Category Archives: Films

13 Vampire Films.

October nights are drawing in. Why not cuddle down in crushed velvet and sink your teeth into one of the following…

Interview With The Vampire ( 1994). A centuries old vampire recounts his epic life story. Louis’s  tale starts in 18th century New Orleans , where he is turned by the selfish, violent and pleasure seeking Lestat. A tortured soul , reluctant to kill, yet instilled with a terrible lust for blood, Louis plots to escape his evil maker. Things are made more complicated however, when the couple turn a child. A sumptuous  adaptation of Anne Rice’s gothic horror. Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst star.


Vamps ( 2012). On a lighter note, Amy Heckerling’s  ‘ Vamps’ is all fun and fangs. Reunited with her Clueless Star Alicia Silverstone, Heckerling directs a  romcom about two vampire flat mates. Negotiating a dating life in modern day NY is pretty dicey when your a blood sucking babe ! Krysten Ritter( of Jessica Jones fame) also stars.

The Lost Boys ( 1987).  Think sunkissed Santa Cruz in the 80’s and it seems an unlikely haven for the undead. But then this movie has quirky characters, a killer soundtrack and some badass leatherclad teen vampires. Two brothers move to a new town and whilst the older boy gets in with the wrong crowd, the younger brother begins to suspect their Mother may be dating a vampire.  Luckily he finds friendship in the form of a couple of garlic clove wielding comic store geeks, and the threesome go all out, to out the towns blood sucking fiends. Horror comedy with a stellar cast that includes Kiefer Sutherland and Diane Wiest.

Byzantium ( 2012). Gemma Arteton and Saoirse   Ronan   play Mother and Daughter vampires,  seeking refuge in a washed out British seaside resort, in this Neil Jordan ( Interview with the Vampire) directed horror thriller. On the run from kindred vampires,  the duo try to etch out a life by the sea, the mother ( a lap dancing prostitute ) and daughter ( enrolling as a student in high school) , but danger always lurks around the corner, for themselves….and their victims. 

Fright Night ( 2011).  Anton Yelchin plays Charley , a fairly normal college kid , who finds life is on the up when he starts dating the hottest girl on campus. He grows a bit tired of his geeky mate , who is convinced that there is a vampire serial killer on the loose, after a spree of killings in the area. But then Charley begins to suspect his and his  Mums new neighbor ( a rather dishy Colin Farrell) of deadly goings on. It all gets rather silly when Charley enlists the help of vampire expert Peter Vincent ( David Tennant) , though plenty of humour and gore makes, for a fun and thrilling ride.

Cirque du Freak : The Vampire’s Assistant (2009). Based on the Darren Shan books , this supernatural tale follows a typical teenage boy, who ends up being turned into a vampire and uses  his new powers in a travelling circus, full of wierd and wonderful performers.  Its a while since I’ve watched The Vampire’s Assistant , but I remember it having a Night Circus Vibe. Watch out for Salma Hayek as Madam Truska, the Bearded Lady. 

Let the right one in (2008). A tale as much about friendship as a gruesome vampire killing spree, this Swedish horror is a favourite of mine, despite me spending any gory parts behind a cushion ! Bullied 12 year old Oskar becomes friends with his neighbour Eli, but it seems she is no ordinary girl next door. ….. If your not a fan of subtitles, this movie  got the Hollywood treatment a few years later and was remade as Let Me In. But I prefer the more atmospheric Scandinavian version. 

I am Legend ( 2007).  Existing in a desolate New York City , after a virus has exterminated nearly all mankind and turned survivors into bloodsucking darkseekers , scientist Robert Neville ( Wil Smith) works on a cure, not knowing whether there are any other unaffected humans out there.   This for me is  a hard film to watch ( as I got to emotionally attached to Robert’s loyal dog Sam 😦  ) , but it is a gripping movie , with Smith exceptional in the role of a tormented lonely man, trying to outwit the darkseekers and keep a hold of his  humanity. 

