Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler
Directed by David Yates
Rating: A

I am still riding off the high of how much I loved this movie after seeing it last night.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in 1920s New York, at a time when No-Maj’s (the American version of ‘muggle’) are on a technological boom and the wizarding community has created strict laws against the intermingling of both species.

Newt Scamander (Redmayne) arrives in New York City with a briefcase full of wondrous beasts, but one persistent niffler keeps trying to escape. A niffler is a creature which can’t resist shiny objects. It likes to collect and hoard them by somehow hiding these items in its body. While Newt is distracted by a Second Salemer’s protest outside of a bank, his niffler gets loose and creates havoc.

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The Girl on the Train

Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux
Directed by Tate Taylor
Rating: B-

An alcoholic commuter spots something unusual during one uneventful train ride. This eyewitness account may be key to the investigation, if they are to be trusted.

Sometimes when you look at a person, you think you know what kind of person they are. Rachel (Blunt) spends her mornings and evenings fantasizing about a couple she sees on her commute to and from the city. In her head, she names them “Jess” and “Jason.” They are “the” perfect couple who do everything together; morning runs, relaxing coffee breaks in the backyard patio, steamy shower sessions… Rachel knows this made-up fantasy can’t be how they really live their lives, but it’s fun to pretend since her own marriage ended up a complete failure.

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Bridget Jones’s Baby

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey
Directed by Sharon Maguire
Rating: A

Bridget Jones is BACK!

Another sequel that deals with more drama as Bridget juggles two men once again, and yet Bridget Jones’s Baby is a must-see for those who loved the previous two movies.

Bridget (Zellweger) finds herself single at age 43, but has kicked the cigarette habit and is down to her ideal weight. She is more confident in herself and has climbed up the corporate ladder to a successful career in the news. Yet her mum has to remind Bridget during a birthday phone call that life is passing her by and still no husband or baby. The clock is ticking, Bridget.

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Hot Fuzz

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton
Directed by Edgar Wright
Rating: A

When a London police officer excels at his job, there’s only one thing to do with him… promote him to sergeant and send him to the countryside.

Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Pegg) has a reputation for catching the bad guys. He’s so good at what he does that it makes everyone else on the police force look bad. A known workaholic, his ex-girlfriend simply says his problem is that he can’t switch off.

Then he is promoted and shipped off to Sandford, a quiet little town in the country which has won the “village of the year” award in multiple years. Despite its facade, Sandford has a lot of mischief going on that Sergeant Angel catches on his first night in. He quickly impresses his partner, Danny (Frost), and teaches him the ins and outs of being a good cop.

When several murders occur, hushed up as “accidents,” officers Angel and Danny begin to look deeper into neighborly connections and why this “village of the year” seems to be the unsafest place to live.

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Star Trek Beyond

Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella
Directed by Justin Lin
Rating: B+

The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise has spent three years exploring deep space negotiating peace treaties with various planets.

Living in space takes a toll on the crew, especially for Captain Kirk (Pine), so it is with relief that crewmembers look forward to a pit stop on a space station. After what seems like hours later when they’ve landed and started enjoying free time, the crew is called to go back out on an extraction mission.

A scientist insists that her crew is stuck on a planet and desperately needs help. The Enterprise ships out, only to be viciously attacked outside of an unknown planet. Most of the crew are taken as hostages, while those among the last to leave the ship (Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty) are separated from each other.

It seems that Kirk and his crew are facing an enemy that has it out for the Federation and will stop at nothing to see it destroyed.

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Woman in Gold

Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl
Directed by Simon Curtis
Rating: B

A Jewish refugee revisits her past as she battles the Austrian court to regain a Klimt painting of a beloved aunt.

Woman in Gold makes sure to get down to the interesting parts of the story as Maria Altmann and Randy Schoenberg fight for the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, best known as “Woman in Gold.”

The pair first journey to Austria for an art restitution conference, only to be denied. For Maria, visiting her home country brings up painful memories of being forced to leave when the Nazis take over. The trip also leaves a mark on Randy, who embraces his family history and makes a stop at a Holocaust memorial to see his family name.

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The Legend of Tarzan

Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz
Directed by David Yates
Rating: B

The Legend of Tarzan tackles human nature: can a man of the jungle be tamed as a sophisticated English aristocrat?

John Clayton (Skarsgård) was born as the fifth Earl of Greystoke but he wasn’t raised like any typical upstanding citizen. He was born in the jungle, raised by apes and known as Tarzan. Yet he learned to be civilized and traveled to England with his wife, Jane (Robbie).

The English prime minister and an American named George Washington Williams (Jackson) want John to return to the Congo so that England can become partners with Belgium, who has land there. Only Williams has an idea that the Belgians are enslaving the Congolese and he wants John to help him prove it.

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