If there was ever a reason that ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ did not need a sequel, I would suggest looking no further than ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’, which has intentions to give characters more depth, yet cannot seem to find a comprehensible story to go along with it. It was clear that the real reason this sequel was made with the first film being extremely successful (I mean, fans of ‘Harry Potter’ were not ready to leave J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World), yet with the way ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ was received, it is easy to see why it did not do as well. Many people blame the fact that Johnny Depp was cast as the titular villain despite his real-life controversies, or there it just was not as good. Yet, I believe that it had to do with the fact that the first ‘Fantastic Beasts’ worked so well as a stand-alone film that nothing could top it.
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There really is not that much to say about ‘Sherlock Gnomes’, except that its animation, when compared to its predecessor ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’, is a breath of fresh air. That is saying something for an animated feature that could be passed off as something that feels more like a Direct-To-DVD movie than something meant for theaters. I did not hate ‘Sherlock Gnomes’, but I cannot stamp it off as great either. It is what it is.
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What is the threat Captain Jack Sparrow has to face this time around? Might I remind you that he fought Captain Barbossa and his crew of pirates to retrieve the Black Pearl in ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’, found treasure containing a beating heart in ‘Dead Man’s Chest’, faced his inner madness and later fought Davy Jones in ‘At World’s End’, and went on a quest with former jilted flame (played by Penelope Cruz), and the ruthless Blackbeard in ‘On Stranger Tides’. Here, at first, he is nowhere to be seen until – 15 minutes in – he is found sleeping with a governor’s wife while napping off one of his drunken hangovers in a giant bank, which causes a funny chase that kicks off the fun, high-octane action that the series held on to for so many years. While that may not be the actual challenge Sparrow has to face, ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ seems to focus on the humor more than the quest written out for the heroes: Seeking out Poseidon’s ancient, all-powerful trident with the power to get rid of any curse placed on everyone, mostly pirate.
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