Bramstoker’s Dracula ( 1992 ).  Bramstoker’s gothic horror is brought to the big screen in Francis Ford Coppula’s  lavish production. Dracula ( Gary Oldman) discover’s the reincarnation of his long lost love and sets out to pursue her, slaying and seducing everything in his wake. Mina Harker’s ( Winona Ryder) fiance and friends enlist the help of Vampire killer ‘ Van Helsing’ ( Anthony Hopkins) to destroy the count,  before Dracula claims Mina as his own. 

The Only Lovers Left Alive ( 2014).  Stylish undead duo Adam and Eve are centuries old vampires living in the present day. Whilst Eve still finds the world a fascinating place and resides mostly in romantic Tangiers, Adam is becoming disillusioned with humanity, mostly confined to his apartment in a run down area of Detroit. Eve returns to Adam to find him contemplating the end ,but manages to persuade him otherwise. Their reunion is disturbed by a visit from Eve’s sister Ava, who does not play by the Vampire rules.  Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston star in this cool ( and almost collected) tale of the undead ,existing amongst the living. 

Hotel Transylvania (  2012  ).   Where do Monsters go to get away from it all? They go to Count Dracula’s lavish holiday resort ‘ Hotel Transylvania’ of course. 🙂 To celebrate his daughter Mavis’s 118th Birthday, Dracula invites all their Monster Mates for a special weekend. But when a human crashes the party monster mayhem is sure to follow.  Fangs and fun with Adam Sandler and pals. There’s a fangtastic sequel too. 

Buffy the vampire slayer ( 1992).  Before Joss Whedon created the legendary TV show, Buffy was played by another blonde bombshell , not Sarah Michelle Gellar, but actress Kristy Swanson.  In the movie Buffy is trained to be a Slayer by Merrick (Donald Sutherland) and is constantly rescuing her class mate Oliver ( Luke Perry) from bloodthirsty vampires. Thank goodness then,  she has more than her cheer leading skills to fall back on when her most evil nemesis turns up in town. Silly stuff, but theres a hint of why the television series became so successful.

Twilight ( 2008).  I’ll end on every teenage girls favourite vampire movie ( maybe) , as  17 year old Bella Swan ( Kristen Stewart) moves to a new area and new school and meets the strangely mysterious Edward Cullen. He and his equally mysterious family go on frequent hunting trips , avoid the other students and stay out of the sun. Is it possible they are vampires??  Twilight is the first of several movies based on the popular Stephanie Meyer books. Robert Pattinson plays  Bella’s toothy soul-mate Edward Cullen. 

So what do you think of my list ? Is it fangtastic? Or does it Suck??

Enjoy………

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A countryside walk with some old haunts.

On saturday we decided to leave the car at home and set off on a walk around the places where I grew up. Before I moved to the great Metropolis that is Clitheroe, I lived in the shadow of Pendle Hill on a hill farm called Little Mearley. Nope I never did move to far away…or make my fortune! Not to worry. 😉

Our walk took in a few country lanes, a bridle path/farm track and some farm land. I think we walked about 8 miles or so, so not too shabby. I imagine Hugo our labrador covered even more milage, as he definitely runs circles around me….

We started off by walking through the fields toward Standen Hall and then crossed the busy A59 and headed for the pretty village of Pendleton.

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The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton is a popular Real Ale pub.

The folks of Pendleton have decorative Imaginations!  I’m not sure about the Egg Wreath ,but I do like the Flower Pot Bees. 🙂

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Mearley.

We walked through Pendleton and crossed the Sabden Road , then ambled along a bridle path through the tiny hamlet of Mearley. This eventually turns into a farm track and passes  the farm where I grew up.

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Little Mearley Hall.

It felt strange walking past the old place. Little Mearley dates back to 1590. My bedroom growing up, was the mullioned bay window room. The glass has names of past residents etched into it. I might have shared my ivory tower with their ghosts , but I was happily oblivious!  Pendle Hill with it’s legendary associations with witchcraft fades into the mist behind.

