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Box Office Friday: ‘Instant Family’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts:The Crimes of Grindelwald’

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11/16/2018 – Tony Toscano has the reviews for ‘Instant Family’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ in this week’s Box Office Friday. 

Instant Family

The film gets a B and is rated PG-13.


Based on the true story of writer / director Sean Anders, a couple adopt 3 children and must navigate the highs and lows of parenthood.

“Instant Family” on the outset seems like another run-of-the-mill saccharine family comedy, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you give this film a chance. 

I found the film to be both touching, funny and well paced with good performances by Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as the couple in the center of the parenthood storm.

Although there are some problems with the script, including some long adoption sermons told by the adoption agent played by Olivia Spencer, the film stays its course and ends up being worth the ticket price in.


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The film gets a C and is rated PG-13.

In the sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the new story takes a darker turn as the maleficent Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp begins his plot to take over both the Wizarding World and the Muggle World.

“The Crimes of Grindelwald” is an ridiculously complicated film with too many sub-plots and unnecessary characters to really keep track of.

Most of the sub-plots in the movie really don’t amount to much and are tacked in to give the film some diversion. There’s a storyline about finding Credence, a human host for an uncontrollable magic force called an ‘Obscurus.’ There’s a plot about Jacob and Queenie’s relationship. And storylines about other incidental characters including Leta and Newt’s brother Theseus. 

The main storyline of the movie is the private war between the evil Grindelwald and a younger Dumbledore, played by Jude Law. This war has almost nothing to do with Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne and his gang from the first film.

In fact, I can not really see a reason for Redmayne to be in this film at all except to provide a bridge from the first film to the second.

The film does offer some solid special effects, but those effects are hindered by chophouse editing and uneven pacing.

In the end, “Fantastic Beasts 2” is an overindulged excessive film that makes its audience work to hard for a lackluster resolution.

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