Movie review for ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’, ‘Pete’s Dragon’, ‘Ben-Hur’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ (2016)


Since returning from Australia near the end of last month, I have watched four new films. I thought there will be a lot more than that since it’s now my holiday, but I have been busy with quite a number of stuff in the last two weeks. Soon, there will be a bunch of newly released Oscar-bait movies that will get me busy even during the holiday just to watch most of them hopefully. But for right now, it’s movie reviews for the following four new films of 2016 that I have watched:

‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ is a supernatural horror film centred on an ouija board, a talking board believed to be used to contact with spirits. This film is a prequel to the 2014 film ‘Ouija’ that I have also watched. The story basically revolves on a widow and her family who adds an Ouija board to their scamming business where, unbeknownst to them, they invited a spirit that possesses the youngest daughter. This movie, like its predecessor, is not memorable or scary eventhough both films do delivered some interesting plots. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ a total of 6.6.

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‘Pete’s Dragon’ is a fantasy adventure film about an orphaned boy who gets lost and befriends a dragon in a forest and the ensuing repercussions of their discovery by the town’s local residents. The story is warm and I’m engaged with the story development eventhough sometime I do get distracted by the unrealistic take on the dragon’s feature. I think Disney can do much better than that to make the dragon to appear more realistic. On the other hand, the young boy that took on the lead role as the orphan did very well in this movie. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Pete’s Dragon’ a total of 6.8.

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‘Ben-Hur’ is a historical epic film and is the fifth film adaptation of a novel of the same name. The 1959 film ‘Ben-Hur’ won the most Academy Awards at 11, a record that is later equal by 1997’s ‘Titanic’ and 2003’s ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’. The movie revolves around Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army, returns to his homeland after years at sea to seek revenge, but finds redemption. The movie starred Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman, etc. I didn’t watch the earlier adaptations and I came in with no high expectation, unlike many others who have watched the earlier movies on this story. Hence, I find this movie still very solid in contrast to the mostly negative reception it received right now. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Ben-Hur’ a total of 6.8.

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‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is a fantasy film that acts as a prequel to our much beloved Harry Potter film series. It revolves on the adventure of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. Some magical creatures from Newt’s suitcase have escaped in New York and he has to find them all with help of unlikely partners. This movie successfully brought us back into the wizarding world in cinema, giving us a bit of familiarity but at the same time some fresh, new and different content. Eddie Redmayne is the best choice as Newt Scamander and his awkwardness somehow makes his role likable and distinctive. I have no problem with J.K. Rowling’s decision to expand this into a franchise of 5 films. This ‘starter’ movie looks good, fun and yup…magical. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ a total of 7.6.

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(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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