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Wil ended up detangling this Tup. He had got his impressive horns stuck in the barbed wire.

We then cut through some fields and passed Angram Green Farm & Campsite and walked into the beautiful village of Downham, where my sister and I went to primary school. I didn’t take many photos here, but If you would like to see more, here is a post I did a while back called Downham delights. 🙂

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Quiet country lane to Downham.

We had lunch in Downham , sat outside a former collegues cute little ice cream shop, that also sells brews, sandwiches, baked goodies and other bits and pieces.

We decided to look for an alternative route back , which would take us through fields ,so Hugo could have a lot more off lead time.  There is a footpath just over the road from the Ice cream shop that took us through some meadows and past the bottom of Worsaw Hill.

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Worsaw Hill.

Even for a non- hill climber like me, Worsaw Hill, which reminds me of a mini volcano, looked far too tempting not to climb.  At 725ft it’s tiny compared to Pendle, but offers gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside.

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Kind of breezy up here!
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Green pastures and Pendle Hill.
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Surveying my kingdom. 🙂

After scrambling down the hill ,we continue through fields toward the village of Worston.  As a teenager I was a saturday girl at the local pub ,The Calf’s Head. On the way  we pass a farm with a movie connection!

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Worsaw End Farm.

Have you ever watched the 1961 film Whistle Down The Wind ?  It tells the tale of three farm children who discover a fugitive hiding  in their barn, and mistake him for , well, Jesus!  Worsaw End Farm is the farm. Local children from Downham and nearby Chatburn starred alongside such acting luminaries as Hayley Mills and Alan Bates.

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A pint of Worston Witch for Wil at The Calf’s Head.

Once in Worston we take refreshment in the Calf’s Head Beer garden before crossing back over the A59 and heading home.

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Heading home , with Pendle Hill in the background.

Thanks for accompanying me on a bit of a journey through my past….

ps It’s Hugo’s 3rd Birthday today. Time is certainly flying by. He will be celebrating later with a bottle of doggy beer from Millie & Ruby’s Dog Bakery. 🙂

 

Photo An Hour Sat 20th May.

Yesterday I joined in with #photoanhour on Instagram, organized as always by louisa and Janey
 
, I think its been going a good few years now. My posts always seem to contain a picture of Slinky ( the cat) on the bed , and Hugo ( our dog) out on a walk. Nothing changes then! 

 

8am ~  the day started out quite bright and warm with the sun streaming through the bedroom window, so it seemed right to get up and out , despite slight hangovers. 😉 

9am ~ As always here is Slinky , making the most of an empty bed! 

10am ~ Housework done , so settled with my latest photo album. I kid you not, I have millions! Putting a few photographs in and…… considering building an extension for them. 😉

11am ~ Doing a few jobs in town and find a man with an owl outside the New Inn. Turns out he is advertising a Bird Of Prey charity , that has an exhibition on the market today. I bob by and donate a few pennies.

12 Noon ~ We bought a few plants off the market for our back yard. 

1pm ~ We have lunch at the wonderful Cheesie Tchaikovsky cafe in town. Sadly it is closing down as the owner has become deeply allergic to bread and baking bread. 😦 . I will miss her amazing cheese scones. 

2pm ~  Back home and find some postcards from postcrossings in the post! Including these cute kittens from Germany. 🙂

3pm ~ Out with Hugo in the rain. Wil spots this tiny glistening green beetle on a leaf. Could possibly be a flea beetle. Not sure.

4pm ~ A bit later than 4 actually. Got absolutely soaked in the rain so warming up with a brew indoors.

5pm ~ Weather brightened up again. Off to Homebase for some compost and pass these pretty cottages. I love the blue flowered bush , but not sure what it is.

6pm ~ A selection of bits and bobs for tea including samosas off the market. 🙂

7pm ~ Settleing down to watch Doctor Strange on dvd.

