

For all the fanfare about crazy Rich Asians , the film is a very conventional romantic comedy.  A wealthy guy is interested in a not-wealthy woman, and his domineering mother sneers at her son’s interest.  These a brassy, outspoken friend, and a female rival. The characters of Nick’s mother and grandmother don’t make sense given their backstory.  There are characters and storylines that need to be cut in this bloated, padded screenplay. There is nothing specifically Chinese about this film except for the women making dumplings, and Rachel and Eleanor playing mah-jong.  There are some tensions between Singaporean Chinese and American Chinese briefly discussed, but not nearly enough.  Eleanor s a Christian even shown at a Bible study, while lording her wealth and power over Rachel.  Someone needs to pay more attention during Bible study.  And there’s a false ending, before the real ending, the real ending makes a sequel much harder to do.

The acting is good, even though the script betrays the actors.  Constance Wu is fantastic, she gives Rachel so many facets, sweet and vulnerable, yet tough and intelligent a very good performance.  Henry Golding is suitable as the boyfriend, he plays Nick as suave, and unflappable. Michelle Yeoh is a good actress, but the writers really want her to play a certain type of character, and so she does.  Awkwafina is loud and annoying as Rachel’s friend.  The casting was also criticized for not being Chinese enough, and not portraying Malays and Indians in Singapore at all.

The direction looks more like a travelogue of Singapore , it shows the skyscrapers all lit up, that part looks great.  But the pacing is lousy, The acting is good, and I guess the director deserves some credit for that, but the script is long and unwieldy, and the director loses credit for not streamlining the story.

Crazy, Rich Asians: Singa-rich in Singapore.

 

 

blackklansman

In the early 1970’s, Colorado Springs’ first black police officer, Ron Stallworth, (John David Washington) is asked to infiltrate a black student union sponsored event with former Black Panther , Stokley Carmichael.  (Corey Hawkins) At the speech, Stallworth meets black militant student activist Patrice Dumas, (Laura Harrier) and the two become romantically involved.  Stallworth’s second assignment is self-propagated, he calls up the local chapter of the Klan, using his own name and asks to become a member of the white supremacist group.  Stallworth obviously can’t infiltrate the Klan, but his partner, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) can, so he becomes the public face of Ron Stallworth.  The local Klan chapter wants to impress the visiting Klan leader, David Duke. (Topher Grace)  Local Klansman Walter Breachway (Ryan Eggold) just wants to meet Duke, but Felix Kendrickson (Jasper Pakkonen) wants to go further.  Does Stallworth and Zimmerman’s infiltration expose Kendrickson’s plan?  Do the local Klan members find out that Stallworth is black, and Zimmerman is Jewish?

There’s an unintended sense that Black Klansman is a bad joke, like a Dave Chappelle comedy sketch, actually it was a real investigation into the Klan and how they planned violence in Colorado Springs, but Spike Lee tones down the viciousness of the Klan and makes it seem like the Klan is just a social club interested in getting together and watching Birth of A Nation and burning crosses.  There’s no sense that they are a menacing hate group, a nationalist terrorist organization. There are interesting links between this local Klan group and the government, but that expose’ comes very late in the film. Stallworth and Zimmerman sound totally different in the movie and they don’t even try to sound the same. There’s a clunky romance, and the only interesting part is the interplay between Stallworth and Zimmerman, and the characters reaction to the Klan.  Other than that,  Black Klansman plays like a 70’s tv show, Starsky  and Hutch, if either of them were African American.  Actually, the most jarring part of the movie was the last 10 or 15 minutes, which only had a tangential link to the film.

The acting is good for the most part.  John David Washington is Denzel Washington’s son,  he does a good job with the role, trying to balance the character’s  life with the police force with his race, and the tensions they cause.  His white guy voice, however, sounded silly and trivialized the role, it sounded more like Eddie Murphy than Adam Driver, and that was a key part of  the role.  Adam Driver was very good as Zimmerman, the Jewish cop who finally has to face up to his religion, instead of running from it. Driver gives a complex performance of a conflicted man.  Laura Harrier plays a one dimensional, Angela Davis type militant black feminist role, in the mold of Angela Davis.  Jasper Pakkonen does a really good job as a hateful, vile bigot named Felix.  It is really difficult to play someone that hateful convincingly. Topher Grace is ok as David Duke, he plays him too mildly, he gets the snake oil salesman part right, but he doesn’t give Duke enough of the hateful edge that is part of Duke’s m.o.  Michael Buscemi, looking and sounding a lot like his brother Steve, does a decent job as a quirky police officer.

The direction by Spike Lee is disappointing.  The pacing is inconsistent, at times there are monologues, which slow the pacing to a crawl, at times BlackkKalnsman tries to be an action film, and so the pacing speeds up.  A trademark of Spike Lee films is that the colors pop off the screen.  Ernest Dickerson was Lee’s cinematographer until the mid-1990.  Since then, Lee has used different cinematographers, and this film is bathed in a dull sepia tone, which is meant to make it visually resemble 1970’s films, but just makes Blackkklansman look uninteresting.

BlackkKlansman:  Hood-lums behaving badly.

oceans eight

As soon as Danny Ocean’s sister, Debbie (Sandra Bullock) gets out of prison, she plans a caper that would make her brother proud.  She finds her partner, Lou (Cate Blanchett) who recruits the rest of the team.  The frustrated ex designer Rose Weil, (Helena Bonham Carter) the jewelry forger, Amrita, Mindy Kaling) the hacker, Nine Ball (Rihanna)  the sleight of hand specialist, Constance (Awkwafina) the fence, Tammy  (Sarah Paulson) and the unsuspecting actress, Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway)  The gang plans to steal priceless jewels from around the neck of Daphne, during the Met Gala.  Will Debbie’s ex-boyfriend, Claude Becker (Richard Armitage) or a bumbling insurance investigator, John Frazier (James Cordon) foil their plan?

