Weekend Movies: Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Thanks to Marvel’s latest superhero flick and this week’s biggest release, November is shaping up to be a massive month at the box office. In theaters today are a return to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as well as two indie dramas. If you’re planning to see the wizard one, I hope you bought your tickets early.

Unlike the ‘Harry Potter’ films, J.K. Rowling’s latest entry in that universe isn’t based upon an existing property, which makes it a unique and unknown cinematic event. Set in 1926 New York City, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them‘ tells the story of four characters – three wizards and one “No-Maj” (a.k.a. Muggle) – who collect magical creatures on the loose. With the city’s wizarding community on high alert due to an outsider threat, they not only have to dodge humans, but wizard officials who have banned magical creatures. If you’re expecting another ‘Harry Potter’ movie, prepare for disappointment. This isn’t Marvel; ‘Fantastic Beasts’ doesn’t following the ‘Potter’ formula. What you’ll get here instead is a gumshoe noir-ish detective drama that just so happens to be set in the same world as Harry Potter – and it completely works. Enjoy!

Opening on nearly 2,000 screens is the coming-of-age drama ‘The Edge of Seventeen‘. A now-grown-up Hailee Steinfeld stars as a 17-year-old girl who must come to terms with a lot of issues over the course of this 104-minute movie. Deeply scarred by the passing of her father (which happened when she was 12), she’s insecure, pessimistic, lonely and narcissistic – all traits that no one wants to watch for nearly two hours. All the supporting characters are likeable and charming, so watching her proverbially crap on them over and over again makes this a mixed bag.

For the most part, a little Miles Teller goes a long way – but when he’s great, he’s great. (See: ‘Whiplash’.) Although Teller’s been on a bad streak lately, his latest role is said to be one of the good ones. The boxing drama ‘Bleed for This‘ works on an extra-inspirational level by telling the true story of a major comeback. Vinny Pazienza was once a world champion boxer, but a terrible car accident nearly took his life. Lucky to survive, it looked like he would never walk again, but he defied all medical odds. Pazienza not only pushed himself to an amazing physical recovery, but actually made it back into the ring. Alongside a supporting cast including Aaron Eckhart and Katey Segal, Teller’s performance is said to be terrific.

A pair of Oscar contenders also open in limited release.

After a great year on the festival circuit, Kenneth Lonergan’s ‘Manchester by the Sea‘ gets a small opening on only four screens. The heavy drama tells the story of a man who, when his brother-in-law passes away, steps in to play the fatherly role to his nephew. Casey Affleck reportedly shines brightly alongside Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler. Look forward to this as it expeands.

Said to be extremely dark and masterfully crafted, Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals‘ gets a slightly bigger debut. Playing on 37 screens, the thrilling drama stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. Adams plays a woman who’s mesmerized and obsessed over her interpretation of her late husband’s violent and disturbing novel. This is another platform release worth looking forward to.


  1. Bolo

    I’ll catch ‘Nocturnal Animals’ when it plays near me. I quite liked ‘A Single Man’, so I’m excited to see Ford return to filmmaking. Adams and Gyllenhaal are both very talented performers who always do excellent work.

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