8pm ~ Hugo does not seem impressed with Doctor Strange. Neither does Wil, but I quite like it. Keep thinking Mr Cumberbatch is Sherlock though! 

9pm ~ The money plant I obtained recently has not sprouted fivers. 😦 But I did get it a pretty new pot, so you never know…..

10pm ~ Yep I’m in bed. So Rock N Roll ! Jotting down ideas for #thirtydayswild in June. Looking forward to getting my pack! 

Well thats it for a pretty quiet Saturday. Let me know if you joined in too. 🙂

My 2016 ~In Photos.

As is now tradition, I am posting a quick photo round-up of my year. All in all it’s been a pretty good one! I have been slightly more organized than normal and included some post links. Yay!

January.  Woh this seems such a long time ago now. January gave us the only snow of the year. Hugo loved it of course but it only lasted one snow day. 😦 It was still frosty and cold however on our visit to Formby Point where we saw Red squirrels 🙂  And yep thats me with a naked man at Another Place , the Anthony Gormley Art Installation on Crosby Beach.

February.  It was a pretty quiet month in February. We did manage a day out in Manchester however and I had a fun time photographing the Street Art in the Northern Quarter. I also attended my God daughter Mady’s sons christening. I’m not one for holding babies but baby Jason was very chilled. 🙂

March.  Wil and I had a weekend away in Coventry and stopped at the lovely Coombe Abbey Hotel & Country Park. We also visited Coventry itself which had lots of surprises. And later in the month I was in Manchester again , this time for a friends birthday. You can read my post about it here.

April.  Spring arrived at last ( hurrah! ) and I  couldn’t wait to get out and about with my camera and my Ladybird Book Guide To spring. 🙂  A day out at Bolton Abbey in the Easter Holidays was great fun and I treated Wil to a trip on a steam train ( with lots of Real Ale involved 😉  ) on the East Lancs Railway.

May.  The weather was great in May and included a day out in Kirkby Lonsdale with my sister and her family. We even managed a paddle in the river. 🙂 A walk along the banks of Derwent Water in the Lake District was made all the more interesting , when Wil, Hugo and I came across a giant hand sculpture!  Our Holiday Season started in May.:) A camping trip in the Yorkshire Dales , not too far from Fountain Abbey. And a stay in a hotel looking over Haweswater. 🙂

June.  I loved our day out in Malham where we walked up to the Cove and paddled in Janet’s Foss. Think that was Hugo’s favourite part.:) We also went camping in Silverdale and Hugo enjoyed his second ever boat trip, on Lake Windermere.

July.  Clitheroe has had lots of great new eating and drinking venues open in 2016 and the biggest surprise is probably Bowland Beer Hall at Holmes Mill. It’s an amazing space in an old textile mill, host to a listed steam engine and what appears to be England’s longest continuous bar. I attended the opening evening with Wil and some friends in July. I also crossed Llama Trekking off my  Bucket List when myself and some of my family enjoyed a half day with these adorable animals here. Oh and Hugo found himself inside the July edition of The Simple Things Magazine. 🙂

August.  In August there was a holiday at Spring Park  in Cornwall. We stayed in ‘The Duke’ , a beautifully restored Showman’s wagon. On the way down to Cornwall we stopped one night in the spa town of Bath.I would love to return to both places. 🙂 Hugo has been busy bagging lakes all year. Here he is in Grasmere, over the bank holiday.

September. The poor pooch wasn’t quite sure what to think of The The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk. as it involved a lot of doggy paddling. I got pretty soaked too!  The new Bridget Jones film turned into a bit of an event for us ladies.:) And if you like cake ( doesn’t everyone) you will like my post about my friend Nicolas Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.. She certainly didn’t scrimp on her baking. 🙂

October. We had an unseasonably dry October so this month’s posts are full of Autumn colours. 🙂 I joined in with #30dayswild, and enjoyed fun days out at Lowther Castle & Gardens   and The Forbidden Corner with family.