Ocean’s 8 has many problems, sexism for one.  The ladies only seem interested in stealing jewels from the Met Gala, a fancy dress ball.  Why would women be interested in stealing jewels, at an event filled with beautiful women wearing fancy dresses?  That in itself makes the viewer dismiss the plot.  Ocean’s 8 doesn’t seem to be sure of what it wants to be, a comedy or a drama, and it’s not enough of either to be good as a comedy or a drama, the actors seem to sense the uncertainty, resulting in a lot of awkward pauses.  The men are reduced to caricatures, the hunky ex-boyfriend, the bumbling Clouseau  like character.  In the end the only thing that distinguishes this movie from all the other heist movies, is the fact that the thieves are women.  The script is way too long, at the point it should end, it just continues for no apparent reason.

The acting is surprisingly bad in this film. Most of these actresses are A-List top of the line Grade A actresses, which makes it even more surprising to see them phoning it in.  Sandra Bullock can be a good actress at times, but she is not even trying here.  Her delivery is flat, the timing of her jokes is off, it’s just a bad performance.  Cate Blanchett seems uninterested by the whole enterprise, she seems to be saying wake me when it’s over.  Helena Bonham Carter does an Irish accent, and that’s the extent of her effort in this movie.  Anne Hathaway is the only actress who really tries, she plays the privileged Daphne, with a don’t you know who I am aura that works.  Mindy Kaling is annoying, with her whiny Valley Girl voice, and Rihanna is playing Rihanna, she tries, but really can’t act.  The young actresses try too hard, and the older actresses don’t try hard enough. For Bullock and the other veteran actresses, this seems like purely a vanity project.

The direction is awful.  The writer and director are the same person, Gary Ross,  and the director doesn’t know when to end his script.  When it should end and when it does end, are two vastly different thing.  The performances are mostly listless, and the pacing is lousy.  Ross doesn’t get a decent performance for nearly anyone,  even with veteran actresses, the director shares some responsibility for the bland performances here.

Ocean’s 8:  Drowning in self-indulgence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

fantastic-beast-crimes-of-grindelwald-002

In 1927, dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escapes from a maximum security prison while in transport from New York City.  Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is appealing his travel ban to the Ministry of Magic.  The Ministry of Magic states that Newt can get his travel pass back if he agrees to work with his brother, Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) but Newt refuses.  Theseus is marrying Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) and Newt still has feelings for Leta. Newt accepts a mission from Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to find Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) in Paris.

Newt finds out from Queenie Goldstein (Allison Sudol) that her sister Tina (Katherine Waterston) is also in Paris.  Newt also has feelings for Tina, but Tina thinks Newt is marrying Leta, so she’s run away to Paris.  Tina is also looking for Credence in Paris.  Grindelwald also has a reason to find Credence.  Credence is in Paris, with his girlfriend Nagini. (Claudia Kim) Credence is looking to find his real mother.  Does he find her?  Who finds Credence first?  Tina, Newt or Grindelwald?  What does Grindelwald plan for Credence if he finds him first?

The Crimes of Grindelwald does not have many beasts in it, so if a viewer was enthralled by that aspect of the first movie, that element is sorely missing.  What the story does have is a multi-track storyline, there is a romantic storyline, involving, for the most part, Newt and his love interests, past and possibly future.  For those not interested in the romantic side, there is the mystery of Credence, who he is and his powers as a wizard.  There’s also the Grindelwald storyline, is he a threat to the existing order or a prophet to deliver the wizards to their rightful place in humanity?  I like all of the storylines, if there is a complaint, it is that the female characters are underdeveloped, only Queenie seems to have a multifaceted character.   It was also nice to see younger versions of beloved Harry Potter characters, although there was some controversy in one of the younger incarnations of a character.

The story goes along fine until the ending , which is a real head-scorcher for even die hard Potter fans, which I am not, I have not read the books, but I have seen all the movies, and JK Rowling basically reached for something that did not exist in the past books or movies to create a twist ending.  She hinted at one thing, and sprang this ending out of the blue.  It didn’t ruin the film, but it did call into question her writing skills.

The acting is far stronger than I expected.  Eddie Redmyne still has that sly look on his face, and he still has fun with the role, but he seems like a sidekick in the sequel, and that’s too bad.  Johnny Depp thankfully plays Grindelwald with some restraint, and turns in a nice understated performance.  Jude Law displays enough gravitas to play Albus Dumbledore as he should be played.  I’m sure Law will add more layers to his performance in the next film.  Allison Sudol, does a good job of playing Queenie, she is given more serious material in this film, and she handles it well.  Katherine Waterston is ok, but her character is still not well-developed, even after two films.  Zoe Kravitz was pleasantly surprising, I was expecting a flat performance from her, but it was filled with emotion.

The direction was good.  Director David Yates did a good job of letting the disparate elements of the story unfurl, and he got good performances from his lead actors.  This is familiar territory for Yates, he directed Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Pat 2.  Where I think Yates went awry was with the special effects.  He lets the special effects take over at some points, and the special effects obstruct the narrative and get in the way, rather than enhancing the story.

Fantastic Beasts:   The Crimes of Grindelwald:  I’m a slave to the Grind.