This Is a Movie Review: Logan Lucky

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Credit: Claudette Barius / Fingerprint Releasing | Bleecker Street

I give Logan Lucky 4 out of 5 Painted Cockroaches: http://newscult.com/movie-review-steven-soderbergh-logan-lucky-crew-pull-off-heist-biggest-race-year/

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This Is a Movie Review: Alien: Covenant

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I give Alien: Covenant 4 out of 5 Fingers: http://newscult.com/movie-review-sequel-prequel-alien-covenant-follows-the-prometheus-template-and-adds-a-few-bizarre-details-of-its-own/

This Is a Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has basically three elements on offer: the beasts, the evils of wizardry, and the magician/No-Maj relations. The beasts are generally fine, not especially super-duper, but there is a fun payoff at the end. The fight against evil is thoughtful, though not fully satisfying, because it is obviously built to last into sequels.

But those relations between magical and non-magical folk are where Fantastic Beasts has the most of value to say. Wizards are boogeymen obviously meant as metaphorical stand-ins for immigrants. That has been a big theme for J.K. Rowling since the beginning of her career.

In this particular case, it is most intriguing in the example of Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Jacob (Dan Fogler), a witchy/no-maj combo whose chemistry is off the charts, though any pairing between them is forbidden by American wizarding laws that shun such fraternization. Their story reminds me of the interracial real-life couple at the heart of Loving insofar it makes me declare, “Let love conquer all!”

I give Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 7 Pieces of Collateral out of 10 Bakeries.