November. November is my Birthday month so it was great to get away with Wil and Hugo to a holiday cottage in Scotland . The Afternoon Tea in Portpatrick was a Birthday treat courtesy of Wil and it was also nice to get together with friends. 🙂

December.  This month has been all about meeting up with family. 🙂  I’ve included a piccie of my cat Slinky as she does tend to get overshadowed by a certain Black Labrador. And I took part in Janet’s ‘Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap’ which I will post about separately I’m sure. 

Despite the radical changes in this country and abroad in 2016, I guess the best thing to do is just carry on and LIVE. Life is just to short to get depressed about it. So all the best for 2017 guys ….. and see you soon. X

 

 

 

Let it Snow …….In The Movies.

So I’m doing a bit of recycling of Christmas Posts again. 🙂 A few snowy snowy movies to enjoy this winter. Let me know of any others I can add. They don’t have to be Christmassy, just snowy. x

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We all love a Christmas film to cozy up to at this time of year…..but sometimes all it takes is a flurry of snow or even a twirl of a snowflake, to make us feel like snuggling with a mug of mulled wine. Here are just a few snowy scenes from the movies!

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Heartwarming adventure in the arctic with Paul Walker ~ Eight Below ( 2006).

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Furry hats, Ice palaces and love in the time of war ~ Doctor Zhivago ( 1965).

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An unlikely Bob Sleigh team ( from Jamacia!) qualify for the Winter Olympics in Calgary ~ Cool Runnings(1993).

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Lily Collins finds her handsome prince in this sweet adaption of Snow White ~ Mirror Mirror (2012).

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Inspiring true life tale about how an Alaskan town gathered together to rescue three blue whales trapped under the ice ~ The Big Miracle (2012).

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A boy builds a snowman who comes to…

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Ten Films I have Enjoyed In 2016.

So I thought I would write a movie post !  All about Ten films I have enjoyed renting or  watching on the big screen, in the past year. Please let me know in the comments if you have enjoyed any of my picks, disliked them immensely or have any recommendations for my next movie night. 🙂

The Walk. ( 2015)  On 7th August 1974 French high-wire artist Philippe Petit attempted the impossible , a daring ( and safety net free!)  tightrope walk , between the twin towers of the newly built World Trade Centre in New York.   Joseph- Gordon Levitt plays Petit, who is obsessed with pulling off the amazing fete, without permission, but with the help of a bunch of friends and believers. The film starts off in street performing Paris and ends on a high ( literally!) in the clouds of a NY skyline. It is dedicated to the victims of 911.

Crimson Peak. ( 2015) I watched this sumptuous Gothic Horror Costume drama as a guest of a local film club……and those  quite pretentious ‘film buffs’ disliked it. However I’m  a fan!  Edith Cushing ( Mia Wasikowska) meets and falls in love with the charming Sir Thomas Sharpe ( a brooding Tom Hiddleston) and after the wedding she becomes mistress of his vast sprawling and very eerie mansion. Or she would, if Thomases creepy sister Lady Lucille didn’t hold tightly onto a big bunch of keys…and  ghosts of dead previous brides didn’t seep through the cracks, in what is a living, breathing, creaky old house. Beautifully filmed sets and costumes. Directed by Guillermo del Toro of Pan’s Labyrinth fame.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. ( 2016)  Tim Burton cooks up another quirky offering in his film adaptation of Ransom Riggs dark fantasy.  The story centres around teenager Jake ( Asa Butterfield ) who is suffering from horrendous nightmares after finding the body of his dead grandfather, and apparently seeing his attacker. Jake decides to hunt out the children’s home his grandfather would tell him stories about in childhood, but on arrival finds that the house was bombed and destroyed in 1943. However his grandfather’s childhood friends  still live there in a protective time loop, constructed by their enchanting pipe- smoking guardian Miss Peregrine, played by Eva Green. The children are ‘Peculiars’ blessed ( or cursed) with special powers and are hunted by shapeshifters who consume their eyeballs. Kooky but enjoyable.

Spy.  ( 2015)  Here is a madcap spy comedy starring our favourite ‘Bridesmaid’ Melissa Mccarthy. McCarthy plays a deskbound CIA analyst , whose dashing  partner in the field ( Jude Law) is apparently assassinated while on duty. Our heroine takes centre stage as an unlikely agent, dressed to hilarious effect in random disguises ( see crazy cat lady above) to infiltrate the female assailants gang. There’s great cast support from Jason Statham, Law, Rose Byrne and even our own Miranda Hart. From Bridesmaids to Bond, hey why not !

The Mermaid. ( 2016)  I love mermaid films ( How exciting  that Splash is being remade!) , so was incredibly happy to find out about this chinese movie, which on release in China broke just about every box office record going.And it’s a fun ride with plenty of action, slapstick comedy, romance of course and even a strong environmental message. Jelly Lin plays Shan, a young mermaid sent by mer folk to seduce and assassinate a ruthless playboy tycoon ( Deng Chao)  intent on destroying all marine life in the bay he wants to build on. Shan’s attempts go hilariously wrong and love and chaos ensues.

Diary Of A Teenage Girl. ( 2015) American Coming-of-age drama starring Bel Mooney as Minnie, a precautious teenager in 1970s San Francisco.  I loved the retro seventies vibe and soundtrack of this movie, though the film is a wee bit disturbing , concentrating mostly on Minnie’s sexual awakening and affair with her bohemian mother’s boyfriend. Maybe not one for parents of young teen daughters then!  Diary is based on a graphic novel and also stars Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard.

Bridget Jones Baby. ( 2016)  No one was more excited than I when the latest Bridget Jones installment hit the cinemas. And happily it delivers. 🙂  Bridget is back with a bump after  liaisons with both her ex Mark Darcy and a dishy American’ Jack’ played by Grey’s Anatomy ‘ Doctor McDreamy’ Patrick Dempsey. But in typical Ms Jones style , she doesn’t exactly know who the father is. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, old faces return and feisty new characters ( Bridget’s work pal Miranda in particular) add fun to the proceedings. . I loved the last scene where Bridget juggles holding a baby…and a glass of chardonnay. What else!

The Lobster. (2015)  ok so this is one strange little film but I included it anyway because my thoughts kept returning to it again and again after watching. Set in a distopian future where single people are sent to a hotel to meet someone within 45 days ….or get turned into an animal of their choice, this is a dark tragi-comedy ,which is wierd with a capital W. David ( Colin Farrell ) plays a guest who arrives at the hotel with a collie dog ( his brother ) but his last ditch attempt at pairing up with a fellow guest goes terribly wrong. The second half of the film sees David escape into the woods where he becomes part of a group of individuals who strive to be completely separate….and where relationships are punishable by terrible torture. Not for the faint hearted.

Eddie The Eagle. ( 2016 )  Here’s a true story with a real feel good factor. Eddie The Eagle has it in spades. 🙂  If you are  of an age ( like me!) to actually remember the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards is most probably a name ingrained into your memories of the eighties , like leg warmers, reversible mickey mouse sweaters and Gordon the Gopher. Edwards is a British Skier who became the first competitor since 1929 to represent Great Britain in Olympic Ski Jumping. How he got to be in the games  in the first place is testament to his endurance and determination. He didn’t exactly look like your average Olympic athlete!  This affectionate movie chronicles Eddie’s journey through adversary to his last minute entry in the 90- metre jump. Taron Egerton stars.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. ( 2016 )  Let us end with a magical prequel to the Harry potter films. Fantastic Beasts follows British Wizard Newt Scamander ( Eddie Redmayne) arriving in New York  en route to Arizona. He carries with him a suitcase which contains a secret world of fantastical creatures, some of whom manage to escape in the city and create mayhem.  I enjoyed the film though I possibly warmed more to the mythical beasts than to the main characters. Look out for an unexpected cameo appearance.:)